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Station Crew Gets Ready to Deploy Cubesats, Trains for SPHERES Satellite Research

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:48 pm via: NASA
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The six-member Expedition 38 crew is working with a set of tiny external satellites and internal satellites. They are also cleaning lab facilities and removing cargo from a new Russian cargo craft.

Mission controllers are preparing to deploy several Cubesats from outside the Kibo laboratory module. However, they are watching an upcoming Global Precipitation Management satellite launch from Tanegashima, Japan, to ensure the launch does not interfere with Cubesat deployment activities.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata set up the Earth photography experiment Cosmo inside the seven-windowed cupola. Monday’s targets included daytime views of India, South America and Africa’s Great Rift Valley and a night time view of the United States.

Wakata later conducted training for Tuesday’s run of the SPHERES-RINGS experiment. That study observes tiny satellites flying in formation using magnetic force fields and transferring power wirelessly. Those tests will take place inside the International Space Station with input from the Department of Defense.

Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins worked in the Kibo lab cleaning and checking out valves in the Clean Bench. The Clean Bench is research hardware that is housed inside Japan’s Saibo (living cell) life sciences rack.

Hopkins later connected a laptop computer to the Europe’s BioLab located inside the Columbus laboratory. He later attached himself to the Space Linear Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) which applies a known force to a crew member and uses the resulting acceleration measure body mass.

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio worked inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox using an ultraviolet light to decontaminate hardware used for life science experiments. Afterward, he performed some light plumbing work relocating contingency water containers part of the station’s water recovery and management system.

Expedition 38 Commander Oleg Kotov worked throughout the day on the Aseptik study which evaluates tools and methods to ensure sterile conditions for biological experiments. He later installed new filters in the station’s Russian segment and stowed the old filters in one the Progress cargo vehicles.

Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy and Mikhail Tyurin are continuing cargo transfers from the new ISS Progress 54 resupply ship that arrived Wednesday. The Russian space freighter, loaded with 2.8 tons of food, fuel and supplies, docked to the Pirs docking compartment about six hours after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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