The International Space Station raised its orbit Thursday to accommodate the Expedition 38 crew members when they dock Nov. 7 in a Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft. A Progress resupply craft will also arrive in late November delivering gear to replenish the orbital laboratory.
Europe’s “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4) fired its engines placing the station in the correct phasing for the November dockings. The ATV-4 will end its stay at the orbital laboratory when it undocks from the Zvezda service module’s aft port Oct. 28.
Flight Engineers Luca Parmitano talked to students and officials from Italy, Germany and Israel to commemorate the ATV-4. The ATV-4, the European Space Agency’s fourth cargo craft to visit the station, launched from Kourou, French Guiana June 5 and docked to Zvezda on June 15.
More spacesuit work continues for the Expedition 37 crew on both U.S. and Russian spacesuits. The crew members are checking out a leaky U.S. spacesuit while getting ready for a Russian spacewalk.
Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins are troubleshooting the U.S. spacesuit responsible for a water leak during a July 16 spacewalk that ended early. Their work primarily consisted of removing and replacing a fan pump separator, inspecting and photographing their work and discussing their findings with ground controllers.
Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy spent their day working on Russian Orlan spacesuits as they prepare for a Nov. 9 spacewalk. They conducted leak checks inside the Pirs docking compartment and recharged water systems and batteries inside their spacesuits.
Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin set up and began charging the Iridium phone, an emergency communication device, which will be installed on the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft he, Nyberg and Parmitano will return home in Nov. 10. The commander also worked throughout the day collecting surface samples inside Zvezda for analysis.
International science is ongoing aboard the orbital laboratory with experiments running automatically, being controlled from the ground or operated by station crew members. Results can be photographed or videotaped. Medical data and experimental data can be stored on a computer for downlink to researchers. Biological samples can be stored inside science freezers for return to Earth for analysis.
Nyberg and Parmitano worked on two different human research experiments. Nyberg worked on the Japanese study called Biological Rhythms 48 while Parmitano participated in the European Circadian Rhythms investigation. At the end of the day, Hopkins and Parmitano partnered up for the Fundoscope study which examines astronauts’ eyes.