The Expedition 36 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station participated in robotics training, conducted science experiments and worked to maintain the systems aboard the orbiting laboratory on Tuesday.
Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Chris Cassidy participated in a robotics simulation training session to prepare for the grapple and berthing of the Japanese “Kounotori” H2 Transfer Vehicle-4 (HTV-4) set for August 9. Nyberg is designated as the prime robotics operator for Canadarm2 grapple operations when HTV-4 arrives at the station, with Cassidy as serving as her backup. Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano will monitor HTV systems during the grapple and berthing operations.
HTV-4 is scheduled to launch on an H-IIB rocket Saturday at 3:48 p.m. EDT (4:48 a.m. Japan time on Sunday, Aug. 4) from the Japanese Space Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center in Southern Japan, beginning a week-long journey to the orbiting outpost.
Cassidy, Nyberg and Parmitano continued their participation in the Occular Heath study, performing eye tests using a fundoscope. The data collected was then downlinked for analysis by medical ground support teams to study the effect of microgravity on sight.
In other in-flight activities Tuesday, Cassidy deployed upgraded ethernet equipment in the Japanese Kibo module and Parmitano performed maintenance on the thermal control system in the Colombus module.
During a video downlink on Tuesday, Cassidy discussed the ongoing efforts to solve a problem with crewmate Luca Parmitano’s spacesuit. He pointed out features on the suit and discussed some of the troubleshooting activities aimed at identifying the problem that caused water to leak into Parmitano’s helmet during a spacewalk conducted by the two astronauts on July 16.
Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Fyodor Yurchikhin worked in the Russian Segment of the orbiting laboratory, monitoring its systems and performing a variety of maintenance activities.
Vinogradov also worked on the transfer of supplies from the docked Progress 52 resupply ship after opening its hatches for the first time on Sunday. The unpiloted Russian cargo ship docked to the station less than six hours after launch on Saturday with a payload of nearly three tons of supplies for the Expedition 36 crew. Included in the delivered cargo are tools for possible repairs to the U.S. spacesuits.