ISS News: September 2009 Archives

Expedition 21 Heads for ISS

Expedition 21 Crew Launches From Kazakhstan

"Flight Engineers Jeffrey Williams and Maxim Suraev of the 21st International Space Station crew launched in their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:14 a.m. EDT Wednesday to begin a six-month stay in space. Less than 10 minutes after launch their spacecraft reached orbit, and its antennas and solar arrays were deployed shortly afterward. With Williams, a retired U.S. Army colonel, and Suraev, a colonel in the Russian Air Force, is spaceflight participant Guy Lalibert, flying under an agreement between the Russian Federal Space Agency and Space Adventures, Ltd."

Keith's note: I will be interviewed on CBC Radio this morning to talk about Guy Lalibert's flight. This is the schedule: 6:00 Sudbury, 6:20 am EDT Quebec City, 6:40 Thunder Bay, 7:00 Winnipeg, 7:10 Corner Brook, 7:30 Yellowknife, 7:50 Victoria, 8:15 Regina, 8:30 Kelowna, 8:40 Vancouver

Boeing Submits Proposal for NASA Commercial Crew Transport System

"The Boeing Company submitted a proposal to NASA on Sept. 22 to accelerate the development of commercial human space transportation as defined by NASA in its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) announcement. Boeing's submission, which draws on the company's experience with proven human-rated spacecraft, proposes development of technologies that will mature its Commercial Crew Transportation System concept. ... Joining Boeing on the CCDev team will be Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, LLC. Bigelow Aerospace will provide additional investment, requirements for crew transportation to its Orbital Space Complex, and its expertise from testing and validating the technologies necessary to construct and deploy a full-scale, crewed, commercial orbital space complex."

Sept. 15 House of Representatives Hearing on Space Flight Includes Misconceptions; Industry Group Offers Clarity (White paper Text), Next Step in Space Coalition

"Next Step in Space, a coalition of businesses, organizations, and people working toward ensuring the future of human spaceflight in the United States, today issued a white paper titled "Acquiring U.S. Commercial ISS Crew and Cargo Services Creates New Industry in LEO, Enables Program for Exploration Beyond" to help clarify issues discussed at a September 15th hearing of the House Committee on Science & Technology on "Options and Issues for NASA's Human Space Flight Program."

"Some comments made at the House hearing last week incorrectly suggested that the Augustine Committee's recommendation to procure crew services to the International Space Station would necessarily be in lieu of further development of NASA's exploration program to travel beyond Earth orbit," said Bretton Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. "However, these two programs are complementary, not competitive. As former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has pointed out numerous times, the Constellation Program is designed and optimized for missions beyond low-Earth orbit, not for Space Station servicing."


"NASA has issued a 266 page report on research accomplished during the 2000-2008 assembly phase of the ISS. Of course, assembly of the ISS has recently been completed. An appendix lists the papers resulting from this work. Most, but not all, are from the proceedings of NASA conferences, but some are from respected, peer-reviewed publications. However, I do not believe any major field of science has been significantly affected by this work, which is not so much wrong as just unimportant."

Reader note: Gosh, leave it to a Physicist to remind us biologists where the real intellectuals reside (i.e. in the physical sciences). Parks says that even though a portion of the work onboard ISS has been published in "...respected, peer-reviewed publications" the resulting science is "...not so much wrong as just unimportant." Bob, at least in Biology (my field) our expert peers can evaluate our research efforts relative to other biologists, but it requires a physicist to tell us what's truly important in the bigger scheme of things? Perhaps its just fear--that we might actually learn something interesting by carrying out biological research in space that bothers you, and most especially if that research involves humans as subjects, experimentors, or (worse) both.

Any other biologists care to weigh in?

-- David Watson, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, National Space Biomedical Research Institute
and Molecular Microbiologist/Co-Investigator for three spaceflight experiments

NASA Publishes Report About International Space Station Science, earlier post

HTV Launched

Keith's note: The HTV has been launched. SRBs and payload fairings have separated from the launch vehicle. First stage has shut down and separated. Second Stage engines have ignited.

HTV/H-IIB Live Launch Webcast Coverage

"HTV/H-IIB Live Launch through the Internet at 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 11th (Fri, JST) The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight and the H-IIB Launch Vehicle are undergoing final launch preparations at the Vehicle Assembly Building waiting for their launch on Sept. 11 (Fri.) JAXA will broadcast a live launch report through the Internet from 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 11th (Japan Standard Time.)"

Japanese space station mission holds many firsts, SpaceflightNow

"Liftoff is scheduled for 1701:46 GMT Thursday (1:01 p.m. EDT; 2:01 a.m. JST) from Launch Pad No. 2 of the Yoshinobu launch complex at the Tanegashima space center."

Node 3 Location Issues

Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 3:21 PM
Subject: My Notes: Final Node 3 relocation charts

From this afternoon's meeting with Mr. Suffredini concerning the Node 3 relocation plan.

Node 3 is to remain on the N1p port, and no further work is to be given to the Node 3 temp storage on N1p and later re-location to N1n plan. The PLM will be located N1n, because this location requires the least MMOD shielding (reducing launch weight, and preparation costs).

The Cupola will remain in the planned location. When it looks like Orion may fly, the program will re-look at moving the Cupola at that time to provide a back-up docking port.

The desire to relocate Node 3 was to provide a back-up port for each visiting vehicle, and also to provide 2 additional available ports for future growth of ISS. Mr. Suffredini noted that Biggalow has approached NASA about docking a module to ISS, which he would like to try to accommodate. However, the cost and risk impacts to performing the Node 3 relocation in FY2010 drove the decision to not relocate Node 3.

It was noted my many in the room that if needed in the future, the team thought they could find a way to relocate the Node 3 at that time (given more time to work on the plan and to provided the needed hardware, training and procedures, etc.).

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 5 September 2009

"PMA-3 Heater Cable Installation: After the EVA-2 crew discovered that the PMA-3 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 3) is rotated ("clocked") 90 degrees off ("tail nadir") from the expected orientation ("tail aft"), further evaluation by ground teams confirmed that the on-board jumper harness is not long enough in this orientation. Therefore, this task will not be performed during EVA-3. It was also confirmed that the actual PMA-3 orientation is the same as in 2007 (Expedition 15) before it was relocated to Node-1 nadir, and that this is the correct orientation expected for HTV rendezvous/berthing. There are currently no plans to rectify the situation which requires that entrances to PMA-3 need to be restricted to certain (solar-heated) Beta angle periods to prevent condensation within the module. The root cause for this discrepancy is under investigation."

SpaceX Delivers Hardware to Cape Canaveral in Preparation for STS-129 and Integration with the ISS

"Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces delivery of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Communication Unit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in preparation for launch on Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-129. The unit will be delivered by Atlantis to the International Space Station (ISS) and integrated in preparation for SpaceX's future flights to the orbiting laboratory. Developed by SpaceX, in collaboration with NASA, the unit allows for communication between the ISS, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, and ground-based mission control. The system also allows the ISS crew to monitor an approaching or departing capsule. As part of NASA's COTS competition, SpaceX will conduct flights of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, culminating in Dragon berthing with the ISS and then returning to Earth."



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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from September 2009.

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