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Station Crew Prepares for New Arrivals

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:36 pm via: source
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(NASA) – The six-member Expedition 20 crew living and working aboard the orbiting International Space Station focused Tuesday on preparations for the arrival of the next space shuttle mission and a Japanese cargo craft.

Flight engineers Mike Barratt and Frank De Winne conducted another session of computer-based training for robotic arm operations associated with the arrival of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) set to launch Sept. 10 from Japan. After the unpiloted supply ship rendezvous with the station, the crew will use Canadarm2 to grapple and berth the HTV to the nadir, or Earth-facing, port of the Harmony module for a month’s stay.

Expedition 20 flight engineers Tim Kopra (left), Frank De Winne, Roman Romanenko and Michael Barratt share a meal at a galley in the Unity node of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Expedition 20 flight engineers Tim Kopra (left), Frank De Winne, Roman Romanenko and Michael Barratt share a meal at a galley in the Unity node of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko spent much of his morning conducting a session with a Russian biomedical experiment designed to test the response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight. Commander Gennady Padalka assisted Romanenko with the set-up of the experiment hardware and photographed the activities.

In the Quest airlock, Flight Engineer Tim Kopra prepared systems, spacesuits and tools in support of the three spacewalks that the STS-128 crew will conduct when space shuttle Discovery, slated for launch Aug. 25, arrives at the orbital outpost. Kopra inspected safety tethers and checked out three pistol grip tools, standard spacewalking instruments which resemble cordless drills.

Flight Engineer Bob Thirsk, who spent the first part of his day participating in a study of cardiovascular function in space, later worked in the Japanese Kibo laboratory, clearing out space in the logistics module to make room for cargo arriving aboard HTV. Later Barratt, Kopra and De Winne joined Thirsk to gather items for return to Earth aboard Discovery.

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