Archive - Jul 2009
NASA astronaut Pam Melroy is leaving the agency to take a job in the private sector. Melroy, a retired Air Force colonel, is a veteran of three space shuttle flights and the second woman to command one.
"Pam has performed superbly as an astronaut," said Steve Lindsey, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "She has flown three highly successful space shuttle missions and contributed in several other technical areas during her 14 years of service with the Astronaut Office. Her leadership as the commander of the STS-120 space shuttle mission paved the way to six-person crew operations on the International Space Station."
The University of Texas at Austin announced this week they will deploy a satellite in space on July 30, 2009 at 7:27 AM CDT via the STS-127 Space Shuttle Picosatellite Launcher (SSPL).
BEVO1 is a 12.5 cm cube and 3 kg in mass. The purpose of the mission is to collect data from NASA's DRAGON GPS receiver.
BEVO1 has two modes, data and beacon. The data mode is on over most parts of the United States, and the rest of the time, the satellite is in beacon mode. Also, anyone tracking BEVO1 can record what they hear at http://paradigm.ae.utexas.edu/ops. The University of Texas also has additional information at: http://www.utexas.edu/news/2009/06/09/picosatellite/
The International Space Station may feel a bit crowded with 13 people aboard, but the population boost has also given it a multicultural flair, an astronaut said Sunday.
NASA astronaut Dave Wolf, who once lived aboard Russia's Mir space station for months, said the space station is an inviting place.
"As you go through here, you hear different languages. You hear different music," Wolf told reporters in a televised news conference. "It's like going around the world within a spacecraft that's already going around."
The space station is currently home to its first full six-man crew and seven astronauts from the shuttle Endeavour, which brought Wolf and his crewmates to the station. That makes 13 in all - the largest single gathering aboard the station.
NASA engineers have revived a vital air-scrubbing system on the International Space Station and are hunting for the source of the glitch that sent it offline.
The American-built air scrubber, called a Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA), shut down Saturday, sending engineers on Earth scrambling for a fix while a record 13 people work aboard the space station.
They ultimately revived the life support gear in a manual mode, one that requires extra flight controllers on Earth to keep it working. Normally, the system runs automatically and NASA is hopeful that a software patch expected late Sunday will recover that ability as well.
The Apollo 11 astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago today, but they left behind more than footprints. An experiment they placed on the moon's surface is still running to this day.
The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment is the only moon investigation to continuously operate since the Apollo 11 mission. The experiment studies the Earth-Moon system and beams the data to labs around the world, including NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
"Yes, we are still going," said James Williams, a JPL scientist involved with the experiment, in an e-mail interview.
Data from the ranging experiment has been used to learn â€" among other things â€" that the moon has a fluid core and is moving away from the Earth, and that Einstein's Theory of Relativity is accurate.
The orbiter Discovery is in the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building today after a move Sunday from its nearby processing hangar.
Mounted atop a 76-wheel transporter, the spaceship was backed out of its hangar around 7:22 a.m. and rolled into the 52-story assembly building about an hour later.
Discovery is tentatively scheduled to launch Aug. 25 on an International Space Station outfitting mission. Its move into the assembly building was delayed so engineers could perform tests on its external tank.
An unusual amount of foam loss was noted on Endeavour's intertank area during its July 15 launch. Engineers tested Discovery's tank to ensure that the problem would not recur on NASA's next mission to the station.
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 11:31:50 AM CDT
Spacewalkers Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy completed a four hour, 54 minute spacewalk at 12:27 p.m. EDT.
Marshburn and Cassidy secured multi-layer insulation around the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator known as Dextre, split out power channels for two space station Control Moment Gyroscopes, installed video cameras on the front and back of the new Japanese Exposed Facility and performed a number of "get ahead" tasks, including tying down some cables and installing handrails and a portable foot restraint to aid future spacewalkers. The deployment of the Payload Attach System on the Starboard 3 truss was deferred to another spacewalk sometime in the future.
An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Borough of New Providence, NJ, Summer Playground Camp, New Providence, NJ on 30 July. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 17:24 UTC.The contact will be direct between NA1SS and N2XJ. The contact should be audible over the eastern U.S. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.
The New Providence NJ Summer Playground Camp is operated by the Town Recreation Department. It is for elementary school age children, and most of them are in the 3rd to 5th grade. It is purely a "fun program" with lots of athletic events and outdoor arts and crafts programs. The "Ham Radio at Summer Camp" program, run by the New Providence Amateur Radio Club, is the only educational enrichment part of the camp program. About 100 children participate in the camp. Of those involved as communicators in the ARISS QSO, several have expressed a real interest in Ham Radio, but all of them are looking forward to speaking with a "Real Astronaut."