New Crew Members Prepare for Soyuz Relocation

The three new Expedition 24 crew members will relocate the Soyuz TMA-19 from the aft end of the Zvezda service module to the Rassvet module on Monday. Undocking will occur at 1:58 p.m. EDT with docking happening a short time later at 2:23 p.m. Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin, Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker spent Friday in preparation for the move. The trio conducted a training exercise, conferred with Russian flight controllers and tested the Soyuz motion control systems.

The new crew members arrived June 17 beginning their five-and-a-half month stay on the International Space Station. The Soyuz relocation makes room for a new Progress 38 cargo craft which arrives on July 2.

Walker and Wheelock wore wrist monitors that recorded their heart rates during exercise sessions on a cycle ergometer and treadmill. The data was sent to specialists on Earth who monitor and gauge crew performance in microgravity.

Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson was troubleshooting the COLBERT treadmill after she heard a noise during its operation. Ground controllers believe the treadmill’s belt was rubbing against a closeout panel and want to stop the noise before resuming exercise on the machine.

Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko checked out tools used when monitoring spacewalks from inside the space station. They also participated in and set up various Russian science experiments.

Emergency Training, Orientation and Science for Crew

Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson participated in an emergency Soyuz descent drill Thursday to prepare for the unlikely event that they would need to evacuate the station during Monday’s relocation of the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft from the aft end of Zvezda to the Rassvet module.

The Soyuz TMA-19 arrived at the station June 17 carrying Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin, and its move will clear the way for the arrival of the ISS Progress 38 cargo craft on July 2.

To help familiarize themselves with their new home aboard the orbital outpost, Wheelock, Walker and Yurchikhin continued their orientation activities.

Throughout the day Wheelock had time set aside to participate in a few biomedical experiments, including the Scaling Body-Related Actions in the Absence of Gravity (Passages) experiment. Passages tests how astronauts interpret visual information in the microgravity environment aboard the station using a variety of visual exercises.

He also worked with the Bodies in the Space Environment (BISE) Experiment, which evaluates how perception and orientation are affected by long-duration spaceflight. The session was photographed by Caldwell Dyson.

James Webb Space Telescope's Home in Space

When you ask an astronomer about the James Webb Space Telescope's orbit, they'll tell you something that sounds like it came from a science-fiction novel. The Webb won't be orbiting the Earth –instead we will send it almost a million miles out into space to a place called "L2."

L2 is short-hand for the second Lagrange Point, a wonderful accident of gravity and orbital mechanics, and the perfect place to park the Webb telescope in space. There are five so-called "Lagrange Points" - areas where gravity from the sun and Earth balance the orbital motion of a satellite. Putting a spacecraft at any of these points allows it to stay in a fixed position relative to the Earth and sun with a minimal amount of energy needed for course correction.

The term L2 may sound futuristic and mysterious, but the name actually honors a Mathematician born in 1736. The Lagrange points were named after the Italian-born mathematician and astronomer Joseph-Louis Lagrange, who made important contributions to classical and celestial mechanics. Lagrange studied the "three-body problem" (so-called because three bodies are orbiting each other) for the Earth, sun, and moon in 1764, and by 1772 he had found the solution; there are five stable points at which you could put an object and have it stay fixed in place relative to the other two.

Crew Resumes Science Work, Continues Orientation

After off-duty time over the weekend, the six members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 24 crew resumed experiment work and continued familiarizing themselves with station systems.

Commander Alexander Skvortsov took photos for the Russian ocean observation program known as Seiner. The program tests the interaction procedure between the crews of the station’s Russian segment and State Fishery Committee ships during the search and development of fishing productive areas of the world’s oceans.

Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson worked with the Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2) experiment. CSLM-2 examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid metal matrix. This work has direct applications to metal alloy manufacturing on Earth, including materials critical for aerospace applications.

All six crew members participated in routine body mass measurements for which Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko set up equipment. This Russian biomedical routine uses specialized “scales” to determine body mass in microgravity.

Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker continued station orientation, getting to know their new home. With Walker’s assistance, Wheelock worked with the crew restraint system as part of his medical officer orientation on the complex.

Testing for Payload Preps Today on Discovery

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 06:32:31 PM GMT+0530 Technicians at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today are running through a series of tests focused on making sure space shuttle Discovery is ready to have its payload connected inside the cargo bay. The shuttle's processing continues for its targeted launch in September on the STS-133 mission.

The payload is also on the minds of Discovery's astronauts as they review installation procedures for the Express Logistics Carrier-4, a high-tech platform that will store spare parts on the outside of the International Space Station. The shuttle will take the platform and the Permanent Multipurpose Module to the station during the mission.

During space shuttle Discovery's final spaceflight, the STS-133 crew members will take important spares to the International Space Station along with the Express Logistics Carrier 4. Discovery is being readied for flight inside Kennedy's orbiter processing facility while its solid rocket boosters are stacked inside the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. STS-133 is slated to launch in September.

on June 7, 2010, at least part of the oil slick is pale gray.

Oil on water has many appearances. In this photo-image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on June 7, 2010, at least part of the oil slick is pale gray. A large area of oil is southeast of the Mississippi Delta, at the site of the leaking British Petroleum well. Traces of thick oil are also visible farther north.

Not all of the oil that is in the Gulf is visible here. The image shows regions of heavy oil where the oil smooths the surface and reflects more light than the surrounding water. Lighter concentrations and streamers are not visible. The Deepwater Horizon Unified Response reported oil washing ashore and immediately offshore in eastern Alabama and northwestern Florida on June 7, and this oil is not visible in the image.

Crew Performs Maintenance and Science

The Expedition 24 crew of Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko completed some maintenance and science tasks along with their daily physical exercise during a light-duty workday aboard the International Space Station Thursday.

Skvortsov performed some maintenance tasks in the new Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 including activating the Multifunction Indicator Panel, testing communication channels and replacing a dust filter cartridge. The module, also known as Rassvet ("dawn" in Russian), provides additional storage space, room for conducting experiments and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

Caldwell Dyson worked in the Columbus laboratory with the VO2max experiment. The experiment involves recording the oxygen intake of exercising crew members before, during and after their stays aboard the station to evaluate and document the changes in their aerobic capacity.

Kornienko spent time in the Russian segment of the station testing and replacing smoke detectors and performing preventive maintenance activities.

Throughout the day, the crew members had time set aside to perform their daily exercise routines. Station residents are required to exercise for 2.5 hours daily to stave off the effects of long-term exposure to the microgravity environment aboard the orbiting laboratory.

After 163 days in space, Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers T.J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi landed their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft in Kazakhstan Tuesday wrapping up a five-and-a-half-month stay aboard the station.