Headlines > News > Trio Prepares for Departure, Texas Wildfires Capture Attention

Trio Prepares for Departure, Texas Wildfires Capture Attention

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Sep 8, 2011 8:20 am via: NASA
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Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan continued their preparations for their departure from the International Space Station scheduled for Sept. 15. They will undock and return home aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft.

Borisenko and Samokutyaev tested the Poisk module’s docking systems in advance of their undocking. The trio’s stay was extended a week due to the loss of a Progress resupply vehicle in August.

Meanwhile, the six Expedition 28 crew members focused on conducting international science and maintaining station systems.

Station crew members and remotely controlled cameras captured photos and video of the Texas wildfires which have destroyed thousands of acres and hundreds of homes.

Flight Engineer Mike Fossum worked with the Space Linear Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD). The device measures a crew member’s mass using Newton’s second law of motion. Springs apply a known force to a crew member mounted to an extension arm, with the resulting acceleration being used to calculate mass. SLAMMD is accurate to within a half-pound. Fossum also joined Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa for hearing tests.

Working in the Kibo laboratory, Furukawa checked out and activated a Local Area Network (LAN) communication line. Part of the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack, the LAN enables communications between a laptop computer and small payloads.

Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov cleaned fire detection equipment in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. He also spent time on various ongoing Russian experiments. Molniya-Gamma studies thunderstorm and lightning activity, Typology observes a crew member’s ability to perform tasks during long-duration missions, and BAR tests leak detection methods and studies conditions that could produce depressurization.

Dextre, the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator, worked overnight demonstrating procedures for possibly refueling a satellite. Robotics controllers in Mission Control used Dextre to disengage launch locks, collect tools and grasp a micro-fixture. The gear for the Robotics Refueling Mission was delivered in July during STS-135.

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