Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crew Sets Up Hardware, Prepares for Soyuz Move

With Expedition 24 recently expanded to its full crew complement of six, the International Space Station’s residents tackled a variety of science and maintenance tasks Tuesday.

Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin, who arrived at the station on the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft Thursday, participated in familiarization briefings with the crew members who welcomed them aboard -- Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson. The three new flight engineers also had an hour of free time set aside to study the layout of their orbital home for the next five-and-a-half months and learn to move about in its large habitable space.

Working in the Destiny laboratory, Wheelock and Walker began installing and outfitting the Window Observation Research Facility, a rack surrounding the lab’s 20-inch window. This rack will serve as an attachment point for cameras and scanners to be mounted in the window and provides power and data transfer capabilities for those instruments.

Caldwell Dyson performed her third session with an experiment that studies changes in the astronauts’ aerobic capacity during long-duration spaceflight. NASA is interested in tracking these changes because a reduction in maximum oxygen uptake directly impacts a crew member’s ability to perform strenuous activities such as spacewalks or emergency operations.