NASA

Document Sample
NASA Powered By Docstoc
					                         NASA
• International Space Station
  – Why Explore Space?
     • Michael Griffin
       Administrator
       National Aeronautics and Space Administration
        – As NASA resumes flights of the space shuttle to finish
          building the International Space Station, many are
          questioning whether the project – the most complex
          construction feat ever undertaken – is worth the risk and
          expense.
– I have been asked, and asked myself, this question many times during my career,
  particularly when the United States lacked a plan to go beyond the space station
  to other destinations in the solar system.
  The issue was addressed eloquently in the report of the Columbia Accident
  Investigation Board, which examined the 2003 loss of the shuttle and its crew.
  That report pointed out that for the foreseeable future, space travel is going to be
  expensive, difficult and dangerous. But, for the United States, it is strategic. It is
  part of what makes us a great nation. And the report declared that if we are going
  to send humans into space, the goals ought to be worthy of the cost, the risk and
  the difficulty. A human spaceflight program with no plan to send people anywhere
  beyond the orbiting space station certainly did not meet that standard.
  President Bush responded to the Columbia report. The administration looked at
  where we had been in space and concluded that we needed to do more, to go
  further. The result was the Vision for Space Exploration, announced nearly three
  years ago, which commits the United States to using the shuttle to complete the
  space station, then retiring the shuttle and building a new generation of spacecraft
  to venture out into the solar system. Congress has ratified that position with an
  overwhelming bipartisan majority, making the Vision for Space Exploration the law
  of the land.
•   I have been asked, and asked myself, this question many times during my career,
    particularly when the United States lacked a plan to go beyond the space station to
    other destinations in the solar system.
    The issue was addressed eloquently in the report of the Columbia Accident
    Investigation Board, which examined the 2003 loss of the shuttle and its crew. That
    report pointed out that for the foreseeable future, space travel is going to be
    expensive, difficult and dangerous. But, for the United States, it is strategic. It is part
    of what makes us a great nation. And the report declared that if we are going to send
    humans into space, the goals ought to be worthy of the cost, the risk and the
    difficulty. A human spaceflight program with no plan to send people anywhere beyond
    the orbiting space station certainly did not meet that standard.
    President Bush responded to the Columbia report. The administration looked at
    where we had been in space and concluded that we needed to do more, to go
    further. The result was the Vision for Space Exploration, announced nearly three
    years ago, which commits the United States to using the shuttle to complete the
    space station, then retiring the shuttle and building a new generation of spacecraft to
    venture out into the solar system. Congress has ratified that position with an
    overwhelming bipartisan majority, making the Vision for Space Exploration the law of
    the land.
– Today, NASA is moving forward with a new focus for the
  manned space program: to go out beyond Earth orbit for
  purposes of human exploration and scientific discovery. And
  the International Space Station is now a stepping stone on the
  way, rather than being the end of the line.
  On the space station, we will learn how to live and work in
  space. We will learn how to build hardware that can survive and
  function for the years required to make the round-trip voyage
  from Earth to Mars.
  If humans are indeed going to go to Mars, if we're going to go
  beyond, we have to learn how to live on other planetary
  surfaces, to use what we find there and bend it to our will, just
  as the Pilgrims did when they came to what is now New
  England – where half of them died during that first frigid winter
  in 1620. There was a reason their celebration was called
  "Thanksgiving."
– The Pilgrims had to learn to survive in a strange new place across a vast ocean. If
  we are to become a spacefaring nation, the next generation of explorers is going
  to have to learn how to survive in other forbidding, faraway places across the
  vastness of space. The moon is a crucially important stepping stone along that
  path – an alien world, yet one that is only a three-day journey from Earth.
  Using the space station and building an outpost on the moon to prepare for the
  trip to Mars are critical milestones in America's quest to become a truly
  spacefaring nation. I think that we should want that. I want that. I want it for the
  American people, for my grandchildren, for my great-grandchildren.
  Throughout history, the great nations have been the ones at the forefront of the
  frontiers of their time. Britain became great in the 17th century through its
  exploration and mastery of the seas. America's greatness in the 20th century
  stemmed largely from its mastery of the air. For the next generations, the frontier
  will be space.
  Other countries will explore the cosmos, whether the United States does or not.
  And those will be Earth's great nations in the years and centuries to come. I
  believe America should look to its future – and consider what that future will look
  like if we choose not to be a spacefaring nation.
                 Latest News

• Station Recovers From Power Loss
   – Mission control teams are working to assess systems affected by a
     power loss aboard the International Space Station early Sunday
     morning. The station's three crew members were not in any danger, but
     it did turn an off-duty day into a full work shift.
     About 1 a.m. EST, one of the power channels of the P4 solar array
     electrical system went down because of a glitch with a device known as
     a direct current switching unit. It controls power distribution from the
     solar array to the battery systems and other hardware. The glitch
     resulted in a temporary loss of communications, and shut down some
     equipment, including a few science facilities and heating units and
     control moment gyroscope #2. The station never lost orientation
     control, but it operated most of the day with two of four gyros. Control
     moment gyroscope #3 previously had been powered down.
     Flight controllers restored power to nearly all affected systems and
     equipment by Monday morning. They are still investigating what caused
     the glitch, but they believe it was an isolated event.
Record Setting Spacewalks

  – Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Suni
    Williams finished a 6-hour, 40-minute spacewalk Thursday.
    Their completed tasks will allow for the attachment of a cargo
    platform during the STS-118 mission this summer and
    relocation of the P6 truss during STS-120 later this year.

    The crew now begins to review Russian procedures for the next
    spacewalk on Feb. 22. Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer
    Mikhail Tyurin will work on an antenna on the Progress 23
    cargo ship docked at the aft port of the Zvezda service module.
    The three spacewalks from the Quest airlock in U.S. spacesuits
    and a Russian spacewalk on Feb. 22 will be the most ever
    done by station crew members during such a short period and
    will mark five spacewalks in all for Expedition 14, a record for
    any expedition.
Station Crew Conducts Three
 Back-to-Back Spacewalks
   – The third spacewalk in nine days by International Space
     Station Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight
     Engineer Sunita Williams wrapped up on Thursday, Feb.
     8.

    The three spacewalks, from the Quest airlock in U.S.
    spacesuits, and a Russian spacewalk scheduled for Feb.
    22 will be the most ever done by station crew members
    during an increment, said Mike Suffredini, station
    program manager.

    The three spacewalks are termed EVAs 6, 7, and 8
    because there were five previous station spacewalks
    from the U.S. airlock Quest during increments, times
    when no shuttle was present.
  Season's Greetings to All
Onboard the Space Station, and
    to All a Good Mission
    – While stockings were hung by chimneys with care and children
      were snug in their beds across the globe, Commander Michael
      Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineers Sunita Williams and Mikhail
      Tyurin voyaged around the world in space.

    – Like millions around the world, for the crew of Expedition 14,
      this holiday season was met with bundles of joy, cheer and a
      special delivery. The winter festivities brought to the station
      crew more than 7,000 electronic postcards with warm wishes
      from those celebrating on Earth below.

      From Mesa, Ariz. to London, England, here are some of the
      greetings that reached the trio who celebrated this holiday
      season orbiting 230 miles above their home on Earth.
Progress Docks with Space
         Station
  –   A new Progress docked to the International Space Station at 9:59 p.m. EST Friday with more than 2.5 tons of fuel, oxygen,
      other supplies and equipment aboard.
      The station's 24th Progress unpiloted cargo carrier brings to the orbiting laboratory more than 1,720 pounds of propellant, about
      110 pounds of oxygen, and 3,285 pounds of dry cargo – a total of 5,115 pounds.




  –   P24 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday at 9:12 p.m. It reached the station after a flight of just
      over two days.
      The spacecraft used the automated Kurs system to dock at the Pirs Docking Compartment. Expedition 14 flight engineer
      Mikhail Tyurin stood by at the manual Toru docking system controls, should his intervention have become necessary.
      Expedition 14 crew members, Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, Tyurin and Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, finished filling
      P24's sister cargo carrier ISS Progress 22, with trash and other discards for its Jan. 16 undocking from Pirs and subsequent
      destruction on re-entry.




  –   After its unloading P22 was used as a storage area for a while. Many items brought to the station aboard the Space Shuttle
      Discovery on STS-121 in July eventually found a temporary home there until crew members could put them in more permanent
      places.
      ISS Progress 23 remains at the aft compartment of the Zvezda Service Module. It is scheduled to undock in April.
      The Progress is similar in appearance and some design elements to the Soyuz spacecraft, which brings crew members to the
      station, serves as a lifeboat while they are there and returns them to Earth. The aft module, the instrumentation and propulsion
      module, is nearly identical.
      But the second of the three Progress sections is a refueling module, and the third, uppermost as the Progress sits on the
      launch pad, is a cargo module. On the Soyuz, the descent module, where the crew is seated on launch and which returns them
      to Earth, is the middle module and the third is called the orbital module.
Spacewalkers Tee Off on
  Science, Mechanics
 –   Two International Space Station crew members wrapped up a 5-hour, 38-minute spacewalk from the Pirs docking compartment airlock at
     12:55 a.m. EST Thursday.
     The spacewalk included a golf shot that merited a high-flying birdie rating.




 –   Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin was the lead spacewalker, EV1, and Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria was EV2. They wore Russian Orlan
     spacesuits.
     Golf was the first major spacewalk activity. Lopez-Alegria put the tee on the ladder outside Pirs. Tyurin set up a camera and then stepped up
     and addressed the ball for his one-handed shot. Lopez-Alegria helped secure Tyurin's feet.
     The golf was a commercial activity sponsored by a Canadian golf company through a contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency. The
     ball left the station toward the right side instead of to the rear, a substantial slice.
     The ball weighs just 3 grams, a tenth of an ounce or about three times the weight of a dollar bill, compared to 1.62 ounces for a standard golf
     ball. At that weight it was unlikely to damage any station components if the shot had gone awry. The ball will have a short stay in orbit,
     perhaps three days.
     Inspection of a Kurs antenna on the Progress 23 unpiloted cargo carrier that docked at the aft end of the station's Zvezda Service Module Oct.
     26 was the next task. Final latching of the spacecraft to the station was delayed by more than three hours because Mission Control Moscow
     was not sure the antenna was completely retracted.
     Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria moved to the rear of Zvezda and photographed the antenna. It was still fully extended, so Tyurin used a screwdriver
     to release a latch and tried to retract the antenna. Russian flight controllers also tried to retract it by activating a drive. Neither succeeded, and
     the task was abandoned.
     Next they relocated a WAL antenna, which will guide the unpiloted European cargo carrier to docking with the station. That vehicle, the
     Automated Transfer Vehicle, is scheduled to make its first flight next year. In its previous position the antenna interfered with a cover for a
     Zvezda booster engine.




 –   Then the two installed a BTN neutron experiment, which characterizes charged and neutral particles in low Earth orbit. Atop Zvezda, its
     readings during solar bursts should be of special interest to scientists.
     Two thermal covers from the BTN were jettisoned before the spacewalkers returned to the Pirs airlock.
     A final scheduled task, an inspection of bolts on one of two Strela hand-operated cranes on the docking compartment, was postponed.
     The scheduled 6 p.m. EST start of the spacewalk was delayed because of a cooling issue in Tyurin's suit. Tyurin got out of the suit and
     straightened a suspect hose which apparently had become kinked. A balky hatch further delayed start of the spacewalk.
     This was the first spacewalk during Expedition 14, the sixth for Lopez-Alegria and the fourth for Tyurin.

 –   If you've ever burned your dinner, you know how startling a smoke alarm can be. Now, imagine you're 220 miles away from Earth in an orbiting
     lab when the alarm sounds.
Hockey Star Ovechkin Receives
  Tyurin Autographed Photo
    – Before he was sent to live and work on the International Space Station
      for six months, Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin
      autographed his crew photo for another famous Russian. Now, the
      photo has reached its intended recipient: National Hockey League star
      Alexander Ovechkin.



    – While Tyurin orbited aboard the station some 220 miles above Earth,
      Ovechkin was presented with the framed photo following practice with
      his Washington Capitals teammates. Ovechkin was thrilled to receive
      the photo from a cosmonaut.

      "Very important people for any country," said Ovechkin, "Russia or
      U.S."

      Ovechkin was pleased to learn that before Tyurin took up engineering
      as a career, he had wanted to grow up to be a hockey player.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:3
posted:9/3/2011
language:English
pages:12