Science, Spacewalk Preps and Station Orientation for Crew
After a day of Russian and U.S. human spaceflight anniversary activities, the Expedition 27 crew is back at work aboard the International Space Station. On April 12, 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Space shuttle Columbia launched on April 12, 1981, beginning STS-1, the first shuttle mission.
Inside the Columbus laboratory Flight Engineer Cady Coleman removed a microscope and spectrophotometer from the Biolab rack. Both items were not working and will be returned on space shuttle Endeavour when STS-134 ends. Biolab is a life sciences facility that observes the adaptation of organisms, from single-celled to humans, in microgravity.
Coleman also worked in the Destiny laboratory on setting up for an experiment that monitors maximum oxygen uptake of a crew member during long-term missions in space. Dubbed V02MAX, the experiment observes crew members during strenuous activities such as exercise and spacewalks. Coleman is to participate in the experiment Thursday.
Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli collected biological samples for stowage inside a science freezer that is part of the Human Research Facility. The samples are for Pro K, a flight diet experiment seeking to determine if a decrease in animal protein compared to potassium will provide a countermeasure to bone loss.
Flight Engineer Ron Garan sampled water in the Water Processing Assembly using the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer. Garan later continued station orientation and handover tasks for new crew members.
Coleman, Nespoli and Garan got together and reviewed tasks they will conduct inside the space station during spacewalks planned during STS-134. The trio also conducted a conference with the shuttle spacewalkers Mike Fincke, Greg Chamitoff and Andrew Feustel.
Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev strapped on electrocardiogram gear to measure his cardio-activity for 24 hours. He also participated in station crew orientation activities.
Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko were loading and unloading cargo from the Progress 41 resupply craft and the Soyuz TMA-21.