Cape Canaveral, Florida – On April, 18th the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket had been successfully launched, placing the Dragon capsule on the way for the International Space Station. The capsule, among the over-2-tons of supplies and scientific material, also transported the ”T-Cell Activation in Aging”, an experiment developed by Kayser Italia in the frame of an ESA-NASA cooperation. In particular, Kayser Italia was commissioned by ESA to provide the experiment units and containers, as well as to support all ground and pre-launch/return activities. The experiment investigates the early molecular pathway involved in the human immune system depression in space, a phenomena that occur during aging but also while the astronauts are in microgravity conditions.
During the in-orbit operations the samples had been placed in the KUBIK incubator in the European Columbus module, at a temperature of 37° C. Finally, after a predefined period, the NASA astronaut Ricky Mastracchio performed both the cell activations and the sample fixation. On Monday April, 21st At 19:45 CET the samples have been safely stored in the MELFI, the station on-board freezer. The NIH samples will remain at a controlled temperature till the re-entry on Earth of the Dragon capsule, actually scheduled at May, 18th 2014.
The mission, also known as CRS-3, is the third SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission to the International Space Station. The launch, initially planned on March, 12th , was delayed a few times due to several technical reasons. A team of Kayser Italia specialists supported all these pre-launch activities.
More information are available on the press release NIH-1a: A Biology experiment for the ISS
Livorno, April, 13th – The final step for the HAMVIDEO commissioning has been successfully completed. Today at 18:23 UTC the International Space Station commander Koichi Wakata switched on the HAMVIDEO to support the final test of the TV transmitter funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and developed by Kayser Italia for the Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS) community. During the passage of the ISS over the Europe the video transmission was successfully received from the ground stations of Bornemouth (UK), Poitiers (F), Casale Monferrato (I) and at Kayser Italia, Livorno (I). During the transmission commander Wakata gave a great demonstration of how HAMVIDEO could enhance the scholarship contacts adding video images to the replies of the questions coming from ground. The video received from the stations were relayed to the BATC server (UK), allowing all the internet users to follow the transmission.
During the commissioning final step HAMVIDEO was used in configuration #4, transmitting on 2395 Mhz and using the Antenna 43 located outside the Columbus module of station. A total of about 6 minutes of video was received by the European stations. Video link duration can be virtually extended with useful ISS passages and the creation of ground station “chains”.
Since today the radio amateur community have a new important resource on board the ISS to support many experimental activities and, in particular, the school contacts where the students can now talk and see the astronauts. That will even more improve the way to understand the space research and the technologies that have been used.
More information on HAMVIDEO can be found on the KI HAM-TV project page.
March, 2014 – During the weekend of March, 8th, astronaut Mike Hopkins successfully turned on the ESA HAMVIDEO transmitter on board the Columbus module of the International Space Station. During this commissioning step of HAMVIDEO (developed by Kayser Italia),while the ISS was flying over Italy the astronaut images and voice have been successfully received by the AMSAT/ARISS radio amateur and Kayser Italia ground stations, as well as by the station of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) located in Matera (Italy). The received videos have been streamed in real time over Internet. In the next coming days many other ARISS stations all over the world started receiving the HAMVIDEO test transmission, sharing results and instruments fine tuning techniques.
The ground stations designed within the HAMVIDEO project have a low cost, allowing many radio enthusiast to join the events.
During the month two different transmission frequencies have been used (2.422 and 2.395 GHz) and both standard and high definition have been tested. The HAMVIDEO video transmissions open a new way to interact with the ISS. Up to now, HAM radio sessions have allowed school classes to talk with the astronauts. Now, thanks to HAMVIDEO, it will be also possible to see them, their demonstrations and have a closer view of the life in space.