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Robotics Work and Unpacking for Japan’s HTV-4

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:34 pm via: NASA
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Japan’s fourth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-4) was captured Friday morning with the Canadarm2 and installed on the Harmony node. More robotics work continued over the weekend as the Canadarm2 removed an exposed pallet from the HTV-4 and handed it off to the Japanese robotic arm for installation outside the Kibo laboratory. The exposed pallet contains unpressurized spare parts and experiments stored in the microgravity environment.

Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg, Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano began unloading the HTV-4 cargo soon after its arrival. They also enjoyed an off-duty day Monday and conducted a briefing with robotics team members on the ground about Friday’s capture of the Japanese resupply ship.

On the Russian side of the International Space Station, the three cosmonauts had a full day of maintenance, science and spacewalk preparations.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov worked throughout the morning replacing batteries and mating telemetry connectors in the Zvezda service module. During the afternoon, the commander performed a hearing assessment and updated the inventory management. At the end of the workday, he charged a battery for the Relaxation experiment that studies the interaction of spacecraft and jet engine exhaust in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the station’s environment.

Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin are gearing up for another spacewalk this Friday that begins at 10:40 a.m. EDT. The cosmonauts are inspecting their Russian Orlan spacesuits and checking for pressure leaks.  The duo is also reviewing procedures planned for the estimated 6.5 hour spacewalk.

Their first task once they exit the Pirs docking compartment will be to deploy the Strela boom which is a portable, telescoping crane that can move gear and a spacewalker outside the station. They will use Strela to install connector panels and gap spanners outside the Zarya and Poisk modules.

Yurchikhin and Misurkin will also install the Vinoslivost experiment panel on Poisk which exposes different materials to the space environment. After that they will route and secure power and Ethernet cables outside Zarya and Poisk. Before reentering the space station and if time allows, the duo will stow the Strela boom.

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