Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Troubleshooting, Maintenance for Crew Before Visitors Arrive

Expedition 23 Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer continues troubleshooting the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) in conjunction with specialists in Mission Control. Last week after he performed leak checks on the WPA, ground specialists decided to take a closer look at a catalytic reactor. They uplinked more troubleshooting procedures to the crew before continuing further work. On Tuesday, Creamer downlinked live close-up video of condensation collecting on the WPA to assist Mission Control.

Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi were in the Zvezda service module replacing equipment inside the treadmill vibration isolation system (TVIS). They also took detailed photographs of the TVIS and its various parts for analysis on Earth.

Next week two spacecraft carrying eight astronauts and two cosmonauts will dock to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz TMA-18 rolls out to its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome Wednesday morning for an April 2 launch. The Russian spacecraft will carry new Expedition 23 Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko. The new crew members will dock to the station April 4.

On April 7, space shuttle Discovery and the STS-131 crew will arrive at the orbital laboratory. Discovery is delivering new science racks and ammonia tanks. While there, two shuttle astronauts will perform three spacewalks to switch out ammonia tanks on the International Space Station.

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