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Spacewalk Preps, Robotics Work Occupy Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Aug 2, 2011 9:47 am via: NASA
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In orbit high above the Earth Monday, the International Space Station’s Expedition 28 crew prepared for Wednesday’s six-hour spacewalk. The spacefarers also did some robotics work as well as science and maintenance.

Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov and Alexander Samokutyaev put on their Orlan spacesuits, conducting a full “dry run” to test all of the systems of the suits and the Pirs docking compartment in advance of the spacewalk.

The excursion will see the two cosmonauts move a hand-operated crane, install a laser communications terminal and remove and inspect antennas. Other tasks include installing a materials science experiment and deploying an amateur radio micro-satellite that will broadcast messages commemorating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering launch as the first human in space.

Satoshi Furukawa and Ron Garan, both flight engineers, participated in Kibo robot arm refresher training. Tuesday, they will grapple and extract the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System Small Fine Arm from the external experiment platform for its first checkout.

Flight Engineer Mike Fossum performed some maintenance on the Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus, or MDCA. Designed to accommodate experiments that test the combustion of droplets in space, MDCA experiments are conducted using the Combustion Integrated Rack of the Fluids and Combustion Facility.

Commander Andrey Borisenko worked with the Russian behavioral assessment TYPOLOGY, which measures a crew member’s psychophysical state and ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.

Furukawa also spoke with representatives of the Mainichi National Newspaper in Japan.

Over the weekend, hatches were closed to both the ISS Progress 42 and 43 resupply vehicles and the Radioskaf-V nanosatellite was activated, then deactivated and checked out normally for Wednesday’s deployment at the start of the spacewalk.

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