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Station Crew Proceeds With Cargo Transfers and Robotics Work

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Feb 3, 2011 11:24 am via: NASA
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Two new cargo resupply vehicles that docked to the International Space Station last week are being unloaded by the Expedition 26 crew. Ground controllers maneuvered the station’s robotic arm to perform external cargo transfer work.

Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Dmitry Kondratyev worked to unload supplies from the ISS Progress 41 cargo craft. The Russian resupply vehicle automatically docked to the Pirs docking compartment Saturday night. The Progress delivered over 5,000 pounds of gear, propellant, water and oxygen.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli continued unpacking gear from Kounotori, Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle. Kounotori, or “White Stork,” arrived last Thursday and was grappled by Canadarm2 then berthed to the Harmony module. The cargo ship carried 4.2 tons of gear and supplies.

Dextre, the station’s Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, in conjunction with Canadarm2, will also be used to remove spare parts from Kounotori‘s external cargo pallet. The parts include a flex hose rotary coupler and a cargo transport container which will be transferred to a stowage location on Dextre. The gear will later be placed on an external logistics carrier that will be installed during STS-133.

Ground controllers moved the Canadarm2 in preparation for the transfer work. The station’s robotic arm walked off the Harmony module and rested on the Mobile Base System (MBS). The MBS moves back and forth on rails along the station’s truss structure moving Canadarm2 to work areas.

Kelly spoke to reporters from the Associated Press and New York Times Wednesday. The commander answered questions about his brother, astronaut Mark Kelly, regarding the Arizona tragedy. He also discussed the influence of those events on his mission.

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