Home > Space Shuttle > Crew Focuses on Science, Oxygen Generation System Maintenance

Crew Focuses on Science, Oxygen Generation System Maintenance


Expedition 21 Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk

Image above: Expedition 21 Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk speaks with representatives of the Canadian Space Agency. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 21 crew aboard the International Space Station spent Monday performing maintenance on the Oxygen Generation System and conducting a variety of scientific experiments.

Flight Engineers Jeff Williams, Nicole Stott and Robert Thirsk worked on replacing part of the station’s Oxygen Generation System (OGS). The OGS produces oxygen for breathing air for the crew, as well as for replacement of oxygen lost due to experiment use, airlock depressurization, module leakage, and carbon dioxide venting.

Thirsk and Williams also participated in the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment, which studies the effects of long-term spaceflight on the size of the heart and the flow of blood in a crew member’s body.

Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev worked with the Russian experiment known as Relaxation, observing radiation patterns from Earth’s ionosphere.

Commander Frank De Winne packed items for return to Earth aboard space shuttle Atlantis during the upcoming STS-129 mission to the orbital outpost. Atlantis’ launch is scheduled for Nov. 16 at 2:28 p.m. EST.

The Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) was deorbited Sunday, its maiden flight successfully completed with its destructive entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over the south Pacific Ocean.

The HTV arrived at the orbiting laboratory on Sept. 17 when it was grappled by Stott using Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony node’s Earth-facing port. HTV delivered about 4.5 tons of internal supplies and equipment and external experiment packages, and disposed of about 1,600 pounds of station trash. Stott released the HTV from the grip of Canadarm2 at 1:32 p.m. on Friday.

Attention now turns to next week’s launch of the newest Russian module, the Mini-Research Module 2 (MRM2), which is scheduled for liftoff on Nov. 10 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:22 a.m. The MRM2 is slated to automatically dock to the space-facing port of the Zvezda Service Module on Nov. 12.

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