Soyuz launch success / new ISS problem

by Chris Bergin

The Resurs-DK satellite launched early this morning onboard a Russian Soyuz-U launch vehicle. Lift-off was at 08:00 UTC, from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

Meanwhile, a new problem is being worked on the International Space Station (ISS), following an increase in noise levels, noted particularly in the Russian segment of the station.

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**Soyuz-U/Resurs-DK Launch Preview**

Resurs-DK is a civilian satellite which will be used for remote sounding of the Earth via its optic-electronic systems. The Soyuz-U will also carrying a be secondary scientific payload called PAMELA.

The primary objective of PAMELA is to measure the energy spectrum of antiprotons and positrons in the cosmic radiation.

The satellite will execute a semi-polar (70.4 degree inclination) elliptical orbit with an altitude varying between 300 km and 600 km for a three year mission.

Meanwhile, on board the ISS, engineers continue to ‘struggle’ to reduce the overall noise level.

According to a NASA report, ‘Russian commander Pavel Vinogradov continued his outfitting work on the Vozdukh atmosphere purification system (BOA) to install a new sound-insulating cover on its MR5-15G micropump unit. [During yesterday’s fit-check of the new cover, the CDR encountered some problems with fitting all the hardware together.

‘Ground specialists then asked the crew to put the activity on hold until today, restore the Vozdukh Co2 scrubber to its original configuration and restart the system.

‘In the Service Module (SM), Pavel also worked on installing a new 21P-delivered integrated sound-deadening panel near the SKV air conditioner, which required temporary deactivation of SKV-1, removal and remounting of an air duct, and relocation of a DS-7A smoke detector (#2).

‘Afterwards, Vinogradov tested the modifications by taking more noise level readings in the Russian segment (RS) with the ‘Shumometer’ sound level meter, with particular attention to some extraneous noise recorded yesterday near the SKV-1 air conditioner. The acoustic measurements were then downloaded to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for subsequent downlink via OCA.’

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Good news was recently noted that the troublesome Elekron oxygen generator is back on line and working without issues. The initial problem that caused the shutdown – shortly after being restarted – has been traced to a grounding wire.

Preparations are on-going for the June 19 undocking of the Progress 20 supply ship, which will burn up on re-entry.

NASA astronaut and ISS science officer Jeffrey Williams continued gathering and packing of US trash and discarded gear for transfer into 20P commensurate with TsUP loading plans.

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