Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 1, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 September 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Labor Day – off duty for CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko & FE-2 Chamitoff. Underway: Week 20 of Increment 17.

Progress M-64/29P successfully undocked from the ISS FGB nadir port this afternoon at 3:47pm EDT. The first separation burn was on time at 3:49pm, as was sep burn #2 at 3:55pm. 29P will remain in orbit in independent flight until 9/9, continuing to phase out in front of the ISS (about 40 km per orbit) in order to support a Russian “Plasma” experiment. The ship will then deorbit for destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean. [The separation appeared smooth, with no anomalous behavior reported by the crew. After handing over attitude control to Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at 1:45pm EDT, the ISS will return to US Momentum Management (MM) at approximately 5:45pm.]

As part of the crew’s regular morning inspection tour, CDR Volkov conducted the routine checkup of DC1 Docking Compartment circuit breakers and fuses. [The monthly checkup in the “Pirs” module looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.]

FE-2 Chamitoff performed visual & functional inspections on two CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) probes and sampling pumps, one in Node-1, the other in Node-2. [If both probes were found undamaged, they were to be reconnected to their pumps and deployed on the original panel. If only one CSA-CP probe is undamaged, its preferred deployment location is in Node-1.]

Gregory also conducted ELPS (Emergency Lighting & Power Supply) inspections in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Section), as well as in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Facility).

FE-1 Kononenko took care of the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Preparatory to today’s Progress undocking, CDR Volkov set up the IWIS RSUs (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System Remote Sensor Units) in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, FGB and SM. Afterwards, Sergey configured and programmed the timing of the IWIS ICU (Interface Control Unit) for the automated activation. [IWIS monitored dynamic/vibrational responses of the ISS structure during the undocking, measured by RSUs which transmit their measurements via radio to the central NCU (Network Control Unit). Structural vibrational data were also taken by the SDMS (Structural Dynamic Measurement System) during the SARJ (Solar Array Rotary Joint) rotation (for solar array protection) and 29P undocking.]

Chamitoff verified proper closure of the protective window shutters in the Kibo JPM and U.S. Lab for the duration of Progress departure.

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Oleg conducted the regular status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth and development of plants (barley) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-13 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems {Russian: IMBP}).

At ~11:15am EDT, Gregory powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 11:20am, a ham radio exchange with the Challenger Learning Center of Lucas County, Oregon, Ohio. The Challenger Learning Center (CLC) is part of a network of over 51 Centers throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Each Center is owned and operated locally by a host institution, in this case the Lucas County Educational Service Center. These CLCs are the primary component of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education founded by the families of the astronauts tragically lost during the launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle in January 1986. Dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission, each CLC continues the mission through a unique hands-on learning experience in which students use math, science, teamwork, problem-solving, responsible decision-making, and communication skills to successfully complete a simulated space mission. Since their opening in the fall of 2003, the Lucas County CLC has trained over 400 teachers and has flown over 480 missions. The CLC mission focuses on students in grades 5 and above. Over 12,000 students have successfully accomplished missions to the moon or Mars; nearly 1,500 community members and corporate staff have flown. Questions were uplinked to Greg beforehand. [“What do you do for fun, and how much time do you have for fun?”; “What do you do for entertainment as a crew?”; “What one thing have you discovered from being on the space station that has surprised you the most?”; “Which college course prepared you the most for being an astronaut or aerospace engineer?”; “How eco-friendly is the ISS?”; “What do you like best about being an astronaut/cosmonaut?”; “What part of your astronaut/cosmonaut training helped you prepare for the mission the most?”; “What is the most unusual item that has been taken onboard the ISS?”; “What has been your greatest challenge in life?”; “What role could the ISS play in a crisis or is it inaccessible and why?”; “What is the closest the station has come to an emergency such as a fire or being hit by stray rocks from a passing comet?”; “How can we as students help NASA?”]

At Progress undocking, Sergey Volkov used the Nikon D2X camera with f80-400 zoom lens from an SM window to take the regular photographs of the cargo ship’s docking system, checking for its cleanliness (i.e., to verify that no rubber seals are missing on the Progress docking interface and to assess seal integrity).

Oleg Kononenko meanwhile monitored the undocking and separation of the spacecraft on the VKU video monitor.

After 29P departure, the CDR completed the usual manual closing of the FGB GA docking compartment-to-vestibule PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve; Russian: KVD).

The station residents conducted their regular 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later, Greg transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

As generally every day now, starting at ~9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) was activated intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) cooling loop. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking.]

Hurricane Gustav Update: As of this morning, JSC/MCC-Houston is open and remains at Level 4 until tomorrow morning (9/2) when the Center will begin backing out of Level 4 as employees arrive at work after the Labor Day holiday. The BAT team at Round Rock, TX, was able to work out some connectivity issues yesterday; they plan to do a few additional tests this morning and will then start heading back to Houston. The BCC (Backup Control Center) team arrived in Huntsville last night. They also plan to do some BCC checkouts and then will start making plans to return to Houston tonight or tomorrow.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today.

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website: (as of 3/1/08, this database contained 757,605 views of the Earth from space, with 314,000 from the ISS alone).

Week 20 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Tue. (9/2): ATV Undock OBT; BUAP/MBRL (PCE) equipment install in SM (ATV hand controller, antenna switch box, prox comm unit); Elektron deact/act; Vozdukh AVK test; FGB PS1/PS2 filter & TsV1 screen cleaning; USOS water sampling; CMO profic.train.; FSL/FCE release.
  • Wed. (9/3): MO-7 (all); RED inspection; BMP ch.1 regen; MO-3/FE-1 (TVIS); WRS O2 purge/port install/leak check; SAMS s/w load; CGSE troubleshooting; BRTK-MBRL (PCE) test 1.
  • Thu. (9/4): SOTR-KOB1 maintenance; SRVK-BRPK maintenance; BMP ch.2 regen; CWC audit; SLEEP init.; PCS s/w load-ghosting; IWIS reprogram; ATV: activate/remove equipment & SSVP docking system/close hatches/take photo+video; TVS-MPEG Ku-band test.
  • Fri. (9/5): ATV Undock (5:27pm EDT); PCS reboot; microbial sampling; CGSE troubleshoot.
  • Sat. (9/6): FFQ; IWIS deact.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:37am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.5 km
Apogee height — 358.2 km
Perigee height — 348.9 km
Period — 91.61 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006909
Solar Beta Angle — 0.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 53 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56054

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (~5:27pm); independent flight
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P de-orbit (~5:19pm)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch (~3:49:45pm)
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft, ~5:08pm DM)
09/29/08 — ATV de-orbit (nighttime re-entry for observation)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:03am EDT; Lonchakov, Fincke, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port, ~4:51am)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) or 10/24?
11/10/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/25/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking & deorbit
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
02/09/09 — Progress M-66/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 — Progress M-67/32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress M-67/32P docking
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
02/24/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (nominal)
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 – Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 — Progress M-67/32P undocking & deorbit
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking)
07/30/09 — STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
10/15/09 — STS-129/Discovery/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P)
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.