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26 June 2009

International Space Station Status Report

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Expedition 20 Crew

The Expedition 20 crew is filling the Progress 33 with discarded equipment, gear and trash for disposal. The cargo craft will undock from the International Space Station on Tuesday and will enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up over the Pacific Ocean on July 12.

 

Before deorbiting the Progress 33 will rendezvous with the station one final time to test newly installed Kurs equipment in advance of the arrival of the Mini-Research Module 2 in November. The Kurs equipment was installed during a spacewalk earlier this month.

 

While Progress vehicles are docked with the station, the oxygen stored in them is used to replenish the station’s atmosphere. The crew monitored the purging of the Progress 33’s fuel and oxidizer supplies Friday and tested the Zvezda to Progress telerobotically operated rendezvous system.

 

Flight Engineer Michael Barratt worked with the Spheres experiment using a small spherical satellite about the size of a bowling ball. The experiment tests the satellite’s ability to fly in formation as well as rendezvous and dock autonomously.

 

Flight Engineers Robert Thirsk and Frank De Winne participated in the Bodies In the Space Environment, or BISE, experiment. This study compares visual perception before, during and after spaceflight.

 

Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko assisted Commander Gennady Padalka for a Russian experiment called Typology. Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata checked out the advanced resistive exercise device.

 

The crew is off duty this weekend and is participating in exercise activities and private family conferences

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