The Expedition 38 crew kicked off more tiny satellite work both inside and outside of the International Space Station. The six station residents also conducted medical work and cargo transfers.
The first pair of NanoRacks Cubesats deployed early Tuesday from outside the Kibo laboratory with another pair following a few hours later. More deployments are scheduled through Wednesday morning. The Cubesats program contains a variety of experiments such as Earth observations and advanced electronics testing.
After training for the SPHERES-RINGS experiment Monday, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata conducted runs inside the Kibo lab for the Department of Defense research program. NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins assisted Wakata during the study observing tiny satellites flying in formation using magnetic force fields and transferring power wirelessly.
In the afternoon, Wakata performed some medical work. He powered up the Ultrasound 2 gear and tested its video downlink capabilities. Afterward, he conducted a regularly scheduled hearing check.
Hopkins and NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio worked with the Ultrasound 2 gear to scan their eyes with the live video being downlinked to doctors.
Mastracchio started his morning reviewing sensor test procedures and inspection techniques for the Microgravity Science Glovebox. He spent the rest of the morning in Europe’s Columbus laboratory working with the BioLab removing and cleaning a microscope cassette.
Commander Oleg Kotov worked plumbing and maintenance throughout the Russian segment. He charged an Iridium phone, which a Soyuz landing crew uses as a backup communication device. Finally, he replaced dust collectors and filters.
Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy continued unloading gear delivered last week in the ISS Progress 54 resupply ship. During the cargo transfers he updated the station’s inventory management system. He also performed maintenance work and checked the Kaskad life science experiment’s bioreactor.
Veteran station cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin began his day collecting data for the Russian radiation exposure experiment Matroyshka. Afterward, he charged up a second Iridium phone, photographed gear in the Zarya cargo module and continued offloading gear from the P54.
The ISS Progress 52 cargo ship that undocked last week and was replaced by the P54 has fired its engines for one last time and descended into the Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean. It spent several days orbiting Earth for tests of its control systems in the extreme environment of space.