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Station Crew Prepares for Arrival of Japanese Cargo Craft

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:11 am via: source
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(NASA) – The Expedition 20 crew reviewed procedures and performed tests Wednesday for the rendezvous and berthing of an unpiloted Japanese cargo craft to the International Space Station.

The Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is scheduled to dock to the station Thursday at 3:50 p.m. EDT when the crew will berth the vehicle to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node using the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.

The Japanese Experiment Module Kibo laboratory and Exposed Facility are featured in this image photographed by a crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

The Japanese Experiment Module Kibo laboratory and Exposed Facility are featured in this image photographed by a crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

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

Flight Engineers Robert Thirsk and Nicole Stott reviewed procedures for a hand-held lidar tracking device used to measure the distance of the approaching cargo craft. Lidar uses short pulses of laser light to track the location of objects.

Flight Engineer Frank De Winne tested and configured the Hardware Command Panel that will send commands to the unpiloted cargo craft for orientation and capture.

Thirsk and Stott also calibrated Kibo’s robotic arms to grapple and move a pallet of experiments to Kibo’s Exposed Facility from the HTV after it has docked.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineers Michael Barratt and Roman Romanenko performed maintenance on the Treadmill with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization. They replaced springs on the treadmill that allows the crew to exercise aboard the station without disturbing science experiments.

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