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HTV Arrival Preps, Cargo Transfers and Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:23 pm via: NASA
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The Expedition 36 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station prepared for the upcoming arrival of a Japanese cargo vehicle, transferred supplies from a docked Russian cargo ship and worked with a number of science experiments on Monday.

Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg, Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano were involved in a number of on-board training activities in preparation for the grapple and berthing of the Japanese “Kounotori” H2 Transfer Vehicle-4 (HTV-4) set for August 9.

Nyberg is designated as the prime robotics operator for Canadarm2 grapple operations when HTV-4 arrives at the station, with Cassidy serving as her backup. Parmitano will monitor HTV systems during the grapple and berthing operations.

HTV-4 is scheduled to launch on an H-IIB rocket Saturday at 3:48 p.m. EDT (4:48 a.m. Japan time on Sunday, Aug. 4) from the Japanese Space Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center in Southern Japan, beginning a week-long journey to the orbiting outpost.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Fyodor Yurchikhin worked on the transfer of supplies from the docked ISS Progress 52 resupply ship after opening its hatches for the first time on Sunday. The unpiloted Russian cargo ship docked to the station less than six hours after launch on Saturday with a payload of nearly three tons of supplies for the Expedition 36 crew. Included in the delivered cargo are tools for possible repairs to the U.S. spacesuits.

More troubleshooting is planned in the near future on Parmitano’s spacesuit that incurred water intrusion in his helmet during the last spacewalk on July 16. A second round of troubleshooting was completed on Friday and flight control teams will be assessing the results this week.  The spacesuit investigation team has isolated the failure to the spacesuit’s Primary Life Support System.

The station crew members also had time set aside throughout their day to work with a number of science experiments and to participate in biomedical research.

Cassidy worked with the Capillary Channel Flow Experiment, which will help to develop innovative solutions for transporting liquids (such as fuels, low temperature liquids like liquid nitrogen and water) in microgravity. By understanding capillary fluid flow rates in microgravity, hardware can be developed for “pumping” liquids from one reservoir to another without the need for a pump with moving parts.

Vinogradov and Misurkin worked with the Bioemulsion experiment, which looks at the biomass of microorganisms and biologically active substances. Yurchikhin worked with the Uragan experiment. Named for the Russian word for hurricane, Uragan seeks to document and predict the development of natural and man-made disasters on Earth.

European ground controllers at the ATV-4 control center in Toulouse, France analyzed data following an unexpected shutdown Sunday of one of three Data Processing Units (DPUs) on the “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle-4. Early last week DPU 2 was isolated by ATV fault detection due to a telemetry issue. Sunday, DPU3 also failed out of the set (there are 3 DPUs in ATV).  After performing some analysis, flight control teams concluded that the DPU 3 failure was of a transient nature. Flight control teams were able to reintegrate both DPU 2 and DPU 3 back into the system on Monday. This had no impact to station operations.

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