Station Crew Off Duty Tuesday, Expedition 35 Crew Lands Monday
Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy and Alexander Misurkin enjoyed some time off aboard the orbiting laboratory Tuesday following the undocking of their Expedition 35 crew mates aboard the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft on Monday night and a busy weekend of spacewalk activities. The station crew members will get back to their normal regimen of international research and systems maintenance on Wednesday.
Cassidy is set to resume work this week with the Burning And Suppression of Solids, or BASS, experiment which studies how a variety of solid materials burn and extinguish in microgravity. Results from BASS may lead to improvements in spacecraft materials selection, strategies for extinguishing accidental fires aboard spacecraft and improved computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems here on Earth.
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Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield and Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko landed their Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft in southern Kazakhstan at 10:31 p.m. EDT Monday. Russian recovery teams were on hand to help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after 146 days in space.
› Watch the Expedition 35 welcome ceremony
› Watch the Soyuz landing
› Watch the crew farewell and Soyuz undocking
Following the Soyuz TMA-07M undocking, thermal systems specialists in Mission Control Houston detected a drop in the International Space Station’s P6 truss ammonia accumulators consistent with the ammonia leak last Thursday. The 2B power channel that had been activated following Saturday’s spacewalk (but not yet integrated back into accepting loads from systems) was shut down in a preventative measure. Throughout the night, however, no leakage has been observed in the newly installed Pump and Flow Control Subassembly box on the P6 truss nor is there any data suggesting a leak. Thermal system specialists speculate this could be a function of fluids settling down within the pump’s plumbing and shifting from one internal tank to another from the forces imparted on the component from the Soyuz undocking. More data is being acquired but thermal experts seem to be comfortable that we still have an air-tight system.
› Read more about the spacewalk
Meanwhile at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 36 Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg, Fyodor Yurchikhin, Luca Parmitano continued preparations for their May 28 launch to the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M. Nyberg, Yurchikhin and Parmitano are set to depart for the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday.
› Read more about Expedition 35
› Read more about Expedition 36