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Robotics, Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:01 am via: NASA
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Controllers on the ground commanded Canadarm2, the International Space Station’s robotic arm, to extract the Exposed Pallet from the side slot on the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle-3 (HTV-3) cargo craft Monday. Canadarm2 then handed the pallet off to the Kibo module’s robotic arm, under the control of Expedition 32 Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Aki Hoshide. Acaba and Hoshide installed the pallet on Kibo’s Exposed Facility.

The Exposed Pallet is carrying scientific payloads that are not meant to enter the station, such as the Space Communications and Navigation Testbed, which will be removed from the pallet and installed on the complex’s exterior.

Acaba also worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-C1 science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-C1, station crew members photograph samples of colloidal particles as they phase separate, like oil and water, and self-assemble into crystals that interact strongly with light. The results will help scientists develop fundamental physics concepts previously cloaked by the effects of gravity.

Hoshide participated in the Japanese experiment known as BIORHYTHM, which measures a crew member’s cardiac activity during long duration stays in space. The research came about after demonstrations showed lack of an Earth-bound circadian rhythm can disrupt sleep patterns and adversely affect cardiovascular functions.

In preparation for Integrated Cardiovascular (ICV) operations later in the week, Flight Engineer Suni Williams changed out some batteries throughout the day. ICV measures the atrophy of the heart muscle that appears to develop during long-duration spaceflight and seeks to identify its mechanisms.

Commander Gennady Padalka installed the Kurs-P antenna – the receiving antenna for the Kurs automated rendezvous system used during Progress supply ship dockings – in the Zvezda service module. He also transferred some cargo from the newly arrived ISS Progress 48 vehicle.

Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko transferred items from the Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 and performed leak checks on the cargo craft prior to its upcoming undocking.

Meanwhile, Sergei Revin, another flight engineer, replaced lights in the Zvezda and Rassvet modules.

The Expedition 32 crew took a moment to congratulate the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the successful Mars landing of the Curiosity rover.

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