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Station Crew Performs Robotics Work, Spacewalk Preps

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Feb 8, 2011 11:05 am via: NASA
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The Exposed Pallet (EP) that housed spare parts brought to orbit on the Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) was returned to the Japanese cargo ship Monday. Expedition 26 Flight Engineer Catherine Coleman and Commander Scott Kelly used the Kibo robotic arm to remove the EP from the Exposed Facility at the end of the Kibo laboratory and hand it off to Canadarm2. Coleman and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli then maneuvered Canadarm2 to install the EP back into its slot on the side of HTV2.

The Canadian-built Dextre robotic manipulator aboard the International Space Station completed its first real job Friday, unpacking a spare Flex Hose Rotary Coupler (part of the station’s cooling system) and Cargo Transport Container from the pallet. Robotics controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston remotely dispatched Dextre to perform the tasks while the crew slept. They were supported by engineering teams at the Canadian Space Agency’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

The crew has completed more than 90 percent of the cargo transfers from HTV2 to the station.

Nespoli also worked on recalibrating cameras to be used during the relocation of Kounotori2, which is slated for Feb. 18.

Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka spent time Monday preparing for their next spacewalk on Feb. 16. They readied the Pirs docking compartment airlock telemetry panel for the excursion. They will install a radiometric system on a workstation and a Molniya communications satellite telemetry system on the outside of the Zvezda service module. They also will remove a science experiment from Zvezda and debris panels from the Zarya module, as well as launch a nanosatellite carrying Gagarin 50th anniversary messages from around the world and a ham radio transmitter.

Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri did some work on pumps in the Zvezda module’s internal thermal loop.

Friday marked the 70,000th orbit of the station’s Zarya module. The first component of the orbital outpost to be launched, Zarya soared into orbit atop a Russian Proton rocket on Nov. 20, 1998. The module was designed to provide the station’s initial propulsion and power. The 19,323-kilogram (42,600-pound) pressurized module provides battery power, fuel storage and rendezvous and docking capability for Soyuz and Progress space vehicles.

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