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La misión Cygnus del sábado comienza su lanzamiento mientras la tripulación de la estación espacial se prepara

Nave espacial Cygnus. crédito: NASA

Una nave de reabastecimiento de EE. UU. se prepara para despegar el sábado por la mañana en un viaje de un día y medio para renovar la Estación Espacial Internacional. Mientras dos de los astronautas se entrenan en captura robótica, el resto de la tripulación de la Expedición 66 se centró en mantener los instrumentos científicos y los sistemas de laboratorio orbitales.

Se espera que el clima en las instalaciones de Virginia de Wallops Aviation sea un 75 % favorable para el lanzamiento de la nave espacial de carga Cygnus de Northrop Grumman el sábado a las 12:40 p. m. EDT.[{» attribute=»»>NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron will be on duty Monday morning observing Cygnus’s arrival from the seven-windowed cupola. Chari will be at the robotics workstation commanding the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Cygnus on Monday at 4:35 a.m. when it reaches a distance of about 10 meters from the station. Barron will be monitoring the cargo craft’s systems during its methodical approach and rendezvous.

Astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron Train on Robotics Workstation

Astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron train on the robotics workstation for the capture of the Cygnus space freighter when it arrives on February 21, 2022. Credit: NASA

Following the successful capture of Cygnus, ground controllers will take over the controls of the Canadarm2 and remotely maneuver the vehicle toward the Unity module. Cygnus will then be installed on Unity, where the astronauts will open the hatches shortly afterward and begin unloading over 8,300 pounds of station gear and new science experiments. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will broadcast the launch live beginning Saturday at 12:15 p.m. with rendezvous and capture coverage beginning Monday at 3 a.m.

The crew’s remaining three astronauts and two cosmonauts serviced a variety of station gear, worked on space research, and unpacked a new Russian resupply ship.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked on the Kibo laboratory module’s water recovery system while NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn replaced components inside the COLBERT treadmill. Astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) checked out wireless gear that downloads biomedical data then moved to radiation detection hardware.

Commander Anton Shkaplerov explored plasma physics that could inform future research methods and spacecraft designs. Roscosmos Flight Engineer worked on Russian communications gear before continuing to unpack cargo from the newly arrived Progress 80 cargo craft.

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