JSC Director News
October 2014 E-News
Are you a NASA frequent flyer? More than 1 million boarding passes have already been logged for NASA’s Journey to Mars frequent flyer designation. Earlier this month, NASA invited the public to send their names on a microchip that will fly with Orion on its first flight and then fly on future NASA exploration flights. The deadline for a personal boarding pass is Oct. 31.
NASA also premiered a new video, Trial By Fire, on Orion’s flight test. It already has nearly 400,000 views. The NASA Flight Test Readiness Review was completed on Oct. 15, providing input to Lockheed Martin, who has the overall responsibility for the mission. The next three weeks will feature mating the Orion spacecraft to the Delta IV launch vehicle and rollout to the launch pad.
Another important milestone: Johnson Space Center’s Flight Operations team and Expedition 41 astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst completed two successful spacewalks, eight days apart, officially resuming routine maintenance on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS).
On Oct. 7, Wiseman and Gerst moved a 780-pound broken cooling system pump, replaced last year, to a more permanent storage area on the station and installed a mobile transporter relay assembly that will allow flight controllers to route power to payloads during the station’s 182nd spacewalk. On Oct. 14, Wiseman and Wilmore replaced a broken voltage regulator, a sequential shunt unit, in one of the solar power channels to restore the station’s electrical grid to normal, along with some other tasks during a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk.
Plus, after delivering almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the space station during a month-long stay, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft departed the orbital laboratory on Saturday, Oct. 25, and was recovered off the coast of Baja California. The Orbital Sciences Cygnus launch is set for Oct. 27.
During November, a month that marks 14 years of continuous crewed operations on ISS, NASA will be highlighting physical science research on the space station using our Twitter account: @ISS_Research. The space station is a laboratory unlike any on Earth because we can control gravity as a variable—and even remove it from the equation. Science on the station also reveals how other forces, which are small compared to gravity, can dominate system behavior if provided the opportunity. Understanding the fundamentals of combustion and surface tension and colloids will lead to more efficient combustion engines; better portable medical diagnostics; stronger, lighter alloys; medicines with longer shelf life; and maybe even buildings that are more resistant to earthquakes.
See you next month,
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