mardi 28 mars 2017

Expedition 50 Spacewalks Prepare Station for Arrival of Commercial Crew Spacecraft

ISS - Expedition 50 Mission patch.

March 28, 2017

Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) is seen floating outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk. Pesquet and Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA conducted the six-hour-and-34-minute spacewalk on March 24, 2017. The two astronauts successfully disconnected cables and electrical connections on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) to prepare for its robotic move on Sunday, March 26. PMA-3 will be moved from the port side of the Tranquility module to the space-facing side of the Harmony module, where it will become home for the station's second International Docking Adapter, which will be delivered on a future flight of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. They also lubricated the latching end effector on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator "extension" for the Canadarm2 robotic arm, inspected a radiator valve and replaced cameras on the Japanese segment of the outpost.

A second spacewalk is scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at 8 a.m. EDT. Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will complete the PMA-3 attachment work on the Harmony module’s space-facing port. The duo will also install computer relay boxes containing software upgrades to enable future commercial crew vehicle dockings at the space station.

Fluid Physics and Human Research Before Second Spacewalk

The crew researched the effects of living in space and set up a specialized microscope for a physics experiment today. Two astronauts are also getting ready for a Thursday spacewalk to continue setting up the International Space Station for commercial crew vehicles.

Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet used a tape measure this morning and measured their arms, legs, hips, waist and chest. Researchers are studying how microgravity impacts body size and shape and are comparing crew measurements before, during and after a space mission.

Image above: The Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 is in the grip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm during its relocation and attachment to the Harmony module on March 26,2017.

Whitson later began setting up gear for the ACE-T-1 (Advanced Colloids Experiment Temperature Control-1) physics study. She opened up the Fluids Integrated Rack and reconfigured the Light Microscopy Module to research tiny suspended particles designed by scientists and observe how they form organized structures within water.

Commander Shane Kimbrough is getting ready for another spacewalk on Thursday at 8 a.m. EDT. This time he’ll go outside with Whitson to finish cable connections at the Harmony module where the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) was robotically attached on Sunday. The PMA-3 relocation gets the adapter ready for the new International Docking Adapter-3 set to be delivered on a future cargo mission.

Related links:

ACE-T-1 (Advanced Colloids Experiment Temperature Control-1) physics study:

Fluids Integrated Rack:

Light Microscopy Module:

Expedition 50:

International Docking Adapter:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images, Text, Credits: NASA/Sarah Loff/Mark Garcia.

Best regards,

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