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Station Boosts Orbit in Advance of Crew Change
Chris Cassidy

Chris Cassidy works inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the BASS combustion experiment. Credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station’s newest cargo craft fired its engines for nearly 12 minutes Sunday raising the complex’s orbit. The orbital reboost readies three Expedition 35 crew members for their return home on May 14. The station is also at the correct altitude for the arrival of three new Expedition 36 crew members on May 28.

Meanwhile, the current six-member Expedition 35 crew remains focused on international science, station maintenance and exercise to counteract the effects of microgravity.

Commander Chris Hadfield began his day changing out batteries for a camera that photographs samples for the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 experiment. He then moved onto the commercial NanoRacks experiment analyzing crystal growth samples using a microscope.

› Read about Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3
› Read about NanoRacks

In the afternoon, Hadfield along with Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn began preparations for their May 14 departure by packing personal items and collecting trash. The commander then collected microbe air samples for placement on a Petri dish.

Marshburn began his day collecting microbe surface samples from the space station for incubation and analysis. He then worked throughout the afternoon cleaning a beverage adapter, transferring data from a NanoRacks experiment and beginning the 24 hour dry out process for the MERLIN science freezer.

› Read about MERLIN

Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy worked with gear from the Human Research Facility and collected blood and urine samples for stowage inside a science freezer. He then continued another session with the ongoing combustion experiment BASS, or Burning and Suppression of Solids, inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox.

› Read about the Human Research Facility
› Read about the Burning and Suppression of Solids

On the Russian side of the station, veteran cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov worked throughout the day transferring gear from the new ISS Progress 51 resupply craft and updating the inventory management system. Flight Engineers Roman Romanenko and Alexander Misurkin spent a couple of hours on station handover tasks and conducted routine maintenance and ongoing science.

Romanenko along with Hadfield and Marshburn will enter the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft May 14 ending their stay. Expedition 36 begins after they undock with Vinogradov becoming station commander.

Expedition 36 will expand to six members when Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano arrive at the International Space Station May 28. The new trio will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft for a docking to the stations’ Rassvet module about six hours later.

› Read more about Expedition 35