Monday, April 4, 2011

ISS Update - Soyuz to launch today.

Ron Garan, Alexander Samokutyaev, and Andrey Borisenko.

Reinforcements for Expedition 27 are coming. The Soyuz 26 capsule will be launched today from Baikonur to deliver the three new members of Expedition 27. The launch is expected to be around 4:18 p.m. MDT.

The current three members of Expedition 27 are Paulo Nespoli, Cady Coleman, and Commander Dmitry Kondratyev. They have been busy performing maintenance of station equipment and preparing the Quest airlock for upcoming spacewalks.

There was an expected maneuver of the ISS during the sleep portion of the day. Using thrusters from the ATV2 (European robotic cargo capsule), Zvesda (ISS module), and the Progress 41P (Russian supply capsule) the station was moved slightly to avoid a piece of space debris. The danger was a piece of wreckage from the collision of two satellites back in 2009.

ESA's ATV2 (named Johannes Kepler) docked to the ISS. Handy for maneuvers.

Besides the new members of Expedition 27, the ISS will also this month receive a visit from one of the last shuttle missions. STS134 is scheduled to launch on April 19th, bringing with it the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and needed supplies.

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