HTV-6 Robotic Operations -PART 2

After the successful berthing of the HTV-6 to the Harmony Module (see previous Post), the Robotic Operations between the Station’s Robotic Arm and DEXTRE began.

On Dec 14, 2016, the Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to extract the External Platform (EP) from the HTV-6 Unpressurized Logistics Carrier. 



img_1850 Here the SSRMS has grappled the EP and is ready to install it on the MBS located on the truss segment.

The HTV-6 EP was installed on the Payload and ORU Accomodation (POA) of the MBS.




In preparation for the Robotics operation between Dextre and the Station’s Robotic Arm, the MBS was moved towards the starboard truss segment bringing Dextre and the SSRMS closer to the S4 segment.



And here is a closeup view of the MBS-SSSRMS-Dextre complex.


On Dec 31, 2016, the robot arm operators at Johnson Space Center began the complex procedures to replace 12 aging batteries in the ISS solar power system with 6 state of the art lithium-ion power packs, a multi-step process that will require two spacewalks to complete.

S4 segment

The S4 and their batteries were launched in June 2007 on STS-117 Atlantis. It has 2 power electrical channels, 1A (Lower side) and 3A (Upper side).

img_2013 This is a view of the Starboard side of the truss showing the configuration for the robotics operation. For this demonstration, I have removed the lower solar arrays.
Notice that the radiators are facing forward towards the direction of flight, and the Upper side of S4 is now facing Nadir so Dextre can have access.



Because my S4 IEA art is only a 2D drawing, I will show a simple presentation with charts.

img_2007 Here is the HTV-6 EP showing the battery location.

img_2020 The red boxes are the old Nickel-Hydrogen batteries. DEXTRE will remove the upper 3 old batteries and place them in the EP.

img_2035 Here is the EP showing the 3 old batteries removed. (Red).

img_2031 Dextre will remove these 3 new Li-Ion batteries and will move them to S4.

img_2021 Now the 3 slots have been replaced with 3 new Lithium-Ion batteries (green).

img_2022 Then one more old battery was removed by DEXTRE and placed it in its Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP) side 3.

Dextre will temporarily hold one old Ni-H2 battery.

img_2068 Dextre with its EOTP (all sides)


This wraps up the first act of a complex procedure to upgrade the station’s power system and clears the way for the first of 2 spacewalks Friday Jan 6, 2017 in which Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson will install 3 Adapter Plates on the IEA to which the old Ni-H2 batteries will be mounted to remain on the ISS but will be inactive.

Next: US EVA-38

Source:, ISS Status Report,


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