Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Robotics, Spacewalk Preparations Keep Crew Busy

Soaring high above the Earth in their orbiting home, the International Space Station’s Expedition 22 crew members began a two-day operation Monday to use Canadarm2 to move the External Stowage Platform-3 (ESP-3) spare parts depot from the P3 truss to the S3 truss. The spacefarers also prepared for an upcoming spacewalk.

Flight Engineers Soichi Noguchi and T.J. Creamer worked together at the robotic work station in the U.S. Destiny laboratory to operate the station’s robotic arm. They detached ESP-3 from the P3 truss and moved it to an overnight park position on a truss cargo attachment bracket. The operation, which is set to conclude Tuesday, will free up the ESP-3 location on the P3 truss for the installation of the Express Logistics Carrier-3 spare parts platform later this year on the STS-134 mission of space shuttle Endeavour.

Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Maxim Suraev completed Orlan spacesuit preparations as they geared up for a Tuesday dress rehearsal of Thursday’s spacewalk. During the spacewalk Suraev and Kotov will set up the Poisk Russian Mini-Research Module 2 for the relocation of the Soyuz TMA-16. On Jan. 21 Suraev and Commander Jeff Williams will undock the Soyuz TMA-16 from the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module then dock to Poisk shortly after.

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