An interesting work week ...

Written by Bob McCormick on 4/01/2011 03:53:00 PM

This week saw me on the "graveyard shift" in Mission Control.  It was an interesting week. 


The week started with the Japanese HTV2 vehicle departure.  Since I worked the early shift, I was not there to see the departure, but it went as expected.

The HTV2 Konoutori vehicle served us well.  It was attached to the ISS twice as long as we had expected, and had been relocated twice before it departed.  Estimates are that the crew packed more trash than was originally expected, which helps with onboard stowage.

But was much more touching was the origami.  Each Houston Flight Control console position had a varying number of origami birds, which were made in honor of the HTV2, our Japanese colleagues, and the Japanese people in general.

These were the origami birds we made at our console. 
Unfortunately, we did not get a chance
to make nearly as many as some of the other console positions.

Debris Avoidance Maneuver!

On Thursday, our Trajectory Operations Officer informed us that we would have a close approach with orbital debris.  This is a very serious condition which could affect the Space Station.  As a result, we had to consider reboosting the Space Station to avoid the orbital debris.

There are several problems with orbital debris manevuers.  The first is being assured that we are actually going to avoid the orbital debris with the maneuver - a problem because it is a function of the certainty (or lack of certainty) of the position of the orbital debris.  Let's face it  - orbital debris is typically not equipped with GPS receivers! 

As a result, we started to plan an orbital debris maneuver - only to cancel that plan before finalizing it.  But today, we had to plan yet another orbital debris maneuver, to maneuver around the same debris.  As of this blog entry, I am not certain whether the maneuver will be performed - but the entire series of events gave me quite a bit of work for the past two days!

Upcoming event teaser
Upcoming event "teaser" on ISS will include a famous classic rock band!  You'll know more about it in mid-month - no April Fools joke!