Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 November 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
November 11, 2008
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit  Status 10 November 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 3 of Increment 18.

CDR Fincke ended his FD30 (Flight Day 30) session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, his second, by collecting a final urine sample upon wakeup for storage in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). The sampling kit was then stowed away. Mike’s next activity with this experiment will be the FD60 session. [The current NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by MELFI), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

The CDR, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Chamitoff began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

Fincke worked on the SM ASU (Service Module toilet systems), performing the monthly 30-min. maintenance/servicing of the facility by changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.

Afterwards, Mike closed out the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) payload by removing the CSI-02 (CGBA Science Insert #2) hardware from it for return to Earth. The CDR also accessed CGBA-4, retrieving the CSI-01 stowage bag and packing the SHERE FM (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment Fluid Module) stowage tray for return on ULF-2.

Lonchakov conducted a 3-hr. task of servicing the RASTENIYA-1 (Plants-1) MIS LADA payload, moistening the substrate and discussing the experiment with a ground specialist. [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

In ESA’s COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Chamitoff removed the ERNObox payload from its location (at COL1O2) and re-installed it at a different location (COL Port Cone aft/module side). [The ERNO (Entwicklungsring Nord) box contains various radiation devices, including LEON-2 CPU (Central Processing Unit) developed by ATMEL/France and ESA, new memory devices, large SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)-based FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays), and MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) sensors. The radiation-hardened LEON-2 microprocessor chip is the first implementation of a LEON CPU-core in silicon, with SPARC compliance. SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture), invented by Sun Microsystems Inc., is an open set of technical specifications that any person or company can license and use to develop microprocessors and other semiconductor devices based on published industry standards.]

Afterwards, Gregory worked on the COL ventilation system, inspecting and cleaning the RGSH (Return Grid Sensor Housing) on the PD Panel, module side.

Lonchakov used CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) #1069 & #1030 in the RS (Russian Segment) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Yuri had another 3 hrs. reserved for a BITS2-12 (onboard telemetry measurement system) related job, deinstalling five electronic components from the PTsB Central Processor Subsystem (Monoblock TA968MA) which Sergey Volkov had removed & stowed on 9/24, then moving the box to the Lab for return on ULF-2. The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup. [The removed components were stowed as spares except one of them (TA734 BPL 2A) which was returned to the excessed PTsB container. BITS is the primary telemetry downlink path for both FGB and SM parameters, designed to collect, record and transmit measurement data to the ground concerning the operation of all RS onboard systems, science hardware, and data concerning the crew’s health status. BITS also processes and relays to the ground the digital data arrays formed by various science hardware and the BVS (Onboard Computer System). The TA968MA is the primary device that forms the BITS operating modes.]

Mike Fincke undertook the periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, from the SM (Panel 338) to Node-2 (loc. PD3/2) and connected it to the UOP3 power outlet panel. [TEPC had been relocated to the SM by Chamitoff on 9/30, after having been in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) from 8/24.]

After reviewing 400 & 800mm-lens training imagery taken on 11/6 for the STS-126/ULF-2 Endeavour RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) on 11/16, Fincke & Chamitoff tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the ground-analyzed photo/video imagery. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Endeavour, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Greg & Mike had about 4 hrs. between them for more hardware prepacking for ULF-2, using revised uplinked Prepack Lists as reference.

The CDR also spent about an hour loading disposal cargo & trash onto Progress M-65/30P.

Lonchakov meanwhile completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking & servicing the ASU toilet facilities, replacing the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacing of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available. Tests of IP-1 air flow sensors, smoke detectors, time & synchronization etc. are also performed daily via SPP (Automated Onboard Sequencer) control.]

Working from his discretionary “as time permits” task list, Yuri also performed the regular daily job of IMS (Inventory Management System) “delta file” updating/editing for the weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

In the US Airlock (A/L), Fincke terminated the discharge of EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery #2073 in BC4 (Battery Charger 4). In preparation for the STS-126 spacewalks, Mike then initiated recharge procedures on REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies), HL (Helmet Light), PGT (Pistol Grip Tool), and EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries in BC1/2/3/4 of the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly). [This is the first of two recharges required to prepare all EVA batteries for ULF-2. Today’s activity was also to confirm whether BC1 is still producing any sounds different from BCs 2-4 during power-up and charging. No unusual noise was heard, and BC1 was also used for charging.]

Greg Chamitoff had a one-hour period to himself for the regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth on 11/29. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

The station residents conducted their regular daily 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-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

At ~2:55am EST, CDR Fincke powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 3:00am, a ham radio exchange with Anderson’s Creek Primary School, Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia. [Anderson‘s Creek Primary School is situated 30 km NE of Melbourne and has over 340 students. It is nestled in a tranquil natural environment. The school is surrounded by native vegetation that invites parrots, galahs and the sound of laughing kookaburras. Its architectural design encourages cooperative teaching and is very much a community based school which places great importance on the partnership between parents and teachers. There is a strong emphasis on the use of information technology in the classrooms. Warrandyte is a small township of around 14,000 people, situated on the Yarra River and surrounded by beautiful State Parks. The town is known for its painters and potters. Gold mining played an important role in the establishment of Warrandyte. The very first payable gold for Victoria was discovered here in 1851, at Anderson’s Creek, which runs behind the school. This is why the school logo is a poppet head. Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. “What is your latest discovery?”; “Do your five senses work as well in space?”; “Is everything slower, or faster, in space?”; “Is your speech affected in space?”; “How many people are with you? Do you get on each others nerves?”; “What happens if you need to wear glasses in space?”; “Would a thermometer work in space?”; “How does a space ship move in space when there are no particles to push against?”; “When you exercise, do you lose the same amount of fat as you would on earth?”; “What time zone do you use? Is there special space time?”; “Have you been hit by a meteor? What happens if you are?”]

At ~2:35pm, Mike Fincke had a CDE (Crew Discretionary Conference) via Ku-band/video and S-band/audio.

Progress Propellant Purge: Preparatory to the Progress 30P departure on 11/14, TsUP-Moscow conducted the standard propellant line purge on the TM-65 cargo spacecraft’s fuel (12:48pm) and oxidizer lines (2:21pm). For the events, ISS attitude control authority was handed over to RS thrusters at 12:30pm, to be returned to US Momentum Management at ~2:55pm. For the thruster firings, Gregory verified closure of the protective window shutters in the Lab and JPM.

Lighting Maintenance: Over the weekend, the crew restored function to GLAs (General Luminaire Assemblies) in the A/L and JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment). [A BBA (Baseplate Ballast Assembly) was relocated from the Lab (loc.1OS6) to replace a failed BBA in the A/L (loc.1OA1). Since there are no spare BBAs on orbit, additional BBAs will be scavenged from MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) Leonardo on ULF-2. Three LHAs (Lamp Housing Assemblies) that had been removed from ATV “Jules Verne” were used to replace three failed LHAs in the JLP.]

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website: (as of 9/1/08, this database contained 770,668 views of the Earth from space, with 324,812 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:30am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 351.7 km
Apogee height — 354.1 km
Perigee height — 349.3 km
Period — 91.57 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003585
Solar Beta Angle — 26.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 105 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 57156

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
11/14/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC, PSSC; (7:55pm EST)
11/14/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 docking; ~4:56pm
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch (nom.)
11/27/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 undocking; 10:32am
11/29/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 landing; ~2:01 pm
11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking (nom.) – DC1 Nadir
12/18/08 — Russian EVA-21
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
Six-person crew on ISS
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 (contingency)
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.