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Station Crew Upgrading Station Communication System

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:59 pm via: NASA
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The six-person Expedition 30 crew of the International Space Station focused Tuesday on squaring away cargo temporarily housed in the orbital complex’s “closet” and installing equipment for a major communication system upgrade.

Commander Dan Burbank began his day installing a High Rate Communication System connector panel in the Destiny laboratory. Additional cable routing work is planned in the weeks ahead along with the installation of an improved Ethernet hub gateway and Ku communications unit later this year to support this upgrade to the station’s Ku band system. When fully installed and operational, it will provide substantially faster uplink and downlink speeds, improved bandwidth, two extra voice communication loops and two additional video downlink channels.

Later, the commander inspected the flush water lines and water valve block of the Waste Hygiene Compartment to track down the source of air bubbles in the system.

Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers spent much of their time working in concert. First they participated in a periodic health status evaluation with each astronaut alternating as the subject of the medial exam and as the examiner. The results from these routine physical examinations are downlinked to researchers who track any changes to crew health due to long-term exposure to weightlessness.

Next, Pettit and Kuipers continued moving items temporarily stored in the corridor of the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module to their final locations. Essentially serving as the station’s closet with 2,472 cubic feet of storage space, Leonardo was installed on the station by the STS-133 crew of space shuttle Discovery in March 2011.

Kuipers later collected a test sample from the Water Recovery System, and Pettit loaded software on a laptop computer associated with an EXPRESS rack. Housed in a refrigerator-size container that acts as an exterior shell, each EXPRESS rack enables quick, simple integration of up to ten payloads.

Pettit took a break from his work to join Burbank in the Destiny lab for a live in-flight interview with WVIT-TV’s Yvonne Nava in Hartford, Conn.

The flight engineers working in the Russian segment of the station – Oleg Kononenko, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin – performed routine maintenance on the life support system and the Elektron oxygen generator and conducted several experiments.

Shkaplerov worked with the Bar experiment, which looks at methods and instruments for detecting the location of a loss of pressure aboard the station. He also assisted Ivanishin with the Typology experiment, which studies a crew member’s psychophysical state during long-duration spaceflight. Ivanishin later participated in the Seiner ocean observation experiment.

Meanwhile in Kourou, French Guiana, preparations remain on track for the launch of the European Space Agency’s “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 cargo craft at 12:34 a.m. EDT Friday. The vehicle with its 7.2 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition crew will dock automatically to the aft port of the Zvezda service module on March 28 at 6:34 p.m.

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