Headlines > News > Station to Perform Debris Avoidance Maneuver Friday

Station to Perform Debris Avoidance Maneuver Friday

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:37 am via: NASA
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Late Wednesday evening U.S. Space Command informed the space station flight control team that it was tracking a piece of Iridium satellite debris that had a trajectory that would bring it close to the station.

Thursday afternoon International Space Station ballistics officers informed station Flight Director Emily Nelson that U.S. Space Command has confirmed that the debris has the potential of a collision with the station.

As a result, Nelson gave the go-ahead to proceed with a debris avoidance maneuver for the station on Friday, with a firing of the Zvezda service module engines planned at 11:10 a.m. EST. The size of the piece of debris is about 10 centimeters in diameter. Without the maneuver, the object would have made two close approaches to the station on consecutive orbits on Friday, passing with an overall miss distance of between one and 24 kilometers. Today station flight controllers are preparing for the maneuver and the crew onboard has been informed.

The debris avoidance maneuver on Friday will eliminate the need for a reboost of the station next week. The reboost had been planned to put the station at the proper altitude for the launch and docking later this month of the ISS Progress 46 cargo ship.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the orbital laboratory conducted a variety of scientific research and maintenance duties Thursday.

Commander Dan Burbank scrubbed cooling loops in the U.S. spacesuits. The scrubbing cleans out dust and microorganisms that may accumulate over time in the water cooling loops.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit conducted a session with the VO2Max experiment, which studies changes in the astronauts’ aerobic capacity during long-duration spaceflight. The experiment allows researchers on Earth to measure changes in the crew members’ aerobic capacity and recommend changes to their daily two-hour exercise regimen.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers performed maintenance on the station’s Waste and Hygiene Compartment, changing out a hose and filter.

As part of an ongoing study to determine the effects of long-duration spaceflight on vision, Burbank, Pettit and Kuipers conducted eye ultrasound exams. They also had some time set aside to participate in an in-flight interview with Stephanie Abrams from the Weather Channel in Atlanta that was broadcast on NASA TV.

Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko worked in the Russian section of the station maintaining its systems and conducting a variety of scientific research.

Ivanishin and Kononenko charged batteries in satellite phones used in the docked Soyuz spacecraft. Kononenko also worked with the Rusalka experiment, which observes the role of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Shkaplerov and Ivanishin worked on the Sprut-2 experiment, which observes a crew member’s body liquid distribution and measures his mass.

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