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Station Crew Ready for Japanese Cargo Craft

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:15 am via: source
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(NASA) – The Expedition 20 crew of the International Space Station stepped up preparations Tuesday for the rendezvous and berthing of an unpiloted Japanese cargo craft.

Flight Engineers Nicole Stott, Robert Thirsk and Frank De Winne conducted a final session of robotic arm training to prepare for the grapple of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), which is slated for Thursday at 3:50 p.m. EDT. The crew will berth the HTV to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node using Canadarm2.

Flight Engineer Nicole Stott uses a vacuum cleaner in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Flight Engineer Nicole Stott uses a vacuum cleaner in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

After their training session, Stott, Thirsk and De Winne were joined by Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Michael Barratt for a conference with flight controllers in Houston and Tsukuba, Japan, to discuss the timeline for HTV operations.

The HTV, which launched Sept. 10 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, is carrying about five tons of supplies to the station on its maiden voyage.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko worked with RUSALKA, a Russian experiment that remotely measures methane and carbon dioxide content in the Earth’s atmosphere. Romanenko also assisted Padalka with a biomedical experiment designed to test the response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.

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