Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for U.S., Japanese and Russian Vehicles

Station Crew Prepares for U.S., Japanese and Russian Vehicles

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:11 am via: source
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(NASA) – The International Space Station’s Expedition 20 crew is preparing for a busy period over the next few months.

Targeted to launch Aug. 24, space shuttle Discovery will deliver a new station crew member and science racks. The cargo-carrying Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is scheduled to launch Sept. 10. A new station docking port, the Russian Mini-Research Module 2 (MRM-2), will be delivered on a Russian Soyuz that is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Nov. 10.

The International Space Station orbits directly over Hurricane Bill in the central Atlantic Ocean. At bottom, is Japan’s Experiment Facility attached to the Kibo laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station orbits directly over Hurricane Bill in the central Atlantic Ocean. At bottom, is Japan’s Experiment Facility attached to the Kibo laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

Station Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt are practicing photography techniques they will use when Discovery performs a back-flip, or rendezvous pitch maneuver, as it approaches the station for docking. They will capture imagery of the shuttle’s heat shield for analysis by ground specialists.

Barratt and Flight Engineer Tim Kopra positioned the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, in place to support Discovery’s mission. When Discovery arrives later this month, Canadarm2 will grapple the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module then berth it to the Harmony Node. The Canadarm2 also will be used to capture Japan’s HTV when it arrives at the station next month.

Padalka and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko began routing cables for a communications system to be used when the MRM-2 arrives in November. The MRM-2 will provide an additional docking port for Russian vehicles including an airlock for spacewalks.

With hurricane season under way, there have been several named storms already, including two in the Atlantic Ocean. The International Space Station orbited directly over Hurricane Bill Monday.

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