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Progress Set For Friday Docking, Robotics and Spacesuit Maintenance for Crew
04.25.13
 
Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn (left) and Chris Cassidy

Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn (left) and Chris Cassidy participate in some in-flight interviews with WCSH-TV in Portland, Maine and Sirius XM’s “Midday Briefing” program in the Japanese Kibo module. Credit: NASA TV

The ISS Progress 51 cargo craft is set to complete its two-day journey to the International Space Station when it docks to the Zvezda service module on Friday at 8:26 a.m. EDT. NASA TV coverage of the Progress docking will begin at 6:30 a.m.

› Watch NASA TV

The unpiloted cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:12 a.m. on Wednesday loaded with 1,764 pounds of propellant, 48 pounds of oxygen, 57 pounds of air, 926 pounds of water and 3,483 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies for the station crew.

› Watch a video of the Progress launch

Shortly after launch, the Progress made it safely to orbit and deployed its solar arrays as planned. One of the antennas for the KURS automated rendezvous system did not deploy. Russian ground controllers continue to assess their options to deploy the antenna, which is used to measure orientation of the Progress vehicle.

Meanwhile, the six Expedition 35 crew members living aboard the orbiting laboratory performed robotics tests, science experiments and spacesuit maintenance on Thursday.

Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn

Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn performs a series of telerobotics tests using Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, in the Destiny laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

Working closely with robotics experts on Earth, Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy performed a series of telerobotics tests using Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space. During testing, Marshburn put on telerobotics gear, including a special helmet and gloves that allowed him to command the robot by having it copy his movements. This capability will allow the astronauts to make real-time decisions and control Robonaut’s actions from inside the station. Robonaut was designed with the intention of eventually taking over tasks deemed too dangerous or mundane for astronauts, perhaps even venturing outside the complex.

› Read more about Robonaut

Cassidy also had some time scheduled to work with the VIABLE experiment which evaluates microbial biofilm development on space materials.

› Read more about VIABLE

Commander Chris Hadfield spent most of his day working in the Quest airlock conducting a periodic cleaning of the cooling loops on the U.S. spacesuits.

Later, Cassidy and Marshburn participated in some in-flight interviews with WCSH-TV in Portland, Maine and Sirius XM’s “Midday Briefing” program, answering questions about life aboard the station and the progress of the Expedition 35 mission.

Commander Chris Hadfield

Commander Chris Hadfield works in the Quest airlock conducting a periodic cleaning of the cooling loops on the U.S. spacesuits. Credit: NASA TV

Flight Engineers Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov completed the refurbishment of the Russian Orlan spacesuits they wore during their spacewalk last Friday. The next Russian spacewalk is scheduled for June 26 and will be conducted by Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin and Expedition 36 Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Romanenko and Vinogradov also participated in a training session with the Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system, or TORU, and had a conference with Russian flight control teams to review docking procedures in advance of Friday’s arrival of the ISS Progress 51 cargo craft.

Misurkin focused on a variety of maintenance tasks in the Russian segment of the station, tagging up with specialists at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev as needed.

› Read more about Expedition 35