Status Report

Crew Prepping for Cubesat Deployment, Awaits New Cargo Ships

By SpaceRef Editor
February 2, 2014
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Crew Prepping for Cubesat Deployment, Awaits New Cargo Ships

The six-member Expedition 38 crew juggled an array of high-tech maintenance tasks and world class science activities on Friday. The station residents are also getting ready for a Russian resupply ship and a private SpaceX cargo craft to arrive in February.

NASA astronaut and first-time space resident Mike Hopkins worked maintenance all day Friday in the U.S. Destiny laboratory. He refilled coolant in a fluid system servicer that is part of the station’s Internal Thermal Control System. Hopkins also spent a few minutes swapping out a battery in a science freezer and checking an inventory management system.

Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio, who also served as a shuttle astronaut, deployed an Internal Wireless Integrated System sensor in the Tranquility node. During the afternoon, he checked laptop computers’ power supply and connections inside the Columbus lab. Mastracchio also checked a U.S. spacesuit battery and repaired a food warmer ground cable.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata worked in the Kibo laboratory to install a Cubesat deployer inside the module’s airlock. The deployer will release a set of six tiny satellites known as NanoRacks Cubesats on Feb. 6. They were delivered Jan. 12 aboard Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus commercial cargo craft.

Toward the end of the day, Wakata continued prepacking experiment samples and station gear for return on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle to visit the International Space Station. The SpaceX-3 mission is planned to launch Feb. 22 with its Canadarm2 capture scheduled for Feb. 24.

Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy completed loading the ISS Progress 52 resupply craft with trash and closed its hatches. The Russian cargo craft will undock Monday at 11:21 a.m. EST. It will deorbit over the Pacific Ocean Feb. 11 and burn up during reentry.

A new ISS Progress 54 will replenish the crew when it launches Feb. 5 at 11:23 a.m. from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It will deliver 2.8 tons of food, fuel and supplies when it docks to the Pirs docking compartment about six hours later.

Veteran cosmonaut and station resident Mikhail Tyurin started his morning working on Russian space research. He downloaded data collected for the Obstanovka experiment to a laptop. That study observes the interaction of the space station with plasma waves and the ionosphere. Tyurin also tested video gear ahead of the upcoming Progress vehicle docking.

SpaceRef staff editor.