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Station Crew Conducts Science, Prepares for Upcoming Landing

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:54 am via: NASA
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Expedition 30 Flight Engineer Don Pettit continued his work with the Burning and Suppression of Solids experiment, known as BASS, on Monday. The investigation examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. The BASS experiment will help to develop procedures and methods for extinguishing accidental fires in microgravity, and it will contribute to the design of fire detection and suppression systems in microgravity and on Earth.

Pettit and fellow Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers began more than two weeks of on-board training for next month’s scheduled arrival of the SpaceX/Dragon commercial cargo craft. They conducted a conference with flight controllers to discuss the status of preparations for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket April 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and the suite of on-board training activities that lie ahead for them. They are slated to grapple and berth the supply ship to the Harmony node’s Earth-facing Common Berthing Mechanism on May 3.

Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko tested the telerobotically operated rendezvous system, known as TORU, in the Zvezda service module in advance of the undocking of the ISS Progress 46 cargo ship on April 19. Additionally, Ivanishin stowed some items from the craft aboard the station.

Ivanishin also took photographs of Earth as part of the Russian Uragan Earth-imaging program, which is named for the Russian word for hurricane. Uragan is a ground- and space-based system for predicting natural and manmade disasters.

Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov continued work on the Coulomb Crystal experiment that studies the formation and interaction of electrically charged particles. He stowed trash and unneeded items aboard the Progress 46 and took measurements to detect possible contaminants aboard Zvezda, as well.

Commander Dan Burbank spent time unstowing materials for the Combustion Integrated Rack, or CIR. The CIR, which is housed in the Fluids and Combustion Facility in the Destiny laboratory, houses hardware for research on combustion in microgravity.

Burbank also worked on the periodic scrubbing of the cooling loops in the U.S. spacesuits housed in the Quest airlock.

With an eye toward their landing aboard the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft, Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin conducted checks of their inflatable custom-made Soyuz seat liners. The landing about 56 miles north-northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan will wrap up Expedition 30 and is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. EDT (5:45 p.m. Kazakhstan time) on April 27.

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