Thursday, January 07, 2010

Station Crew Busy with Spacewalk Preps

The Expedition 22 crew members aboard the International Space Station were busy Thursday with preparations for an upcoming spacewalk. They also continued their regular science, maintenance and exercise activities.

Flight Engineers Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov installed replaceable environmental and power components in their Russian Orlan spacesuits to prepare them for the six-hour spacewalk scheduled for Jan. 14. They also made height adjustments to the spacesuits and completed checkouts of the cooling loops in the Pirs docking compartment.

During the spacewalk, the two cosmonauts will exit Pirs to ready the Mini-Research Module 2, known as Poisk (a Russian term that translates to search, seek and explore) for its first docking, which will occur when Suraev and Commander Jeff Williams relocate the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from the aft port of the Zvezda service module on Jan. 21.

Suraev and Kotov are scheduled to don their spacesuits for a full “dry run” check Tuesday.

Williams performed an inventory of the station’s water supply and collected samples for chemical testing, relaying the data to ground controllers for analysis.

Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer set up the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) experiment and performed body mass measurements for himself and Williams. SLAMMD follows Newton's Second Law of Motion by having two springs generate a known force against a crew member mounted on an extension arm, the resulting acceleration being used to calculate the subject's mass, in effect weighing the individuals.

Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi took a break from his daily activities to receive a special call in the Kibo module from Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo.

Creamer and Noguchi also discussed with experts on the ground Monday’s planned move of External Stowage Platform-3 (ESP-3) from the port to starboard side of the station’s truss structure. The move will open an attachment slot for the third EXPRESS Logistic Carrier and its complement of spare parts, to be delivered on the STS-134 shuttle mission in July.

Throughout the day, crew members performed exercise sessions to counteract the effects of microgravity during their long-term stays in space. There are numerous exercise facilities aboard the station such as an exercise bicycle, a treadmill and an advanced resistive exercise device.

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