Friday, July 1, 2016

A Compass for Zvezda

Shuttle flight STS-106 was launched from pad LC-39B at the Kennedy Space Center on September 8, 2000.  The purpose of this mission was to prepare the station for the arrival of Expedition 1 crew members later that year.

STS-106 delivered over 6,000 pounds of cargo and supplies to the ISS including components for the Elektron oxygen generation system and three batteries to complete the configuration of Zvezda's solar panel-based power system.

STS-106 crewmembers also performed an EVA during the mission to connect power and data cables between Zarya and Zevzda and install a magnetometer on the nadir plane of Zvezda's main section. The magnetometer provides accurate 3-D position data to Zvezda's guidance computers. The precise location data helps to minimize fuel used by Zvezda's station-keeping thrusters.

I fabricated the magnetometer mast using white-coated 28-gauge wire.  The component on the end of the mast is a small section of insulation from 30-gauge wire, pierced with a needle on one side to affix it to the mast.

I chose not to add cabling between Zarya and Zvezda at this time. I expect that I will need to remove Zvezda from it's ceiling mount in order to affix the SMDP panels to Zvezda's conical section later in the build timeline.  The panels were installed during Expedition 5 EVA 1 which occurred on August 6, 2002, and  Expedition 15 EVA 1 and EVA 2 which occurred on May 30, 2007 and June 6, 2007.

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