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Resupply Ship Undocking Preps & More Robonaut Work for Crew
July 23, 2013

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The ISS Progress 50 (50P) resupply ship docked to the Pirs docking compartment is being readied for undocking while more work was scheduled for Robonaut 2. Meanwhile, international science, a safety hardware inspection and station maintenance are also on the calendar for the six-member Expedition 36 crew.

The 50P is being filled with trash before its hatches are closed Wednesday. Its undocking is planned for Thursday at 4:44 p.m. EDT after which it will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean.

Another resupply craft, the 52P, will launch on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, and dock to Pirs just six hours later. Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin are preparing for its arrival by testing the TORU, a Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system. The TORU is used as a manual backup in the unlikely event the Progress cargo craft is unable to dock automatically.

Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg was back at work again Tuesday with Robonaut 2. She coordinated with specialists on the ground as they tested the humanoid robot’s ability to perform ground operated commands. Robonaut 2 is a platform to study the feasibility of robots to complement a space crew’s activities.

Read more about Robonaut 2

Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy focused throughout his day on computer maintenance and checking out science hardware and experiments. He started in the Kibo laboratory removing the Marangoni Inside experiment and replacing lamps in the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility which is part of a Japanese science rack. After lunch, Cassidy reloaded hard drives on portable computers and recalibrated the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer for sample analysis.

Read more about Marangoni Inside
Read more about the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility

European astronaut and Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano inspected safety hardware such as portable fire extinguishers and portable breathing gear. He also worked to replace a power board inside the European Drawer Rack, a facility that houses small experiments that can be powered autonomously.

Read more about the European Drawer Rack

In the Russian side of the space station, Yurchikhin was joined by Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin for more video and photo documentation of work on the International Space Station for Russian audiences. Misurkin also worked throughout the day on various maintenance tasks such as filling tanks and checking antenna switches. Vinogradov also installed the docking mechanism on the off-going 50P cargo craft.

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Luca Parmitano
Luca Parmitano shows off a new toolkit during a conference with European space industry leaders in Turin, Italy.
Image Credit: 
NASA TV
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Karen Nyberg and Robonaut 2
Karen Nyberg sets up Robonaut 2 in preparation for a series of commands from the ground to test the humanoid robot's capabilities.
Image Credit: 
NASA TV
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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: Mark Garcia