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Station Crew Preps for Departures and New Arrival

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:34 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew living and working aboard the International Space Station Tuesday prepared for the undocking and docking of visiting Russian resupply vehicles and the departure of three crew members later this month.

Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko transferred trash and station discards to the ISS Progress 46 cargo craft for disposal to prepare for its hatch closure Wednesday. It is set to undock from the station’s Pirs docking compartment Thursday at 7:04 a.m. EDT for a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Its departure sets the stage for the arrival of the ISS Progress 47 cargo craft, which will begin its two-day journey to the station when it launches Friday at 8:50 a.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Kononenko and Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin worked on the installation of a docking mechanism in the Pirs docking compartment to prepare for Sunday’s arrival of Progress 47.

Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov performed maintenance work on a cooler in the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft that brought him, Ivanishin and Commander Dan Burbank to the station in November. The trio is scheduled to return to Earth April 27 aboard the Soyuz, landing about 56 miles north-northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan, wrapping up Expedition 30.

Burbank and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers focused on unloading cargo from the “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle that docked to the aft end of the Zvezda service module March 28, delivering 7.2 tons of food, fuel and supplies to the orbiting complex.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit participated in several biomedical experiments that measure the impacts of long duration spaceflight on the human body. For the Sprint experiment, Pettit worked with Kuipers to collect ultrasound readings of leg muscles to see how well high-intensity exercise minimizes the loss of muscle mass and bone density that typically occurs in a weightless environment. Later, Pettit and Burbank worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment, which measures the atrophy of the heart muscle. Investigators use the data from these tests to develop countermeasures to keep the crew healthy.

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