Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 April 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
April 12, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 April 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Easter Sunday – ahead: Week 2 of Increment 19. HAPPY EASTER! [Note: Russia’s Orthodox Church observes Easter (Pasha) this year on April 19, with khristosovanie traditions like triple kiss exchange and red eggs).]

Today Russia observes Denj Kosmonavtov (Cosmonauts Day) and the world Yuri’s Night — celebrating Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin’s pioneering flight into space 48 years ago. And NASA is observing the 28th anniversary of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission to orbit. [Yuri was accepted into the cosmonaut unit in 1960, at age 26. After his historic 108-min. flight around the Earth in “Vostok 1”, which ended with a parachute ejection at 7 km altitude over a farm field near the city of Engels in Saratov Oblast (province), he was promoted to unit leader. Seven years later, on March 27, 1968, Yuri died with a flight instructor in a fighter jet crash. Chief Designer of the thusly inaugurated Soviet human space program was Sergey Pavlovich Korolev. Exactly 20 years later, John Young and Bob Crippen took the Columbia into space for a daring test mission lasting 2 days 6 hours 20 minutes 52 seconds.]

FE-1 Barratt completed the third & last day of his FD15 (Flight Day 15) session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, his first, after collecting urine samples for the last 24 hrs. [The 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 supercold MELFI dewars), 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.]

CDR Padalka performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. Additionally, Gennady checked up on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for reporting to TsUP-Moscow. [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.]

Padalka also conducted the periodic checkup behind panel 139 in the SM on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

Dr. Mike completed the daily status check on the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-4) science payload, running by itself since 4/3. [The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

The FE-1 conducted the (now) 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. [While final analysis of the PWD sample results on the ground is still pending, experts recommend keeping water flowing in the line daily to help control microbial growth. The flushing will be done daily unless at least this amount has been dispensed for other activities during the day).]

CDR Padalka had three new items on his Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for today, leading off with a session of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take 800mm-lens telephotos for subsequent downlinking on the BSR-TM payload data channel. [Uplinked targets for today were the Don river valley during seasonal flood, the Volga-Akhtyubinsk alluvial plain & Volga river delta, Aral & near-Aral region with dust storm pictures, Pamir Glaciers (Russian Geographic Society glacier), and the Laganaki plateau.]

The second voluntary task for Gennady was to complete the updating of the Russian auxiliary laptops with latest Symantec AntiVirus software and scan the PCs.

As third task item, the CDR conducted another session for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens. [Today’s target: the seasonal Volga Delta flooding.]

As a voluntary task on the US “job jar” task list, Koichi Wakata was to work on the TeSS (Temporary Sleep Station) in the US Lab (stbd, pos. Lab1S1), first removing all equipment and cleaning the TeSS with the vacuum cleaner, then installing a Hygiene Liner, then closing out the activity. [The liner is made of Combitherm plastic and must be kept away from electrical equipment.]

For today’s Cosmonautics Day, the crew used the G1 video camcorder with high-definition MPC (Multipurpose Converter) and IPU (Image Processing Unit) via Ku- & S-band for three PAO TV exchanges (3:55am, 7:15am, 8:25am EDT) with top-management VIPs at Roskosmos Central Data Station from Roskosmos (Anatoly N. Perminov et al.), RSC-Energia (Vitaly A. Lopota et al.) at Korolev, IBMP (Institute of Biomedical Problems), and GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) at Star City (Zvezdniy Gorodok) near Moscow. [As every year on Cosmonautics Day, leading Russian personalities today also visited the Kremlin Wall on Red Square to place flowers on Space Pioneer Sergey P. Korolev’s burial place. Leading the group were Deputy Chairman of Russian Government Sergey Ivanov, A.N. Perminov, Alexej Krasnov, Prof. Nataliya Koroleva (S.P. Korolev’s daughter) with her daughter & granddaughter, and other VIPs.]

The CDR & FE-2 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Gennady at ~5:50am, Koichi at ~1:10pm.

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), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2), and VELO with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). [The CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation), which had shown anomalous workload indications, is currently “No-Go” as engineers are developing a forward plan for an inspection of its internals. All CEVIS exercise is being replaced with TVCIS exercise for the near term.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) 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, 7:49am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 352.8 km
Apogee height – 358.8 km
Perigee height — 346.9 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000885
Solar Beta Angle — -42.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 37 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59561

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/06/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/07/09 — Progress 33P launch
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/12/09 — Progress 33P docking
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
Six-person crew on ISS
07/17/09 — Progress 33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (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) — tentative
11/10/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz — tentative
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
12/XX/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.