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jsc2010e110213

March 5, 2012
JSC2010-E-110213 (20 July 2010) --- STS-134 crew members get a briefing on the Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation Development Test Objective by the lead project engineers at the Ball Aerospace Facility in Boulder, Colorado. This docking navigation system prototype was developed collaboratively by NASA, Ball and Lockheed Martin and will be tested by astronauts aboard STS-134 in an unprecedented on-orbit maneuver during the space shuttle mission to the International Space Station in February 2011. On Flight Day 11 of the mission, the shuttle crew will undock from the ISS and then re-rendezvous with the station on an Orion-like approach. Heather Hinkel, Orion Principle Investigator, Development Test Objectives is showing the reflective elements, which were installed on the PMA-2 visual docking target during STS-131, and comprise the short-range docking target for the Vision Navigation Sensor (VNS). The reflective elements will reflect light at wavelengths greater than 1200 nano-meters. The returns from the reflective elements will be seen as "bright" spots by the VNS and will be used to determine the relative position and relative attitude of the docking target with respect to the sensor. This information will be used by the Relative Navigation filter to further refine the relative states between the chaser and target vehicle in support of rendezvous and docking. Pictured from left to right are NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, who will serve as a Spacecraft Communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control during the mission; NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, STS-134 mission specialist, who will be testing the equipment on orbit during the mission; astronaut Roberto Vittori, STS-134 mission specialist with the European Space Agency; and NASA astronaut Greg H. Johnson, STS-134 pilot; Nujoud Merancy, STORRM Project Engineer, Booz Allen Hamilton. Also NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, STS-134 commander; Jeannette Domber, Ph.D., Lead STORRM DTO Engineer, Ball Aerospace; Lisa Hardaway, Ph.D., Orion Chief Engineer, Ball Aerospace; and Heather Hinkel -- Orion Principle Investigator, Development Test Objectives, NASA. Photo credit: Ball Aerospace