Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Back to Work for Expedition 30 Crew

After a few days of light duty over the New Year holiday for the crew of the International Space Station, it was back to work Tuesday for the six-man crew of Expedition 30 crew.

The crew spent the day working on upgrading some the computer technology aboard the I.S.S. As Commander Dan Burbank worked to install an Enhanced Processor and Integrated Communications (EPIC) card into the station’s Guidance, Navigation and Control-2 Multiplexer/De-Multiplexer, the other crew members focused on transferring cargo and other tasks.

The EPIC upgrade of the station’s onboard computer architecture will provide the station’s computers with faster processors, more memory and an Ethernet interface for data outputs.

According to a NASA update posted on the International Space Station’s website:

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers participated in Neurospat, an ongoing study of the role of gravity on brain function and spatial cognition. With assistance from Flight Engineer Don Pettit, Kuipers donned a cap fitted with sensors to record his brain activity as he worked through a series of tasks for this European Space Agency experiment.

On the Russian side of the station, Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov conducted a session with the Uragan experiment. Named for the Russian word for hurricane, Uragan seeks to document and predict the development of natural and man-made disasters on Earth.

Later, Shkaplerov gathered items for disposal in the ISS Progress 45 cargo craft berthed to the Pirs docking compartment. The unpiloted supply ship, which arrived at the station in November 2011, will undock in three weeks for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Anatoly Ivanishin focused on the Plasma Crystal-3 experiment, which studies crystallization dynamics in low-frequency electrical fields at different pressure levels. Kononenko operated the experiment in manual mode while Ivanishin collected still photos and video of the session.

Kononenko later unloaded cargo from the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft that brought him, Pettit and Kuipers to the station on Dec. 23.

As the station’s newest residents, Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers each had time set aside on their own for crew orientation to become accustomed to living and working aboard the orbiting complex during their first two weeks on orbit.

Burbank and Kuipers will talk with Space.com’s Clara Moskowitz and Fox News Radio’s Eben Brown during an in-flight interview scheduled to air live on NASA Television at 9:35 a.m. EST Wednesday.

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