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Robotics, Experiments and Maintenance for Station Residents
iss034e010953 -- Expedition 34 crew members

Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford (lower right) and Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin (left) and Oleg Novitskiy pose for a photo in the cupola. The Canadarm2 robotic arm's Latching End Effector is visible through a window in the background. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 34 crew members were busy with robotics aboard the International Space Station Thursday while a variety of science experiments and maintenance activities took place during another lively work day aboard the orbiting outpost.

Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn worked at the robotics workstation to conduct a double walk-off of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, or Canadarm2 robotic arm, from the exterior of the Harmony module to the Mobile Base System for future use. The trio took some time to prepare for the move using specially programmed Engineering Dynamic On-board Ubiquitous Graphics software to simulate the robotic procedures.

Hadfield, who in mid-March will become the first Canadian commander of the station, was joined by former astronaut Scott Parazynski to install Canadarm2 during a pair of spacewalks on space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-100 station assembly mission in April 2001.

Marshburn performed routine periodic maintenance for the Pistol Grip Tools housed in the Quest airlock that are used for spacewalk tasks.

Hadfield worked with the InSpace-3 experiment, which studies the physical property changes in fluids containing ellipsoid-shaped particles when a magnetic field is applied. These colloidal fluids are classified as smart materials, transitioning to a solid-like state in the presence of a magnetic field, and this technology may lead to the design of bridges and buildings that can better withstand earthquakes.

Chris Hadfield

Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield answers questions about his experiences and activities aboard the orbiting laboratory during an in-flight news conference with the Canadian news media. Credit: NASA TV

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Hadfield also had some time scheduled to answer questions about his experiences and activities aboard the orbiting laboratory during an in-flight news conference with the Canadian news media that was broadcast on NASA TV.

In the Russian segment of the station, Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin, Oleg Novitskiy and Roman Romanenko focused on routine maintenance activities, cargo transfers and science experiments.

Romanenko and Tarelkin continued their work with a Russian experiment studying plasma crystal formation in microgravity, while Novitskiy and Tarelkin worked with the Matryoshka experiment that analyzes the radiation environment onboard the station.

› Learn more about Matryoshka
› Learn more about Matryoshka