STS-124: EVA-2 aids Kibo/SARJ – OBSS issue evaluated

by Chris Bergin

Ron Garan and Mike Fossum have been carrying out STS-124’s EVA-2, which involved the installation of covers and external television equipment on Kibo, along with removing the covers on the Japanese RMS (Remote Manipulator System).

No issues are being worked on Discovery, as she continues to perform admirably. However, one item of interest relates to yesterday’s checkouts of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS), which won’t be a problem for Late Inspections.

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STS-124 EVA-2.

EVA-2’s activities included the installation of the FWD/AFT JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) TV Camera Assembly External – which are essentially two TV cameras – positioned on the outside of the JPM (Japanese Pressurized Module) used for JEM RMS operations).

To allow for this, the spacewalkers removed the Zenith cover from where the JLP will mate, releasing MMOD (Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris) Shield Launch Restraints, removing the PIP Pin, and inspecting the CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism).

The JEM RMS (Remote Manipulator System) Thermal Covers was removed before Trunnion and Keel Covers are installed, to prevent heat dissipation from the Trunnion and Keel pins.

While this EVA was in work, other crew members not involved in the EVA were transferring equipment racks from the JLP (Japanese Exploration Module) to the JPM. Dummy panels in the JPM will assist in rack transfer, which involved the connecting of umbilicals.

Heater Controller Thermal Loops (HCTL) A and B Reconfigs were completed during the transfers, while controllers on the ground coordinated the powerdowns with the crew. Only one HCTL was deactivated at a time starting with the B loop.

Vestibule Outfit 3 was the key task of the outfitting, which included the installing of Liquid Thermal Control System (LTCS) Jumper Mittens. Channel A Activation was initiated by ground controllers, following the completion of EPS1 and DMS1 rack transfer and umbilical connections.

Centerline Berthing Camera System (CBCS) setup was performed to prep for JLP relocate from Node 2 to the JPM, this was pre-empted by the changeout the condensate collection CWC. Installation of an antimicrobial adapter (AMiA) in the US Lab also took place.

Other task required involved the disconnection of the JLP Laptop, prior to JLP Egress. The JLP will be egressed once all of the racks have been transferred. After hatch closure, the Node 2 Controller Panel Assemblies (CPAs) were installed for overnight checkout.

The SSRMS (Space Station Robotic Manipulator System) then ungrappled the JPM and grapple the PDGF 3 (Power Data Grapple Fixture). The ground team performed a base change in preparation for the JLP relocate.

The ungrapple occured as soon as the Channel A Activation was completed, since redundant power is no longer required through the SSRMS.

Following a request from the Program, the port SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) was also inspected. For a moment, the spacewalker Fossum believed he had found damage on the Datum A – which would have been a major blow, following the discovery of the divot on the starboard SARJ.

However, following further examinations, the white line on the race ring appear to be a white streak of grease. Also, there appeared to be a lack of metallic shavings, noted as a failure mechanism for the starboard SARJ.

‘One line in the Datum A, appears to be a dried line,’ noted spacewalker Fossum. ‘3/4ths of an inch from the edge. Not totally uniform, some striations in it.’

Close up images of the SARJ will be evaluated further on the ground.

OBSS Evaluations:

Flight Day 5’s checkouts of the OBSS were initially classed as successful by the Mission Management Team (MMT). However, one item appears to have involved error messages.

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This was the subject of an Orbiter Project Office (OPO) telecons throughout the day.

‘During the OBSS Sensor checkout, the Laser Camera System (LCS) annunciated multiple error messages associated with the Y-galvanometer position and excessive current draw to the Y-galvanometer was observed,’ noted the only MER (Mission Evaluation Room) ‘Funny’ report for the flight at present.

‘The LCS team is currently reviewing the signature and assessing any impacts to scans later in the mission if the LCS were required. A preliminary assessment is expected at the FD 6 OPO Telecon.’

The OBSS required checkouts, following several months stowed on the ISS after STS-123 – due to payload bay constraints with STS-124’s delivery of Kibo – and a period of 30 minutes without power during Flight Day 5’s handoff.

The evaluations concluded by finding the problem won’t be an issue during Late Inspections.

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