Headlines > News > Station Crew Gears Up for Visiting Vehicles

Station Crew Gears Up for Visiting Vehicles

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jul 7, 2014 10:04 pm via: NASA
More share options

Following a holiday weekend, the International Space Station’s Expedition 40 crew was back at work Monday with laboratory research, routine maintenance and preparations for the arrival of more science and supplies.

All six crew members enjoyed a light-duty Friday to observe Independence Day as they began a three-day weekend in space. In addition to their usual housekeeping chores and daily 2.5-hour exercise regimen, the station’s residents had an opportunity to train their cameras on Hurricane Arthur as it made its way up the East Coast.   

Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman tweeted this view of Hurricane Arthur from the International Space Station on Friday. Image Credit: NASA

Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman tweeted this view of Hurricane Arthur from the International Space Station on Friday. Image Credit: NASA

On Monday, Commander Steve Swanson got an early start on the workday as he assisted Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst with a blood draw for the Human Research Facility. Gerst then processed his blood sample with a centrifuge and stored it in the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or MELFI, to preserve it for further study back on Earth.

Swanson then moved on to setting up a pair of acoustic dosimeters that he and Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov will wear for 24 hours to measure the noise levels the crew is exposed to throughout the day.

Afterward, the commander changed out a recycle tank in the Environmental Control and Life Support System’s Water Recovery System, which recycles condensation and urine into drinkable water.

Swanson also deployed eight RaDI-N radiation detectors that had been initialized earlier by Flight Engineer Max Suraev to help characterize the radiation environment aboard the station.

Gerst turned his attention to the checkout of proximity equipment in the Kibo laboratory that will be used to “lock on” to the Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo craft when it arrives at the station next week for the Orbital-2 commercial resupply services mission. Launch of the Cygnus atop the Orbital Antares rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is scheduled on Friday at 1:40 p.m. EDT.

Gerst also borrowed one of the soccer-ball-sized, free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, for an educational video to demonstrate an orbital docking.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman began another session with a combustion experiment known as the Burning and Suppression of Solids, or BASS, to study how fires behave in weightlessness. Housed inside the station’s Microgravity Science Glovebox, BASS is investigating the hypothesis that some materials may actually become more flammable in space. Results from BASS will help guide spacecraft materials selection and improve strategies for putting out accidental fires aboard spacecraft. The research also provides scientists with improved computational models that will aid in the design of fire detection and suppression systems here on Earth.

After a break for lunch, Wiseman joined Swanson and Gerst for a training session as they prepare for the robotic grapple and berthing of Cygnus next week. When the commercial cargo craft approaches the station July 15, Swanson will command the 57-foot Canadarm2 to capture Cygnus for its berthing to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node. Grapple is currently slated for 7:24 a.m. Cygnus will be delivering more than 3,000 pounds of cargo to the station, including 1,684 pounds of crew supplies, 783 pounds of station hardware and 721 pounds of science and research.

Inside the station’s Zvezda service module, Skvortsov set up proximity communications equipment to be used for the docking of the European Space Agency’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5). Named for the Belgian physicist and astronomer Georges Lemaitre, ATV-5 is scheduled for launch from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket no earlier than July 25.

Skvortsov and Suraev also joined Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev for an Earth-observation experiment to assess the ecological effects of industrial activities.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2018 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use