Crew Marks 10th Anniversary of Robotic Arm’s Launch

ISS Status Report

The six Expedition 27 crew members of the International Space Station worked Tuesday toward completing the mission of a cargo ship, continuing scientific research and practicing roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency.

The crew also noted a milestone in the station’s history: the 10th anniversary of the launch of the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2 aboard space shuttle Endeavour on April 19, 2001.

Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Andrey Borisenko, Cady Coleman, Ron Garan, Paolo Nespoli and Alexander Samokutyaev recorded a video message earlier expressing their appreciation for Canadarm2 and its contributions to space station assembly. As Coleman remarked, “Without it, we would not have built this magnificent laboratory in space.”

› View crew tribute to Canadarm2 at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=82045741
› Read more about Canadarm2 anniversary at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition27/canad...

Kondratyev began his workday Tuesday packing additional unneeded hardware and trash in the ISS Progress 41 cargo craft prior to the hatches being closed on Thursday. The Russian supply ship, which arrived at the station January 30, will undock from the Pirs docking compartment Friday at 7:41 a.m. EDT and descend into the Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery demise over the Pacific Ocean.

Samokutyaev worked with a Russian biotechnology experiment that examines fermentation in a weightless environment. Fellow cosmonaut Borisenko spent a second day working with the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which gathers data about charged particles inside the microgravity environment of the space station.

In the Columbus laboratory, Garan, Coleman and Nespoli conducted another session with Passages, a study of the impact of microgravity on the interpretation of visual perception. Researchers are interested in the possible decrease of the use of the “eye-height” strategy – the altitude of one’s line of gaze parallel to the ground – after a long term exposure to weightlessness.

Later, Coleman and Nespoli continued unloading cargo from the “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV2) that docked with the station in February. Once emptied the ATV2, like Progress 41 and all other cargo craft that have visited the station over the years, will be reloaded with trash and other disposable materials and undock for a destructive re-entry in the atmosphere.

All six crew members participated in a routine fire drill Tuesday, reacquainting themselves with procedures and responsibilities they practiced on Earth before launch. In cooperation with the mission control centers around the world, the crew worked through the response procedures as if there were an actual emergency and tagged up with flight controllers afterward to review the results.

N5VHO – Wed, 2011 – 04 – 20 08:17
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