Russian cosmonauts will install scientific hardware Icarus on the ISS

February 5, 2018

During a spacewalk the prime crew of the upcoming ISS-55/56 Expedition will have to install the antenna unit of the joint Russian-German scientific hardware complex Icarus on the external surface of Service Module Zvezda of the ISS Russian Segment. Control computer -1 was already delivered to the ISS in October 2017. The antenna unit receives and transmits information from migratory animals.

Information from sensors of chip faunal forms will be received 24 hours a day by Icarus, transferred to MCC-M and sent to the experiment participants to the data processing centers. Therefore, the scientists participating in the project will be able to determine the impact of various environmental factors on animal behavior, monitor the ecological situation on the migration routes and prevent potentially hazardous and catastrophic phenomena on the planet. Scientific hardware Icarus is a part of Uragan space experiment conducted on the ISS, under the direction of scientific adviser Mikhail Belyaev, D.Eng.Sc., Professor.

The preparation for the extravehicular activity (EVA-45) to be performed under the ISS RS flight program for 2018 has already been completed.

Specialists of RSC Energia and Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences familiarized the crew with Icarus hardware, told about its capabilities and specifics of hardware preparation before egressing into space. The Icarus flight model consists of a mast, on which the antenna unit is installed, ensuring reception/transmission of information from migratory animals, and an anchor in which the cosmonaut will be located during the hardware installation.

The crew actions during the hardware installation were also trained. The prime crew of the forthcoming ISS-55/56 expedition consisting of Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopiev were trained in the neutral buoyancy laboratory of Yu.A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. During the training process the cosmonauts routed connection cables for the scientific hardware, operated the antenna unit and also analyzed possible off-nominal situations.

Training sessions were conducted by GCTC instructors with the participation of RSC Energia EVA specialists.

It was this neutral buoyancy laboratory in which in 1974 experimental studies began aimed at investigating the possibility of using hydro environment for activity drilling and cosmonaut training, where I started my career as a space technology test engineer in 1977. In 1979 a special neutral buoyancy laboratory was put into operation at GCTC. Currently, works on its reconstruction are being completed. Therefore, the current training of cosmonauts was performed not in the Orlan spacesuits, but in a lightweight diving outfit, said Alexander Poleshchuk, Deputy Head of NTTs for flight and space activity, RSC Energia, Hero of Russia.

At first we had trainings in the hangar, so to speak, on dry land, explained cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. - This makes it possible to understand from which side to approach to the hardware, how to fix it, open it, etc. Then, having already familiarized with the hardware, having understood the sequence of actions, you are submerged under water. A complex of trainings under neutral buoyancy conditions is much needed and useful. It is a necessary condition for further successful egress into space.

The Icarus flight model will be delivered to the ISS RS by Progress TCV on February 11.

Icarus, the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space, is a Russian-German experiment, which principal investigator is RSC Energia in cooperation with SpaceTech (STI), German Space Agency (DLR), German Institute of Ornithology (Max Plank Institute) and Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Corporation has been working on this project since 2010. In November 2014 an agreement was signed between Roscosmos and DLR on implementation of this project on the ISS Russian Segment.


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