Expedition 35 Trio Busy With Science, Station Ready for Reboost
Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield was back at work with the Amine Swingbed hardware after reviewing its procedures and gear on Tuesday. He assembled the gear into its operating configuration as part of an investigation into using a smaller, more efficient system to scrub carbon-dioxide from the station’s atmosphere.
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Toward the end of his workday, Hadfield had a ham radio pass with students from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas. The 6th through 12th grade students asked the Canadian commander various questions about living and working in space.
At the beginning of his day, Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn opened up the Fluids Integrated Rack to install samples for the Advanced Colloids Experiment. That study observes materials containing small colloidal particles and how their physical properties behave in space.
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Later, Marshburn was in the Destiny laboratory continuing his work on the Marangoni Inside experiment with help from ground controllers in Tsukuba, Japan. The experiment observes surface tension produced by temperature differences occurring at a liquid/gas interface which helps scientists understand how fluids move and heat transfers in microgravity.
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Veteran station flight engineer and cosmonaut Roman Romanenko spent some time Wednesday stowing trash and discarded gear into the docked ISS Progress 50 (P50) resupply craft. The P50 is targeted to undock from the Pirs docking compartment in late April for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean.
He also worked on two ongoing Russian experiments exploring radiation inside the station and the effects of jet exhaust and spacecraft reentries on the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
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This Monday, ground controllers will send commands to the Canadarm2 to unberth the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft at 6 a.m. EDT for a release at 7:49 a.m. Dragon will fire its engines for the last time at 12:33 p.m. sending it through the Earth’s atmosphere for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean around 1:35 p.m.
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NASA TV coverage of the release will begin at 5 a.m. and end after Dragon leaves the vicinity of the space station. SpaceX will then provide updates to its website of reentry and splashdown activities.
The Expedition 35 crew is awaiting three new crew members who are in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, preparing for a March 28 launch. The International Space Station will raise its orbit Wednesday night allowing the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft carrying Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy and Alexander Misurkin to dock to the Poisk module next week. At 7:25 p.m. the station is scheduled to perform a reboost using the Progress 49 thrusters. The reboost will raise the station’s altitude about 3 miles to prepare for the March 28 Soyuz rendezvous and docking. The burn will last 11 minutes, 13 seconds.