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Cosmonauts to Perform 28th Russian Space Station Spacewalk.

For the second time in less than a month, two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Feb. 16 to install a pair of earthquake and lightning sensing experiments, and to retrieve a pair of spacecraft material evaluation panels.

Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to float outside the Pirs airlock at 8:15 a.m. EST Wednesday to begin the five-and-a-half-hour excursion. Both spacewalkers will wear Russian Orlan-MK spacesuits.

On their previous spacewalk, completed Jan. 21, they completed installation of a new high-speed data transmission system, removed an old plasma pulse experiment, installed a camera for the new Rassvet docking module and retrieved a materials exposure package. That spacewalk lasted 5 hours, 23 minutes.

Kondratyev again will be designated as Extravehicular 1 (EV1), with a red stripe on his suit, and Skripochka will be EV2, with a blue stripe on his suit. This time, both cosmonauts will wear NASA-provided helmet lights and wireless television cameras to provide live point-of-view video to Mission Control-Moscow, which will provide ground support for the spacewalk. Mission Control-Houston will monitor the spacewalk as well.

he spacewalk will focus on installation of two scientific experiments outside the Zvezda service module. The first is called Radiometria, and is designed to collect information useful in seismic forecasts and earthquake predictions. Radiometria will be installed on a portable workstation on the port side of the large-diameter section of the Zvezda module. The second is Molniya-Gamma, which will look at gamma splashes and optical radiation during terrestrial lightning and thunderstorm conditions using three sensors. The Molniya-Gamma will be installed on a portable workstation on the starboard side of the Zvezda module.

Kondratyev and Skripochka also will retrieve two Komplast panels from the exterior of the Zarya module. The panels contain materials exposed to space, and are part of a series of international experiments looking for the best materials to use in building long-duration spacecraft. Additionally, they will remove and jettison a space suit foot restraint, and deploy a small satellite named ARISSat-1.

ARISSat-1, also known as Radioskaf-V, is the first of a series of educational satellites being developed in a partnership with the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT), the NASA Office of Education ISS National Lab Project, the Amateur Radio on ISS (ARISS) working group and RSC-Energia. The small satellite is a project that follows in the footsteps of SuitSat, which was built within a retired Russian Orlan spacesuit that was not longer viable for use by humans and was deployed Feb. 3, 2006, by Expedition 12 Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and Astronaut Bill McArthur.

ARISSat satellites can carry up to five student experiments and the data from these experiments will be transmitted to the ground via an amateur radio link. In addition, ARISSat will transmit still-frame video Earth views from four onboard cameras, commemorative greetings in native languages from students around the world, and a Morse code tracking beacon. ARISSat also will function as a worldwide space communications utility for use by amateur radio operators. ARISSat-1 is expected to enter the Earth’s atmosphere within three to six months after its deployment.

As during the previous spacewalk, Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri will climb into their Soyuz 24 spacecraft, which is docked to the Poisk module on the opposite side of Zvezda from the airlock, and seal the hatches between Zvezda and Poisk. This protects against the unlikely possibility of a sudden station depressurization and also allows for the use of the forward portion of Zvezda as a backup airlock if necessary. Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will be in the U.S. segment and will have access to their Soyuz 25 spacecraft, which is docked to the Rassvet module adjacent to Pirs on the Zarya control module, therefore they do not need to be sequestered.

With all tasks complete, Kondratyev and Skripochka will re-enter the Pirs airlock and end their spacewalk.

The next Russian spacewalk is planned for July, when the Expedition 29 crew will be in orbit aboard the station.

› View spacewalk graphics
 

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Roscosmos PAO: "ISS Reboost Сompleted".

In accordance with the International Space Station mission ballistics support program, ISS reboost occured on Feb. 10.
The maneuver was assisted by 8 attitude thrusters of the Progress M-07M cargo vehicle attached to the Zvezda instrumentation compartment. The engines were started at 00:37:30 Moscow time (21:37:30 GMT). After the burn of 0.5 mps, which lasted 263 sec, the altitude of the station became 0.9km higher, and achieved 352,3 km.
The operation is aimed at providing favorable conditions for further landing of Soyuz TMA-M crew vehicle scheduled for March 16.
 

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Media Invited to SAGE III-ISS Preparation for Flight to Space Station.

News media are invited to observe testing of an Earth-observing satellite instrument being prepared for flight on the International Space Station (ISS).

Media availability may be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. February 15, 2011, by contacting Michael Finneran at 757-598-1720 or [email protected]

The SAGE III instrument will measure ozone, water vapor and aerosols in the atmosphere after it is launched into orbit in 2014. SAGE III-ISS will be attached to the space station via robotics. SAGE stands for Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment.

During testing, the instrument will be commanded to point to and lock onto the sun as if the satellite was engaging a sunrise event over the horizon.

Once locked onto the sun, the instrument's scan mirror will scan the full disk of the sun every two seconds. The event will last two to six minutes. At the conclusion of the event, the scan head will be returned to its park position until the next scheduled event.

When testing at night, the moon is used as the radiant source and the procedure is the same.

SAGE III is the newest incarnation of two previous SAGE instrument designs. SAGE I was launched in 1979, followed by SAGE II in 1984. SAGE II gathered data for more than 20 years, and the information it collected was part of the effort that led to a global ban on chlorofluorocarbons in 1987.

Chlorofluorocarbons were used in air-conditioning units and aerosol spray propellants that contributed to the Earth's shrinking layer of protective ozone, which has begun to recover due to these actions.

A third SAGE instrument, SAGE III Meteor-3M, was launched in 2001 on a Russian satellite. It went out of service five years later when the satellite's power supply failed.

SAGE III-ISS is set to launch in 2014. SAGE III-ISS has been stored in a clean room at Langley since 2002. It was called back into service in 2010 and has been undergoing testing at Langley.

SAGE III partners include the Center of Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University in Hampton, Va.

For more information about SAGE go to:
http://www-sage3.larc.nasa.gov

For more information about Langley go to:
www.nasa.gov/langley
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 11/02/2011.

FE-2 Oleg Skripochka & FE-4 Dimitri Kondratyev continued their preparations for the Orlan EVA-28, performing further Orlan spacesuit activities in DC-1 (Docking Compartment-1).
Oleg (Orlan #4) & Dmitri (Orlan #5) today:
  • Readied Orlan spacesuit replaceable elements & equipment (SMEG).
  • Ran leak checks & valve functionality tests on the Orlans and their BSS interface units in DC-1 & SM (Service Module) PkhO (Transfer Compartment) from the EVA support panels (POVs).
  • Conducted pressure checks on the SM BK-3 O2 (oxygen) tanks and the BNP portable repress O2 tank in DC-1.
  • Studied EVA-28 procedures.
[Tasks for EVA-28 consist of removal of two Komplast panels (#2, #10) from the FGB (Functional Cargo Block), installation of the new RK-21-8 SVCh-Radiometriya experiment system on the URM-D portable multipurpose workstation on Plane II of the SM Work Compartment 2, removal of the Ferrozond foot restraint from its location on the SM Work Compartment 2, and assembly & connection of the Molniya-GAMMA equipment on the URM-D on Plane IV of the SM Work Compartment 2, and launching the Radioskaf-V nanosatellite delivered on Progress M-09M/41P. Two items will be jettisoned; three other items (Molniya MLI and cover) will be brought back inside.]

FE-1 Alexander Kaleri meanwhile readied the Progress M-09M/41P (#409) docked at the DC-1 Nadir port for undocking if required in an EVA-28 contingency. Steps included:
  • Installing the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC-1 Nadir port.
  • Activating the spacecraft's electronics and taking out the ventilation/heating air duct.
  • Closing the hatches.
  • Removing the QD (Quick Disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint.
  • Starting the standard one-hour leak checking of the SU docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC-1.
  • Downlinking the video depicting the close-out activities, for review by ground specialists. [During hatch closure, leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters as usual were inhibited due to load constraints.]
In the US Lab, CDR Scott Kelly & FE-5 Paolo Nespoli continued the routing & installation of the SGANT (Space to Ground ANTenna) coaxial cabling for the spare Ku-band started yesterday, completing Part 2 of the outfitting in the Lab Port-Deck Standoff, then closing out the work sites. [This new cable provides transmit/receive capability to the redundant Ku-Band Antenna installed on STS-132/ULF-4. Once installed, the redundant Ku-Band Antenna will require two cables to be swapped whenever it is put into service. A full checkout is planned following STS-133/ULF-5.]

Afterwards, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli repositioned the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System) in its nominal place, from which it had to be moved out of the way for the Lab P6, D6, D4 & D2 rack rotations for the cable routing, and replaced the other equipment (e.g., OpsLAN) previously relocated. [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who is also provided with restraints around the device. The device can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs during their delivery of medical care.]

Working on the MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS-2), Scott removed the failed EU (Electronic Unit) for pre-pack & return to the ground and inserted the spare EU from MELFI-3 instead.

At MELFI-1, Scott removed the failed EU from the MELFI-1 spare location and closed out the empty rack location.
 

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Florida Today: Never-again space station photo possible:
CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA and its partners might stage an extraordinary photo opportunity next month, capturing pictures of the International Space Station with all current U.S., Russian, European and Japanese spacecraft moored there.

{...}
________________________________________
Roscosmos:
Operations and Experiments in the International Space Station (February 14-20, 2011)
:: 12.02.2011

Roscosmos and MCC-M PAO:

February 14, Monday:
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • ATV-2 pre-docking training
  • Pre-EVA space suit processing
  • Mounting Progress M-07M docking mechanism
  • Progress M-07M reactivation
  • Removal of the QD-screws in the docking system
  • Closure of the Progress M-07M transfer hatches, leak check
  • ECLSS (Environment Control and Life Support System) maintenance operations
  • Space ray research: BTN-Neutron (registration of high-energy neutron flows)
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R (study of radiation environment dynamics in the station and improvement of space dosimeter)
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek (study of space radiation heavy particle flows influence on genetic properties of producing cells in biologically active substances), Lactolen (study of the space environment effects on growing, genetic and physiological parameters of the lactolen producent strain)
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk (exposure of the sets with passive samples), Sonocard (validation of the medical system by using contactless monitoring of the crew physiological parameters during sleeping time), Vzaimodeistvie (Interaction) (study of the long-term space mission crew behavior patterns: crew-ops)
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Vsplesk (Splash)(monitoring of the seismic effects in near-Earth space)

February 15, Tuesday:
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • Test of Zvazda’s Kurs-P and Progress M-07M’s Kurs-A
  • Refueling Zarya propulsion fuel and oxidizer tanks from Progress M-07M refueling system
  • Training on ATV-2 rendezvous and docking contingencies
  • Refing EVA timeline, consultation with EVA experts
  • Filling Electron water containers
  • ECLSS maintenance operations
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek, Lactolen
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R
  • Studies of the Solar system: BTN-Neutron
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk, Sonocard, Vzaimdeistvie
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Vsplesk
  • Technical studies and experiments: Vector-T

February 16, Wednesday:
  • ATV-2-Johannes Kepler launch
  • Crew EVA by Dmitry Kondratiev and Oleg Skripochka
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • Post-EVA operations
  • Dakon-M measurement sessions during the EVA
  • ECLSS maintenance operations
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek, Lactolen
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R
  • Studies of the Solar system: BTN-Neutron
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk, Sonocard
  • Earth remote sensing: SVCh-Radiometry (research of the surface, ocean and atmosphere parameters)
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Vsplesk, Molniya-Gamma (study of the atmospheric gamma and optical flashes during thunderstorms)
  • Medical test: analysis of the urine bio-chemical parameters

February 17, Thursday:
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • Purging and evacuation of of Progress M-07M refueling devices
  • EVA suits: drying, accommodation for storage
  • Interface leak test – between Pirs and Progress M-09M. Opening transfer hatches
  • Installation of the QD clamps
  • Progress M-09M deactivation, mounting of the air duct
  • Crew rest – half-a-day
  • ECLSS maintenance operations
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek, Lactolen
  • Studies of the Solar system: BTN-Neutron
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk, Sonocard
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Vsplesk
  • Earth remote sensing: SVCh-Radiometry
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Molniya-Gamma

February 18, Friday:
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • Regeneration of the absorbing cartridges in the microcontaminant filter for air purification
  • Recording Identification experimental results into the laptop
  • ECLSS maintenance operations
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek, Lactolen
  • Studies of the Solar system: BTN-Neutron
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk, Sonocard, Vzaimodeistvie
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R
  • Earth remote sensing: SVCh-Radiometry
  • Technical studies and experiments: Contur, Identification (refining ISS math model parameters), Izgib (Curve) (registration of the levels in micro-accelerations which are provided by the equipment functioning on-board), Sreda (Environment) (integrated study of the ISS parameters as industrial environment for different research), Vector-T (development of the ISS motion experimental high-accurate prediction system (on the basis of the GPS-ASN system data)), Bar (validation of the ISS leak detection methods)
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Molniya-Gamma

February 19, Saturday:
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • Weekly ISS cleaning
  • Completion of Piren-V pyro-endoscope charging
  • Crew rest
  • ECLSS maintenance operations
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek, Lactolen
  • Studies of the Solar system: BTN-Neutron
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R
  • Earth remote sensing: SVCh-Radiometry
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Molniya-Gamma

February 20, Sunday:
  • Progress M-07M departure from Zvezda instrumentation compartment
  • ISS attitude control with USOS CMG assistance
  • Measurement sessions by Dakon-M during Progress M-07M departure
  • Start of Piren-V pyro-endoscope charging
  • ECLSS maintenance operations
  • Crew rest
  • Space bio-technology: Biotrek, Lactolen
  • Studies of the Solar system: BTN-Neutron
  • Life-science experiments: Biorisk
  • Study of the physical conditions in the ISS environment: Matreshka-R
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Vsplesk
  • Technical studies and experiments: Identification, Izgib, Sreda
  • Earth remote sensing: SVCh-Radiometry
  • Geophysics and studies of the near-Earth space: Molniya-Gamma

Nomenclature and sequence of the operations to be performed may vary depending on real circumstances.
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 14/02/2011.

FE-1 Alexander Kaleri spent several hours readying the Progress M-07M/39P (#407), docked at the SM Aft port, for its undocking on 20/02. Steps included:
  • Uninstalling & removing the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry, along with its ROM unit (Read Only Memory, TA765B) for re-use.
  • Removing & and temporarily stowing the two handles (ruchek, sing.: ruchka) from 39P's external hatch surface.
  • Installing the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the SM Aft port.
  • Activating the spacecraft's electronics and taking out the ventilation/heating air duct.
  • Closing the hatches.
  • Removing the QD (Quick Disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint.
  • Starting the standard one-hour leak checking of the SU docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and SM Aft.
  • Downlinking the formal report on loading completion and the video depicting the close-out activities, for review by ground specialists. [During hatch closure, leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters as usual were inhibited due to load constraints (2:25 PM to 4:15 PM GMT).]
Alexander & FE-4 Dmitri Kondratyev spent ~30 minutes on reviewing an OBT (On Board Training) computer course dealing with ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) rendezvous, docking and undocking, on the Central Post SSC (Station Support Computer). [The material covered the main rendezvous & docking steps and also a "what-if" malfunction table. A 5 minute audio debrief with ground specialist was part of the drill.]

FE-5 Paolo Nespoli & FE-6 Cady Coleman set up and conducted a joint session with the ROBoT and DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) simulators to train themselves for the upcoming HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) relocation (18/02) between the Node 2 Nadir and Zenith CBMs (Common Berthing Mechanisms). With CDR Scott Kelly joining in, a debrief tagup with ground specialists was held afterwards, and Cady later re-stowed the video equipment used during ROBoT. [The training involved familiarization with CBM operations and CBM laptop displays, SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) and CBM tasks, first focusing on the operation from Pre-Install to RTL (Ready To Latch), then using DOUG to review the full SSRMS/HTV trajectory. Note: Due to extensive actual maneuver time of the relocation operation between the Nadir and Zenith locations (approx. 4 hours), running the entire trajectory on the ROBoT would have been inefficient. Instead, DOUG animations of the relocation sequence were added into the current Stage ULF-4 DOUG load onboard. ROBoT is the computer-based Robotics On Board Trainer. DOUG is a special application running on the MSS (Mobile Servicing System) RWS (Robotics Work Station) laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

Paolo had ~1 hour 50 minutes for relocating stowage items from Node 2 Forward to clear the forward hatch for STS-133/ULF-5 Shuttle docking. [Relocated items were reported to MCC-H (Mission Control Center-Houston) where the IMS (Inventory Management System) was updated commensurately.]
 

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Roscosmos PAO: "Kedr to Be Switched on in the ISS on April 12".

Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Kondratiev and Oleg Skripochka won’t launch small spacecraft Kedr during their spacewalk scheduled for Feb.16, Roscosmos Stats Secretary, Deputy Head Vitaly Davydov told news media.
According to him, the idea is to switch on Kedr inside the ISS on April 12, in order to commemorate the jubilee of Yury Gagarin’s mission. Weak batteries of the RF-amateur satellite won’t let it fly and transmit signals until this date, if the satellite is launched on Feb. 16.
Small spacecraft Kedr developed under the RadioSkaf experiment bears the name adopted by Yu.A. Gagarin call sign in his historical flight, namely Kedr. The satellite’s signal will be transmitted at radio amateur frequency of 145.95 MHz. Kedr has radio amateur call sign RS1S.
RadioSkaf is implemented in the framework of UNESCO’s student space education program.
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 15/02/2011.

Sleep cycle shift:
To accommodate tomorrow's early Russian EVA-28 egress (~1:15 PM GMT), crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, featuring today a shortened work day (by 1 hour 10 minutes), tomorrow an extended work day (by 4 hours 10 minutes) and a shortened Thursday (by 4 hours), returning to regular times thereafter.
• Wake – 6:00 AM GMT (this morning, regular).
• Sleep – 8:20 PM GMT (this afternoon).
• Wake – 4:50 PM GMT (late tonight, 15/02).
• Sleep – 12:30 AM GMT (17/02, morning).
• Wake – 10:00 AM GMT (17/02, morning).
• Sleep – 9:30 PM GMT (17/02, regular).

CDR Scott Kelly, FE-1 Alexander Kaleri, FE-2 Oleg Skripochka & FE-4 Dimitri Kondratyev had ~90 minutes for a joint review of the updated timeline (cyclogram) for tomorrow's Orlan EVA-28. [The spacewalk by Kondratyev (EV-1) & Skripochka (EV-2) will begin with DC-1 (Docking Compartment-1) hatch opening at ~1:15 PM GMT and last about 6 hours 3 minutes (i.e., ingress & hatch closure at ~7:18 PM GMT). EVA-28 objectives consist of installation & connection of the Molniya-GAMMA monoblock on the URM-D portable multipurpose work platform on Plane IV of the SM RO (Work Compartment) LD (Large Diameter), installation, connection & deployment of the new RK-21-8 SVCh-Radiometriya experiment system on the URM-D on Plane II of the SM RO LD, removal of two Komplast panels (#2, #10) from the FGB and removal of the Yakor foot restraint (Ferrozond) from its location on the SM RO LD. The earlier planned launching of the Radioskaf-V nanosatellite will not be conducted. One item (Yakor) will be jettisoned; three other items (Molniya MLI and cover) will be brought back inside. There will be three orbital nights during the EVA, plus one each at egress and ingress. No tasks are planned for these night periods; orbital night time is a reserve in case the crew falls behind the timeline.]

Alexander & FE-5 Paolo Nespoli conducted a one-hour OBT (On Board Training) drill rehearsing procedures for various ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) rendezvous and docking malfunctions, in preparation for the arrival of the cargo ship "Johannes Kepler" on 23/02.

Later, Paolo & FE-6 Cady Coleman teamed up for ~3 hours for clearing out Node 1 (Part 1, Deck 2) for PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module, formerly MPLM Leonardo) berthing after STS-133/ULF-5 arrival on 26/02. Equipment was removed & consolidated as per uplinked instructions. The ground was then to update the IMS (Inventory Management System) accordingly.
 
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NASA TV Video: Flight Engineer Cady Coleman Gives Station Tour.​
 

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Pete,

Did she give her flute solo yet ?? I heard she was given a flute, by Ian Anderson, of Tull for the flight.
 

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Pete,

Did she give her flute solo yet ?? I heard she was given a flute, by Ian Anderson, of Tull for the flight.

This is the only footage available thus far. Go to 7:50. :)

 

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Paulo err... notices something at around 1.07... But don't worry, he goes out of frame to make some contingency repairs at 6:37, much to the hilarity of his fellow crew members :p
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 16/02/2011.

Sleep shift: Today: Wake – 4:50 AM GMT; Sleep – 12:30 AM tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow: Wake – 12:00 AM GMT; Sleep – 9:30 PM GMT (returning to normal).


The Russian Orlan EVA-28 by FE-4 Dmitri Kondratyev (EV-1) & FE-2 Oleg Skripochka (EV-2) concluded successfully at 6:21 PM GMT, with a total duration of 4 hours 51 minutes (begin: 1:30 PM GMT). It was the third 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:
  • Installation & connection of the Molniya-GAMMA monoblock (unit) on the URM-D portable multipurpose work platform on Plane IV of the SM RO (Work Compartment) LD [Large Diameter]).
  • Installation, connection & deployment of the new RK-21-8 SVCh-Radiometriya experiment system on URM-D on Plane II of SM RO LD, followed by successful deployment of the unit's antenna in operational configuration.
  • Removal of two Komplast panels (#2, #10) from the FGB (Funktsional'no-Gruzovoj Blok) and their insertion into their air-tight container.
  • Removal of the Yakor foot restraint (Ferrozond) from its location on the SM RO LD.
The Yakor was jettisoned; three other items were brought back inside (Molniya MLI, Komplast, and protective cover).
 

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NASA TV Video: Expedition 26 Cosmonauts Spacewalk for Science Gear.​
 

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NASA Teleconference About Nonprofit Management Of Space Station.

NASA released a final version of a cooperative agreement notice (CAN) for an independent, nonprofit research management organization to stimulate, develop and manage U.S. use of the International Space Station National Laboratory. The agreement pertains to operations other than NASA's exploration missions.

The agency will hold a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 22, to discuss the release. The teleconference panelists are:

-- Mark Uhran, assistant associate administrator for the International Space Station
-- Jason Crusan, chief technologist for space operations
-- Marybeth Edeen, manager of the International Space Station National Laboratory Office

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact the NASA Space Operations Public Affairs office at 202-358-1100 for dial-in instructions by 10 a.m. Tuesday. Requests must include reporters' media affiliation and telephone number. The teleconference will be streamed live at:
www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

As the space station transitions to full use as a unique scientific outpost, NASA is ensuring a wide pool of organizations outside the agency have access to the orbiting lab. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, in addition to extending station operations until at least 2020, also directed the agency to establish an organization to manage research performed by other U.S. government agencies, academic institutions and private firms. The organization will stimulate uses of the station as a national laboratory and enhance the U.S. return on this initiative. The U.S. portion of the station was designated a national laboratory in 2005.

The CAN is available on the national laboratory website and the NASA Research Opportunities site at:
http://nspires.nasaprs.com

Follow the national lab on Twitter at:
www.twitter.com/iss_natlab

For information about the International Space Station National Laboratory, visit:
www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/index.html
 

Orbinaut Pete

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Astronaut Koichi Wakata Selected as Member of ISS Expedition Crew.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that Astronaut Koichi Wakata has been selected as a crewmember for the 38th/39th Expedition Mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Astronaut Wakata stayed at the ISS for about four months in 2009, and, after returning to Earth, he has been engaged in the ISS operations as the chief of ISS Operations Branch in NASA and also as the manager of the JAXA Astronaut Group, while he has been continuing his astronaut training.
Astronaut Wakata's leadership has been highly appraised and recognized domestically and internationally, thus he will exercise his capability as the first Japanese commander for the 39th ISS Expedition Mission.

Period of stay at the ISS:
About 6 months from the end of 2013

Transportation means to the ISS:
Launch and return by Soyuz

Major tasks at the ISS:
During the first four months for the 38th Expedition Mission, he will be in charge of ISS operations as a flight engineer, science experiments using the space environment, and system operations for the ISS facilities including the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo." For the 39th Expedition Mission (about two months), he will be the ISS commander in addition to the above duties. The responsibilities of the ISS commander are to ensure the safety of all ISS expedition crewmembers and to succeed in all missions.

Astronaut Wakata's schedule until his departure:
He will begin training necessary for the Soyuz trip and ISS expedition missions in March 2011.

Attached reference:
Brief Personal History of Astronaut Wakata
Onboard Plan of Japanese Astronauts
JAXA President's Comment
Determination to Become Expedition Crew/Koichi Wakata

Reference Link:
International Space Station/ Kibo website:
http://iss.jaxa.jp/en
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 17/02/2011.

In final close-out activities after yesterday's Orlan EVA-28, FE-1 Alexander Kaleri worked on the DC-1 (Docking Compartment-1) Nadir port to re-integrate the Progress M-09M/41P (#409) cargo ship, which had been in contingency undock configuration, with the ISS by:
  • Conducting a leak check on the DC-1/41P vestibule (DO attitude control thrusters temporarily inhibited).
  • Opening the DC-1 to SU & SU to 41P hatches and installing the QD (Quick Disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling.
  • Deactivating the cargo ship.
  • Installing the ventilation/heating air duct.
  • Dismantling the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and DC-1.
CDR Scott Kelly closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Cupola and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science windows. [Precaution against contamination from RS (Russian Segment) thrusters which temporarily took over control at ~5:45 PM GMT for Progress M-07M/39P fuel (ZUG) and oxidizer (ZUO) line purge (~5:50 PM GMT). This also required PORT & STBD SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) to be feathered temporarily (solar array wings locked to face Russian thrusters edge-on). Propellant line purge is part of the normal preparations for subsequent Progress vehicle undocking, scheduled on 20/02 for 39P.]
 

tblaxland

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Japan may send chatty humanoid tweet-bot to space

Japan may send chatty humanoid tweet-bot to space
Lonely astronauts on the International Space Station may soon be getting an android friend from Japan.

And for the folks back home, it will tweet.

Japan's space agency is considering putting a talking humanoid robot on the International Space Station to watch the mission while astronauts are asleep, monitor their health and stress levels and communicate to Earth through the microblogging site Twitter.
I'm not sure why you need an android to do that - wouldn't something less humanoid to be easier to build? But then, maybe HAL in a humanoid form would be less intimidating to the crew... :p
 

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Gardening on The International Space Station with HydroTropi

SpaceRef: Gardening on The International Space Station with HydroTropi

The latest experiment that has astronauts putting their green thumbs to the test is Hydrotropism and Auxin-Inducible Gene expression in Roots Grown Under Microgravity Conditions, known as HydroTropi. Operations were conducted October 18-21, 2010. HydroTropi is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)-run study that looks at directional root growth. In microgravity, roots grow latterly or sideways, instead of up and down like they do under Earth's gravitational forces.

Using cucumber plants (scientific name Cucumis sativus), investigators look to determine whether hydrotropic -- plant root orientation due to water--response can control the direction of root growth in microgravity.

Read more...
 
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