Station Crew Works with Experiments, Transfers Cargo

ISS021-E-010363 -- Commander Frank De Winne
The Expedition 21 crew of the International Space Station conducted science experimentation Tuesday and completed transferring cargo to and from the soon-departing unpiloted Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV).

Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test (BCAT-5) experiment that provides data on the performance of colloids. Colloids are a broad class of consumer and engineered products including paint, plastics, food, cosmetics and medicines that change state over time. The data provided may lead to improvement in materials fabrication processes.

Thirsk also spent time working with an experiment that documents changes in the maximum oxygen uptake for crew members aboard the station. The information helps maintain crew health during long-duration space exploration. The data also provides valuable insight into the aerobic capacity of teams in closed environments on Earth, such as arctic bases and submarines.

Commander Frank De Winne conducted an amateur radio session, speaking with students at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland.

Flight Engineers Roman Romanenko, Jeff Williams and Nicole Stott removed final items and secured trash in the HTV that will be unberthed from the station on Friday. After it is unberthed, the HTV will then re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere for destruction over the Pacific Ocean.

A problem with the Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) has put it out of commission for the time being. Blockage is suspected between the Distillation Assembly and the Fluid Control Pump Assembly. The crew is scheduled to perform maintenance on the UPA Friday, giving engineers on the ground more time to develop troubleshooting procedures.