Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Crew Prepares for Shuttle Arrival, Conducts Science Research

The Expedition 23 crew aboard the International Space Station was busy Tuesday with preparations for the upcoming visit of space shuttle Atlantis, as well as scientific research.

Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi worked inside the cupola to install the newly relocated Robotics Work Station (RWS). The cupola is a dome-shaped extension from Tranquility node made up of seven windows, and the RWS will function as a control station for the station’s robotic arm.

The first major task of the RWS will be to help install the Rassvet Mini Research Module-1 delivered by space shuttle Atlantis during the STS-132 mission scheduled for launch May 14. Rassvet, which means “dawn” in Russian, will provide additional storage space and a new docking port for Russian spacecraft.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer worked with the IntraVenous Fluid GENeration for Exploration Missions (IVGEN) experiment. Operating in the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox, IVGEN is a prototype system for producing sterile water that meets requirements for medical treatment and care capabilities during long-term exploration missions.

Creamer and Noguchi also collaborated with Russian Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko to move the Matryoshka experiment from the Russian segment of the station to the Japanese Kibo laboratory. The Matryoshka experiment uses a foam mannequin outfitted with radiation sensors to gather information on the amounts of radiation crew members are exposed to in different parts of the space station.

Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson performed routine medical officer proficiency training to refresh the skills she would need for an emergency medical situation and reviewed the procedures for the robotic work that she will be assisting with during the STS-132 mission.