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Dextre Gets to Work

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:38 am via: NASA
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On the International Space Station Sunday night, the Dextre robotic manipulator system was put through its paces as flight controllers sent commands to set up the robot to replace a Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) on the P1 truss. Dextre grabbed onto a new RPCM from the Cargo Transport Container (CTC) of spare parts mounted on a tool caddy on the robot and will install it on the P1 truss Monday night, replacing a faulty RPCM that will be placed back inside the CTC.

While the crew slept, Dextre removed a special tool from the CTC to be used to grasp the failed RPCM in the P1 truss in the first of two days of innovative work for the device that was launched to the station on the STS-123 mission in March 2008.

Expedition 28 Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov assisted Commander Andrey Borisenko 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.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa prepared the Multipurpose Small Payload Rack in the Kibo laboratory for activation, installing a laptop and preparing support equipment that includes video and data connections. He also gathered tools for planned maintenance of bolts and the electrical system in the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) that he and Flight Engineer Mike Fossum will perform later this week. MARES aims to further understanding of the effects of microgravity on the muscular system. Additionally, the two crew members reviewed procedures for the maintenance tasks.

Alexander Samokutyaev, also a flight engineer, performed several maintenance tasks, including routine servicing of the Sozh environmental control and life support system in the Zvezda service module.

Flight Engineer Ron Garan spent time reorganizing equipment stored in the Destiny laboratory to increase storage efficiency and unpacking items delivered during the STS-135 space shuttle mission this summer.

Garan, Fossum and Furukawa took some time to answer questions from high school students at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The in-flight education downlink is one in a series with educational organizations in the United States and abroad to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching and learning.

In the wake of the loss of a Progress supply ship that failed to reach orbit Wednesday, a Russian commission is looking into the root cause of the loss and the impact it will have on future flights.

International Space Station Program Manager Michael Suffredini held a press conference Monday at 10 a.m. EDT at the Johnson Space Center to discuss the status of the vehicle loss investigation and impacts to upcoming vehicle launches and crew exchanges.

Station managers are weighing changes to the scheduled return of Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Ron Garan and Alexander Samokutyaev on Sept. 8. One likely option would extend the crew members’ mission to mid-September. The remaining crew members will still return at their planned landing time in November.

There are enough supplies on board to last the crew into March without needing an additional cargo delivery.

Over the weekend, the crew of the orbital outpost had the opportunity to view what was then Hurricane Irene and capture video of the storm.

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