Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 November 2008

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

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

Before breakfast & first exercise, CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov and FE-2 Chamitoff completed a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, the FE-1 closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

The CDR collected failed lighting system BBAs (Baseplate Ballast Assemblies) from the Kibo JLP (Japanese Logistics Pressurized Segment, loc. 1PA2) and JPM (Japanese Pressurized Module, loc. 1OF2 ), and stowed them for return on STS-126/ULF-2.

In JLP, Fincke deinstalled a soft dummy panel at loc. 1P1 for temporary stowage, then removed a hard dummy panel from loc. 1F1 and installed it at 1P1, replacing it at 1F1 with the soft panel and tightening its four fasteners. After the swap, Mike also was to check on available stowage space at the 1P1, A1 & S1 rack areas for ULF-2 cargo.

Later, Mike conducted the CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) T1/T2 contents audit carried yesterday on the voluntary “job jar” task list, retrieving cables to be retained aboard prior to CTB T2’s disposal on ULF-2 and verifying availability of BDS (Backup Drive System) hardware for setting up the Robotics BDS in the JPM after ULF-2 departure.

Also in preparation for the ULF-2 docked period, the CDR & FE-2 –

  • Worked another ~3 hrs on hardware prepacking for return to Earth,
  • Spent ~30 min. in the US Airlock checking out two SAFER (Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue) units (#1004 & #1007) for the ULF-2 spacewalks, and
  • Readied two sets of retention nets for installation in the JLP (intended to protect shell heaters in the empty rack bays by enclosing stowed cargo against the JLP Hard Dummy Panels during ULF2).

FE-1 Lonchakov had 4 hrs reserved for loading trash and other disposal cargo onto Progress 30P.

FE-2 Chamitoff conducted “Exp-18 Week 3” sampling of potable water for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and the SRV-K Warm tap, the latter after preliminary heating of the water (three heating cycles) and flushing. [Gregory collected two 450 mL samples (for postflight microbial analysis), one 225 mL sample (for inflight microbial analysis) and two 750 mL samples (for postflight chemical analysis) from each of three ports (SRV-K hot, SRV-K warm, SVO-ZV) for return on STS-126/ULF2. The flush water, collected in three small waste water bags, was then reclaimed for technical use. For the in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis, Greg used MCDs (microbial capture devices) from the U.S. WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing after no more than 6 hours of the collection (done ~12:25pm EST). Sample analysis included subsequent processing of water samples in the MWAK (microbial water analysis kit) for inflight coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) detection (done ~12:45pm). Results of the on-board processing will be available after a two-day incubation period, in case of the MWAK after 4-6 days of incubation.]

CDR Fincke worked on the WDS (Water Distribution System) in the US Lab, tearing it down to make room for the upcoming installation of new ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support Systems) racks arriving on ULF-2.

For the purpose of testing the main TORU (Teleoperator Control System) receiver on the mated Progress M-65/30P, CDR Fincke & FE-1 Lonchakov worked with ground specialists via VHF on DO15 (Daily Orbit 15, VHF coverage 11:38-11:47am) on the standard vehicle-to-vehicle TORU checkout between the Service Module (SM) and the Progress 30P cargo ship docked at the SM aft port. TORU was activated on 11:10am. Progress thrusters (DPO) were inhibited and not involved. [Crew activities focused on TORU activation, inputting commands via the RUO Rotational Hand Controller and close-out ops. TORU lets an SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of failure of the automated KURS system. 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 crewmember steers 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 7 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. Progress M-66/31P and all subsequent vehicles which carry more advanced avionics equipment, will require new TORU procedures.]

In the SM, Yuri performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (ECLSS). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement 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.]

The FE-1 also conducted the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing the standard IMS “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Gregory again 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 later this month. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

The FE-2 also completed another one of the periodic inspections of the RED (Resistive Exercise Device) canister cords and accessories, currently done every two weeks.

The crew had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Greg at ~10:30am, Mike at ~11:15am, and Yuri at ~ 12:35pm EST.

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-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

At ~2:30pm EST, Yuri Lonchakov headed the crew in supporting a live PAO TV downlink with messages of greetings for two events: (1) the Russian Youth Aerospace Association "Soyuz", celebrating its 20th Anniversary on 11/14 at MSTU (N.E. Bauman Moscow State Technical University), and (2) RTTV channel “Russia Today” which will have an extensive coverage of the 10th Anniversary of the first ISS module launch and will air the ISS interview on 11/20. [“…Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of the Russian Youth Aerospace “Soyuz” Association! We are very pleased to take part in this festivity. We salute our young people – future cosmonauts, designers, engineers. Guys, remember, you are the ones who will have to conquer the space, explore planets, and lead the way to the stars….”. (Note: Seven new cosmonaut candidates currently in training are Soyuz Association graduates).]

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Lakes, Bolivian Andes (climates of the central Andes change rapidly from wet tropical to arid subtropical. Lakes reflect these climates exactly: Lake Titicaca in the north is a permanent freshwater lake; Lake Poopo is brackish and sometimes dries up completely during El Nino events; and Salar Uyuni is almost always dry, its salt floor appearing bright white from low Earth orbit, the crew’s prime visual cue [salar is a dry lake with a salt bed]. Between El Nino events [as now] Uyuni floods over part of its surface to a few feet in depth and Lake Poopo usually expands [a trend opposite to the heavy rains and floods of the Pacific coastline during El Nino events]; general views were requested looking right of track to document the present water levels of Salar Uyuni and Lake Poopo; during the ice ages of the recent geologic past, the entire Uyuni-Poopo basin was repeatedly turned into a single permanent lake as the atmospheric circulation settled into a different equilibrium state. The last permanent lake [17,000 years ago] was as large as Lake Michigan, and the weight of its water is known to have depressed the land surface at the north end by 20-40 m. Future requests for photography will focus on shoreline details of the ancient lakes).

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, 8:55am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 351.6 km
Apogee height — 354.1 km
Perigee height — 349.1 km
Period — 91.57 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003679
Solar Beta Angle — 29.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 90 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 57172

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.