Monday, February 9, 2015

Imaging phase is over - awaiting sample return

It is with a small sense of relief, and a large sense of gratitude, that we now close down the LMM image gathering segment of the APEX-03 experiment. The crew at GRC have been fantastic and we deeply appreciate their efforts. Now we return our focus to the flight operations that center with our colleagues at KSC. Having successfully managed the flight operations and the ground control operations, the team at KSC is back in our forefront, monitoring the packing and stowing of the APEX samples for return on Dragon.

We will all be watching for a safe departure of Dragon from the ISS and a successful splash down.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Third and final APEX harvest and imaging off to a great start

This morning at about 0230 EST CDR Butch Wilmore began the setup and actual final harvest of the APEX-03 experiment on the ISS. The harvest went extremely well. CDR Wilmore's expertise and attention to detail, plus his familiarity with the APEX experiments, all contributed to a fast and efficient harvest that was amazing to see.

The last imaging plate was installed into the LMM to complete the harvest activity, and the imaging team at GRC is and will be hard at work for the next 28 hours collecting the final sets of on orbit images of Arabidopsis gene expression.

Outstanding stuff!