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Crew Ready for “Albert Einstein,” Preps for Spacewalk
Luca Parmitano

Astronaut Luca Parmitano exercises on the COLBERT treadmill. Credit: NASA
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The six-member Expedition 36 crew is waiting for supplies from a new resupply craft launched June 5 from Kourou, French Guiana. Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4), nicknamed “Albert Einstein,” is due to arrive at the International Space Station this Saturday at 9:46 a.m. EDT.

› Read more about the launch of the ATV-4

Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Luca Parmitano spent Thursday morning practicing rendezvous procedures and abort scenarios for the ATV-4 cargo craft. Ground controllers are reviewing imagery of the Zvezda docking port for possible damage to reflectors that could prevent Saturday’s docking of the “Albert Einstein.”

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg worked with an ongoing fluids physics experiment, the Capillary Flow Experiment, during her morning. In the afternoon she inspected the COLBERT treadmill and filled out a survey documenting her suggestions for improving the inspection procedure.

› Read more about the Capillary Flow Experiment
› Read more about COLBERT

Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy took photographs of samples collected for the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test (BCAT) experiment. BCAT studies the effects of microscopic solids suspended in a liquid that could benefit materials fabrication processes on Earth. He then cleaned and replaced filters inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox and photographed the condition of the filters.

› Read more about the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test

On the Russian side of the orbital laboratory Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Misurkin partnered together again for the ongoing Plasma Crystal experiment. 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

Vinogradov also checked Russian laptop computers and reconfigured communications gear. Misurkin worked with the Matryeshka experiment which measures radiation in the environment of the space station and radiation absorption in crew members.

› Read more about Matryeshka

Misurkin also joined Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin for more preparations for a June 24 spacewalk as they gathered tools and equipment. The duo will conduct a six-hour spacewalk to prepare the International Space Station for a new module, the “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module, due for launch atop a Russian Proton rocket at the end of this year. The “Nauka” will be docked to the Earth-facing port on Zvezda.

› Read more about Expedition 36