Science, Maintenance and Training for Station Crew
The Expedition 34 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station were busy with science experiments, maintenance work and training Monday after enjoying some time off over the weekend.
Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test, which takes a look at colloids -- microscopic particles suspended in a liquid -- and may lead to improvements in manufacturing processes here on Earth.
› Read more about Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-C1
Hadfield also worked with flight controllers at the SpaceX control center in Hawthorne, Calif. to check out the Commercial UHF Communication Unit, or CUCU, system that will relay rendezvous information from the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft to the station during Saturday’s scheduled rendezvous. The CUCU system is similar to the Russian KURS automated rendezvous system that is used for Soyuz and Progress vehicle arrivals and departures.
The SpaceX 2 mission is set to begin with the launch of the Dragon capsule on Friday at 10:10 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
› Read more about SpaceX 2
Commander Kevin Ford performed some maintenance work on the Amine Swingbed in an attempt to troubleshoot a valve on the unit’s CO2 scrubber. If the work proves successful, the Amine Swingbed will remain on the station. Otherwise its components will be returned to Earth on the SpaceX Dragon for repair.
Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn, a medical doctor, had some time set aside to brush up on crew medical officer procedures. This training is a routine requirement for crew medical officers during their stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Ford and Marshburn also performed another round of Canadarm2 training at the robotics work station in the cupola, brushing up on procedures for the grapple of the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship that is scheduled to arrive at the complex on Saturday.
Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin, Oleg Novitskiy and Roman Romanenko performed various science experiments, inspections and maintenance duties in the Russian segment of the station, tagging-up with flight control teams in Russia as needed.