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Orbinaut Pete

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 29/08/2011.

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa spent several hours working on the MSPR (Multipurpose Small Payload Rack), first setting up the G1 camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) for live monitoring from the ground, then disconnecting all MSPR DCU (DC/DC Converter Unit) cables, checking for any debris or bent pins, re-connecting the DCU cables, verifying with an inspection mirror that each cable was fully connected and taking photos for downlink. [On 08/19, after power cables were connected to the MSPR DCU, ground inspection of downlinked documentary photographs indicated that one of the cables was not fully connected. This also raised concern that the other cables might not be fully connected, which would inversely affect the output current from the MSPR DCU to subcomponents, possibly rendering them nonfunctional. MSPR power checkout was therefore aborted. Today’s activity was to verify the cable connections.]

FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa & FE-6 Mike Fossum reviewed procedures and started preparations for an upcoming major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) on the MARES (Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System). [MARES activities will be spread over the next three days and will focus on R&R (Removal & Replacement) of some bolts and reseating the hardware, then troubleshoot the MARES Main Box which failed to power on nominally after installation. MARES is a dynamometer that will eventually be used for research on musculoskeletal, biomechanical, and neuromuscular physiology to better understand the effects of microgravity on the muscular system. MARES hardware comprises an adjustable chair and human restraint system, a pantograph (an articulated arm supporting the chair, used to properly position the user), a direct drive motor, associated electronics and experiment programming software, a linear adapter that translates motor rotation into linear movements, and a vibration isolation frame. It is capable of supporting measurements & exercise on seven different human joints, encompassing nine different angular movements, as well as two additional linear movements (arms and legs). It is considerably more advanced than current ground-based medical dynamometers (devices used to measure force or torque) and a vast improvement over existing ISS muscle research facilities. MARES may be used together with an associated device called the PEMS II (Percutaneous Electrical Muscle Stimulator II).]

Progress 44P Update:
Soyuz TMA-21/26S will not depart on 09/08; NASA & Roskosmos are continuing to discuss options for 26S return and Soyuz TMA-22/28S launch; currently, there is no baseline plan yet. The Progress M-12M/44P impact site in southern Siberia (Altai Region) is in a very wooded and mountainous area. It appears to be spread over a large area, with "many tiny pieces" scattered about. With current capability, all consumables on board ISS are good into 2012, even with a six-person crew. Soyuz spacecraft stay time is limited to 210 days, and a 210 day crew stay is acceptable from both the NASA Crew Office and NASA medical perspectives.

Robotics Update:
SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) activities are continuing nominally, all conducted remotely from the ground. Yesterday's task for SPDM, opening the CTC (Cargo Transport Container) on the EOTP (Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform) and grasping the spare RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module), was completed successfully - with one motor stall which was resolved quickly. Today, the new RPCM will be removed from the CTC, the old P1-1A-A RPCM will be uninstalled, the new RPCM will be installed in the P1 Truss instead, and the failed RPCM will be stowed in the CTC. Tomorrow is planned as a contingency day to complete the R&R activities, followed by an MT (Mobile Transporter) translation. Thursday (09/01) and Friday (09/02) will feature activities to stow the CTC and RRM (Robotics Refueling Mission) on ELC-4 (ExPrESS Logistics Carrier-4).

Conjunction Alert:
Flight Controllers received a late notification of a possible conjunction of ISS with space debris (Object-81006, unknown) tomorrow afternoon, 08/30, at a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) of 8:02:56 PM GMT. Radial miss: 0.18 km, Down Track Miss: -13.9 km, Cross Track Miss: 1.6 km. Due to the short notice, work is underway for a possible DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver), using the SM (Service Module) engines.
 

Donamy

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You wouldn't happen to know which FRAMs on ELC4, would you ?:)
 

Orbinaut Pete

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You wouldn't happen to know which FRAMs on ELC4, would you ?:)

I do indeed know. ;)

The CTC will go on FRAM #1, in the Zenith-Aft corner of ELC-4.

RRM will go on FRAM #3, in the Nadir-Forward corner of ELC-4.

So, the CTC, FHRC and RRM should all be in a diagonal line.
 

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NASA assessing procedures to leave space station vacant

BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: August 29, 2011

Engineers are evaluating what steps are necessary to safeguard the International Space Station should the orbiting lab be temporarily evacuated in the wake of last week's Soyuz rocket failure.


File photo of a Soyuz spacecraft docked at the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

NASA officials are hopeful Russia will return the venerable Soyuz booster to service in time to avert such a circumstance, which would put the space station at increased risk in the event of serious equipment malfunctions.

Engineers are analyzing what's needed to keep the station alive in case astronauts have to pull out of the international laboratory, according to Michael Suffredini, NASA's space station program manager.

"There is a greater risk of losing ISS if it were unmanned than if it were manned," Suffredini said Monday. "The risk increase is not insignificant."

Russia's Soyuz rocket -- the only vehicle able to carry astronauts to the space station after the space shuttle's retirement -- has been grounded since the Aug. 24 failure of a launch with a Progress resupply freighter heading for the outpost.

Russia has tentative plans to return the Soyuz to flight in October with a pair of unmanned missions, eventually leading to the launch of the next space station crew by November. But Russia still must complete its investigation into last week's loss and implement corrective actions.

Just in case the Soyuz rocket is still grounded in November, the space station's international partners assigned engineers to review procedures for abandoning the complex in orbit for up to several months.

The actions would ensure control teams on Earth would be able to monitor space station systems and respond to as many potential problems as possible.

Suffredini described some of the measures a departing crew would perform before leaving the space station unmanned. Astronauts would connect jumper cables to ensure the station has backup cooling, configure the spacecraft's heating system, and close hatches between the station's modules before boarding their Soyuz return capsules.

The crew would isolate the modules in case one of them lost pressure integrity, ensuring other portions of the complex were still habitable, according to Suffredini.

Locks on the station's docking ports would also be disabled to allow robotic Progress cargo craft to automatically come and go with supplies.

"As long as the systems keep operating, we can command the vehicle from the ground and keep it operating and remain in orbit indefinitely," Suffredini said.

But there are cases where multiple failures could limit the ability of ground teams to save the space station. The million-pound complex is at less risk with residents on-board, according to NASA.


NASA astronaut Daniel Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov will be the next crew to launch to the International Space Station when Soyuz rockets resume flying. Credit: Roscosmos

If managers order the astronauts to desert the space station, it would end 11 years of continuous occupancy of the 240-mile-high outpost. There has not been a gap in human presence aboard the space station since its first permanent residents arrived in November 2000.

The evacuation would cut short promising life sciences and medical research projects that require astronaut support inside the space station. Experimental payloads attached to the lab's exterior, such as the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer searching for dark matter, would continue to operate, officials said.

Space station officials expect to set a new landing date this week for commander Andrey Borisenko, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev and NASA flight engineer Ronald Garan. The trio was supposed to return to Earth on Sept. 8, but the landing will probably be moved about one week later, according to Suffredini.

A landing after approximately Sept. 19 would occur at night in the Soyuz touchdown zone in Kazakhstan, a situation officials would like to avoid. A daylight landing opportunity would not be available again until late October, when the Soyuz craft would be nearing the end of its design life.

Russia does not want to push the limits of the Soyuz capsule that far, so the most likely scenario would see Borisenko, Samokutyaev and Garan returning to Earth in mid-September, Suffredini said.

NASA flight engineer Michael Fossum, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa are scheduled to land Nov. 16, just before the Kazakhstan landing zone goes dark again until late December.

In order to avoid landing the crew in harsh winter conditions on the Kazakhtan steppe, Suffredini said Fossum, Volkov and Furukawa should land in daytime in November. If the Soyuz rocket isn't able to launch another crew by then, the station will be left vacant.

"In that configuration, assuming no significant anomalies, we can operate indefinitely," Suffredini said.
 

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Florida Today - The Flame Trench: Robot Swaps Faulty Breaker At Station:
The two-armed Canadian robot Dextre replaced a faulty circuit breaker outside the International Space Station late Monday, obviating the need to send astronauts out on an inherently dangerous spacewalk to perform the same work.

Dextre opened a cargo container box attached to a spare parts pallet on the port side of the station's central truss. The robot used the hand on one arm to snare a spare circuit breaker and removed it from the box.

The hand on Dextre's other arm was used to grasp the faulty circuit box and remove it from its housing on the first port-side section of the segmented truss.

The new spare was put in place, and then Dextre stored the faulty circuit breaker in the container box.

Ground controllers put Dextre through its paces over a two-day period. The work was completed while the six astronauts and cosmonauts onboard the station slept.

{...}
 

Wishbone

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Considering they can't beat each other much, the ISS is safe from internal strife as well...
 

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Yes, I was thinking that, Robonaut will have to learn a lot in a short time to play the "housekeeper"... :hmm:
 

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Dextre, Space Electrician: Canadian Robot Repairs Components on the Space Station

Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s robotic handyman aboard the International Space Station (ISS), has successfully replaced a faulty circuit-breaker box on the orbiting lab. The robot swapped the failed component for a fresh one, thereby restoring part of the orbiting lab’s backup electrical systems. The maneuver marks the first time Dextre replaces defective equipment on the Station.

Known by the technical term “Remote Power Control Modules,” (RPCMs),” circuit-breaker boxes control the flow of electricity through the ISS’s secondary power distribution system, and tend to fail occasionally. Up to now, exchanging the boxes was done by spacewalkers, which always carries a certain level of risk. Dextre was designed to reduce the need for astronauts to conduct spacewalks for routine maintenance, therefore freeing up the crew’s time for more important activities, like conducting science.

Canadarm2 supported Dextre during the entire operation, which took place on August 28-29. Dextre was operated from the groundbotics flight controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and supported by several teams of engineers both in Houston and at the Canadian Space Agency’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

While the robotic handyman remains on-call for duty if any issues arise, Dextre also has a full list of scheduled tasks. Later this week, the Canadian-built robot will relocate two small storage pallets from their current location the robot’s workbench to the Express Logistics Carrier 4 on the ISS. One of the pallets carries the equipment for the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), Dextre’s first research and development project to test the technologies and techniques necessary to refuel satellites in flight.

 

Orbinaut Pete

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 30/08/2011.

FE-4 Sergey Volkov completed a major 2-hr IFM (Inflight Maintenance) in the FGB (Functional Cargo Block), replacing an 800A battery of its PSS (Power Supply System, Russian: SES/sistema elektrosnabzheniya) with a spare AB unit. The old unit was prepared for disposal on Progress M-10M/42P. [The full set of the FGB SES/EPS (Electrical Power System) storage units comprises six 800A batteries.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa & FE-6 Mike Fossum worked their 2nd day on the IFM of the MARES (Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System), consisting of bolt replacement and troubleshooting of its electronics box. [Today’s activities focused on the removal of bolts on both VIF (Vibration Isolation Frame) vertical bars and on the MARES Main Box and their replacement with newly launched modified bolts. (During the Increment 23/24 MARES VIF Bolt installation, two bolts in Bolt Cluster 4B were damaged; one bolt head was sheared off and the other bolt head was rounded). The completed work was photographed. Tomorrow, Satoshi & Mike are to reseat the battery and verify electronics connections in the Main Box, configure cables and power up MARES. During the Increment 23/24 MARES power verification activity, the Main Box failed to power on nominally. This on-orbit anomaly was duplicated on the ground by misaligning the electronics boxes. Tomorrow’s troubleshooting activities will involve partial disassembly of the electronics, inspecting connectors, and reinstalling the electronics ensuring proper alignment.

FE-3 Ron Garan & FE-6 Mike Fossum performed extensive IFM on the APS (Automated Payload Switch), upgrading its two ORUs (Orbit Replaceable Units) as first step of installing the HRCS (High Rate Communications System). When completed, it will have the new capability to connect to the Ku-band communications unit, can be programmed via the Ethernet JSL (Joint Station Local Area Network), and – most importantly – allow for greatly increased payload data throughput. [After Mike accessed the APS ORUs in the Lab fwd endcone (requiring tilting the Lab D1 rack forward) and Ron had routed two HRCS cables to the worksite, Mike replaced the old ORUs with two new upgraded APS unit spares. Each of the old ORUs was powered off by the ground and allowed to cool down, before they were taken out. The new ORUs were to be checked out by the ground after installation and power-up. Last activity was closing out the worksite and rotating the rack up again.]

Robotics Update:
SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) "Dextre" activities are continuing nominally, all conducted remotely from the ground. Yesterday, robotics Ground Controllers operated the SPDM Arm-2 to unbolt and extract the spare RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) from CTC-2 (Cargo Transport Container-2). Arm-1 was then maneuvered to capture & extract the failed P1-1A-A RPCM from the worksite on the P1 Truss. After reconfiguring the SPDM body and SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), Arm-2 inserted the spare RPCM at the P1-1A-A worksite. The new RPCM was bolted in its worksite and successfully powered up. Arm-1 inserted the failed RPCM in the CTC in place of the spare RPCM. Later, Arm-1 stowed the RMCT-1 (Robot Micro Conical Tool-1) in the THA (Tool Holster Assembly), released the SPDM and backed it off from the RMCT fixture. CTC lid closing will be performed later today after MT (Mobile Transporter) translation to Worksite 2. Remaining activities include stowing the CTC and RRM (Robotics Refueling Mission) on the ELC-4 (ExPrESS Logistics Carrier-4).

Conjunction Update:
The conjunction of ISS with space debris (Object-81006, unknown), projected yesterday for this afternoon at a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) of 8:02:56 PM GMT, has moved out of the box and is currently no longer of concern. No DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver), was required.
 

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Repairing failed circuit-breaker boxes is a routine chore on board the International Space Station (ISS). The circuit breakers (also known by the technical term "Remote Power Control Modules," or RPCMs) are an important part of the ISS’s electrical system, and tend to fail occasionally.
The prelude to exploding Star Trek electronics. :lol:
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 31/08/2011.

After FE-3 Ron Garan had readied VCA-2 (Video Camera Assembly-2) and a D2Xs digital camera in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa & FE-6 Mike Fossum had ~6h20m for Day 3 of their IFM (Inflight Maintenance) of MARES (Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System), today troubleshooting its electronics equipment. [During the Increment 23/24 MARES power verification activity, the Main Box had failed to power on nominally. This on-orbit anomaly was duplicated on the ground by misaligning the electronics boxes. Today’s troubleshooting activities involved partial disassembly of the electronics, inspecting connectors, and reinstalling the electronics in the Main Box while ensuring proper alignment. Next, PIU (Power Interface Unit) and cabling was connected to support POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville) to run a power verification procedure. Afterwards, the setup was torn down, the cabling disconnected and the MARES hardware stowed.

Later, Ron conducted a ~4h40m inventory/audit of grounding straps in the USOS (US Segment), checking racks for proper installation of these safety devices. [Some time ago, ground straps were found incorrectly installed on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS-2) racks. Of the 44 electrically-connected racks in the USOS, good strap installation was identified for 32 of them while no photos were available for the remaining 12 racks. Ron's task today was to verify their configuration, preceded by a voltage measurement between the rack under audit and an adjacent rack with confirmed good grounding to ensure absence of a shock hazard. Any voltage readings exceeding the specified limit as well as racks without a grounding strap were to be reported to MCC-Houston and the rack declared off limits for crew contact until further direction.]

Video of the MARES activities is available in today's ISS update:​
 

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Her voice... it's one of those voices (both male and female) that you could listen to forever.
 

Orbinaut Pete

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Dextre, Space Electrician: Canadian Robot Repairs Components on the Space Station

Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s robotic handyman aboard the International Space Station (ISS), has successfully replaced a faulty circuit-breaker box on the orbiting lab. The robot swapped the failed component for a fresh one, thereby restoring part of the orbiting lab’s backup electrical systems. The maneuver marks the first time Dextre replaces defective equipment on the Station.

"This week's successful replacement of an electrical circuit breaker on the space station's truss is an important operational milestone," said Lead Expedition 28 Flight Director, Ed Van Cise. "In the past, we've only had the option of sending humans outside the station on a spacewalk to perform such repairs. Having a dexterous robot outside the station capable of doing this while controlled from the ground is a big advance in capability that will free up crew time for important research inside the station. Our Flight Control Teams in Houston and in Canada have outdone themselves, and we're looking forward to stretching Dextre's arms on other tasks that will continue to help pave the way for future exploration."

Known by the technical term “Remote Power Control Modules,” (RPCMs) circuit-breaker boxes control the flow of electricity through the ISS’s secondary power distribution system, and tend to fail occasionally. Up to now, exchanging the boxes was done by spacewalkers, which always carries a certain level of risk. Dextre was designed to reduce the need for astronauts to conduct spacewalks for routine maintenance, therefore freeing up the crew’s time for more important activities, like conducting science.

Canadarm2 supported Dextre during the entire operation, which took place on August 28-29. Dextre was operated from the ground by robotics flight controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and supported by several teams of engineers both in Houston and at the Canadian Space Agency’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

While the robotic handyman remains on-call for duty if any issues arise, Dextre also has a full list of scheduled tasks. Later this week, the Canadian-built robot will relocate two small storage pallets from their current location the robot’s workbench to the Express Logistics Carrier 4 on the ISS. One of the pallets carries the equipment for the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), Dextre’s first research and development project to test the technologies and techniques necessary to refuel satellites in flight.
 

N_Molson

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That's a very interesting first, especially if the ISS has to be left unmanned ! :thumbup:
 

Donamy

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While the robotic handyman remains on-call for duty if any issues arise, Dextre also has a full list of scheduled tasks. Later this week, the Canadian-built robot will relocate two small storage pallets from their current location the robot’s workbench to the Express Logistics Carrier 4 on the ISS. One of the pallets carries the equipment for the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), Dextre’s first research and development project to test the technologies and techniques necessary to refuel satellites in flight.


Do you have a link for any animation of this ?
 

N_Molson

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My latest NASASpaceflight article: ISS managers adjust flight manifest following Progress launch failure

Excellent one ! :thumbup:
 

Donamy

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My fear is, when we leave something, we tend not to go back.:(
 
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