Station’s Newest Crew Members Continue Orientation
After a light-duty weekend, the International Space Station's newest flight engineers, Cady Coleman, Dmitry Kondratyev and Paolo Nespoli, each had time set aside to study the layout of their orbital home for the next five months and learn to move about in its large habitable space. The trio also conducted routine on-orbit hearing assessments. Coleman, Kondratyev and Nespoli arrived at the station Dec. 17 aboard the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft.
In addition to their orientation activities, Coleman and Nespoli checked out the Health Maintenance System’s Crew Medical Restraint System and Respiratory Support Pack.
Commander Scott Kelly spent several hours installing the Capillary Channel Flow hardware into the Microgravity Science Glovebox as he connected cables and configured video systems. The results from this study of capillary flows in a weightless environment will lead to improvements in the containment, storage and handling of large liquid inventories aboard future spacecraft.
Working in the Russian segment of the station, Kondratyev assisted Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka with unloading cargo from the ISS Progress 40 supply vehicle, which docked with the orbiting complex on Oct. 30. Fellow cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, also a flight engineer, attended to the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which studies the dynamic and structural characteristics of electrically charged particles.
Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s robotic handyman, successfully passed its “final exam” last week and is now officially certified for duty aboard the space station. While at the end of Canadarm2, Dextre performed a series of steps to move a 974-pound storage box known as a Cargo Transport Carrier along the exterior of the station. The test served not only as a good checkout of Dextre, but also as a dress rehearsal for Dextre’s first official task when it will unload the External Pallet from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency H-II Transport Vehicle 2 in early February 2011.