Health & Science

Atlantis Swapping Cargo With Space Station

NASA reports that the last shuttle mission is going quite well. Crew members are busy moving almost 10,000 pounds of supplies from Atlantis into the International Space Station. KUHF Health Science and Technology reporter Carrie Feibel explains what they're bringing onboard.

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NASA says the four astronauts are almost done moving supplies into the space station.  The cargo includes a year’s supply of food plus scientific experiments.

And, a replacement part for an exercise treadmill.

After emptying the shuttle, the astronauts will then need to re-pack it with trash and other items to take back to earth.

Chris Edelen is lead flight director for the space station.

“That’s the primary remaining task for the crew, to get all the return cargo safely stowed. We need it secured for the trip home so we maintain the proper center of gravity on the space shuttle for its entry.”

One of the experiments being brought on board is called a combustion integration rack.  The astronauts on the space station will use it to set small controlled fires and study them.

“These are fuel bottles that are used to study how flames propagate and how fire behaves in zero gravity. That’s an important thing to know not only for spacecraft design and safety but also to better understand how fire behaves for plasma physics.”

NASA says the cargo transfer is going so well that the four Atlantis astronauts will have time to do some extra scientific work before coming back to earth on July 21.

From the KUHF Health Science and Technology Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.

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