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Orbinaut Pete

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 01/09/2011.

FE-6 Mike Fossum & FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa joined forces to conduct the first onboard tests of Robonaut but had to postpone completion of the program. [After configuring the Node 2 camcorder to capture activities, setting up the Robonaut hardware on its seat track in the Lab (location Port 2) and powering on Robonaut in conjunction with ground commanding from POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center), the crew was to conduct about ~2 hrs of powered operations for checking out two sensors (JR3 & Joint Torque), the Motion Stop button, both arms (with adjustment damping), and Robonaut vision via its left & right camera. However, after the sensor checkout, a technical issue with the GUI (Graphic User Interface) prevented completion of the program within the allotted "thermal clock" time of ~2.2 hrs (to limit touch temperature). The checkout of "FE-7" Robonaut was postponed to a later date. The hardware was decabled, disassembled and restowed. Robonaut: "I’ll be back."]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Furukawa rebooted the SLT (System Laptop Terminal), set up the G1 HD camcorder and turned on the MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) for downlinking imagery of his subsequent activities on the MSPR (Multipurpose Small Payload Rack).

Continuing the disconnecting & reconfiguring work on the MSPR started on 08/29, Satoshi today opened the MSPR work volume door, checked out the power supply line and then installed the MSPR laptop. [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. The 08/29 activity was to verify the cable connections.]

Afterwards, Mike gathered tools & equipment required for tomorrow’s planned continuation of the major IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) on the APS (Automated Payload Switch) started on 08/30, to upgrade its two ORUs (Orbital Replaceable Units) as first step of installing the HRCS (High Rate Communications System). [When completed, HRCS will have the new capability to connect to the Ku-band communications unit, be programmable via the Ethernet JSL (Joint Station Local Area Network), and – most importantly – allow for greatly increased payload data throughput.]
 

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Parabolic Arc: Report: ISS Could Get Back to Normal at the End of October:
Anatoly Zak at Russian Space Web reports on a preliminary schedule for returning Soyuz to flight and staffing the International Space Station.

As of August 30, the upcoming station milestones looked as following:
  • Sept. 16 (Sept. 15, 11:30 p.m. Houston Time): Soyuz TMA-21 (Tail No. 231; ISS mission 26S) landing (Delayed from Sept. 8);
  • Sept. 25: Soyuz-2-1B/GLONASS-M launch (return to flight for the Soyuz family of rockets);
  • Oct. 13: Progress M-10M (Tail No. 410; ISS mission 42P) undocking from the station;
  • Oct. 14: Progress M-13M (Tail No. 413; ISS mission 45P) launch (a test flight of the Soyuz-U rocket);
  • Oct. 28: Soyuz TMA-22 (Tail No. 232; ISS mission 28S) launch (delayed from Sept. 22);
This schedule involves two launches of the Soyuz booster, one of which will carry Progress freighters to the station, prior to the next human mission. If the plan holds, ISS will be down to three crew members for just over six weeks. NASA officials say that this crew size is perfectly safe, although little science work will get done during that period.
 

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Aviation Week: Robonaut 2 Confronts Zero G On ISS:
HOUSTON — Power surged through Robonaut 2 (R2) on the legless humanoid’s perch inside the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept. 1, but the astronauts and NASA’s Mission Control team stopped short of a hoped for “first motion” when they observed a need for further adjustments of the robot’s force sensors.

Work on R2, a joint effort between General Motors and NASA to assess the compatibility of humans and anthropomorphic robots on the production floor as well as in space, could pick up again as soon as mid-September, says Nic Radford, NASA’s deputy project manager.

{...}

Spaceflight Now: Mission extended for three space station residents
 

Orbinaut Pete

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 02/09/2011.

FE-3 Ron Garan & FE-6 Mike Fossum continued their extensive IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) on the HRCS (High Rate Communications System) in the US Lab. After they rotated the Deck 1 rack forward, Ron routed two PEHG (Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway) cables while Mike replaced the APS ORUs (Automated Payload Switch | Orbital Replaceable Units) with upgraded units, first APS-1, and later, after its successful checkout, also APS-2. [When completed, HRCS will have the new capability to connect to the Ku-band communications unit, is programmable via the Ethernet JSL (Joint Station Local Area Network), and – most importantly – allow for greatly increased payload data throughput.]

FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa uninstalled & removed the ELPS (Emergency Lighting Power Supplies) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and JLP (JEM Logistics Platform). [For safing the circuits, ground commanding opened both RPCs (Remote Power Controllers) which supplied power to each ELPS. This, by design, illuminated the EELS (Emergency Egress Lighting Strips) until the ELPS test switch was placed in the Disabled position. The crew was notified of this ahead of time.]
 

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An update on Dextre's operations:

CTC-2 has been removed from the EOTP and installed onto ELC-4.
RRM has also been removed from the EOTP and at the time of writing is in the process of being installed onto ELC-4.

-----
Update:

RRM is now on ELC-4!
 
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ESA: André makes a PromISSe:
5 September 2011

All the pieces are coming together for the next long mission by a European astronaut. Now it has a name and logo. ESA today revealed the name of André Kuipers' mission: PromISSe.

{...}


Click on image to enlarge
André Kuipers with his crewmates Don Pettit and Oleg Kononeko during a training session at the ISS simulator hall of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, in Russia, in August 2011. Kuipers, Dutch national and a member of the European Astronaut Corps, will fly to International Space Station (ISS Expeditions 30 and 31) for a long duration mission in 2011.
Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011​
 

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NASA:
Sep. 06, 2011​
MEDIA ADVISORY : M11-185
NASA Holds News Conference On Space Station National Lab Award



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA will hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. EDT [13:30 UTC] on Friday, Sept. 9, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to discuss the organization that will manage the portion of the International Space Station operated as a U.S. national laboratory.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Inc. (CASIS) will help ensure the station's unique capabilities are available to the broadest possible cross-section of the U.S. scientific, technological and industrial communities.

The news conference participants are:
  • Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
  • Waleed Abdalati, NASA chief scientist
  • Mark Uhran, NASA assistant associate administrator for the International Space Station
  • Jeanne Becker, CASIS executive director

{...}
 

Orbinaut Pete

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 06/09/2011.

FE-6 Mike Fossum had another ~2h15m set aside (out of a total of 6 hrs planned) for relocating payload hardware from the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) to appropriate locations in "their" science modules, in order to create some empty space in the PMM RSRs (Resupply Stowage Racks) to be used for upcoming stowage arrangements.

Working in the US Lab at rack bay Port 4, Mike mated all ER-8 (ExPrESS Rack-8) ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) rack-to-module umbilical cables at the UIP (Utility Interface Panel). [The job involved 10 ARIS power/data cables and 4 ARIS fluid cables (GN2, coolant in/out & vacuum exhaust).]

SPDM Update:
Beginning in tonight's Crew Presleep period, Robotics controllers on the ground will begin SSRMS/SPDM (Space Station Remote Manipulator System/Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) operations to remove the launch locks on the RRM (Robotic Refueling Mission) payload. Additionally, the ground will stow the RMCT (Robot Micro Conical Tool) & configure the SSRMS/SPDM for the operations planned for the next night. These operations will run until the next morning past the Postsleep period. For dynamic load reasons, Russian thrusters will be disabled from 8:00 PM GMT to 9:00 AM GMT tomorrow morning.
 

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Florida Today - The Flame Trench: NASA Chief: Station Evacuation Unlikely:
NASA is confident its Russian partners will find and fix the root cause of an Aug 24 Soyuz U rocket failure in time to avoid evacuating the International Space Station, U.S. space agency chief Charlie Bolden said today.

"We're getting to the point where we're going to satisfy ourselves that we can launch an unmanned vehicle to demonstrate that Soyuz is still okay, and then we'll fly the crew up on a normal Soyuz mission later this fall," Bolden, a former shuttle pilot and mission commander, said

"So the possibility of de-manning station is always something you think about, but it's not something that is high on my list of concerns right now, because we don't feel that is something that we're going to have to do."

{...}
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 07/09/2011.

In the JAXA JPM (Japanese Pressurised Module), FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa continued the activation & checkout (commissioning) of the MSPR (Multipurpose Small Payload Rack). [Satoshi first powered up MSPR components, i.e., the VRU (Video Recording Unit)/Hub, MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) & MSPR laptop, then checked out the end-to-end IEEE1394 communication between the ground and the MSPR WV (Work Volume), followed by a ping test of the LAN (Local Area Network) connection from the MSPR laptop to PLT2 (Payload Laptop 2) at the WV and SEA (Small Experiment Area), LEHX (Layer 2 Ethernet Hub & Multiplexer), MSPR VRU and MSPR MPC.]

ARED Troubleshooting:
Ground analysis has identified the AIB (ARED Instrumentation Box) as apparent culprit of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) Display failure. Exercising can continue on the device. Manifesting another AIB is under consideration.

SPDM Update:
Overnight, Robotics controllers on the ground have maneuvered the SSRMS/SPDM (Space Station Remote Manipulator System/Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) to remove the launch locks on the RRM (Robotic Refueling Mission) payload and to stow the RMCT (Robot Micro Conical Tool), then configured the SSRMS/SPDM for the RRM Vision Test operations planned for tonight. For dynamic load reasons, Russian thrusters will again be disabled from 8:00 PM GMT to 9:00 AM GMT tomorrow morning.
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 08/09/2011.

After moving stowage out of the way, FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa installed the new experimental Amine Swingbed Locker in ER-8 (ExPrESS Rack-8) at Lab Port 4. [The NASA Amine Swingbed investigation determines if a vacuum- regenerated amine system can effectively remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ISS atmosphere using a smaller more efficient vacuum regeneration system. This is the first test of the Amine Swingbed payload. A similar technology (amine based pressure swing adsorption) was used on the Shuttle extended duration orbiter, in the form of the RCRS (Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System). The Amine Swingbed payload uses an amine with a significantly greater capacity for CO2 than the RCRS. ECLSS systems frequently function well in the lab, but suffer degraded performance or subsystem failure in a flight environment. These systems are sometimes attributed to microgravity, but more frequently are caused by the multifaceted nature of the flight environment that is impossible to re-create in the lab. The primary objective of this payload is to ascertain whether or not the flight environment will affect system performance. After the crew configured the hardware and connected the payload to the ISS vacuum system, the payload can operate from ground controls. Cabin air is drawn through the payload system: first the air is drawn through the desiccant wheel which removes humidity from the air, then the CO2 laden (but dry) cabin air is exposed to the amine swingbed. CO2 is adsorbed, and dry CO2 free air is drawn through the regeneration section of the desiccant wheel. The water is stripped from the desiccant wheel, and returned to the cabin (in the form of warm, humid air that is free from CO2). Requested are 1000 hrs of operation time, which can be segmented. An ideal segment would be two days of continuous operation. (Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair. They are derivatives of ammonia, in which one or more hydrogen atoms have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines are amino acids, biogenic amines, trimethylamine and aniline. Inorganic derivatives of ammonia are also called amines, such as chloramine (NClH2).]

SPDM Update:
Controllers last night maneuvered the SPDM OTCM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator | ORU Tool Changeout Mechanism) to inspect various locations on the RRM (Robotic Refueling Mission) payload to test how lighting affected viewing of the objects. In particular, they inspected the Marmon Clamp, SMA (Sub Miniature Adapter) cap, TSA (Torque Set Adapter), HST J-Hook & HST door, FDV (Fluid Drain Valve) safety cap and Explosive Bolt Flange. After the RRM Vision Test the SPDM was maneuvered to the viewing position to support the photogrammetry of CTC-2 (Cargo Transportation Container-2) on the ELC-4 (ExPrESS Logistics Carrier-4), scheduled for Monday (09/12).
 

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NASA:
Sep. 9, 2011​
RELEASE : 11-294
NASA Names CASIS To Manage Space Station National Lab Research


WASHINGTON -- NASA has finalized a cooperative agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the portion of the International Space Station that operates as a U.S. national laboratory.

CASIS will be located in the Space Life Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The independent, nonprofit research management organization will help ensure the station's unique capabilities are available to the broadest possible cross-section of U.S. scientific, technological and industrial communities.

"The station is the centerpiece of our human spaceflight activities for the coming years," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "This cooperative agreement allows us to expand the station's use and achieve its fullest potential so we can reach destinations farther in the solar system and improve life on Earth. CASIS will help NASA make the station available to a diverse national market that will use this unprecedented resource in innovative ways."

CASIS will develop and manage a varied research and development portfolio based on U.S. national needs for basic and applied research; establish a marketplace to facilitate matching research pathways with qualified funding sources; and stimulate interest in using the national lab for research and technology demonstrations and as a platform for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The goal is to support, promote and accelerate innovations and new discoveries in science, engineering and technology that will improve life on Earth.

{...}
 

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NASA Finalizes Cooperative Agreement With Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) To Manage the ISS U.S. National Laboratory

Kennedy Space Center, Fla. – September 9, 2011 – NASA finalized a Cooperative Agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), authorizing the organization to serve as the independent non-profit entity for management of the U.S. International Space Station National Laboratory (ISS NL). The mission of CASIS is to maximize the value of the investment the U.S. government has made in the ISS and to advance its scientific and technological capabilities over the next decade.

Leading CASIS efforts is Jeanne L. Becker, Ph.D., Executive Director. Dr. Becker’s 20 year career has been dedicated to the advancement of research and space-based initiatives, including serving as Associate Director of the John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science (a partner organization to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), Vice President and Associate Director of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (a partner organization to NASA), and Chief Science Officer for Astrogenetix, Inc. She has held faculty positions at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of South Florida College of Medicine.

“The CASIS team is thrilled to be chosen by NASA to oversee R&D aboard the ISS National Lab. CASIS provides an exciting and innovative approach to science management and STEM education. We look forward to partnering with NASA to bring meaningful return on investments made aboard the ISS and to facilitate new discoveries made possible by the space environment.”

Joining Dr. Becker on her management team will be James D. Royston, Director of Strategy and Planning and Joanne O. Hutcheson, Director of Administration. Mr. Royston has more than 20 years of management, strategic planning and technical operations expertise in aerospace and defense industries. Ms. Hutcheson brings more than 25 years of management experience in human resources, information technology, and finance within corporate and non-profit organizations.

The ISS NL provides a one-of-a-kind microgravity research environment that cannot be replicated on Earth. The facility offers a broad spectrum of extreme conditions for basic and applied research in such areas as biological sciences, biotechnology, human health, physical and materials science, earth and space imaging and engineering R&D. CASIS is focused on developing and managing a diversified R&D portfolio based on U.S. national needs for basic and applied research; establishing a marketplace that facilitates the matching of research pathways with qualified funding sources; and stimulating interest in using ISS NL for conducting research, technology demonstrations, and as a platform for STEM education. CASIS is dedicated to supporting, promoting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries in science, engineering and technology that result in the betterment of humankind and enhance life on our planet.

For more information, please visit the CASIS website, which will go live on September 15, 2011 at www.iss-casis.org.
 

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From ISS On-Orbit Status Report for 14/09/2011.

With ISS Command now being transferred from Andrey Borisenko to Mike Fossum for Increment 29, with Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa as Flight Engineers, Andrey & Sergei at ~8:15 AM GMT signed two copies of the formal Russian handover protocol document certifying RS handover/acceptance, including the contents of Progress M-10M/42P (#410), currently docked at DC-1 Nadir, MRM-1 "Rassvet", and MRM-2 "Poisk". [The first copy remains on ISS, the second copy will be returned to the ground on Soyuz TMA-21/26S. “We, the Undersigned, have executed this Protocol to the effect that Andrey Ivanovich Borisenko, a crew member in charge of the ISS-27 RS, handed over the ISS RS, and Sergei Alexandrovich Volkov, a crew member in charge of the ISS-28 RS, accepted the ISS RS, including special operating features, onboard system or equipment anomalies, equipment stowed for disposal at SM PrK location (per IMS data), Progress 410 items (per IMS data), MRM-1, MRM-2 equipment (per IMS data).”]

Later, Borisenko & Fossum joined in a CDR-to-CDR Handover activity, in which Andrey reviewed with Mike, the new CDR, some lessons learned, best practices and other handover items as needed, just as Dima Kondratyev & Scott Kelly had done during the last turnover.

The traditional “Change of Command” ceremony follows later today: it is scheduled at ~9:40 PM-10:00 PM GMT with all crewmembers, officially marking the transfer of the baton from Increment 28 to Increment 29.
 
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