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by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 15, 2014
The six-member Expedition 40 crew starts off its workweek waiting for the arrival of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus commercial craft. Cygnus, on the Orb-2 mission, launched from Virginia Sunday carrying nearly 3,300 pounds of supplies, hardware, science, computer gear and spacewalk tools.
Commander Steve Swanson and German Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst will grapple Cygnus when it arrives Wednesday at 6:39 a.m. EDT. The duo will review their rendezvous and capture procedures and practice grapple techniques with the Canadarm2.
Swanson started Monday morning opening up the Fluids Integrated Rack so he could work on the Advanced Colloids Experiment. That study uses a magnet to mix samples of microscopic particles suspended in a liquid, which are then observed using the Light Microscopy Module.
Gerst joined NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman first thing in the morning for ventilation work in the Kibo laboratory module. They set up sensors to measure airflow in the Japanese lab.
Wiseman then removed samples and swapped desiccant packs in a science freezer. After that work he moved on to combustion science for the rest of the day in the Destiny laboratory's Microgravity Science Glovebox. He set up the Burning and Suppression of Solids experiment and conducted two flame tests.
While Cygnus is on its way to resupply the International Space Station, another spacecraft is being prepared for departure. Veteran cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov worked throughout the day packing discarded gear and trash inside a docked ISS Progress 55 cargo craft and updating the station's inventory management system.
Progress 55 is due to undock from the Pirs docking compartment July 21 at 5:41 p.m. for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean. The vehicle will be replaced two days later when the ISS Progress 56 cargo craft launches at 5:44 p.m. for a nearly six-hour ride to the space station.
Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev worked throughout the day on maintenance in the Russian segment of the space station. At the end of the work day, he partnered with Wiseman on setting up hardware for the EarthKAM student experiment inside the Zvezda service module.
Max Suraev, a second-time flight engineer and soon-to-be Expedition 41 commander, collected data from the Matryoshka-R Bubble radiation detection experiment. He also inspected and photographed windows inside Poisk.
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