NRL Experiments Transition Flawlessly Aboard ISS

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February 10, 2018 | Originally published by Date Line: February 10 on

The International Space Station (ISS) installed NRL’s Limb-Imaging Ionospheric and Thermospheric Extreme Ultraviolet (UV) Spectrograph (LITES), and Global Positioning System (GPS) Radio Occultation and Ultraviolet Photometer Co-located (GROUP-C) research instruments Feb 28.

[International_space__station_Robotic_arm_caught__space__test__program_h_five__payload] Once the STP-H5 payload entered space in range of the International Space Station, a robotic arm grabbed the experiments to initiate its installation.(Photo credit : International Space Station)

The payload was delivered via SpaceX’s FALCON 9 rocket Feb. 17, and later retrieved by a robotic-arm aboard the ISS. After several days of installation, payload managers and the DoD Space Test Program successfully performed tests to confirm the instruments functioned properly.

GROUP-C and LITES are mounted on the DoD Space Test Program”s (STP) STP-H5 platform. The STP Houston branch built and managed the platform, which enables mounting experiments outside the ISS and provides power and communications to those experiments.

“When we successfully received the first telemetry at NRL from our sensors aboard the ISS, I felt immediate relief that our instruments survived the ride to space and were functioning, followed by pride that the years of hard work by our capable experiment team had paid off,” said Dr. Andrew Stephan, lead investigator of LITES.