Headlines > News > Robotics and Science as Plumbing Work Wraps Up

Robotics and Science as Plumbing Work Wraps Up

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:39 am via: NASA
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Ground controllers from Houston and the Goddard Space Flight Center continue operations with the Robotics Refueling Mission (RRM) and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, or Dextre robot, outside the International Space Station.

The purpose is to demonstrate the ability of robotics to perform the complex work of refueling a satellite which includes opening and closing safety caps and valves, cutting through wires, removing insulation and transferring fuel. RRM was delivered aboard space shuttle Atlantis during STS-135 last year.

Commander Dan Burbank is wrapping up plumbing work on the Water Recovery System (WRS) after a leak in the catalytic converter caused its failure. After installing a new catalytic reactor Burbank inspected and stowed the old one for a possible future repair.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit, who assisted Burbank with the WRS work during the week, spent his day on life science and combustion research. While exercising Friday morning Pettit wore gear that measured his heart rate for an experiment that observes heart function during long duration space missions. Afterwards, he conducted an investigation into the nature of flames in space using the Microgravity Science Glovebox inside the Destiny laboratory.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers assisted Pettit with the heart monitoring activities for the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment. He also assisted Burbank stowing gear and tools used during the WRS repair work. Finally, Kuipers worked inside the Permanent Multipurpose Module rearranging stowed items.

Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko continued documenting life on the station for a video targeted for a Russian audience. Ivanishin also worked throughout the station’s Russian segment conducting routine maintenance tasks. Kononenko setup the ongoing Rusalka experiment which observes the effects of natural processes and human activity in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov worked on the BAR experiment which tests detection methods for discovering pressure leaks inside the space station. At the end of his day, Shkaplerov joined his fellow cosmonauts for a photography session of the Earth below.

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