Research, Hardware Upgrades and Training for Crew; Station’s Altitude Raised
The six Expedition 35 crew members were busy with scientific research, communication hardware upgrades and emergency training Wednesday while the International Space Station’s orbit was raised to prepare for the upcoming arrival and departure of visiting spacecraft.
Commander Chris Hadfield and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn continued their work on the installation of the new High Rate Communications System hardware that will increase the number of station downlink video channels from four to six, and the number of space-to-ground audio channels from two to four. The redundant Ku Comm Unit 1 is set to be installed a week from Thursday (April 11).
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy retrieved and reconfigured hardware for Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, and the Medaka Osteoclast experiment, which is a Japanese experiment that uses the fish as a model animal to help scientists understand the causes of bone density loss during long-duration spaceflight.
› Read more about Medaka Osteoclast
The station’s newest residents, Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov, Alexander Misurkin and Cassidy, took part in a routine, periodic emergency hardware familiarization session led by Commander Hadfield.
Cassidy, Vinogradov, and Misurkin arrived to the station aboard the Soyuz 34 (TMA-08M) spacecraft last week and will continue these familiarization and orientation activities over the next few weeks to help them get used to their new home aboard the orbiting outpost.
› Read more about their launch and docking
Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko worked with the Vzaimodeystviye (Interactions) experiment, which monitors the crew’s adaptation to long-duration spaceflight.
› Read more about Vzaimodeystviye
Romanenko, Vinogradov and Misurkin also worked in the Russian segment of the station, performing a variety of maintenance duties and monitoring its various life support systems.
The station performed a four minute, 37 second reboost using the ISS Progress 49 cargo craft thrusters on Wednesday. The reboost raised the station’s altitude by about 1.3 statute miles to help set up the proper phasing for the upcoming undocking of the Soyuz 33 (TMA-07M) spacecraft on May 14 and the launch of the Expedition 36/37 crew in the Soyuz 35 (TMA-09M) spacecraft on May 28.
Meanwhile, NASA hosted a briefing Wednesday to discuss the findings gleaned from the first two years of research from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer --- the revolutionary particle physics detector launched in May 2011 to the station on STS-134 --- the final flight of space shuttle Endeavour.
› Read more about the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
› Read more about Expedition 35