Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 October 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
October 10, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 October 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Upon wakeup, CDR Volkov terminated his twelfth SONOKARD experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

FE-2 Chamitoff continued the daily diet monitoring for the SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment. SOLO runs in two blocks of six days each, with the second having started yesterday. [For SOLO, Chamitoff follows a special high-salt diet, for which prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Blood and urine samples are stowed in the MELFI.]

The three crewmembers began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device which Oleg Kononenko broke down afterwards for stowage. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

For their departure on 10/23, Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko spent an hour in the Soyuz TMA-12/16S Descent Module (SA) supporting a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz motion control system (SUD, Mode 2/”Docked”) which included pressurization of the KDU Combined Propulsion System Section 2 and Tank 2, a test of the pilot’s RUD translational hand controller, and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters. KDU maneuver thrusters and DPO lateral thrusters were not fired. [For the test, the science windows in the US Lab and Kibo module were shuttered, and station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 4:00am EDT, commanded to free drift at 4:20am, then back to LVLH XVV (Local Vertical Local Horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) attitude. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 1 at ~4:25am. Attitude control was returned to the U.S. segment (USOS) at 5:15am, and the Lab window could be re-opened at ~8:15am for CEO.]

Afterwards, Sergey & Oleg also had two hours set aside to conduct the Soyuz descent training exercise, standard procedure for each returning cosmonaut crew. The exercise, which does not involve any command activation, uses computer simulation on the RSK1 laptop with a descent hand controller (RUS) to set up reentry conditions and switch between modes. It was supported by a tagup and discussions with a ground instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band. [The onboard training (OBT) session included a review of the pertinent RODF (Russian Operations Data Files), specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures such as manual undocking. Nominal return of Soyuz 16, with Volkov, Kononenko and the US SFP (Spaceflight Participant) Garriott, is scheduled for 10/23.]

The CDR completed the periodic collection of air samples in the SM (Service Module) & FGB using the AK-1M sampler kit, recording date, time & location. Kits and pouches were then restowed.

FE-2 Chamitoff set up the freshly (10/8) checked-out Shuttle BOB (Breakout Box) to use the Ku-band power supply for operating the Non-Intrusive Flow Meter, then conducted the flow rate adjustment for the MFCV (Manual Flow Control Valve) in the Lab Aft Endcone. Later, after lunch, Gregory also used the Flow Meter for conducting a flow rate test of the RFCA (Rack Flow Control Assembly) in Node-1, before disconnecting the Flow Meter and re-stowing all the hardware. [Purpose of these valve adjustments is to optimize the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) flow throughout the USOS to allow for the incorporation of the Regenerative ECLSS, to be launched on the ULF2 mission. BOB was used in lieu of the Flow Meter batteries which had not charged properly.]

FE-1 Kononenko meanwhile used the vacuum cleaner plus other tools to perform the periodic USOS hatch seal inspection (Node-1 Forward, Aft & Starboard, Lab Aft & Forward, Node-2 Aft, Starboard & Port, Airlock, Columbus, Kibo JPM Zenith & Starboard, Kibo JLP Nadir) in support of ACS (Atmospheric Control System) maintenance (last time done: 7/8).

CDR Volkov took trial photography of the damaged radiator on the S1 truss. [The S1 photos, with a 400mm-lens, from SM window 2 and the Soyuz 16S “blister” window are to include all three S1 radiators. Photos are also to be taken of the three P1 radiators, from SM window 12. The damage is on the 7th panel of the S1-3 radiator, primarily on the nadir side and there is also some buckling on the zenith side of the panel. The trial photography has the purpose of assessing the ability to stage future photography with TRRJ (Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint) rotation and possible Russian solar array re-positioning.]

Later, after Chamitoff configured the designated A31p laptop in the FGB for converting analog-to-digital video, he and Volkov set up the system for a video transmission test from the SONY HVR-Z1J digital high-definition camcorder and the ZVK LIV Experimental Video Complex in the SM over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder to downlink via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in “streaming video” packets. After the test, with the RSCE PingMaster application, Gregory deactivated the A31p again. [Volkov’s setup involves the KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder which uses the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop (for converting analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC) and making the video hardware connections, checked with a network ping test. Transmission tests with the ground followed (12:50pm – 1:20pm EDT). The digital video transmission is carried over JSL(Joint Station LAN)/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to TsUP-Moscow, plus transfer of the USOS analog video of the RS ISS video downlink via Streambox 2 to NISN (i.e., the Moscow Ostankino communication hub).]

Oleg did another run of the Russian DZZ-2 "Diatomeya" ocean observation program, using the NIKON-F5 DCS digital still camera to shoot color contrast formations and wind-induced wave anomalies (foam bands, smooth-out sections) in sea water at specified times. [The current DZZ-2 sessions are in support of a multi-discipline scientific expedition of the Institute of Oceanic Studies under the Russian Academy of Science, chief developer of the Diatomeya space experiment, which will be operating in the first ten days of October in the NE part of the Black Sea. Water areas with the most pronounced hydro-physical and hydro-biological characteristics are selected to be measured from the sea vessel. In good weather these water areas can be easily observed from space in colored and bright fields.]

Greg completed the visual “T+2 Day” microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the Week 25 potable water samples, collected on 10/8 from the SRV-K hot tap and two CWC (Contingency Water Containers) specimens and processed on board with the MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) and coliform detection bags.

Chamitoff also filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his 15th, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

The two cosmonauts again had a one-hour period each to themselves for the regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth later this month. [It is usual for Russian crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

Gregory conducted the regular bi-monthly reboots of the OCA Router and File Server SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops.

Chamitoff is timelined for another VolSci (Voluntary Science) program “installment” with the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 4) experiment tonight, completing the hardware set-up in the Lab Avionics Racks 2 & 3 seat track area (no MWA/Maintenance Work Area table), along with camcorder and still camera,- to take photograph sample 3) and then initiate homogenization and the automated picture taking. [The SGSM (slow growth sample module) was to be configured by mixing the samples 8, 9, 10, and 3 and starting automated photography with the Kodak DCS-760 digital still camera controlled by the EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer), automatically taking one photo every hour of sample 3 for the next six days.]

Sergey performed the regular daily maintenance servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [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.]

The daily job of IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance was listed for Kononenko on the discretionary “time permitting” task list, involving updating/editing of its standard “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The crew completed 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/2.5h, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Later, the CDR will transfer the exercise data file to the MEC 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).

Around ~2:30pm, the FE-2 is scheduled to take measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide partial pressure) in the Lab, SM at panel 449 and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) plus battery ticks, using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002). The unit will then deactivated and returned to its stowage location (LAB1S2). [Purpose of the 5-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements. As usual, the results will be logged in the OSTPV (Onboard Short Term Plan Viewer) and are immediately available to the ground.]

At ~4:35am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~2:55pm, the crewmembers will convene for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~6:15pm, Greg Chamitoff will have his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

As generally every day now, today starting at 9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) is running intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS cooling loop. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking. CDRA remains “yellow” on the ISS critical systems list.]

WRM Update: An updated WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked overnight for the crew’s reference, updated with yesterday’s water audit. [The new card (17-1016C) lists 28 CWCs (~911.2 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (263.2 L, for Elektron electrolysis, except for 22.2 L off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (627.6 L, incl. 174.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (3.4 L), waste/EMU dump and other (17 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Soyuz TMA-13/17S Launch Update: This morning in Baikonur/Kazakhstan, the Soyuz 17 spacecraft was rolled out from the Assembly-Test Facility to the launch site and erected on the launch pad. L-2 operations are underway. The launch of the Soyuz-FG integrated launch vehicle with the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft to the ISS is planned for 10/12 at 3:01:29 am EDT (11:01am Moscow time).

Week 25 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Sat. (10/11): Station cleaning; PFCs; Ham radio call; SOLO #2.
  • Sun. (10/12): SOLO #2; PFC; VRU disk exchange.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Arkenu 1 and Arkenu 2 Impact Craters (Arkenu 1 & 2 are a rarely exposed double impact structure created by a 500 m diameter pair of asteroids. Located in southeastern part of the Libyan Desert, Arkenu 1 is 6.8 km in diameter and Arkenu 2 is 10 km. Both have been dated as less than 140 million years old. Detailed images of the structures of both craters were requested), Teide Volcano, Tenerife Island, Canary Islands (the large triangular island of Tenerife is composed of a complex of overlapping volcanoes that have remained active into historical time. The United Nations Committee for Disaster Mitigation has designated Teide as a Decade Volcano. It is considered to be the 13th most dangerous volcano in the world due to its proximity to several major towns and the nearby city of Puerto de la Cruz), Hurricane Norbert (Dynamic Event: Hurricane Norbert. Looking right of track at Category 3 storm with a distinct eye. Norbert is expected to cross the lower Baja late Friday), Madrean Sky Islands (the Madrean Sky Islands are patches of forest near the summits of the high mountains of the southwestern USA and northwestern Mexico. These forests are remnants of much more extensive vegetation that once existed at lower elevations in cooler and wetter climates. Looking left of track into southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico for the dark forested patches. Context views were requested), and Konza Prairie, Kansas (the Konza Prairie is one of the Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] sites. This target is located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas. The vegetation is primarily native tall grass prairie. CEO imagery will help in the study of the effects of fire, grazing and climate variability as well as help to document the grassland ecosystems. Overlapping mapping pass was requested).

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, 7:21am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.8 km
Apogee height — 355.4 km
Perigee height — 350.1 km
Period — 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003914
Solar Beta Angle — -41.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 49 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56667

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (3:01:29 am EDT; Fincke, Lonchakov, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S dock (FGB nadir port, ~4:33am EDT)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undock (DC1 nadir, 8:15pm) & land (11:36pm) = 10/24 — 9:36am Kazakhstan)
11/02/08 — Progress 30P reboost; Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC (~7:02pm EST) – U/R
11/18/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking – U/R
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
12/01/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 landing (~1:25pm EST est.)
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.