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Old 08-27-2010, 07:13 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orb View Post
From that article:
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The more than $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer touched down on the shuttle landing strip on a chartered heavy-lifting C-5 Galaxy aircraft at 11:18 a.m. EDT (1518 GMT).
...
"This is our main payload for this mission," said Mark Kelly, Endeavour's commander. "It's also, as far as I can tell, the most expensive piece of the space station that will be installed."
So AMS is $2b - I'm sure I read somewhere the Columbus lab $2.1b. Both are program costs. Surely the other components of the ISS have higher program costs, given the whole thing has cost more than $100b
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:01 PM   #92
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Great time-lapse video of AMS arriving in the SSPF.


Here's some live views of AMS in the SSPF!



FYI, three new STS-134 astronauts have joined Twitter!
• PLT Greg "Box" Johnson (@Astro_Box).
• MS-1 Mike "Spanky" Fincke (@AstroIronMike).
• MS-4 Greg Chamitoff (@Astro_Taz).

BBC News'/Jonathan Amos' "Spaceman" Blog: "How the 'LHC in space' lost its British 'engine'".

---------- Post added 29th Aug 2010 at 09:01 PM ---------- Previous post was 28th Aug 2010 at 10:44 PM ----------

Here's a great interview with Mark & Scott Kelly.

NASA's First Twins to Fly in Space Together.

Last edited by Orbinaut Pete; 08-28-2010 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:10 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Official AMS-02 Twitter Account
 We are installing the Payload Attach System today. This will serve as our mechanical interface to the ISS.
Just as a note, AMS-02 will attach to the S3 Truss zenith-inboard PAS.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:13 PM   #94
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Images of the PAS (Payload Attach System) being attached to AMS-02.


Hi-res version.


Hi-res version.


Hi-res version.

---------- Post added at 08:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:54 AM ----------

Here's an STS-134 flight plan from Spaceflight Now.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:59 PM   #95
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I've managed to find the EV crewmembers for STS-134.

EVA-1:
• EV-1: Andrew Feustel.
• EV-2: Gregory Chamitoff.

EVA-2:
• EV-1: Andrew Feustel.
• EV-2: Michael Fincke.

EVA-3:
• EV-1: Michael Fincke.
• EV-2: Gregory Chamitof.

It's so great that Mike & Greg will get to do EVA-3 together, considering that they're such good "space buddies" already!

Source.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:00 AM   #96
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They flew Expedition 18 together right?
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:53 AM   #97
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Maybe Greg Chamitoff can make a few more chess moves in space for the record books!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:29 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
 They flew Expedition 18 together right?
Yep!


Hi-res version.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dougkeenan View Post
 Maybe Greg Chamitoff can make a few more chess moves in space for the record books!
Let's hope so!


Hi-res version.

---------- Post added at 01:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:31 PM ----------

Here's some nice, reflective interviews with KSC SRB technicians during STS-134 SRB stacking ops.

Florida Today: "Space shuttle booster assembly under way at KSC".

Last edited by Orbinaut Pete; 09-07-2010 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:19 PM   #99
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Florida Today's "The Flame Trench" Blog: "Pegasus en route to pick up last external tank".

---------- Post added 10th Sep 2010 at 09:19 PM ---------- Previous post was 9th Sep 2010 at 11:18 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Official AMS-02 Twitter Account
 AMS completed our Shuttle Integration Test yesterday. This test showed that we will be able to successfully operate inside the payload bay.

Check out this great handheld video that Mark Kelly sent via his Twitter account today, showing his landing approach in the STA at White Sands - a pretty nice approach if I may say so myself, right down the centerline!


Also, here's a great CERN video about AMS-02's flight to KSC.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:21 PM   #100
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Flight aboard Super Galaxy impresses scientists.

It seemed like a normal flight. Bleary-eyed passengers sat slumped in blue seats, ignoring the emergency safety briefing and waiting for someone to bring them juice.
But anchored by chains to the cargo bay floor below sat a billion-dollar instrument designed to advance the human race's knowledge about the universe.

The C-5M's smooth ride ultimately impressed its 38 passengers, which consisted of MIT professors and scientists from Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

It recently transported them, along with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland to Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The AMS will go on to fly aboard the last space shuttle mission early next year.

"For me, it was emotional to leave CERN," said Mr. Roberto Battiston, an Italian physics professor with the 16-year AMS project. "But when we were flying, it was easy to forget about that. The plane is so large, so self contained ... like a different world."

Mr. Battiston said he admired the aircrew's professionalism and how they remained so calm in a stressful environment.


Proving Reliable.

Before the trip, pilot Capt. Cory Damon found a note from his group commander taped to the C-5's dashboard.

"Dear Cory, How are you? I am fine. We're pulling for you with the big mission. P.S. Don't (mess) it up. ."

Captain Damon followed orders. A few hours after taking off from Switzerland, the pilot deftly and enthusiastically answered passengers' questions as they streamed in and out of the cockpit.

Just then, a white 747 flying approximately 1,000 feet in front of the C-5M appeared like a fish diving in slow motion, emitting white fluff.

The cockpit view was oceanic. A flat horizon of clouds formed below the translucent moon in the blue morning sky. The C-5 was like a whale lumbering serenely and effortlessly, void of turbulence.

The newly-remodeled C-5M Super Galaxy has a reputation for increased reliability. Since becoming operational early 2009, it has demonstrated a whole new concept of operations, to include the direct delivery concept, Captain Damon said.

Although it hasn't happened yet, the Super Galaxy is capable of flying from Dover Air Force Base, Del., to Iraq without aerial refueling - saving tankers for other missions.

"It's already proven its ability," Captain Damon said. "They've taken one of most uniquely capable airlifters and making it even more capable. You can't lose."

Last fall, a C-5M broke 41 world records in a single flight. The remodeled aircraft boasts an upgraded propulsion system along with 50 other subsystem reliability enhancements. It's more maintainable and cheaper to operate. And the new engines will reduce hydrocarbon emissions by more than one million tons by 2040.


Making Galactic History.

During the flight, two loadmasters and a flight engineer relaxed behind the cockpit area.

A NASA engineer wearing mid-thigh shorts walked up to the crew's table carrying a box of snacks that was tied around his neck by a red satin ribbon. He smiled and asked if they'd like some refreshments. The crew members laughed and dug for their cell phones to snap photos.

The aircrew had airlifted cargo to Iraq and Afghanistan before stopping at Geneva to pick up the AMS. This mission gave them an extreme sense of being part of history, they said.

The AMS, once installed on the International Space Station next year, is expected to survey charged particles and unlock a new realm of secrets about the universe. These secrets are considered so important around the world that hundreds of physicists from 16 countries have worked on this project for more than a decade.

Although the project is officially sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, nations around the globe collectively invested more than $1 billion to ensure its success.

"What really gets me is the AMS is going to be on the International Space Station for a long, long time," said Tech. Sgt. Frank Nieto, 9th Airlift Squadron flight engineer.

"We can own it as our own," said 9 AS loadmaster Staff Sgt. Bryan Muise. "We can literally look up in sky and say I assisted in putting that piece of equipment into space."

"I can tell my grandchildren I was part of that. It's something to be proud of," Sergeant Nieto said.

This mission supporting international scientists was yet another way to show the world what the remodeled C-5 can do, said Tech. Sgt. Troy Heller.

Sergeant Heller, a qualified flight engineer on the C-5M, is a Reservist assigned to the 709th Airlift Squadron at Dover AFB. Nearly all C-5M missions are flown by mixed crews of active duty and Reserve Airmen, said Captain Damon, who is assigned to the 9th AS.

"The relationship's been awesome. It's almost like it's been (one) squadron," Captain Damon said.


Having a Sense of Purpose.

The 11-hour flight approached its final descent. Mild turbulence kicked in. Seat belts clicked, and what looked like stage smoke curled across the cabin ceiling.

"Florida humidity," remarked a NASA employee as the plane landed. The C-5 was like a giant ice cube, causing condensation.

As the passengers thanked the green flight-suited aircrew and climbed down stairs to a waiting crowd, astronauts in blue flight suits climbed up the stairs to meet the crew. The astronauts are slated to take the AMS to the International Space Station. News media documented the occasion as they shook hands with and talked to the Airmen.

It's a moment the Airmen aren't likely to forget.

But despite their pride in accomplishing the mission, some of the crew members said what motivates them most is flying the Super Galaxy to support fellow servicemembers.

"I like knowing every time we move cargo we're helping troops in the desert," Sergeant Nieto said. "It's a great feeling, knowing we're helping in a different way. We may not be there on the ground; but we're getting them what they need to get their job done safely."

"It's what helps me sleep at night," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Belcher, 9th AS loadmaster.

---------- Post added 12th Sep 2010 at 08:21 PM ---------- Previous post was 11th Sep 2010 at 10:17 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Official AMS-02 Twitter Account
 Adding accessories for AMS stay on the ISS and testing the communication system among AMS, ISS and JSC.
Also, NASA released the video interview with Mark & Scott Kelly this week.

Last edited by Orbinaut Pete; 09-12-2010 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:38 PM   #101
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NASASpaceFlight: STS-134: Hardware and planning aligning for Endeavour’s final mission:
Quote:
Endeavour is deep into her processing flow for the STS-134 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), as engineers worked through a few hiccups with her AMS payload. Managers continue to work on the STS-134 mission baseline, which may include a fourth EVA. ET-122 is also now assigned to STS-134 in processing charts – pending the funding of STS-135.

STS-134 is currently baselined as a 12+1+2 day flight with 3+1 EVAs (Spacewalks), with a total of six crewmembers – refined from its original baseline. The launch date continues to track February 26, 2011.
...
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #102
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A nice interview with the Kelly brothers.

SPACE.com: "Astronaut Double Take: Identical Twins Headed for Space Station".
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:37 PM   #103
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Video from Mark Kelly via Twitter: Getting suited up for today's entry sim.

This is an image from the official AMS-02 Twitter account - the C5 crew signed one of the panels on AMS's delivery frame!

Last edited by Orbinaut Pete; 12-03-2010 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:12 AM   #104
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Lots of AMS processing going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Official AMS-02 Twitter Account
 Today at KSC we installed the Umbilical Mechanism Assembly (UMA) which will provide the power and data interface to the ISS.

.....

The keel structure was installed on the payload yesterday. This is the final Space Shuttle mechanical interface.

.....

The External Berthing Camera System was installed yesterday. This camera will provide astronauts a view as they install AMS on ISS truss.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:41 PM   #105
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NASA To Ship Fuel Tank For The Last Planned Shuttle Flight.

The external fuel tank that will power the last planned space shuttle into orbit will be shipped Tuesday to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The tank has been restored to flight configuration at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans after sustaining damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The tank, designated ET-122, will support shuttle Endeavour's flight targeted for launch in February.

At Michoud, ET-122 was rolled out to an enclosed barge, which will carry the tank 900 miles to Kennedy Space Center during a five to six-day sea journey. ET-122 is expected to arrive at Kennedy Sunday, Sept. 26.

During the hurricane, the roof of the building that housed the tank was ripped off by high winds. After falling debris damaged the tank, it was removed from the shuttle flight manifest. Lockheed Martin engineers assessed the damage, and prepared and executed a tank restoration plan.

The Shuttle Propulsion Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the External Tank Project. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. of Denver is the prime contractor. For more than 29 years of shuttle flights, Lockheed Martin workers at Michoud have built and delivered 135 flight tanks to NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

Standing 15 stories tall and almost 28 feet in diameter, the external tank is the largest element of the shuttle transportation system, which also includes the orbiter, main engines and twin solid rocket boosters. During a shuttle launch, the external tank delivers 535,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants to the shuttle's three main engines. Despite the tank's size, the aluminum skin covering it is only one-eighth-inch thick in most areas. Yet, it withstands more than 6.5 million pounds of thrust during liftoff and ascent. The tank is the only shuttle component that is not reused.

-----

Images of ET-122's rollout at MAF.

---------- Post added 20th Sep 2010 at 09:47 PM ---------- Previous post was 20th Sep 2010 at 09:41 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Official AMS-02 Twitter Account
 Interface operations finished: no more integration this week, it's electronics and simulation time, with many data acquisition shifts!

Last edited by Orbinaut Pete; 09-20-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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