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November 19, 2008

Moving Moving Day

Things were really moving up in space today. While spacewalkers Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen moved a nitrogen tank and greased up the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint to get it moving again, other members of the crew moved equipment and supplies from the Leonardo module to the Destiny lab. Sandra Magnus, now a member of the Expedition crew, and Don Pettit operated the robotic arm for the spacewalkers.

How any of them can get any work done with the view of Earth swirling by and the sunlight and shadows playing across the golden arrays of the station never ceases to amaze me. Even having the view up in a little window on my computer monitor is enough to distract me from my work (oh that sunrise is gorgeous!). If you can stand a little distraction, live coverage of STS-126 events is available at:

Speaking of moving, Don Pettit sent down a video that is posted on YouTube. After his tour on Expedition 6, he spoke to the JSC Astronomy Club about how he learned to track the ground with his camera to prevent blurring of the images. He captured amazingly clear photos of meteors burning up in the atmosphere, and also of auroras. With this video, Pettit shows that he is the master of aurora photography. Watch this and try to remember to breathe: Pettit's Aurora

Wednesday will be devoted to installation of the new environmental systems needed to prepare for doubling the crew size come spring. This equipment includes 3 racks containing the water recycling system. Two racks are for processing urine, and one for recovering water (sweat and humidity) from the air. Each crewmember requires about one gallon of water per day, so this system will make a huge difference to how much water has to be lifted to the station on future flights.

The next spacewalk will be on Thursday with Piper and Shane Kimbrough moving the cart along the truss and putting up a new GPS antenna.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 is the 10th anniversary of the International Space Station. For ten years, there have been 2 to 13 people in space going around the Earth at about 17,000 mph, making one orbit every 90 minutes. That's the key to staying in space--keep on moving!

To the stars,

Marianne Dyson
NSS member

Posted by m_dyson at November 19, 2008 02:07 AM



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