May the Forest Be With You: GEDI Moves Toward Launch to Space StationMay 4, 2018 A first-of-its-kind laser instrument designed to map the world's forests in 3-D is moving toward an earlier launch to the International Space Station than previously expected.The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation – or GEDI, pronounced like "Jedi," of Star Wars fame – instrument is undergoing final integration and testing this spring and summer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The instrument is expected to launch aboard SpaceX's 16th commercial resupply services mission, targeted for late 2018. GEDI is being led by the University of Maryland, College Park; the instrument is being built at NASA Goddard.“Scientists have been planning for decades to get comprehensive information about the structure of forests from space to deepen our understanding of how this structure impacts carbon resources and biodiversity across large regions and even globally, as well as a host of other science issues,” said Ralph Dubayah, GEDI principal investigator and a professor of geographical sciences at the University of Maryland. “This is why seeing the instrument built and racing toward launch is so exciting.”From its perch on the exterior of the orbiting laboratory, GEDI will be the first space-borne laser instrument to measure the structure of Earth's tropical and temperate forests in high resolution and three dimensions. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists' understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity.GEDI will accomplish its science goals through an ingenious use of light. The instrument is a lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging. It captures information by sending out laser pulses and then precisely measuring the light that is reflected back.GEDI's three lasers will produce eight ground tracks – two of the lasers will generate two ground tracks each, and the third will generate four. As the space station and GEDI orbit Earth, laser pulses will reflect off clouds, trees and the planet's surface. While the instrument will gather height information about everything in its path, it is specifically designed to measure forests. The amount and intensity of the light that bounces back to GEDI's telescope will reveal details about the height and density of trees and vegetation, and even the structure of leaves and branches within a forest's canopy.NASA has flown multiple Earth-observing lidars in space, notably the ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) and CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) missions. But GEDI will be the first to provide high-resolution laser ranging of Earth's forests.
RRM3 Primary Objectives1. Perform cryogenic liquid methane transfer in micro-gravity2. Maintain cryogen fluid mass for six months via zero boil-offRRM3 Secondary Objectives1. Demonstrate and validate the Compact Thermal Imager - An instrument that utilizes available room on RRM3 to observe Earth to detect smoke and fires, as well as measure crop transevaporation.2. Complete Machine Vision Tasks - In-space assessment of fiducials (decals) with unique patterns that enhance machine vision algorithms and aid in autonomous rendezvous and tool positioning.
Robotic Refueling Mission 3 Completes Crucial Series of TestsJune 20, 2018Space exploration has captured our attention for over half of a century. NASA plans to propel human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit and continue the legacy of the Apollo missions.With a renewed focus on exploration, NASA is developing new space technologies and capabilities that pave the way for missions back to the Moon and beyond. The agency will advance long duration mission-critical capabilities with the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3).From the International Space Station, RRM3 will demonstrate cutting-edge technologies to store and transfer liquid methane in space. Once proven, the methods can be applied to the storage and transfer of other cryogenic fluids – fluids with extremely low boiling points that can function as a coolant or propellant – for a variety of missions.RRM3 recently concluded a crucial series of tests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Tests confirmed its electrical compatibility with the space station and validated successful methane operations on the ground. With rigorous testing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where the module was built, and Kennedy now complete, RRM3 will go into storage until final launch preparations are conducted later this fall.The mission will launch aboard a SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services mission to the space station later this year. Once installed, the transfer and storage technologies will be put to the test.The station’s Dextre robot will use a suite of three tools for the technology demonstration. The cryogen servicing tool delivers the cryogen transfer hose from a source tank filled with liquid methane to an empty receiving tank within the module. The multi-function tool operates adapters, or smaller specialized tools, for transferring liquid methane. The Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot 2 (VIPIR2) is the eyes of the operation and uses a state-of-the-art robotic camera to verify the successful implementation of the tools used to complete the liquid methane transfers.
I thought IDA-3 was supposed to be on SpX-16. Has that shifted again?
but now it seems he could have been right. CRS-18 is scheduled to launch inside the same period of time at when we should expect at least the first crewed mission to have happenned (around May-June 2019), so it makes sense.
I noticed the other day that we've never had a November launch
Iridium and NASA just learned that TechEdSat-8 has been added to the launch manifest for SpaceX-16, which is scheduled to be launched on December 1, 2018
Quote from: Mobius57 on 08/02/2018 07:29 amI noticed the other day that we've never had a November launch shhhhh...don't jinx it
QuoteIridium and NASA just learned that TechEdSat-8 has been added to the launch manifest for SpaceX-16, which is scheduled to be launched on December 1, 2018
Do we know which capsule is being launched for this mission? To my knowledge C112 and C113 have not yet been reused.
Inside the Space Station Processing Facility high bay at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians work on the pump package assembly (PPA) on Aug. 30, 2018. The payload will be carried to the International Space Station on SpaceX's 16th Commercial Resupply Services mission. The PPA will be used to continuously drive the cooling water in the space station's thermal control system. The assembly includes a centrifuge pump, a fine filter and gas trap for pump protection, a coarse outlet filter, sensors, and an accumulator. The PPA also will provide a reservoir used for makeup of coolant if leakage occurred. CRS-16 is scheduled to launch to the space station later this year. Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson
CRS-16, on November 27 at the earliest
Does anyone know if the PPA is an internal or external payload?