The Expedition 23 crew members aboard the International Space Station were busy Thursday with an emergency Soyuz descent training drill and preparations for the arrival of space shuttle Discovery and the STS-131 crew.
Commander Oleg Kotov, with Flight Engineers T.J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi, conducted an emergency Soyuz descent training drill and discussed procedures with ground controllers on Earth. These periodic drills prepare the crew members for an escape in the docked Soyuz vehicles in the unlikely event of an emergency serious enough to require evacuation.
Noguchi gathered and packed items that will be transferred from the station to Discovery after it arrives next month.
Discovery and the STS-131 crew are targeted to launch to the station on April 5, bringing a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks for the station’s laboratories.
Creamer spent time doing maintenance on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly, the component of the Air Revitalization System which scrubs carbon dioxide from the station’s environment. He worked to install jumpers to bypass an erratic temperature sensor which has been causing CDRA to shut down prematurely.
Kotov worked with the Russian experiment known as Relaxation, observing radiation patterns from Earth’s ionosphere. He also conducted routine maintenance and inspections in the Russian segment of the station.
Three new Expedition 23 flight engineers are scheduled to arrive at the station on April 4 aboard the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft. Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson are in Baikonur, Kazakhstan preparing for their launch on April 2.