Station Crew Unload Progress Cargo

Image credit: NASA

The crew of the International Space Station spent a busy day on Friday unloading the cargo delivered by the latest Progress 8 supply ship. The automated ship was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on board a Soyuz rocket on June 26, and it docked three days later.

Crewmembers aboard the International Space Station today continued to unload the Progress 8 unpiloted Russian cargo carrier docked to the aft port of the station?s Zvezda Service Module. Meanwhile, activities in the U.S. laboratory Destiny focused on initial setup of the SUBSA (Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules) experiment in the lab?s new Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG).

Expedition 5 Commander Valery Korzun, and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev had a relatively light week of work; with Sunday and Monday largely rest days after last Saturday?s docking of the Progress 8. July 4 was essentially a holiday in space for the crewmembers, thought they did some work off a generic task list.

Whitson spent much of this morning installing the SUBSA experiment in the glovebox, which has not yet been commissioned for operations. The SUBSA installation will be completed once the MSG is activated.

Earlier this week, crewmembers began unloading the Progress and cataloguing its contents into the computerized, barcode Inventory Management System of the space station. Whitson brought the Medium-rate Communications Outage Recorder (MCOR) in Destiny back to life on Wednesday, after a three-week outage. She checked its fans and replaced a computer docking station. The MCOR records payload data during periods when the station is out of communication with the ground and transmits the data once communications are restored. The outage had no impact on science operations.

Next Wednesday, Korzun and Whitson will be at the controls of the Canadarm2 robotic arm in Destiny, commanding the Canadian-built arm to ?walk off? its grapple fixture on the laboratory so that its available latching end effector can grapple a power and data fixture on the recently installed Mobile Base System, the platform mounted on the station?s rail car on the S0 (S-Zero) truss. One end of the arm is already affixed to the Mobile Base System, but the ?walk off? of the other end of the arm to the mobile platform will mark another first for station robotic operations. The rail car will eventually move down the truss to be placed in position for the installation of the S1 Truss on the starboard side of the ISS, planned for later this year.

U.S. and Russian timeliners have converged on Aug. 16 and 23 as the two dates for spacewalks planned by Korzun and Whitson, then Korzun and Treschev, to mount experiments on the outside of the station and to install micrometeoroid debris shields on Zvezda. Those are the only two spacewalks planned for the Expedition 5 crew.

Original Source: NASA News Release