Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nasa News Today: Expedition 23 and STS-131 Crews Work Together Aboard Station

STS-131 Mission Specialists Clayton Anderson and Rick Mastracchio
Image above: STS-131 Mission Specialists Clayton Anderson (top) and Rick Mastracchio prepare spacesuits for the mission’s first spacewalk. Image Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 23 and STS-131 crews are continuing their joint operations aboard the International Space Station.

The crews have begun to unload the Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module and transfer 17,000 pounds of science racks and other supplies into the station, a job that will take several days.

STS-131 Mission Specialist Clayton Anderson and Expedition 23 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi opened the hatch to the "moving van" at 7:58 a.m. EDT Thursday. The module was relocated from Discovery’s payload bay to a port on the Harmony node at 12:24 a.m.

The Italian-built module’s more than 17,000 pounds of cargo includes four experiment racks along with the final private crew quarters. This is the final roundtrip to the station for the 21-foot-long, 15-foot-diameter Leonardo. Once back on Earth, the module will be reconfigured with increased shielding on the outside for the STS-133 mission in September when it will be left on the station as a permanent module.

Anderson also reviewed procedures with Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio for the mission's first spacewalk scheduled to begin at 1:41 a.m. Friday.

The STS-131 mission has three planned spacewalks, with work to include replacing an ammonia tank assembly, retrieving a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior, and switching out a rate gyro assembly on the S0 segment of the station’s truss structure.

STS-131 is the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.

› Read more about STS-131

› Read more about Expedition 23
› View crew timelines

NASA’s International Space Station Program Wins Collier Trophy

The International Space Station Program has won the 2009 Collier Trophy, which is considered the top award in aviation. The National Aeronautic Association bestows the award annually to recognize the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.

› Read more about the award

› Read Heads of Agency International Space Station Joint Statement

› MCB Joint Statement Representing Common Views on the Future of the ISS (8 Kb PDF)

2010 International Space Station Calendar

NASA is offering a 2010 calendar that describes the work being done on the International Space Station and gives information about the crews that have lived there. The calendar contains photographs taken from the space station and highlights historic NASA milestones and fun facts about the international construction project of unprecedented complexity that began in 1998. (Please Note: To print this large calendar on 8.5 by 11 paper, printer may need to be set on a "shrink to printable area" option.)