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Orbinaut Pete

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The New ISS Camera System.

In conjunction with NASA and Sally Ride Science, a new camera system has been installed on the International Space Station. This camera system is responsible for taking and downloading student image requests. The camera is mounted in a nadir pointing window on the ISS.



At GMT 2011/017/20:46:58 the new EarthKAM camera system took its first image:

"ISS EarthKam Image Winter 2011 #9262: The test photo is of an area of British Columbia, Canada just north of Vancouver Island. North is toward the bottom of the photo. Flipping the image makes geographic orientation easier and since the view is close to exactly nadir, the perspective of view changes little. Photo center point is approximately 51o 48' N, 127o 54' W.

The main islands in the photo to the west (on the right side of the photo) from south to north are Calvert Island and Hecate Island. The southern end of Hunter Island is visible north of Hecate Island. The main glacier field in the southeast corner (upper left) of the photo is around 2658 m/8720 ft Mount Somolenko. Mt. Somolenko is a volcanic peak in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, located 83 km/52 mi east of Rivers Inlet and 7 km/4.3 mi south of Mount Silverthrone. It is the highest peak south of Mount Silverthrone in the Ha-Iltzuk Icefield. Mount Somolenko lies in a circular volcanic depression in the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains called the Silverthrone Caldera.

While this is not a particularly unique Earth Observation image, it is notable that even though this image was taken with a wider angle 50mm lens and is approximately 200 km/124 mi across by 134 km/83 mi vertically, it can be enlarged by approximately 400%+ with features remaining identifiable in the image. This is only made possible by the high quality optics of the Lab Window to which the crew had full access for the first time since the Destiny module was launched thanks to the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) and the ISS AgCam (ISSAC) Bump Shields. Also aiding in improving image quality is the mounting stability provided by the WORF and its small camera bracket, also in use for the first time. Details on the WORF can be found at:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN9yr-pBP4M"]YouTube - The Window Observational Research Facility on the International Space Station (PART 2)[/ame]
- Mario Runco, JSC
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 20/01/2011.

CDR Scott Kelly, FE-1 Alexander Kaleri, FE-2 Oleg Skripochka & FE-4 Dimitri Kondratyev had ~90 minutes set aside for a joint review of the Russian EVA-27 timeline.

Afterwards, Oleg & Dmitri filled the Orlan drink bags and installed them in their respective spacesuits for tomorrow.

FE-5 Paolo Nespoli began consolidating/clearing cargo items in US Lab location O5 (Overhead 5). More time for this task will be allocated later.

Afterwards, Oleg set up Pille dosimeters for use on the Orlan-MK spacesuits during the EVA-27.

At ~12:30 PM GMT, Scott, Dmitri, Paolo & FE-6 Cady Coleman joined up for a discussion of emergency responses between the Soyuz/ISS CDRs and the Soyuz TMA-20/25S crew while Scott and Alexander are isolated in MRM-2 during the EVA-27. Agreements were then discussed with MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow at the conclusion of the event.

Scott gathered additional charged batteries for the T61p laptops to be used in MRM-2 during his & Sasha's isolation while EVA-27 is going on.

Scott also relocated a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop to the FGB for use by Paolo & Cady during the EVA-27.

Paolo & Cady had ~1 hour for maneuver practice with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), returning the robot arm to the High Hover position.
 

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Roscosmos PAO: "Progress M-08M Prepared for Departure".

Progress M-08M / International space station (ISS) attached mission is almost over.
On Monday, at 03:40 a.m. MSK, a departure command for the automatic cargo vehicle is to be issued from the ISS. Three minutes later the Progress will be separated from the docking port on the Pirs module. The vehicle has been docked to this port since Oct. 30, 2010.
In parallel, preps for Progress M-09M launch continue at Baikonur. The cargo vehicle with about 2.5t of cargo for the ISS is slated for launch on Jan. 28.
 

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NASA: "Resupply from Four Corners of Globe".

A quick succession of international space supply trucks will arrive on the International Space Station’s loading docks early in 2011, dropping off more than 11 tons (10,000 kilograms) of food, computers, medical equipment and supplies, spare parts and experiment gear – not to mention the necessities of everyday human life in orbit.

Demonstrating a multinational commitment to supporting life, work and research on the station at the start of its second decade, space trucks from Japan, Europe and Russia will launch to the station in January and February, followed quickly by the space shuttle Discovery.

Second Japanese Cargo Ship

The Kounotori2, or “white stork,” H-II Transfer Vehicle 2 (HTV2) developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will make the system’s second delivery to the station after planned launch from Tanegashima, Japan, on Jan. 22. On its heels will be the 41st Russian Progress vehicle, set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 28, and the second European Space Agency’s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Johannes Kepler, set to launch from a launch pad near Kourou, French Guiana, on Feb. 15.

HTV2 is a 33-foot-long, 13-foot-diameter (10 meter by 4 meter) unmanned cargo transfer spacecraft capable of delivering both internal and external supplies and hardware to the station. The HTV will be launched from the Tanegashima Space Center aboard an H-IIB launch vehicle with 4.2 tons (3,814 kilograms) of supplies. When HTV2 approaches the station on Jan. 27, Expedition 26 astronauts Cady Coleman, Scott Kelly and Paolo Nespoli will use the station’s robotic arm, known as “Canadarm2,” to grapple and berth it to the Earth-facing port on the Harmony.

After equalizing pressures between the cargo craft and the station, the crew will open hatches and begin removing supplies ranging from food and clothing for the astronauts to new computers and research equipment and supplies. Among the new research equipment will be the Japanese Kobairo gradient hearing furnace for generating high-quality crystals from melting materials, an Amine Swingbed technology demonstration that will look at ways to revitalize the air on space vehicles, and the International Space Station Agricultural Camera, which will take frequent images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth.

Aside from the space shuttle, the HTV is the only vehicle capable of delivering external cargo to the station. The cargo is mounted to an exposed pallet that sits within the HTV’s unpressurized section.

Altogether, the HTV2 vehicle and cargo will weigh 35,408 pounds (16,061 kilograms). The total amount of external, unpressurized cargo being delivered is 2,043 pounds (927 kilograms). About 1,990 pounds (902 kilograms) of the external cargo is NASA cargo, and about 53 pounds (24 kilograms) is Canadian Space Agency cargo.

› Read more about HTV2 payloads

Inside HTV-2’s pressurized, shirt-sleeved environment will be 6,455 pounds (2,928 kilograms) of cargo. Of that, 2,850 pounds (1,293 kilograms) is NASA cargo, and 3,605 pounds (1,635 kilograms) is JAXA cargo. Included will be 1,389 pounds (630 kilograms) of crew provisions, 3,585 pounds (1,626 kilograms) of research equipment and supplies, 1,343 pounds (609 kilograms) of station hardware, 108 pounds (49 kilograms) of computers and supplies, and 31 pounds (14 kilograms) of spacewalking equipment and supplies.

HTV2 will carry two NASA unpressurized cargo items on its unpressurized logistics carrier. This pallet will be transferred from HTV2 to the station using a combination of robotic maneuvers.

The pallet with cargo attached will be removed from HTV2’s external cargo “trunk” by Nespoli and Coleman, operating the Canadian Space Agency-provided Canadarm2 from inside the station’s cupola. Next, Coleman and Kelly will operate Kibo’s robotic arm to accept a handoff of the pallet from Canadarm2, and then install it on the Japanese exposed facility on the end of the Kibo laboratory. Canadarm2 and the Dexterous Manipulator System, or Dextre, operated by flight controllers on the ground in Houston, will be used to remove a Flex Hose Rotary Coupler and Cargo Transport Container from the pallet and temporarily stow them on Dextre. Those items will remain on Dextre until they can be transferred to their final storage locations on External Logistics Carrier 4, which will be installed on the station’s truss during Discovery’s STS-133 mission. The crew will use the Japanese arm to remove the HTV2 external pallet from Kibo’s external facility and hand it back to Canadarm2, which will then return the pallet to HTV2’s external bay.

About three weeks after it is berthed to the Harmony module’s Earth-facing port, HTV2 will be relocated using Canadarm2 to the space-facing port on Harmony. to accommodate activities planned on the space shuttle Discovery’s mission. After Discovery and the STS-133 crew depart, HTV2 will be moved back to the Earth-facing port, which will put it in the proper location for a robotic unberthing. HTV2 is expected to spend about two months berthed to the Harmony module, and will be filled with trash before departing for a fiery re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

This will be the first flight of unpressurized spares and replacement hardware on a vehicle other than a shuttle, the first robotic transfer of an HTV from the Earth-facing to space-facing ports of Harmony, the first robotic transfer of the exposed pallet using both Canadarm2 and the Japanese robotic arm, and the first robotic transfer of external spares and replacement hardware from the exposed pallet to storage locations using Dextre.

41st Russian Cargo Ship

Just a week after HTV2 launches, the Russian Federal Space Agency will launch the 41st Progress resupply mission to the station. Progress 41 is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the same launch pad used to launch crew members to the station.

The Progress cargo craft will dock automatically to the station’s Pirs docking compartment, delivering some 3 tons of food, water, fuel, air, equipment, research samples and other supplies to the station. That includes 1,918 pounds (870 kilograms) of propellants, 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of oxygen, 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of water, and 3,080 pounds (1,400 kilograms) of dry cargo.

Progress 41 is scheduled to remain docked to Pirs until late April, when it, too, will undock and be commanded to destruction in the Earth’s atmosphere while carrying trash from the station.

Another cargo craft, Progress 42, will take its place on Pirs about three days after Progress 41 undocks.

Second European Cargo Ship

When the space shuttle is retired, ESA’s ATV will become the largest and heaviest vehicle supplying the space station. The second of these vehicles is named Johannes Kepler after the German astronomer and mathematician, and is scheduled for launch on Feb. 15. At launch, ATV2 will weigh more than 22 tons (20,000 kilograms), including the spacecraft and its integrated cargo carrier.

ATV serves as a cargo carrier, storage facility and as a ‘”tug” vehicle, capable of having its thrusters fired to adjust station’s orbit. Along with the Columbus laboratory, the versatile spacecraft is one of Europe’s main contributions to the station, which is dependent on regular deliveries of propellants and experimental equipment, as well as food, air and water for the astronauts. The ATV can carry almost three times the amount of fuel as its Russian counterpart, the Progress.

ATV2 will dock automatically to the aft port of the Zvezda service module on the end of the station’s Russian segment, carrying a total of seven tons of cargo. Inside its pressurized volume, it will carry about 3,500 pounds (1,600 kilograms) of cargo for use by station crews. Johannes Kepler will carry about 3, 000 pounds (1,300 kilograms) of NASA cargo and 600 pounds (275 kilograms) of ESA cargo. Included in the cargo transfer bags will be 210 pounds (96 kilograms) of research equipment and supplies, 1,300 pounds (597 kilograms) of hardware components and spare parts, 1,400 pounds (636 kilograms) of crew supplies, 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of laptop computers and related supplies, and 60 pounds (26 kilograms) of spacewalk equipment. In addition to the dry cargo, ATV2 will deliver 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of gaseous oxygen, which the astronauts can release directly into the station to supplement the regenerative systems that produce oxygen from reclaimed water.

The craft also will be delivering fuel. About a third of it, or 2,280 pounds (850 kilograms), can be transferred for use by the station’s own thrusters once connected to its plumbing system. About two-thirds of it, or 10,700 pounds (4,000 kilograms), will remain in the ATV2’s tanks for use in reboosting the station and maintaining the station’s attitude while it is docked.

ATV2 is about the size of a traditional London double-decker bus, with a total length of 32.13 feet (9.8 meters) and a diameter of 14.7 feet (4.5 meters). It is equipped with four solar arrays, capable of generating 4,800 watts of electricity, four main engines and 20 smaller thrusters for attitude control. It uses a Russian-made docking system.

After docking to the station, ATV2 is scheduled to spend more than three months in orbit, providing ample time for the Expedition 26 and 27 crews to unload and take advantage of Johannes Kepler’s cargo and resupply capabilities. At the end of that period, it will be commanded to undock and re-enter the atmosphere, carrying a load of trash as it burns up during its descent.

If all launches occur on schedule, February will mark the first and only time that all of the currently available visiting vehicles – space shuttle, Soyuz, Progress, ATV and HTV – will be connected to the station.

At least two more NASA space shuttle missions already are scheduled to deliver additional resources for the crew and research aboard the station, and a new instrument that will help assess the amount of dark matter in the universe, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. A third and final shuttle mission is being planned, subject to final approval and funding by Congress and the Administration.

And the International Space Station Program is looking forward to the start of commercial resupply missions to the station by Commercial Resupply Service contractors SpaceX and Orbital. These systems are preparing for their initial demonstration missions, and are expected to begin adding to the “logistics chain” of the station by the end of 2011.
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 21/01/2011.

The Russian Orlan EVA-27 by FE-2 Oleg Skripochka & FE-4 Dmitri Kondratyev concluded successfully at 7:52 PM GMT, with a total duration of 5 hours 27 minutes (begin: 2:25 PM GMT). It was the second EVA to utilize the Orlan telemetry via S-Band matching unit, instead of executing the EVA on VHF (Very High Frequency) over RGSs (Russian Ground Sites).

Tasks completed by the spacewalkers were:
  • Installing the RSPI radio data transmission system for the SVPI Napor experiment (a system for high-speed information transmission) on the SM (Service Module) RO (Working Compartment) LD (Large Diameter).
  • Photographing the SM plasma pulse injector monoblock (IPI-SM), placing a protective cover on, then deactivating & removing the monoblock from the portable workstation in Plane II of the SM RO LD.
  • Placing the protective cover on the EXPOSE-R monoblock, then deactivating & removing the monoblock from the portable workstation.
  • Installing/connecting a TV camera at the MRM-1 (Mini Research Module-1) ASP passive docking unit side.
Two items jettisoned were the protective cover of the SVPI high-speed data transmission system unit and the cable reel for the RSPI radio transmission system.

After setting up MRM-2 for their isolation period, FE-1 Alexander Kaleri removed the air duct from DC-1 (Docking Compartment-1) (leaving the V3 fan in place) and from MRM-2, while CDR Scott Kelly gathered the items he was to use during his isolation and relocated the SSC-6 (Station Support Computer-6) laptop from Node 2 to MRM-2 in preparation for operations during the RS EVA.

Alexander then closed the MRM-2 to SM (SU) hatch, at ~12:20 PM GMT, and his & Scott's lockout began at ~12:30 PM GMT. FE-5 Paolo Nespoli and FE-6 Cady Coleman were located in the USOS with access to the MRM-1 & Soyuz TMA-20/25S. Progress M-07M/39P was prepared for unscheduled (contingency) undocking if required.

While Scott & Alexander were sequestered in the MRM-2 & Soyuz TMA-01M/24S volume for ~8 hours 40 minutes, the US CDM (Carbon Dioxide Monitor) was used for CO2 measurements in MRM-2/24S due to the failure of the Neptun InPU panel in 24S.

After conclusion of EVA-27 at 7:52 PM GMT, Oleg & Dmitri:
  • Repressurized the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment).
  • Conducted their second MO-9 "Urolux" biochemical urine test.
  • Reset STTS communications in the SM/PkhO.
  • Re-installed the air duct through the PkhO hatch.
  • Restored systems configurations in the SM to pre-EVA conditions.
  • Set up the Orlan-MK suits, gloves, umbilicals and BSS interface units for drying out.
Alexander:
  • Opened the MRM-2 to SM hatches.
  • Installed the air ducts in SM, MRM-2 and DC-1.
  • Supported the ground-commanded reactivation of the Russian Elektron O2 generator by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating [the gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting H2 (hydrogen) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup].
  • Completed post-EVA MRM-2 reconfiguration to nominal.
 

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WORF First Image Web Feature.

A test photo of British Columbia's snow-capped west coast mountains is the first official image taken from the International Space Station's new Window Observational Research Facility, or WORF.

The image was taken to test the functionality of the control computer and camera associated with EarthKAM, an educational outreach project that allows Earth bound middle school students to take pictures of our home planet from the unique perspective of the space station, 220 miles above the Earth's surface. WORF was delivered to the station on the STS-131 mission of space shuttle Discovery in April 2010.

EarthKAM uses a Nikon D2X digital camera, and was set up in the WORF by Expedition 26 NASA flight engineer Cady Coleman on Jan. 17. EarthKAM ground controllers took the test photo. Expedition 26 also includes Commander Scott Kelly of NASA, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka, Alexander Kaleri and Dmitry Kontratyev.

The test photo, designated ISS EarthKAM Image Winter 2011 #9362, is of an area of British Columbia, Canada, just north of Vancouver Island. The center point of the photo is 51 degrees, 48 minutes north and 127 degrees, 54 minutes west. Visible in the photo are Calvert and Hecate Islands on the Canadian coast and the southern portion of Hunter Island. Also visible are glaciers of the Ha-iltzuk Icefield near the 8,720-foot-tall -- 2,658-meter-tall -- Mount Somolenko. Mount Somolenko is a volcanic peak in southwestern British Columbia, that lies in a circular volcanic depression in the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains called the Silverthrone Caldera.

While this isn't a particularly unique Earth observation image, it is notable that even though it was taken with a wider angle, 50mm lens and covers an area 124 miles/200 kilometers, by 83 miles/134 kilometers, it can be enlarged by more than 400 percent while keeping features in the photo identifiable. This is made possible by the high-quality optics of the Earth-facing window of the Destiny Laboratory, which was launched on Feb. 7, 2001.

The installation of WORF allowed removal of an internal "scratch pane" that has reduced the quality of images taken though the window. WORF also provides a highly stable mounting platform to hold cameras and sensors rock steady at the window, as well as the power, command, data, and cooling connections needed for their operation.

"With the WORF finally in place we can now for the first time make full use of the investment we made in having an optical quality window onboard the station for Earth science and observation," said former astronaut Mario Runco, who was part of the design and development teams for the Destiny window and WORF, and now serves as NASA's lead for Spacecraft Window Optics and Window/WORF Utilization at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston.

"We are very excited to have a new camera system that appears to be functional and taking incredible images," said Karen Flammer, who manages EarthKAM operations at the University of California, can Diego. "The first student images were taken by Parkview Montessori in the Jackson-Madison County (Tenn.) School System, and Public School 229 - Dyker in Brooklyn, N.Y., part of the New York City Department of Education.

Parkview teacher Vickie LeCroy's students plan to study landforms, such as islands, mountains and deserts in the image they took of Mexico, and Dyker teacher Camille Fratantoni’s students plan to enrich their studies of earth science and learn more about NASA missions.

In addition to their educational outreach role with EarthKAM, the combination of the window and WORF adds to the station's capabilities as an Earth science remote sensing platform for high-resolution cameras and multi and hyperspectral imagers. Images from space have many applications, such as in the study of climate and meteorology; oceanography; geology and volcanology; coastal, agricultural, ranch and forestry management; and disaster assessments and management.

The test image is available in multiple sizes and resolutions, visit:
http://images.earthkam.ucsd.edu/main.php?g2_itemId=33992

For more information on WORF and some of its future payloads visit:
www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/experiments/WORF.html
and
www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/AgCam.html

For more information and images from the EarthKAM program, visit:
http://earthkam.ucsd.edu
 

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Progress M-08M/40P will undock from DC-1 Nadir tonight (23/01) at 10:35 PM GMT.
 

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Check out these amazing RS EVA-27 photos from Dimitri Kondratyev's blog! :thumbup:

dim_vyh4.jpg


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dim_vyh6.jpg


dim_vyh7.jpg


dim_vyh8.jpg


dim_vyh9.jpg
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 24/01/2011.

Progress M-08M/40P undocked nominally this morning at 12:42 AM GMT. Deorbit burn took place this morning at ~5:16 AM GMT/

CDR Scott Kelly had ~3 hours to relocate NASA cargo from the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), bay A4 (Aft 4), to make room for a new JAXA rack. [After removing dummy panels at F3 & F4, Scott relocated items listed on an uplinked table, then reinstalled the dummy panels.]

Scott, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli & FE-6 Cady Coleman had about an hour for a joint review of HTV-2 cargo transfer instructions. The crewmembers then discussed particulars with ground specialists in a teleconference at ~12:30 PM GMT. [The uplinked material covers HTV-2 Choreography, HTV-2 Unpack & Trash Message 1 and HTV-2 Unpack & Trash List.]

Cady supported ongoing JEM RMS (Remote Manipulator System) BDS (Backup Drive System) checkout in the JPM by powering up the BUC (Backup Controller). [Later, BUC was powered down again.]

Scott, Paolo & Cady worked through Part 4 of the OBT (Onboard Training) course for the MSS (Mobile Servicing System) SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) ROBoT (Robotics On Board Trainer) activities during the HTV-2 capture and berthing, using the ROBoT Simulator for ~2 hours, supported by ground training instructor tagups and followed by a teleconference.

Paolo had ~3 hours set asides for working in the JLP (JEM Logistics Platform), exchanging NASA water and JEM bags (#17 & #18) behind JLP racks. [JEM bags will be disposed on HTV-2 to make room for the HTV-2 JAXA cargo.]

HTV-2 Flight Day 2 Summary:
HTV-2 successfully performed one burn on FD-2, per the plan:

  • MD-1 began 23/01 at 5:56:32 PM GMT and had a delta-V of 0.78 m/s (performed using RCS Jets).
The burn decreased the HTV semi-major axis by approximately 1.3 km to adjust the phasing for the rendezvous. HTV is now in a 319 x 313 km orbit. As of 1/24/1:30am, HTV was approximately 13,150 km behind and 33 to 41 km below ISS, and phasing toward ISS at 350 km/rev. The post-burn trajectory has been screened for debris and is currently clear of conjunctions.
 

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I'm getting a little lost in the orientation, but are they taken from the windows of Poisk?

Yes, they must have been - no other windows give that perspective.

Both Scott Kelly and Alexander Kaleri were isolated in MRM-2 during EVA-27 - so they'd have had plenty of opportunities to take photos!
 

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http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=11250

It is worth mentioning that Dmitry’s younger son, 1-year-old Slavik, made his first steps on the Earth while his father was making his first steps in the outer space.

CRW_9345_1.JPG


More in Russian version of the same page:

As spouse of Dmitry Kondratiev, Dinara Kondratieva informed Roscosmos PAO,

"While Dima was walking space, Slavik made his first steps. He could not walk himself before, only did with support. I believe it's a fantastic coincidence: the father had his first spacewalk, and his son had his first "land walk". I hope, when Dima gets back home, Slavik shall able to run."

:thumbup:
 

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Roscosmos PAO: "NASA may Purchase More Seats for Astronauts from Russia".

Roscosmos studies a proposal by US party about purchasing Russian Soyuzes and Progresses for crew transportation and cargo deliveries to the International Space Station after 2013, Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov told news media.
He clarified that NASA transport support by Russian vehicles before 2013 is covered with relevant contracts, and NASA may prolong this support by Soyuzes in 2013-2017.
"We are not pushing the negotiations here. We have enough criticism as space carriers", Perminov said, adding that the US party is concerned that they may not be in time with their new transportation systems.
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 26/01/2011.

Activities performed by FE-1 Alexander Kaleri included:
  • Removing the SSVP-StM docking mechanism of Progress M-07M/39P (#407).
  • Installing the two handles on the external side of the Progress 39P hatch door which he had temporarily removed on 1/18.
  • Servicing the externally mounted KNT-36 EXPOSE-R payload, copying the experiment's science data from the BSMM Multiplex Bus Synchronization Unit/computer to a PCMCIA memory card in the RSS1 laptop and then deleting BSMM stored data [the European EXPOSE-R experiment, containing plant seeds and spores of bacteria & fungi, was mounted outside the SM's LD (Large Diameter) section during the Russian EVA-21A on 11/03/09 after some earlier problems].
After CDR Scott Kelly had cleaned out the F3 (Forward 3) rack bay in the JPM, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli later in the day reconfigured the AVCO (Air Volume Closeout) hard dummy panel and soft dummy panel, swapping them to support the transfer of the new Kobairo rack arriving on HTV-2, and to optimize stowage in the JPM.

For the HTV-2 capture tomorrow morning (~11:45 AM GMT), Paolo set up the Cupola RWS (Robotics Workstation), for which he installed the CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint), afterwards removing in again.

Next, Paolo configured the HTV HCP (Hardware Command Panel) by routing power/data cables from JPM through the Cupola, then initiated an HCP selfcheck (by pushing a button), switching HCP on and checking LED (Light Emitting Diode) light and backlight on the panel while the ground commanded the checkout procedure.

HTV-2 Flight Day-3 Summary:
Yesterday, 25/01, HTV successfully performed four nominal burns, per the plan:
  • PCM-1 began at 4:23:02 PM GMT and had a delta-V of 0.45 m/s (performed using RCS thrusters).
  • HAM-1 began at 9:25:18 PM GMT and had a delta-V of 3.75 m/s (performed using Main Engines).
  • M-2 began at 10:56:18 PM GMT and had a delta-V of 3.01 m/s (performed using Main Engines).
  • PM-2 began at 11:41:41 PM GMT and had a delta-V of 0.56 m/s (performed using RCS thrusters).
This morning at 2:00 AM GMT, HTV was approximately 3,400 km behind and 26 km below ISS.

Progress Launch Update:
At Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, the cargo ship Progress M-09M/41P (#709) is entering final L-1 countdown for Friday's launch at 1:31 AM GMT.
 

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Aviation Week: "Germany Nears ISS Extension Agreement".

The DLR chief executive also confirms statements earlier this week by Yannick d’Escatha, head of French space agency CNES, that Germany and France have come to agreement on how to reorganize Europe’s increasingly uncompetitive launch sector and finance a five-year life extension of the ISS. In a head-to-head meeting in December, the two nations “made a giant leap forward” on the two issues, Woerner says, and are now “very close to a joint position ... that resolves both issues in parallel.”

In return, Germany will get strong support for the ISS extension — a chief German objective — although not as much as the €380 million per year it had sought.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

Space News: "France Ready To Back ISS Extension if Europe Revamps Funding Formula".
 
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