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This Week at NASA | ISS Crew Rotation; Drone Traffic Management; more

Uploaded 10/21/2016

ISS Crew Rotation; Drone Traffic Management; more

On Oct. 19, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and his Expedition 49-50 crewmates, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Two days later, when the trio arrived at the orbiting laboratory, they were welcomed aboard by station Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – bringing the space station back to its full complement of six crew members. Also, ISS Cargo Mission Launches from Wallops, Juno Mission and Science Update, and Drone Air Traffic Management Test.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

New Crew Journeys to the Space Station

On Oct. 19, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and his Expedition 49-50 crewmates, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Two days later, when the trio arrived at the orbiting laboratory, they were welcomed aboard by station Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – bringing the space station back to its full complement of six crew members.

ISS Cargo Mission Launches from Wallops

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft launched successfully from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Oct. 17, aboard the company’s upgraded Antares rocket. This was the first launch from Wallops since an Antares rocket and a Cygnus spacecraft were lost two years ago during a launch mishap. The Cygnus is loaded with more than 5,100 pounds of cargo, including materials and equipment to support dozens of new and existing science investigations aboard the space station. The new experiments include studies on fire in space, the effect of lighting on sleep and daily rhythms, and a new way to measure neutrons. Cygnus is scheduled to arrive at the space station on Oct. 23.

Juno Mission and Science Update

Managers of NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter say a software performance monitor likely induced a reboot of the spacecraft’s onboard computer on Oct. 19 – causing Juno to cycle into safe mode. Although Juno restarted successfully and now is healthy, safe mode prevented the collection of science data during the spacecraft’s second planned close flyby of Jupiter since arriving at the gas giant in July. But during an Oct. 19 news conference at the joint 48th meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and 11th European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC), near NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, mission managers shared imagery and observations from Juno’s first close flyby of Jupiter in August. Scientists say data from that pass indicate Jupiter’s magnetic fields and aurora are bigger and more powerful than originally thought. Also, Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) instrument gave mission researchers their first glimpse below Jupiter’s swirling cloud deck. The instrument is capable of seeing up to 250 miles below the planet’s clouds. Meanwhile, mission managers say Juno’s upcoming Dec. 11 close flyby is the next opportunity for a rocket motor burn designed to reduce the spacecraft’s orbital period around Jupiter from 53.4 to 14 days. That burn, called the period reduction maneuver (PRM) was postponed prior to the Oct. 19 flyby.

Drone Air Traffic Management Test

NASA conducted a test of the agency’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) research platform, on Oct. 19 in Reno, Nevada. During the exercise, members of the media watched on large video screens as five drones flew beyond the line-of-sight of their operators to test the planning, tracking and alerting capabilities of the system. Currently, Federal Aviation Administration regulations require drone operators be able to see other aircraft in order to avoid them, which limits many potential applications for drones. Together with the FAA, NASA will use data from this test to refine previous research — a critical step in developing the technology and procedures needed to safely manage drone air traffic. NASA’s Ames Research Center is leading this research effort, in close collaboration with the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Glenn Research Center and Langley Research Center.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

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