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ISS Section / Re: Expedition 55 Thread
« Last post by jacqmans on Today at 01:39 PM »

ISS Daily Summary Report – 3/20/2018

Mouse Stress Defense:  Today the crew continued preparations for the Mouse Stress Defense investigation which will start after the arrival of mice on the SpaceX-14 Dragon vehicle. The crew reconfigured laptop cables and connected the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to a backup power source.  Space flight brings an extreme environment with unique stressors. Microgravity provokes cellular mechanical stresses and perturbs cellular signaling, leading to reduction of muscle and bone density. To overcome these stresses, one of the promising strategies is to activate Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant pathway. Mouse Stress Defense investigates how Nrf2 contributes to effective prevention of space-originated stresses. 

NanoRacks Vuze (One Strange Rock):  The crew opened all Cupola Window shutters this morning and deployed the NanoRacks Vuze Camera in the Cupola to record views for one full Earth rotation, including sunrise and sunset.  The mounted camera captures day-in-the-life style footage as the crew goes about their nominal tasks in the ISS. This is one of a series of videos recorded by the crew to be used in the “One Strange Rock” virtual reality educational series recorded for the National Geographic Channel. Each episode in the series will feature a different crew member and address different natural history and solar system topics, raising awareness of the space program and the Earth as a life-support system.

Manufacturing Device (MD):  The crew removed and stowed a 3D printed item from the Manufacturing Device today.  They also cleaned the extruder nozzle in preparation for subsequent MD prints.  The Manufacturing Device supports the production of components on the ISS for both NASA and commercial objectives. It is capable of producing parts out of a wide variety of thermopolymers including engineered plastics.

Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): The crew removed and replaced manifold bottles today to support the ongoing microgravity combustion research operations in the CIR.  Testing for the ACME investigation is currently being performed in the CIR.  ACME includes a set of five independent studies of gaseous flames.  The primary goals of ACME are to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollutant production in routine fuel combustion activities on Earth.  Its secondary goal is to improve spacecraft fire prevention through innovative research focused on materials flammability.

Lighting Effects: A 53S crewmember completed a daily sleep log entry this morning upon waking to record his sleep patterns and wakefulness. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. Results from this investigation also have major implications for people on Earth who use electric lights.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparations: In preparation for the Node 3 (N3) Assembly External Wireless Communications (EWC) EVA currently planned for March 29th, the crew initiated charging of the EVA Helmet Interchangeable Portable Light (EHIP), Pistol Grip Tool (PGT), Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) and EVA Camera D4 batteries and terminated a MetOx Regeneration cycle.

US Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU)-2 Remove and Replace (R&R): Today the crew replaced the Lab MCA Mass Spectrometer (ORU 02) with the on-orbit spare. The previously installed ORU 02’s ion pump failed in April 2017. Replacing the mass spectrometer regains MCA capability onboard while the team continues to troubleshoot the unexpected readings coming from the Node 3 MCA following the Verification Gas Assembly replacement on March 1. The ground is in the process of activating the Lab MCA. They will then perform an up-to 72 hour dryout and calibration before data is considered to be within spec accuracies.

Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) Checkout: This morning, a checkout of the C2V2 system was performed in support of the Orbital-ATK Cygnus (OA-9) mission which will utilize the C2V2 system for approach and capture for the first time. The test verified command capability from MCC-H (Houston), MCC-D (Dulles for Orbital) and from on board via the Portable Computer System (PCS). Ground teams are reviewing the results of the checkout.
I am not convinced that it's purely about privatization of ISS and recreating what was done with the Shuttle and USA.

No part of the Shuttle program was ever privatized. Per Wikipedia about United Space Alliance (USA):

United Space Alliance was formed as a limited liability company as a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin in response to NASA's desire to consolidate many Space Shuttle program contracts to one prime contractor.

NASA still paid for Shuttle operations, all that changed is how many checks they wrote.

And that is because it doesn't talk about privatizing whole or part of ISS, but rather "parts or capabilities of ISS"

Lots of guessing on everyone's part about what will be doable, so I wouldn't get down too far into the weeds.

The capabilities part is I think an important distinction here.  A BA330 station, or an Axiom station could provide the capabilities of ISS as well.  So, given that, why is that not a reasonable interpretation of their statements?

A BA330 could not provide the capabilities of the ISS. People say that thinking the ISS is just an empty hamster tube that could be replaced by an empty cylinder. That is wrong of course.

The ISS is a massive laboratory that is filled with lots of expensive equipment, and powered by massive solar arrays. Duplicating that with a BA330 would be a massive undertaking, and as far as we know there is no business model to support such an endeavor.

Let's just focus on what's going to happen with the hardware already in orbit...
Ron, there was a last-ditch plan to commercialize the Shuttle... Here is an article that seems like a million years ago from some guy named Chris... ;D
Indian Launchers / Re: Indian launch schedule
« Last post by gongora on Today at 01:35 PM »
BlackSky will have a satellite on two PSLV launches.
Also part of that narrative is mounting a melodrama in which whoever criticizes the SLS and thinks the program is unnecessary also thinks NASA is unnecessary, as if SLS' cancelation was an existential threat to the agency itself.
To me it's becoming pretty clear that the opposite is true: the bad PR and the drain on HSF budget brought by the program is the true threat to NASA as a whole.
Commercial Space Flight General / Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Last post by fthomassy on Today at 01:33 PM »
User guide attached. Enjoy! :)
Interesting!  Has it been confirmed yet where they will be launching from??
Not confirmed by their own admission in section 6.3 of the user guide.
Firefly is currently in the process of securing a site at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), as this location
is expected to support the initial test flights of Alpha and a substantial number of future Customers;
This process is currently underway with documentation submitted to Air Force Space Command and
VAFB 30th Space Wing. Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) is the launch site considered to be Firefly’s
Primary domestic site.
So VAFB is the plan but no site confirmed.
Commercial Space Flight General / Re: Rocket Lab launch schedule
« Last post by gongora on Today at 01:32 PM »
BlackSky has a launch scheduled for later this year.
BlackSky has one satellite on this flight.
I understand the 'usually' but I'm trying to understand this specific case. if the IMU was incorrect initialized, am I correct in understanding that telemetry data would have been saying they are going right on course despite being 30 deg off course. Or am I missing something?

It is likely the 1st part of the real data (the yellow line going to the South), was obtained from radar and as soon as the rocket was out of sight of the radar, the telemetry was displayed, coming back to where the rocket thought she was == the nominal line.
SpaceX General Section / Re: SpaceX and DSN
« Last post by Roy_H on Today at 01:26 PM »
Let me make sure I understand the commentary above:

If you have satellites in orbit to relay the signal, there isn't a need for the large ground based antennas used by DSN?

That's the way I read it. And with laser communication to Mars, you don't have to worry about cloud cover. I would assume that the Mars relay satellite(s) would be in orbit somewhat above GEO and only require one or two satellites. Looking farther into the future I would expect 2 relay satellites in an orbit around the sun so communication would be uninterrupted when Earth and Mars were on opposite sides of the sun.

No, then you still have to have "DSN" to talk to the relay sats. 

Other than direct to earth stations, GSO only other viable point for a receiver.  StarlinK?  nah.  Got to stop thinking space communications is like the internet.  That burned SpaceX on vehicles.  Telemetry (vehicle health) can't be packetized, it is needs to be continuous (until we get to airliner type operations).

Starlink will have laser communications between satellites. I see no reason that same communications system can't have a dozen or so Starlink satellites able to connect with 2 satellites in earth orbit just above GEO. The link from these Earth to Mars relay satellites does not have to be the same Internet protocol on the Mars link side. BTW 1 satellite would do, I just think 2 for redundancy and always having at least 1 not blocked by Earth between satellite and Mars.
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