01 December 2011
Station Crew Conducts Emergency Drill
The International Space Station’s Expedition 30 crew – Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin – performed science experiments and participated in an emergency drill Tuesday.
Burbank, a NASA astronaut, began his workday almost immediately after the crew’s regular 1 a.m. EST wakeup time as he conducted the Reaction Self Test. This 5-minute test helps crew members objectively identify any impacts to their performance caused by sleep loss, fatigue and disruptions to circadian rhythms.
Following the crew’s daily planning conference with flight control centers around the world, Burbank spent his morning setting up equipment for the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment and participating as its test subject. Investigators use the data from these tests to measure the atrophy of the heart muscle that appears to develop during long-duration spaceflight and to develop countermeasures to mitigate those effects. Experiments like this one are crucial to understanding and maintaining crew health as NASA moves towards space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.
Meanwhile, Shkaplerov participated in a Russian cardiovascular study known as Pneumocard and later performed routine maintenance on the life-support system in the Russian segment of the orbiting complex. His fellow cosmonaut, Ivanishin, conducted preventative maintenance on the ventilation system of the Zvezda service module.
After a break for lunch, all three Expedition 30 crew members teamed up for an emergency egress drill to remain familiar with the location of emergency equipment and hatches as well as the evacuation route. In cooperation with the mission control centers around the world, the crew worked through the response procedures as if there were an actual emergency requiring a rapid departure and tagged up with flight controllers afterward to review the results.
Burbank rounded out his day with some maintenance work on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, which allows the crew to perform weightlifting-type exercises in the weightless environment of the station. Burbank also spoke with Al Ruechel of Bay News 9 in St. Petersburg, Fla., during an in-flight interview.
Throughout the day, Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin, who arrived aboard the orbiting complex Nov. 16, each had an hour set aside for crew orientation to become accustomed to living and working within the station’s 13,696 cubic feet of habitable volume during their first two weeks on orbit.
On Wednesday, the Zvezda service module thrusters will be fired for 62 seconds at 6:11 p.m. for the first of two reboosts to place the station at the proper altitude for the launch and rendezvous of the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft carrying three additional Expedition 30 flight engineers. NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 21.