Robotics, Research and Dragon Arrival Preps for Station Crew
The Expedition 34 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station were busy with robotics and science experiments Tuesday as preparations continued for the upcoming arrival of the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle.
Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn worked with the bowling-ball-sized free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, during the ground-commanded SPHERES VERTIGO experiment. The objective of the experiment is to demonstrate the ability to create a three-dimensional model of an object in space using the free-flying SPHERES robots.
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Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield installed and checked out the Centerline Berthing Camera System in the Harmony module that will be used during the installation of the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle after its rendezvous and grapple on Saturday.
The SpaceX 2 mission is set to begin with the launch of the Dragon capsule on Friday at 10:10 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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Hadfield set up equipment in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2) experiment. CSLM-2 is a materials science experiment whose purpose is to investigate the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid matrix.
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Commander Kevin Ford continued maintenance work on the Amine Swingbed, changing out a gear box in an attempt to troubleshoot unit. If the work proves successful, the Amine Swingbed will remain on the station. Otherwise its components will be returned to Earth on the Dragon for repair.
Marshburn and Hadfield had some time set aside to participate in an in-flight educational event with students gathered at the Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix as part of the Destination Station Phoenix campaign.
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Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin, Oleg Novitskiy and Roman Romanenko performed various science experiments, inspections and maintenance duties in the Russian segment of the station, tagging-up with flight control teams in Russia as needed.