Headlines > News > Kounotori2 Nears Station, Crew Stays Focused on Station Activities

Kounotori2 Nears Station, Crew Stays Focused on Station Activities

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:27 am via: NASA
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Japan’s second H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) nicknamed Kuonotori2, or “White Stork,” is scheduled to arrive Thursday morning at the International Space Station. Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Catherine Coleman will operate Canadarm2, the station’s robotic arm, to grapple the free-floating HTV2 and berth it to the Harmony module. Grapple is expected at 6:44 a.m. EST. Numerous rendezvous and course-correction burns continue to be performed using the vehicle’s reaction control system and main engines.

After rendezvous operations are complete, Kounotori2 will reach a point about 15 feet from Canadarm2. Ground controllers will then send an order that will turn off all the vehicle’s engines — called “free drift.” Nespoli and Coleman will then begin grapple operations with the robotics workstation system from inside the cupola attached to the Tranquility module.

Nespoli talked to European Space Agency officials, the Italian Space Agency president and Italian reporters Wednesday morning. From inside Europe’s Columbus lab module, Nespoli compared living in microgravity to life on Earth. He discussed his preference for fresh food rather than prepackaged food and taking a real shower instead of washing with a moist cloth.

Commander Scott Kelly stowed biological samples taken from crew members inside science freezers that are part of the Human Research Facility in the Destiny laboratory. Kelly also inspected the Microgravity Science Glovebox, ensuring that a grounding strap was properly attached to the rack structure.

Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka took photos of panels inside the Zvezda service module for analysis on the ground. Flight Engineer Dmitry Kondratyev videotaped and photographed various activities on the orbiting laboratory for the purpose of depicting life during a space mission.

Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri worked in the Russian segment of the space station. He continued routine maintenance activities and worked with ongoing science experiments.

The ISS Progress 41 cargo craft will launch at 8:31 p.m. Thursday from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The Russian resupply craft will dock to the station’s Pirs docking compartment Saturday at 9:39 p.m. After docking the hatches will be opened for the crew to begin unloading the three tons of food, fuel and supplies that are in the Progress vehicle.

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