Headlines > News > Spacewalk Dress Rehearsal and Robotics for Station Crew

Spacewalk Dress Rehearsal and Robotics for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:19 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station conducted a spacewalk dress rehearsal and a series of robotics tests Tuesday. They also worked with a variety of scientific research from around the world and continued the upkeep and maintenance of the systems aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Anton Shkaplerov donned their Russian Orlan spacesuits for a dress rehearsal of the suits’ systems in preparation for their spacewalk Thursday. Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin assisted the duo during the exercise. Once the tests were completed, the suits were declared ready for the planned five-and-a-half-hour excursion outside the Russian segment of the outpost.

During the spacewalk the two cosmonauts will move one of the two Strela hand-operated cranes from the Pirs docking compartment to the Poisk module and install five debris shields on the Zvezda service module. If time permits, Kononenko and Shkaplerov also will attach two experiments to the exterior of the station and install support struts on the ladder attached to Pirs. The spacewalk is set to begin at 9:15 a.m. EST Thursday, with NASA TV coverage of the event beginning at 8:45 a.m.

Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers assembled Robonaut 2 and powered it up to run through a series of tests. Burbank worked with ground controllers to test out Robonaut’s joints and force sensors before stowing the robot for additional testing on Wednesday.

Robonaut is the first humanoid robot in space, and although its primary job for now is teaching engineers how dexterous robots behave in space, the hope is that through upgrades and advancements, it could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit joined Kuipers for work with the Neurospat experiment, which examines the effects of the microgravity environment of space on brain function.

Pettit also performed maintenance on the station’s Water Recovery System and unloaded cargo from the ISS Progress 46 cargo craft berthed at the Pirs docking compartment.

Later, Kuipers participated in an in-flight interview with German TV network ZDF that was broadcast on NASA TV.

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