February 26, 2024

Preparing for Space Cargo: Payload Maintenance and Advanced Robotics on the ISS

The Northrup Grumman Cygnus space truck is imagined in the grip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm while connected to the Unity modules Earth-facing port on April 20, 2023. The International Space Station was skyrocketing into an orbital sundown 266 miles above the Indian Ocean in between South Africa and Antarctica at the time of this photo. Credit: NASA
The Expedition 69 crew on the International Space Station invested a hectic Friday preparing for the upcoming weekend and the Cygnus freight spacecraft mission. Their activities included payload maintenance and relocation, a robotics practice session, hardware replacements, and assessments.
It was a packed Friday for the Expedition 69 crew aboard the International Space Station. Ahead of their off-duty weekend, the team moved payloads and stowage and two astronauts completed a second robotics practice session in preparation for next weeks cargo delivery.
NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg began his day gathering additional samples for the Standard Measures investigation. He then moved into the Tranquility module to clean out stowage. Later in the early morning, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi joined Hoburg to help with unstowing the NanoRacks External Platform from the NanoRacks Bishop Airlock.

The Northrup Grumman Cygnus space freighter is imagined in the grip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm while connected to the Unity modules Earth-facing port on April 20, 2023. The International Space Station was skyrocketing into an orbital sundown 266 miles above the Indian Ocean in between South Africa and Antarctica at the time of this photograph. Hoburg likewise fixed some ethernet cables at the Astrobee docking station in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). Later, Bowen transitioned to the Columbus Laboratory Module to set up Kubik 5 and 6 hardware, constructed for automated microgravity examinations aboard the orbital laboratory. Concurrently, Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev cleaned up smoke detectors in the Zarya module and performed computer system maintenance.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 69 Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen installs student-made hardware next to the Destiny lab modules Microgravity Science Glovebox to check a platform that enhances the stability of video cameras utilized to track targets on the ground or take images and video inside the International Space Station. Credit; NASA
Technical Tasks and Robotics Training
Hoburg also fixed some ethernet cables at the Astrobee docking station in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). He was later on joined by NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio in the afternoon to finish a 2nd robotics practice session for the upcoming rendezvous and capture of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft next week. Cygnus is targeted to launch on Tuesday, August 1, marking Northrop Grummans 19th commercial resupply objective.
After the NanoRacks External Platform was removed, Rubio caught the payload and moved it to JEM. Additionally, he and NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen removed the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform from the Kibo airlock to be stowed and Rubio later on carried out a visual examination and video study of the airlock.
Inspections, Hardware Replacements, and Troubleshooting
In continuation of the other days troubleshooting of the Glovebox Freezer, Bowen inspected connections as soon as more today. He likewise replaced hardware in the BioFabrication Facility, a 3D printer that examines the feasibility of producing organ-like tissues in microgravity. Later on, Bowen transitioned to the Columbus Laboratory Module to set up Kubik 5 and 6 hardware, developed for automated microgravity investigations aboard the orbital laboratory. Covering up his day, Bowen carried out fixing on the Fluids Integrated Rack, a fluid physics research study facility.
Projects Completed by Roscosmos Crew
Roscosmos Commander Sergey Prokopyev operated the 3D printer in the Zvezda service module. Simultaneously, Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev cleaned up smoke alarm in the Zarya module and carried out computer maintenance. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, using the sensor-pack cap, practiced piloting strategies that check out how astronauts might run and handle spacecraft on future planetary missions.