Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalk, HTV2 Set to Launch

Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalk, HTV2 Set to Launch

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:56 am via: NASA
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Aboard the International Space Station Thursday, Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka continued preparations for Friday’s spacewalk, checking some of their equipment and conducting a timeline review with Russian flight controllers and the station crew. During the six-hour excursion, Kondratyev and Skripochka will outfit the Russian segment of the complex and install a TV camera at the docking port of the Rassvet module.

The spacewalk is set to begin Friday at 9:20 a.m. EST when the hatch opens to the Pirs docking compartment airlock. NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk begins at 9 a.m.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is set to launch the Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) aboard an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 12:37 a.m. (2:37 p.m. Japan time) on Saturday. NASA Television launch coverage begins at 12 a.m. Saturday.

The first launch attempt on Thursday was postponed due to inclement weather at the launch site. JAXA flight controllers modified HTV2’s orbit to reflect a five-day rendezvous to the station with grapple and berthing still scheduled for Jan. 27.

HTV2 is the second unpiloted cargo ship launched by JAXA to the station and will deliver more than four tons of food and supplies to the station and its crew members.

Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli conducted a practice session with the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. They used a grapple fixture on the station’s shuttle docking port as a practice target for robotics training for grappling HTV2. Coleman and Nespoli will command the arm to reach out, grapple HTV2 and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.

Commander Scott Kelly took air samples, and Coleman took surface samples using the Environmental Health System for analysis by experts on the ground. These samples are taken periodically to ensure that the environment aboard the station remains safe for its inhabitants.

Later, the station crew members answered questions about life on the station during an in-flight educational event with students at the Sevenoaks School in Kent, England.

Preparations are nearing completion for the undocking of the ISS Progress 40 cargo craft, which is set to occur Sunday. Progress 40 will descend into a fiery demise in the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The departure of Progress 40 will clear the docking port on Pirs for the arrival of the next Russian resupply vehicle, ISS Progress 41, on Jan. 29, as it delivers three tons of food, fuel, oxygen and supplies to the orbiting complex.

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