Robonaut’s Legs Powered Up, Station Lowers Orbit

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NASA and ESA Astronauts

(From left) Astronauts Barry Wilmore, Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti talk to reporters on Earth about upcoming missions. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 42 crew worked Wednesday with fruit flies, a humanoid robot and a Dragon spacecraft. Also, Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 fired its engines for nearly five minutes, slightly lowering the station’s orbit to prepare for an upcoming ISS Progress 58 resupply mission.

Commander Barry Wilmore and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti packed gear inside the SpaceX Dragon private space freighter for retrieval on Earth. The Dragon will return to Earth on Feb. 10 when it will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean for recovery off the coast of Baja California. Cristoforetti later fed fruit flies for an experiment studying their immune system as a model for a crew member’s susceptibility to disease in space.

› Read more about the SpaceX CRS-5 mission
› Read more about the Fruit Fly Lab-01 experiment

Flight Engineer Terry Virts unpacked Robonaut in the Destiny then powered up the humanoid robot for a mobility test during the afternoon. Its legs received power for the first time Wednesday. Virts monitored the leg movements in conjunction with operators on the ground.

› Watch the time-lapse video of the blizzard over the northeast United States taken from the International Space Station

4 thoughts on “Robonaut’s Legs Powered Up, Station Lowers Orbit

  1. Carl

    Why would they lower the station’s altitude for a Progress? Isn’t that a huge waste of fuel seeing as later reboosts will have to raise it further again?

    Reply
    1. Mark Post author

      They needed to lower the station’s altitude to accommodate the proper phasing for 58P for a single-day launch to docking on Feb. 17. The ATV-5, which fired its engines slightly lowering the ISS orbit, has its own fuel reserves as does every visiting space freighter.

      Reply
  2. Andy Woodrow

    Fantastic coverage of the science and technology; this team has continued the legacy of solid stewardship for the improvement of mankind. Thanks for the continued work and near realtime feed on the projects; God’s blessing on all of you!

    Reply

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