ISS Update: Weekly Recap for May 4, 2012

Uploaded by ReelNASA on 04.05.2012

Good morning and welcome to this Friday's edition
of the International Space Station Update.
The crew is bringing an end to their first full week
as the Expedition 31 mission following the departure
of their Expedition 30 crewmates late last week.
Starting off on Monday this week Commander Kononenko spent much of his day unloading items
from the Progress 47 resupply craft which has been docked
to the Pirs compartment since April 22.
Along with unloading all that cargo he was also updating the station's inventory management
system which is a fairly complex program onboard the station to track, monitor where each
and every single piece of cargo is located.
Also doing some cargo work that day was Andre Kuipers.
But he was working in the ATV-3 or the "Edoardo Amaldi,"
another unmanned resupply craft that's currently docked to the aft portion of the Zvezda module.
As you can see here is the European Space Agency's unmanned resupply craft.
So he was unloading some more cargo from it.
And along with that he was working
on a biological experiment called the Integrated Cardiovascular setting up the monitoring system
on his own person which looks to study any heart atrophy, or the weakening of the heart muscle,
during these astronauts' long-duration exposure to microgravity.
Also on Monday, Don Pettit was conducting some more vision tests with Robonaut setting
up a task board while robotics controllers on the ground worked send commands to the robot
as it worked through a few dexterous movements and also testing out its visual acuity.
He was also working that day with the Biolab changing out a life support module.
Biolab located in the Columbus laboratory seen here is used
to perform different space biology experiments on things like microorganisms,
cells and tissue cultures and also small plants and small invertebrates all
to help scientists gain a better understanding of the effects of microgravity
and space radiation on biological organisms.
Also on Monday, not up in space, but down here on the ground,
commercial company SpaceX conducted a successful hot fire of their Falcon 9 rocket.
During this SpaceX engineers ran through all of the countdown processes
as though it were an actual launch day.
And the exercises ended with the firing of all nine Merlin engines all taking place
at Space Launch Complex 40 down at the Cape Canaveral Air Force station.
Moving on to Tuesday, Commander Kononenko was doing some maintenance work throughout the
Russian segment cleaning some of the vent screens replacing a few dust filters
in the Zarya module and also the Rassvet module.
He was also working with the Russian Matryoshka experiment named
after the famous Russian nested dolls and looks to study the radiation doses
that the astronauts are exposed to by placing a number
of sensors inside of a mannequin-sized body.
And then all, he was collecting the data from those sensors and then transferring it
to computers and down to scientists here on the ground.
He also did some more cargo transfers from that Progress 47 spacecraft.
And then Andre Kuipers was also doing some more cargo work
on Tuesday working in that ATV vehicle again.
But along with that he was doing some very important robotics training
on the station's robotic arm.
He will be working alongside Don Pettit when the Dragon capsule begins its final approach
to the International Space Station for docking later this month.
And so he and Pettit were doing some training simulations and exercises with that robotic arm
to practice for their eventual grapple and docking.
They'll reach out and then grab the capsule and then dock it to the Earth-facing port
of the Harmony module onboard the station and will successfully complete the first visit
of a commercial vehicle to the station.
And again Don Pettit was working with Kuipers on Tuesday with that robotics training on the arm
but also doing some more Robonaut set up,
setting up our robotic crew member onboard the station for another round of visual acuity tests
and actually conducted some of the first switch throws and button pushes
on his task board completing a fairly big milestone and the engineering test
of this humanoid robot's dexterity all the while being commanded
from the Payload Operations Center in Marshall.
Moving on to Wednesday, we had Oleg Kononenko taking some electrical readings throughout the
station using a scope meter checking for the different amplitudes and voltages on a number
of different instruments throughout the Russian segment onboard the station.
He was also doing some maintenance
on the Russian toilet system replacing the urine receptacle and also the filter insert just
to make sure it was still performing in tip-top shape.
It is one of the more vital pieces of hardware for these astronauts onboard the station.
Meanwhile, Andre Kuipers was doing some inventory work
on the Human Research Facility supply kits
and unloading some more cargo from that ATV-3 vehicle.
He also worked up, he set up the SLAMMD,
or the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device, which the astronauts use
to take body mass measurements onboard the station.
As things like a scale do not work in microgravity, they have these things like SLAMMD
to use basic physics equations using force and acceleration to measure their mass.
He was also prepacking some items that will be loaded on to
that Dragon capsule later on when it visits.
It will be brought back down to Earth those include things like experiment items
and also hardware for eventual testing and repair back down here on the ground.
He was also doing some cleaning of the station's Atmosphere Revitalization System,
cleaning out a few bacteria filters on Nodes 1, 2 and 3 in the U.S. segment.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday Don Pettit spent pretty much his entire day
on some heavy experiment work starting off with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test.
It's a fairly complex study that uses microscopic particles known as colloids
as models for studying the fundamental physics of the liquid crystal phase.
Also, on Wednesday Pettit was working with the BASS experiment
with the Burning and Suppression of Solids.
This is an investigation that examines the burning and extinction characteristics
of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity and will help to guide strategies
for extinguishing accidental fires in the microgravity environment and also contribute
to combustion computational models used for designing fire detection
and suppression systems both up in space and down here on the ground.
Along with that he was relocating some of the emergency equipment onboard the station
in preparation for the upcoming arrival of the 30 Soyuz vehicle
which will carry the next three crew members to join this Expedition 31 crew
who on Wednesday were flying from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia,
and departed that base and flew down to their launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
in Kazakhstan for their final launch, prelaunch preparations.
Those three seen here are Joseph Acaba, a NASA astronaut,
and two Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin were scheduled to launch
up to the station coming up on May 14.
Moving on to Thursday, Kononenko was doing some upgrades of software on three
of the Russian laptops and continuing some of the work he was doing
on the Russian toilet maintenance.
He also transferred a few more items off
of that Progress 47 resupply vehicle before doing some maintenance work
on the Russian Elektron system which works to generate oxygen
for the astronauts' breathing air onboard the station.
Meanwhile, on Thursday Andre Kuipers set up the Ultrasound-2 device which was used in a couple
of biomedical experiments onboard the station on Thursday doing some ultrasounds on his own body
for the Integrated Cardiovascular doing, which is looking to study again heart atrophy,
or the weakening of the heart muscle, inside of astronauts over these long-duration spaceflight
and also taking some images of his veins and arms and legs for the Vessel Imaging Experiment
which looks to evaluate the changes in thickness and compliance
of long-duration ISS crew members both during
and after their long-term exposure to microgravity.
He was also working on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly alongside
with Don Pettit who was doing some of that work.
They were replacing and fixing up some of the air selector valves.
That Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly,
again Kuipers was doing some work, but also Don Pettit was as well.
And he, that is used to scrub or remove excess carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere onboard the station.
As you need to maintain a healthy breathing atmosphere for these astronauts
as they are exhaling carbon dioxide into this closed environment at all times.
So that's just to keep our astronauts safe when breathing an oxygen-rich atmosphere.
Also on Thursday Pettit did his own Integrated Cardiovascular scan with that ultrasound
and also took a health survey for the Integrated Immune which looks
to track any immune deficiencies that arise
in these astronauts during their long-duration spaceflights.
And also was setting up some hardware for testing today
which will be used for the VO2Max experiment.
Meanwhile, on Thursday down here on the ground those upcoming Expedition 31 crew members
climbed into their Sokol launch and entry suits which they will wear during all
of the launch activities inside they're Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft.
This was the first of two fit check dress rehearsals to familiarize themselves
with the vehicle again that they will launch upcoming here on May 14.
And that launch is scheduled to take place at 10:01 p.m. Central time,
11:01 p.m. Eastern time just under two weeks from now.
Again we will have coverage here on NASA TV of all those events.
And that brings us up to today, Friday,
where Oleg Kononenko was doing some cable audit photography work in the mini-research module-2,
or the Poisk module and also taking some measurements of any interference inside
of the Potok air purification system inside of the Zvezda service module.
Meanwhile, Andre Kuipers is downloading a lot of that data that's been taken
from the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment and also setting up the Kubik-3 module.
Kubik-3 is a small controlled temperature incubator or cooler that's used
to study biological samples in this microgravity environment.
Meanwhile, Don Pettit is working with that VO2Max experiment
that he was setting hardware for yesterday.
VO2Max looks to study the maximum oxygen uptake and aerobic capacity of these astronauts.
Measurements are taken both before, during and after their spaceflights.
He'll also be doing some checkout work on the Dragon command and control panel.
Some more upcoming prep work for that flight of the SpaceX Dragon capsule
to the International Space Station.
You can see some photos of that their also known as the CUCU.
So he'll be doing those checkouts.
And a little bit later in this hour he'll be doing a, an interactive interview event
with Fox News Radio and CBS News Radio along with Andre Kuipers.
So again that will take place later this hour beginning
at 10:55 a.m. Central time, 11:55 a.m. Eastern.
And then a few other items with the crew directly involved in.
Padalka, Acaba and Revin who are down in the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan right now,
participating in the traditional ceremony outside of their Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters
and they are reviewing some rendezvous and docking procedures on their laptop simulators
as they prepare to begin for their flight to the International Space Station.
And then earlier this morning the thrusters on the ATV-3,
or the "Edoardo Amaldi" Transfer Vehicle, fired for about 20 minutes
and 21 seconds at 3:37 a.m. Central time.
And the reboost placed the station at the correct altitude for the May 15 launch
of that Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft which will carry Padalka,
Acaba and Revin to the International Space Station.
And then aside from all of that some European flight controllers down here
on the ground are going to prepare to reintegrate the prime chain of the RECS system.
RECS standing for the Russian Equipment Control System which had some unexplained problems back
on March 29 just after the ATV-3 vehicle docked.
But engineers believe that the chain is healthy based on some extensive analysis
of all the data that was brought down.
They believe it will be put back online with no further issues.
All that activity is scheduled to take place around 1 p.m. Central time later today.