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Station Crew Relaxes as External Robotics Work Continues

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu May 1, 2014 9:04 pm via: NASA
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The six-member Expedition 39 crew was off-duty Thursday in commemoration of May Day, a Russian holiday. Outside the International Space Station, very slow and deliberate robotics work is under way to transfer the last external experiment from the SpaceX Dragon.

Throughout the day the crew relaxed while conducting some station activities and exercising. In the evening they all joined together for a conference with flight controllers on the ground.

Commander Koichi Wakata attached himself to a device to measure his body mass Thursday. The measurement gear applies a known force to a crew member that creates an acceleration that is used to calculate body mass. The Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) is accurate to half a pound and uses Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

Flight Engineer Steve Swanson filled out a food questionnaire documenting his nutrition intake. He also spent some time collecting urine samples for stowage in a science freezer for later analysis on the ground.

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio spent a few moments on some light plumbing work and also filled out a food questionnaire. In the afternoon, he conducted several minutes of Crew Medical Officer training as part of a self-assessment.

The cosmonaut trio of Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev and Mikhail Tyurin gathered together to record a Russian public affairs event.

Meanwhile, the Canadarm2 with the Dextre in its grasp is in the process of removing the second and final experiment from the trunk of the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft. The OPALS experiment will be installed on the station, using delicate robotics work, and test sending data to Earth using lasers.

The first experiment, the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment (HDEV), has been installed and is already operating. Four high definition cameras have been attached outside the space station and will provide live Earth views online while being tested for the effects of long term exposure to radiation in space.

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