The Expedition 32 crew – working as a three-person crew since the departure of Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers on Sunday — tackled science experiments and housekeeping tasks Tuesday while awaiting the July 17 arrival of three new crewmates.|
Flight Engineer Joe Acaba began his workday with an experiment known as Burning And Suppression of Solids, or BASS, which studies how a variety of solid materials burn and extinguish in microgravity. Results from BASS may lead to improvements in spacecraft materials selection, strategies for extinguishing accidental fires aboard spacecraft and improved computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems here on Earth.
Expedition 32 Flight Engineers Suni Williams, Yuri Malenchenko (center) and Aki Hoshide pose for photos in front of their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov
Afterward, Acaba reconfigured the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test science payload, which takes a look at colloids — microscopic particles suspended in a liquid — and may lead to improvements in manufacturing processes here on Earth.
Acaba later joined Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to inspect and photograph the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device’s exercise rope, which was calculated to have passed the end of its certified life. After engineers on the ground examined the photos downlinked by the crew, they approved the device for continued use.
Revin also conducted an anti-virus scan on computers in the Russian segment of the station. Meanwhile, Commander Gennady Padalka performed routine maintenance on the toilet in the Zvezda service module.
Padalka, Revin and Acaba will enjoy a light-duty day on Wednesday, during which they’ll monitor station systems and experiments, continue their daily exercise regimen and talk with their families back on Earth.
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three additional Expedition 32 flight engineers — NASA astronaut Suni Williams, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko — performed fit checks of their Sokol launch and entry suits Tuesday. The trio will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft from Baikonur on July 14 for a four-month tour of duty aboard the station.
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