Station Crew Preps for European Cargo Ship
The six-person Expedition 36 crew of the International Space Station participated in science experiments Tuesday and rearranged stowed items to make room for additional cargo set to launch aboard a European space freighter Wednesday.
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy began his day prepping the Combustion Integrated Rack for another round of experiments studying the process of combustion in a weightless environment. Cassidy replaced a manifold bottle inside the facility, which includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control and five different cameras.
Meanwhile, Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano removed and replaced the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer, or TOCA, which is used to test the station’s recycled water for contaminants. Afterward, Nyberg analyzed a water sample from the Water Recovery System with TOCA.
Nyberg and Cassidy took a break from their work to talk with Mike Binkley of WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. The two NASA astronaut discussed life and work aboard the station with the reporter from Nyberg’s home state of Minnesota.
Afterward, Cassidy moved on to routine maintenance on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, or ARED, as he greased the rails on the vibration isolation system of this weightlifting machine.
Parmitano and Nyberg teamed up again in the second half of their day to relocate cargo from the Z1 dome to the Unity module to make room for new supplies being delivered later this month on the European Space Agency’s “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4) cargo ship.
Loaded with more than 7 tons of supplies for the space station crew, the 13-ton ATV-4 is scheduled to launch atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:52 p.m. EDT, Wednesday to begin a 10-day trip to the station. Launch coverage with commentary from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and ESA's launch provider, Arianespace, will begin at 5:15 p.m. The forecast calls for showers throughout the day Wednesday.
› Read about NASA TV coverage of ATV-4
Cassidy rounded out his day mixing some slow growth sample modules for an upcoming run of the Binary Colloid Alloy Test-C1 experiment, which takes a look at colloids -- microscopic particles suspended in a liquid. Results from this experiment may lead to improvements in the shelf-life of household products, food and medicine.
› Read more about Binary Colloidal Alloy Test
Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin spent much of their morning conducting the Bar experiment, studying methods and instruments for detecting the location of an air leak from one of the station’s modules.
Vinogradov also conducted a session with the Uragan experiment. Named for the Russian word for hurricane, Uragan seeks to document and predict the development of natural and man-made disasters on Earth.
› Read more about Uragan
Misurkin later joined up with Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin to check for the presence of any harmful contaminants in the Zvezda service module. The two cosmonauts used the Counter Measure System to test for carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and ammonia.
As the newest crew members just beginning their 5 ½ month stay aboard the station, Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano also had time set aside for crew orientation as they continue to learn the ropes of their orbital home.
› Read more about the Expedition 36 launch and docking
› Read more about Expedition 36