HOUSTON, May 18 (UPI) — Space shuttle Atlantis’s crew Tuesday added the Russian Mini-Research Laboratory to the International Space Station.
The laboratory, named Rassvet — Russian for “dawn” — was attached to the Earth-facing port on the Zarya module at 8:20 a.m. EDT. NASA said the Russian lab will host a variety of biotechnology, biological science, fluid physics and educational research experiments, continuing the space station’s transition from assembly to continuous scientific research.
After the laboratory mission was completed, the shuttle and ISS crews began preparing for the STS-132 mission’s second of three scheduled spacewalks.
Mission Control in Houston moved the Wednesday spacewalk up by 30 minutes, beginning with the planned Tuesday “campout” for spacewalkers Steve Bowen and Michael Good.
The space agency said the schedule change will allow the astronauts time to release a snagged portion of the cable on the camera used for imaging the space shuttle’s heat shield.
The campout was to start at 4:45 p.m. EDT, and crew sleep was to begin at 6:20 p.m. The crew will be awakened Wednesday at 2:20 a.m., with the spacewalk starting at 7:15 a.m.
Bowen and Good will camp out in the station’s Quest airlock at a reduced air pressure — a procedure that helps purge nitrogen from their bloodstreams and prevents the “bends” when they exit the airlock.
The STS-132 mission is space shuttle Atlantis’s last planned mission, with NASA ending the 3-decade-old shuttle program by the end of the year.
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