SECOND SPACEWALK SUCCESSFUL

With the second spacewalk in just one week aboard ISS, the planned power system upgrades to the space station are now complete.

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With the second spacewalk in one week, astronaut Peggy Whitson (center) helps spacewalkers Thomas Pesquet (left) and Shane Kimbrough suit up before beginning their spacewalk Jan. 13, 2017.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet concluded their spacewalk at 12:20 p.m. EST. During the nearly six hour spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station.

The new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. These new batteries provide an improved power capacity for operations with a lighter mass and a smaller volume than the nickel-hydrogen batteries. Robotic work to update the batteries began in January. This was the second of two spacewalks to finalize the installation. Additional batteries will be replaced as part of this power upgrade over the next couple of years as new batteries are delivered to station.

Astronauts were also able to accomplish several get-ahead tasks including stowing padded shields from Node 3 outside of the station to make room inside the airlock and taking photos to document hardware for future spacewalks.

Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet, during the second spacewalk in a week, mark the 197th space walking event in NASA history.

This was the second spacewalk in a week for Kimbrough and the fourth of his career, and the first for Pesquet in the refurbishment of two of the station’s eight power channels.

Space station crew members have conducted 197 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 51 days 6 hours and 4 minutes working outside the station.

The following image is of Peggy Whitson during the 196th spacewalk last Friday:

Astronaut Peggy Whitson is pictured Jan. 6, 2017, during the first before the second spacewalk in a week to upgrade power systems on the International Space Station.

Both spacewalks complement the ongoing robotics work that started at the end of December. Ground controllers have been remotely-operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre robotic hand to remove and stow the old nickel-hydrogen batteries and the install the new batteries.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet (center) assists spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough in the U.S. Quest airlock on Jan. 6, 2017.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Please note: When multiple articles are published regarding singular/similar events during a specific time period, Universal Digest will combine detail into one article. This is still mostly unedited material written by the same author.

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CYGNUS CARGO MISSION IN MARCH

The International Space Station will receive the next cargo mission via the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spaceship this March. This will bring supply status to an optimal level after the launch failure and burn up of the Progress 65 cargo ship from Russia, December 1, 2016.

It is customary to have backup contingencies in case of launch failures or other unforeseen circumstances. ISS always has a supply of materials, oxygen, energy, and food for any eventuality. This is also why so much time is taken to practice drills from air leaks, fires, or catastrophic events requiring immediate evacuation from the space station are imperative for human survival.

What we take for granted living on earth is not a luxury astronauts and cosmonauts ever have.

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Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo craft was captured Oct. 23, 2016, using the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the International Space Station.

Orbital ATK has completed a significant mission milestone for NASA’s next International Space Station cargo mission.

The Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) of the Cygnus spacecraft has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for processing and assembly before launch. The OA-7 mission is targeted to launch on Thursday, March 16 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Orbital ATK will launch Cygnus atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket  for delivery of essential crew supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The 30 minute launch window opens at 12:29am EDT.

OA-7 will mark Orbital ATK’s seventh cargo delivery mission for NASA under its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) -1 contract.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

On occasion, editing to accentuate content and accurate historical recollections are provided in the article. This makes the overview easier to understand and more relevant.

Please go to www.nasa.gov for continued updates and information.

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SECOND SPACEWALK AT ISS FRIDAY

This Friday, two International Space Station crew members will conduct the second spacewalk in a week to complete upgrades to the station’s power systems.

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Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency is suited up for a dry run of upcoming spacewalk this Friday.

The six-member Expedition 50 crew had a day off after a pair of NASA astronauts completed the first spacewalk of 2017 on Friday of last week. That spacewalk is the first of two planned in January to upgrade the International Space Station’s power systems. Both spacewalks have been backed-up with external robotics work that installed the new lithium-ion batteries and removed the old nickel-hydrogen batteries.

The next spacewalk will take place this Friday to complete the upgrades which include connecting new batteries, installing adapter plates and stowing older batteries. Commander Shane Kimbrough will suit up for the second time in a week joining first-time spacewalker astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough is pictured during the first power upgrade spacewalk on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.

Expedition 50 crew members Peggy Whitson from NASA and Oleg Novitskiy from Roscosmos will assist the spacewalkers. They will help them in and out of their U.S. spacesuits and guide them in and out of the crew airlock.

The spacewalking duo are partnering up today with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson to review Friday morning’s spacewalk. Whitson, who completed her seventh spacewalk last Friday, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will be assisting the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits and the Quest airlock.

Late yesterday and last night robotic ground controllers used the Dextre Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to move the final lithium-ion battery to the 1A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly, moved another nickel-hydrogen battery to one of Dextre’s arms for temporary stowage and tightened down bolts on two of the previously moved Li-ion batteries.

So, we now have five nickel-hydrogen batteries either on the HTV External Pallet or temporarily stowed on Dextre and one more Ni-H battery to move from the 1A IEA to another stowage position on Dextre later today to complete the pre-EVA robotics. All six new lithium-ion batteries are now installed on the S4 truss IEA. The 3A power channel is fully operational. The 1A power channel will be activated on Friday during the EVA after adapter plates are moved into place on the 1A IEA.

Post-EVA robotics on Saturday and Sunday will complete the work to move the last four old Ni-H batteries from Dextre to the External Pallet for disposal (there will be nine on the EP in all). They will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere when the HTV is deorbited.

Whitson and Pesquet started their day scanning their arteries with and ultrasound and collecting body fluid samples for the Cardio Ox study. That experiment is researching the increased risk of atherosclerosis, the plaque build-up in the artery wall that results in narrowing of the blood vessel, in astronauts living in space.

The following is an image of the completed spacewalk from last Friday with comment:

Spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough were suited up and ready to go before the last Friday spacewalk. Credit: @Thom_Astro

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson concluded their spacewalk at 1:55 p.m. EST. During the six-hour and 32-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. They also accomplished several get-ahead tasks, including a photo survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

commander Shane Kimbrough during first Friday spacewalk.

Peggy Whitson preparing for first Friday spacewalk.

Expedition 50 Spacewalkers in spacewalk #38.

Space station crew members have conducted 196 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,224 hours and 6 minutes working outside the station.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

In the Russian segment of the space station, cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov set up gear for a Matryoshka radiation detection experiment. Veteran cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko studied how mission events affect the station structure and explored new Earth photography techniques.

It will be a busy few weeks after the conclusion of Friday’s upcoming spacewalk. Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-6 resupply ship will depart at the end of January completing its cargo delivery mission that included the new batteries the spacewalkers have been hooking up. A Russian Progress 64 (64P) cargo craft will undock shortly after the HTV-6 leaves.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Please note: When multiple articles are published regarding singular/similar events during a specific time period, Universal Digest will combine detail into one article. This is still mostly unedited material written by the same author.

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ASTRONAUTS GET READY FOR SPACEWALK

On Friday, two astronauts will take the first of two spacewalks outside the International Space Station. The first space walk will be to secure maintenance upgrades.

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Of the six astronauts on ISS, two will take the first of two spacewalks this Friday. Peggy Whitson is pictured during her last spacewalk which took place nine years ago in January 2008.

The crew is getting ready for a pair of spacewalks scheduled for this Friday and next Friday to upgrade the International Space Station’s power system. The two spacewalks will take place on the station’s right-side, or starboard, truss structure to replace and install new power equipment.

Commander Shane Kimbrough and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will step outside for the first power maintenance spacewalk Friday at 7 a.m. EST. Kimbrough will be joined by European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet the following Friday for the second spacewalk. The three astronauts are reviewing spacewalk procedures, collecting tools and configuring cameras in the U.S. Quest airlock today.

Robotics controllers remotely removed nickel-hydrogen batteries and installed new lithium-ion batteries on the starboard-4 truss over the holidays and into the New Year. The robotics work sets up the power maintenance work the space-walkers will perform including replacing adapter plates and relocating the old batteries.

The three astronauts and their fellow cosmonauts still had time for a variety of science work and standard orbital maintenance. Kimbrough and Whitson explored how microgravity affects body shape and impacts suit sizing. Pesquet joined Andrey Borisenko and set up tiny internal satellites known as SPHERES for an upcoming student competition. Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Oleg Novitskiy checked Russian life support systems.

Earlier, the crew practiced to prepare for the upcoming space walks:

Astronauts practice with the robotic arm and are preparing for a Friday space walk for a power upgrade. This picture is of Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle is seen with the Earth behind it.

In a remarkable demonstration of robotic prowess, ground controllers used the Canadian-built “Dextre” Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator over the weekend to install three new lithium-ion batteries in the International Space Station’s 3A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly (IEA) pallet on the starboard 4 truss. Dextre also removed four old nickel-hydrogen batteries from the IEA, three of which were stowed on the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle’s external pallet to wrap up the first act of a complex procedure to upgrade the station’s power system. A fourth old battery was temporarily stowed on a platform on Dextre.

This clears the way for the first of two spacewalks Friday in which Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will install three adapter plates in slots on the IEA to which three of the old nickel-hydrogen batteries will be mounted to remain on the ISS but will be dormant. In all, nine nickel-hydrogen batteries will be stowed on the external pallet for disposal when the HTV is deorbited to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere late this month.

Three additional new lithium-ion batteries flown to the ISS aboard the HTV will be robotically installed in the starboard truss’ 1A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly between Friday’s spacewalk and a second spacewalk scheduled Jan. 13 for Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. Five additional nickel-hydrogen batteries will be removed robotically from the IEA prior to the second spacewalk.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Please note: When multiple articles are published regarding singular/similar events during a specific time period, Universal Digest will combine detail into one article. This is still mostly unedited material written by the same author.

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HOLLYWEED SIGN NYE 2017

Hollywood becomes Hollyweed to usher in the 2017 new year over the Los Angeles, California, USA, basin. Rather brave pranksters have pulled off a late night New Years Eve alteration of the famed Hollywood sign overlooking parts of Los Angeles.

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The famed Hollywood sign was changed to Hollyweed in an apparent new years eve prank, shown here.

Pictures were taken and local media has supplied these images along with network video that can be found online. Other images were photographed by quick-thinking individuals in the Los Angeles area. Discovered this morning as the sun rose over the Los Angeles basin the changed sign was noticed by many.

Frankly, to many California residents, this is quite hilarious. It should be noted the perpetrators must not have “over-smoked” to complete this task. This is an elevated and rather rocky area, so some astute initiative and planning was involved.

The following photos were taken courtesy of ABC, CBS and other photographers in the area. Thank you all for the quick thinking…must not have been stoned, in a manner of speaking:

2016 was the year of many ballet initiatives and one was placed to the voters to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It passed and now lawmakers are scrambling to modify local ordinances to measure and protect the public from indiscriminate use of the drug in certain sensitive situations, especially in the area of motor transportation and automobile/truck use on public roads and highways.

Suffice it to say that, at least in Los Angeles and including the coming new year in 2017 events and activities to be labeled as interesting may be an understatement.

Hilarious YouTube video via Hae Zee:

Thanks, again to all contributors of images utilized in this article.

Cheers…no, am not going to go any further with this. Happy New Year!

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