Headlines > News > Station Crew Checks Out New Hardware, Prepares for Robotics

Station Crew Checks Out New Hardware, Prepares for Robotics

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:16 am via: source
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(NASA) – The six Expedition 20 crew members aboard the International Space Station tackled a busy workload Tuesday as they installed a recently delivered carbon dioxide removal system for testing and prepared for upcoming robotic arm activities.

Flight Engineers Nicole Stott and Frank De Winne positioned the Japanese robotic arm for Wednesday’s transfer of an experiments pallet from the newly-arrived H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) to the Exposed Facility of the Kibo module. Beginning about 5:40 a.m. EDT, the crew will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple and remove the pallet from the unpressurized cargo section of the HTV. Canadarm2 will hand off the pallet to the Japanese robotic arm, which will attach the pallet to the exposed facility and remove the individual experiments from the pallet and install them. The empty pallet will be transferred back to the HTV for disposal when the cargo craft is deorbited in late October or early November.

Lake Erepecu and Rio Trombetas in Brazil are featured in this sun glint image photographed by an Expedition 20 crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Lake Erepecu and Rio Trombetas in Brazil are featured in this sun glint image photographed by an Expedition 20 crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Next, the crew began a sequence of tasks to check out the new Atmospheric Revitalization System (ARS) rack. The new ARS, delivered by space shuttle Discovery on the recent STS-128 mission, is destined for final installation in the Tranquility node, which will be added to the orbiting complex in February. Ground controllers are particularly interested in verifying that the new Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly of the ARS functions normally. Since the only available plumbing able to support testing the new rack was being used by the Destiny lab’s ARS rack, Flight Engineers Michael Barratt and Stott spent much of their day removing the current system. Once the path was cleared, Flight Engineers Robert Thirsk and De Winne guided the new rack into position for temporary installation and checkout over the next few days.

Meanwhile, Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko performed maintenance duties in the Russian segment of the station. The cosmonauts also conducted an evaluation of orthostatic stability using a device that produces negative pressure in the lower-half of the body, simulating gravitational stress to the body’s cardiovascular system.

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