L+134, L+135: Logbook
The arrival of the Dragon resupply vehicle is now less than a couple of weeks away and it’s amazing to watch the Station getting ready for it.
I wish I could say that I have the overall picture, but that’s up to people way smarter than me who sit in the control centers and run the show. Up here, we just try to do our best in performing our daily tasks, but these are of course all pieces of a puzzle that will eventually become a full visiting vehicle mission, from capture to release, with a significant complement of science to perform while Dragon is berthed to ISS.
Yesterday I installed new software on several laptops, so they will be ready to support new science. Today I spent two hours gathering from all over the Station into one single bag all the equipment required for a specific experiment, so that everything will be readily available when those operations start a few weeks from now. And of course Terry and I continue to prepare for the capture of Dragon.
Today was our “offset grapple” practice, a two-hour session in which we could practiced flying the real arm, instead of the simulator. I’ve talked about “offset grapples” in my L+20, +21 Logbook: check it out, in case you missed it! https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SamanthaCristoforetti/posts/UeZYA3DFrw1
When the last Dragon arrived, Butch performed the actual capture. This time I will be the prime robotic operator, so I will be at the controls of the arm, while Terry will be responsible for communication with the ground, running the procedures and the malfunction cue cards (the latter will hopefully not be needed).
And speaking of malfunctions, on our last “almost-grapple” today we practiced the response to a “safing event” occurring the arm end effector is already over the pin, so very close to pressing the trigger to capture, or even shortly thereafter. The arm will automatically go into a safe mode following a malfunction, making it impossible to command the joints, the end effector or the arm in its entirety.
Luckily, it’s really ‘two arms in one’: granted, there is only one set of beams and joints, but there’s otherwise full redundancy on all the components that allow the arm to function. In order to make use of that redundancy and complete the capture on the backup string, we would have to move from the Cupola to the Lab, where we have a second robotic workstation. On capture day, that second workstation is in a “hot backup” mode, meaning that literally one button press is sufficient to make it prime and put it in control of the arm. Wouldn’t you love to have that kind of redundancy on your car when that red light appears?
Ah, yesterday I also spent some time on my periodic fitness assessment. We do that on our bike, CEVIS, once a month, using a dedicated protocol, while our electrocardiogram is recorded and blood pressure is measured every five minutes. Based on this data, specialists on the ground can make an estimation of our VO2max, which is a commonly used measure of cardiovascular fitness. The typical trend observed in 6-month missions is a significant, quick decrease of VO2max early on and then a slow recovery through the daily workouts on bike and treadmill. And the closer we are to returning to Earth, the more critical it is to exercise, to be ready to face gravity again.
Futura mission website (Italian): Avamposto42avamposto42.esa.int #SamLogbook #Futura42
(Trad IT) Traduzione in italiano a cura di +AstronautiNEWS
(Trad FR) Traduction en français par +Anne Cpamoa
(Trad ES) Tradducción en español por +Carlos Lallana Borobio
(Trad DE) Deutsch von http://www.logbuch-iss.de