Ongoing Science Work and Spacewalk Preps For Crew
More science work and spacewalk preparations were on the schedule for the Expedition 35 crew Wednesday. The six station residents also continued the ongoing maintenance of station systems.
Commander Chris Hadfield continued day two of the 10-day ENERGY study that measures a crew member’s nutrition and energy balance. He set up hardware for the experiment to take four measurements of his oxygen uptake and collected blood and urine samples.
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Afterward, Hadfield spent the afternoon performing maintenance work in the Unity module. He inspected ventilation fans and cleaned them of foreign objects and debris.
Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn set up the Capillary Flow Experiment-2 (CFE-2) for video downlink of test operations. The microgravity study observes the flow of liquids in various geometries under varying conditions which could improve future designs of fluid transfer systems.
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At the beginning of his day, Marshburn installed jumper cables on the Unity module’s power distribution system. The installation would allow recovery of power distribution in the event of any failures throughout the system.
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack for some hardware work. He replaced a fuel reservoir in the rack which enables safe performance of experiments studying combustion in space.
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Russian cosmonauts continued preparing for an April 19 spacewalk. They also worked on ongoing science and maintenance tasks.
Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov and Roman Romanenko activated their Russian Orlan spacesuits for telemetry and communications checks and continued charging the suits batteries. The duo will exit the station next Friday to set up and retrieve experiments and install a navigational aid. The aid, known as a retro-reflector, will help guide the European Space Agency’s fourth cargo vehicle for an automated docking to the Zvezda service module. The Automated Transfer Vehicle-4, nicknamed “Albert Einstein,” is targeted for launch June 5 from French Guinea.
Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin worked on a couple of ongoing Russian experiments. He set up a bioreactor for Cascade, which investigates cultivation processes of micro-organism, animal and human cells in microgravity. He also collected radiation data for the Matryeshka experiment.
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Orbital Sciences Corp. completed roll-out of the first fully integrated Antares rocket to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Saturday, April 6. Orbital has confirmed an April 17 target launch date for the rocket test flight with a planned liftoff of 5 p.m. EDT.
Antares is undergoing testing that will enable the rocket to eventually carry experiments and supplies to the International Space Station aboard a Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This test flight will not launch a Cygnus spacecraft or rendezvous with the space station.
Orbital is testing the Antares rocket under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. NASA initiatives like COTS are helping develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the space station and low-Earth orbit.
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