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Station Crew Wraps up Busy Week of Science and Robotics

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:40 pm via: NASA
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Inside the International Space Station the six-member Expedition 34 crew is wrapping up a busy week of science research and ongoing maintenance.

Commander Kevin Ford powered up Robonaut 2 again Friday so ground controllers could verify the humanoid robot’s configuration for upcoming activities. He also “took out the trash” as he stowed old U.S. gear and trash inside the docked ISS Progress 48 resupply craft.

Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield conducted some plumbing in the Columbus laboratory during the morning. He replaced a water on/off valve with assistance from both Ford and controllers in Germany’s Columbus Control Center. He later rotated a science rack inside Columbus requiring him to power down laptop computers then disconnect and reconnect cables to the rack.

Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn continued updating software on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment’s Urine Processor Assembly. He later prepared sensors he’ll wear for the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment that measures the shrinkage of a crew member’s heart in space, called cardiac atrophy.

The trio of cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko, all Flight Engineers, worked throughout the station’s Russian segment.

Novitskiy and Tarelkin partnered up for the Matryoshka experiment which uses a mannequin outfitted with dosimeters to detect and measure radiation inside the station. The duo also began their morning on the Sprut-2 experiment which studies the liquid content of the human body in microgravity.

Romanenko had a photography session with the Uragan experiment which observes natural and man-made effects of disasters on Earth. He then worked with Novitskiy to copy data gathered from the Identification experiment to a laptop computer. That experiment studies how crew members and ground support personnel interact during long-term missions.

Overnight, the Robotic Refueling Mission continued. The Dextre robot had stowed away the multi-use tool that it had been using to simulate working on a satellite in orbit. As it was reaching into its tool belt to retrieve a tool that simulates removing a safety cap from a satellite, ground teams noticed a mechanical issue between Dextre’s arm and the adapter that allows it to grab onto its tools. The teams will work through the issue over the weekend and RRM activities are expected to continue on Tuesday as scheduled.

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