International Space Station (Updates)


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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 May 2016

 

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The Expedition 47 crew poses for the 3 millionth image taken aboard the International Space Station. For more than 15 years, station crews have been taking photographs of the earth and inside activities. In the photo: (front row from the left) ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Timothy Peake, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and Roscosmos cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. (back row from left) Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin along with NASA astronaut Jeff Williams. Credit: NASA (04/30/2016).

 

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NASA astronaut Jeff Williams is configuring the Japanese Kibo lab module today for another deployment of Earth observation nanosatellites scheduled for early next week. Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka joined British astronaut Tim Peake readying hardware for the Rodent Research study that will observe how muscles and bones are affected by weightlessness.

 

Commander Tim Kopra set up hardware today for the NeuroMapping study that is researching how living in space changes brain structure and function. Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin videotaped crew activities to document living on the station. Veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko explored how natural and man-made phenomena affect the Earth's 

 

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NeuroMapping Operations: The crew set up hardware to support the NeuroMapping investigation and performed the experiment including testing in both a "strapped in" and "free floating" body configuration. The investigation studies whether long-duration spaceflight causes changes to the brain, including brain structure and function, motor control, and multi-tasking abilities. It also measures how long it takes for the brain and body to recover from possible changes. Previous research and anecdotal evidence from astronauts suggests movement control and cognition can be affected in microgravity. The NeuroMapping investigation performs structural and functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI and fMRI) to assess changes that occur after spending months on the ISS.

 

Fine Motor Skills: A series of interactive tasks was completed for the Fine Motor Skills investigation. This investigation is the first fine motor skills study to measure long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after return to Earth's gravity.

 

Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) Radio Frequency (RF) Checkout: The C2V2 Comm Units are two fully redundant radios (C2V2 A and C2V2 B) that are planned for use with future visiting vehicles. The units were installed on March 11 in the LAB with initial activation on April 1. Today's test commands and voice communication checkouts concluded the series of tests performed over the last several weeks to verify end to end functionality of both C2V2 Comm Units.

 

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) Removal and NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer #7 (NRCSD) Installation: In preparation for next week's NRCSD #7 deployment, the J-SSOD was removed from the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) on the JEMAL Slide Table followed by installation of the NRCSD #7 onto the MPEP. The slide table was retracted into the JEMAL. The J-SSOD is the first of its kind to deploy small satellites from the ISS. The NRCSD is a commercially operated small satellite deployer that maximizes full capabilities of each airlock cycle of deployments. The MPEP/NRCSD is put into position to be grabbed by the robotic arm which places the CubeSat deployer into the correct position for release of miniature satellites into proper orbit.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
CCS TLM Format Swap [Aborted]
Battery 4A2 reconditioning
J-SSOD removal/Cubesat deployer install
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 05/13: USOS crew off duty as payback for working Russian Victory Day holiday on Monday, May 9
Saturday, 05/14: Crew off duty
Sunday, 05/15: Crew off duty

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-12-may-2016.html

 

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NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 13 May 2016

 

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NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 13 May 2016.             NASA

 

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NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-iss-space-to-ground-weekly-report---13-may-2016.html

 

Space to Ground: Release The Dragon: 05/13/2016

video is 2:07 min.

 

 

 

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U.S. and Russian Crews Swap Days Off After Busy Week

 

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British astronaut Tim Peake unpacks science gear for an experiment that is researching how the lack of gravity affects the fluid shifts and pressure inside a crew member’s head.

 

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Two NASA astronauts and a European Space Agency astronaut are relaxing today after sending the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft home Wednesday. The three cosmonauts continued their ongoing Russian research work and maintenance activities after taking Monday off in observation of Victory Day.

 

The Japanese Kibo lab’s airlock is being depressurized today before a series a nanosatellites are deployed beginning Monday morning. The Cubesats, which will be deployed Monday through Wednesday, will support Earth observation experiments.

 

On the Russian side of the International Space Station, the cosmonauts inspected windows and photographed the internal condition of the segment’s modules. They also explored new photography techniques to improve the ability to locate and picture landmarks on the Earth’s surface.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/13/u-s-and-russian-crews-swap-days-off-after-busy-week/

 

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Impact Chip

 

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Title Impact chip
Released 12/05/2016 9:00 am
Copyright ESA/NASA

 

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The European-built Cupola was added to the International Space Station in 2010 and continues to provide the best room with a view anywhere.

 

In addition to serving as an observation and work area when the crew operates the Station’s robotic arms, it also provides excellent views of Earth, celestial objects and visiting vehicles.

 

Its fused-silica and borosilicate-glass windows, however, sometime suffer from impacts by tiny artificial objects: space debris.

 

ESA astronaut Tim Peake took this photo from inside Cupola last month, showing a 7 mm-diameter circular chip gouged out by the impact from a tiny piece of space debris, possibly a paint flake or small metal fragment no bigger than a few thousandths of a millimetre across. The background just shows the inky blackness of space.

 

“I am often asked if the International Space Station is hit by space debris. Yes – this is the chip in one of our Cupola windows, glad it is quadruple glazed!” says Tim.

 

To cater for such possibilities, the Station is provided with extensive shielding around all vital crew and technical areas, so that minor strikes, like this one, pose no threat.

 

While a chip like the one shown here may be minor, larger debris would pose a serious threat. An object up to 1 cm in size could disable an instrument or a critical flight system on a satellite. Anything above 1 cm could penetrate the shields of the Station’s crew modules, and anything larger than 10 cm could shatter a satellite or spacecraft into pieces.

 

“ESA is at the forefront of developing and implementing debris-mitigation guidelines, because the best way to avoid problems from orbital debris is not to cause them in the first place,” says Holger Krag, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office.

 

“These guidelines are applied to all new missions flown by ESA, and include dumping fuel tanks and discharging batteries at the end of a mission, to avoid explosions, and ensuring that satellites reenter the atmosphere and safely burn up within 25 years of the end of their working lives.”

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/05/Impact_chip

 

 

 

:D

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I think I'd literally barf if I was the one in the Cupola and saw this happen. Most expensive windshield repair ever. :no: 

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It has happened on the shuttle as well, STS-7 and STS-118.

 

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Commercial crew vehicles are next.....:(

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No prob. Several layers of ballistic glass which includes transparent aluminum ceramic (props to Cmdr. Montgomery Scott ;) ) Transparent aluminum ceramic can stop a .50 BMG round, and then some.  

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Station Reaches 100,000 Orbits, Deploys Cubesats

 

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This image taken from a time lapse sequence aboard the space station shows the Milky Way and a lightning strike on Earth.

 

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The International Space Station completed its 100,000th orbit early this morning after its first component, the Zarya cargo module, launched Nov. 20, 1998. That is over 2.6 billion miles traveled, nearly the distance from Earth to Neptune (2.9 billion miles), or ten round trips from Mars to Earth.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/16/station-reaches-100000-orbits-deploys-cubesats/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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David Saint-Jacques Next Canadian to Fly to Space Station

 

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One of Canadian Space Agency's astronauts Jeremy Hansen, left, and David St-Jacques will be the next Canadian astronaut in space.  (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS) 

 

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LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — Today the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), announced that Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques has been assigned to a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

 

Mr. Saint-Jacques will launch aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in November 2018 to join an international crew onboard the orbiting laboratory. Expedition 58/59 will be the first mission for David Saint-Jacques and will mark the 17th space flight for the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

 

During his time in space, the astronaut will conduct a series of scientific experiments, robotics tasks and technology demonstrations, the details of which will be revealed later this year.

 

In addition to his extensive training, the Quebec native will bring his expertise in medicine, engineering and astrophysics to the Expedition 58/59 crew. In anticipation of this first assignment, David Saint-Jacques will begin specialized mission training in Russia, Japan, the United States and Canada starting this Summer and for the next two years until his launch.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/05/16/david-saintjacques-canadian-fly-space-station/#more-58407

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/05/16/science-minister-to-announce-next-canadian-astronaut-to-fly-in-space.html

 

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Khi Solar One
South Africa

5 days ago

 

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Khi Solar One                Planet Labs Inc.

 

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Over 4,000 mirrors direct sunlight to a central tower boiler at the Khi One Solar power plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. The super-heated steam in the boiler can reach a maximum operating temperature of 530° Celsius.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/khi-solar-one/

 

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Vladivostok
Russia

9 days ago

 

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Vladivostok, Russia               Planet Labs Inc.

 

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Vladivostok’s sheltered harbor is Russia’s only ice free open-ocean port. The hilly city is also the eastern end of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and serves as an important shipping hub.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/vladivostok/

 

:D

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/16/16

 

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Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) Transfer and Grip Strength Operations: The crew transferred rodents from their habitats to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) and successfully performed grip strength measurements on all 20 rodents. The crew also installed hardware and restocked supplies in the MSG to prepare for other RR-3 operations planned for the remainder of the week. The investigation studies the molecular and physical changes to the musculoskeletal system that happen in space. Results will expand scientists’ understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

 

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (JEMAL) NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer #7 (NRCSD 7) Deployment Operations: NRCSD 7 successful deployed the MinXSS and CADRE satellites from Silo 8 at 5:05 AM CDT and STMSat-1, NODeS 1, and NODeS 2 satellites from Silo 7 at 9:20 AM CDT today via ground commanding. Today completes the first of three consecutive days of deployment operations planned for the week. NRCSD 7 contains 17 satellites comprised of MinXSS, CADRE, STMSat-1, 2 NODes, 8 Doves, and 4 LEMUR satellites. The NRCSD is a commercially operated small satellite deployer from the ISS, maximizing full capabilities of each airlock cycle of deployments.

 

Station Support Computer (SSC) for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Laptop Preparation: The crew deployed the BEAM laptop that will be used to operate sensors in the BEAM module in Node 3. The laptop was configured to the Load Image Client (LIC) mode to prepare for upcoming BEAM operations.

 

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Suit Maintenance: The crew performed maintenance tasks on EMU 3003 and EMU 3010 including an EMU swap, water tank dump and fill, a loop scrub, a post-loop scrub water sample, and an EMU conductivity test.  Forward work includes additional cooling loop maintenance and EMU dryout.

 

Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Status: During a process cycle on Thursday night, the stationary bowl temperature in the Distillate Assembly (DA) dropped enough to activate thermostatically-controlled heaters which caused the condenser pressure to increase. The UPA was taken to standby. Due to continued concerns regarding elevated conductivity and precipitation events, a FIT was held and one of the recommendations was to R&R the brine filter which was completed today.  The UPA will remain down and the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) will remain configured to internal EDV. An Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA) R&R as well as conversion of the WHC to alternate pretreat have been planned for tomorrow.

 

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Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

EMU loop scrub support
CubeSat deploy
RR support
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Tuesday, 05/17: RR, THC IMV flow measure, camera setup for NanoRacks Cubesat deployer, Circadian Rhythms

Wednesday, 05/18: RR, WHC hardware gather/pre-treat tank R&R, NRCSD Cubesat deploy

Thursday, 05/19: RR, Sprint Ultrasound, Circadian Rhythms

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/16/iss-daily-summary-report-051616/

 

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Next Round of CubeSat Deployments begins on ISS, covering Science, Technology & Earth Imaging

 

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NASA/ESA

 

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Seventeen small satellites are being deployed from the International Space Station Monday through Wednesday after being delivered to the Station on cargo vehicles over the past several months. Entering an independent orbit, the satellites will operate for multi-month missions dedicated to technology demonstrations, education, Earth observation and scientific research.

 

The most recent satellite deployment conducted by ISS on April 27 sent the Filipino Diwata-1 Earth Observation Satellite on its way, using the Japanese JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (JSSOD). For this deployment, the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) was fitted with the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) comprised of eight deployment silos, each capable of holding six CubeSat Units. Each of the eight deployers can be commanded individually for the release of any combination of satellites amounting to 6U, e.g. two 3U satellites, three 2U satellites, six 1U satellites or a combination between different sizes.

 

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Kibo Airlock – Photo: NASA (File Image)

 

more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/iss-cube-sat-deployment-may-2016/

 

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AAC Microtec avionics aboard microsatellite deployed from the ISS

 

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Diwata-1 is a 50kg satellite with the dimensions 55 cm x 35 cm x 55 cm.

 

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AAC Microtec has supplied a key avionics component for the new Philippine microsatellite Diwata-1, which was launched from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 23 and successfully deployed into orbit on April 27.

 

Diwata-1 is a 50 kg microsatellite and it uses one of AAC's fault-tolerant mass memory products. The new satellite will be used for environmental resource monitoring and meteorological applications, among other things.

 

"I am very glad that the Diwata-1 satellite deployment was successful and I congratulate the collaborating Philippine and Japanese teams to a well-executed project that was carried out within a very short timeframe.

 

"I am pleased that AAC got the chance to be part of the first deployment of a satellite of this size from the ISS, following the previous successful contribution to TechEdSat-1, which was in the first group of CubeSats to be deployed from the International Space Station in 2012," says AAC Microtec's CEO Mikael Andersson.

 

Diwata-1 is a 50kg satellite with the dimensions 55 cm x 35 cm x 55 cm. It was developed as part of the Department of Science and Technology's Philippine Scientific Earth Observation microsatellite (PHL?microsatellite) Program.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/AAC_Microtec_avionics_aboard_the_first_50_kg_microsatellite_deployed_from_the_ISS_999.html

 

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Grammar School Cubesat Launched From ISS

 

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St. Thomas More Cathedral School                                 STUDENT HOLDS (STM)SAT-1

 

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In 2012, the students from St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia lined up in the shape of a space shuttle in the school parking lot and witnessed the flyover of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it was being retired to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

 

This awe-inspiring vision was an inspiration to the entire school and a catalyst for them to literally reach for the stars. Thus beginning their quest to build a small satellite, called a CubeSat, that would engage students around the world in Earth observations.

 

Over the next three years, all 400 pre-kindergarten through eight grade students participated in the design, construction and testing of their small satellite. through this hands-on, inquiry based learning activity the students conducted real world engineering and will operate the St. Thomas More (STM)Sat-1, the first CubeSat built by elementary school students to be deployed in space.

 

Joe Pellegrino, a deputy project manager from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center serves as the team's mission manager, he mentors the students on spacecraft assembly, integration, testing and launch. Engaging the students in the entire systems engineering process to build, launch and operate a satellite in space. The school conducted two high altitude balloon flights to test their hardware before constructing their spaceflight model. They learned how to operate an amateur radio and built the ground station they'll use to communicate with their satellite. Students donned anti-static clothing as they learned how to solder and constructed the fragile electronic components that make up their CubeSat.

 

Once built, the CubeSat needed a ride to space, and the school submitted a proposal to a public announcement by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative and was one of 16 organizations selected to receive a flight opportunity and were in the company of MIT, the University of Michigan and John Hopkins Applied Physics lab.

 

STMSat-1 was launched to the ISS on Dec. 6, 2015 aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft as part of NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) IX mission. Along with CubeSats from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Michigan, STMSat-1 was deployed from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) system on May 16. The NRCSDs are commanded one by one, allowing the dispenser doors to open and the large internal spring to be released, deploying the CubeSats into an orbital altitude similar to that of the ISS, which orbits about 250 miles above Earth. After 30 minutes in orbit, the internal timers on the CubeSats allowed their onboard computers to boot up and begin transmitting. The CubeSat teams utilize their ground stations to listen for their beacons to determine the small satellites' functionality and operational status. Once operational they begin their missions.

 

The STMSat-1 mission is an educational mission to provide hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities with an on-orbit mission to photograph the Earth and transmit images to our primary ground station and to remote ground stations throughout the country.


The University of Michigan's CubeSat investigating Atmospheric Density Response to Extreme driving (CADRE) mission is a space weather investigation that will improve our understanding of the dynamics of the upper layers of our atmosphere: the thermosphere and ionosphere. 

http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/grammar-school-cubesat-launched-from-iss.html

 

This is how we get an interest in STEM, this is outstanding.....:D

 

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Somehow, Canada's Newest Spacebound Astronaut Seems Overqualified

 

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David Saint-Jacques in the Soyuz simulator. Image: Canadian Space Agency

 

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David Saint-Jacques, a medical doctor, engineer and astrophysicist, will be the next Canadian in space. In November 2018, he’ll blast off aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, spending six months on the International Space Station, according to an announcement Monday at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

 

Saint-Jacques, who comes from Saint-Lambert, Quebec, will be the ninth Canadian in space, and the first since Chris Hadfield commanded the ISS (he came back home in 2013). The Quebec doctor was chosen as an astronaut in 2009, along with Jeremy Hansen, a former fighter pilot from London, Ontario.

 

As a triple threat, Saint-Jacques will be able to do all kinds of experiments and exercises in space, although the specifics haven’t yet been announced.

"The doctor in me is eager to conduct experiments and experience first-hand the effects of microgravity on my body, the engineer in me is eager to operate Canadarm2, the astrophysicist in me is eager to look at the stars while floating in my space suit, and of course, the adventurer in me, he's just eager," he told the crowd of school kids and media gathered inside a theatre at the museum for the announcement, with swooping airplanes just outside.

 

Saint-Jacques said that he was elated when he learned he was going to the ISS. “To me, it’s great to continue on that amazing legacy we’ve built over decades.”

 

On the ISS, between experiments and other duties, Saint-Jacques will take part in the day-to-day operation of the station. He might even make a spacewalk to perform a repair, or help capture a resupply mission sent from Earth with the Canadarm2.

“It’s a big prototype keeping you alive,” said Saint-Jacques of the ISS.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/somehow-canadas-newest-spacebound-astronaut-seems-overqualified-csa-iss

 

Hopefully he does well, the last one we had up was Chris Hadfield, a tough act to follow.     :D

 

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Construction in Nanning
China

 

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Planet Labs Inc.

 

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The urban landscape is changing near Nanning, China. The developing highways and super blocks of the large, master-planned construction projects along the banks of the Yongjiang River contrast with older, residential villages to the south (bottom).

https://www.planet.com/gallery/nanning-construction/

 

:D

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Soyuz control panel from above

 

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Russias new Federation spacecraft's foldaway control panel. Where have we seen that before?

 

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Crew Dragon, and yes there's a window in the top dome  hatch.

 

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Edited by DocM
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I was going to say that seemed awfully familiar!! 

 

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ;) 

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The real kicker is that Crew Dragons control panel can be used as a seat or step when exiting the upper hatch.  Astronaut Anne McClain demonstrates.

 

AnneMcclain-crewdragon.jpg

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Ahh .. NewSpace once again forces others to innovate. And the Russians know a great design when they see it. Something I like about them (among the many things I've always admired) is that they can take a good design and make it great. Then they see a fantastic design, one with "no holes in its' game" and they'll find ways to improve it, taking it in directions that nobody thought to go in. Everybody wins.

 

Soyuz is a great example. That platform is approaching the 50-year mark. It's doing things and has capabilities that nobody dreamed it could perform. That's the sign of a great design, and. I see all of SpaceX's gear in that light too. Extremely robust, solid platforms with plenty of room for upgrades.

 

ULA with Atlas-V and Delta-IV had the Keys to the Kingdom, but they got complacent and now its' bitten them in the rear. They've got a lot to prove with CST-100 ...

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Soyuz will leave a legacy in the form of its mission/utlity module, the "head" of its bug shape.  OrbitalATK7 is positing a large Cygnus for this on Orion, but it's adaptable to Starliner and Crew Dragon too. Lockheed Martin and Bigelow are also in the hunt.

 

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amune5ah.jpg

 

OrbitalATK

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Lockheed

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The "Super-4" config is what's been launched on Atlas-V ... heaviest payload for Atlas-V ever. And it almost didn't make it.

 

.... aaaand I'll be nice. :laugh:

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/17/16

 

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Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (JEMAL) NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer #7 (NRCSD 7) Deployment Operations: Today a total of 6 Dove satellites will be deployed via ground commanding. This morning the NRCSD 7 Silos 1 and 2 were deployed and Silo 3 is planned to be deployed this evening during crew sleep. This will complete the second of three consecutive days of deployment operations this week. NRCSD 7 contains 17 satellites comprised of MinXSS, CADRE, STMSat-1, 2 NODeS, 8 Doves, and 4 LEMUR satellites. The NRCSD is a commercially operated small satellite deployer from the ISS, maximizing full capabilities of each airlock cycle of deployments. The Dove satellites are a fleet of nanosatellites that enables imagery of the entire changing planet to be taken on a frequent basis, with humanitarian and environmental applications ranging from monitoring deforestation and the ice caps to disaster relief and improving agriculture yields in developing nations.

 

 

Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) Operations: Following yesterday’s successful grip strength measurements, today the crew transferred rodents from their habitats to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), and then performed Bone Densitometry measurements and sample processing. This investigation studies the molecular and physical changes to the musculoskeletal system that occur in space. Results will expand scientists’ understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

 

Thermolab Instrumentation for Circadian Rhythms: The crew began the first of a three-day European Space Agency (ESA) Circadian Rhythms experiment by performing instrumentation with the Thermolab Double sensors, mounting the Thermolab Unit in the belt, and activating the Thermolab Unit before beginning a 36 hour continuous measurement. The objective of the experiment is to get a better understanding of alterations in circadian rhythms in humans during long-term space flights. Such knowledge will not only provide important insights into the adaptations of the human autonomic nervous system in space over time, but also has significant practical implications by helping to improve physical exercise, rest and work shifts as well as fostering adequate workplace illumination in the sense of occupational healthcare in future space missions.

 

Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Status: During a process cycle on Thursday night, the stationary bowl temperature in the Distillate Assembly (DA) dropped enough to activate thermostatically-controlled heaters which caused the condenser pressure to increase. The UPA was taken to standby. Due to continued concerns regarding elevated conductivity and precipitation events, a FIT was held and one of the recommendations was to R&R the brine filter which was completed yesterday. An Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA) R&R as well as conversion of the WHC to alternate pretreat were completed today and the UPA is performing as expected.

 

ARED Right Upper Stop Cable R&R:  This morning, the crew reported that the ARED Right Upper Stop Cable had failed.  They replaced it with a spare which was launched during Increment 42, and ARED is now fully operational.

 

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Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

NRCSD deploy
RR ops
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 05/18: RR, WHC hardware gather/pre-treat tank R&R, NRCSD Cubesat deploy

Thursday, 05/19: RR, Sprint Ultrasound, Circadian Rhythms

Friday, 05/20: RR, Emergency book update, Cygnus cargo ops

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    Off
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/17/iss-daily-summary-report-051716/

 

---------------------------------

 

Last Cubesats Released as Rodent Research Continues

 

blog_iss047e120567.jpg

A pair of Cubesats is seen moments after being released from a small satellite deployer on the outside of the Kibo experiment module.

 

Quote

The final set of Cubesats was ejected from the International Space Station today. Inside the orbital lab, the station residents continued more rodent bone and muscle research, checked for microbes and cleaned fans.

 

A total of 17 Cubesats have been released since Monday from a small satellite deployer on the outside of the Kibo experiment module’s airlock. The suite of Cubesats deployed today will provide Earth observations, improve commercial ship tracking and provide weather data on the Earth’s seas.

 

Bone density measurements were on the schedule again for the mice being monitored as part of the Rodent Research-3 study. The experiment is researching the bone and muscle wasting that takes place in space and is exploring an antibody to prevent musculoskeletal weakness to benefit astronauts and people on Earth.

 

The crew sampled and analyzed the station’s surfaces and air for microbes to monitor and protect the orbital lab’s environment. Ventilation fans in the U.S. Destiny lab module were also inspected and cleaned today to keep the air clean and flowing keeping the environment safe.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/18/last-cubesats-released-as-rodent-research-continues/

 

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NASA Nodes Cubesats Deployed From International Space Station

 

oosstp_nodes_scu.jpg

Mission Control for Nodes Cubesats                  NASA

 

Quote

After a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, NASA's two Nodes satellites were deployed on May 16 from the NanoRacks platform and into low-Earth orbit to begin their much anticipated technology demonstration.

 

These tiny satellites have dimensions of only four by four by six inches. The ground controllers for the Nodes mission received confirmation that both satellites are transmitting and are in good health when they passed over the tracking station for the first time, soon after deployment. The first transmission of science data is expected by May 18.

 

Orbiting about 250 miles above Earth, Nodes will demonstrate the ability to receive and distribute commands in space from the ground, while periodically exchanging scientific data from their onboard radiation instruments, a first for small satellites. The satellites will be able to configure their data network autonomously by determining the best-suited of the two spacecraft to communicate with the ground each day of the mission. These demonstrations enable a path toward new network capabilities for operating swarms of small spacecraft in the future.

 

"The purpose of the Nodes demonstration is to test out the potential for using a network of small, low-cost satellites to perform complex science missions," said Andrew Petro, program executive for the Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP) in the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "If we can demonstrate that any single satellite can 'talk' to the ground on behalf of a whole network of satellites, that's a great tool for creating new, more affordable space mission concepts."

 

Since deployment from the station, the Energetic Particle Integrating Space Environment Monitor (EPISEM) radiation sensor aboard each Nodes satellite is collecting data on the charged particle environment above Earth. Montana State University in Bozeman provided the EPISEM instruments under contract to NASA. The Nodes satellites will demonstrate their networking capabilities through communication of this space environment data with each other and the ground.

more at the link...

http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/nasa-nodes-cubesats-deployed-from-international-space-station.html

 

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This is a bit off topic, but I thought it was interesting...

 

Out of this world: 'Moon and Mars veggies' grow in Dutch greenhouse

 

mars-habitat-greenhouse-base-lg.jpg

file image

 

Quote

Establishing a human colony on the Moon and travelling to Mars has been the stuff of dreams since the dawn of the space age.

 

But these visions face many hurdles. How can humans survive for months or years in the ultra-hostile environment of space? What, for instance, will they eat?

 

Agricultural researchers at a Dutch university say they are taking the first steps towards providing an answer.

 

They are growing vegetables in soils similar to those found on the Moon and Mars, looking for ways of helping space pioneers grow their own crops.

"When people go to the Moon and Mars they also have to eat, and it's easiest for them to grow their own food," said Wieger Wamelink, surrounded by several dozen plants in a special greenhouse at Wageningen, an agricultural university in central Netherlands.

 

"We wanted to use real Martian and lunar soil," to see if plants would actually grow in it, Wamelink told AFP.

 

Of course, getting real lunar and Martian potting soil is an impossible ask. But an Internet search revealed an unlikely supplier: NASA.

 

The US space agency makes ground similar to that on the Moon from sand found in an Arizona desert, while Mars' crimson "soil" is scooped from a volcano in Hawaii, Wamelink told AFP.

 

The first experiments started in 2013 after Wageningen received an order of 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of NASA's imitation "space soil" -- at a hefty price of 2,000 euros ($2,285).

 

Wamelink stuck tomatoes, peas, cress and other plants in pots containing the simulated soil... and crossed his fingers.

 

To work in this soil "was very special. Nobody, not even NASA, could tell us what would happen," even just by simply adding water, he said.

 

The imitation ground at first was a little "reluctant" to absorb water, but soon turned out to be good potting soil.

 

Like the actor Matt Damon in the science fiction movie "The Martian", Wamelink watched with amazement as his "space veggies" grew bigger day-by-day.

 

"Especially in the Martian soil, plants were growing very fast and very good. They even started to flower, something that we never anticipated," Wamelink said. The 50-day experiment was written up in the science journal PLOS One in August 2014.

 

- Safe for humans? -

 

An essential question however remains whether these unusual vegetables are safe to eat.

 

Martian and lunar soil, including NASA's own imitation, may contain heavy metals that are harmless to plants but could prove deadly to humans.

Wamelink has come up with a possible solution.

 

If analyses show that the vegetables contain arsenic, mercury or iron making them unfit for human consumption, the soil can be purified by growing other plant species such as violets which absorb the poisons.

 

Wamelink concedes that the experiment has a drawback -- it is being conducted in non-sterile conditions on Earth where only the nutrient quality of the soil is being assessed.

 

"There's much more to test," Wamelink admitted.

 

Extremely cold temperatures -- dropping to minus 62 degrees Celsius (minus 79 Fahrenheit) on Mars -- as well as a lack of oxygen means that lunar or Martian vegetables and fruit could only be grown in a closed and controlled environment.

 

The facility would have to be pressurised to normal atmospheric conditions on Earth, heated and lit, and protected from cosmic radiation, which damages plant DNA.

 

That points to a "space greenhouse" -- a type of container, buried underground and kitted out with solar panels and LED lighting. Water should be no problem as it is found as ice on both the Moon and Mars, said Wamelink.

 

Other questions that need answers include the presence of friendly bacteria to help plant growth and what happens to plants that grow in low gravity.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Out_of_this_world_Moon_and_Mars_veggies_grow_in_Dutch_greenhouse_999.html

 

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Spring Tulips
Netherlands

12 days ago

 

tulips-web.jpg

Planet labs Inc.

 

Quote

Bright fields of tulips bloom just outside the town of Den Helder. Tulips have grown in North Holland’s cool spring climate since the 16th century.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/tulips/

 

:D

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 May 2016

 

iss_on_orbit_status_011514_945.jpg

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 May 2016.             NASA

 

Quote

The final set of Cubesats was ejected from the International Space Station today. Inside the orbital lab, the station residents continued more rodent bone and muscle research, checked for microbes and cleaned fans.

 

A total of 17 Cubesats have been released since Monday from a small satellite deployer on the outside of the Kibo experiment module's airlock. The suite of Cubesats deployed today will provide Earth observations, improve commercial ship tracking and provide weather data on the Earth's seas.

Bone density measurements were on the schedule again for the mice being monitored as part of the Rodent Research-3 study. The experiment is researching the bone and muscle wasting that takes place in space and is exploring an antibody to prevent musculoskeletal weakness to benefit astronauts and people on Earth.

 

The crew sampled and analyzed the station's surfaces and air for microbes to monitor and protect the orbital lab's environment. Ventilation fans in the U.S. Destiny lab module were also inspected and cleaned today to keep the air clean and flowing keeping the environment safe.

 

Quote

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (JEMAL) NanoRacks Cubesat Deployer #7 (NRCSD 7) Deployment: This morning, operations which began Monday were completed with the deployment of four Dove satellites and four LEMUR-2 satellites. All satellites were deployed on time as commanded. The empty deployer will be returned to the JEM Airlock.

 

Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) Operations: Yesterday the crew completed operations on 5 rodents. They performed operations on 5 more rodents today and are scheduled for 5 each day for the remainder of the week. The crew performed bone densitometry measurments and then transferred the rodents to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) for sample processing. This investigation studies the molecular and physical changes to the musculoskeletal system that occur in space. Results will expand scientists' understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

 

LAB Forward (Fwd) Starboard (Stbd) Inter-Module Ventilation (IMV) Cleaning: During the IMV reconfig it was discovered that this fan is not performing as expected, most likely due to Foreign Object Debris (FOD). Today the crew inspected and cleaned the fan and silencer inlets. The crew subsequently used the Velocicalc tool to take flow measurements in the Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA) 1, Airlock (AL), Node 1 (N1), Cupola, Oxygen Generation System (OGA) rack and Node 2 (N2) ventilation inlets and outlets as part of system health monitoring.

 

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED): The crew reported a loud banging noise during ARED rope exercise. They determined that the right cable arm rope was off its guides and the exercise rope did not retract as far as it should. The ARED is go for bar exercises but no-go for rope exercises. Ground teams are assessing the problem.

 

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) fault: The UPA experienced a fault, likely due to belt slippage inside the distillation assembly. The Waste Hygiene Compartment (WHC) has been configured to use its internal EDV while ground teams assess recovery of the UPA.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
NRCSD deploy
RR ops
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 05/19: RR, Sprint Ultrasound, Circadian Rhythms
Friday, 05/20: RR, Emergency book update, Cygnus cargo ops
Saturday, 05/21: Crew off duty

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Norm
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-18-may-2016.html

 

Space Station Live: Getting the Buzz on Astrobee

video is 5:18 min.

 

 

 

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First German commander among astronauts named for station flights

 

eac-merkel-gerst_005_node_full_image_2.j

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulates astronaut Alexander Gerst on his selection as commander of the International Space Station’s Expedition 58 crew. Credit: ESA/Grothues

 

Quote

International Space Station managers have named crew members to future expeditions to the research lab in 2017 and 2018, including the first German commander of a space mission and Canada’s third astronaut to fly a long-duration residency on the complex.

 

Alexander Gerst, a 40-year-old German volcanologist, will launch to the space station on a Russian Soyuz rocket in May 2018 as part of the six-month Expedition 56/57 mission. He will take over command of the space station in September to lead the Expedition 57 crew, the European Space Agency announced Wednesday.

 

Gerst spent 165 days in orbit on the space station in 2014. The 2018 mission will be his second spaceflight.

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ESA chief Jan Woerner made the announcement Wednesday at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany.

 

“I am humbled by receiving the honor to command the International Space Station,” Gerst said in a statement. “This international sign of trust reflects ESA’s reliability as a cooperation partner, and was made possible by the fantastic work of my European colleagues on their previous missions.”

 

Before his selection as an ESA astronaut in 2009, Gerst earned a diploma in geophysics from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and a master’s degree in Earth sciences from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He graduated with a Doctorate in Natural Sciences at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 2009.

 

Gerst’s research focused on the dynamics of volcanic eruptions, according to his official ESA biography.

 

Quote

Upcoming space station expeditions with fully-named crews are listed below:

 

Expedition 48/49 launching in June 2016

Anatoly Ivanishin (Russia — 2nd spaceflight)

Kate Rubins (U.S. — 1st spaceflight)

Takuya Onishi (Japan — 1st spaceflight)

 

Expedition 49/50 launching in September 2016

Shane Kimbrough (U.S. — 2nd spaceflight)

Andrey Borisenko (Russia — 2nd spaceflight)

Sergey Ryzhikov (Russia — 1st spaceflight)

 

Expedition 50/51 launching in November 2016

Peggy Whitson (U.S. — 3rd spaceflight)

Oleg Novitskiy (Russia — 2nd spaceflight)

Thomas Pesquet (ESA/France — 1st spaceflight)

 

Expedition 51/52 launching in March 2017

Alexander Misurkin (Russia — 2nd spaceflight)

Nikolai Tikhonov (Russia — 1st spaceflight)

Mark Vande Hei (U.S. — 1st spaceflight)

 

Expedition 52/53 launching in May 2017

Fyodor Yurchikhin (Russia — 5th spaceflight)

Jack Fischer (U.S. — 1st spaceflight)

Paolo Nespoli (ESA/Italy — 3rd spaceflight)

 

Expedition 53/54 launching in September 2017

Alexander Skvortsov (Russia — 3rd spaceflight)

Ivan Vagner (Russia — 1st spaceflight)

Scott Tingle (U.S. — 1st spaceflight)

 

Expedition 54/55 launching in November 2017

Sergey Ryazansky (Russia — 2nd spaceflight)

Randy Bresnik (U.S. — 2nd spaceflight)

Norishige Kanai (Japan — 1st spaceflight)

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/18/first-german-commander-among-astronauts-named-for-station-flights/

 

http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-crew-assignments/

 

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Crew Researching How Life Adapts to Spaceflight

 

blog_iss047e120451.jpg

CubeSats fly free after leaving the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer on the International Space Station earlier in the week.

 

Quote

The crew was back at work today with more life science studies and human research. Cygnus cargo transfer work is ongoing as robotics controllers prepare for an external video survey.

 

Mice continue to be observed today for the Rodent Research-3 study. The astronauts are measuring their bone density to learn how microgravity affects muscles and bones and potentially helping crews in space and citizens on Earth stay healthier.

 

Astronaut Jeff Williams scanned his leg with an ultrasound today for the long-running Sprint study. The research is exploring new space exercise techniques that may minimize muscle and bone loss on long duration missions. The cosmonauts were collecting blood and saliva samples for analysis as they explore how living in space affects the human body.

 

Cargo transfers are over half way complete as the Cygnus commercial space freighter targets a mid-June departure from the Unity module. The Canadarm2 robotic arm will link up with the DEXTRE robotic hand tonight. Robotics controllers will then conduct a video scan of the external RapidScat system that monitors weather patterns on the Earth’s oceans.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/19/crew-researching-how-life-adapts-to-spaceflight/

 

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Kure Atoll
Hawaii, USA

7 days ago

 

kure-atoll-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

Kure Atoll is the northernmost coral atoll in the world, a former volcano, and the oldest part of the Hawaiian Island Chain still above water.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/kure-atoll/

 

:D

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/19/16

 

Quote

Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) Operations: The crew has completed operations on 15 rodents. They are scheduled to perform operations on 5 rodents today and 5 more tomorrow which will conclude this session of RR activities.  The crew will perform bone densitometry measurements and then transfer the rodents to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) for sample processing. This investigation studies the molecular and physical changes to the musculoskeletal system that occur in space. Results will expand scientists’ understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

 

Sprint Ultrasound 2 Operations: The crew set up a camera and video, configured Ultrasound 2, placed reference marks on the calf and thigh of the right leg, donned Sprint (Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study) thigh and calf guides, and performed thigh and calf ultrasound scans with guidance from the Sprint ground team. Ultrasound scans are used to evaluate spaceflight-induced changes in the muscle volume. The Sprint investigation evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in ISS crewmembers during long-duration missions.

 

Thermolab Deinstrumentation for Circadian Rhythms: Following completion of a 36-hour measurement, the crew removed the double sensors and the Thermolab Unit before cleaning and stowing the equipment for European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Circadian Rhythm experiment. The objective of the experiment is to get a better understanding of alterations in circadian rhythms in humans during long-term space flights. Such knowledge will provide important insights into the adaptations of the human autonomic nervous system in space over time as well as significant practical implications by helping to improve physical exercise, rest and work shifts and ensuring adequate workplace illumination.

 

Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations: The crew recorded and submitted a walk-through video documenting observations of an area or activity providing insight related to human factors and habitability. The Habitability investigation collects observations about the relationship between crew members and their environment on the ISS. Observations will help spacecraft designers understand how much habitable volume is required, and whether a mission’s duration impacts how much space crew members need.

 

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Status: Yesterday, 2 attempts to start the Distillation Assembly (DA) faulted out due to DA belt slippage. A subsequent attempt resulted in completion of a successful UPA process run. Another process run is now in progress.

 

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Status: Following yesterday’s crew report of a loud noise during cable exercise, the ARED remains no-go for cable exercise but is go for bar exercise. Engineering teams met today and will recommend actions to restore full functionality.

 

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Later today Robotics ground controllers will use the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to unstow the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) and perform a video survey of the RapidScat payload.

 

Cygnus Cargo Transfer Status: The crew has completed approximately 26 hours of cargo transfer with approximately 21.5 hours remaining to be completed.

 

Quote

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

RR ops
RapidScat survey
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Friday, 05/20: RR, Emergency book update, Cygnus cargo ops

Saturday, 05/21: Crew off duty

Sunday, 05/22: Crew off duty

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/19/iss-daily-summary-report-051916/

 

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NanoRacks, LLC Reaches Milestone: Over 100 CubeSats Deployed From The International Space Station

 

f4088db8-1c61-4a9f-92a7-f59b39ab44bb.jpg

 

Quote

On May 18, 2016 the 111th customer CubeSat was deployed from the Company’s NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) via the JAXA KIBO airlock on the International Space Station (ISS).

 

The NanoRacks commercial ISS program has proven critical for emerging companies, universities and organizations worldwide, either as a technology demonstration opportunity or for educational purposes. Customers include: Planet Labs, NanoAvionics, NanoSatisfi (Spire), Southern Stars, NASA, Lithuanian Space Association, Kaunas University of Technology, MIT, Booz-Allen Hamilton, Planetary Resources, GOMspace, Aalborg University, University of Colorado, Boulder and University of Michigan to just name a few.

 

NanoRacks is able to offer this CubeSat deployment opportunity via the Company’s Space Act Agreement with NASA as part of the ISS National Lab in coordination with CASIS. The program is commercially funded, meaning there is no government funding and it is sustained by customer’s revenue.

 

“This week marks an important milestone for NanoRacks and for the Space Station, as we demonstrate the value of commercial contributions to existing government resources,” explains NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “Government and industry working together with both sides contributing is the most efficient pathway forward.”

 

NanoRacks is very thankful to all the ISS partners for allowing our CubeSat Program to grow, especially from NASA’s ISS Program office and the space station team at JAXA. “A new program faces technical and commercial risks but we keep learning and look forward to more innovative commercial services in low-earth orbit in the years to come,” adds NanoRacks’ CTO Mike Lewis.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=48709

 

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Demonstration of Acceleration Inside the International Space Station During a Reboost

video is 5:18 min.

 

 

 

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Florence
Italy

5 days ago

 

florence-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

The red terra cotta roofs of Florence, Italy contrast against bright green, springtime foliage.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/florence/

 

:D

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/20/16

 

Quote

Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) Operations: The crew completed operations on 5 more rodents, performing bone densitometry measurements, then transferring the rodents to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) for sample processing.  Today’s operations conclude this session of RR activities. The next activities are tentatively planned following SpaceX-10 arrival. This investigation studies the molecular and physical changes to the musculoskeletal system that occur in space. Results will expand scientists’ understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

 

Meteor Software Image Loads: Software load was successfully completed using an uplinked image that was copied to the laptop versus using DVDs as originally planned. However, due to a Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) Space Station Power Control Module (SSPCM) inverter trip, the hardware setup could not be completed. Laptop power will remain on to enable the payload developer to exercise command capabilities and the payload 3 power switch will remain off while ground teams work to resolve the issue. Meteor is a new ISS payload with the objective to fly a visible spectroscopy instrument to the ISS to observe meteors in Earth orbit. Meteor uses image analysis to provide information on the physical and chemical properties of the meteoroid dust, such as size, density, and chemical composition. Since the parent comets or asteroids for most of the meteor showers are identified, the study of the meteoroid dust on orbit provides information about the parent comets and asteroids. The plan is to operate Meteor for 2 years in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF).

 

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last night Robotics Ground Controllers (ROBO) powered up the MSS and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to grapple and unstow the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) from Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture 2 (PDGF2). While releasing SPDM from MBS PDGF2, SSRMS Force and Moment Sensor (FMS) Coarse Characterization was performed. The SSRMS, while holding SPDM, was then maneuvered to perform the RapidScat payload video survey. ROBO will return SPDM to the Mobile Base System (MBS) and translate the Mobile Transporter (MT) to Worksite 6.

 

Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Updates: The crew incorporated a new hatch diagram schematic reflecting Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) on Node 3 Aft in the emergency procedures. This is in preparation for next week’s planned BEAM vestibule outfitting and inflation operations.

 

ARED status:  Yesterday, the crew reported a loud noise during ARED exercise.  Ground investigations and on-orbit troubleshooting determined that the right hand ARED rope had come off of its pulley and this resulted in overload of the left hand rope, causing its pulley to jump several teeth.  Today, the crew reset the right hand rope and adjusted it, recovering ARED nominal operations.

 

Quote

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

RR ops
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Saturday, 05/21: Crew off duty

Sunday, 05/22: Crew off duty

Monday, 05/23: RR inventory audit, RR MSG cleanup, TREK hardware setup, N3 BEAM sensor cable install, Ocular Health

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    Off
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/20/iss-daily-summary-report-052016/

 

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Station Gets Ready for BEAM Expansion

 

blog_20151222-beam-01.jpg

BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is highlighted in its expanded configuration in this computer rendering.

 

Quote

The Expedition 47 crew is getting a new module recently attached to the Tranquility module ready for expansion later this week. The International Space Station residents are also running experiments today exploring a wide variety of phenomena and checking station gear.

 

BEAM, or the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is scheduled to expand to full pressurized volume Thursday morning. In preparation, the crew is installing computer cables, checking connections and verifying hardware prior to BEAM deployment. NASA TV will televise the BEAM expansion activities live. Crew entry into the new module is scheduled for next week but will not be televised.

 

The Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) experiment was completed last week and the astronauts are cleaning up and inventorying the gear today. During the wrap up work, the crew also collected station air and astronaut breath samples for the Marrow bone study sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency.

 

Some of the station hardware that helps run and monitor equipment and experiments is getting new gear and upgrades. The Microgravity Science Glovebox, which housed the RR-3 activities last week, is being prepared for video equipment upgrades. A new laptop computer is being loaded with software to demonstrate control of station assets from both the orbital lab and the ground.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/23/station-gets-ready-for-beam-expansion/

 

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Launching Nanosats From The Space Station

 

oo26486634113.jpg

Cubesat deployment                NASA/ESA

 

Quote

Tim Peake: Two nanosats Another 2 Nanosats launched this morning - spot #Gibraltar down there? Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/launching-nanosats-from-the-space-station.html

 

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Report: Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box

 

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Cubesat Deployed            NASA

 

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During past decades, driven by increasingly advanced science questions, space observatories have become more sophisticated and more complex, with costs often growing to billions of dollars. Although these kinds of ever-more-sophisticated missions will continue into the future, small satellites, ranging in mass between 500 kg to 0.1 kg, are gaining momentum as an additional means to address targeted science questions in a rapid, and possibly more affordable, manner.

 

Within the category of small satellites, CubeSats have emerged as a space-platform defined in terms of (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm)- sized cubic units of approximately 1.3 kg each called "U's." Historically, CubeSats were developed as training projects to expose students to the challenges of real-world engineering practices and system design. Yet, their use has rapidly spread within academia, industry, and government agencies both nationally and internationally.

 

In particular, CubeSats have caught the attention of parts of the U.S. space science community, which sees this platform, despite its inherent constraints, as a way to affordably access space and perform unique measurements of scientific value. The first science results from such CubeSats have only recently become available; however, questions remain regarding the scientific potential and technological promise of CubeSats in the future.

 

Achieving Science with CubeSats reviews the current state of the scientific potential and technological promise of CubeSats. This report focuses on the platform's promise to obtain high- priority science data, as defined in recent decadal surveys in astronomy and astrophysics, Earth science and applications from space, planetary science, and solar and space physics (heliophysics); the science priorities identified in the 2014 NASA Science Plan; and the potential for CubeSats to advance biology and microgravity research. It provides a list of sample science goals for CubeSats, many of which address targeted science, often in coordination with other spacecraft, or use "sacrificial," or high-risk, orbits that lead to the demise of the satellite after critical data have been collected. Other goals relate to the use of CubeSats as constellations or swarms deploying tens to hundreds of CubeSats that function as one distributed array of measurements.

http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/report-achieving-science-with-cubesats-thinking-inside-the-box.html

 

Report....Achieving Science with CubeSats: 

Free PDF download

 

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The Aswan High Dam As See from Space

 

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Aswan High Dam             ESA/NASA

 

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Aswan High Dam The Aswan High Dam on the river Nile, creating Lake Nasser. North is left in this picture. Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/earth/the-aswan-high-dam-as-see-from-space.html

 

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An Orbital View of the Himalayas

 

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The Himalayas                    ESA/NASA

 

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Tim Peake: Must be about time for another pic of the Himalayas! Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/an-orbital-view-of-the-himalayas.html

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 May 2016

 

fiso_bigelow_aerospace_070115_945.jpg

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 May 2016.     NASA

 

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The Expedition 47 crew is getting a new module recently attached to the Tranquility module ready for expansion later this week. The International Space Station residents are also running experiments today exploring a wide variety of phenomena and checking station gear.

 

BEAM, or the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is scheduled to expand to full pressurized volume Thursday morning. In preparation, the crew is installing computer cables, checking connections and verifying hardware prior to BEAM deployment. NASA TV will televise the BEAM expansion activities live. Crew entry into the new module is scheduled for next week but will not be televised.

 

The Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) experiment was completed last week and the astronauts are cleaning up and inventorying the gear today. During the wrap up work, the crew also collected station air and astronaut breath samples for the Marrow bone study sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency.

 

Some of the station hardware that helps run and monitor equipment and experiments is getting new gear and upgrades. The Microgravity Science Glovebox, which housed the RR-3 activities last week, is being prepared for video equipment upgrades. A new laptop computer is being loaded with software to demonstrate control of station assets from both the orbital lab and the ground.

 

Quote

Marrow: Upon waking this morning, the crew took breath and ambient air samples for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Marrow experiment which investigates the effect of microgravity on human bone marrow. It is believed that microgravity, like long-duration bed rest on Earth, has a negative effect on bone marrow and the blood cells that are produced in the marrow. The extent of this effect and its recovery are of interest to space research and healthcare providers on Earth.

 

Auxin Transport Run #2: The crew conducted the first day of the second Auxin Transport experiment run by gathering hardware and retrieving the samples from the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) before preparing and installing the samples into the Cell Biology Experiment Unit (CBEF) for incubation. The incubation process takes 3 days and will be followed by fixation, sampling and closeout on day 4. This Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) investigation clarifies the role of auxins in pea and corn seedlings grown in microgravity, leading to new insight into how gravity, or the lack of gravity, affects plant development. This study may contribute to increasing the efficiency of plant cultivation in plant factories. The data obtained from the second experiment run will provide evidence of spaceflight alterations in auxin polar transport and endogenous levels of auxin, resulting in automorphogenesis.

 

Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) Preparations: In preparation for vestibule outfitting activities and inflation, today the crew completed the following:

- Installation of N3 BEAM laptop cable to allow BEAM laptop connection to N3 Aft bulkhead and BEAM sensor systems,
- Verification that the BEAM Deployment Controller passes BIT check prior to deployment,
- Emergency procedure refresher On-Board Training (OBT) session (all 6 crewmembers).

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last Friday, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and performed Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Latch End Effector (LEE) checkouts. They then maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to stow SPDM on Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture 2 (PDGF2). While SPDM LEE was capturing MBS PDGF2, SSRMS Force and Moment Sensor (FMS) Coarse Characterization was performed. SSRMS was maneuvered to translate configuration and the Mobile Transporter (MT) was translated to Worksite 6 (WS6).

 

Cygnus Cargo Operations: The crew has completed approximately 31.5 hours of cargo transfer operations with approximately 15 hours of transfer remaining.

 

62 Progress (62P): On Sunday, the crew reported seeing flakes of a substance floating away from 62P and provided photographs of the small white particles. Moscow worked with the crew over the course of the day to check the pressure of the air reserve section of Rodnik tank БВ-2. Since Thursday evening, Moscow has observed lower than expected readings from this section of the tank. The Russian crew took readings from that tank with a manual pressure gauge and confirmed that it is at a lower pressure and the telemetry is accurate.

 

The main section of the tank is currently full of urine for disposal and is in an unpressurized section of 62P. No change in operations is being recommended at this time. Moscow will continue to monitor tank telemetry and will ask the crew to check occasionally with the manual gauge. Undock is planned for July 5.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
BEAM activities
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 05/24: BEAM vestibule outfitting and leak check, Cygnus cargo transfer, N3 Aft PPRV sample port cap removal, Ocular Health
Wednesday, 05/25: BEAM vestibule outfitting, EHS SM water collect/MCD, CFM process, RR habitat stow, Ocular Health
Thursday, 05/26: BEAM leak check, inflation, deploy, EMCS water pump tube install, Cygnus cargo transfer

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-23-may-2016.html

 

Space Station Live: Expanding BEAM

video is 6:26 min.

 

 

 

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Progress Cargo Craft Docked to ISS suffers Fluid Leak

 

progressms-leak-closeup-512x294.jpg

credit NASA

 

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The Progress MS cargo spacecraft currently docked to the International Space Station suffered what is suspected to be a minor leak in one of its fluid tanks.

 

The crew aboard ISS reported seeing white flakes departing the Progress spacecraft on Sunday and provided photos for an assessment by teams on the ground and the leak was later confirmed through pressure measurements.

 

Mission Control Moscow had been observing a decline in Rodnik tank БВ-2 pressures since Thursday night, though the initial belief was a fault in the telemetry data. After the crew’s observation, Mission Control instructed them to complete a manual check of the pressure in the air reserve section of БВ-2. The measurement confirmed that the pressure was lower than expected and telemetry was accurate.

 

Located in the Refueling Module of the Progress spacecraft is a pair of water tanks (БВ-1 & 2) capable of holding 420 Kilograms of water for delivery to the Space Station. The spherical tanks consist of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tanks through air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane.

 

Typically, water is transferred to tanks aboard ISS after the Progress arrives at the Station and the two Rodnik tanks are filled with liquid waste (Urine) over the course of the docked mission using pumping equipment to transfer the liquid from portable tanks to the Progress. The Russian policy is not to recycle potable water from urine like it is routinely performed on the US Segment as a measure to limit the amount of water that needs to be flown up to the Station.

 

Progress MS – the first in the upgraded MS series of Progress and Soyuz spacecraft – launched back on December 21, 2015 and completed a two-day rendezvous with ISS during which testing of the new spacecraft systems were conducted. Making a fully automated docking on December 23, the Progress arrived right in time for the holidays, delivering 2,436 Kilograms of food, fuel and supplies to the six crew members in orbit.

 

At the time the leak was detected, the БВ-2 tank had already been filled with urine for disposal. As a precautionary measure, the Station crew was instructed to close window shutters to protect the windows from contamination and limit the time shutters are opened to a minimum.

 

The Progress spacecraft is booked for a stay until July 5 and no change in operations was recommended by Monday night. Mission Control will continue monitoring the tank to detect a change in leak rate should it occur and the crew is currently performing two manual pressure readings per day to keep track of the situation.

 

In the Evening Daily Planning Conference on Tuesday, the crew reported the pressure in the tank was continuing to decline, indicating the leak was still active. Moscow asked for additional images to be taken before crew sleep.

http://spaceflight101.com/progress-cargo-craft-docked-to-iss-suffers-fluid-leak/

 

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Station Gets Ready for BEAM Expansion

 

Quote

The Expedition 47 crew is getting a new module recently attached to the Tranquility module ready for expansion later this week. The International Space Station residents are also running experiments today exploring a wide variety of phenomena and checking station gear.

 

BEAM, or the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is scheduled to expand to full pressurized volume Thursday morning. In preparation, the crew is installing computer cables, checking connections and verifying hardware prior to BEAM deployment. NASA TV will televise the BEAM expansion activities live. Crew entry into the new module is scheduled for next week but will not be televised.

 

The Rodent Research-3 (RR-3) experiment was completed last week and the astronauts are cleaning up and inventorying the gear today. During the wrap up work, the crew also collected station air and astronaut breath samples for the Marrow bone study sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency.

 

Some of the station hardware that helps run and monitor equipment and experiments is getting new gear and upgrades. The Microgravity Science Glovebox, which housed the RR-3 activities last week, is being prepared for video equipment upgrades. A new laptop computer is being loaded with software to demonstrate control of station assets from both the orbital lab and the ground.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/23/station-gets-ready-for-beam-expansion/

 

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SpaceX Dragon Targets Mid-July Launch

 

blog_iss047e025377.jpg

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams took this majestic image of “Islands in the Sky” on Mar. 3, 2016 as dusk fell over the oceans.

 

Quote

SpaceX and NASA managers are targeting July 16 for the launch of the ninth Dragon commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, U.S. and Russian spaceships are being packed for upcoming departures in June and July from the orbital lab.

 

The crew also began preparing the vestibule space between BEAM – the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module –  and the rest of the station for Thursday’s expansion activities, by pressurizing the area and performing leak checks.

 

Dragon will lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida carrying supplies, science gear and one of two international docking adapters. The adapters will allow future commercial crew vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX to dock. The first adapter will be attached to the station’s Harmony module in August by a pair of spacewalkers.

 

The Orbital ATK Cygnus private space freighter is due to be the next spaceship to leave the station when it is released June 14. Expedition 47 will end four days later when Yuri Malenchenko, Tim Kopra and Tim Peake undock and return to Earth inside the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft.

Back inside the station, a pair of crew members participated in blood pressure and vision checks for the Ocular Health study. Another astronaut conducted ultrasound scans today helping scientists explore the likelihood of clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis, occurring on long-term space missions.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/24/spacex-dragon-targets-mid-july-launch/

 

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SpaceX Return of Samples Marks Next Step in One-Year Mission Science

 

Quote

More than one thousand tubes of blood, urine, and saliva made their way back to Earth from the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX-8 Dragon capsule, signaling an exciting next step for the scientists leading research for the recently completed One Year Mission. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth from their yearlong mission aboard the orbiting laboratory more than two months ago, but many of the samples critical to the continuation of research have only just made their way back to labs this week.

 

"[It's] like Christmas in May, with frost to boot," said Scott M. Smith, who holds a doctorate in nutrition and is a principal investigator of the Biochemical Profile investigation.

 

Smith was referring to the specialized cold stowage needed to safely transport temperature-sensitive samples. After being collected in space, crew members store the samples in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The tubes are transferred to either powered freezers or insulated coolers with special ice packs which are then packed inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule to be returned to Earth.

 

"SpaceX provides our primary capability for sample return, allowing us to bring home freezer bags and powered freezers containing samples," said chief scientist for the space station, Julie Robinson, who holds a doctorate in Biology.

 

After splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, the Dragon capsule was loaded onto a ship and taken to shore in Long Beach, California. Members of NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) Cold Stowage team transferred the samples to a charter aircraft, where portable, powered freezers awaited. While some investigators were on hand in California to retrieve their samples directly from the Cold Stowage team aboard the aircraft, most of the precious cargo was flown back to Houston for distribution at JSC.

 

"Samples coming home on Space-X include samples from a variety of human experiments," said Robinson. "Most notably blood, urine and saliva collected from the crew for the One-Year Mission and Twins Study."

 

Studies supported by the samples coming back in this batch include Biochemical Profile, Cardio Ox, Fluid Shifts, Microbiome, Salivary Markers and the Twins Study. A point of contact for each study was on hand to receive the samples from JSC's Cold Stowage team.

 

"The inventory process is actually pretty intense," said Smith.

more at ...

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/SpaceX_Return_of_Samples_Marks_Next_Step_in_One_Year_Mission_Science_999.html

 

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International Space Cooperation Strongest in Times of Political Crises

 

Quote

Scientists from different states involved in space exploration tend to work more closely together when politicians fail to set aside their differences, a Roscosmos space agency executive in charge of manned missions Sergei Krikalev said.

 

Krikalev, a Russian veteran cosmonaut and record holder for the second longest time in space, said that scientists are professionals who can see beyond political disputes. They are used to treating one another with respect and are always ready to support one another.

 

"I feel that just when a rift between politicians grows wider, the community working in science, technology and space grows closer together to somehow offset this divide," Sergei Krikalev, of Russia's state-run Roscosmos space agency, told RIA Novosti.

 

Krikalev arrived in the United Kingdom last week for an outreach event at Imperial College London attended by dozens of spacefarers from Russia, the United States and Europe.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/International_Space_Cooperation_Strongest_in_Times_of_Political_Crises_999.html

 

:D

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Tingalpa Creek
Australia
5 days ago

 

tingalpa-creek-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

Suburban Brisbane surrounds Tingalpa Creek—a tidal waterway popular with kayakers, hikers, and birdwatchers.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/tingalpa-creek/

 

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/24/16

 

Quote

Marrow: Upon waking this morning, the crew took breath and ambient air samples for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Marrow experiment which investigates the effect of microgravity on human bone marrow. It is believed that microgravity, like long-duration bed rest on Earth, has a negative effect on bone marrow and the blood cells that are produced in the marrow. The extent of this effect and its recovery are of interest to space research and healthcare providers on Earth.

 

Rodent Research (RR-3) Inventory Audit: The crew continued auditing the remaining RR-3 equipment and supplies. The audit follows the completion of RR-3 operations last week.

Micro-Gravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Video Upgrade Equipment (VUE) Setup: The crew upgraded MSG video equipment by replacing the current MSG video drawer with the new High Definition (HD) video drawer before installing two HD video monitors that will be used with the new video drawers.

 

Dose Tracker: The crew completed entries for medication tracking. This investigation documents the medication usage of crew members before and during their missions by capturing data regarding medication use during spaceflight, including side effect qualities, frequencies and severities. The data is expected to either support or counter anecdotal evidence of medication ineffectiveness during flight and unusual side effects experienced during flight. It is also expected that specific, near-real-time questioning about symptom relief and side effects will provide the data required to establish whether spaceflight-associated alterations in pharmacokinetics (PK) or pharmacodynamics (PD) is occurring during missions.

 

Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) Preparations: The crew removed the Node 3 (N3) Aft Hatch Positive Pressure Relief Valve (PPRV) Sample Port Cap and pressurized N3 to BEAM vestibule to 5psi. An 8-hour leak check is currently in work. The crew also reviewed updates to emergency procedures and key points that were emphasized during BEAM training. In preparation for BEAM viewing, Robotics Ground Controllers walked off the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to the Lab Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF).

External robotics:  Today, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) was walked off from Node2 Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) to Lab PDGF, and manuevered to the BEAM viewing position in preparation for BEAM deployment later this week.

 

Cygnus cargo operations:  36 hours and 50 minutes of cargo work have been completed, with an estimate of 8 hours and 20 minutes remaining to complete all Cygnus (OA-6) cargo operations.

 

Quote

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

BEAM activities
OH support
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 05/25: BEAM vestibule outfitting, EHS SM water collect/MCD, CFM process, RR habitat stow, Ocular Health

Thursday, 05/26: BEAM leak check, inflation, deploy, EMCS water pump tube install, Cygnus cargo transfer

Friday, 05/27: Vascular Echo ultrasound, Ocular Health, Cygnus cargo transfer

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/24/iss-daily-summary-report-052416/

 

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Station Gets Ready to Expand BEAM

 

beam_dual_views2.jpg

This dual view of BEAM shows the expanded external (left) and internal configurations. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

 

Quote

The final preparations are under way for Thursday morning’s expansion of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) from the Tranquility module. Back on Earth, a veteran cosmonaut and a pair of first time space flyers are getting ready for their mission in June.

 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams performed leak checks and installed hardware to monitor and support BEAM expansion set to begin Thursday at 6:10 a.m. EDT (10:10 a.m. UTC). The expansion could potentially start earlier. NASA Television will broadcast the expansion activities live beginning at 5:30 a.m. Crew entry into BEAM, which has an expanded habitable volume of 565 cubic feet (16 cubic meters), is planned for June 2.

 

A new trio of International Space Station crew members is in Russia ready for final qualification exams for a mission set for launch June 24.

 

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin will command the new Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi. The Expedition 48-49 crew members are scheduled for a four-month stay aboard the orbital lab.

 

The crew orbiting in space now explored working with detailed tasks and interacting with touch-based computer screens for the Fine Motor Skills study. They continued stowing gear after completing the Rodent Research-3 bone and muscle atrophy experiment. Other experiments today looked at Earth photography techniques, interactions between space crews and teams on the ground as well as more eye checks.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/25/station-gets-ready-to-expand-beam/

 

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First Expandable Habitat Module on ISS ready for Deployment & Long-Duration Test

 

beam_profile-512x288.png

Image: Bigelow Aerospace

 

Quote

The International Space Station will get a new room on Thursday when the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will be deployed as part of a long-duration test of expandable module technology for future application in space flight.

 

Although the first human-rated expandable module will stay attached to ISS for two years, the crew will only get to enjoy the module a few times as its hatch will remain closed for the majority of the test.

 

The small experimental module will be expanded in stages starting at 10:10 UTC on Thursday while cameras document the deployment sequence to provide knowledge on expansion dynamics relevant for the safe deployment of future modules that will be much larger in size. After expansion, the module will sit idle for one week before the crew completes an initial internal inspection and puts in place sensors that will track the module’s behavior over the two-year stay.

much more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/beam-deployment-preview/

 

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1st Kid-Built Mini Satellite Launches from Space Station

 

stm-studentbuild.jpg?1464040091?interpol

Grade-school students from St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia, designed and built a miniature satellite that deployed from the International Space Station on May 16, 2016.
Credit: NASA

 

Quote

On May 16, the International Space Station launched the first miniature satellite, called a cubesat, designed and built by grade-schoolers.

 

The STMSat-1 satellite launched to the space station on Dec. 6, 2015. It was the culmination of a three-year-long project involving 400 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia, NASA officials said in a statement.

 

STMSat-1 was deployed from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) system on the space station. The satellite will take photos of the Earth and transmit images to a ground station from an orbit similar to that of the space station, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth. 

 

The students were led by Joe Pellegrino, a deputy project manager from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and they learned how to assemble the spacecraft, operate radios and build the ground stations to communicate with the satellite. The children took part in all of the aspects of construction, from circuit design to soldering electronics.

 

The cubesat flew as a part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which gave 16 organizations an opportunity to build cubesats destined for orbit. The selected cubesats received launch opportunities as part of NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) IX mission, which provides access to space for cubesats developed by the NASA centers and programs, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. The mission enables developers to conduct space research at a lower cost than they'd otherwise be able to, according to NASA. 

 

The students' satellite is in good company. Other cubesats on this mission included a miniature satellite from the University of Michigan that will study the upper atmosphere, and a solar flare study designed by a team at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

 

Since 2010, the ELaNa program has selected more than 100 cubesats and has launched 46 of them. The miniature satellites were chosen from responses to public announcements on NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative. NASA will release another call for proposals in mid-August.

http://www.space.com/32960-first-elementary-school-students-cubesat-launches.html

 

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Astronaut Twins Mark and Scott Kelly Honored by NJ Elementary School

 

scott-mark-kelly-elementary-school02.jpg

collectSpace.com

 

Quote

Mark and Scott Kelly are the world's first (and so far only) identical-twin astronaut brothers. Hailing from West Orange, New Jersey, Mark and Scott served as space shuttle pilots and commanders for NASA, with Scott ultimately commanding the International Space Station during two long missions, including a nearly yearlong flight from March 2015 to March 2016. On May 19, 2016, Mark and Scott (Mark is 6 minutes older) returned to their West Orange hometown for the renaming of their childhood school from Pleasantdale Elementary to Kelly Elementary School in honor of their spaceflight feats.

http://www.space.com/32936-elementary-school-named-for-astronaut-twins-scott-and-mark-kelly.html

 

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Alaska As Viewed By People Living In Orbit

 

oo26942075222.jpg

Alaska                      ESA/NASA

 

Quote

Tim Peake: We don't often get such clear views of Alaska Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/alaska-as-viewed-by-people-living-in-orbit.html

 

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Southern Patagonia Glaciers
Chile
3 days ago

 

southern-patagonia-ice-field-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

Massive glaciers drain the Southern Patagonia Ice Field in the Chilean Andes.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/southern-patagonia-ice-field/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 May 2016

 

s119e010500_iss_945.jpg

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 May 2016.             NASA

 

Quote

The final preparations are under way for Thursday morning's expansion of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) from the Tranquility module. Back on Earth, a veteran cosmonaut and a pair of first time space flyers are getting ready for their mission in June.

 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams performed leak checks and installed hardware to monitor and support BEAM expansion set to begin Thursday at 6:10 a.m. EDT (10:10 a.m. UTC). The expansion could potentially start earlier. NASA Television will broadcast the expansion activities live beginning at 5:30 a.m. Crew entry into BEAM, which has an expanded habitable volume of 565 cubic feet (16 cubic meters), is planned for June 2.

 

A new trio of International Space Station crew members is in Russia ready for final qualification exams for a mission set for launch June 24.

 

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin will command the new Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi. The Expedition 48-49 crew members are scheduled for a four-month stay aboard the orbital lab.

 

The crew orbiting in space now explored working with detailed tasks and interacting with touch-based computer screens for the Fine Motor Skills study. They continued stowing gear after completing the Rodent Research-3 bone and muscle atrophy experiment. Other experiments today looked at Earth photography techniques, interactions between space crews and teams on the ground as well as more eye checks.

 

Quote

Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) High Definition (HD) Video Drawer Checkout: Following yesterday's installation of the new HD video drawer and two HD video monitors, the crew continued the upgrade process for the MSG video equipment by completing checkout activities. After the hardware was set up and powered, the video signals were routed using the HD Video Drawer Graphical User Interface (GUI) located as a remote desktop application on the MSG Laptop Computer. The MSG HD video hardware was stowed following completion of the checkout activities.

 

Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) Vestibule Outfitting: The crew completed Node 3 (N3) Aft vestibule pressurization and leak check, opened the hatch, and completed installation and hardware deployment in N3 Aft BEAM Vestibule for all of the equipment required to support tomorrow's planned BEAM deployment. Completed tasks were:

- Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Control Panel Assembly (CPA) and Center Disc Cover (CDC) removal,
- ground strap installation,
- deployment of BEAM deployment controller with associated cables except for power cable,
- deployment of multimeter with BEAM Resistive Thermal Device (RTD) jumper,
- installation of BEAM Vestibule data cable.
- BEAM ingress is scheduled for June 2.

 

OA-6 Cargo Transfer Operations: Today the crew completed OA-6 unpack.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
BEAM activities
SPDM OTCM checkout
Nominal ground commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 05/26: BEAM leak check, inflation, deploy, EMCS water pump tube install, Cygnus cargo transfer
Friday, 05/27: Vascular Echo ultrasound, Ocular Health, Cygnus cargo transfer
Saturday, 05/28: Crew off duty, housekeeping

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-25-may-2016.html

 

--------------------------------

 

BEAM Expansion Being Evaluated

 

Quote

Teams on the ground are assessing data from the initial introduction of air into the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM). Operations will resume shortly. NASA Television coverage from Mission Control Center in Houston continues.

Watch live: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

For more information about BEAM, visit: www.nasa.gov/beam. For more information about the International Space Station, visit: www.nasa.gov/station.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/26/beam-expansion-being-evaluated/

 

 

BEAM Expansion Terminated for the Day

 

Quote

Efforts to expand the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) were terminated for the day after several hours of attempts to introduce air into the module. Flight controllers informed NASA astronaut Jeff Williams that BEAM had only expanded a few inches in both length and diameter at the time the operation ceased for the day. Engineers are meeting to determine a forward course of action, with the possibility that another attempt could be made as early as Friday morning.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/26/beam-expansion-terminated-for-the-day/

 

 

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace Analyzing BEAM Status

 

Quote

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace are working closely to understand why the module did not fully expand today as planned. Engineers are meeting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to discuss a path forward for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM). They are evaluating data from the expansion that has occurred thus far. If the data supports a resumption of operations, another attempt to complete the module’s expansion could come as early as tomorrow.

With the team focused on analyzing BEAM’s status, a previously scheduled teleconference for Thursday, May 26 at 10 a.m. EDT has been postponed until we have more information available to share. NASA will send an updated media advisory when the next step for BEAM operations is decided upon.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/26/nasa-and-bigelow-aerospace-analyzing-beam-status/

 

 

 

 

We'll get a better idea tomorrow......

---------------------

 

Mice Studies in Space Offer Clues on Bone Loss

 

amgen_1.jpg

NASA's rodent habitat, developed at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, serves as a home away from home for mice on the International Space Station. Previous rodent experiments aboard space shuttles contributed to the development of new drugs now fighting osteoporosis on Earth. Image courtesy NASA.

 

Quote

Astronauts know their bodies will be tested during time spent on the International Space Station, from the 15 daily sunrises and sunsets wreaking havoc on their circadian rhythms to the lack of gravity that weakens bone density and muscle.

 

NASA is working to counteract these otherworldly challenges to enable long-term human exploration of space. For example, special lighting helps with sleep, and rigorous exercise helps keep astronauts' bodies strong.

 

But, frustratingly, bone loss continues to occur. With missions to Mars on the horizon, the agency is increasingly interested in potential new treatments to help protect astronauts' bodies.

 

"As scientists, we want to know what are the mechanisms that effect bone loss, what are the mechanisms that effect muscle loss," says Jacob Cohen, chief scientist at Ames Research Center. "We want to make sure we keep the crew as healthy as possible, so when they come back, they have a normal life."

more at the link...

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Mice_Studies_in_Space_Offer_Clues_on_Bone_Loss_999.html

 

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New Orleans As Viewed From The Space Station

 

oo26549919224.jpg

New Orleans              ESA/NASA

 

Quote

Tim Peake: Does anywhere party harder than this city? New Orleans Credits: ESA/NASA

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/new-orleans-as-viewed-from-the-space-station.html

 

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Machu Picchu
Peru

5 days ago

 

machu-picchu-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

The Inca Trail twists through the shadowed Peruvian Andes ending at Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Incan citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/machu-picchu/

 

:)

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A NASA/Bigelow media conference was held today at 2:00 pm EDT. The next quote is a quick summary post that I put in the Bigelow thread with reference to the event.

 

Quote

From press conference...rough summary
 
The pressurization constraints are developed by NASA for station safety, therefore using low pressure expansion curve for station safety. This is in addition to Bigelow safety constraints.
 
Early tomorrow, the expansion routine will occur again. If a no go, it will wait till mid/end week for possible robotic platform involvement.
 
Pyro cutters worked, straps were cut and bulkhead bolts were released. They are now dealing with expansion friction and the use of a simulation curve that may not align with actual deployment.
NASA will televise the operation tomorrow, once times are finalized and notices for viewing are released.
 
10% pressure levels, as compared to operational pressure, is being used. NASA and Bigelow are not too worried nor surprised. Station safety being paramount, a slow curve is being used.
 
Fabric and soft goods do have a memory and some adherent forces, and was expected.
 
Storage was slightly longer than 1 year (15 months), but the materials will relax with time. This is a demonstrator mission and will be a learning mission.
 
NASA had changed original plan, where Bigelow onboard tanks expanded unit. Here, Station air source is being used, it is a more metered method for safety. 
 
By overnight, there was approximately 6 inches of expansion longitudinally and axially.
 
We'll see what happens tomorrow, but definitely no major concern.
 
Material friction is the issue. Will just require time.
 
EVA is definitely not in the plan, will use robotic arm if warranted.
 
Bigelow has no concerns about module integrity, with respect to rapid deployment. It is being done this way for station safety, safety is with respect to coupling of modules, node 1 and node 3, node 3 could break off with severe force, and not likely to happen, but have to err on the side of safety.

.

 

 

-----------------------------------

 

Bigelow Aerospace Provides Updates on the Process to Expand Its BEAM on ISS

 

Quote

Press Release From: Bigelow Aerospace 


Posted: Friday, May 27, 2016

 

Yesterday, NASA made the first attempt to deploy the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) on the International Space Station (ISS). Out of an abundance of caution for the ISS and the crew, operations were halted after the BEAM’s performance no longer matched the forecasted models on the ground. We recognize that the BEAM is a first-of-its-kind spacecraft, and we are in full support of safety being the number-one priority.

 

The BEAM spacecraft has been in a packed state for a significantly longer time than expected. It has undergone a tremendous squeeze for over 15 months, which is 10 months longer than planned. Therefore, there is a potential for the behavior of the materials that make up the outside of the spacecraft to act differently than expected.

 

In 2006 and 2007, Bigelow Aerospace successfully launched and deployed two expandable, pathfinder spacecraft, Genesis I and Genesis II. However, because of the BEAM’s location on the International Space Station, the deployment sequence has been dramatically modified to a much slower approach.

 

It may take NASA a number of weeks to select the best approach to take. We fully expect that full deployment of the spacecraft will occur.

 

For more information on the BEAM, visit: www.bigelowaerospace.com/beamor www.nasa.gov/beam.

 

// end //

http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=48760

 

-------------------------

 

NASA to Televise Expansion Operations for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module

 

beam-install.jpg

This computer rendering depicts the installation of BEAM on the Tranquility module using the Canadarm2. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace will make a second attempt at 9 a.m. EDT Saturday, May 28, to expand the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), currently attached to the International Space Station. NASA Television coverage will begin at 8:45 a.m.

 

During initial operations Thursday to expand BEAM, the module’s length and diameter did not increase with the increased internal pressure, as expected. Teams stood down from operations for the day and engineers depressurized the habitat Friday afternoon.

 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams again will lead operations to expand the module while they are in position to work in the sunlight. Designers need daylight and video communication to closely monitor the process. After successful expansion, a series of leak checks, and other preparations, space station astronauts will enter the habitat through the station’s Tranquility module. They will re-enter the module several times a year, throughout the two-year technology demonstration, to retrieve sensor data and assess conditions inside the module.

 

Expandable habitats are designed to take up less room on a spacecraft, but provide greater volume for living and working in space once expanded.

 

This first test of an expandable module will allow investigators to gauge how well the habitat performs and specifically, how well it protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/27/nasa-to-televise-expansion-operations-for-bigelow-expandable-activity-module/

 

also, indepth analysis at...

Expandable Space Station Module set for Second Deployment Attempt Saturday

http://spaceflight101.com/beam-second-deployment-attempt-2/

 

---------------------------

 

'Metabolomics: You Are What You Eat' 

 

Quote

NASA's Human Research Program is releasing "Metabolomics: You Are What You Eat" video to highlight its Twins Study which uses omics to study Mark and Scott Kelly's metabolites. Omics is an evolving field integrating collections of measurements, biomolecules and sub-disciplines to provide a more complete picture of health.

 

It includes the studies of DNA, RNA, proteins, your environment, microbiome and metabolites, to name a few. This is the sixth video in the omics miniseries of eight videos. The video provides a broad overview of ongoing Twins Study research on the International Space Station and the importance of the metabolome, the collection of an individual's metabolites.

 

Metabolites are key small molecules. They're the chemicals in the body to let you do all the things you do. It's all these things that give you energy, like glucose. They let you move, think, and digest your food.

 

Using a mass spectrometer, researchers can analyze blood and urine for secreted metabolites. By following Scott and Mark Kelly both in space and on Earth, scientists can see a collection of changes occurring. Some chemicals are indicative of high stress but other chemicals are unknown.

 

It is hoped that the Twins Study will show which stress molecules get activated at which times and what other kinds of metabolites are present and active. Identical twins share the same fertilized egg, thus, share similar genes. Because of similarities, researchers can focus on the metabolic changes.

 

One interesting aspect of this study is that the researchers know what Scott Kelly ate during the Twins Study and One-Year Mission. Diet definitely impacts a person's metabolites. They can see which foods cause what kinds of metabolic changes and how that evolves over time. It will be very informative to see how what you eat determines what you are chemically.

 

This information could be helpful for researchers creating recommendations to protect the health of astronauts embarking on long-duration missions, such as a journey to Mars, as well as benefit humans on Earth.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Metabolomics_You_Are_What_You_Eat_video_999.html

 

-----------------

 

ISS Astronauts Enjoy Dish Cooked Up by Students from Hampton, Virginia

 

Quote

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station recently feasted on a spicy Jamaican rice and beans with coconut milk entree cooked up by a team of culinary students from Phoebus High School in Hampton, Virginia.

 

The Phoebus team's dish won the 2015 High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware, or HUNCH, Culinary Challenge. They had to compete against six other high school culinary teams last year during a visit to the Space Food Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

 

The spicy concoction launched to the ISS this past April aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

 

"We wanted to thank the HUNCH team for being able to develop such a great recipe and get it on the space station," says Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra in a video message to the students. "We just want to let you know that we really enjoy it and congratulations again."

 

Kopra, along with flight engineers Jeff Williams and Tim Peake, filmed themselves tasting the entree.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/ISS_Astronauts_Enjoy_Dish_Cooked_Up_by_Students_from_Hampton_Virginia_999.html

 

ISS Astronauts Eat HUNCH Rice and Beans Dish

video is 0:44 min.

 

 

-----------------------------------

 

NASA Chief: Congress Should Revise US-China Space Cooperation Law

 

charles-bolden-nasa-spacex-lg.jpg

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

 

Quote

NASA says the U.S. can someday cooperate with China as it did with the Soviet Union on the Apollo-Soyuz joint project in 1975. Responding to questions Monday at an event hosted by the Mitchell Institute on Capitol Hill, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the U.S. should pursue such a relationship with China in human space exploration.

 

"We were in an incredible Cold War with the Soviets at the time we flew Apollo-Soyuz; it was because leaders in both nations felt it was time," he said. "That represented a great use of soft power, if you will. Look where we are today. I think we will get there [with China]. And I think it is necessary."

 

Current law prohibits NASA from engaging with its Chinese counterparts on such projects. But Bolden, who will travel to Beijing later this year, says Congress should consider revising the law.

 

Peter Huessy, a senior adviser at the Mitchell Institute and prominent defense consultant, tells VOA he is not opposed to a revision of relevant law, but cautions against any premature enthusiasm.

 

"We tend to engage in a lot of wishful thinking when it comes to China," he said. "We should understand China is an explicit adversary and enemy of the United States, according to their own internal documents and strategies and publications."

 

Brendan Curry, vice president of the Space Foundation, tells VOA that small steps can be taken in bilateral relations to calm lawmakers' fears about China's threat to U.S. space assets.

 

The initial steps, he said, would perhaps involve such projects as "working on weather satellite data sharing and things like that - things that will make critics on China on Capitol Hill a little bit more relaxed about the idea of cooperation."

 

Currently there is no strong voice on the Hill to lift the ban on space cooperation with China, given Beijing's growing military capabilities in space.

 

NASA's Bolden says he does not expect the ban to be lifted during his tenure.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NASA_Chief_Congress_Should_Revise_US_China_Space_Cooperation_Law_999.html

 

____________________________

 

 

 

 

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Rio Tibaji
Brazil

5 days ago

 

rio-tibaji-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

The muddy Rio Tibaji darkens as it flows into the still water behind the Mauá hydroelectric dam. Nearby, smoke and steam from the PUMA Project pulp and paper mill drifts over dark green tree plantations.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/rio-tibaji/

 

:D

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BEAM Fully Expanded and Pressurized

 

ISS_05-26-16_BEAM_Detail2.jpg

The space station now hosts the new fully expanded and pressurized Bigelow Expandable Activity Module attached to the Tranquility module. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

Pressurization of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) began at 4:34 p.m. EDT, and the eight tanks filled with air completed full pressurization of the module 10 minutes later at 4:44 p.m. BEAM’s pressure will be equalized with that of the International Space Station, where it will remain attached for a two-year test period.

 

The module measured just over 7 feet long and just under 7.75 feet in diameter in its packed configuration. BEAM now measures more than 13 feet long and about 10.5 feet in diameter to create 565 cubic feet of habitable volume. It weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.

 

During the next week, leak checks will be performed on BEAM to ensure its structural integrity. Hatch opening and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams’ first entrance into BEAM will take place about a week after leak checks are complete.

 

BEAM is an example of NASA’s increased commitment to partnering with industry to enable the growth of the commercial use of space. The project is co-sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division and Bigelow Aerospace.

 

Expandable habitats are designed to take up less room on a spacecraft but provide greater volume for living and working in space once expanded.

 

This first test of an expandable module will allow investigators to gauge how well the habitat performs and specifically, how well it protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/28/beam-fully-expanded-and-pressurized/

 

---------------------------------

 

BEAM module fully expanded on space station

 

beam-expanded-879x485.jpg

A series of photos tracks the expansion of the BEAM module on the ISS May 28. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

WASHINGTON — An expandable module on the International Space Station finally deployed to its full size May 28 after a day’s worth of work, overcoming earlier problems with the experimental module.

 

NASA announced that the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) had expanded to its full size shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern, more than seven hours after ground controllers, working with ISS astronaut Jeff Williams, started the deployment process. A short time later, air tanks inside BEAM released air to bring the module’s pressure up to the same level as the rest of the station.

 

BEAM reached its full size after a gradual, and at timez tedious, process of manually adding air to the module. NASA took a slow approach, sometimes asking Williams to open an air valve for as little as one second before waiting for an extended period to see how the additional air affected the expansion.

 

Later in the day, as engineers became more comfortable with the expansion process, they instructed Williams to air more air, and to do so more frequently. That sped up the expansion process, stretching the module’s length by 170 centimeters from its stowed configuration, while increasing its diameter to 322 centimeters.

 

This was the second attempt to deploy BEAM. NASA halted an initial effort on May 26 after a couple of hours of work where the module did not expand as much as expected. NASA officials said May 27 that believed friction between the folded fabric layers of the module was stronger than expected, causing the deployment to go slowly.

http://spacenews.com/beam-module-fully-expanded-on-space-station/

 

indepth analysis....

 

ISS controllers complete BEAM module expansion

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/05/iss-inflatable-module-beam-expansion/

 

--------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

---------------------------------

 

Next space station trio finishing training at Star City

 

Quote

Expedition 48-49 Soyuz commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and flight engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, along with their backups, conduct final qualification training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, on May 26 and 27.

 

Ivanishin, Rubins and Onishi are scheduled to launch June 24 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft for a four-month mission on the International Space Station.

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/28/video-next-space-station-trio-finishing-training-at-star-city/

 

Expedition 48-49 Crew Undergoes Final Training Outside Moscow

video is 6:15 min.

 

 

 

---------------------------

 

Russia to test humanoid robot at space station in 2020

 

russia-remote-controlled-robot-lg.jpg

A human-like robot can take on dangerous missions by being remotely-controlled by an operator inside the ISS.

 

Quote

According to a deputy chief of the space agency Roscosmos, Russian scientists plan to test their first humanoid robot capable of performing outer space missions at the International Space Station (ISS) in four years.

 

Russian scientists plan to test their first humanoid robot capable of performing outer space missions at the International Space Station (ISS) in four years, a deputy chief of the space agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.

 

"One of our main goals at the ISS is developing technologies and preparing for deep space flights. In 2020, we plan to start flight tests of a space robot designed to assist cosmonauts and astronauts on their spacewalks," Sergei Savelyev told reporters.

 

A human-like robot can take on dangerous missions by being remotely-controlled by an operator inside the ISS.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russia_to_Test_Humanoid_Robot_at_International_Space_Station_in_2020_999.html

 

------------------------

 

 

 

 

Kori Kollo Mine
Bolivia

5 days ago

 

kori-kollo-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

The Andean Plateau is mineral-rich and dotted with mines, including small-scale artisanal mines near La Joya (lower left) and the huge open pits (two abandoned and filled with water) of the Kori Kollo mine (upper right).

https://www.planet.com/gallery/kori-kollo/

 

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/30/16

 

Quote

External Wireless Communication (EWC) System Installation: The crew derouted the existing External Wireless Instrumentation System (EWIS) wire harness in the Lab. They then installed a new coaxial cable that restores current functionality and permits installation of 2 Wireless Access Points (WAPs) at the Lab Forward. The WAPs connect to the Joint Station Local Area Network (JSL) and external antennas already installed on the outside of the Lab.

 

Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM): Over the weekend, the crew and ground teams successfully inflated and pressurized BEAM. Manual inflation was completed with 67” of axial displacement and a full diameter of 127”, and full pressurization followed shortly thereafter. IMV/vestibule reconfiguration will begin Wednesday with ingress planned for Monday, June 6.

 

USOS Stowage Consolidation: In preparation for upcoming visiting vehicles, the crew started moving bags and hardware off PMM rack fronts, relocating SpX-9 return items to Node 2 (N2) Endcone and stowing future crew provisions bags in the crew provisions rack.

 

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday, Robotics Ground Controllers manuevered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to pick up the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) and prepare for the Remote Power Control Module (RPCM) P1_2B_A Remove & Replace scheduled to start tomorrow.

 

Quote

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

CubeSat deploy
BEAM leak check
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Tuesday, 05/31: MARES, SPRINT VO2 ops, Paced Bed Reactor hardware setup, Cygnus cargo ops

Wednesday, 06/01: IMV/vestibule reconfig, SPRINT VO2 ops, ARED cleat R&R and quarterly maintenance, CubeSat deployer stow

Thursday, 06/02: OGS water ORU FSE swap, AUXIN sampling, CIR manifold bottle replace

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    Off
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/30/iss-daily-summary-report-053016/

 

---------------------

 

BEAM Leak Checks Before Crew Enters Next Week

 

CjtqBY2WYAIDE_9.jpg

Astronaut Tim Peake photographed the sun glint over the Earth and tweeted this image. Credit: @Astro_TimPeake

 

Quote

BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, was successfully expanded Saturday beginning two years of tests to demonstrate the new expandable technology. BEAM was pressurized and expanded to its full volume, width and length this weekend after 25 pulses of air were introduced into the new module.

 

BEAM leak checks are underway and will continue before astronaut Jeff Williams gets the go to enter the module on June 6. Williams will install sensors inside BEAM to measure its environment.

 

Japan’s Kibo lab module is sending more CubeSats into orbit this week from a small satellite deployer. The CubeSats are supporting research such as communications and Earth observations sponsored by government, education and private organizations.

 

Back inside the International Space Station, the six-person Expedition 47 crew was exploring human research and advanced physics in microgravity. The crew was also setting up science gear and maintenance hardware and continued packing the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft before its June 14 departure.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/31/beam-leak-checks-before-crew-enters-next-week/

 

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----------------------------------

 

Mailiao Refinery
Taiwan

 

mailiao-refinery-web.jpg

Planet Labs Inc.

 

Quote

Tankers unload crude oil and take on refined products at the sprawling Mailiao Refinery. The refinery produces everything from gasoline to synthetic fibers.

https://www.planet.com/gallery/mailiao-refinery/

 

:D

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 05/31/16

 

Quote

NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer #8 (NRCSD#8) Deployment Operations: Following yesterday’s successful deployment of 1 of NRCSD #8 eight Silos, 2 more were successfully deployed last night and 1 was deployed earlier this morning. The next planned deployment is scheduled for today at 6:55 PM CDT. This is the second of three consecutive days of deployment operations for NRCSD#8. Each Silo contains two CubeSats for a total of 16 Doves. The Dove satellites are a fleet of nanosatellites that enables imagery of the entire changing planet to be taken on a frequent basis, with humanitarian and environmental applications ranging from monitoring deforestation and the ice caps to disaster relief and improving agriculture yields in developing nations. The NRCSD is a commercially operated small satellite deployer from the ISS, maximizing full capabilities of each airlock cycle [of deployments.

 

Packed Bed Reactor Experiment (PBRE) Hardware Setup and Installation: The crew reviewed PBRE reference material before gathering hardware, setting up the PBRE and components, and connecting the cables and hoses in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The video system did not operate as expected, and troubleshooting was unsuccessful.  Ground teams are investigating.  The PBRE will be used to study the behavior of gases and liquids when they flow simultaneously through a column filled with fixed porous media. The porous media or “packing” can be made of different shapes and materials and are used in chemical engineering as a means to enhance the contact between two immiscible fluid phases (e.g., liquid-gas, water-oil, etc.). Packed columns can serve as reactors, scrubbers and strippers in systems where efficient interphase contact is desired, both on Earth and in space.

 

Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) Remove & Replace (R&R) Setup:  In preparation for this week’s activity to R&R RPCM P12B_A that failed in 2012, Robotics Ground Controllers are currently setting up the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) and relocating the Cargo Transport Container (CTC) from External Logistics Carrier (ELC) to SPDM. This activity will restore Camera Port 9 Light (P1 Lower Outboard) heater functionality. All operations are ground controlled with no crew time required.

 

USOS Stowage Consolidation: The crew began this activity yesterday in preparation for upcoming visiting vehicles. Today they continued moving bags and hardware off PMM rack fronts, relocating SpX-9 return items to Node 2 (N2) Endcone and stowing future crew provisions bags in the crew provisions rack. The crew also consolidated items and cleaned out N2 when they unpacked items that were delivered on SpX-8 and consolidated food items.

 

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Maintenance: The crew R&Rd all four mounting cleats on the ARED bench. Fracture analysis performed on the ground indicated that the previously installed mounting cleats had exceeded their operational life.

 

ARED Sensor Calibration: The crew attempted to perform a sensor calibration via the Station Support Computer (SSC) resident software. This was intended to calibrate the rotational sensors in the main arm and the load sensors for cable exercises to utilize the new ARED software load. The activity was aborted due to an error message on the SSC indicating that a required file was missing. Ground teams are currently discussing the signature and determining a forward plan.

 

Water Processor Assembly (WPA) Status: The WPA was commanded to process several times since Friday. The conductivity remained elevated and WPA went into reprocessing several times. Reprocessing did bring conductivity down enough to send product water to the Water Storage Tank. The likely cause of high conductivity is the combination of DiMethylSilaneDiol (DMSD) and ethanol reaching the reactor. Reprocessing allowed the WPA to clean up from the temporary spikes in DMSD and/or ethanol that may have come in from condensate. The WPA has been in reprocess for a total of 18-20 hours between Friday and today. A higher percentage of distillate to condensate was established in the Waste Water Tank to help support the conductivity recovery. WPA is currently in the standard first hour reprocess of a process cycle and the conductivity is 43 uhmos/cm.

 

Quote

Ground Activities

All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

CubeSat deploy
BEAM leak check
Sprint VO2 support
Nominal ground commanding
 

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 06/01: IMV/vestibule reconfig, SPRINT VO2 ops, ARED cleat R&R and quarterly maintenance, CubeSat deployer stow

Thursday, 06/02: OGS water ORU FSE swap, AUXIN sampling, CIR manifold bottle replace

Friday, 06/03: NORS tank swap, MSL sample exchange, CSA centrifuge setup and blood collect

 

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

                              Component    Status
Elektron    On
Vozdukh    Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”)    Off
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”)    Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab    Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3    Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab    Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3    Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)    Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)    Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab    Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3    Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/05/31/iss-daily-summary-report-053116/

 

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Earth Monitoring CubeSats Released

 

Quote

More CubeSats are due to be deployed today contributing to humanitarian and environmental research. The crew is also continuing biomedical science to improve the health of astronauts in space and humans on Earth.

 

The final set of CubeSats will be released tonight from a small satellite deployer outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. This current fleet of 16 CubeSats, also known as Dove satellites, began deploying Monday and will monitor the Earth to help improve disaster relief and agriculture yields.

 

The crew is exploring new space exercise techniques today to keep muscles, bones and the heart healthy during long-duration missions. The crew is also tracking its medication intake to determine the effectiveness and any side effects of using medicine in space.

 

BEAM, or the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is still undergoing temperature and pressure checks while some relief valves and ventilation valves are being swapped out. Astronaut Jeff Williams will enter BEAM for the first time next week to install sensors measuring the expandable module’s environment.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/06/01/earth-monitoring-cubesats-released/

 

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Impressive Clouds Viewed From Orbit

 

oo27282110722.jpg

Clouds Seen From the ISS                     ESA/NASA

 

Quote

@TimePeake: Our orbit is giving us a very low sun angle right now - great for cloud pics!

View is looking NNW towards the Horn of Africa & the Arabian Peninsula from the Indian Ocean, North of Seychelles.
Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 14:22:37 UTC
ISS Nadir: 1.00005°N, 54.9523°E
Sun Position:
Altitude | -24' 57.18" (just below horizon @ nadir)
Azimuth | 291° 35' 50" (WNW) : Shadows Direction (ESE)

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/impressive-clouds-viewed-from-orbit.html

 

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:D

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