As a trash-filled ISS Progress 50 (50P) was readied for its Thursday undocking, the Expedition 36 crew members worked ongoing science, station maintenance and conducted a spacewalk review conference.
Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin, both members of previous station crews, completed stowage of trash and discarded cargo aboard the 50P resupply craft. Afterwards, the duo closed the hatches between the orbital laboratory and the 50P and conducted leak checks.
The 50P will leave the Pirs docking compartment Thursday at 4:44 p.m. EDT for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean. It will be replaced Saturday just six hours after the ISS Progress 52 cargo craft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 4:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, another cargo craft is targeted for an Aug. 3 launch from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center. Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg installed a centerline berthing camera system in the Harmony node in preparation for the arrival of the H-II Transfer Vehicle-4 from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Nyberg also worked various station maintenance tasks including replacing fuses and a gas trap. She cleaned debris from the gas trap and took samples for analysis.
European astronaut and Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano worked on the physical sciences experiment Binary Colloidal Aggregated Test (BCAT-4). While inside the Kibo laboratory he photographed magnetized samples of microscopic spheres suspended in a liquid, also known as colloids. Observations from the BCAT-4 study will help manufacturers develop stronger, smarter materials for such things as faster computers and advanced optical devices.
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy worked on a similar experiment known as BCAT-3. He set up hardware and also photographed samples of colloids. Earlier, Cassidy performed more maintenance on the Marangoni Inside experiment in the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility which is part of a Japanese science rack.
Later, all three astronauts convened for a spacewalk conference with ground specialists. The trio checked out schematics, reviewed troubleshooting procedures and investigated possible causes of the water leak in Parmitano’s spacesuit during last week’s spacewalk.
Finally, Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin worked on various science and maintenance activities in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. He continued more investigations with the BAR experiment which tests new tools and procedures to detect a pressure leak inside the orbital laboratory. Misurkin also worked with the Vzaimodeistviye experiment which observes interactions between crew members from different cultures and backgrounds.