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Station Reboost Successful


Image above: Perth, Australia is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 16 crew member on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA

After an early morning station reboost, science and maintenance occupied the Expedition 16 crew’s time Thursday aboard the International Space Station.

Engines on the station’s Zvezda service module fired at 12:16 a.m. EST for about two minutes, providing a further refinement to the 36-minute burn conducted during docked operations with space shuttle Atlantis on the recent STS-122 mission. This completes the altitude adjustment needed to optimize rendezvous opportunities with space shuttle Endeavour, scheduled to launch March 11 for STS-123.

The reboost also places the station in the correct phasing for the launch of the Expedition 17 crew on the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft on April 8 and the landing of the Expedition 16 crew on the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on April 19.

Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko conducted a test of TORU, the Russian telerobotically operated approach and docking system. The crew can use TORU to monitor the docking of a Progress spacecraft with the station or take control of the process if difficulties arise.

Malenchenko later set up the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) control panel. The first ATV, named Jules Verne, is set to launch to the station from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket on March 7.

After a break for lunch, Whitson assisted the newest expedition crew member, Flight Engineer Léopold Eyharts, with a review of emergency equipment aboard the station.

Whitson also worked with the Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2 (InSPACE-2) experiment. InSPACE looks at fluids that change properties in response to magnetic fields and collects data that can be used to develop or improve brake systems and robotics.
 

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Crew Preps for New Arrivals


Image above: Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson works with spacesuits in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA TV

Orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 16 crew spent Friday wrapping up a busy week with preparations for an upcoming visit from space shuttle Endeavour carrying the station’s new Japanese module.

After a weekly conference between the station crew and the Russian flight control team, Commander Peggy Whitson installed the Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) in the Harmony module. The CBCS will provide visual cues to the astronauts as they install the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (JLP), which is being delivered by Endeavour on the STS-123 mission in March. JLP is the first component of Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module, to be launched to the station.

Whitson later moved to the Quest airlock to perform maintenance on the cooling loops of the U.S. spacesuits. Five spacewalks are planned while Endeavour is at the station.

Whitson also worked with the Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2 (InSPACE-2) experiment. InSPACE looks at fluids that change properties in response to magnetic fields and collects data that can be used to develop or improve brake systems and robotics.

Earlier in the week, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko set up the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) control panel. The first ATV, named Jules Verne, is set to launch to the station from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket on March 8. The ATV will dock automatically with the station after the departure of STS-123, though station crew members can take charge of the process if difficulties arise.

The station’s newest crew member, Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, spent some time this week with orientation activities, familiarizing himself with procedures and onboard equipment. He also collected a number of blood and urine samples for an ongoing study of human physiological changes during long-duration spaceflight.
 

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Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle Delayed


Image above: Perth Amboy, New Jersey is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 16 crew member on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA

On Saturday, Arianespace and the European Space Agency delayed for one day the maiden launch of the Jules Verne cargo craft from Kourou, French Guiana. The 24 hour delay is due to a technical concern about the Automated Transfer Vehicle and the Ariane 5 launcher separation system. Launch of the Jules Verne is now scheduled for Saturday at 11:03 p.m. EST.

The Expedition 16 crew was busy with maintenance duties aboard the International Space Station Monday.

Expedition Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts performed a bi-annual maintenance check of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System). Crew members exercise using the TVIS to counteract the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness in space.

Whitson also conducted a routine checkout of the space station’s emergency portable breathing apparatus and fire extinguishers.

Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko took air measurements with the AU-1 ultrasound analyzer. The data collected will be used to detect air-leakage aboard the International Space Station.
 

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Business as Usual on the International Space Station


Image above: Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle, “Jules Verne,” undergoes pre-flight processing before being integrated into the Ariane 5 rocket in Kourou, French Guiana. Photo credit: ESA

It’s business as usual aboard the International Space Station while the Expedition 16 crew awaits hardware from Japan, Canada and Europe.

A multitude of ongoing activities is keeping the station crew busy. Science inside the Destiny lab, HAM radio sessions with ground participants, Russian maintenance and upcoming mission preps occupy the crew’s timeline.

Commander Peggy Whitson has been activating the Microgravity Science Glovebox to study how special fluids behave when exposed to a magnetic field. French astronaut and flight engineer Léopold Eyharts held a HAM radio session with students in Toulouse, France. Cosmonaut and flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko continues maintenance and oxygen repress activities from the Russian side of the space station.

Meanwhile, Europe’s new station resupply ship, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, is scheduled for launch Saturday at 11:03 p.m. EST. Space shuttle Endeavour is set for launch on Tuesday, March 11 at 2:28 a.m. Endeavour will deliver the first part of Japan’s new laboratory and Canada’s new robotic arm extension called Dextre.
 

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Station Activities Ramp-up as East Prepares to Meet West


Image above: This illustration depicts the International Space Station’s configuration after the STS-123 crew delivers and installs new hardware. Credit: NASA

Station crew members and personnel from around the world are preparing for an international array of hardware to reach orbit over the next few days.

Japan’s new laboratory “Kibo” will have its first section, the pressurized logistics module, installed after space shuttle Endeavour launches on March 11. Canada’s new two-armed robotic manipulator also will be in Endeavour's cargo bay.

Europe’s new station resupply ship, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), is scheduled for launch Saturday at 11:03 p.m. EST. The ATV will launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 16 crew is preparing for the arrival of Endeavour on the STS-123 mission. They are reviewing robotics procedures and tagging up with specialists on the ground.

Europe’s new Columbus laboratory is operational with the crew performing experiments and the control center in Germany is monitoring operations.
 

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Jules Verne, Shuttle Crew Prepare for Station Visits


Image above: The first segment of Japan’s “Kibo” laboratory will be temporarily installed on top of the station’s Harmony Node 2. Credit: NASA

Jules Verne, Europe’s new station resupply ship, began its rollout to the launch pad Friday morning for a Saturday night launch at 11:03 EST. The first of the Automated Transfer Vehicles, Jules Verne will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket.

The STS-123 crew will be in Florida this weekend as the launch countdown starts Saturday morning. Launch is planned for Tuesday at 2:28 a.m. EDT. Space shuttle Endeavour is delivering the first segment of the Japanese “Kibo” laboratory and Dextre, the Canadian two-armed robotic manipulator, to the International Space Station.

The Expedition 16 crew continues preparing for the arrival of STS-123. They are reviewing photography techniques for the shuttle’s Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver just before it docks to the station. With five spacewalks planned while Endeavour is at the station, the crew is also configuring spacewalk hardware.
 

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ATV Jules Verne Launches to Station


Image above: An Ariane 5 rocket lifts off carrying the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, named Jules Verne. Credit: NASA TV

The first European Automated Transfer Vehicle launched to the International Space Station from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket at 11:03 p.m. EST Saturday.

Solar arrays deployed as planned after two engine firings more than an hour and a half after launch. That placed the ATV in a parking orbit about 1,200 miles from the station.

The high-capacity unpiloted cargo carrier is, at almost 22 tons, the largest cargo ever launched by the Ariane 5.

This vehicle is named Jules Verne after the acclaimed French science-fiction author. It is the first of at least seven such spacecraft to be built.

The ATV can carry more than 7.5 tons of cargo. That is about three times the cargo weight carried by the Progress, the reliable Russian unpiloted cargo carrier.

The spacecraft can carry dry cargo – food and other supplies and equipment—as well as water, propellant for the station, and gases, including air and oxygen.

The Jules Verne initially was placed in an orbit a safe distance from the station, where a series of tests will be performed. Subsequent tests scheduled include two approaches to the station.

Those approaches will end in "escape" maneuvers, in part to verify the collision avoidance system. It would be used if the ATV automated docking system should fail.

The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the station in early April. It will remain there, for unloading and subsequent filling with station garbage and discards, until August. Then it will be deorbited for destruction on re-entry over the Pacific.
 

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Expedition 16 Awaits Arrival of Shuttle, New Crew Member

Image above: Space shuttle Endeavour launches from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Credit: NASA TV

Space shuttle Endeavour lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.’s Launch Pad 39A at 2:28 a.m. EDT, beginning STS-123, the 25th shuttle flight to the International Space Station.

Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Léopold Eyharts are getting ready for STS-123’s arrival, set for 11:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Endeavour is carrying the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section (JLP), the first pressurized component of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory. The JLP will be attached temporarily to a docking port on the space-facing side of the Harmony node.

In addition, the orbiter is bringing the Canadian Space Agency’s two-armed robotic system known as Dextre to the station. Designed for station maintenance and service, Dextre is capable of sensing forces and movement of objects it is manipulating. It can automatically compensate for those forces and movements to ensure an object is moved smoothly. Dextre is the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System.

Also traveling with STS-123 is a new Expedition 16 crew member, astronaut Garrett Reisman, who will replace Eyharts.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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Endeavour and Station Crews Open Hatches

Image above: The Expedition 16 and STS-123 crew greet each other onboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews opened the hatches between space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station at 1:28 a.m. EDT Thursday, beginning 12 days of joint operations.

One of the first joint tasks is for Garrett Reisman to join the Expedition 16 crew by trading places with Flight Engineer Léopold Eyharts, a European Space Agency astronaut.

The crews are preparing for the first of five scheduled STS-123 spacewalks, which Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan and Reisman will begin at 8:23 p.m. Thursday.

In addition, the STS-123 crew will install the Canadian-built Dextre – the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System – and the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section, which is the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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STS-123 Installs JLP, Completes First Spacewalk

Image above: This view shows the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory (bottom center) attatched to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

With the installation of the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section (JLP), the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory, the International Space Station has grown yet again. Japan joined the station community when the JLP was connected to the orbital outpost at 4:06 a.m. EDT.

STS-123 Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan and Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman completed the shuttle mission’s first spacewalk at 4:19 a.m. Friday. Their primary task was to prepare the JLP for its installation. The excursion lasted seven hours, one minute.

Commander Dom Gorie and Japanese astronaut Takao Doi used the shuttle’s robotic arm to move the JLP to its place on the orbital outpost.
 

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Crews Enter JLP, Canadarm2 Powers Up Dextre

Image above: Crew members enter the Japanese Logistics Module. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Japanese astronaut Takao Doi became the first crew members to enter the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section (JLP) at 9:23 p.m. EDT. The JLP is the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory and the newest element of the International Space Station.

The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews activated the JLP and spent their day outfitting the new module, transferring supplies and equipment into it from space shuttle Endeavour.

The station’s arm operators grappled the Canadian-built Dextre at 9:59 p.m. Friday. Canadarm2 successfully powered up Dextre 11 minutes later.

STS-123 Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman are spending the night in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for the second spacewalk of the STS-123 mission, which begins Saturday. The purpose of this “camp out” is to purge the nitrogen from their bodies before their planned exit at 8:23 p.m Saturday.

STS-123 Commander Dominic Gorie and Mission Specialist Takao Doi used the shuttle’s robotic arm to connect the JLP to the space station early Friday morning.
 

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Second STS-123 Spacewalk Complete

Image above: Astronauts Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman conduct the second spacewalk of the STS-123 mission. Credit: NASA TV

At 2:57 a.m. EDT Sunday, STS-123 Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman completed a seven-hour, eight-minute spacewalk, the second of their mission. The two spacewalkers assembled Dextre, the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System.

Throughout the day, the station and shuttle crew members continued outfitting the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section (JLP).

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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AHEAD OF SCHEDULE GREAT JOB!

:)Work Inside JLP Continues Ahead of Schedule

Image above: Astronauts Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman, both STS-123 mission specialists, participate in the mission's second scheduled spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

The space shuttle Endeavour and International Space Station crews continued outfitting the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section, transferring supplies and equipment into it from Endeavour, as well as configuring racks inside the module.

The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews also tested the joints and brakes on Dextre, the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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Dextre Moved to Destiny Lab

Image above: Space Shuttle Endeavour, docked to the Pressurized Mating Adapter on the International Space Station, is featured in this image photographed by a crewmember during the STS-123 mission’s third spacewalk. The newly installed Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section is visible at top right. Credit: NASA TV

Canadarm2, the International Space Station’s robot arm, grabbed the pallet that secured Dextre during its journey to the orbital outpost and returned the pallet to space shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay for the trip back to Earth.

The Canadian-built Dextre was attached to a power and data grapple fixture located on the U.S. laboratory Destiny and activated early Wednesday. The new robotic system is the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System.

STS-123 Mission Specialists Robert L. Behnken and Mike Foreman are slated to begin the mission’s fourth spacewalk at 6:28 p.m. Thursday. The two will perform tasks that include the shuttle tile repair test and change out of a circuit breaker on the station.
 

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Astronauts Prepare for Fourth Spacewalk

Image above: In the grasp of the space station's robotic Canadarm2, Dextre (center), also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM), is featured in this image. Credit: NASA

Flight day 10 was a light duty day for the crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station as they prepared for the last two spacewalks of STS-123.

The astronauts spent time configuring tools for the fourth STS-123 spacewalk, preparing to test a repair method for the shuttle’s heat tiles – the primary task of that spacewalk – and reviewing spacewalk procedures.

STS-123 Mission Specialists Robert L. Behnken and Mike Foreman began a “camp out” in the station’s Quest airlock to purge the nitrogen from their bodies in preparation for the mission’s fourth spacewalk, slated to begin at 6:28 p.m. EDT Thursday.
 

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Shuttle Astronauts Complete Fourth Spacewalk

Image above: A spacewalker works outside the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Mission Specialists Robert L. Behnken and Mike Foreman completed the fourth STS-123 spacewalk at 12:28 a.m. EDT Friday, spending six hours and 24 minutes on the excursion.

As the docked International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour orbited high above the Earth, the two shuttle crew members replaced a failed Remote Power Control Module – essentially a circuit breaker – on the station’s truss. However, there were difficulties removing a power connecter from the Z1 truss.

The spacewalkers also performed the primary task of the spacewalk, which was the test of a heat shield repair method. This technique used a caulk-gun-like tool named the Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser to dispense a material called Shuttle Tile Ablator-54 into purposely damaged heat shield tiles. The sample tiles will be returned to Earth to undergo extensive testing on the ground.

The spacewalkers then removed a sock covering the left hand of Dextre and launch locks on the port side of the Harmony node.

Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan coordinated their activities from inside the orbiting complex.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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STS-123 Astronauts Stow OBSS, Continue Spacewalk

Image above: While docked and onboard the International Space Station, an STS-123 Endeavour crew member captured the glowing green beauty of the Aurora Borealis. Credit: NASA

STS-123 Mission Specialists Robert L. Behnken and Mike Foreman continue work during the fifth spacewalk of their mission.

The two spacewalkers have stowed the Orbiter Boom Sensor System on the International Space Station’s S1 Truss, where it will be picked up by the crew of space shuttle Discovery during the STS-124 mission, which is set to launch in May.

In addition, the spacewalkers are tasked with installing the Materials International Space Station Experiment 6 on the outside of the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory, an activity the astronauts were unable to complete during the mission’s third spacewalk.

Behnken and Foreman also will perform other tasks including the release of launch locks on two of the Harmony module’s common berthing mechanisms and the installation of trunnion covers on the Japanese Logistics Module – Pressurized Section.

The crew of space shuttle Endeavour will end their visit to the station with undocking Monday and will return to Earth Wednesday.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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Crews End Last Full Day Together

Image above: The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews pose for a picture after holding a joint crew news conference aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station have completed their last full day together.

Much of the astronauts’ morning was off‐duty time. Afterward, the crews wrapped up transfers of equipment and supplies between Endeavour and the station, and they checked out the tools needed for undocking and subsequent activities.

The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews also held a joint crew news conference, answering questions from members of the media on Earth.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 

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Endeavour Undocks From Station

Image above: Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson is pictured with crew members Léopold Eyharts, Yuri Malenchenko and Garrett Reisman. Eyharts has ended his stay as a station flight engineer and is going home with the STS-123 crew aboard space shuttle Endeavour. Credit: NASA TV

Space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station at 8:25 p.m. EDT Monday, ending its 12-day stay at the orbital outpost. After the STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews bid one another farewell, the hatches between the two spacecraft closed at 5:49 p.m.

STS-123 arrived at the station March 12, delivering the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section, the first pressurized component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory, to the station. The crew of Endeavour also delivered the final element of the station’s Mobile Servicing System, the Canadian-built Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator.

For the latest news and information on the STS-123 mission, visit the main shuttle page. + Read more
 
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