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Crew Off-Duty, Waits for “Albert Einstein”
Karen Nyberg

Astronaut Karen Nyberg works out on the advanced resistive exercise device inside the Tranquility node. Credit: NASA
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The six-member Expedition 36 crew is taking a break Wednesday after seeing the undocking of the ISS Progress 51 resupply craft Tuesday morning. They are off-duty in observance of Russia Day when the country declared its sovereignty in 1990.

Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle, the “Albert Einstein,” is on its way to the International Space Station for a June 15 docking. Two rendezvous burns are scheduled Wednesday to refine its path to the station where it will dock to the Zvezda service module’s aft docking port.

› Read more about the launch of the ATV-4

Ground controllers are looking at imagery of Zvezda’s docking port taken by the Progress 51 resupply craft after it undocked Tuesday. When the Russian cargo ship arrived in late April crew members reported hearing scraping sounds. One of its Kurs rendezvous antennas had failed to deploy after launch, though it finally deployed after undocking.

Station activities are still ongoing as the crew members performed fitness evaluations, science experiment checks and maintenance work.

Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano assisted Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy who hopped on an exercise bike and had his blood pressure monitored for a fitness evaluation. Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg also monitored her blood pressure as part of a periodic medical exam and collected her saliva sample for stowage in a science freezer.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov worked with the ongoing Russian experiment Plasma Crystal. The study records plasma crystal forming processes and parameters such as gas pressure, high-frequency radiated power and the size of dust particles.

› Read more about Plasma Crystal

Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin assisted Vinogradov with the Plasma Crystal work. He also pressurized the Elektron oxygen regeneration system and videotaped his exercise on the advanced resistive exercise device.

Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin worked on Russian life support gear replacing a hose. He also setup a camera to videotape his exercise on the advanced resistive exercise device.

All three cosmonauts also had time set aside for private conferences with their families.

› Read more about Expedition 36