Spacesuit Checks Continue, Crew Focuses on Science

ISS Status Report

The hatches between the Pirs docking compartment and the Progress 46 cargo craft have been closed and leak checks completed. The hatch closure allows Flight Engineers Anatoly Shkaplerov and Oleg Kononenko to exit Pirs after depressurization for a spacewalk on Feb. 16.

Before closing the hatches, the two cosmonauts continued preparing their Russian Orlan spacesuits and photographed their condition for analysis on the ground. The spacewalkers will move a small cargo crane from Pirs to the Poisk module and attach debris shields to the Zvezda service module. If time permits Shkaplerov and Kononenko may install two experiments on Zvezda and Poisk and support struts on a Pirs ladder.

NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk begins Thursday at 8:45 a.m. EST. The spacewalk begins at 9:15 a.m. and is expected to last a little over five-and-a-half hours.

Commander Dan Burbank spent Friday afternoon working with the Amine Swingbed investigation. The experiment observes a system that could effectively remove CO2 and moisture from the space station producing cleaner air.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit participated in the Treadmill Kinematics experiment. That study helps scientists adapt exercise procedures for the microgravity environment to increase crew health benefits.

Pettit also reconfigured a lab freezer and reorganized its contents after irregular performance was observed when trays were swapped with another lab freezer. With assistance from Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers, Pettit also cleaned out the Permanent Multipurpose Module endcone for a trash stowage area.

Kuipers collected biological samples for the Sodium Loading in Microgravity, or SOLO, experiment. The European Space Agency astronaut also worked inside the Water Recovery System and unpacked gear from the Progress 45 resupply craft.

N5VHO – Mon, 2012 – 02 – 13 15:09

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