Status Report

NASA STS-134 Update: Jumper Cable Connections Complete

By SpaceRef Editor
May 25, 2011
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NASA STS-134 Update: Jumper Cable Connections Complete

Astronauts Drew Feustel and Mike Fincke have made all the connections for the jumper cables that will provide redundant power to the Russian segment of the space station. They now are cleaning up the area. They are photographing Zarya’s thrusters as well as the newly installed power and data grapple fixture.

They will then go on to take infrared imagery of the Space Test Program-Houston 3 payload, currently installed on the Express Logistics Carrier 3. The payload is a complement of four individual experiments that will test concepts in low-Earth orbit for long duration. It is integrated and flown under the direction and management of the Department of Defense Space Test Program Houston office.

The Air Force Research Lab sponsored the first two experiments. The goal of the Massive Heat Transfer Experiment (MHTEX) is to achieve flight qualification of an advanced capillary pumped loop system that includes multiple parallel evaporators, a dedicated starter pump and an advanced hybrid evaporator. Extended operation in the microgravity environment is to be demonstrated, and correlation of performance to ground testing for design and test purposes will be performed. The second experiment, known as VADER (Variable emissivity device Aerogel insulation blanket Dual zone thermal control Experiment suite for Responsive space), will test a robust, reconfigurable thermal control system that is focused primarily at small, responsive space missions but is applicable to a wide range of missions and satellite classes. It also will test a new form of multi-layer insulation protection using Aerogel material as the thermal isolator. This material is more durable, lighter and cheaper than traditional thermal blankets.

The Naval Research Laboratory sponsored the third experiment, Digital Imaging Star Camera (DISC), a low size, weight and power sensor used for pointing knowledge of 0.02 deg or greater.

The U.S. Air Force Academy sponsored the fourth experiment, Canary (not an acronym), which will investigate the interaction of approaching spacecraft and the background plasma environment around the station.

SpaceRef staff editor.