Expedition 25 Getting Ready for Progress and Shuttle

Flight Engineer Scott Kelly
Image above: Flight Engineer Scott Kelly peers into a viewfinder that measures visual perception. The PASSAGES experiment takes place inside the Columbus laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

The six-member Expedition 25 crew is preparing to host two visiting vehicles – a cargo craft and a space shuttle – over the next two weeks. They also conducted a periodic fire drill to ensure everyone is prepared to respond in the unlikely event of such an emergency.

The ISS Progress 40, a Russian resupply craft, is due to deliver cargo, supplies and other gear to the International Space Station on Oct. 30. Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to arrive on Nov. 3 to install the new Permanent Multi-Purpose Module (PMM) during the STS-133 mission.

The docked ISS Progress 39 spacecraft fired its engines at 3:41 p.m. EDT Wednesday boosting the space station to the correct altitude for the docking of both vehicles.

The station residents are reviewing the activities they will conduct during Discovery’s stay. Besides the installation of the PMM, the STS-133 crew members will conduct two spacewalks and transfer cargo to and from the station.

The newest Expedition 25 crew members, Scott Kelly, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka, continue familiarizing themselves with station systems. The three flight engineers arrived at the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-01M on Oct. 9.

Commander Doug Wheelock spent some time swapping fluid lines on the rack flow control assembly which is part of the station’s internal thermal control system. Wheelock and Kelly also participated in the PASSAGES experiment which measures visual perception during long-duration missions in microgravity. From inside the Columbus laboratory the participants look into a viewfinder that observes their gaze parallel to the ground.

Flight Engineer Shannon Walker continued her work with the Japanese experiment HydroTropi. The botanical experiment takes place in the Kibo laboratory and studies how plants, such as a cucumber, grow at a molecular level in microgravity. Data obtained from the results may lead to significant advancements in agricultural production on Earth.

Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin checked the U.S. video cameras that will be attached to Russian Orlan spacesuits to be worn during the Russian EVA 26 planned for Nov. 15. He also inventoried gear to be disposed on the ISS Progress 37 vehicle which is scheduled to undock Oct. 25.

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