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Crews Readies Progress Vehicle for Undocking
02.08.13
 
Commander Kevin Ford

Kevin Ford talks to leaders of the Indiana State Senate as well as his friends and family in Indianapolis on Thursday. Credit: NASA TV

The six-member Expedition 34 crew is making final preparations for the ISS Progress 48 undocking Saturday at 8:15 a.m. EDT. A new cargo craft, the ISS Progress 50 (P50), will replace it Monday afternoon when it docks to the Pirs docking compartment just four orbits, or about six hours, after launch.

The P50 will roll out to its launch pad Saturday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The new resupply craft is loaded with food, fuel and supplies and is scheduled for launch Monday at 9:41 .m. EDT (8:41 p.m. Baikonur time).

Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin closed the hatch to the P50 Friday afternoon and conducted leak checks on the Pirs docking compartment.

The station residents are also getting ready for the SpaceX Dragon resupply due in March. Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn and Chris Hadfield gathered items ahead of the Dragon’s visit which will be returned back to Earth aboard the commercial cargo capsule when it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.

Marshburn then spent his afternoon conducting plumbing work in the Waste and Hygiene Compartment replacing a pre-treat tank. He activated the tank after installing it and conducted leak checks.

Meanwhile, Hadfield continued more runs of the InSpace-3 materials science experiment inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. He also began the Education Payload Operations experiment in the Japanese Kibo laboratory named Blue Earth that involves gazing at Earth through water drops.

› Read more about InSpace-3

Commander Kevin Ford routed cables for the High-Rate Communication System in the Destiny laboratory. He also conducted some plumbing work on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment manually filling a flush water tank in the Tranquility node.

Tarelkin worked with another docked cargo craft, the ISS Progress 49, transferring fluids to its tanks. He also worked on various Russian experiments and maintenance tasks. Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko worked throughout the Russian segment cleaning filters and fans and working on more science.

› Read more about Expedition 34