Jesco von Puttkamer 1933-2012

Jesco von PuttkamerOne of the giants of the transitional bridge between Apollo and the International Space Station has died. A member of the German nobility dating back to the 13th century, Jesco von Puttkamer succumbed to a brief illness on 27 December. Brought up in Switzerland after the war, Puttkamer joined the von Braun team in 1962 and moved to NASA HQ in 1974 working on long range planning for future space endeavours.

Recipient of numerous honours and awards, von Puttkamer was a giant among his peers and he will be sorely missed by friends and acquaintances alike, certainly by all who came under the influence of this remarkable advocate of space exploration for the furtherance of humanity throughout the Universe. Only 79 years of age, his death comes as a great shock.

Spaceflight will publish an obituary in its March edition, out early February. Meanwhile, as an example of his enthusiasm, we use the unlimited availability of web-space to publish below the last of his daily reports on the International Space Station, published three days before his untimely death:

December 24, 2012

ISS On-Orbit Status 12/23/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – Crew rest day.

After wakeup, FE-1 Novitskiy performed the routine inspection of the SM PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection. Oleg also completed the periodic (daily) reboot of the Russian RS1 & RS2 laptops.

After wakeup, FE-2 Tarelkin rebooted the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops and completed daily routine maintenance on the BRI smart switch router (SSR), checking its temperature via DeviceControl on the RSS1 laptop to ensure nominal operation. [The BRI fan module consists of 4 individual fans. If one or several of these exhibit malfunction or rotation speed decreases, a combined warning is sent to the DeviceControl application on the RSS1 laptop to generate an emergency message and telemetry signal, “BRI1”. The fan module is an ORU (On-orbit Replaceable Unit).]

CDR Ford closed the protective shutters of the US Lab, Node-3/Cupola and JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) windows for the upcoming ISS reboost.

Kevin performed the regular (~weekly) inspection & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) and CGBA-5 payloads in their ERs (EXPRESS Racks) at Lab O2 & O1, focusing on cleaning the muffler air intakes.

Oleg activated the Russian payload TEKh-39 LCS (Laser Communications System, Russian: SLS) in the SM. About 6hr later, FE-1 copied the collected test data from the RSE-SLS A31p laptop to the RSS2 laptop for data downlink and log file dump.

Working as a team, the crewmembers, now grown to six again, conducted the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough cleaning of their home, including all USOS (US Orbit Segment) modules like Lab, Nodes, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo JPM. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of Uborka house cleaning, Oleg & Evgeny conducted regular weekly maintenance inspection & cleaning of fan screens in the FGB (TsV2) plus Group E fan grilles in the SM (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP), the SKV air conditioner in the SM and the periodic cleaning of Russian Potok-150МК (150 micron) pre-filters of the SM’s & FGB’s SOGS air purification subsystem.

FE-5 Hadfield & FE-6 Marshburn started the day with their first post-sleep sessions of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

Chris & Tom performed their currently daily filling out the SHD (Space Headache) questionnaire which they started after their Soyuz launch on a daily basis and continue on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) for every week after their first week in space.

Hadfield & Marshburn had their 2nd post-arrival PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Chris at ~9:50am, Tom at ~10:05am EST.

Tom, Roman, and Oleg were scheduled for their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Oleg at ~6:15am, Roman at ~7:35am, Tom at ~2:20pm EST.

At ~8:15am EST, the three crewmembers held the standard WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners), via S-band/audio, reviewing upcoming activities and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

At ~11:20am, the Russian crewmembers Oleg, Evgeny & Roman supported a Russian PAO TV downlink for Roskosmos TV Studio’s joint project with News Channel “Russia 24”, producing its weekly program on cosmonautics.

ISS Reboost Report: This morning (12/23), at ~6:28am EST, ISS performed a 4 min 4.8sec single-burn reboost maneuver using Progress 49P, docked at the SM Aft port, for orbital phasing and Progress 50P launch on 2/12.

The Editor (Spaceflight)

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