Monday, March 15, 2010

Nasa news today - Small Fine Arm Deployment Complete; Williams, Suraev Prepare for Departure

ISS022-E-089764 -- Small fine arm seen from Kibo's airlock

Image above: This view looking outside from Kibo’s airlock shows the small fine arm attached to the Exposed Facility. Credit: NASA

Expedition 22 Flight Engineers
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer completed the deployment and calibration of the new small fine arm (SFA). The SFA was assembled then installed inside the Kibo laboratory’s airlock by Noguchi where it was removed with the module’s main robotic arm – the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System. The SFA performs delicate robotics work, is an extension of the Kibo laboratory’s main robotic arm and has been temporarily parked on Kibo’s Exposed Facility.

Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev continue packing for their return to Earth on March 18. They will enter their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft and undock from the International Space Station for a three-and-a-half-hour ride with a landing in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 22 crew members Noguchi, Creamer and Oleg Kotov will continue their stay on the station becoming the new Expedition 23 crew. Kotov will become the new station commander in a change of command ceremony that takes place on March 17.

On April 4, Expedition 23 will expand to a six-member crew. Arriving in the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft will be new station crew members Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko.

On April 7, space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to arrive for a thirteen day mission to supply the station with new science racks and ammonia tanks. STS-131 will feature three spacewalks and the delivery of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module.

NASA’s International Space Station Program Wins Collier Trophy

The International Space Station Program has won the 2009 Collier Trophy, which is considered the top award in aviation. The National Aeronautic Association bestows the award annually to recognize the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.

› Read more about the award

› Read Heads of Agency International Space Station Joint Statement

› MCB Joint Statement Representing Common Views on the Future of the ISS (8 Kb PDF)

› Read more about Expedition 22
› View crew timelines
› View space station photos of Haiti

2010 International Space Station Calendar

NASA is offering a 2010 calendar that describes the work being done on the International Space Station and gives information about the crews that have lived there. The calendar contains photographs taken from the space station and highlights historic NASA milestones and fun facts about the international construction project of unprecedented complexity that began in 1998. (Please Note: To print this large calendar on 8.5 by 11 paper, printer may need to be set on a "shrink to printable area" option.)