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International Space Station (Updates)

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Draggendrop    5,747

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_091916_9

xpedition 49 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA wears a hand-painted spacesuit decorated by patients recovering at the MD Anderson Cancer Center to raise awareness about the benefits of pairing art with medicine. Three spacesuits, HOPE, COURAGE and UNITY, were created during the project. Spacesuit UNITY was created at cancer hospitals in Germany, Russia, and Japan with collaboration from astronauts from NASA’s international partners, ESA (European Space Agency), the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Rubins is seen wearing the COURAGE suit. Credit: NASA.

 

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The three Expedition 49 crew members orbiting Earth right now are moving ahead today with human research and the upkeep of the International Space Station.

 

In the meantime, Roscosmos officials have decided to postpone the Sept. 23 launch of NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.

 

Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin worked throughout the station's Russian segment Monday working on life support systems, checking computers and testing video gear. He also set up an electrocardiogram to begin recording data for 24 hours for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi partnered up for the Body Measures experiment exploring how living in space changes body shape and size. The study involves video-taping, photographing and tape measuring the circumference of a crew member's arms, legs and chest and comparing it with data recorded before, during and after a space mission.

 

The pair also performed a series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet for the Fine Motor Skills study. That experiment explores how astronauts interact with new technologies which may help engineers design new spacesuits and spacecraft for future long-term space missions.

 

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Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI)-2 Auto-Stop Transition: On Sunday, ground teams received notification that MELFI-2 in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) transitioned to Auto-stop. The Brayton Motor powered off, and the rack maintained power and good Low Temperature Loop (LTL) flow. The Cold Stowage team noted that the way the MELFI monitoring software is coded that the software may pick up on an Auto-Stop condition and take action before it's reported in telemetry that is broadcast to the ground. Based on the state of the rack prior to the Auto-Stop, Cold Stowage is confident that is what happened. Due to all other rack parameters being in a good state, the Brayton Motor was repowered and the total time for the Brayton Motor to be off was 1 hour 16 minutes 5 seconds.

 

Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL) Sample Cartridge Assembly (SCA) Exchange: The crew changed out the SCA in the Solidification Quenching Furnace (SQF), removing the calibration cartridge and inserting the first test sample. Ground teams will initiate the runs next week. The Batch-2b of the Materials Science Laboratory Sample Cartridge Assemblies serves two projects investigating how different phases organize in a structure when metallic alloys are solidified. The project Metastable Solidification of Composites (METCOMP) studies the phase formed by the reaction of the remaining liquid phase with an already formed solid, to form a second solid phase on cooling. For this purpose, Bronze (Copper-Tin Alloys) of different compositions will be processed. The other project, Solidification along a Eutectic path in Ternary Alloys (SETA), looks at how two phases that form together organize into lamellar, or fibre, structures when cooling Aluminum (Copper-Silver Alloys). Both projects will provide benchmark samples that will enable to test numerical models that aim to predict these structures.

 

Eli Lily Hard to Wet Surfaces: FE-6 charged batteries in support of the Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment. After the battery charging, the crew verified the setup of the camera and flash that will be used in the experiment run starting tomorrow. In chemistry, wetting refers to spreading of a liquid over a solid material's surface, and is a key aspect of the material's ability to dissolve. The Hard to Wet Surfaces (Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces) investigation studies how certain materials used in the pharmaceutical industry dissolve in water while in microgravity. Results from this investigation could help improve the design of tablets that dissolve in the body to deliver drugs, thereby improving drug design for medicines used in space and on Earth.

 

Hatch Seal Inspection: FE-5 cleaned and inspected the COL, N2 port, N2 Stbd, A/L, N2 Stbd, JLP, JPM Stbd, JPM Zenith and PMM hatch seals, hatch plate sealing surface and hatch handle mechanism for FOD or damage. This is standard preventative maintenance performed every 180 day.

 

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Latching End Effector (LEE) Survey: The SSRMS was powered up and maneuvered to allow for an inspection of the LEE B using the new High Definition cameras.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities completed unless otherwise noted.
MCA Full Calibration
SSRMS LEE B Survey
Battery 4B1 Reconditioning

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 09/20: Vision Test, HTWS sample, CMO OBT, MMS sample, iPIP USB Charger deploy
Wednesday, 09/21: Ocular Health, Personal CO2 Monitor, Clean Bench Valve Checkout, MSPR Combustion Chamber Adapter Plate
Thursday, 09/22: Ultrasound Scan, WHC Water Maintenance, MMS sample

 

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) - Reprocess
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-19-september-2016.html

 

Grace Potter: Look What We’ve Become (NASA Collaboration)

video is 3:37 min.

 

 

 

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Astronauts Study Pill Properties and Laser Heating

 

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The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures. The International Space Station‘s microgravity environment helps reveal new characteristics of physical and organic processes cloaked by Earth’s gravity. Scientists, doctors and engineers use these observations to design products and procedures to benefit humans living on Earth and in space.

 

The new Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment is researching how different materials dissolve in water. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up a camera to automatically photograph the process today using six samples. Results could benefit how pills are designed improving drug delivery inside the body.

 

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi swapped samples for the Group Combustion experiment inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The furnace is a device that observes and measures the thermophysical properties of materials heated to high temperatures using lasers. Onishi is also closing out the Mouse Epigenetics study and cleaning up the Cell Biology Experiment Facility. The life science facility contains an incubator with an artificial gravity generator.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin continued checking out Russian laptop computers and life support systems today. The veteran cosmonaut also transferred gear from a cargo ship and wrapped up a 24-hour data recording session for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/20/astronauts-study-pill-properties-and-laser-heating/

 

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Russia Sets New Launch Date for Soyuz MS-02, Will Reduce Russian Crews to Two

 

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Posted: 20-Sep-2016
Updated: 20-Sep-2016 07:03 AM


Russia's TASS news service reports today that the new launch date for Soyuz MS-02 is November 1.  The launch had been scheduled for this Friday, September 23, but was postponed for technical reasons.  Separately, Russia has decided to reduce the number of cosmonauts it has aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from three to two in order to reduce resupply requirements.

 

Soyuz MS-02 is the second launch of this new version of the Soyuz spacecraft.  It replaces the Soyuz TMA-M series.  The first Soyuz MS launch similarly was postponed for several days -- from June 24 to July 7.  In that case, the problem reportedly was with a new docking system in this variant of the spacecraft.

 

Anatoly Zak at RussianSpaceWeb.com reports that the Soyuz TM-02 launch delay is due to a short circuit in the spacecraft and engineers are trying to determine the exact location -- in the descent module or the instrument module.  Depending on the location of the problem, it could take weeks or months to remedy, or the Russians could substitute the Soyuz spacecraft intended for the next launch, Zak writes.

 

Today's TASS announcement did not provide any details.   It quotes an unnamed NASA official at Russia's mission control center as saying that a formal decision was made yesterday that the launch would take place on November 1.  (It is odd that Russia's official news service could not get a Russian official to make a statement.)

 

Whenever it launches, it will take NASA's Shane Kimbrough and two Roscosmos cosmonauts - Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko -- to the ISS.  They will join three crew members already aboard -- NASA's Kate Rubins, JAXA's Takuya Onishi, and Roscosmos's Anatoly Ivanishin.

 

The ISS typically has six crew members:  three from Russia, at least one American, and the other two from the United States or other partners (Japan, Canada, and Europe).  They rotate on 4-6 month schedules, traveling to and from ISS on Soyuz spacecraft, which can accommodate three people at a time.

 

Roscosmos decided earlier this month, however, that beginning with the launch of Soyuz MS-04 in March 2017 (a launch date that probably now will slip), only two Russians will be aboard until Russia launches its long-awaited science module, the Multirole Laboratory Module (MLM).   It is currently scheduled for launch in December 2017, but the launch date has been delayed a number of times.  Meanwhile, the Russian crew complement will be resized to reduce resupply requirements, allowing Russia to launch only three Progress cargo ships instead of four.

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/russia-sets-new-launch-date-for-soyuz-ms-02-will-reduce-russian-crews-to-two

 

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NASA Opens Media Accreditation, New Target Dates Set for Orbital ATK Resupply Launch from Virginia

 

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Media accreditation now is open, with new launch dates, for the next NASA-contracted cargo resupply flight launching from Virginia to the International Space Station.

 

Orbital ATK is targeting no earlier than Oct. 9-13 for the launch of its Cygnus spacecraft on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. A more specific date will be identified after completion of final operational milestones and technical reviews. Launch times range from 10:47 p.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 9 to 9:13 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.  

 

International media without U.S. citizenship must have previously applied for credentials to cover the prelaunch and launch activities at Wallops. The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 30 for media who are U.S. citizens. Media should send their accreditation request to Keith Koehler at keith.a.koehler@nasa.gov. For questions about accreditation or additional information, contact Koehler by email or at 757-824-1579.

 

This will be the sixth planned cargo resupply mission by Orbital ATK under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company and the fourth launch from Virginia. Cargo resupply by U.S. companies enables a national capability to deliver critical science research to the space station, significantly increasing NASA's ability to conduct new science investigations aboard the world’s only microgravity laboratory. 

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-opens-media-accreditation-new-target-dates-set-for-orbital-atk-resupply-launch

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_092016_9

NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins holds a reference guide during an emergency descent drill aboard the International Space Station. Rubins participated in the drill along with Soyuz commander Anatoly Ivanishin (back) and JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi. The trio conducted the regularly scheduled drill to review the procedures they would follow in the event they needed to depart the station on their Soyuz MS-01 vehicle during an emergency. Credit: NASA (09/09/2016).

 

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The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures.

 

The International Space Station's microgravity environment helps reveal new characteristics of physical and organic processes cloaked by Earth's gravity. Scientists, doctors and engineers use these observations to design products and procedures to benefit humans living on Earth and in space.

The new Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment is researching how different materials dissolve in water. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up a camera to automatically photograph the process today using six samples. Results could benefit how pills are designed improving drug delivery inside the body.

 

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi swapped samples for the Group Combustion experiment inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The furnace is a device that observes and measures the thermophysical properties of materials heated to high temperatures using lasers. Onishi is also closing out the Mouse Epigenetics study and cleaning up the Cell Biology Experiment Facility. The life science facility contains an incubator with an artificial gravity generator.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin continued checking out Russian laptop computers and life support systems today. The veteran cosmonaut also transferred gear from a cargo ship and wrapped up a 24-hour data recording session for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.

 

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Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Repressurization: This morning, FE-5 initiated a repress of the JEMAL then performed a leak check of the airlock. Later this week, the crew will remove the NRCSD from the airlock.

 

Water Monitoring Suite - Microbial Monitoring System (WMS - MMS): FE-6 began operations with the MMS subset of the WMS experiment. The crew reviewed an On-Board Training (OBT) video then configured the hardware to sample a low and high DNA concentration sample using the Razor Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Microbial Monitoring System. The WMS is a set of hardware that monitors microbes, silica and organic material in the water supply on the ISS. The hardware ensures crew members can test and monitor the safety of their water supplies on future space missions, especially on long-duration missions to Mars, asteroids or other destinations where Earth-based testing would be difficult or impossible.

 

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Removal: FE-5 removed a sample from the ELF Experiment Volume and replaced it with a new sample. Ground controllers will use the new sample to continue the checkout of the software and facility. The next planned use of the ELF facility is the Group Combustion experiment, currently scheduled for next week. The Group Combustion investigation tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets. In the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads. Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
Battery 4B1 Reconditioning
Plasma Contactor Unit (PCU) Annual Checkout

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 09/21: Ocular Health, Personal CO2 Monitor, Clean Bench Valve Checkout, MSPR Combustion Chamber Adapter Plate
Thursday, 09/22: Ultrasound Scan, Water Hydraulics Components R&R, MMS sample
Friday, 09/23: Plant RNA, Cubesat Deployer Removal from MPEP

 

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) - Standby
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-20-september-2016.html

 

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U.S. and Russia Targeting Mid-October Cargo Missions

 

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The U.S. company Orbital ATK is targeting the Oct. 9-13 time frame for the launch of its sixth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the space station. Its Cygnus spacecraft will be scheduled to launch atop an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Va., after successfully completing operational milestones and technical reviews.

 

The next resupply mission will be Oct. 20 when the Progress 65 cargo craft launches from Kazakhstan on a two-day trip to the space station. The new Russian space freighter will replace the Progress 63 after it undocks Oct. 14 from the rear port of the Zvezda service module.

Back on orbit, astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi paired up for routine eye exams today with remote support from ground personnel. Rubins, from NASA, also wore personal devices to demonstrate the ability to monitor a crew member’s exposure to carbon dioxide aboard a spacecraft.

 

Onishi, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, continued setting up gear to begin the Group Combustion experiment next week. That study will explore how flames fed by fuel droplets spread in microgravity.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/21/u-s-and-russia-targeting-mid-october-cargo-missions/

 

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Recreating Mars Dust Storms on Parabolic Flights

 

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Recreating Mars Dust Storms on Parabolic Flights.            ESA/ANEMOI4

 

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Mars is a dusty place and you might not think it is surprising that we regularly see dust storms on its surface. But the phenomenon has puzzled scientists since the 1980s when experiments showed that typical wind speeds recorded on Mars are not strong enough to lift the dust.

 

Many theories have been suggested to explain the dust storms but few experiments have investigated them.

 

This experiment was designed by four students from the university of Duisberg-Essen in Germany as part of their thesis project. It will fly on ESA's parabolic flight campaign that offers repeated 20 seconds of weightlessness.

 

Inside the canister is a small wind channel filled with carbon dioxide at low pressure to represent the atmosphere found on Mars. The canister spins like a centrifuge and recreates different levels of gravity - the faster it spins the heavier the contents will be. This experiment cannot be done on the ground because the team wants to recreate Mars gravity - around two thirds of gravity on Earth.

 

This experiment is part of ESA's "Fly your thesis!" educational programme that offers university students a way to run experiments in weightlessness. Follow the teams' progress on their own website.

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/recreating-mars-dust-storms-on-parabolic-flights.html

 

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NASA, JAXA Focus on Maximizing Scientific Output From Space Station

 

iss033e017924_1.jpg?itok=OvRcOcCB

 

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A new program for research cooperation on the International Space Station will enable JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and NASA to encourage researchers and entities from both countries to mutually utilize experiment hardware between the U.S. and Japanese Experiment Module (JEM, or Kibo, which means “Hope” in Japanese).The Japan-U.S. Open Platform Partnership Program was announced by the governments of the U.S. and Japan in December 2015, and will run through at least 2024.

 

“The Open Platform partnership program developed by JAXA and the Government of Japan represents a very unique opportunity for the world’s researchers,” said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations. “Exposing a broader group of the research community to the benefits of space based research will yield tangible results for those on Earth.”

 

To begin implementing this new approach, NASA and JAXA participated in a joint event in San Diego at the 2016 ISS Research and Development Conference. Both agencies presented major achievements of station and Kibo utilization and focused on Kibo’s available experiment hardware and services for potential users.

 

“About eight years have passed since JAXA started the utilization of Kibo,” said Takashi Hamazaki, JAXA Director General for Humans Spaceflight Technology. “JAXA has been asked to show the values, returns and fruits of the ISS for politicians and taxpayers and their voices are getting louder and louder every year. One of the best way is to increase utilization collaboration between JAXA and NASA to maximize the output and outcomes from the ISS and Kibo.”

 

Science leads from both agencies also joined the conference discussion, to expound upon the importance of international collaboration and the variety of science possible in microgravity. Kazuyuki Tasaki, Head of JAXA’s Kibo utilization center, outlined the module’s current focus areas, specifically support for drug design investigations, research into aging and the deployment of small satellites through Kibo’s airlock.

 

“Kibo began operations in 2008, and has completed the phase to search and choose of effective research using space environment,” said Tasaki. “Kibo was established as a base of R&D, JAXA put emphasis on promising area on space utilization and also set the utilization platform with policy as scheduled time, high frequency, cost minimum and regular form in order to maximize the outcome of ISS through the new US-Japan framework”

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/nasa_jaxa_partnership

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_092116_9

The southern tip of Italy is visible in this image taken by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station on Sept. 17, 2016. Credit: NASA.

 

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The United States and Russia are working to get a pair of cargo ships ready for a mid-October launch schedule to the International Space Station. While the new shipments are being processed, the Expedition 49 crew conducted eye checks, wore carbon dioxide monitors and prepared for a fuel combustion experiment.

 

The U.S. company Orbital ATK is targeting the Oct. 9-13 time frame for the launch of its sixth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the space station. Its Cygnus spacecraft will be scheduled to launch atop an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Va., after successfully completing operational milestones and technical reviews.

 

The next resupply mission will be Oct. 20 when the Progress 65 cargo craft launches from Kazakhstan on a two-day trip to the space station. The new Russian space freighter will replace the Progress 63 after it undocks Oct. 14 from the rear port of the Zvezda service module.

Back on orbit, astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi paired up for routine eye exams today with remote support from ground personnel. Rubins, from NASA, also wore personal devices to demonstrate the ability to monitor a crew member's exposure to carbon dioxide aboard a spacecraft.

 

Onishi, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, continued setting up gear to begin the Group Combustion experiment next week. That study will explore how flames fed by fuel droplets spread in microgravity.

 

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Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Combustion Chamber Adapter Plate Attachment: FE-5 installed the Combustion Chamber adapter plate in the MSPR Work Volume. Next week, the crew will be installing and with ground support, initiating the Group Combustion experiment. The Group Combustion investigation tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets. In the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads. Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

 

Personal Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitor: FE-6 donned four Personal CO2 Monitors, wearing them for several hours attached to various locations on the crew's clothes. The crewmember then doffed the monitors, downloaded the data, powered off and stowed the monitors. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a new capability to continuously monitor the astronauts' immediate surroundings on the ISS. All human spacecraft must be designed with environmental control systems that remove CO2 from the air that their crews breathe, but the space environment can still lead to "pockets" of CO2 that are difficult to detect and remove. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a system capable of unobtrusively collecting and downlinking individual crew members' CO2 exposure for weeks to months. The Personal CO2 Monitor also demonstrates Modular Wearable Architecture Base Board, allowing rapid certification of future wearable devices.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
PCA Repress from NORS O2 Tank
BEAM SSC software update
TRRJ Survey

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 09/22: Ultrasound Scan, Water Hydraulics Components R&R, MMS sample, Increment 48 Safety Video Follow-Up
Friday, 09/23: Plant RNA, Cubesat Deployer Removal from MPEP, HRF Resupply, Lab MCA Pumpdown
Saturday, 09/24: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty

 

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 - 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) - Standby
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-21-september-2016.html

 

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All Open Source UPSat CubeSat Delivered to ISISpace as Part of ESA's QB50 Project

 

upsat_qb50_092216_945.jpg

Open Source UPSat CubeSat               LIBRE SPACE FOUNDATION

 

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The UPSat team of engineers is proud to announce the delivery of the first completely open source software and hardware satellite.

 

A major step towards UPSat's launch has being completed. Its successful delivery to Innovative Solutions In Space (ISISpace) took place on August 18th in Delft, Netherlands.

 

UPSat is the first complete delivery to ISISpace as part of the QB50 project. Engineers from the University of Patras (Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics & Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering) and Libre Space Foundation, the makers of UPSat, in cooperation with Von Karman Institute and ISISpace engineers have successfully concluded all checkout tests and delivery procedures, to enable UPSat's integration to the NanoRacks launch system.

 

UPSat will be delivered to Orbital ATK, and then launched to the International Space Station via a Cygnus automated cargo spacecraft scheduled for 30th of December 2016. After successful docking to ISS, UPSat will be launched by the NanoRacks deployment pod aboard ISS.

 

This delivery marks a major milestone towards the realization of University of Patras and Libre Space Foundation vision for the first Greek designed and manufactured satellite within an open source ecosystem in space for space.

more at the link...

http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/all-open-source-upsat-cubesat-delivered-to-isispace-as-part-of-esas-qb50-project.html

 

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Eye Scans, Orbital Plumbing and Story Time for Crew

 

blog_iss049e006997.jpg

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi is at work inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

 

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Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are continuing more eye checks today in the middle of day-long orbital plumbing work. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin packed trash in a resupply ship and researched a variety of Earth and space phenomena.

 

Rubins and Onishi scanned each other’s eyes today using an ultrasound. Doctors on the ground assisted the duo and will use the data to determine how living in space affects vision and the shape of the eye. The pair also participated in the Story Time From Space video series for children demonstrating simple physics experiments.

 

Onishi spent most of his day replacing parts such as sensors and valves in the bathroom, or the Water and Hygiene Compartment, located in the Tranquility module. Rubins analyzed the quality of the station’s water supply and sampled for microbes, silica and organic material.

 

Ivanishin, a veteran cosmonaut on his second station mission, is getting the Progress 63 cargo craft ready for departure next month. He transferred cargo and trash to and from the resupply ship then updated the station’s inventory management system. The commander also spent some time exploring new ways to monitor natural disasters, how the digestive system adapts in space and detecting orbital debris and micrometeoroid impacts on the station.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/22/eye-scans-orbital-plumbing-and-story-time-for-crew/

 

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Roscosmos plans to create robots to work in open space - http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22674/ .

 

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Old-school contraptions still work for weighing astronauts

 

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SPACE BOUNCE  Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Andre Kuipers measures his weight using the pogo-stick-like Body Mass Measurement Device, which uses spring oscillations to determine mass.   NASA

 

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New method to measure mass in space devised — A scale for measuring weight in space that does not depend upon the attraction of gravity has been devised.... In [William Thornton’s] method, the weight of the mass is determined [by] mechanically oscillating a weight in a tray. The heavier the mass, the slower the oscillation rate. The scale is tied to an electronic unit measuring the time required for five cycles of oscillation. A reference to a chart gives the mass’s weight. — Science News, October 1, 1966 

 

 

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UPDATE


Not much has changed. The International Space Station has two spring-based contraptions for weighing in astronauts. An individual rides the Body Mass Measurement Device like a pogo stick — in four or five bounces, it calculates weight. The Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device uses springs to pull an astronaut; the acceleration reveals weight. In 2012, researchers in Europe experimented with compact computer imaging technology — developed for video games — using photos to estimate mass based on a person’s shape and size.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/old-school-contraptions-still-work-weighing-astronauts?tgt=nr

 

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Soyuz MS-02

 

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Sources close to investigation told RussianSpaceWeb.com that a cable located behind the cosmonaut seats inside the Descent Module of the Vehicle No. 732 had accidentally been bent severely enough to damage its insulation. As it turned out, the problem had nothing to do with the encapsulation of the spacecraft inside its payload fairing on September 15, as was initially thought.

 

Replacing the damaged cable is relatively straight forward, but it now has to be conducted on the vehicle fully loaded with toxic propellants and pressurized gases. Such an attempt would violate usual safety rules, but draining the spacecraft off its propellants and gases would likely be even more unprecedented and require lengthy repairs.

http://russianspaceweb.com/soyuz-ms-02.html#culprit

 

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Yukon River, Canada September 19, 2016

 

yukon-20160919-web.jpg

Inside the Arctic Circle, September snow covers Old Crow Flats—a vast wetland and lake complex in Canada’s Vuntut National Park. The remote, ecologically diverse region serves as a temporary home to migratory animals like caribou and waterfowl.   Planet.com

 

https://www.planet.com/gallery/yukon-20160919/

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_092216_9

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi is at work inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. Credit: NASA.

 

Quote

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are continuing more eye checks today in the middle of day-long orbital plumbing work. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin packed trash in a resupply ship and researched a variety of Earth and space phenomena.

 

Rubins and Onishi scanned each other's eyes today using an ultrasound. Doctors on the ground assisted the duo and will use the data to determine how living in space affects vision and the shape of the eye. The pair also participated in the Story Time From Space video series for children demonstrating simple physics experiments.

 

Onishi spent most of his day replacing parts such as sensors and valves in the bathroom, or the Water and Hygiene Compartment, located in the Tranquility module. Rubins analyzed the quality of the station's water supply and sampled for microbes, silica and organic material.

 

Ivanishin, a veteran cosmonaut on his second station mission, is getting the Progress 63 cargo craft ready for departure next month. He transferred cargo and trash to and from the resupply ship then updated the station's inventory management system. The commander also spent some time exploring new ways to monitor natural disasters, how the digestive system adapts in space and detecting orbital debris and micrometeoroid impacts on the station.

 

Quote

Water Monitoring Suite - Microbial Monitoring System (WMS-MMS): FE-6 performed two MMS runs today. Both runs were obtained from the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) water analysis sample bag, and analysis will be performed on ISS unfiltered water. The first utilized a low DNA concentration pouch, the second the high DNA concentration pouch. The WMS is a set of hardware that monitors microbes, silica and organic material in the water supply on the ISS. The hardware ensures crew members can test and monitor the safety of their water supplies on future space missions, especially on long-duration missions to Mars, asteroids or other destinations where Earth-based testing would be difficult or impossible.

 

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Hydraulic Components Remove & Replace (R&R): The crew performed preventive maintenance to R&R the urine valve block, urine lines, urine pressure sensors and WHC flush water tank empty pressure sensor.

 

Ocular Ultrasounds: FE-5 and FE-6 assisted each other in performing routine medical eye imaging ultrasound. The ultrasound images will be used to identify changes in globe morphology and document optic nerve sheath diameter, optic nerve sheath tortuosity, globe axial measurements, and choroidal engorgement.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed otherwise noted.
Data bus characterization Test (LB_PMCU_2 and LB_PMCU_4)
Battery 2B1 Capacity Test

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 09/23: Plant RNA, Cubesat Deployer Removal from MPEP, HRF Resupply, Lab MCA Pumpout
Saturday, 09/24: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty, Finemotor test
Sunday, 09/25: Crew Off Duty

 

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 - 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) - Standby
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-22-september-2016.html

 

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Orbital View: Complexities of The Space Station Truss

 

oo29603599686.jpg

Expedition 48 EVA   NASA

 

Quote

Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams (feet) and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins (right) of NASA conducted a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk on Sept. 1, 2016.

 

The pair successfully retracted a thermal radiator, installed two enhanced high definition cameras on the station's truss and tightened bolts on a joint that enables one of the station's solar arrays to rotate. The spacewalk was the second for Williams and Rubins in just 13 days, the fifth of Williams' career and the second for Rubins.

ISS048e069482 (09/01/2016)

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/orbital-view-complexities-of-the-space-station-truss.html

 

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Earth from Space: Alakol Lake, Kazakhstan

 

esa_earth_from_space_Alakol_Lake_Kazakhs

Earth from Space: Alakol Lake, Kazakhstan.          ESA

 

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Large chunks of broken ice float in east-central Kazakhstan's Alakol Lake in this Copernicus Sentinel-2 image from 5 April 2016.

 

This salt lake usually freezes for about two months at the end of winter, and breaks up in early spring - as we can see happening here. The lake's mineral-rich water and mud is considered to be therapeutic, and tourists often visit the lake's northern shores to remedy skin ailments.

 

Alakol means 'multicoloured lake' - and we can clearly see varying shades of green and blue depending on the depth, sediments flowing in from rivers and streams and phytoplankton. The two smaller, shallower lakes to the northwest are Kosharkol and Sasykkol.

 

The Alakol-Sasykkol lake system is both a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is an important migratory stop and nesting area for a variety of water birds, including the Dalmatian Pelican and Greater Flamingo.

 

In the lower-left corner of the image we can see agricultural structures in an alluvial fan. The triangular fan is formed when water runoff from the Dzungarian Alatau mountains (not pictured) hits the plain and spreads out, leaving behind fertile soil.

http://spaceref.com/earth/earth-from-space-alakol-lake-kazakhstan.html

 

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Are cubesats a nuisance to space situational awareness efforts?

 

CubeSats-879x485.jpg

Two cubesats after launch from the International Space Station's Small Satellite Orbital Deployer. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

MAUI, Hawaii – Small satellites and cubesats should not be viewed as a major contributor to congestion or in creating space debris in low earth orbit, at least based on recent history, a panel of experts here said Sept. 23.

 

“We need to change our attitude about cubesats. They are not a nuisance,” Bhavya Lal, a research staff member at the Institute of Defense Analyses’ Science and Technology Policy Institute, said during a panel discussion. “[They are] a very important part of our satellite ecosystem.”

 

Speaking at the AMOS conference, Lal said all but one cubesat has been tracked by the Air Force’s Joint Space Operations Center and 18th Space Control Squadron, which issues collision warning messages. Because of that tracking, the Air Force has been able to ensure cubesats do not crash into other satellites and create unwanted debris.

 

Lal said Air Force data shows cubesats have forced other satellites to maneuver and avoid a collision three times this year, twice in 2015 and three times in 2014. For perspective, U.S. Strategic Command has said all operators performed a total 121 maneuvers in 2014 to avoid potential collisions.

 

The panel marked one of the first large-scale discussions between two pockets of the space community that often have little overlap: the space situational awareness crowd and the small satellite proponents.

 

Cubesats have been derisively – and commonly – referred to as “debris sats” by some operators in the space community. Those operators view cubesats as a danger because many of them are so small they do not have propulsion systems and depend on atmospheric drag to pull them toward re-entry within 25 years, which is the government standard. They are also difficult to initially track, especially when they are launched in batches from the International Space Station.

 

In 2014, Hugh Lewis, a professor at the University of South Hampton, said in a paper that at that time up to two-thirds of all cubesats launched are predicted to remain on-orbit for more than 25 years. That’s about on par or slightly above the rates for all spacecraft. Lewis also suggested cubesat operators follow sustainability practices and debris mitigation activities.

 

“Throw the rules at us,” said Jordi Puig-Suari, a professor at California Polytechnic Institute and one of the founders of the cubesat. “We are not in crisis mode. The professionals are following the rules. The amateurs … will try.”

 

Many cubesats are built by non-traditional space operators, such as universities and even high schools.

 

The Air Force, for example, sends cubesat operators a booklet of recommended behaviors for interacting with the Joint Space Operations Center to improve tracking efforts, said Diana McKissock, who works for the JSpOC.

 

Puig-Suari noted in a slide on congestion that about 417 cubesats have launched this year. On the same slide, he pointed out that the Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program has created about 346 pieces of debris.

http://spacenews.com/are-cubesats-a-nuisance-to-space-situational-awareness-efforts/

 

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New Research Collaboration Explores Microbiome of the Space Station

 

petri-dish-colonies-fungi-sample-iss-mic

A petri dish contains colonies of fungi grown from a sample collected aboard the International Space Station during Microbial Tracking-1, a research investigation that looks at the types of microbes present on the surfaces and in the air of the space station. Credits: NASA/JPL

 

Quote

More than 200 people have crossed the airlock threshold to the International Space Station to conduct research that benefits people on Earth and the agency's Journey to Mars. The microbes they brought with them-and left behind-are the focus of a new collaborative research opportunity from NASA and the non-profit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 

Humans bring microbes everywhere they go-some of which reside inside the body, such as the intestinal tract. Others are outside the body on skin and clothes, for example. When these collective microbial communities enter a human-made environment like the International Space Station they create their own microbial ecosystem known as the Microbiome of Built Environments (MoBE).

 

NASA is seeking proposals from postdoctoral fellows to analyze the microbial communities inside the space station to determine how the communities colonize, adapt and evolve. The researchers will have access to a collection of space station microbial samples gathered over a decade or more, and archived at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

 

"NASA is incredibly excited to partner with the Sloan Foundation through a Space Act Agreement to look at the microbiome of the space station to better understand how to control the microbial environment in future human exploration spacecraft," says David Tomko, Ph.D., space biology program scientist at NASA.

more at the link...

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Research_Collaboration_Explores_Microbiome_of_the_Space_Station_999.html

 

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Engineers pin-point Location of Electrical Fault on Soyuz MS-02 Spacecraft

 

Quote

Russian engineers have isolated the electrical short that delayed the launch of the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft carrying the next three International Space Station crew members. Work is now underway to replace the faulty components and move back into a launch posture for liftoff either in the second half of October or early in November.

 

Originally planned for September 23, the launch of Soyuz MS-02 was pushed after an electrical short was discovered in the last comprehensive test of the spacecraft following its encapsulation in the protective payload fairing.

 

The three Soyuz MS-02 crew members, Commander Sergei Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Andrei Borisenko and Shane Kimbrough, had already entered their final launch flow at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and were sent back to Moscow to wait for a firm launch date and continue training refreshers to be ready to hit the ground running after arriving on ISS.

 

The short circuit on the Soyuz could not immediately be located and engineers hoped it was related to the payload fairing or its interfaces since the short did not show up in any previous testing performed on the Soyuz spacecraft over a period of weeks. However, further inspection showed the fault was located within the spacecraft and work began to isolate the issue which proved out to be a difficult task as teams worked for five days diagnosing the electrical system.

 

Eventually, the fault was found in an obscured location in the Soyuz Entry Module where a burnt cable was found which apparently caused the short to show up during the final electrical test.

 

According to press reports, a replacement for the faulty cable was being shipped to Baikonur as quickly as possible to be installed aboard the Soyuz. The location of the cable will not require Soyuz to be taken apart which had been feared as the worst-case scenario.

 

Quote

Repairs at this stage in the launch processing flow are highly unusual for the Soyuz spacecraft and not a desirable situation since the spacecraft is already loaded with over 800 Kilograms of hypergolic propellants plus high-pressure gases to keep the tanks at pressure and maintain a safe atmosphere aboard the spacecraft.

 

Nevertheless, engineers will work to replace the faulty cable and then repeat a detailed set of electrical checks to ensure no other equipment was harmed when the circuit suffered the short. This work is expected to take until at least early October when Soyuz is hoped to re-enter the regular pre-launch processing timeline.

 

Soyuz MS-02 is currently looking at a launch window of October 12 to 20 with the 19th or 20th the most likely targets if the repairs can be performed quickly. The next window – driven by orbital dynamics between Soyuz and ISS – opens on November 1 and is available should re-testing take longer than expected.

 

Roscosmos said work continues as scheduled on the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft that is also in its final processing flow at the Baikonur Cosmodrome for a planned mid-November launch. This spacecraft, serial #733, could be available for launch as early as November 1st in case vehicle #732 originally intended for the MS-02 mission can not be repaired in time.

 

Caught in the middle of the current situation is the Progress MS-04 spacecraft that was looking at an October 20 liftoff atop a Soyuz U rocket to carry over two metric tons of supplies to the Space Station. Per the current plan, Progress would slip to November while the Soyuz MS-03 mission transitions either to a November or December launch target depending on the status of the spacecraft and orbital dynamics.

 

Should Soyuz MS-02 get off the ground by October 20, the current crew aboard ISS could keep their current landing date of October 30. In case of a delay into November, Soyuz MS-01 with Anatoli Ivanishin, Takuya Onishi and Kate Rubins would have to stay on ISS longer to wait for the arrival of the Expedition 49/50 crew members for a handover of at least one week.

 

The selection of Soyuz landing dates is driven by daylight at the Kazakhstan landing site and it is preferred to have Soyuz touch down in the morning hours to maximize the time crews can work at the landing site in daylight. However, there have been a pair of night landings in recent years and Soyuz MS features a number of upgrades that will enable recovery forces to precisely locate the spacecraft even in the darkest nights.

 

The daylight landing window for Soyuz MS-02 closes in early November and re-opens in December.

 

Because the mission had only been scheduled for 115 days, there are no issues in extending the crew’s stay on ISS until shortly before the Soyuz MS-03 mission is ready for launch in December in order to keep the Station at a full crew. In fact, Soyuz MS-01 could stay in space until early February without violating the maximum in-orbit lifetime of the Soyuz vehicle.

It is wait and see time, hopefully all will work out with only a slight delay.

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 23 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_092316_9

Installation in August 2016 of the NanoRacks External Platform on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/NanoRacks

 

Quote

Today: NanoRack Cubesat Deployer (NRCSD) Removal: FE-5 removed the NanoRack deployer from the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Slide Table, following the successful deployments of 8 DoveSat satellites last week.

 

The next use of the JEMAL will be for Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL), which aims to demonstrate that commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products can be adapted for effective spacecraft external leak location. In the near future, such instruments may be further developed not only to find leaks but also verify repairs have effectively fixed them.

 

Plant Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) Regulation Harvest: FE-6 performed the second harvest of the Plant RNA Regulation experiment by removing the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) Seed Cassettes from EMCS Rotors A and B stowing them in an EMCS Cold Stowage Pouch. The removed cassettes were then stowed in MELFI. Compared to plants grown on the ground, plants grown in space experience broad changes in gene expression, which affects how they grow and develop. The Plant RNA Regulation investigation studies the first steps of gene expression involved in development of roots and shoots. Scientists expect to find new molecules that play a role in how plants adapt and respond to the microgravity environment of space, which provides new insight into growing plants for food and oxygen supplies on long-duration missions.

 

MultiOmics Collection: FE-5 performed sampling in support of the JAXA MultiOmics experiment. Various samples are collected and stowed in MELFI four times throughout the crew's on-orbit duration in addition to a questionnaire and ingestion of fructooligosaccharide (FOS). The objective of MultiOmics is to understand the gut ecosystem of astronauts in the space environment, especially focusing on the immune dysfunction, and to evaluate the impact of fructooligosaccharide (FOS).

 

Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Return to Operations: Today, the crew installed a vacuum hose to a component of the MCA, allowing the component to be pumped down to vacuum. This is required to return the Lab MCA to an operational state. Last week, the crew attempted unsuccessfully to install the vacuum hose from an adjacent rack to the Rack Interface Panel (RIP) located on the rack containing the MCA. There were interference issues on the adjacent rack which prevented installation of the hose. An alternative rack location was identified, and the crew successfully installed the vacuum hose from this new location to the rack containing the MCA. The MCA has been pumped down to vacuum, and the crew reconfigured the MCA for nominal operations. A calibration of the MCA will be scheduled at a later time.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed otherwise noted.
Battery Capacity Testing (Channel 2B-1)
Lab MCA Pumpdown

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Saturday, 09/24: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty, Finemotor test
Sunday, 09/25: Crew Off Duty
Monday, 09/26: ARED Quarterly Maintenance, Lab Window Inspect, Remove MPEP from JEMAL Slide Table

 

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Manual
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Standby
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-23-september-2016.html

 

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Orbital View: EVA Between Solar Panels

 

oo29603598996.jpg

Expedition 48 EVA              NASA

 

Quote

Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins (pictured) of NASA conducted a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk on Sept. 1, 2016.

 

The pair successfully retracted a thermal radiator, installed two enhanced high definition cameras on the station's truss and tightened bolts on a joint that enables one of the station's solar arrays to rotate. The spacewalk was the second for Williams and Rubins in just 13 days, the fifth of Williams' career and the second for Rubins.

 

ISS048e069355 (09/01/2016)

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/orbital-view-eva-between-solar-panels.html

 

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NASA and Orbital ATK Prepping for Mid-October Cargo Mission

 

blog_iss045e176110.jpg

The Cygnus spacecraft is pictured before its capture Dec. 9, 2015 at the International Space Station.                NASA

 

Quote

Mission managers are targeting the Oct. 9-13 timeframe for the launch of the sixth Orbital ATK resupply mission to the International Space Station. A pair of astronauts onboard the station are also training for the robotic capture of the Cygnus resupply ship from Orbital ATK when it arrives about two days after launch.

 

Cygnus’ primary mission is to deliver about 2,400 kilograms of supplies and science experiments to the Expedition 49 crew. When Cygnus departs the station about a month later it will participate in secondary missions including combustion research and deploying CubeSats for weather forecasting before reentering Earth’s atmosphere.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi called down to ground controllers today to review and train for next month’s planned arrival of the Cygnus. The duo will be in the cupola monitoring the Cygnus’ rendezvous and approach before grappling and installing the spacecraft with Canada’s robotic arm Canadarm2.

 

The duo also collected saliva samples for stowage in a science freezer and participated in body mass measurements. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin explored new ways to detect pressure leaks on the space station and continued more research into charged particle systems in magnetic fields.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/26/nasa-and-orbital-atk-prepping-for-mid-october-cargo-mission/

 

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In my opinion, we are about to have another iconic speech tomorrow at the IAC 2016, but nothing can compare to this one...

 

29533458786_815e410919_z.jpg

President Kennedy - We Choose to Go to the Moon

 

 

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President Kennedy - We Choose to Go to the Moon 


Speech at Rice University Stadium in Houston, Texas, President Kennedy standing at lectern. Delivered, "Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort" - a speech famed for the line "We Choose to Go to the Moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
  
Image #: s62-05616
Date: September 12, 1962

President Kennedy - We Choose to Go to the Moon

 

President Kennedy - We Choose to Go to the Moon

 

Image link, various sizes

 

:D and :D

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 09/26/2016

 

Quote

Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP)/Small Fine Arm Attachment Mechanism (SAM) removal: FE-5 retracted the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) slide table into the module and removed the MPEP and SAM.  Tomorrow, the crew will ingress Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA2) to retrieve the JEM ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI) and install it on the Slide Table to support the Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL). 

 

Lab Window Inspection and Cleaning:  Today, the crew inspected the Lab Window for contamination and damage. This inspection attempts to document any contamination or damage there may be on any of the Window pane surfaces.  After the inspection, the crew cleaned the inboard surface of Lab Window Primary Pressure Pane.  The cleaning is being performed to enhance the optics for the METEOR Payload installed in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF).

 

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Quarterly Maintenance: Today, the crew completed regularly scheduled ARED maintenance. They greased the Vibration Isolation System (VIS) rails and rollers and inspected the X-rotation dashpots and main arm bearings.  In addition, the crew performed an ARED Flywheel Cylinder Evacuation that was scheduled for later this week. 

 

Cygnus Capture On-board Training (OBT):  FE-5 and FE-6 participated in a conference with ground specialist to discuss the overall Cygnus (OA-5) capture training plan.  FE-5 and FE-6 reviewed the capture procedure, Backaway Cue Card and Capture Cue card.  Finally the crew performed the computer based training (CBT) review of the OA-5 mission profile, rendezvous crew procedures and interfaces for monitoring and commanding Cygnus.  OA-5 is scheduled to arrive at the ISS in October.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities completed unless otherwise noted.

N3 MCA Zero Calibration
Lab MCA Activation


Three-Day Look Ahead:

Tuesday, 09/27: PMA2 Ingress, JOTI/RELL Installation in JEMAL Slide Table
Wednesday, 09/28: Finemotor Skills, Hard to Wet Surfaces
Thursday, 09/29: BEAM Ingress and Modal Test 


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

Standby

Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3

Operate

Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab

Operate

Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3

Operate

Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)

Standby

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)

Reprocess

Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab

Off

Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3

Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/09/26/iss-daily-summary-report-09262016/

 

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NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 26 September 2016

 

Quote

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---26-september-2016.html

 

Space to Ground: Launch Delay: 09/26/2016

video is 2:03 min.

 

 

 

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Fire and Water Studies for Space and Earth Benefits

 

Quote

Two different studies are under way on the International Space Station – one will observe how fuel burns in space while another is researching how medicine dissolves in water. Results from both experiments could benefit humans on Earth and in space.

 

Astronaut Takuya Onishi is setting up the Group Combustion experiment that will explore how flames spread across a cloud of fuel droplets. Observations may help engineers design advanced rocket engines, as well as gas turbines and industrial furnaces.

 

 

Quote

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is researching how pharmaceutical materials dissolve in water for the Hard to Wet Surfaces study. The space environment can reveal processes masked by Earth’s gravity and help scientists improve how drugs work in humans on Earth and in space.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin was back at work studying how charged particle systems react when trapped in a magnetic field. The veteran cosmonaut, who is on his second station mission, also explored new methods to detect and target landmarks improving Earth photography techniques.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/27/fire-and-water-studies-for-space-and-earth-benefits/

 

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Iguazú National Park, Brazil September 23, 2016

 

brazil-20160923-web.jpg

Highway 277 cuts through the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, dividing the lush green forest of Iguazú National Park from a patchwork of plowed sugar cane farms.  Planet.com

 

https://www.planet.com/gallery/brazil-20160923/

 

:)

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ISS Daily Summary Report – 09/27/2016

 

Quote

Group Combustion Module (GCM) Installation:  Today, FE-5 with the assistance of FE-6, started the first of two days of installation and preparation for the GCM experiment.  The crew began with assembly of the GCM attaching cameras and the Fuel Supply Syringe.  Following GCM setup, the crew then began configuration of the Combustion Chamber attaching the necessary valves and filters.  The GCM will then be installed into the Combustion Chamber.  The Elucidation of Flame Spread and Group Combustion Excitation Mechanism of Randomly-distributed Droplet Clouds (Group Combustion) investigation by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets.  In the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads.  Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

 

Quote

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Latching End Effector (LEE) Survey:  Today, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and maneuvered the SSRMS to the survey position for LEE B.  The EHDC was then used to survey the LEE Snare cables as it was done last Monday, but with different points of view and optimizing the lighting conditions for still imagery.  SSRMS performance today was nominal. 

 

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) Replacement:  This morning the crew changed out the Urine Hose and Receptacle that was installed yesterday, recovering WHC functionality.  Yesterday, after the crew replaced the Urine Hose and Receptacle as part of regularly scheduled maintenance, the WHC Pump Separator unexpectedly continued to run after the crew closed a urine valve.  After cycling the valve, the Pump Separator did turn off.  WHC is approved for use at this time.

 

JEM ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI) and Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) Installation on Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (A/L) Slide Table:  FE-6 ingressed Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA2), retrieved the JOTI hardware, and installed the JOTI on the JEM A/L Slide Table.  Afterwards, the crew installed the Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) onto the JOTI, and retracted the Slide Table inside the JEM A/L.  RELL is a technology demonstration designed to locate external ISS ammonia (NH3) leaks.  Prior to using it for locating actual leaks, an on-orbit test needs to be performed to understand the background environment of ISS and how that affects leak locating.  This on-orbit test will be scheduled later in Increment 49.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities completed unless otherwise noted.

Robotics Ground Control for SSRMS LEE Survey


Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 09/28: Combustion Module Installation and Checkout, Finemotor Skills, Hard to Wet Surfaces
Thursday, 09/29: BEAM Ingress and Modal Test
Friday, 09/30: Energy Experiment, WSTA Fills


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

Operate

Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3

Operate

Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA)

Standby

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA)

Reprocess

Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab

Off

Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3

Full Up

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/09/27/iss-daily-summary-report-09272016/

 

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Soyuz MS-02 launch now targeted for October 19

 

29327604586_c059d1cc03_k-%E2%80%94-kopia

Expedition 49 NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, left, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, center, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko answer questions from the media outside the Soyuz simulator ahead of their Soyuz qualification exams, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. The trio will fly to the ISS aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
 

 

Quote

Russia has re-scheduled the launch of the Soyuz MS-02 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), setting Oct. 19 as the new launch date. The spacecraft assigned to transport the three Expedition 49 crew members to the orbiting lab are scheduled to lift off atop a Soyuz-FG launcher, at 4:03 a.m. EDT (8:03 GMT), from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

 

“It is planned that the primary and backup crews depart for the launch site on October 7. The launch is scheduled for October 19, 11:03 Moscow time (08:03 GMT),” a source in the Russian rocket and space industry told TASS.

 

The start of the Soyuz MS-02 mission was initially targeted for Sept. 23, but was delayed due to a technical malfunction – a burned cable inside the spacecraft. Last week, the Roscosmos State Corporation announced that the launch would be rescheduled for Nov. 1. It was decided to send the crew back to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow to continue training until the new launch date gets closer.

 

Soyuz MS-02 will be the second mission of the upgraded Soyuz-MS spacecraft. The crew for this mission consists of NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko.

 

The first Soyuz MS spacecraft, designated Soyuz MS-01, had also suffered an anomaly that delayed its launch. The MS-01 mission, which transported Russian cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins to the ISS, was postponed from June 24 to July 7, due to a malfunction in the spacecraft’s system of traffic guidance.

 

Developed by RKK Energia, the seven-metric-ton Soyuz MS spacecraft is a modified version of the Russia’s flagship Soyuz TMA crewed vehicle that is the sole means of access to the ISS.

 

Some of the modifications incorporated into the Soyuz MS include an improved position control engine and a GLONASS/GPS system. The spacecraft also has a new approach and docking system, a new computer, and more power-efficient solar panels.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/iss/soyuz-ms-02-launch-now-targeted-october-19/

 

Quote

October 7: The crew return to Baikonur;

October 8: The final crew training and spacesuit fit check;

October 14: Progress MS-02 cargo ship undocking and deorbiting;

October 19: Soyuz MS-02 launch.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz-ms-02.html#0926

 

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Sound Check as Physics and Life Research Continues

 

blog_iss049e004179.jpg

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is pictured during a day time pass over the Earth.

 

Quote

The three Expedition 49 crew members measured noise levels on the International Space Station today and continued exploring how physical and organic phenomena are affected by weightlessness.

 

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins surveyed the acoustic environment inside the station today. She analyzed the sound levels of various life support gear and took standard measurements in the Destiny lab module and the Zvezda service module. Rubins also partnered up with Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi to remix, photograph and stow samples for the Hard to Wet Surfaces pharmaceutical study.

 

Onishi began his day testing his performance on a mobile tablet device. The study, known as Fine Motor Skills, observes how an astronaut adapts to new technology and could help engineers design next generation spacecraft, spacesuits and tools. He then moved onto setting up equipment for the upcoming Group Combustion experiment to research how fuel burns in space. Results could influence the future production of rocket engines and industrial furnaces.

 

On the Russian side of the station, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin sampled different areas searching for mold fungus and bacteria contamination. The commander then repressurized the station’s environment with air from a docked cargo ship and worked on life support system maintenance.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/28/sound-check-as-physics-and-life-research-continues/

 

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Boeing Unveils New Home for Starliner Trainers

 

SuniinPTTroom-1024x509.jpg

 

 

Quote

Astronauts have new training equipment at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston after Boeing installed its Crew Part-Task Trainers that simulate aspects of missions aboard the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The spacecraft and training systems are in development and manufacturing in partnership between the company and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in order to begin flying astronauts to the International Space Station from launch sites in Florida. 

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/09/28/boeing-unveils-new-home-for-starliner-trainers/

 

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iss_09-06-16.jpg?itok=bHvI9IvT

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_092816_9

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, a crew member of Expedition 49 aboard the International Space Station, works on an experiment inside the station's Microgravity Science Glovebox. The glovebox is one of the major dedicated science facilities inside the Destiny laboratory and provides a sealed environment for conducting science and technology experiments. The glovebox is particularly suited for handling hazardous materials when the crew is present. Credit: NASA. (09/13/2016)

 

Quote

The three Expedition 49 crew members measured noise levels on the International Space Station today and continued exploring how physical and organic phenomena are affected by weightlessness.

 

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins surveyed the acoustic environment inside the station today. She analyzed the sound levels of various life support gear and took standard measurements in the Destiny lab module and the Zvezda service module. Rubins also partnered up with Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi to remix, photograph and stow samples for the Hard to Wet Surfaces pharmaceutical study.

 

Onishi began his day testing his performance on a mobile tablet device. The study, known as Fine Motor Skills, observes how an astronaut adapts to new technology and could help engineers design next generation spacecraft, spacesuits and tools. He then moved onto setting up equipment for the upcoming Group Combustion experiment to research how fuel burns in space. Results could influence the future production of rocket engines and industrial furnaces.

On the Russian side of the station, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin sampled different areas searching for mold fungus and bacteria contamination. The commander then repressurized the station's environment with air from a docked cargo ship and worked on life support system maintenance.

 

Quote

Hard to Wet Surfaces: FE-6 performed the sample processing, setup of the Sample Module, and initiated automated photography of the samples. Throughout the day, FE-5 and FE-6 periodically remixed the samples before finally downlinking the day's photographs and stowing the experiment. The Hard to Wet Surfaces (Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces) investigation studies how certain materials used in the pharmaceutical industry dissolve in water while in microgravity. Results from this investigation could help improve the design of tablets that dissolve in the body to deliver drugs, thereby improving drug design for medicines used in space and on Earth.

 

Group Combustion Module (GCM) Installation: Today, FE-5 continued with day 2 of installation and preparation for the GCM experiment. FE-5 installed the Combustion Chamber (CC) that the crew assembled yesterday and the Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Air into the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Work Volume. The Elucidation of Flame Spread and Group Combustion Excitation Mechanism of Randomly-distributed Droplet Clouds (Group Combustion) investigation by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets. In the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads. Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

 

Sound Level Meter (SLM) Survey: Today FE-6 performed SLM acoustic measurements. The Node 3 diagnostic SLM survey plan called for eight sets of measurements, encompassing various Node 3 Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) fan speeds and Rheostat Air Mix Valve (RAMV) settings with the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA) and Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) Pump either on or off depending on the portion of the survey plan being worked, totaling 52 SLM measurements. In addition, standard SLM measurements of the US Lab and Service Module (SM) were taken.

 

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
N3 system reconfigurations for SLM measurements
RPCM AL1A4A_B and LAD62B_A Firmware Update

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 09/29: BEAM Ingress and Modal Test, Energy setup
Friday, 09/30: Energy Experiment, PGT TAK Data Gather
Saturday, 10/01: Finemotor Skills, Hard to Wet Surfaces, Energy Conclude

 

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 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-28-september-2016.html

 

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

 

BEAM Open Today for Tests

 

blog_iss049e007628.jpg

BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is pictured installed on the Tranquility module and expanded to its full-size volume.

 

Quote

BEAM, the new expandable module attached to the International Space Station, was opened up today for tests and equipment checks. The Expedition 49 crew also explored eating right in space, adapting to new technology and studied a variety of other life science and physics research.

Flight Engineer Kate Rubins opened up and entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module this afternoon. She temporarily installed gear inside BEAM for a test to measure the loads and vibrations the module experiences. Rubins started her day with a performance test on a mobile tablet device then videotaped her observations of the living conditions aboard the space station.

 

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi started an 11-day run today to document his meals while wearing a monitor that will take water samples and measure his breathing. The ENERGY experiment will help doctor’s understand metabolism in space and ensure astronauts are properly nourished to maintain the energy required for a long-term mission. Onishi is also continuing to set up the Group Combustion fuel burning study and checked for pressure leaks in the experiment gear.

 

In the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin resumed studying charged particle systems trapped in a magnetic field. He also participated in a pair of Earth photography experiments observing how natural and man-made disasters including industrial activities affect the land and sea.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/29/beam-open-today-for-tests/

 

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Russian space station crews to be smaller next year

 

29185511753_a4badd8322_k.jpg

A Soyuz crew ferry craft (left) and a Progress supply ship (right) are docked with the International Space Station in this view captured during a night pass over Europe. The Strait of Gibraltar is visible in the background. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

Russia’s space agency has decided to cut the size of its crew complement on the International Space Station beginning in March 2017 to reduce operating costs until a new Russian science lab is activated on the complex in early 2018, officials confirmed this week.

 

Only two cosmonauts will occupy the Russian segment of the research lab at one time, down from three residents typically there today.

The decision comes as Russian officials await the launch of a large bus-sized research segment named the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or Nauka, which means “science” in Russian.

 

“We have delays of some modules that (are coming) to ISS, and we checked and understood that we could complete all our programs with two cosmonauts, and we decided to optimize our crew for next year,” said Igor Komarov, head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

 

The launch of MLM aboard a Proton rocket has been delayed several times, most recently from 2013 when engineers at RSC Energia, the prime contractor for Russia’s human spaceflight program, found flaws in the module’s propulsion system.

 

Russian officials returned the MLM to Khrunichev, its builder, to resolve the problems, and the module is now expected to launch in late 2017 or early 2018. The MLM’s launch will be preceded by the jettison of the space station’s Pirs airlock, which currently occupies the connection port on the Zvezda service module where MLM will dock.

 

Russia plans to follow MLM’s launch with the attachment of a node module and a solar array power platform to the space station. Managers at Roscosmos and Energia are considering detaching the newest Russian modules from the International Space Station after 2024, the research lab’s current retirement date, to form the core of a new Russian-led orbiting complex.

 

The space station’s crew normally consists of six people — three Russian cosmonauts, two U.S. astronauts and an astronaut from one of the program’s other partners: Japan, Europe and Canada.

 

With only two cosmonauts on the space station at a time, Russia can reduce the number of Progress resupply missions flying to the outpost from four to three.

 

Komarov said Roscosmos will make open seats aboard Russian Soyuz crew capsules available to NASA and other space station partners. Russia’s decision on crew staffing will likely open up at least two Soyuz seats next year.

 

“If NASA or ESA willing to use (the seats), that’s fine,” said Sergei Krikalev, a former cosmonaut who is now the director of Russia’s human spaceflight program at Roscosmos. “That’s probably a point for negotiation.”

 

After the MLM’s launching, Russia will increase its space station crew size back to three, Krikalev said.

 

“We are planning to reduce the crew size on the Russian side only for a couple of missions,” Krikalev told reporters Monday at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

 

“Two people is enough to do maintenance and science,” Krikalev said. “Of course we will need more people when we have more science.”

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/09/28/russian-space-station-crews-to-be-smaller-next-year/

 

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Iguazú National Park, Brazil September 23, 2016

 

brazil-20160923-web.jpg

Highway 277 cuts through the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, dividing the lush green forest of Iguazú National Park from a patchwork of plowed sugar cane farms.  Planet.com

 

https://www.planet.com/gallery/brazil-20160923/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_092916_9

BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is pictured installed on the Tranquility module and expanded to its full-size volume. Credit: NASA.

 

Quote

BEAM, the new expandable module attached to the International Space Station, was opened up today for tests and equipment checks. The Expedition 49 crew also explored eating right in space, adapting to new technology and studied a variety of other life science and physics research.

Flight Engineer Kate Rubins opened up and entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module this afternoon. She temporarily installed gear inside BEAM for a test to measure the loads and vibrations the module experiences. Rubins started her day with a performance test on a mobile tablet device then videotaped her observations of the living conditions aboard the space station.

 

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi started an 11-day run today to document his meals while wearing a monitor that will take water samples and measure his breathing. The ENERGY experiment will help doctor's understand metabolism in space and ensure astronauts are properly nourished to maintain the energy required for a long-term mission. Onishi is also continuing to set up the Group Combustion fuel burning study and checked for pressure leaks in the experiment gear.

 

In the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin resumed studying charged particle systems trapped in a magnetic field. He also participated in a pair of Earth photography experiments observing how natural and man-made disasters including industrial activities affect the land and sea.

 

Quote

Group Combustion Module (GCM) Installation: FE-5 continued with the third day of installation and preparation for the GCM experiment and was to perform two pressure decay leak checks. After the first check, a leak was detected in the Air/O2 line, thus aborting the second check until specialist can determine the cause and develop a solution. The Elucidation of Flame Spread and Group Combustion Excitation Mechanism of Randomly-distributed Droplet Clouds (Group Combustion) investigation by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets. In the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads. Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

 

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM): FE-6 ingressed BEAM and temporarily installed the Internal Wireless Instrumentation System (IWIS) Remote Sensing Unit (RSU) in Node 3 and the Triaxial Accelerometer (TAA) in BEAM. Following the instrument installation, FE-6 performed a modal test by imparting loads onto BEAM and measuring the acceleration throughout the module. Expandable habitats, occasionally described as inflatable habitats, greatly decrease the amount of transport volume for future space missions. These "expandables" weigh less and take up less room on a rocket while allowing additional space for living and working. They also provide protection from solar and cosmic radiation, space debris, and other contaminants. Crews traveling to the moon, Mars, asteroids, or other destinations could potentially use them as habitable structures.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
Lab MCA Zero Calibration [Delayed]

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 09/30: Energy Experiment, PGT TAK Data Gather
Saturday, 10/01: Finemotor Skills, Hard to Wet Surfaces, Energy Conclude
Sunday, 10/02: 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 - Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-29-september-2016.html

 

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NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 30 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_space_to_ground_report_093016_9

NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 30 September 2016.   NASA

 

Space to Ground: Knock Knock: 09/30/2016

video is 2:19 min.

 

 

 

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

 

Expedition 49 Trio Wrapping Up Busy September

 

blog_iss049e002655.jpg

Astronaut Kate Rubins works on an experiment inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox.   NASA

 

Quote

September was a busy month on the International Space Station filled with a wide variety of space research, a spacewalk, a crew departure and a test of the new BEAM module. One science highlight this month includes a new experiment that may improve how medicine works.

 

This week, astronaut Kate Rubins tested the endurance of the new Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module in the vacuum of space. She also explored how solids dissolve in liquids to help the medicine industry design better performing drugs for humans on Earth and astronauts in space.

 

A new fuel burning study is about to start soon after Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi completes the installation of the Group Combustion experiment. Results from the fire research could help engineers design advanced rocket engines and industrial furnaces. Onishi is also documenting his meals over the next few days for the ENERGY study. Onishi’s meal data in conjunction with his water and breath samples will help scientists understand the nutritional requirements necessary for long-term space missions.

 

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, who took command of Expedition 49 on Sept. 6, has been working on the continuous upkeep of the Russian segment of the space station. The veteran cosmonaut has been preparing a Progress resupply ship for its Oct. 14 undocking. Some of the numerous Russian science experiments Ivanishin has been conducting have been observing the condition of the Earth and exploring human research.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/09/30/expedition-49-trio-wrapping-up-busy-september/

 

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Airbus signs up first customer for external space station platform 

 

bartolomeo-879x485.jpg

Artist's concept of the Bartolomeo platform installed on the exterior of the Columbus module on the ISS. Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

 

Quote

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — An Australian company that is developing an electric thruster is the first customer for an external research platform Airbus Defence and Space plans to install on the International Space Station by the end of 2018.

 

At a ceremony at the International Astronautical Congress here Sept. 28, Airbus signed an agreement with Neumann Space to host a payload on Airbus’ Bartolomeo platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Neumann Space is an Australian company developing a solar-electric thruster that uses metallic fuels rather than a gas like xenon. The company believes that the thruster will have a higher performance versus conventional electric thrusters and be able to use a wide range of metals as fuels.

The company will install an experimental payload on Bartolomeo, a platform that Airbus plans to mount on the exterior of the Columbus module for experiments that require access to the space environment.

 

Paddy Neumann, chief scientist and founder of Neumann Space, said the power requirements for the thruster made flying it on a cubesat or other small satellite impractical. “When we heard about the Bartolomeo platform, we leapt at the chance,” he said in a ceremony at Airbus’ booth at the IAC exhibit hall where the companies signed the agreement.

 

Neumann said his company has booked 100 kilograms of payload capacity on Bartolomeo, but expects to need only 25 to 30 kilograms. “We have, as part of the agreement, the right to sublet” excess capacity to other users, he said. “We’re looking to do this to help encourage other small operators, small startups, universities and other educational institutions to do more stuff in space.”

 

Airbus announced the Bartolomeo platform in June as part of what the company called an “end-to-end service” to provide efficient commercial access to the ISS. The company hopes to have the platform installed on the Columbus module by the end of 2018, but officials at the conference said they were still working out launch arrangements and were in discussions with NASA for the spacewalk that will be needed to install the platform outside Columbus.

Bartolmeo has the support of the European Space Agency. “We’re at a moment of inflection, a moment of change, from where the space station goes from a place where you spend money to being a place where you make money,” David Parker, ESA’s director for human and robotic exploration, said at the signing ceremony. “This project is an opportunity to fully exploit the potential of the space station.”

 

Bartolomeo will not be the first commercial external platform on the ISS. The NanoRacks External Payload Platform, operated by the American company NanoRacks, was installed on the external section of the Japanese Kibo module in August. Ironically, that platform was built for NanoRacks by Airbus.

http://spacenews.com/airbus-signs-up-first-customer-for-external-space-station-platform/

 

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NASA Highlights Science on Next Commercial Resupply Mission to International Space Station

 

Quote

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct 5, to discuss select science investigations launching on the next Orbital ATK commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station.

 

Orbital ATK is targeting no earlier than Oct. 9-13 for the launch of its Cygnus spacecraft on an Antares rocket from pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. A more specific date will be identified after completion of final operational milestones and technical reviews.

 

Participants in Wednesday's briefing will be:

 

Dan Dietrich, co-investigator for Cool Flames at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, will discuss an investigation into a phenomenon where some types of fuels initially burn very hot and then appear to go out, but actually continue to burn at a much lower temperature with no visible flames.


David Urban, principal investigator for Saffire-II at Glenn, will provide an overview of the second in a series of experiments to ignite a large-scale fire inside an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle, after it leaves the space station, to improve understanding of fire growth in microgravity and safeguarding future space missions.


Scott Green, principal investigator for the Controlled Dynamics locker at Controlled Dynamics Inc., will explain how the facility can enable a new class of research experiments by minimizing fluctuations and disturbances in the microgravity environment that can occur onboard a moving spacecraft.


Mary Murphy, senior internal payloads manager for the Black Box at NanoRacks, will discuss the platform that can provide advanced science capabilities and is specially designed for near-launch payload turnover of autonomous payloads.


To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Karen Northon at 202-358-1540 or karen.northon@nasa.gov by 10 a.m. Wednesday, for dial-in information. 

 

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live online at: 

http://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

 

The Cygnus spacecraft will carry crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 49 and 50 crews for the sixth contracted mission by Orbital ATK under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/prnewswire-space-news.html?rkey=20160930DC06154&filter=1639

 

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One-eyed robot learns to see in weightlessness

 

Stereo_camera_on_ISS_drone_node_full_ima

Stereo camera on one of the Spheres - Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellite - drones resident in the Space Station. This is the imaging-focused 'Vertigo' drone: Visual Estimation for Relative Tracking and Inspection of Generic Objects. Image courtesy NASA

 

Quote

A small drone taught itself to judge distances using only one eye during trials aboard the International Space Station, ESA-backed researchers have reported. Although humans can effortlessly estimate distances with a single eye, robots still lack this capability.

 

"It is a mathematical impossibility to extract distances to objects from one single image, if the object has not been encountered before," explains Guido de Croon from Delft University of Technology, one of the investigators.

 

"But if we recognise something to be a car, then we know its physical characteristics, and we can use that information to estimate its distance from us. A similar logic is what we wanted the drone to learn during our experiment."

 

One of the Spheres - Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellite - drones resident in the Space Station was pressed into service for testing.

 

With 12 carbon dioxide gas thrusters enabling rotation and movement in all direction, the bowling ball-sized Spheres are essentially free-floating mini-spacecraft within the Station, used for testing a wide variety of technology.

 

For this test, a drone began navigating inside Japan's module while recording stereo vision information from its two camera 'eyes'. It then began to learn about the distances to walls and nearby obstacles so that when its stereo camera was switched off, it could then begin autonomous exploration using only a single camera.

 

Operating in weightlessness, with no favoured up or down direction, added to the challenge. However, the experiment demonstrated that machine learning would indeed allow the normally stereo-viewing drone to recover from the loss of one camera.

 

The self-supervised learning software had previously been tested thoroughly at the TU Delft CyberZoo - a research lab for flying and walking robots - using quadcopters.

 

The experiment, presented on 27 September at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, marked an important step in an ongoing research effort based on advanced artificial intelligence concepts, in collaboration between ESA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Micro Air Vehicles Lab of the Delft University of Technology.

 

"It was very exciting to see a drone in space learning using cutting-edge artificial intelligence methods for the very first time," explains Dario Izzo, coordinating the research contribution from ESA's Advanced Concepts Team.

 

"At ESA, in particular in our team, we've been working towards the goal for the last five years. In space applications, machine learning is not considered a reliable approach to autonomy: a 'bad' learning approach may result in a catastrophic failure of the entire mission.

 

"Our approach, based on self-supervised learning, has a high degree of reliability and helps drone autonomy. A similar learning approach was successfully applied to self-driving cars, a task where reliability is also of paramount importance."

 

Leopold Summerer, heading the Advanced Concepts Team, adds: "This is a further step in our quest for truly autonomous space systems, which are increasingly in demand for deep-space exploration, complex operations, for reducing costs, and increasing capabilities and science opportunities."

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/One_eyed_robot_learns_to_see_in_weightlessness_999.html

 

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Quote

 

The Expedition 49 crew is getting ready for the mid-October arrival of the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft. The trio is also exploring human research and setting up a student Earth observation experiment.

 

First-time astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are brushing up on the robotic capture techniques necessary to grapple the Cygnus cargo craft. The Cygnus private space freighter is targeted to launch from Virginia between Oct. 9 and 13 and arrive at the International Space Station about 2-1/2 days later.

 

The duo will be inside the cupola at the robotics controls monitoring Cygnus’ arrival then capturing it with the 57.7 foot long Canadarm2. Ground controllers will then take over robotic operations and remotely attach Cygnus to the Unity module. Cygnus is delivering crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the station crew members.

 

Before the pair began training today, Rubins sampled the station’s water for microbes and stowed the Hard to Wet Surfaces research gear. Onishi tested his fine motor skills on a mobile tablet device and logged his diet for the ENERGYexperiment.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin set up the Sally Ride EarthKAM experiment inside a Harmony module window today. The Earth imagery gear allows students to take pictures of Earth from space and share them on the internet.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/03/cygnus-training-under-way-before-launch-set/

 

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 September 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_093016_9

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins aboard the International Space Station, tweeted this image with the caption "Europe and Africa at night – outlines of the continents from space." Credit: NASA.

 

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September was a busy month on the International Space Station filled with a wide variety of space research, a spacewalk, a crew departure and a test of the new BEAM module. One science highlight this month includes a new experiment that may improve how medicine works.

 

This week, astronaut Kate Rubins tested the endurance of the new Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module in the vacuum of space. She also explored how solids dissolve in liquids to help the medicine industry design better performing drugs for humans on Earth and astronauts in space.

 

A new fuel burning study is about to start soon after Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi completes the installation of the Group Combustion experiment. Results from the fire research could help engineers design advanced rocket engines and industrial furnaces. Onishi is also documenting his meals over the next few days for the ENERGY study. Onishi's meal data in conjunction with his water and breath samples will help scientists understand the nutritional requirements necessary for long-term space missions.

 

Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, who took command of Expedition 49 on Sept. 6, has been working on the continuous upkeep of the Russian segment of the space station. The veteran cosmonaut has been preparing a Progress resupply ship for its Oct. 14 undocking. Some of the numerous Russian science experiments Ivanishin has been conducting have been observing the condition of the Earth and exploring human research.

 

Quote

ENERGY (Astronaut's Energy Requirement for Long-Term Space Flight): Today, FE-5 continued with Day 2 of the 11 day ENERGY experiment. The second day activities include the consumption of a standardized breakfast, continued diet logging, continued wear of the Armband Activity Monitor, double labeled water intake, oxygen uptake measurements, and urine collection. FE-6, as the control subject, also provided a urine sample for the investigation. The Energy investigation measures an Astronaut's Energy Requirements for Long-Term Space Flight, a crucial factor needed for sending the correct amount of the right types of food with space crews. Astronauts often lose body mass with extended stays in space for reasons that remain unclear, although increased exercise as a microgravity countermeasure may be a factor. Knowing details of astronaut metabolism and activity, combined with other conditions, will help ensure that crews are properly nourished on long missions.

 

Hard to Wet Surfaces: In continuation of the Hard to Wet Surfaces investigation, today FE-6 inspected the Sample Module for any undissolved remains of the white tablets. The Hard to Wet Surfaces investigation studies how certain materials used in the pharmaceutical industry dissolve in water while in microgravity. Results from this investigation could help improve the design of tablets that dissolve in the body to deliver drugs, thereby improving drug design for medicines used in space and on Earth.

 

NeuroMapping Operations: FE-6 setup the NeuroMapping hardware and performed the experiment which includes testing in both a "strapped in" and "free floating" body configuration. The NeuroMapping investigation studies whether long-duration spaceflight causes any changes to the brain, including brain structure and function, motor control, and multi-tasking abilities. It also measures how long it would take 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 any changes that occur after spending months on the International Space Station.

 

Extravehicular Activities (EVA) Pistol Grip Tool (PGT) Torque Analyzer Kit (TAK) Data Gather: Today, FE-6 installed the TAK onto each of the PGTs and recorded their torque output for ground analysis. This activity is part of a 6-month requirement for all on-orbit PGTs.

 

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Latching End Effector (LEE) Survey: SSRMS was walked off from Mobile Base System (MBS) Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) 3 to MBS PDGF 1 and inspection of LEE A was completed using the External High Definition Cameras (EHDCs). Later this afternoon, SSRMS will be walked off to Node 2 for Cygnus capture preparations.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
SSRMS Walkoff and LEE A Survey
Lab CDRA Activation

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Saturday, 10/01: Crew off duty, housekeeping, ENERGY
Sunday, 10/02: Crew off duty
Monday, 10/03: Cygnus Robo OBT, Microbial Monitoring System, ENERGY

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - Off
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 - Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Warmup
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-30-september-2016.html

 

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National Space Agency Leaders Outline Programs, Progress and Future Plans at Head of Agencies Panel

 

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The 67th International Astronautical Congress held last week in Guadalajara, Mexico was an opportunity for world space agency leaders to publicly share in a moderated panel the progress of their national programs and answer questions from the public.

 

This years panelists included:

- Sylvain Laporte of the Canadian Space Agency
- Charles Bolden of NASA
- Igor Komarov of ROSCOSMOS
- S. Somanath of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
- Naoki Okumura of JAXA
- Johann-Dietrich Woerner of the European Space Agency
- Wu Yanhua the China National Space Agency

 

The plenary was moderated by John Horack, Professor and Neil Armstrong Chair, The Ohio State University, College of Engineering, and Minoo Rathnasabapathy, Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council.

Full video and summary are available at the link...very informative...

http://spaceref.com/aeronautics/national-space-agency-leaders-outline-programs-progress-and-future-plans-at-head-of-agencies-panel.html

 

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Tanegashima: Japan's Largest Space Center

 

tanegashima-space-center-tour-12.jpg

A full size model of an H-II rocket is seen at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) visitors center a week ahead of the planned launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, Feb. 21, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.  Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

tanegashima-space-center-tour-10.jpg

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

global-precipitation-measurement-mission-6.jpg

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

Quote

The Tanegashima Space Center is Japan's biggest rocket-launching facility. It is located on an island in Kagoshima, the southernmost prefecture (or district) of the country. The site is mainly responsible for launching missions for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, also known as JAXA.

Major launches take place from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex, including larger missions such as cargo runs to the International Space Station. Other facilities on site include spacecraft test and assembly buildings, and a range control center.

 

Quote

HTV launch program

 

Japan launches cargo missions to the International Space Station roughly once a year, under the HTV launch program. (HTV stands for H-II Transfer Vehicle; the program is also called Kounotori, or "white stork." The rockets leave Tanegashima and are snagged by astronauts, using the robotic Canadarm2, once the spacecraft arrive at the ISS.

 

The spacecraft can carry about 6,000 kilograms (13,000 lbs.) of supplies to the ISS, in both pressurized and non-pressurized environments. Astronauts can unload part of the spacecraft, while other parts of it are accessible to the Kibo robotic arm for experiments outside of the space station.

 

Some of the notable payloads in this program include the JEM Small-Satellite Orbital Deployer, Cubesats, a replacement water pump assembly catalytic reactor (to replace one that broke in orbit), a high-tech aquarium to house small fish, Kirobo (a robotic companion), and a small jet backpack for emergency use during spacewalks called Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER).

 

As of September 2016, five missions have launched successfully from Tanegashima in the preceding seven years. Four more flights are planned in each of the years from 2016 to 2019.

more at the links...

http://www.space.com/34270-tanegashima-space-center.html

 

http://www.space.com/24792-japan-tanegashima-space-center-photos.html

 

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Weekly Recap From the Expedition Lead Scientist

 

Quote

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins checked for microbes in the water supply on the International Space Station to test a new monitoring system.

 

Rubins configured the hardware for the Microbial Monitoring System as part of the Water Monitoring Suite experiment. This new technology can quickly detect and identify potentially harmful microorganisms in the station's water supply. If successful, it will ensure that crew members can perform real time tests and monitor the safety of their water on future missions.

 

An additional benefit with this technology is the speed at which it can analyze the samples. Using current technology, it can take a week to search for harmful bacteria. With the new Microbial Monitoring System, it could take less than an hour. This would be invaluable to travelers in space where water is a very limited and precious commodity, and would also help millions of people on Earth without access to clean water. Equipment that is fast and simple to use can improve water quality monitoring in remote areas.

 

Rubins worked on another water-based investigation this week, this time to help make better pharmaceuticals. In chemistry, wetting refers to spreading of a liquid over a solid material’s surface, and is a key aspect of the material’s ability to dissolve. The Hard to Wet Surfaces (Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces) investigation studies how certain materials used in the pharmaceutical industry dissolve in water while in microgravity.

 

Rubins set up six sample vials and injected a different solution in each. She also set up a camera and took a set of base photographs before setting it for automatic photography to watch how the solutions dissolved. Results from this investigation could help improve the design of tablets that dissolve in the body to deliver drugs, thereby improving drug design for medicines used in space and on Earth.

 

This investigation is also a great example of companies working with the Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS) to take advantage of the U.S. National Lab in orbit.

 

Rubins configured four Personal CO2 Monitors before wearing them for several hours to test their viability as a safety device. Humans produce carbon dioxide through the natural breathing process, but too much CO2 in the air can cause headaches, dizziness, increased blood pressure and more severe symptoms. All human spacecraft must be designed with environmental control systems that remove this gas from the air supply. But the space environment can still lead to pockets of CO2 that are difficult to detect and remove. Much like the proverbial canary in a coalmine, the Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a new capability of wearable technology to continuously monitor astronauts' immediate surroundings on the space station.

 

Many industries on Earth require workers to enter enclosed spaces – such as mines, construction tunnels and pipes, or on submarines -- where environmental monitoring is critical to safety. This technology could prove to be useful. With the addition of an alarm system, the Personal CO2 Monitor could serve as a warning device for hazardous conditions. The focus of the technology is to create a small and durable device that can be comfortably attached to clothing, making the it well-suited for continuous wear.

 

Progress was made on other investigations and facilities this week, including Plant RNA Regulation, Meteor, Story Time From Space, MAGVECTOR, MSL Batch 2b, NanoRack CubeSat Deployer, Cell Biology Experiment Facility, Electromagnetic Levatator, Multipurpose Small Payload Rack, Manufacturing Device, ELF.

 

Other human research investigations conducted this week include Body Measures, Dose Tracker, Fine Motor Skills, Habitability, Multi-Omics, and Space Headaches.

 

Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist
Expeditions 49 & 50

 

Last Updated: Oct. 3, 2016

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/wklysumm_week_of_19sept16.html

 

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Egypt and The Middle East Seen At Night From Orbit

 

oo29185511983.jpg

This nighttime view of northern Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula was captured by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station. 
The city of Cairo can be seen to the left at the top of the Nile river. Atop the sparsely lit Sinai Peninsula can be seen cities in Israel, including the brightly lit city of Tel Aviv on the Israeli coast along the Mediterranean sea.

ISS049e004516 (09/16/2016)   NASA

 

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/egypt-and-the-middle-east-seen-at-night-from-orbit.html

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 October 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_100316_9

Space Station cameras captures dramatic views of hurricane Matthew. Credit NASA.

 

Quote

The Expedition 49 crew is getting ready for the mid-October arrival of the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft. The trio is also exploring human research and setting up a student Earth observation experiment.

 

First-time astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are brushing up on the robotic capture techniques necessary to grapple the Cygnus cargo craft. The Cygnus private space freighter is targeted to launch from Virginia between Oct. 9 and 13 and arrive at the International Space Station about 2-1/2 days later.

 

The duo will be inside the cupola at the robotics controls monitoring Cygnus' arrival then capturing it with the 57.7 foot long Canadarm2. Ground controllers will then take over robotic operations and remotely attach Cygnus to the Unity module. Cygnus is delivering crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the station crew members.

 

Before the pair began training today, Rubins sampled the station's water for microbes and stowed the Hard to Wet Surfaces research gear. Onishi tested his fine motor skills on a mobile tablet device and logged his diet for the ENERGY experiment.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin set up the Sally Ride EarthKAM experiment inside a Harmony module window today. The Earth imagery gear allows students to take pictures of Earth from space and share them on the internet.

 

Quote

ENERGY (Astronaut's Energy Requirement for Long-Term Space Flight): Over the weekend FE-5 completed Day 3 and Day 4 of the ENERGY experiment and continued with Day 5 today. The 11 day ENERGY experiment will require FE-5 to continue diet logging and wear of the Armband Activity Monitor for the duration of the experiment. In addition, FE-5 took urine and water samples on Saturday and repeated those activities again today. The Energy investigation measures an Astronaut's Energy Requirements for Long-Term Space Flight, a crucial factor needed for sending the correct amount of the right types of food with space crews. Astronauts often lose body mass with extended stays in space for reasons that remain unclear, although increased exercise as a microgravity countermeasure may be a factor. Knowing details of astronaut metabolism and activity, combined with other conditions, will help ensure that crews are properly nourished on long missions.

 

Tropical Cyclone: FE-5 set up a camera in Cupola window 1 to provide images of Hurricane Matthew, which was rated as a Category 4 cyclone as of this morning. The Tropical Cyclone investigation is used to capture images of tropical cyclones and hurricanes that are rated at Category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson scale. A pseudo-stereoscopic method is used to determine the altitudes of the cloud tops near the center (eye) of a cyclone by precisely tracking the apparent positions of cloud features with respect to the Earth and how those positions change over time as an observer (the ISS in this case) passes over the storm. The photographic images will be used to demonstrate that pseudo-spectroscopy can be used to measure the cloud altitudes to sufficient precision so that, when combined with other remote-sensing data, an accurate determination of the intensity of hurricane or cyclone can be made.

 

Cygnus Robotics On-Board Training (OBT): FE-5 and FE-6 studied materials for Cygnus rendezvous and capture. They will also perform several 30m Approach, 2m Approach and Capture Point (CP) Hold runs using the Robotics On-Board Training (ROBoT).

 

Cygnus Proximity Communication System (PROX) System Checkout: FE-5 checked out commanding function of the Cygnus Portable Computer System (PCS) Hardware Command Panel (HCP). This checkout verified that commands from PCS HCP are received by PROX.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Prox Checkout for Cygnus
Lab MCA Zero Cal [Cancelled]
N3 MCA Zero Cal
Battery 4B2 Reconditioning

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 10/04: EMU 3006 Checkout, Soyuz Imagery, Cygnus Offset Grapple
Wednesday, 10/05: Fluid Shifts, Vascular Echo Ultrasound, OGS Flow Measurement
Thursday, 10/06: SPHERES preps, MSL SCA Exchange, Fluid Shifts, ELF Troubleshooting

 

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-3-october-2016.html

 

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

 

Cygnus Training Under Way Before Launch Set

 

exp49_100316_blog.jpg

Hurricane Matthew (eye at top center) was pictured from the space station on the afternoon of Oct. 3, 2016. Credit: NASA

 

Quote

The Expedition 49 crew is getting ready for the mid-October arrival of the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft. The trio is also exploring human research and setting up a student Earth observation experiment.

 

First-time astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are brushing up on the robotic capture techniques necessary to grapple the Cygnus cargo craft. The Cygnus private space freighter is targeted to launch from Virginia between Oct. 9 and 13 and arrive at the International Space Station about 2-1/2 days later.

 

The duo will be inside the cupola at the robotics controls monitoring Cygnus’ arrival then capturing it with the 57.7 foot long Canadarm2. Ground controllers will then take over robotic operations and remotely attach Cygnus to the Unity module. Cygnus is delivering crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the station crew members.

 

Before the pair began training today, Rubins sampled the station’s water for microbes and stowed the Hard to Wet Surfaces research gear. Onishi tested his fine motor skills on a mobile tablet device and logged his diet for the ENERGY experiment.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin set up the Sally Ride EarthKAM experiment inside a Harmony module window today. The Earth imagery gear allows students to take pictures of Earth from space and share them on the internet.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/03/cygnus-training-under-way-before-launch-set/

 

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NASA, Orbital ATK Set Cygnus Launch for Oct. 13

 

blog_iss045e176110.jpg

The Cygnus spacecraft is pictured Dec. 9, 2015, moments before it was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

 

Quote

The Cygnus spacecraft is targeted to launch atop an Antares rocket Oct. 13 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia. NASA and Orbital ATK officials successfully completed a flight readiness review and are working towards an Oct. 11 roll out of the vehicle to the launch pad.

 

This will be the sixth cargo mission to the International Space Station for Orbital ATK which will be packing about 2,400 kilograms of crew supplies and research gear inside Cygnus. While mission managers work on pre-launch activities, the Expedition 49 crew is preparing for Cygnus’ cargo delivery and training for its robotic capture.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi will monitor Cygnus from the robotics workstation inside the cupola during its approach and rendezvous. When Cygnus reaches a point about 10 meters from the station the duo will command the 57.7-foot Canadarm2 to grapple the resupply ship. Ground controllers will then remotely take control of Canadarm2 and mount Cygnus to the Unity module.

 

Despite a busy schedule, all three crew members, including Commander Anatoly Ivanishin, continue pressing ahead with ongoing science experiments and station maintenance. Onishi is in the middle of a study documenting his nutritional intake this week while Rubins checked out a U.S. spacesuit today. Ivanishin worked on Russian life support systems and had time set aside for space research.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/04/nasa-orbital-atk-set-cygnus-launch-for-oct-13/

 

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Quote

October 4, 1957 began the space age of mankind - launched the first artificial Earth satellite http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22701/ 

 

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Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA September 30, 2016

 

kennedy-20160930-full.jpg

East of the Kennedy Space Center sits Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where America entered the Space Race. Of the launch pads in this image, only one is still active—SLC 37B (top right). Planet.com

 

Image link...large

 

https://www.planet.com/gallery/kennedy-20160930/

 

for reference...

 

S9UZgwQ.jpg

 

Image link

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 October 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_100416_9

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 October 2016.  NASA

 

Quote

The Cygnus spacecraft is targeted to launch atop an Antares rocket Oct. 13 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia. NASA and Orbital ATK officials successfully completed a flight readiness review and are working towards an Oct. 11 roll out of the vehicle to the launch pad.

 

This will be the sixth cargo mission to the International Space Station for Orbital ATK which will be packing about 2,400 kilograms of crew supplies and research gear inside Cygnus. While mission managers work on pre-launch activities, the Expedition 49 crew is preparing for Cygnus' cargo delivery and training for its robotic capture.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi will monitor Cygnus from the robotics workstation inside the cupola during its approach and rendezvous. When Cygnus reaches a point about 10 meters from the station the duo will command the 57.7-foot Canadarm2 to grapple the resupply ship. Ground controllers will then remotely take control of Canadarm2 and mount Cygnus to the Unity module.

 

Despite a busy schedule, all three crew members, including Commander Anatoly Ivanishin, continue pressing ahead with ongoing science experiments and station maintenance. Onishi is in the middle of a study documenting his nutritional intake this week while Rubins checked out a U.S. spacesuit today. Ivanishin worked on Russian life support systems and had time set aside for space research.

 

Quote

Cygnus Offset Grapple On-Board Training (OBT): In preparation for Cygnus arrival FE-5 and FE-6 practiced vehicle captures with the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), which had been positioned at the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Flight Releasable Grapple Fixture (FRGF) High Hover position in preparation for the training. Following the training, the crew participated in a conference with ground teams to discuss the training session and address any questions.

 

47 Soyuz Survey: FE-6 downlinked images, taken from the Cupola and Docking Compartment 1 (DC1), of the 47S descent module, currently docked at Mini Research Module-1 (MRM-1). This is a routine survey performed prior to the Soyuz spacecraft departure from the ISS.

 

Short Extravehicular Mobility Unit (SEMU) 3006 Checkout: Earlier today FE-6 performed a checkout of SEMU 3006, this checkout is required when a new SEMU arrives onboard ISS prior to it being used for an EVA. FE-6 performed a nominal leak check of SEMU 3006. Due to a bad connection between the SEMU and the Space Station Computer (SSC) the data transmission portion of the checkout will need to be rescheduled.

 

Node 3/Treadmill 2 (T2) Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) Line Inspection: An inspection of the T2 MTL hoses in 2011 reveal minor damage to the hoses where they emerge from the standoff. Earlier today FE-6 inspected and photographed the hoses to allow ground specialist to assess if there has been any significant change in the hoses status.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Battery 4B2 Reconditioning
SSRMS Powerup and Maneuver to Offset Grapple Position

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 10/05: Fluid Shifts, Vascular Echo Ultrasound, OGS Flow Measurement
Thursday, 10/06: SPHERES preps, MSL SCA Exchange, Fluid Shifts, ELF Troubleshooting
Friday, 10/07: SPHERES-Slosh Run, MSPR Leak Check, Emergency OBT Delta Review

 

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-4-october-2016.html

 

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NASA TV Coverage Set for Orbital ATK Resupply Mission to Space Station

 

cp7t1493.jpg?itok=5_JXw1_-

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the Horizontal Integration Facility at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for mating with the Antares rocket in preparation for its Oct. 13, 2016 launch. Dubbed the S.S. Alan Poindexter, in tribute to a space shuttle veteran, this Cygnus spacecraft will carry about 5,100 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA

 

Quote

NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its sixth mission to the International Space Station at 9:13 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 13. Live launch coverage will begin at 8:15 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

 

NASA TV also will air two prelaunch broadcasts Wednesday, Oct. 12. At 1 p.m., scientists and researchers will discuss some of the investigations to be delivered to the station, and at 3 p.m. mission managers will provide an overview and status of launch operations. The briefings also will be streamed live on the agency’s website.

 

Cygnus will launch on Orbital ATK’s upgraded Antares 230 rocket from Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Coverage of the spacecraft’s solar array deployment will begin at 10:30 p.m., and a post-launch briefing from the launch site will begin approximately two hours after launch.

 

Under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, Cygnus will carry to the space station more than 5,100 pounds of science and research in support of dozens of research investigations, as well as crew supplies and hardware.

 

The new experiments will include an investigation that looks at fuels that burn very hot at first, and then appear to go out, but actually continue to burn at a much lower temperature with no visible flames. A second planned large-scale fire inside Cygnus will be ignited after it leaves the space station to help researchers understand how fire grows in microgravity and design safeguards for future space missions. Cygnus also is carrying a new station research facility that will enable a new class of research experiments by allowing precise control of motion in the microgravity environment aboard the station.

 

The spacecraft will arrive at the station on Sunday, Oct. 16. Expedition 49 astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will use the space station’s robotic arm to grapple Cygnus about 6:45 a.m. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and grapple will begin at 5:45 a.m.

After Canadarm2 captures Cygnus, ground commands will be sent to guide the station’s robotic arm as it rotates and attaches the spacecraft to the bottom of the station’s Unity module. Coverage of installation will begin at 8:45 a.m.

 

Cygnus will remain at the space station until Nov. 18, when the spacecraft will be used to dispose of several tons of trash during its fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, and conduct the spacecraft fire experiment.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-coverage-set-for-orbital-atk-resupply-mission-to-space-station-0

 

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Orbital CRS-5 Launching Hot and Bright Science to Space

 

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Orbital ATK is scheduled to send new science experiments to the International Space Station in early October on its sixth Commercial Resupply Services (CSR) mission. The Cygnus spacecraft will blast off from Wallops Island, Virginia atop an Antares rocket, carrying supplies for the crew along with dozens of experiments, including studies on fire in space, the effect of lighting on sleep and daily rhythms, collection of health-related data, and a new way to measure neutrons.

 

Cool Flames

 

Low-temperature fires with no visible flames are known as cool flames. In previous combustion experiments aboard the space station, researchers observed cool flame burning behaviors not predicted by models or earlier investigations. Cool Flames examines low-temperature combustion of droplets of a variety of fuels and additives in low gravity.

 

This investigation employs the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), a general purpose system for combustion experiments aboard the space station with combustion chambers, fuel and oxidizer controls and cameras. The payload launching for Cool Flames includes enhancements to the CIR: a new camera system with filters designed to look at these invisible flames, upgraded hardware for image processing and storage, and a new radiometer package for measuring radiation produced by combustion.

 

Data from this investigation could help scientists develop more efficient advanced engines and new fuels for use in space and on Earth.

 

Lighting Effects

 

Light plays a powerful role in our daily, or circadian, rhythms. Astronauts aboard the space station experience multiple cycles of light and dark every 24 hours, which, along with night shifts and the stresses of spaceflight, can affect their sleep quality and quantity. Poor sleep impairs alertness, reaction time, and cognition and can increase risk of accidents.

 

The Lighting Effects investigation tests a new lighting system aboard the station designed to enhance crew health and keep their body clocks in proper sync with a more regular working and resting schedule. The system uses adjustable light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a Dynamic Lighting Schedule (DLS) that varies intensity and spectrum of the LEDs in tune with sleep and wake schedules. Research has shown that enhancing certain types of light can improve alertness and performance while other types can promote better sleep.

 

Lighting manipulation has potential as a safe, non-pharmacological way to optimize sleep and circadian regulation on space missions. People on Earth, especially those who work night shifts, could also improve alertness and sleep by adjusting lighting for intensity and wavelength.

 

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Fast Neutron Spectrometer

 

Outside the Earth’s magnetic field, astronauts are exposed to space radiation that can reduce immune response, increase cancer risk, and interfere with electronics.  The Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS) investigation will help scientists understand high-energy neutrons, part of the radiation exposure experienced by crews during spaceflight, by studying a new technique to measure electrically neutral neutron particles.

 

These particular particles pass through most measuring systems undetected, but the FNS uses a “gate and capture technique” that slows down neutrons and captures them in special glass fibers loaded with lithium. That process produces a unique flash of light, which custom electronics in the FNS recognize and analyze to determine radiation level. This technology is less susceptible to false triggers from other forms of radiation and can significantly improve reliable identification of neutrons in the mixed radiation field found in deep space. This improved measurement will help protect crews on future exploration missions.

 

Because it experiences radiation from a variety of sources, the space station provides an ideal environment for evaluating the FNS.

 

The space station serves as an orbiting lab for a wide range of science investigations such as these, designed to benefit future space exploration as well as life on Earth. 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/crs5_investigations

 

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October 5 at 14:35 MSK scheduled teleseans with the commander of the ISS-49 Anatoly Ivanishin. Live Streamthe https: // the www. youtube.com/user/Officiald omolink  ... .

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 October 2016

 

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ISS  NASA

 

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Today: ENERGY (Astronaut's Energy Requirement for Long-Term Space Flight): Today, FE-5 completed Day 7 of the 11 day ENERGY experiment. In addition to today's water and urine samples, the 11 day ENERGY experiment requires FE-5 to continue logging his dietary intake and wear the armband that monitors his activities.

 

The Energy investigation measures an Astronaut's Energy Requirements for Long-Term Space Flight, a crucial factor needed for sending the correct amount of the right types of food with space crews. Astronauts often lose body mass with extended stays in space for reasons that remain unclear, although increased exercise as a microgravity countermeasure may be a factor. Knowing details of astronaut metabolism and activity, combined with other conditions, will help ensure that crews are properly nourished on long missions.

 

Fluid Shifts: Today, the crew completed Fluid Shifts operations by configuring the Refrigerated Centrifuge for sample load operations, conducting body (blood, urine, and saliva) sample collections and stowing the samples into a Box Module within a MELFI (Minus Eighty-degree Freezer for ISS) Rack. The crew also collected a galley water sample and stow in the MELFI prior to ingestion of a Tracer solution from the Tracer Syringe. Fluid Shifts is a joint USOS-Russian experiment that measures how much fluid shifts from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels, and determines the impact these shifts have on fluid pressure in the head, changes in vision and eye structures.

 

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Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Inter-Module Ventilation (IMV) Flow Measurements: This morning the crew performed an activity to remove the Kapton Tape shim from the Velocicalc probe and added Kapton tape shims to the OGS Velocicalc Adapter. It was found in the last use of the adapter that the shim added to the probe resulted in interference when trying to use adapters other than the OGS Velocicalc Adapter. Following this modification, the crew took two measurements of the OGS Cabin Air Inlet. One measurement utilized the OGS Velocicalc Adapter, while the other did not. These readings will be used to compare against each other and calibrate the ground team to previous readings that have been taken at this location.

 

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Cygnus Capture Self Study: FE-5 and FE-6 used Robotic Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) to simulate Cygnus 2 meter approaches, 30 meter approach and Capture Point (CP) Hold.

 

Crew Quarters (CQ) Solid State Lighting Assembly (SSLA) Installation: Today, FE-6 installed a SSLA into the Starboard CQ. The SSLAs were designed to replace General Luminaire Assemblies (GLAs) to improve visual acuity and to provide a crew health countermeasure for circadian rhythms, sleep, alertness and performance. To accomplish these goals, SSLAs are designed to operate in 3 modes with 3 distinct spectrum. The different spectrum provide control of the blue portion of the light which impacts melatonin production in humans which impacts sleep.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Cygnus PROX Checkout
Battery 4B2 Reconditioning

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 10/06: SPHERES preps, MSL SCA Exchange, Fluid Shifts, ELF Troubleshooting
Friday, 10/07: SPHERES-Slosh Run, MSPR Leak Check, Emergency OBT Delta Review
Saturday, 10/08: Weekly Housekeeping, HAM Radio Pass

 

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-5-october-2016.html

 

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Orbital ATK Cygnus Spacecraft Prepared for Launch

 

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NASA

 

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The Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft undergoes preparations in the Horizontal Integration Facility at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility for an Oct. 13 launch on the company's Antares rocket.

 

Spacecraft and launch vehicle teams are working to prepare the Cygnus for the final loading of cargo bound for the International Space Station and mating the spacecraft to the Antares launch vehicle. This will be NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK's sixth mission to the International Space Station.

 

Launch time will be 9:13 p.m. EDT on Oct. 13. Live launch coverage will begin at 8:15 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency's website.

 

NASA TV also will air two prelaunch broadcasts Wednesday, Oct. 12. At 1 p.m., scientists and researchers will discuss some of the investigations to be delivered to the station, and at 3 p.m. mission managers will provide an overview and status of launch operations. The briefings also will be streamed live on the agency's website.

 

Cygnus is loaded with supplies for the crew along with dozens of experiments, including studies on fire in space, the effect of lighting on sleep and daily rhythms, collection of health-related data, and a new way to measure neutrons.

http://spaceref.biz/company/orbital-atk-cygnus-spacecraft-prepared-for-launch.html

 

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KSC Prepares to Ride Out Matthew

 

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The hurricane ride-out crew at Kennedy Space Center team is beginning its report to stations to prepare for Hurricane Matthew.  The number of ride out crew members has been adjusted slightly to 116.   All facilities at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station have been secured. The most recent weather briefing shows tropical storm force winds beginning at Cape Canaveral tonight at midnight with hurricane force winds starting at starting about 6 a.m. The wind is expected to decline at approximately 4 p.m Friday and fall below tropical storm force early Saturday morning. Under the current storm track, peak winds are forecast to be 125 mph sustained with gusts to 150 mph, however a shift in the track even slightly could improve the wind forecast somewhat.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2016/10/06/ksc-prepares-to-ride-out-matthew/

 

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Satellite View As Hurricane Matthew Regains Category 4 Status

 

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Hurricane Matthew    NASA

 

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A visible image showing powerful Hurricane Matthew and Nicole on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. EDT was captured by NOAA's GOES-East satellite.

 

The image shows large Hurricane Matthew's clouds stretching from eastern Cuba and Hispaniola, over the Bahamas and extending to Florida.

 

Matthew is west of the much smaller Tropical Storm Nicole. The image was created at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

 

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located near 25.1 degrees north latitude and 77.8 degrees west longitude. That's about 25 miles (40 km) west-northwest of Nassau, Bahamas and 180 miles (290 km) southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the "eye is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph (22 kph) between Andros Island and Nassau in the Bahamas. This general motion is expected to continue today with a turn toward the north-northwest tonight or early Friday. On the forecast track, Matthew should cross the northwestern Bahamas later today and move close to or over the east coast of the Florida peninsula through Friday night.

 

Reports form an Air Force plane indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 140 mph (220 kph) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible, and Matthew should remain a Category 4 hurricane while it approaches the Florida coast."

 

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km). The minimum central pressure estimated by an Air Force plane was 940 millibars.

http://spaceref.com/earth/satellite-view-as-hurricane-matthew-regains-category-4-status.html

 

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Hurricane Matthew Viewed From Orbit

 

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Hurricane Matthew   NASA

 

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The International Space Station has tracked Hurricane Matthew all week, providing images and video from low Earth orbit as the storm hit the Caribbean Sea and made its way towards Florida. 


In this photograph taken by Expedition 49 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins on Oct. 4, 2016, at 21:05 GMT, the hurricane's clouds extend across the frame and the space station's solar arrays are visible at the upper-right corner of the image. As the hurricane strengthens and approaches the Florida coast, NASA and NOAA satellites continue to provide forecasters and scientists valuable data on the development and changes in the storm.

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/hurricane-matthew-viewed-from-orbit.html

 

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Next Station Crew Launches Oct. 19

 

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Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko pose for pictures Sept. 9 in front of their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.

 

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Statement from Roscosmos:

 

After reviewing the documents on operations that were carried out to repair the technical malfunction of the Soyuz MS-02 manned transport vehicle (MTV) the State Commission resolved that the space ship may be launched to the International Space Station (ISS).

 

Based on quality assurance tests of MTV Soyuz MS-02, the specialists of Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya determined that the control equipment was activated by the landing system cable, which was jammed during the test operations. After the cable malfunction was fixed, engineers ran a full trial of the space ship.

 

Based on trial results, the Commission resolved to launch MTV Soyuz MS-02 (decree #732) on October 19, 2016, at 11:05 AM MT.

 

Between now and December ROSCOSMOS State Corporation will carry out all the launches within the program of manned flights to the ISS:

 

The launch of MTV Soyuz MS-02 is scheduled for October 19, 2016;


The launch of MTV Soyuz MS-03 is scheduled for November 16, 2016;


The launch of Progress MS-04 cargo spacecraft will take place on December 1, 2016.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/06/next-station-crew-launches-oct-19/

 

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The State Commission has decided to launch date TPK "Soyuz MS-02» (№732) - October 19, 2016 (11:05 MSK) http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22713/ 

 

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Lake Shikotsu, Hokkaido, Japan October 1, 2016

 

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 Lake Shikotsu—which fills a caldera formed 40,000 years ago—is located on Japan's northernmost island Hokkaido. Despite its latitude, the body of water remains ice-free year round, attracting tourists and residents alike to gaze at the reflections of Mount Eniwa (top), Mount Monbetsu (right), and Mount Fuppushi (bottom).  Planet.com

 

https://www.planet.com/gallery/lake-shikotsu-20161002/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 2016

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 October 2016.   NASA

 

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The International Space Station has been flying over Hurricane Matthew all week as the storm hit the Caribbean Sea and makes its way towards Florida. While the citizens of Florida braced for the hurricane's impact, the crew researched how living in space impacts the human body.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi collected their blood samples, spun them in a centrifuge and stored the samples in a science freezer. The samples will be examined on Earth to understand the detrimental effects of living in space on bone marrow and blood cells.

 

Rubins also joined Commander Anatoly Ivanishin for eye checks today to explore the headward fluid shifts astronauts experience during long-term space missions. These fluid shifts increase pressure on the brain and eyes, potentially causing vision problems. The duo used a series of tools including an ultrasound to examine their eyes.

 

Finally, Onishi researched how microgravity affects microbes living inside humans, possibly upsetting the immune system. The Japanese astronaut also worked on a device that enables materials to burn safely at high temperatures for combustion research.

 

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Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Troubleshooting: FE-5 performed an ELF Sample Holder exchange to troubleshoot the friction problems seen with previous Sample Holders. The Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) is an experimental facility designed to levitate/melt/solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the Electrostatic Levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured, and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved. The ELF is located in the JEM Multipurpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in Kibo.

 

Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL) Sample Cartridge Assembly (SCA) Exchange: FE-5 performed a sample exchange in the European Space Agency's (ESA's) MSL facility. The crew installed the Batch-2b of the MSL SCA, which serves two projects investigating how different phases organize in a structure when metallic alloys are solidified. The crew observed a scratch on the liquid-metal ring, which allows for controlled cooling of the sample. Ground controllers had the crew continue with the operations, and they will initiate the experiment run the week of 17 October. The project Metastable Solidification of Composites (METCOMP) studies the phase formed by the reaction of the remaining liquid phase with an already formed solid, to form a second solid phase on cooling. For this purpose, Bronze (Copper-Tin Alloys) of different compositions will be processed. The other project, Solidification along a Eutectic path in Ternary Alloys (SETA), looks at how two phases that form together organize into lamellar, or fibre, structures when cooling Aluminum (Copper-Silver Alloys). Both projects will provide benchmark samples that will enable to test numerical models that aim to predict these structures.

 

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) Slosh Preparations: FE-6 continued charging batteries and review On-Board Training (OBT) materials in advance of tomorrow's experiment run. The crew conducted a conference with the SPHERES-Slosh team. The SPHERES-Slosh investigation examines the way liquids move inside containers in a microgravity environment. The phenomena and mechanics associated with such liquid movement are still not well understood and are very different than our common experiences with a cup of coffee on Earth. Rockets deliver satellites to space using liquid fuels as a power source, and this investigation plans to improve our understanding of how propellants within rockets behave in order to increase the safety and efficiency of future vehicle designs.

 

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Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Battery 4B2 Reconditioning
Lab MCA Zero Calibration

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 10/07: SPHERES-Slosh Run, MSPR Leak Check, Emergency OBT Delta Review
Saturday, 10/08: Weekly Housekeeping, HAM Radio Pass, ENERGY Experiment
Sunday, 10/09: Crew Off Duty, ENERGY Experiment

 

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-6-october-2016.html

 

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NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 7 October 2016

 

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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---7-october-2016.html

 

Space to Ground: A Churning Storm: 10/07/2016

video is 2:23 min.

 

 

 

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Antares Integration Continues at Wallops

 

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Credit: NASA’s Wallops Space Flight Center

 

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Integration of the Orbital ATK Antares launch vehicle continues in the NASA Horizontal Integration Facility at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for its flight to the International Space Station.

The Antares OA-5 launch vehicle is seen on the right.  The Cygnus spacecraft is on the left as crews prepare it for mating with the Antares vehicle.  Cygnus will carry approximately 5,100 pounds of cargo, including crew supplies and vehicle hardware, to the orbiting laboratory to support dozens of science and research investigations.

The Antares is schedule to launch at 9:13 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Oct. 13 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s pad 0A at Wallops.  Backup launch days run through Oct. 19 but additional days could be added if needed. The launch is expected to be visible from the entire east coast, weather permitting.

Rollout of the vehicle from the integration facility to the launch pad is scheduled for the afternoon of Oct. 11.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital/2016/10/07/antares-integration-continues-at-wallops/

 

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Versatile Chemistry for the Red Planet

 

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When you need tools or parts for something you're working on around the house, you head to the nearest hardware store. Space travelers don't have that luxury and may have to make their own tools and parts on long duration missions like the journey to Mars. Scientists and engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, are using data from International Space Station experiments to study liquids that may be used to help make valuable tools when exploring deep space.

 

For a decade, the Materials International Space Station Experiments (MISSE) were attached to the outside of the space station, where more than 4,000 materials were exposed to the harsh space environment. This included a special class of liquids, called ionic liquids, and a novel epoxy that scientists are studying to learn how these liquids tolerate the environment outside the orbiting laboratory. The members of this family of fluids have low melting points, and are not as flammable as many conventional chemicals. They also have extremely low vapor pressures, meaning they don't easily evaporate and are easier to retain in the vacuum of space.

 

"Because of their unique chemistry, we can use ionic liquids to extract both metals and oxygen from lunar or Martian soil at about the same temperature you'd bake a cake," said Laurel Karr, a materials scientist at the Marshall Center. "The metals could then be used in a 3D printer for needed parts, and the oxygen could be used for life support or propulsion."

 

Ionic liquids could be used as chemical drills to dissolve regolith on the surface of Mars, said Karr, thus extending the life of drill bits that future explorers, both human and robotic, would normally use to probe the Martian surface.

 

"We drill into the surface of a planet or asteroid to acquire samples for geological investigations," said Karr. "With this fluid, we could bring up samples in a liquid form for chemical analyses right there on the drill site."

 

iss028e016106.jpg

Experiment sample trays on MISSE-8 attached to the exterior of the International Space Station in 2013. These trays held the ionic liquid epoxy samples that could help build composite cryogenic tanks for future spacecraft. Image courtesy NASA. 

 

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In 2013, two different ionic liquid-based epoxies were flown on MISSE-8. After two years of exposure to the space environment, the epoxies were recovered and returned to Earth on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Examination of the liquid samples showed some darkening due to solar ultraviolet radiation, but no cracking or de-bonding, and no change in weight or adhesion.

 

"These attributes suggest the epoxies could be used to make carbon-fiber composite tanks for cryogenic liquid storage," said Grugel. "This can provide a significant weight reduction over aluminum ones currently used to launch spacecraft."

 

Microcracking can lead to leaking, and has been a challenge with early composite cryogenic tank designs. Testing is underway at Marshall on composite overwrap pressure vessels - small metal tanks wrapped with commercial carbon fiber using ionic liquid epoxy - to determine if the ionic liquid is a viable material to construct these tanks and make them stronger.

 

"Studies are showing this family of versatile liquids could not only be used to build and repair the spacecraft to get us to Mars, but also help us survive and make new discoveries after we arrive," said Grugel.

 

As MISSE demonstrates, science takes time, and research results often keep paying off decades after experiment samples are returned to Earth. The MISSE project has made it possible to evaluate the performance, stability and long-term survivability of materials and components used by NASA, commercial companies and the U.S. Department of Defense. Many spacecraft safely operating today have MISSE to thank for successful operations, because they are made of the most suitable materials for the space environment. The first Martian explorers may have MISSE to thank for innovative materials and processes that help them survive on the red planet.

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Versatile_Chemistry_for_the_Red_Planet_999.html

 

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Launch Date for next ISS Crew firmed up, Crew resumes final Training in Baikonur

 

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Photo: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

 

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The next crew headed to the International Space Station returned to the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday after their launch date was firmed up for October 19 following a four-week launch delay caused by technical issues on their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.

 

Commander Sergei Rhyzhikov and Flight Engineers Andrei Borisenko and NASA’s Shane Kimbrough had entered their final two weeks of training and preparations at the storied spaceport back in September when the Soyuz MS-02 mission was working toward a Sept. 23 launch target. However, one week prior to liftoff, a potentially serious issue was found on the Soyuz in the form of an electrical short discovered in the last comprehensive test of the spacecraft.

 

The launch was subsequently delayed and the crew sent back to Moscow to use the facilities of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center for continued flight preparations while waiting for engineers to locate the issue. It took nearly a week for the short circuit to be traced back to a landing system cable within the Entry Module of the Soyuz spacecraft that had burned out after being bent excessively.

more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/launch-date-for-next-iss-crew-firmed-up-crew-resumes-final-training/

 

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Orbital Evening View Of The Home Planet

 

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Multi-hued clouds are seen from approximately 250 miles overhead on the International Space Station.

ISS049e006632 (09/18/2016)   NASA/ASU

 

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/orbital-evening-view-of-the-home-planet.html

 

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Japan Schedules Cargo Transporter Launch to ISS for December 9

 

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file image JAXA

 

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Japanese cargo spaceship KOUNOTORI6 is set to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 9, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Friday.

 

KOUNOTORI is an unmanned cargo transporter which will be launched with the H-IIB launch vehicle from Tanegashima Space Center.

 

It is designed to deliver up to 6 tons of food and clothes among other supplies.

 

Takuya Onishi, a Japanese astronaut who is currently at the ISS, is about to return to Earth at the end of October. He will be replaced by the Norishige Kanai in 2017.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Japan_Schedules_Cargo_Transporter_Launch_to_ISS_for_December_9_999.html

 

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NASA Funded MinXSS CubeSat Brings New Information to Study of Solar Flares

 

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The NASA-funded MinXSS CubeSat studies soft X-rays from the sun. There have not yet been long-term studies of these soft X-rays, but observations show they may be important clues to understanding what heats the sun's atmosphere to 1,000 times the temperature of its surface. Credits: NASA/CU.

 

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Along with the visible light and warmth constantly emitted by our sun comes a whole spectrum of X-ray and ultraviolet radiation that streams toward Earth. A new CubeSat - a miniature satellite that provides a low-cost platform for missions - is now in space observing a particular class of X-ray light that has rarely been studied.

 

On June 9, 2016, the NASA-funded, bread loaf-sized Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer, or MinXSS, CubeSat began science operations, collecting data on soft X-rays. Watch the video to see a low-intensity solar eruption - a solar flare - from July 21, 2016. The flare imagery was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory; the MinXSS data shown on the right shows the soft X-rays observed in near-Earth space by the CubeSat before and during the flare.

 

minxss-deploy-web.gif

NASA

 

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Each type of solar radiation conveys unique information about the physics underlying solar flares. This data reveals the temperature, density and abundance of solar flare material, all critical factors for determining how flares evolve and heat the sun's atmosphere. Ultimately, solar eruptions impact Earth's upper atmosphere: X-rays from the sun can disturb near-Earth space, interfering with GPS, radio and other communication signals. The class of X-rays that MinXSS observes are particularly important for their influence in the level of the upper atmosphere called the ionosphere.

 

This video shows how dynamic the solar atmosphere can become, and highlights that MinXSS has great sensitivity to observe even the weak flares.

 

These observations exemplify the goals of the six-month mission, which began after the spacecraft was deployed from the International Space Station in May 2016 and has already met its criteria for comprehensive success. The University of Colorado, Boulder, manages MinXSS under the direction of principal investigator Tom Woods.

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-funded-minxss-cubesat-brings-new-information-to-study-of-solar-flares.html

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/nsfc-mcb100716.php

 

MinXSS CubeSat Brings New Information to Study of Solar Flares

video is 0:28 min.

 

 

 

Making of the MinXSS CubeSat

video is 4:54 min.

 

 

 

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New Launch Date Selected: Oct. 14

 

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Orbital ATK has rescheduled the launch of the OA-5 CRS mission for Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. The updated schedule now includes roll-out of the Antares rocket to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Liftoff of the Antares rocket on Oct. 14 is planned for 8:51 p.m. (EDT), with the rendezvous of the Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft with the International Space Station expected at approximately 6:05 a.m. (EDT) on Monday, Oct. 17.

 

The Antares and Cygnus team encountered and resolved a minor vehicle processing issue over the weekend which, together with time spent on contingency planning for Hurricane Matthew, necessitated the one-day slip. This updated schedule is still subject to the completion of all remaining pre-launch testing and operational activities, as well as acceptable weather conditions prior to and during launch operations.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital/2016/10/10/new-launch-date-selected-oct-14/

 

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Kennedy to Open Tuesday at 6 A.M.

 

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An ALL CLEAR has been declared for Kennedy Space Center, this message is applicable for KSC only.

 

KSC will be open for work Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 6:00 a.m. and all KSC access gates will be open at that time.

 

All Center facilities have been inspected and are safe for personnel to return to work.  Systems including communications, power, and air conditioning are functional; however, some facility systems remain in the recovery phase.

 

Since recovery operations are ongoing, personnel should use caution when returning to work.

 

There are no reported road closures; however, personnel are reminded to use caution nearing intersections with inoperative lights.

 

Mr. Bob Cabana will conduct a media engagement at the KSC Press Site Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.  A media advisory will be sent out Tuesday morning. A list of damaged buildings and equipment will available at this briefing.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2016/10/10/kennedy-to-open-tuesday-at-6-a-m/

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 October 2016

 

nasa_iss_2014_research_highlights_011615

ISS   NASA

 

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Today: Human Research Facility (HRF) Ultrasound Status: Over the weekend ground teams and the crew were able to successfully troubleshoot the data files on the HRF Ultrasound and to upgrade the backup unit.

 

The data files for the CDR were downlinked and evaluated by specialists, and a repeat of the Fluid Shifts Baseline Imaging is not required. Software was successfully loaded on the backup Ultrasound machine, and that unit is now available to be used for FE-5's Baseline Imaging scheduled for Wednesday.

 

Astronaut's Energy Requirement for Long-Term Space Flight (Energy): On Sunday, FE-5 completed the 11-day Energy experiment. FE-6 will also provide a urine sample for the investigation. The Energy investigation measures an Astronaut's Energy Requirements for Long-Term Space Flight, a crucial factor needed for sending the correct amount of the right types of food with space crews. Astronauts often lose body mass with extended stays in space for reasons that remain unclear, although increased exercise as a microgravity countermeasure may be a factor. Knowing details of astronaut metabolism and activity, combined with other conditions, will help ensure that crews are properly nourished on long missions.

 

Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Audit: FE-6 completed the audit of the PEPS hardware in the N1, N3, PMM and A/L locations this morning. The PEPS audit is performed to verify Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE), Extension Hose Tee Kit (EHTK), the Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA), and Pre-Breathe Mask are all free of damage to ensure functionality. The Audit also includes a Mask Harness Inspection. The audit is to be performed once every 365 days. For an audit the crew will also record the hardware serial numbers or barcodes, and locations. This information is needed to track shelf life and life cycles on the hardware.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
Lab MCA Full Calibration
Battery 4B2 Reconditioning
63P Prop Purge

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 10/12: Fluid Shifts, PEPS Audit
Thursday, 10/13: CardioOx, CBCS Install, Cygnus preps
Friday, 10/14: CBEF, Microbe, Vascular Echo

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-11-october-2016.html

 

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Atlantic Storm System Delays NASA Resupply Launch to Space Station

 

m16-119-1024x683.jpg

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft arrived on Oct. 2, 2016 at the Horizontal Integration Facility at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for mating with the Antares rocket. Cygnus is scheduled to launch on the Antares rocket at 8:03 p.m. EDT, Oct. 16, 2016, carrying about 5,100 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

 

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NASA and its partner Orbital ATK have postponed the launch of the company’s next commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station to no earlier than Sunday, Oct. 16, as the agency prepares for Tropical Storm Nicole at its tracking site in Bermuda.

 

A Sunday launch would occur at 8:03 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, with a five-minute window.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital/2016/10/11/atlantic-storm-system-delays-nasa-resupply-launch-to-space-station/

 

203922W5_NL_sm.gif

Forecast from the National Hurricane Center of Hurricane Nicole’s path, as of the afternoon of Oct. 11. Credit: NHC/NOAA

 

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NASA to move ahead with plans to offer ISS docking port for private modules

 

bigelow-xbase-879x485.jpg

Bigelow Aerospace received a NASA NextSTEP award in August to study adding one of the company's expandable modules (bottom center) to the International Space Station. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

 

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DALLAS — NASA will move ahead later this year with plans to offer a docking port and other resources to companies interested in adding a commercial module to the International Space Station, NASA and the White House said Oct. 11.

 

In a blog post published on the agency’s web site, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren said that responses the agency received from a request for information (RFI) earlier this year led NASA to decide to proceed with some kind of competition or other mechanism for adding commercial modules to the station.

 

“As a result of the responses, this fall, NASA will start the process of providing companies with a potential opportunity to add their own modules and other capabilities to the International Space Station,” they wrote. The post did not offer more details about that opportunity.

 

In July, NASA issued an RFI, offering use of a docking port on the ISS currently occupied by the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), an experimental module developed by Bigelow Aerospace for NASA to demonstrate expandable module technology. NASA installed BEAM on the station in May and expects it to remain there for at least two years.

 

“We essentially have one of the ports on the space station that we’re going to make available to the private sector to go utilize how they want,” Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said at a July 13 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee. “We asked them for ideas of how they would use this port.”

 

The deadline for responding to the RFI was Aug. 12. NASA officials have not discussed in detail the responses they did receive, but have stated they were satisfied with what responding companies said.

 

“We were quite happy with the response,” said Sam Scimemi, ISS director at NASA Headquarters, during a Sept. 30 presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. He said NASA received several responses, but did not disclose a specific number, or identify which companies responded. “We were happy with the number and the quality. We’re going through the data right now.”

 

Several companies have previously expressed an interest in adding a module to the ISS for commercial or NASA use. In April, Bigelow Aerospace said it had made an unsolicited proposal to NASA to add one of its B330 modules under development to the ISS. In August, the company received an award from NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) to study that concept in more detail.

more at the link...

http://spacenews.com/nasa-to-move-ahead-with-plans-to-offer-iss-docking-port-for-private-modules/

 

Space Habitats - Concept Imagery Revealed by NASA Partners | Video

video is 1:16 min.

 

 

 

 

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Karachi, Pakistan October 10, 2016

 

karachi-20161010-web.jpg

Karachi International Container Terminal (left) is the entrance to the largest city in Pakistan and the 7th largest city in the world. Also known as the City of The Quaid for being the birthplace and final resting place (top right) of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (the founder of Pakistan). Planet.com

 

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

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 October 2016

 

nasa_iss_2014_research_highlights_011615

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 October 2016.  NASA

 

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Today: Human Research Facility (HRF) Ultrasound Status: Over the weekend ground teams and the crew were able to successfully troubleshoot the data files on the HRF Ultrasound and to upgrade the backup unit.

 

The data files for the CDR were downlinked and evaluated by specialists, and a repeat of the Fluid Shifts Baseline Imaging is not required. Software was successfully loaded on the backup Ultrasound machine, and that unit is now available to be used for FE-5's Baseline Imaging scheduled for Wednesday.

 

Astronaut's Energy Requirement for Long-Term Space Flight (Energy): On Sunday, FE-5 completed the 11-day Energy experiment. FE-6 will also provide a urine sample for the investigation. The Energy investigation measures an Astronaut's Energy Requirements for Long-Term Space Flight, a crucial factor needed for sending the correct amount of the right types of food with space crews. Astronauts often lose body mass with extended stays in space for reasons that remain unclear, although increased exercise as a microgravity countermeasure may be a factor. Knowing details of astronaut metabolism and activity, combined with other conditions, will help ensure that crews are properly nourished on long missions.

 

Fluid Shifts Dilution Measurements: FE-5, with blood draw assistance from FE-6, is performing the first part of the USOS Fluid Shift activities - Dilution Measurement. Upon wakeup FE-5 will collect saliva, blood and urine and inserted them into Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) prior to ingesting a Sodium Bromide (NaBr) tracer. Throughout the day, he will perform more urine, blood, and saliva collections, inserting those samples into MELFI as well. The Fluid Shifts experiment investigates the causes for severe and lasting physical changes to astronaut's eyes. Because the headward fluid shift is a hypothesized contributor to these changes, reversing this fluid shift with a lower body negative pressure device is investigated as a possible intervention. Results from this study may help to develop preventative measures against lasting changes in vision and eye damage.

 

Portable Emergency Provisions (PEPS) Audit: FE-6 completed the audit of the PEPS hardware in the N1, N3, PMM and A/L locations this morning. The PEPS audit is performed to verify Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE), Extension Hose Tee Kit (EHTK), the Portable Breathing Apparatus (PBA), and Pre-Breathe Mask are all free of damage to ensure functionality. The Audit also includes a Mask Harness Inspection. The audit is to be performed once every 365 days. For an audit the crew will also record the hardware serial numbers or barcodes, and locations. This information is needed to track shelf life and life cycles on the hardware.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
Lab MCA Full Calibration
Battery 4B2 Reconditioning
63P Prop Purge

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 10/12: Fluid Shifts, PEPS Audit
Thursday, 10/13: CardioOx, CBCS Install, Cygnus preps
Friday, 10/14: CBEF, Microbe, Vascular Echo

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/nasa-international-space-station-on-orbit-status-11-october-2016.html

 

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Inspecting the Space Station's Expandable Habitat

 

29637425124_af9670e5de_o.jpg?itok=rPqMJE

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins inspected the Bigelow Aerospace Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the International Space Station on Sept. 5, 2016. Expandable habitats are designed to take up less room on a spacecraft while providing greater volume for living and working in space once expanded. It was the first checkup of BEAM since the initial inspection of the space station's expanded node after it was deployed May 28. Rubins collected radiation monitors and sampled surfaces inside BEAM to assess the microbe environment. Her inspection revealed the module appeared in good condition, and the samples and radiation detectors were packed for return to Earth for analysis. On Sept. 29, Rubins opened up and entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module again, and temporarily installed gear for a test to measure the loads and vibrations the module experiences. For the next two years, crew members will inspect the module every three months to check for stability.

Image Credit: NASA

 

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/inspecting-the-space-stations-expandable-habitat

 

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Crew Waits For Pair of Spaceships Next Week

 

blog_iss049e027557.jpg

(From left) Expedition 49 crew members Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi pose for a portrait inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module.

 

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A pair of spaceships are on opposite sides of the world gearing up for missions to the International Space Station next week.

 

Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is getting ready for its sixth Orbital ATK mission aboard a Cygnus resupply ship no earlier than Oct. 16. NASA and Orbital ATK mission mangers are monitoring Hurricane Nicole before finalizing the Cygnus launch date.

 

Cygnus will be packing about 2,400 kilograms of crew supplies and research. After its cargo mission is complete, Cygnus will depart away from the station to deploy a set of weather monitoring nanosatellites before conducting an internal combustion experiment.

 

The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan will host the launch of three Expedition 49-50 crew members inside the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. The trio is scheduled to launch Oct. 19 on a two-day trip to its new home in space.

 

Two astronauts living in space right now spent the first part of their day exploring upper body fluid shifts caused by microgravity. These fluid shifts apply pressure to eyes and have been known to affect crew vision. Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi participated in eye exams and ultrasound scans for today’s experiment run.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin checked life support systems today and worked on Russian science experiments. The veteran cosmonaut explored the water composition of a crew member living in space and researched micrometeoroid impacts on the space station.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/12/crew-waits-for-pair-of-spaceships-next-week/

 

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NASA Eyes Storm as Next Crew Counts Down to Launch

 

blog_nhq201610080009.jpg

Expedition 49-50 crew members conduct a dress rehearsal Oct. 8, 2016, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

 

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NASA and Orbital ATK mission managers are tracking Hurricane Nicole before finalizing a Cygnus cargo craft launch to the International Space Station no earlier than Oct. 16. Officials are securing a spacecraft tracking station in the Bermudas and monitoring the facility threatened by the category three storm.

 

Two astronauts – Kate Rubins from the United States and Takuya Onishi from Japan – are getting ready for Cygnus’ planned arrival next week. The two Expedition 49 flight engineers checked out video and robotics gear today and discussed cargo operations with ground controllers.

 

The duo also teamed up for ultrasound scans of their arteries and blood pressure checks. Doctors will use the observations from the Cardio Ox study to understand the cardiovascular risk of living in space. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin explored ionized gases produced by high temperatures, also known as plasmas, potentially helping engineers design future spacecraft

 

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, a new space station crew is counting down to an Oct. 19 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov will take a two-day trip inside the upgraded Soyuz to their new home in space. The trio are in final mission preparations in Kazakhstan where they will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/13/nasa-eyes-storm-as-next-crew-counts-down-to-launch/

 

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NASA Glenn Experiments to Launch on ISS Resupply Mission

 

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When the Cygnus spacecraft lifts off on its resupply mission to the International Space Station, it will carry three experiments designed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

 

NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its sixth mission to the International Space Station no earlier than Sunday, Oct. 16. Among other cargo, it will carry NASA Glenn’s Aerosol Sampling Experiment, Cool Flames Investigation and Spacecraft Fire Experiment-II (Saffire-II).

 

The Aerosol Sampling Experiment is the first air quality experiment to operate on the space station. It will provide data on the quantity and size of inhalable particles in the space station’s ambient air. High concentrations of inhalable particles can cause the crew respiratory and eye irritation. This experiment will improve understanding of cabin air quality and lead to enhanced air quality monitoring systems for future missions.

 

Cool Flames is an investigation into a phenomenon where some types of fuels initially burn very hot and then appear to go out, but actually continue to burn at a much lower temperature with no visible flames. Understanding cool flame combustion helps scientists develop cleaner, more efficient engines and fuels.

 

Saffire-II is the second in a series of experiments to ignite a large-scale fire inside an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle, after it leaves the space station, to improve understanding of fire growth in microgravity and safeguard future space missions.

 

A Sunday launch would occur at 8:03 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, with a five-minute window. The launch will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 7 p.m.

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-glenn-experiments-to-launch-on-iss-resupply-mission

 

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Roskosmos and VKontakte sent to the International Space Station kosmobota Spotty - http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22722/ .

 

ROSCOSMOS. KOSMOBOT VKONTAKTE become a member of the ISS crew

 

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10.10.2016 13:40


ROSCOSMOS VKontakte and sent to the International Space Station (ISS) kosmobota Spotty. With the help of social network users will be able to communicate with the astronauts and receive photos and videos from the space station and space. Built-in projector will be able to broadcast content on the station received from VKontakte users. Presentation of the project "VKosmose" took place on October 10 at Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow.
 
The first version was launched kosmobota Spotty VKontakte page vk.com/spotty October 10, at the tenth anniversary of the social network. Boat, developed with the help of machine learning techniques and neural networks, will respond to questions from users of the space and talk about their future space mission. In addition, everyone will be able to subscribe to the current news from the world of space exploration and unique content to the ISS. Follow Spotty process of preparation for the flight to orbit in the community project "VKosmose» vk.com/space .
 
Capsule kosmobotom Spotty go to the ISS in March 2017 together with the commander of the crew, Roskosmos cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin. A live webcast of the flight will take place in the air VK Live.
 
Boris Dobrodeya, VKontakte CEO: "Since its inception, VKontakte reduces the distance between people around the world. Now our first social network beyond the planet and gives users the possibility to establish a connection with the cosmos, to communicate with the astronauts and their own eyes to monitor what is happening on the ISS and the Earth's orbit. "
 
Igor BURENKOV, communications director of the state corporation "Roscosmos", "the universe is infinite, and the people are just beginning to study it. Join now - it will be interesting! ".

http://www.roscosmos.ru/22722/

 

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ISS On-Orbit Status Report

 

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Cardio Ox Ultrasound Operations: With remote guidance from the Cardio Ox ground teams, FE-5 assisted FE-6 in conducting an ultrasound scan after configuring the Voice-Activated Communication (VOX), attaching the Electrocardiograms (ECG) Electrodes, and marking the arteries; followed by blood pressure measurements using the Cardiolab Holter Arterial Blood Pressure Unit. The goal of the Cardio Ox investigation is to determine whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis risk in astronauts. Twelve crewmembers provide blood and urine samples to assess biomarkers before launch, 15 and 60 days after launch, 15 days before returning to Earth, and within days after landing. Ultrasound scans of the carotid and brachial arteries are obtained at the same time points, as well as through 5 years after landing, as an indicator of cardiovascular health. 

 

Marrow: FE-6 collected breath and ambient air samples in support of the Canadian Space Agency’s Marrow experiment.  The Marrow investigation looks at the effect of microgravity on the bone marrow. It is believed that microgravity, like long-duration bed rest on Earth, has a negative effect on the bone marrow and the blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow. The extent of this effect, and its recovery, are of interest to space research and healthcare providers on Earth.

 

Cygnus Preparations:  FE-5 and FE-6 utilized training materials as part of a self-study session this morning to review Cygnus hardware, stowage and attached phase configuration. FE-6 also installed the Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) system onto the Node 1 nadir hatch.  Following the installation the crew, working with ground teams, checked out the system. The checkout involved routing the video from the camera to the Cupola Robotics Work Station (RWS) monitors and to the ground. Video from the CBCS is used to aid the crew during Visiting Vehicle mating operations.  The crew also participated in a conference with ground teams to discuss Cygnus cargo operations. Orbital ATK (OA)-5 is scheduled to launch on October 16, with rendezvous and berthing on October 19th.

 

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Completed Task List Items

Pretreat Electronic Indicator Locate [item was not located in recommended search locations]
N1 Aft Hatch Seal Clean


Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier (TWTA) Activation
CIR Venting
CBCS Checkout
System configuration for 63P clamp uninstall 


Three-Day Look Ahead:

Friday, 10/14: CBEF, Microbe, Vascular Echo
Saturday, 10/15: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty
Sunday, 10/16: HRF Body Measures, Crew Off Duty

https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2016/10/13/iss-daily-summary-report-10132016/

 

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Visiting Vehicle Launches, Arrivals and Departures

 

iss_10-14-16.jpg?itok=N7Nz5-bz

Oct. 14, 2016: International Space Station Configuration. Two spacecraft are parked at the station including the Soyuz MS-01 crew vehicle and the Progress 64 resupply ship.

 

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/visiting-vehicle-launches-arrivals-and-departures

 

Russian space freighter undocks from International Space Station

 

1149189.jpg

credit  NASA

 

 

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MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. The space freighter Progress MS-02 has undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) and begun its descent to the Earth, the Flight Control Center told TASS on Friday.

 

"The spacecraft Progress MS-02 undocked at the designated time," the Flight Control Center said.


According to the Center, the space freighter will fire braking engines at about 3:50 p.m. Moscow time (12:50 GMT), after which it will enter the dense layers of the atmosphere and will be sunk in about an hour in the non-navigable area in the Pacific Ocean.


The Progress MS-02 was launched from the Baikonur space center on March 31 and on April 2 it docked with the ISS.


The space freighter delivered 2.4 tons of various cargoes to the space station.

http://tass.com/science/906499

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S. Cargo Craft Waits at Virginia Launch Pad

 

blog_nhq201610140101.jpg

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is raised into vertical position at its launch pad Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

 

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The Orbital ATK Antares rocket rolled out to its launch pad in Virginia Thursday night carrying the American-made Cygnus cargo craft. Cygnus is scheduled to launch no earlier than Sunday at 8:03 p.m. EDT.

 

If Cygnus launches on time it will arrive at the station Wednesday morning and deliver about 2,400 kilograms of crew supplies and research. Cygnus will depart in late November and deploy a set of weather monitoring nanosatellites before conducting the Saffire-II internal combustion experiment.

 

Back in space, astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi collected blood samples and spun them in a centrifuge before stowing them in a science freezer. Samples are collected before, during and after missions then analyzed by doctors to understand the effects of living in space on humans.

 

Current human research experiments using the sample data include Biochem Profile, Cardio Ox and Repository.

 

Onishi also scanned his neck, thigh and heart with an ultrasound then checked his blood pressure. The biomedical study from Canada observes heart and blood vessel changes with results potentially improving health on Earth and in space.

 

Russia’s Progress 63 space freighter undocked from the International Space Station early Friday morning and burned up safely over the Pacific Ocean a few hours later. It will be replaced by a Progress 63 cargo craft in early December.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/14/u-s-cargo-craft-waits-at-virginia-launch-pad/

 

Antares Rocket Raised on the Pad

 

NHQ201610140100-1024x943.jpg

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is raised to the vertical position
Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

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The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, was raised into the vertical position on launch Pad-0A, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

 

Orbital ATK’s sixth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver over 5,100 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew.

 

The International Space Station-bound Antares is currently scheduled for launch no earlier than Sunday, Oct. 16, at 8:03 p.m. EDT. The Cygnus cargo capsule is packed with supplies and science for the space station.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital/2016/10/14/antares-rocket-raised-on-the-pad/

 

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The State Commission decided readiness "Soyuz-FG" with the ship # SoyuzMS02 for removal and installation at the start -http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22750/ .

 

 

 

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The crews of the ISS-50/51 continue to take exams in the Cosmonaut Training Center - http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22747/ .

 

 

 

 

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Staring At A Killer Hurricane From Orbit

 

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Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm as seen from the International Space Station Expedition 49 crew, approaches the southern Florida coast with 140 mile an hour winds.

ISS049e029154 (10/05/2016)   NASA

 

http://spaceref.com/onorbit/staring-at-a-killer-hurricane-from-orbit.html

 

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Present Station Vehicles...

 

iss_10-14-16.jpg

Oct. 14, 2016: International Space Station Configuration. Two spacecraft are parked at the station including the Soyuz MS-01 crew vehicle and the Progress 64 resupply ship.

 

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/visiting-vehicle-launches-arrivals-and-departures

 

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What’s On Board?

 

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On the OA-5 mission, Cygnus will carry supplies and equipment to the International Space Station, as well as science payloads. The total mass of the cargo is approximately 2,425 kg (5,346 lb.), which includes 56 cargo bags of multiple sizes.

 

Payloads:

 Spacecraft Fire Experiment-II (Saffire-II)
 Fast Neuron Spectrometer
 ACM and Experiment Tray
 SLMMD


Cargo:

ISS Experiment Hardware
EVA Equipment– EMU Repair Kit– EVA Supplies
Emergency Equipment
Photo/TV and Computer Resources– Computer – iPad Air 2
– Laptop – T61P and Connectors – Camera – Nikon D4
ISS Hardware and Spare ORUs – Cupola Scratch Panes
– Water ORU
Food, Crew Supplies and Crew Provisions
Flight Crew Equipment
Cargo Environment SensorsAdditional payload details can be found at www.nasa.gov/iss-science.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital/2016/10/15/whats-on-board/

 

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

 

MS-02 Info

 

Quote

On October 13, the payload section containing the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft was transported from its processing center at Site 254 to the vehicle assembly building at Site 31. Shortly before the departure of the payload section, the primary and backup crews again sat inside the spacecraft, reviewing control panels and testing various systems, including communications, RKK Energia said.

 

On October 14, at Site 31, the payload section was integrated with the third stage of the Soyuz-FG rocket and then the resulting stack was attached to the first and second-stage booster combination.

 

The State Commission overseeing the launch cleared the vehicle for the rollout to launch pad No. 6 at Site 31 on October 16, 2016, RKK Energia announced.

 

lv_integration_10-14-10_1.jpg

The final integration of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle with the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft on Oct. 14, 2016.

 

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz-ms-02.html#1013

 

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New instrument on ISS to study ultra-cold quantum gases

 

image4.png

 

Members of the Cold Atom Laboratory team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are seen here with their ground-based testbed, which can reliably create a Bose–Einstein condensate. Pictured from left to right, Anita Sengupta, Ethan Elliott, Rob Thompson, and Markus Krutzik. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 

 

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A new science instrument, slated to be installed on board the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2017, is expected to yield interesting results regarding quantum phenomena. The Cold Atom Laboratory, or CAL, will study degenerate quantum gases in the microgravity environment of the orbital outpost.

 

The compact, atom-chip based instrument will be capable of trapping such elements like rubidium and potassium, as well as producing degenerate gases of each species, after a few seconds of collection and cooling. It will allow the scientists to create a state of matter called a Bose–Einstein Condensate (BEC). This state can be achieved by cooling a gas of extremely low density, about one-hundred-thousandth the density of normal air, to ultra-low temperatures – lower than those that are created in laboratories on Earth.

 

“CAL is a multi-user facility to study ultra-cold atoms – below a billionth of a degree above absolute zero. Microgravity allows scientists to observe cold atoms floating unconfined for long periods of time allowing highly precise measurements of very weak forces,” Rob Thompson, CAL project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), told Astrowatch.net.

 

CAL is currently scheduled to be launched to the ISS by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in June 2017. However, due to a recent launch pad explosion on Sept. 1, when both the Falcon 9 and the Amos-6 satellite were destroyed two days prior to scheduled liftoff, CAL’s flight into space could be delayed. Moreover, it is also being considered that the instrument could be launched by Orbital ATK instead of SpaceX.

 

CAL-instrument.jpg

CAL instruments.  Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 

Quote

After the arrival of CAL at the ISS, it will be installed by astronauts into the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) rack inside the station’s Destiny module, which will provide standardized power, data, thermal, and mechanical interface to the new facility. Due to its size and power requirements, CAL will occupy a quad locker space in the rack.

 

“CAL will be installed into the ISS EXPRESS locker, where it takes up the equivalent of five lockers – a quad locker and a separate locker. Mass is around 452 pounds (205 kilograms) for the quad locker and 137 pounds (62 kilograms) for the single one,” Thompson said.

 

Once installed, the instrument will be operated remotely from the ground via sequence control, so there will be no need for further astronaut involvement.

 

The main goal of CAL is to study ultra-cold quantum gases in the microgravity environment. The instrument will investigate rubidium and potassium isotopes, as well as interactions between mixtures of these isotopes. The facility is designed for use by multiple scientific investigators and to be upgradable and also maintainable on orbit. CAL is also perceived as a pathfinder experiment for future quantum sensors based on laser-cooled atoms.

more at the link...

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/iss/new-instrument-iss-study-ultra-cold-quantum-gases/

 

ScienceCasts: The Coolest Spot in the Universe ( 2 years old, but relevant still)

video is 3:15 min.

 

 

 

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Soyuz Rocket completes chilly Sunday Morning Rollout to Baikonur Launch Pad

 

4784998120-512x288.jpg

Photo: Roscosmos

 

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Russia’s Soyuz FG rocket rolled to its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on a chilly Sunday morning to set the stage for the liftoff of the next Space Station crew on Wednesday.

 

First-time Soyuz Commander Sergei Ryzhikov, experienced Flight Engineer Andrei Borisenko and NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough are aiming for blastoff at 8:05 UTC on Wednesday to begin a two-day commute to the Space Station aboard their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft – coming back from a four-week launch delay caused by a technical issue on the Soyuz.

 

Soyuz FG finished assembly on Friday and emerged from its MIK Integration Facility at the traditional early morning hour on Sunday. It was a cold fall morning at the storied Cosmodrome but spectators were treated to clear skies and a colorful sunrise while the 49.5-meter tall Soyuz FG made its slow trip to the Site 31/6 launch pad.

 

29722795533_a0a569bf38_k-512x338.jpg

Photo: NASA

 

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The early morning rollout of the launch vehicle dates back to Yuri Gagarin’s Vostock in 1961 and many aspects of the crew’s launch preparation are set up to closely resemble the events of the historic one-orbit mission over five decades ago.

 

The Soyuz MS-02 mission as well as the subsequent flight will be using the launch pad at Site 31/6 instead of Gagarin’s Site 1/5 launch pad that is currently unavailable due to ongoing refurbishing and outfitting work.

 

The Soyuz MS-02 prime crew did not attend Sunday’s rollout, as is tradition since it is considered to bring bad luck. Backup crew members Aleksandr Misurkin, Nikolai Tikhonov and Mark Vande Hei were present for the rollout and watched Soyuz pull up to the on-ramp to space.

 

Quote

Arriving at the launch pad, Soyuz was carefully raised to a vertical position and secured atop the pad before the Umbilical Masts were moved up to the vehicle and the two Service Structure halves were placed around the Soyuz to provide access to engineers. Over the next two days, Soyuz will be hooked up to electrical and propellant lines and a detailed testing campaign will follow to ensure all onboard systems are ready to support the mission.

 

Soyuz will receive the traditional pre-flight blessing and teams will put in motion preparations for Wednesday’s eight-hour countdown sequence that will ready the rocket for propellant loading and the arrival of its crew two and a half hours prior to liftoff.

more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/soyuz-ms-02-rollout/

 

 

Video: Soyuz rocket rolled to pad for Expedition 49 crew launch

 

Quote

The Russian Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft and booster rocket were rolled out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sunday in preparation for liftoff Wednesday on a two-day trek to the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, will join the station’s existing three-person Expedition 49 crew.

Three short video's are available at the link...not sure how to embed these...

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/10/16/video-soyuz-rocket-rolled-to-pad-for-expedition-49-crew-launch/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 13 October 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_101316_9

Expedition 49 crew members Shane Kimbrough of NASA, left, Sergey Ryzhikov, center, and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, right, pose for pictures in front of the base of a Soyuz rocket on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Expedition 49 flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, and Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 19. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov.

 

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NASA and Orbital ATK mission managers are tracking Hurricane Nicole before finalizing a Cygnus cargo craft launch to the International Space Station no earlier than Oct. 16. Officials are securing a spacecraft tracking station in the Bermudas and monitoring the facility threatened by the category three storm.

 

Two astronauts - Kate Rubins from the United States and Takuya Onishi from Japan - are getting ready for Cygnus' planned arrival next week. The two Expedition 49 flight engineers checked out video and robotics gear today and discussed cargo operations with ground controllers.

 

The duo also teamed up for ultrasound scans of their arteries and blood pressure checks. Doctors will use the observations from the Cardio Ox study to understand the cardiovascular risk of living in space. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin explored ionized gases produced by high temperatures, also known as plasmas, potentially helping engineers design future spacecraft

 

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, a new space station crew is counting down to an Oct. 19 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov will take a two-day trip inside the upgraded Soyuz to their new home in space. The trio are in final mission preparations in Kazakhstan where they will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

 

Quote

Cardio Ox Ultrasound Operations: With remote guidance from the Cardio Ox ground teams, FE-5 assisted FE-6 in conducting an ultrasound scan after configuring the Voice-Activated Communication (VOX), attaching the Electrocardiograms (ECG) Electrodes, and marking the arteries; followed by blood pressure measurements using the Cardiolab Holter Arterial Blood Pressure Unit. The goal of the Cardio Ox investigation is to determine whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis risk in astronauts. Twelve crewmembers provide blood and urine samples to assess biomarkers before launch, 15 and 60 days after launch, 15 days before returning to Earth, and within days after landing. Ultrasound scans of the carotid and brachial arteries are obtained at the same time points, as well as through 5 years after landing, as an indicator of cardiovascular health.

 

Marrow: FE-6 collected breath and ambient air samples in support of the Canadian Space Agency's Marrow experiment. The Marrow investigation looks at the effect of microgravity on the bone marrow. It is believed that microgravity, like long-duration bed rest on Earth, has a negative effect on the bone marrow and the blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow. The extent of this effect, and its recovery, are of interest to space research and healthcare providers on Earth.

 

Cygnus Preparations: FE-5 and FE-6 utilized training materials as part of a self-study session this morning to review Cygnus hardware, stowage and attached phase configuration. FE-6 also installed the Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) system onto the Node 1 nadir hatch. Following the installation the crew, working with ground teams, checked out the system. The checkout involved routing the video from the camera to the Cupola Robotics Work Station (RWS) monitors and to the ground. Video from the CBCS is used to aid the crew during Visiting Vehicle mating operations. The crew also participated in a conference with ground teams to discuss Cygnus cargo operations. Orbital ATK (OA)-5 is scheduled to launch on October 16, with rendezvous and berthing on October 19th.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier (TWTA) Activation
CIR Venting
CBCS Checkout
System configuration for 63P clamp uninstall

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 10/14: CBEF, Microbe, Vascular Echo
Saturday, 10/15: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty
Sunday, 10/16: HRF Body Measures, Crew Off Duty

 

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - Off
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Idle
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
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-13-october-2016.html

 

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

 

NASA ISS Space to Ground Weekly Report - 14 October 2016

 

Quote

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---14-october-2016.html

 

Space to Ground: Astronaut Energy: 10/14/2016

video is 2:13 min.

 

 

 

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

 

Cargo and Crew Missions Ready for Liftoff This Week

 

blog_antares_soyuz.jpg

(From left) The Antares rocket with the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on top rests at its launch pad in Virginia. The Soyuz rocket that will carry three new crew members stands at its launch pad in Kazakhstan.

 

Quote

Launch day has arrived for the Cygnus cargo craft which is scheduled to liftoff aboard the Orbital ATK Antares rocket today at 7:40 p.m. EDT. Two days later, three new crew members will launch aboard a Soyuz rocket for a two-day trip to the International Space Station.

 

Watch the launch on NASA TV… http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

 

Cygnus will wait for the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft to dock on Friday before it approaches the station Sunday for capture and installation to the Harmony module. Cygnus is delivering about 2,400 kilograms of crew supplies and research.

 

Meanwhile, the three orbiting Expedition 49 crew members stayed busy with life science research, lab maintenance and cargo packing.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi took body measurements to determine the impacts microgravity has on body size. Rubins also explored how skin ages quicker in space while Onishi attached electrodes to himself to analyze his heart function. The duo also reviewed Cygnus approach and rendezvous procedures.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin looked at wide variety of Russian research including nutrition and pain thresholds in space. The veteran cosmonaut also began loading cargo for his crew’s return home at the end of October.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/17/cargo-and-crew-missions-ready-for-liftoff-this-week/

 

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

 

MS-02

 

Quote

The Soyuz FG launch vehicle with the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft was rolled out to Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur on the morning of October 16, 2016.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz-ms-02.html#rollout

 

pad_10-16-15_1.jpg

 

 

Soyuz MS-02 is Transported to the Launch Pad

video is 4:47 min.

 

 

 

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

 

Earth from Space: Vatnajökull, Iceland

 

esa_earth_from_space_Vatnajoekull_icelan

Earth from Space: Vatnajökull, Iceland.   USGS/ESA

 

Quote

The Landsat-8 satellite takes us over Iceland's southeastern coast and the Vatnajökull glacier in this false-colour image from 6 September 2014.

 

Glaciers cover 11% of Iceland's landscape, the largest being the Vatnajökull - known as the Vatna Glacier in English - which at 8000 sq km is also the largest in Europe.

 

Up to a kilometre thick, the Vatna ice cap has about 30 outlet glaciers - many of which are retreating owing to warming temperatures.

 

A number of volcanoes lie underneath this ice cap, including the infamous Grímsvötn, which caused disruption of northern European air traffic in recent years following eruptions and the spread of ash plumes. This volcano is visible as a black arc on the central-left side of the image.

 

In 1996 an eruption of Grímsvötn caused some of the overlying glacial ice to melt. The water then broke out of the ice cap and flooded the nearby outwash plain, causing millions of dollars' worth of damage.

 

In the upper-central part of the image, in an area known as the Holuhraun lava field, we can see a bright orange strip of lava through a crack in the surface. This type of elongated volcanic eruption is known as a fissure vent, and usually occurs without any explosive activity.

http://spaceref.com/earth/earth-from-space-vatnajokull-iceland.html

 

:D

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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 17 October 2016

 

nasa_iss_on_orbit_status_report_101716_9

Expedition 49 backup crew members Mark Vande Hei of NASA, left, Alexander Misurkin Soyuz, center, and Nikolai Tikhonov of Roscosmos, right, pose for a picture in front of the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft during the final fit check of the spacecraft on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Expedition 49 flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, and Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 19. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov.

 

Quote

Launch day has arrived for the Cygnus cargo craft which is scheduled to liftoff aboard the Orbital ATK Antares rocket today at 7:40 p.m. EDT. Two days later, three new crew members will launch aboard a Soyuz rocket for a two-day trip to the International Space Station.

 

Cygnus will wait for the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft to dock on Friday before it approaches the station Sunday for capture and installation to the Harmony module. Cygnus is delivering about 2,400 kilograms of crew supplies and research.

 

Meanwhile, the three orbiting Expedition 49 crew members stayed busy with life science research, lab maintenance and cargo packing.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi took body measurements to determine the impacts microgravity has on body size. Rubins also explored how skin ages quicker in space while Onishi attached electrodes to himself to analyze his heart function. The duo also reviewed Cygnus approach and rendezvous procedures.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin looked at wide variety of Russian research including nutrition and pain thresholds in space. The veteran cosmonaut also began loading cargo for his crew's return home at the end of October.

 

Quote

Electromagnetic Levitation (EML) Configuration: FE-5 continued with configuration of the EML facility today, opening the valve to the Argon (Ar) gas supply and closing the Helium (He) valve. The crew then changed the magnification factor to standard mode. The EML is a multi-user facility designed for containerless materials processing in space.

 

Soyuz (47S) Return Cargo Packing: On Sunday, the crew started packing the cargo that will be returning on 47S. The remaining packing will be completed prior to undocking.

 

Environmental Health System (EHS) Microbial Air and Surface Sampling: The crew acquired air samples for microbial analysis using the Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) with Petri Dishes and surface samples with slide media. The EHS monitors the atmosphere for gaseous contaminants from nonmetallic materials off-gassing, combustion products, and propellants, microbial contaminants from crewmembers and Station activities, water quality, acoustics, and radiation levels.

 

Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) Reposition: Earlier today the crew extended the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (A/L) slide table and repositioned the RELL in the JEM Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Transfer Interface (JODI) so that it is consistent with the configuration required by the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) for successful removal. The JEM A/L slide table was then retracted back into the A/L.

 

Quote

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Nominal Ground Commanding

 

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 10/18: METEOR HD Setup, CardioOX, Vascular Echo, PWD Sample, Microbial Monitoring System
Wednesday, 10/19: 47S Return Prep, 48S Launch, MDCA Hose Replace, EMU 3006 Checkout
Thursday, 10/20: Off Duty

 

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Manual
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-17-october-2016.html

 

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

 

New Crew Set to Blast Off After Cygnus Cargo Launch

 

blog_NHQ201610180025.jpg

Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko for a picture after the conclusion of a crew press conference Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

 

Quote

A U.S. cargo craft full of science gear and crew supplies is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus resupply ship blasted off Monday night from Virginia on a mission to replenish the space station crew.

 

On the other side of the world in Kazakhstan, a Soyuz rocket is set to launch three Expedition 49-50 crew members to their new home in space early Wednesday morning. The new crew will arrive Friday morning and dock to the Poisk module after two days of flight tests on the upgraded Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will live in space until late February.

 

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi were back at work Tuesday on life science experiments, helping doctors understand the effects of living in space. Rubins scanned Onishi’s arteries with an ultrasound for the Cardio Ox study that explores heart health. Onishi also participated in another pair of heart studies including Biological Rhythms 48 Hours, and Vascular Echo. Rubins tested the station’s water supply to improve the safety of future space missions.

 

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin worked on his share of Russian space research and is also getting ready to return at the end of the month. He will return home with Rubins and Onishi inside the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft ending a four-month mission.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/18/new-crew-set-to-blast-off-after-cygnus-cargo-launch/

 

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

 

MS-02 

 

Quote

After a month-long delay, the liftoff of a Soyuz-FG rocket was re-scheduled for Oct. 19, 2016, at 11:05:14 Moscow Time (4:05 a.m. EDT).

 

The launch vehicle will carry the 7,220-kilogram Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft with a crew of three bound to the International Space Station, ISS.

 

Propelled by the simultaneous thrust of the four engines of the first stage and the single engine of the second stage, the rocket will head east to align its ascent trajectory with an orbital plane inclined 51.67 degrees toward the Equator. Slightly less than two minutes into the flight, the ship's emergency escape system will be jettisoned, immediately followed by the separation of the four boosters of the first stage.

 

The second (core) stage of the booster will continue firing for less than five minutes into the flight. Almost exactly 40 seconds after the separation of the first stage, the payload fairing protecting the spacecraft in the dense atmosphere will split into two halves and fall away.

 

Moments before the second stage completes its firing 4.7 minutes into the flight, the four-chamber engine of the third stage will ignite, firing through a lattice structure connecting two boosters. Moments after the separation of the core booster, the tail section of the third stage will split into three segments and fall away.

 

The separation of the Soyuz MS-02 from the third stage of the launch vehicle is scheduled at 11:14:02.38 Moscow Time (4:14 a.m. EDT) into an orbit with the following parameters, according to the mission control in Korolev, Russia:

 

Parameter    
Planned orbit
Orbital period    
88.64 minutes (+/-0.367)
Inclination    
51.66 degrees (+/-0.058)
Perigee (lowest point)    
200 kilometers (+7/-22)
Apogee (highest point)    
242 kilometers (+/-42)


Without any additional maneuvers, the spacecraft would remain in this orbit for around 20 revolutions around the Earth during the next 30 hours, before reentering the Earth's atmosphere.

 

launch_trajectory_1.jpg

The Soyuz MS-02 launch sequence on Oct. 19, 2016.

 

Quote

Soyuz MS-02 docking

 

The docking of the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft is scheduled on Octobr 21, 2016, at 12:59:09 Moscow Time (5:59 a.m. EDT), during the 34th orbit of the mission. According to NASA, the two-day rendezvous profile, (as oppose to the six-hour scenario possible in Soyuz docking missions) was chosen to allow more tests of new systems on the Soyuz MS series.

 

The transport ship is expected to berth at the MIM2 Poisk module, the part of the outpost's Russian segment.

 

Hatches between Soyuz MS-02 and the ISS are scheduled to open around 8:35 a.m. EDT, NASA said.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz-ms-02.html#launch

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote

Successful launch of the US Antares rocket with Russian engines RD-181 - http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22763/ .

 

 

 

Quote

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a press conference crews of manned spacecraft # SoyuzMS02   -http: // the www. roscosmos.ru/22656/ 

 

 

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

 

Cygnus Solar Arrays Deployed, Heads to Station

 

cygnus_arrays_945.jpg

The Cygnus spacecraft and its solar arrays are displayed in this computer representation.   NASA

 

Quote

The Cygnus spacecraft's solar arrays have deployed. The cargo ship will rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday, Oct. 23.

 

It will be grappled at approximately 7:05 a.m. by Expedition 49 Flight Engineers Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kate Rubins of NASA. After Cygnus' capture, ground controllers will command the station's arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station's Unity module. It is scheduled depart the space station on Nov. 18.

 

Science investigations aboard Cygnus on their way to the space station also include commercial and academic payloads in myriad disciplines, including:

 

- Saffire II, the second in a series of experiments to ignite and study a large-scale fire inside an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle after it leaves the space station and before it re-enters Earth's atmosphere to improving understanding of fire growth in microgravity and safeguarding future space missions.

 

- Cool flames, an investigation into a phenomenon where some types of fuels initially burn very hot and then appear to go out -- but actually continue to burn at a much lower temperature with no visible flames.

 

- Controlled Dynamics locker- equipment that can minimize fluctuations and disturbances in the microgravity environment that can occur onboard a moving spacecraft that can enable a new class of research experiments.

 

NanoRacks Black Box- a platform that can provide advanced science capabilities and is specially designed for near-launch payload turnover of autonomous payloads including use of robotics, new automated MixStix and NanoLab-style research.

http://spaceref.com/international-space-station/cygnus-solar-arrays-deployed-heads-to-station.html

 

:D

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