A Russian ISS Progress 50 (50P) resupply ship filled with trash and discarded gear undocked from the Pirs docking compartment today at 4:43 p.m. EDT. Another Progress is ready to replace it with a Japanese cargo craft to follow a week later.
The 50P will deorbit over the Pacific Ocean a few hours later for a fiery destruction. An ISS Progress 52 is set to replace the 50P when it launches Saturday at 4:45 p.m. and docks to Pirs about six hours later.
At the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-4) is set for an Aug. 3 launch. It will deliver 3.6 tons of dry cargo, water, experiments and spare parts to the International Space Station. Unlike a Russian Progress vehicle which docks automatically, the HTV-4 will be captured by the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony module.
The Expedition 36 crew members are preparing for the new visiting vehicles as they trained and checked out various systems.
Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin trained on the TORU, a Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system. The TORU is used as a manual backup in the unlikely event a Progress cargo craft is unable to dock automatically. Also, Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg is preparing for her role as the Canadarm2 operator during the approach and rendezvous of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s HTV-4.
Meanwhile, ongoing science and maintenance work continue onboard the International Space Station.
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy was back inside the Kibo laboratory setting up hardware for the Marangoni Inside experiment that is part of the Fluids Physics Experiment Facility. He later collected urine samples for stowage inside a science freezer that is part of the Human Research Facility rack inside the Destiny laboratory.
Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano worked inside the Combustion Integrated Rack replacing hardware for an experiment that observes how different fuels burn in microgravity. Parmitano later installed gear that detects neutron radiation for the RaDI-N experiment.
Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin worked on the Matryoshka radiation detection experiment which is a predecessor to the RaDI-N study. He also worked on various maintenance tasks in the Russian segment of the space station.