Busy days on International Space Station !

It seems that crew members on International Space Station have busy time even more than usual. To planned duties they had to add checking leaking suit used by Tim Kopra on recent spacewalk.

Recently life on ISS became more excited than usual due the leaking spacesuit worn by Tim Kopra during 192nd spacewalk. To remind, on 15th January 2016 after 4 hours 43 minutes of EVA, Tim Peak and Tim Kopra were ordered to return to Quest airlock after Kopra reported about water bubbles inside his spacesuit. After examination of spacesuit performed by Commander Scott Kelly there was no clear source of leakage found. Due this fact Peake, Kopra and Kelly have additional task - to check spacesuit and find leakage. Next EVA is scheduled on  3rd February 2016 and will be performed by Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov with Russian Orlan spacesuits, so there is no real rush with testing Kopra's suit, but still it is additional task for crew members. During this time Malenchenko and Volkov were practicing before their spacewalk in spacesuits-during this EVA they will install science experiments and instruments outside the ISS.

On 29 January 2016 two small satellites were deployed from Japanese Kibo module (attached to each other satellites weight at 52 kg will separate after deployment is safe distance from ISS). These satellites were made by students from two Texas Universities: A&M (which designed and manufactured AggieSat-4 with dimensions of 61 cm x 31 cm x 31 cm) and University of Texas (which created smaller UT Bevo-2 with dimensions 34 cm x 14 cm x 14 cm). Both satellites are designed to operate for several months and perform autonomous rendez vous and docking maneuvers. Tim Peake and Tim Kopra assisted Scott Kelly during preparing satellites for deployment. On 15:55 GMT both satellites were deployed from Kibo module with Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS). SSIKLOPS is one from three kinetic deployment movements installed on ISS. It is designed to deploy satellites with weight up to 110 kg which is useful feature - other two installations (JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer-J-SSOD) and the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) are compatible only with Cubesat standard satellites.  SSIKLOPS is basically kind of platform mounted in JEM airlock were satellite is attached by crew members. Next, after airlock is decompressed and hatch is open, it could be easily grabbed by Canadarm2 or like on 29 January 2016 Japanese Robotic Arm. Next satellite is being deployed in safe distance from ISS and after that platform is returning on robotic arm to JEM airlock.

On picture above You can see SSKILOPS during scientific experiments.

Sources:
https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/02/01/spacesuit-checks-and-fire-science-on-space-station-today/

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