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Crews Tackle Robotics, Prepare for Monday Spacewalk

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:08 am via: source
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(NASA) – The Space Shuttle Endeavour and International Space Station crews were successful in their robotic arm tasks today, but encountered a problem with one of the bathrooms on the station.

Robotic arm operators aboard Endeavour and the station installed the Integrated Cargo Carrier – Vertical Light Deployable, or ICC-VLD — a cargo pallet— on the port side of the space station’s mobile base system. Station arm operators Julie Payette and Tim Kopra finished the move at 12:55 p.m. EDT.

The Integrated Cargo Carrier is transferred from space shuttle Endeavour’s cargo bay by the shuttle's Canadarm robotic arm. Photo credit: NASA TV

The Integrated Cargo Carrier is transferred from space shuttle Endeavour’s cargo bay by the shuttle's Canadarm robotic arm. Photo credit: NASA TV

The pallet contains three hardware spares that spacewalkers Dave Wolf and Tom Marshburn will move to a stowage platform on the outside of the Port 3 truss during Monday’s spacewalk.

The Kibo robotic arm was commanded through a series of calibrations in preparation for later use in the mission, when Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency payloads will be transferred from the Exposed Section, another platform where the experiments are temporarily mounted, to the newly installed Exposed Facility for operation. The Exposed Facility was installed on the aft end of Kibo Saturday.

Wolf and Marshburn spent the remainder of their day preparing special tools, reviewing procedures and beginning their campout for the second spacewalk, which is set to start Monday at 11:28 a.m.

Meanwhile, station flight controllers and crew members spent part of the day troubleshooting a problem with the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, or WHC, the toilet in the U.S. Destiny module. The system’s dose pump failed after running for about 15 minutes Sunday. The pump introduces the correct amount of chemicals into the system to help separate liquids from solid waste. Expedition 20 flight engineers Mike Barratt and Frank De Winne began work on the toilet to replace parts that likely were contaminated.

The WHC is one of two toilet systems aboard the space station. Temporarily, the six station crew members will use the facilities in the Russian Zvezda module while the seven Endeavour astronauts will use the shuttle Waste Compartment System, or WCS, that is located in Endeavour’s middeck.

The temporary shutdown of the U.S. toilet on the station will not impact joint docked operations.

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