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Station Crew Moves Cargo, Preps Experiment Hardware

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:54 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew loaded and unloaded items Tuesday from a pair of cargo ships docked to the International Space Station and set up hardware for more experiments and technology tests.

Commander Dan Burbank spent much of his day working with the Combustion Integrated Rack replacing a Fluid and Combustion Facility display and control module. This rack, which includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control, and five different cameras, allows a variety of combustion experiments to be performed safely aboard the station.

The commander also gathered hardware and reviewed procedures in preparation for his work with the Amine Swingbed investigation on Wednesday. This technology experiment is testing a smaller, more efficient system for removing carbon dioxide from a spacecraft’s atmosphere.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit began his workday early collecting blood and urine samples and storing them in the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or MELFI, for later analysis back on Earth. Pettit later set up the Super Sensitive HDTV camera in the station’s observation deck, the seven-windowed cupola, to capture more video of auroras.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers replaced some brackets and fasteners on the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility housed in the Ryutai rack in the Japanese Kibo module.

The rest of Kuipers’ day was focused largely on unloading cargo from the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 (ATV-3) cargo craft, which docked to the aft end of the Zvezda service module March 28. Also known as the “Edoardo Amaldi,” ATV-3 delivered 7.2 tons of food, fuel and supplies to the orbiting complex.

As Kuipers unloaded cargo from one resupply ship, Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko loaded trash and unneeded items into another. The ISS Progress 46 cargo craft, which arrived at the station in late January, is scheduled to undock April 19 and perform a series of engineering tests before being commanded to de-orbit to its fiery demise in the Earth’s atmosphere April 28.

Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin worked together on the Bar experiment, which looks at methods and instruments for detecting the location of a loss of pressure aboard the station. Ivanishin later spent time with the Seiner ocean-observation experiment.

Kononenko, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin also participated in orthostatic stability tests using the Lower Body Negative Pressure device, which simulates gravity by pulling the body’s fluids toward the feet.

Meanwhile at the Mission Control Center in Houston, flight controllers are remotely commanding the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to “walk off” across a series of power and data grapple fixtures to move it from the Mobile Base System to the Harmony module. Once there, it will remain in waiting, ready to grapple and berth the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in early May.

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