Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crew Prepares for Arrivals

The engines of the docked ISS Progress 36 cargo craft ignited at 5:15 a.m. EDT Wednesday for a 7-minute, 5-second reboost of the International Space Station.

The reboost raised the station’s altitude by a little over one statute mile and began to place the complex at the proper altitude for spacecraft scheduled to dock to the station in April.

Three new Expedition 23 flight engineers are scheduled to arrive at the station on April 4 aboard the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft. Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson are in Baikonur, Kazakhstan preparing for their launch on April 2.

Space shuttle Discovery and the STS-131 crew are targeted to launch to the station on April 5, bringing a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks for the station’s laboratories.

Aboard the station Wednesday, the other members of the Expedition 23 crew prepared for the upcoming arrivals.

Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer conducted a practice session of rendezvous pitch maneuver photography. During Discovery’s approach next month, they will take detailed digital imagery of its heat shield that will be sent down to Earth and analyzed by experts at Johnson Space Center.

Creamer also recharged spacesuit batteries for the three spacewalks to take place during the STS-131 mission.

Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi prepared the Kibo laboratory to receive more science racks arriving with Discovery.