Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 11, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 September 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>Today 46 years ago (1962), President John F. Kennedy visited MSFC/Huntsville for a first-hand look at our progress with the big Saturn launch vehicles.<<<

Hurricane Ike:JSC-Houston has gone officially to preparedness Level 2, closing down at 1:00pm EDT, with a minimal team keeping MCC-H powered. If the storm becomes more severe, as expected, MCC-H will be powered down, and the BCC (Backup Control Center) in Huntsville/Alabama will take over tonight.

Progress M-65/30P launched nominally yesterday at Baikonur at 3:50:02pm EDT, when ISS was leading with 236 deg phase angle. Ascent was nominal, all appendages (antennae & solar arrays) deployed nominally, and the vehicle reached orbital insertion at 3:58:51pm. Corrective maneuvers DV1 & DV2 were conducted as per plan at 7:30pm (delta-V 14.86 m/s) and 8:16pm (16.81 m/s). A third burn will follow later today, with time and magnitude depending on the final docking parameters, because as a consequence of the foreseeable lack of adequate JSC ground support, our Russian partners have agreed not to attempt the 30P docking tomorrow as planned but to delay it until NASA has regained full ground control to support it (e.g., with ISS attitude control commanding, power-downs, etc.). [Note: Progress is equipped with sufficient power (solar arrays) and maneuvering propellants to allow quite extended station-keeping. The cargo ship will deliver more than 2.3 tons of various supplies to the ISS, including oxygen, water and food supplies, propellant, consumables, scientific hardware, spares and other equipment. The spacecraft was injected into a reference near-earth elliptical orbit with 51.65* inclination, min/max altitudes of 187.1/241.4 km and 89 min revolution. Onboard systems are operating as designed as the “chase” is on.]

In preparation for BCC Mode of operation during the hurricane, a number of configuration changes have been executed onboard. These include –

  • COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) switched to Safe mode (i.e., video equipment & payloads deactivated due to lack of Ku-band & command/telemetry insight),
  • Kibo modules powered down (because no JAXA SSIPC/Tsukuba command capability during BCC), and
  • JEM SD BITs (Smoke Detector built-in tests) to be conducted by BCC (no automatic capability),
  • US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) & TCCS (Trace Contaminant Control System) remaining active,
  • Starboard TRRJ (Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint) repositioned to -15 deg,
  • Switching the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) to dual-loop operation (MTL/LTL), etc.

Upon wake-up, CDR Volkov terminated his ninth MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study, 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.]

In the SM (Service Module), Volkov performed Part 5 (of 5) of the scheduled R&R (removal & replacement) of the renewable condensate transfer lines (SMOK) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, today replacing the SMOK components between the SK1 valve and the SBK1 condensate collector tank, both behind panel 131.

After going through the usual TORU (teleoperator control system) and TVS (television system) tests for the docking, Volkov & Kononenko had time set aside to discuss particulars of the drill with ground specialists.

FE-2 Chamitoff had on his timeline the relocation of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack in the US Lab from the LAB1D4 position to the LAB1S4 position, which required him and the assisting FE-1 to –

  • Clear stowage items from the D4 rack front and from the S4 empty rack bay;
  • Clear a 50in x 72in. translation path needed for the rack transfer of protruding items,
  • Relocate the CHeCS rack from position D4 to S4,
  • Mate CHeCS umbilicals, and
  • Restow any items temporarily relocated before the transfer to their original locations.

Winding up the his extensive anti-virus campaign of scanning, cleaning and reloading RS (Russian Segment) crew support laptops, and flash memory cards with new Norton antivirus software, FE-1 Kononenko today worked on the RSK1, RSK2, RSS1, RSS2, RSE1 and RSEmed laptops to verify full elimination of the W32.Gammima.AG virus from all storage media.

Gregory Chamitoff completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (17-0002Y) lists 30 CWCs (~1095.0 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (362.3 L, for flushing only because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (706.7 L, incl. 174.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (9 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.]

Sergey Volkov prepared for an upcoming new session with the Russian TEKh-20 Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+ (Plasma Crystal-3+) experiment, setting up the Telescience PK-3+ hardware and its cabling in the SM on panel 230. Connecting to the BSPN payload server and transferring digital video from the last session (7/30) is scheduled tomorrow. This activity was deferred from 8/4. [Main objective of PK-3 is to study non-linear dust plasma wave propagation and dispersion ratio at a specified power of an alternating electric field, pressure, and a varied number of particles, controlled by the experimenter. The research experiment was performed in semi-automatic mode with particles having a diameter of 9.19 um under pressures of 20, 40, and 80 Pa (Pascal).]

In the SM, Kononenko completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Oleg also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing 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 crewmembers 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, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1).

Later, Greg transferred the exercise data files 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).

During Kononenko’s VELO exercising, the CDR filmed him with the video camcorder for public airing by the Russian Vesti 24 TV news channel in their “Kosmos” segment as Part 2 of several “Life aboard ISS” videos to be recorded this week. [Yesterday’s filming featured the CDR performing the DYKHANIE experiment. More scenes, such as food preparation, having a meal, performing Diatomeya/Uragan experiments and other views of interest to “Kosmos” viewers, will be filmed over the weekend, for downlink to Moscow on 9/15 and 9/17.]

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 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.]

Conjunction Event: Another close pass of a piece of debris of the Kosmos-2421 satellite is predicted for early tomorrow morning, at a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) of ~2:00am EDT, with a very low probability of collision (“Yellow” box; >13 km). More tracking is currently underway. Since a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) with the SM main propulsion cannot be performed under the current ground conditions, the crew would go to the Safe Haven scenario and retreat to the Soyuz crew return vehicle if necessary. [For the shelter mode, the crew would relocate the Airlock PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop to the SM, then close out and egress the two Kibo modules (JLP, JPM), COL, Node-2, US Lab, Node-1/PMA-1, close all hatches to the RS, which contains ECLSS, and then spent a short time in the Soyuz until after TCA.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were High Central Andean Glaciers, S. America (this morning pass over the central Andes Mountains provided an opportunity to photograph small glaciers and icefields near the summits. Some scattered clouds were likely present over the range. Overlapping nadir frames of the mountain peaks, taken along track, were requested as the ISS traveled SE-ward along the range. This approach should have captured many of the glaciers of interest), and Patagonian Glaciers, S. America (Gregory had a morning pass over the ranges of Patagonia. Photography of glaciers and icefields near the mountain peaks along the west side of the mountains was requested. Some scattered clouds were expected to be present. Overlapping nadir frames of the mountain flanks and peaks, taken along track, were requested as ISS traveled E-SE over the mountains. This approach should have captured many of the glaciers of interest).

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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:29am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.0 km
Apogee height — 357.8 km
Perigee height — 348.3 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007018
Solar Beta Angle — 43.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 40 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56212

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/29/08 — ATV de-orbit (nighttime re-entry for observation from 2 NASA planes; 9:12pm)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/10/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4) 12:33am
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) & landing
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/14/08 — 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.