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One Cargo Craft Docks, Another Begins Trip to Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:03 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 26 crew of the International Space Station enjoyed a little free time Friday morning following a busy Thursday that saw the launch of a Russian cargo craft and the capture, attachment and hatch opening of the Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle.

The ISS Progress 41 cargo craft launched at 8:31 p.m. EST Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. When it arrives at the station’s Pirs docking compartment Saturday at 9:39 p.m., Progress will deliver three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the six Expedition 26 crew members – 1,918 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 3,080 pounds of spare parts and supplies.

In preparation for the arrival of Progress 41, Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka tagged up with flight controllers in Russia on Friday for a final review of TORU, the Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system. The crew can use TORU to monitor the Progress’ approach for docking or take control of the process if difficulties arise.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli enjoyed some off-duty time Friday morning, after opening Kounotori2’s hatch at 3:37 p.m. Thursday, well-ahead of the planned timeline.

Coleman and Nespoli used the station’s 57-foot robotic arm, Canadarm2, on Thursday to reach out and grapple Kounotori2 as it approached the orbiting complex at 6:41 a.m. and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module at 9:51 a.m. The Japanese cargo ship, whose name means “white stork” and was chosen because it is emblematic of an important delivery, is carrying more than four tons of food, supplies and spare parts.

On Tuesday, the crew will use Canadarm2 again to extract a pallet loaded with spare station parts from the external stowage area of Kounotori2 and hand it off to the Kibo laboratory’s robotic arm for installation on the Exposed Facility platform.

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