Station Status

Text Size

Station Trio Busy Inside Station, New Trio Prepares for Launch
Astronaut Chris Cassidy

Expedition 36 Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy works with the Seedling Growth experiment aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 36 trio aboard the International Space Station started its work week taking apart a treadmill and working on science hardware. Another trio is in Kazakhstan counting down to a May 28 launch aboard a Soyuz rocket to join their orbiting crewmates.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov was joined by Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin spending most of Monday disassembling a treadmill in the Zvezda service module. It will be replaced by a newer treadmill that was delivered April 26 inside the ISS Progress 51 resupply craft.

The Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System (TVIS) helps keep crew members fit and prevents muscle atrophy that occurs in microgravity. Located in Zvezda the TVIS undergoes regular scheduled maintenance and is equipped with gyroscopes and stabilizers that minimize the dynamic forces on the space station and its systems.

Read more about the Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System

Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy worked throughout the day in the station’s U.S. segment. He opened the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) inside the Destiny laboratory and replaced a fuel reservoir and igniter tips.

The CIR enables the safe observation and study of the burning of fuels and materials in space. The rack is part of a larger system called the Fluids and Combustion Facility which also houses the Fluids Integrated Rack.

Read more about the Combustion Integrated Rack
Read more about the Fluids Integrated Rack

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three new Expedition 36 crewmates are preparing for their May 28 same-day launch and docking to the station’s Rassvet module. Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano will enter their Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft for a 4:31 p.m. EDT launch, and dock just four orbits – or about six hours – later.

This will be Yurchikhin’s third long-term stay at the space station. His first two expeditions were Expedition 15 in 2007 and Expedition 24/25 in 2010. He also flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis to the station during the 11-day STS-112 mission to install the S1 truss structure in 2002.

Nyberg, who is a NASA astronaut, last flew to the station in 2008 aboard space shuttle Discovery. During the nearly two-week long STS-124 mission, the crew delivered and installed the Japanese Kibo laboratory.

Parmitano, an Italian astronaut for the European Space Agency, is participating in his first space mission.

› Read more about Expedition 36