Headlines > News > Station Crew Unloads HTV, Works on Robotics Procedures

Station Crew Unloads HTV, Works on Robotics Procedures

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:30 am via: source
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(NASA) – Amid its continuing science and maintenance duties, the International Space Station’s Expedition 20 crew saw the departure of the ISS Progress 34 (P34) cargo craft, transferred cargo from the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) and practiced robotics procedures Monday.

Early Monday morning, the P34 undocked from the aft port of the Zvezda service module. The resupply ship, which arrived at the station July 29, is moving to a parking orbit to conduct several thruster firings associated with a science experiment for Russian researchers. The Progress is slated to deorbit Sept. 27.

The six Expedition 20 crew members gather before the open hatch of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle to commemorate the arrival Friday of the cargo craft on its maiden voyage to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The six Expedition 20 crew members gather before the open hatch of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle to commemorate the arrival Friday of the cargo craft on its maiden voyage to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The crew members spent time transferring cargo from the HTV and brushing up on robotics procedures. Flight Engineers Michael Barratt, Nicole Stott, Frank De Winne and Robert Thirsk will employ these procedures Wednesday when they use the space station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to grapple and remove the Exposed Pallet of science experiments from inside the hull of the Japanese cargo craft. Canadarm2 will then hand the pallet off to the Japanese Kibo laboratory’s robotic arm, and it will be mated to the Exposed Facility science platform at the back end of Kibo. Thursday, the experiments will be grappled and released individually for installation on the Exposed Facility. The Exposed Pallet will be returned to the HTV Friday.

Included on the Exposed Pallet is the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean and Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System Experiment Payload, which consists of two instruments. The experiment is designed to perform a comprehensive study of upper atmospheric airglow emissions. Its observations will be used to develop and test techniques for remote sensing of the neutral atmosphere and ionosphere on a global scale.

The Superconduction Submillimeter-wave Limb-emission Sounder (SMILES) experiment is also among those on the pallet. SMILES is aimed at global mappings of stratospheric trace gases that are related to ozone depletion.

Not including the space shuttle, three cargo vehicles from around the world have now supplied the International Space Station with cargo. Russia’s Progress vehicles have continuously supplied the station since 2000, Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle first arrived in April 2008, and Japan’s HTV completed its maiden voyage Thursday, Sept. 17.

Stott also participated in the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment, which studies the effects of long-term spaceflight on the size of the heart and the flow of blood in a crew member’s body.

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