Headlines > News > Station Crew Off-Duty After Weekend TV Events, Debris Avoidance Manuever

Station Crew Off-Duty After Weekend TV Events, Debris Avoidance Manuever

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:53 pm via: NASA
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The three-person Expedition 39 crew enjoyed a mostly off-duty day Monday following a weekend supporting a world-wide, live television broadcast aboard the International Space Station and an overnight, ground-commanded maneuver to steer the complex clear of some orbital debris.

Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio welcomed the National Geographic Channel aboard the station Friday for a two-hour live broadcast to discuss living and working in space.  A follow-up event with U.K.’s Channel 4 on Sunday rounded out the astronauts’ weekend in the international television spotlight.

The public can continue following the activities of the station’s crew with “Space Station Live,” broadcast weekdays on NASA Television at 11 a.m. EDT, and subscribe to NASA’s weekly video update, “Space to Ground.”

After the crew went to bed Sunday, flight controllers conducted a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) to provide a healthy margin of clearance from the projected path of a piece of Russian METEOR 2-5 satellite debris that was calculated earlier in the day to approach the neighborhood of the station. The 7-minute, 9-second maneuver at 9:37 p.m., which was coordinated throughout the day between NASA and Russian flight controllers, used the ISS Progress 54 thrusters from the Pirs docking compartment for an increase of one-half statute mile in the station’s altitude. Ballistics officers determined that a fragment of unknown size from the satellite would have made its closest approach to the station around midnight, passing within about 1,900 feet of the station at its radial distance, with an overall miss distance between the debris and the ISS estimated at about 10.5 statute miles.  As it turned out, final tracking data on the object received after the maneuver put the debris outside the “pizza box,” an imaginary box about a mile deep by 30 miles across by 30 miles long (1.5 x 50 x 50 kilometers), with the vehicle in the center.

The three-man crew, which was notified of the possible maneuver on Sunday, was asleep at the time of the reboost and was never in any danger. The maneuver had no impact on station operations nor will it have any effect on the orbital trajectory of the station for the upcoming single-day launch and docking of the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft and the Expedition 39/40 crew later this month.

Mastracchio eased back into the daily work routine Monday with troubleshooting and maintenance on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment  – the station’s bathroom located in the Tranquility node.

Wakata spent some time stowing Robonaut 2, the humanoid robot aboard the orbiting complex, following its demonstration during the weekend’s television events. Robonaut was designed to test out the capability of a robot to perform tasks deemed too dangerous or mundane for astronauts.  A pair of climbing legs for Robonaut are scheduled to arrive to the station aboard the SpaceX-3 commercial cargo mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than March 30.

On the Russian side of the complex, Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin loaded hardware for disposal aboard the Progress 54 resupply craft, which arrived at the station back on Feb. 5 with 2.8 tons of cargo. The vehicle is set to depart the station on April 7 for a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

Tyurin also conducted routine maintenance on the life-support system in the Zvezda service module and downloaded data from the Seismoprognoz earthquake monitor.

Meanwhile, the three flight engineers who will return the station to its full six-person crew complement are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan completing their final preparations for launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft. NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev are scheduled to launch from Baikonur at 5:17 p.m. March 25 (3:17 a.m. March 26, Kazakh time) to begin the 6-hour trek to the station.

1 Comments
The six (6) member crew will host expedition -39 an ISS to the orbital space soon at 25th march 2014.
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