September 1, 2009

Astronauts begin transferring supplies

NASA says the crews of space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station have started moving eight tons of supplies from the shuttle to the station.

European Space Agency astronauts Christer Fuglesang and Frank DeWinne became the first crew members to enter the newly installed Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module early Tuesday. NASA said the module is loaded with equipment that includes two research racks, a new station crew quarters, a freezer, an air revitalization system and the Colbert treadmill.

Astronauts Nicole Stott and Danny Olivas spent Monday night inside the space station's Quest airlock at a lower air pressure to force nitrogen from their bloodstreams. NASA scientists said that protects astronauts from developing decompression sickness during a spacewalk. Stott and Olivas were to begin the STS-128 mission's first spacewalk Tuesday at 5:49 p.m. EDT.