Crew Sets Up Tiny Satellites While Checking for Spacesuit Leaks

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly works with three SPHERES satellites in 2010 when he was a Flight Engineer for Expedition 25.

The Expedition 46 crew brought out a pair of tiny satellites today so students can compete for the best algorithm in an ongoing competition. The crew also checked spacesuits, transferred cargo and worked on lab maintenance.

One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko set up a pair of bowling ball-sized satellites in Japan’s Kibo lab module for a student competition. Students compete to test their algorithms which operate the tiny satellites onboard the International Space Station for the SPHERES-Zero Robotics study.

Veteran cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Yuri Malenchenko checked their Russian Orlan spacesuits for leaks. The duo will exit the space station Feb. 3 for a five hour and 30 minute spacewalk to install hardware and science experiments on the orbital lab’s Russian segment. NASA TV will begin coverage at 7:30 a.m. EST with the spacewalk set to start 40 minutes later.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra worked on space plumbing during the morning before moving on to Cygnus cargo transfers. British astronaut Tim Peake worked on the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace, a device that will levitate, melt and solidify materials to study the thermophysical properties of different metals.