Monday, August 31, 2009

STS-128 - Two ESA astronauts meet on the International Space Station

Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station earlier today. Shortly afterwards, Shuttle crew-member Christer Fuglesang was welcomed on board the Station by his fellow ESA astronaut and member of the Expedition 20 crew, Frank De Winne.

Some 45 hours after liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Discovery arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) at 00:54 GMT. Following leak checks, the hatches between the two spacecraft were opened at 0!:33 GMT and the two crews greeted each other, starting nine days of joint operations.

Among Discovery’s seven passengers is ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang, from Sweden, while the six ISS hosts include ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, from Belgium, who has been a member of the resident Station crew since his arrival last May, for ESA’s OasISS Mission.

This is only the second time two ESA astronauts have met on the ISS. On his first flight in December 2006, Fuglesang was welcomed to the orbital outpost by Thomas Reiter – the first ESA astronaut to be a member of an ISS Expedition crew.

One of the first tasks after docking was to exchange the Soyuz seat-liners of NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Timothy Kopra. Stott now is a member of the ISS Expedition 20 crew, and Kopra is a member of Discovery’s crew. Stott will remain on the Station until her return home with Space Shuttle Atlantis in November. Kopra will return to Earth with Discovery on 10 September.

The primary tasks of Discovery's STS-128 mission are to continue ISS assembly and to deliver supplies to sustain the six-strong resident crew. Activities today center around the transfer of Leonardo, the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), from the Shuttle's payload bay to its temporary docking location on the nadir port of the ISS Harmony module.

The STS-128 crew will also participate in three spacewalks during their stay – the first of which is scheduled take place early on Tuesday 1 September.

During the first spacewalk, NASA astronauts John Olivas and Nicole Stott will prepare for the replacement of an empty ammonia tank on the Station's port truss, or backbone, by releasing its bolts. They will also retrieve NASA's materials processing experiment (MISSE) and the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) from the outside of the European Columbus laboratory. Both will be returned to Earth inside Discovery's cargo hold.

Fuglesang is set to take part in the mission's other two spacewalks; these are scheduled to take place on Thursday 3 September and Saturday 5 September.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

STS-128 - ESA astronaut launched to ISS

NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on Saturday 29 August for the 13-day STS-128 mission to service the International Space Station. Among her crew is ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang from Sweden, who is performing his second spaceflight.

Discovery lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 03:59 GMT, successfully reaching low Earth orbit. After one day of manoeuvres and inspection of her thermal protection system, the Shuttle will rendezvous and dock with the ISS at 01:03 GMT on Monday 31st of August. There, the seven astronauts from Discovery will meet the six astronauts from ISS Expedition 20, and ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, who has been onboard the orbital outpost since late May, will welcome Christer Fuglesang. This is the 15th flight of an ESA astronaut to the ISS in 8 years and the 3rd time in less than 3 years that two ESA astronauts will be onboard the ISS simultaneously.

Three spacewalks with a European flavour

Dubbed 'Alissé', Fuglesang’s mission will cover operations to be conducted both inside and outside the orbital complex. As a qualified Mission Specialist with a specialisation in Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), Christer will take part in the second and third of the mission’s three spacewalks, scheduled for Thursday 3 September and Saturday 5 September, together with NASA astronaut John Olivas. The main objective of these two EVAs will be to install more than 20 meters of vital cabling outside the ISS to prepare for the arrival of the ESA-provided Tranquility Node 3 module in 2010. In parallel, the astronauts will also remove and replace a depleted Ammonia Tank Assembly (ATA) used as part of the ISS active thermal control system. At 800 kg, this will be the heaviest object ever manipulated in space by a single astronaut.

Another EVA, planned for Tuesday 1 September, will be dedicated to the retrieval of the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) – currently mounted on an external payload facility outside ESA’s Columbus laboratory module – and its storage in Discovery’s cargo bay for its return to Earth. This science package, which incorporates nine experiments designed to expose samples to the harsh conditions of space, test materials, analyze the near Earth orbit environment and take pictures of the Earth, has been operating for 18 months.
Fuglesang's first spacewalk in December 2006 * (Photo NASA)
Deep freezing in orbit

In addition, Discovery is carrying the Italian-built Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), a cargo module the size of Columbus, which will be temporarily docked to the ESA-delivered Harmony Node 2 module in order to enable the transfer of racks, equipment and goods directly to the ISS in a shirtsleeve environment. Christer Fuglesang will be in charge of the payload transfer, and in particular of an important piece of ESA-supplied equipment: the second Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI-2), due to be installed inside Japan’s KIBO laboratory to provide very low temperature storage for samples and experimental results. It will double the capacity provided by MELFI-1, which has been in operation onboard the US Destiny laboratory since 2006.

Among the other equipment delivered to the ISS through Leonardo will be food, clothes, water, and additional astronaut “sleeping quarters”, also to be installed in KIBO.

“When Christer Fuglesang last flew to the ISS he was welcomed aboard by an ESA astronaut who was completing a six-month mission there. This time, again, he will rejoin Frank De Winne, who is conducting a long-duration stay in the ISS, and will soon become its Commander. How better to illustrate the strength of Europe’s presence in human spaceflight?” said Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA’s Director for Human Spaceflight speaking from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “We currently have astronauts training for two more ISS increments and one shuttle flight on an ASI opportunity. At the same time our next generation of newly selected astronauts is about to start basic training. European astronauts are in space to stay and we are working hard on a daily basis to create the conditions with which to enhance Europe's role in human spaceflight and exploration also in view of the ISS lifetime extension.”

“Not only do we have two astronauts in space, working together within an international crew, but we also have hundreds of scientists and engineers on the ground using the operational science facilities on board. Reaping the benefits of the investments made by ESA Member States in the ISS is now a daily reality through gathering real science data from experiments conducted inside and outside the Station,” notes ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain. “Our contribution to the ISS is an asset for Europe, upon which we will build up future exploration endeavours with our international partners.

Discovery is due to undock from the ISS on Tuesday 8 September, bringing back NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra from the permanent crew, who will be replaced onboard by NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, launched with STS-128. Landing in Florida is set for Friday 11 September.

* Photo: ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang during the first spacewalk of the STS-116 mission. Christer Fuglesang and NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam spent 6 hours and 36 minutes outside the International Space Station - their main task was the installation of the next section of the Station's truss - P5.
Juan Martín Canales Romero
ISS Columbus Operations Coordinator
Columbus Control Center
Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Más cerca a cooperar en el Proyecto QB50

Como se anunció en este blog en Julio de este año el Proyecto "QB50 - an international network of 50 CubeSats for multi-point, in-situ measurements in the lower thermosphere and re-entry research" ofrece la oportunidad a universidades en todo el mundo para que trabajen en conjunto y desarrollen una red de CubeSats (pequeños satélites denominados por su tamaño Picosatélites).

El ingeniero electrónico Jaime Estela ha entablado contacto con los organizadores del proyecto y hemos recibido una respuesta positiva sobre una posible participación peruana. Como nos lo indica el Dr. Asma, del Aeronautics and Aerospace Dept., von Karman Institute en Belgica, uno de los organizadores del QB50, existen algunas posibilidades en como hacerlo y se nos presenta las opciones de proveer un CubeSat, o de formar parte de uno de los comités científicos o de ofrecer instalaciones de estaciones terrenas en el Perú para recibir los datos de la red de CubeSats.

Ahora tenemos que decidir como podríamos hacer factible cooperar en este proyecto.

"Consulting & Engineering for Space"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

STS-128 launch postponed to 29th of August

STS-128 mission managers have announced that the teams need another 24 hours to review data from yesterday's fill and drain test before pressing to launch.

Liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery is now targeted for 29 August at 03:59 GMT.

Juan Martín Canales Romero
ISS Columbus Operations Coordinator

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ISS - Water on Earth and in space

To mark ESA astronaut Frank De Winne's six-month OasISS mission to the International Space Station, and triggered by his role as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF Belgium, ESA's Human Spaceflight Education Team has teamed up with UNICEF to launch an online quiz for 12-14 year old European children.

The theme of the quiz is water on Earth and in space. UNICEF is currently running a campaign called WASH about water and hygiene. The campaign centres on the importance of clean water for human life.

Water, as a primary element supporting life, is also of paramount importance for human spaceflight and future exploration endeavours. Considerable effort is being made to help resolve the specific problems encountered in space – such as water scarcity, the need for recycling and special hygienic conditions. The technologies and solutions developed to meet these challenges are directly applicable on Earth.

By participating in the ESA/UNICEF water quiz you can find out more about water on Earth and in space and learn how the two are related.

At the end of the quiz, Frank De Winne will reveal the answer of the final question and announce the winner of the competition from on board the International Space Station. The inflight call will be broadcast during the ISS Day, an education event scheduled to take place in Brussels, Belgium, on 6 October.
The technologies and solutions in space can be used on Earth* (Photo, NASA)

OasISS Mission

De Winne is one of a crew of six currently living and working on the International Space Station. He is scheduled to remain in orbit until the end of November this year.

During his mission, named OasISS, De Winne will use the scientific facilities of the ISS, especially the European Columbus laboratory, to undertake a European programme of scientific experiments and technology demonstrations.

Following a crew rotation in October, he will also become the commander of the Station until his return to Earth in November. He is the first European to take on this role.

ESA views education as a valuable aspect of its human spaceflight missions, helping to inspire the youth of today. As such, the OasISS mission will be the prime focus of ESA’s education activities during the mission.

* Photo: S127-E-011212 (28 July 2009) --- Back dropped by a blue and white Earth, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Endeavour as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-127 and Expedition 20 crews concluded 11 days of cooperative work on the Shuttle and Station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 12:26 p.m. (CDT) on 28 July 2009.

ESA Education Office

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Conferencia Internacional sobre Mini Satelites - UNI, Peru‏

Jueves 20 y Viernes 21 de Agosto
Centro de Tecnologias de Informacion y Comunicaciones-CTIC-UNI

Link del evento:

Vea el Programa :

Este importante evento contara con la participación de expositores de la Federación Rusa y Corea, expositores peruanos representates de CONIDA, el Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones y el Ministerio de Defensa, asímismo expondran via enlace internacional por internet nuestros destacados compatriotas Martín Canales Romero y Jaime Estela, quienes trabajan en el Centro de Control de la Estacion Espacial Internacional (ISS) y la Agencia Espacial Alemana (DLR).
Tambien tendremos la oportunidad de exponer en dicho evento una propuesta de implementación de un mini satelite de teledetección, donde hablaremos de sus multiples aplicaciones multisectoriales, ventajas y el analisis costo beneficio para el pais.


La tripulación de la Estación Espacial Internacional, quienes orbitan alrededor de la Tierra a aproximadamente 350 km, responderán preguntas de científicos, estudiantes y público interesado en temas aeroespaciales, dentro del marco de la “II Conferencia Internacional sobre Pequeños Satélites” a realizarse el 20 y 21 de agosto del 2009 en el Centro de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicaciones – CTIC/UNI, a partir de las 09:00 a.m.

El evento pretende sensibilizar a la ciudadanía, el gobierno y el sector privado de la importancia del desarrollo espacial en la mejora de la calidad de vida de la población así como mostrar los aportes que hace la Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería a través de iniciativas como el proyecto satelital Chasqui I.

La tripulacion de la Estacion Espacial Internacional (ISS) esta integrada por: Gennady Padalka comandante de la Expedition 20, los ingenieros a bordo son el ruso Roman Romanenko y los norteamericanos Timothy Kopra y Mike Barratt, el grupo de 6 cosmonautas y astronautas esta complementado por Bob Thirsk y Frank De Winne, de Canada y Belgica respectivamente.

Los tripulantes rusos se comunicaran a través de dos radioenlaces desde órbita con la estación terrena adecuadamente equipada en las instalaciones del CTIC-UNI los días antes mencionados. Esta es la primera vez que cosmonautas de la Estación Espacial Internacional hacen un radioenlace en forma pública con una base peruana, evento que será difundido en tiempo real a través de la página web de la universidad (

El enlace central se llevará a cabo el día 20 de agosto a las 13:32 p.m. hora peruana. La comitiva rusa que nos acompañará, en la base terrestre ubicada en el CTIC-UNI, está integrada por el Dr. Sergei Samburov representante de la Corporación Espacial Rusa “Energía”, junto a cinco científicos rusos de la Universidad Técnica Estatal de Kursk y el Rector de la Universidad Técnica Estatal de Rusia-UTEK, universidad con la cual la UNI ha firmado convenios de colaboración. Ellos serán los encargados de transmitir las consultas de parte de los participantes de la conferencia a la tripulación de la Estación Espacial Internacional.

Fuente: Satelite Peruano de Teledeteccion,
Ing. César Santisteban

Sunday, August 2, 2009


A las 14:25 GMT, hora de Londres, el Shuttle Endeavour pasó por las costas del Peru en su viaje de retorno a la Tierra después de su misión de 16 días a la Estación Espacial Internacional (ISS por sus siglas en inglés).

El objetivo de esta misión, denominada STS-127, a la ISS fue una mas de ensamblaje de la misma. Esta consistió en transportar y ensamblar la ultima contribución de la Agencia japonesa JAXA, la plataforma externa Japanese Exposed Facility (JEF) a la ISS y al programa de la Estación Espacial. Con el EVA del 24 de Julio, el cual duró 7 horas y 12 minutos, los astronautas terminaron la tarea de instalación de cuatro baterías nuevas en el segmento P6 y anclaron las viejas en la plataforma del Shuttle para su retorno a la Tierra. El ultimo EVA, del día 27, sirvió para instalar camaras de video en la plataforma japonesa JEF que servirán para mostrar imágenes en alta definición y para que faciliten la llegada y captura del futuro vehículo logístico japonés, el HTV, el primero de los cuales debería llegar a la estación en septiembre. Igualmente este vuelo sirvió para traer de regreso a la tierra al astronauta japonés Koichi Wakata, después de cuatro meses (133 días) de estadía en ella. En su remplazo tomó una plaza en la ISS el estadounidense Tim Kopra, siendo su primer vuelo al espacio.

Con todos los objetivos cumplidos y cinco salidas extravehiculares (EVA) realizadas la tripulación del transbordador Endeavour y de la estación realizaron la ceremonia de despedida tomandose una foto para recordar.

La tripulación del Shuttle Endeavour y la Expedición 20 de la ISS (Foto: NASA)

Desde que pasará por nuestras costas peruanas a la tripulación del transbordador sólo le faltarían un poco mas de 20 minutes para aterrizar en Cape Canaveral, en el Centro Espacial Kennedy de la NASA, en Florida.

Faltando 8 minutos para que aterrize el Endeavour pudo ser visto en las pantallas de nuestros monitores en el Centro de control. Durante unos minutos antes de tocar suelo el Shuttle estuvo majestuosamente volando en el aire como si fuera un ave, totalmente blanca.

Exitosamente a las 14:48:22 las ruedas posteriores del transbordador tocaron tierra y a las 14:49:11 el Endeavour se detuvo, completando asi su vuelo numero 29 a la Estación.

Shuttle Endeavour aterriza en Cape Kennedy, el 01 de Agosto (Foto: NASA)

El commandante de la mision Mark Polansky comunicó al centro de control, "WHEELS STOP. Shuttle Endeavour landed" y "We are happy to be home!"

Juan Martín Canales Romero
ISS Columbus Operations Coordinator

Coordinador Regional Sur América
Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)