Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 May 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
May 11, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 May 2009
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 May 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 6 of Increment 19.

This morning at ~5:35am EDT, the ISS (specifically its FGB “Zarya” module) completed 60,000 orbits of the Earth, having covered a distance of 2.52 billion kilometers (1.57 billion st.miles) in about 3825 days. [The 19,300-kg/42,600-lbs Zarya (“Dawn”) was launched on a Russian/Khrunichev Proton from Baikonur 10.5 years ago, on 11/20/1998, as the first element of the multi-national space station.]

STS-125/Atlantis launched as planned, at 2:01pm EDT on the fifth service & repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) which was launched by Discovery in 1990 and deployed into an orbit 304 n.mi. above the Earth. Since then it has circled Earth more than 97,000 times and provided more than 4,000 astronomers access to the stars not possible from inside Earth’s atmosphere. The Atlantis crew will conduct five spacewalks during the 11-day mission. Godspeed, Atlantis!

FE-2 Wakata started the day with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, today again ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens will be tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

CDR Padalka performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~5:15pm EDT. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days. (Last time done: 4/21-4/22).]

In preparation for Progress M-02M/33P (#402) docking tomorrow (5/12), CDR Padalka & FE-1 Barratt completed the standard one-hour refresher training for the TORU teleoperator system, which provides a manual backup mode to the Progress’ KURS automated rendezvous radar system. Afterwards, Gennady & Mike tagged up with a TORU instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band audio. [The drill included procedure review, rendezvous, docking data and rendezvous math modeling data review, fly-around, final approach, docking and off-nominal situations (e.g., video or comm loss). Three modes were simulated on the RSK1 laptop: two with 33P from stationkeeping range (~150 m) in sunlight (insolation), and 33P in final approach (from 50 m) in darkness (eclipse). The TORU teleoperator control system lets a SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the CDR would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM’s TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 8 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground. On 5/12, Progress KURS will be activated at ~1:39pm EDT on Daily Orbit 1 (DO1), SM KURS two minutes later. Progress headlight will be switched on at a range of ~8 km. Flyaround to the DC1 nadir port (~400 m range, in sunlight) starts at 2:52pm. Stationkeeping at a range of ~150m starts at 3:00:50pm. Start of final approach: ~3:12 (DO1) in sunlight, contact: ~3:23pm (in darkness).]

FE-2 Wakata set up the usual equipment to downlink Russian analog video signals from the RS (Russian Segment) via streaming video on US Ku-band, and Padalka & Barratt then checked it out with a network ping test. The A31p laptop was turned off afterwards. Purpose of the video setup is to cover the Progress 33P arrival tomorrow. [The equipment involves the KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder, the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop (for converting the analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC). Transmission tests with the ground followed (7:30am – 8:00am EDT), checking out connections and the digital video transmission over JSL/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to at 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).]

FE-1 Barratt performed a software update on the EHS TOCA (Environmental Health System Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), via USB from the SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10) laptop. [The update changes the lower fault limit of the F1 sensor from 72 to 70 mL/min. This will eliminate the reporting of three “F1 fault” alerts during TOCA operations. In addition, the TOCA team reviewed all fault limits with respect to additional in-flight experience gained and with this software update, other fault limits are also changed.]

Koichi completed the daily procedure of flushing the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line with ~50mL of water (into a towel/Ziploc bag). PWD water is currently cleared only for hygienic use, pending Russian approval.

Gennady conducted 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 the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

In the US Lab, Wakata worked on the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) file server MACE (Mass Access Computer Equipment), replacing its A31p HDD (Hard Disk Drive) with a new 60 GB HDD from Node-1 stowage.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

Afterwards, the FE-2 downloaded the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Starting at ~7:00am, in preparation for Flight 2J/A JAXA/SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba performed a JCP (JEM Control Processor) flight software update in two 4-min parts Crew support was not required.

At ~4:30am EDT, CDR Padalka had 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).

At ~6:57am, Koichi Wakata powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~7:02am conducted a ham radio session with students at Besyo Elementary School, Saitama, Japan. [Besyo Elementary School separated from the Miyahara Elementary School (its ARISS school contact was successful on 4/2/09) in 1974, and has had its 34th anniversary. Koichi Wakata studied at Besyo in Grades 5 & 6 and also graduated from this school.]

At ~1:30pm, Gennady Padalka engaged in a PAO TV interview with Ekaterina Beloglazova, Editor of Rossiysky Kosmos Magazine. [“What has changed at the ISS since your last mission? Please describe the new modules.”; “Please tell us what has been accomplished in terms of science program. Do you have experiments that require a more active participation on your part rather than simple hardware activation/deactivation? What studies do you like most?”]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) Note: In recent days, ISS daylight-awake orbit tracks have shifted rapidly into the Southern Hemisphere which is now some six weeks into the fall season, and both day length and sun elevation are significantly lowering. This situation along with deteriorating seasonal weather greatly limits good view opportunities for targets. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the ISS orbit tracks nearly parallel with the terminator. The consequence is very low light right of track, low light near nadir, and adequate to good light left of track. Beginning today and for the next 5 to 7 days, there may be no targets with suitable illumination or weather.

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).

Look-ahead: Progress M-02M/33P Docking Events (Tuesday, 5/12; times EDT):
· Start Flyaround – 2:51:50pm (at ~400m)
· Start Stationkeep – 3:00:50pm (at ~160m, directly below, i.e. nadir, of DC1)
· Start Final Approach – 3:12pm
· Local Sunset – 3:17:28pm (Progress at 92m)
· Docking at DC1 nadir port – 3:23pm
· Local Sunrise – 3:34pm
· Hooks closed – 3:43pm.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:37am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 351.2 km
Apogee height – 357.4 km
Perigee height — 345.0 km
Period — 91.56 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009257
Solar Beta Angle — 69.6 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 40 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60002

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/12/09 — Progress M-02M/33P docking (~3:23pm EDT)
05/18/09 — Progress M-01M/32P deorbit (~3:00pm EDT)
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
07/17/09 – Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM2 w/new port)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 – Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Proton — tentative
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 — Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 — Progress 37P launch
02/??/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
06/??/10 – ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 – 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.

SpaceRef staff editor.