Experiments, Spacewalk Preps and Maintenance for Crew
The six-person Expedition 36 crew of the International Space Station worked with science experiments, prepared for an upcoming spacewalk and performed a variety of maintenance duties Friday as they wrapped up a busy work week aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano participated in the Pro K experiment as nutritionists evaluate the effectiveness of dietary changes to lessen the bone loss experienced by astronauts in space.
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Nyberg also collected samples from various physical surfaces on her body for the Microbiome experiment, stowing the samples in one of the station’s freezers for future expert analysis. The Microbiome experiment investigates the impact of space travel on both the human immune system and an individual’s microbiome (the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body at any given time).
› Read more about Microbiome
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy conducted leak checks on the Kibo module’s Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack Combustion Chamber. He also performed some routine maintenance on the station’s Water Recovery System, removing and replacing the recycle tank.
Later, Parmitano had some time set aside to answer questions from Italian reporters during a European Space Agency in-flight news conference.
Commander Pavel Vinogradov performed a variety of maintenance duties in the Russian segment of the station and worked with an experiment studying plasma crystal formation in microgravity.
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Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Fyodor Yurchikhin gathered tools and hardware to prepare for an upcoming Russian spacewalk on June 24. During the excursion, the spacewalkers will venture out of the Pirs docking compartment to replace a fluid flow control valve panel on the Zarya module, install clamps on the Zarya module for the future installation of power cables, remove and install several sets of experiments on the hull of the Zvezda service module and collect samples and acquire imagery of the condition of the thermal insulation on the outside of the Russian segment modules.
Nyberg, Parmitano, and Yurchikhin, who arrived aboard the station on May 28, also had some time set aside for orientation and training as they continue to familiarize themselves with their new orbiting home
› Read more about the Expedition 36 launch and docking
Following its successful launch on Wednesday, the European Space Agency’s “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4) cargo ship continues its 10-day journey to the station, with the first of its engine firings to fine-tune its path scheduled on Monday. Docking to the aft port of the Zvezda service module is scheduled for June 15 at 9:46 a.m. EDT.
› Read more about the ATV-4 launch
› Read more about Expedition 36