Monday, September 29, 2014

Newly Expanded Space Station Crew Tackles Research and EVA Spacewalk Preparation

NASA Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman photo showing Flight Engineers Barry Wilmore (left) and ESA's Alexander Gerst at work in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

Image Credit: NASA

The International Space Station’s Expedition 41 crew, which doubled the number of humans in space when three new crew members arrived last week, began its first full work week schedule as a six-person crew Monday with biological research and preparations for a pair of U.S. spacewalks.

Alex Samokutyaev
Flight Engineers Barry Wilmore, Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova joined their Expedition 41 crewmates on the station early Friday following a six-hour, four-orbit trek aboard their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft from the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Wilmore, Samokutyaev and Serova are slated to spend 5 ½ months aboard the station.

Max Suraev
Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst, who arrived on May 28, will return to Earth in November.

Shortly after the usual 2 a.m. EDT reveille, the entire crew conducted body mass measurements, inspected their orbital home and participated in a daily planning conference with the flight control teams around the world to review the day’s activities.

Yelena Serova
For WisemanGerst and Wilmore, most of those activities were centered primarily on gearing up for their upcoming spacewalks.

During an Oct. 7 excursion outside the station, Wiseman and Gerst will transfer a previously uninstalled pump module from its temporary stowage location to the External Stowage Platform-2.

The two spacewalkers also will install the Mobile Transporter Relay Assembly (MTRA) that adds the capability to provide “keep-alive” power to the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) when the Mobile Transporter is moving between worksites.

Wiseman and Gerst spent some time reviewing the procedures for that spacewalk and later participated in a conference call with spacewalk specialists on the ground.

Wilmore meanwhile began “scrubbing” the cooling loops of the U.S. spacesuits, including the Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment that he will wear under his own spacesuit when he joins Wiseman for the second Expedition 41 spacewalk on Oct. 15.

Wiseman completed the spacesuit water recharge in the afternoon and Gerst checked in on the Zebrafish Muscle study.

Zebra Danios
He assessed the water condition inside the Aquatic Habitat, which is housing a school of spacefaring fish popularly known in the aquarium trade as Zebra Danios.

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