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Robotics and Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:36 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station Wednesday performed a series of robotics training exercises and worked with a variety of scientific research from around the world.

Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers performed robotics training and participated in conferences with flight controllers as they gear up for the capture and berthing of the SpaceX/Dragon cargo craft early next month. The commercial cargo spacecraft is scheduled for launch to the station April 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. They are slated to grapple and berth the supply ship to the Harmony node’s Earth-facing Common Berthing Mechanism on May 3.

Commander Dan Burbank performed some maintenance work on the Amine Swingbed, rewiring the valve motor to make it compatible with the experiment’s valve motor power circuit. This technology experiment is testing a smaller, more efficient system for removing carbon dioxide from a spacecraft’s atmosphere.

Later, Burbank, Pettit and Kuipers gathered in the Destiny module to answer questions from the media during an in-flight crew news conference.

Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin transferred and loaded cargo aboard the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft for return to Earth. Shkaplerov, Ivanishin and Burbank are scheduled to undock from the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-22 April 27, landing in Kazakhstan a few hours later to wrap up Expedition 30.

Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko loaded trash and unneeded items into the ISS Progress 46 cargo craft, which is scheduled to undock from the station April 19 and perform a series of engineering tests before being commanded to de-orbit for a destructive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere April 28.

Kononenko also worked with the Relaksatsiya (“Relaxation”) Earth-observation experiment, studying chemical luminescent reactions in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Shkaplerov and Ivanishin worked with the Typology experiment, which studies a crew member’s psychophysical state during long-duration spaceflight. Shkaplerov also continued work on the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which studies the formation and interaction of electrically charged particles.

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