Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 July 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – Progress 33P Re-rendezvous day. Ahead: Week 7 of Increment 20.

CDR Padalka began his workday by attending to the current experiment session with the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, activating the turbopump in the Service Module (SM)’s Transfer Compartment (PkhO) for keeping the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO) evacuated. The turbopump will be deactivated again shortly before sleeptime. [Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

The crew prepared for and then monitored the re-rendezvous & approach of Progress 33P at ~11:45am 1:15pm EDT (closest approach: 1:07pm), with –

  • FE-4 Thirsk closing the protective science window shutters in the Lab and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module),
  • FE-1 Barratt configuring & activating the A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop in the FGB for the TV conversion to NTSC and Ku-band,
  • CDR Padalka checking out the RS (Russian Segment) video system, which uses the SONY HDV camera for transmitting over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM to downlink via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in “streaming video” packets,
  • CDR configuring the STTS communications system for the rendezvous (and later restoring it to nominal mode),
  • FE-2 Wakata setting up the BRTK TVS video equipment for covering the Progress re-rendezvous and later deactivating it, and
  • Padalka & Romanenko preparing for the rendezvous and then closely monitoring the event from the SM.

[Purpose of the 33P re-rendezvous & approach was to verify the new passive KURS-P system antennas and TORU target installation accuracy at the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) zenith port. 33P, which undocked from the DC1 nadir port on 6/30, was to approach from ~200 km distance similar to the standard Soyuz approach, i.e., station keeping at ~130-200 m, then performing final approach to ~10-12 m (~1:07pm), before further approach is cancelled and the spacecraft backed out.]

After the event, FE-1 Barratt will dismantle the TV equipment and stow it away.

FE-3 Romanenko performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module), including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow.

Roman also 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.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-2 Wakata supported ground ops by starting the Ar (argon) gas from the CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment) supply’s upper Ar GBU (Gas Bottle Unit).

FE-1, FE-4 & FE-5 have their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) scheduled, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Frank at ~7:10am, Mike at ~2:40pm, Bob at ~6:00pm EDT.

FE-5 DeWinne connected the ITCS MTL (Internal Thermal Control System Moderate Temperature Loop) return umbilical with QD (Quick Disconnect) at the Lab CHeCS (Crew Health Care System) rack UIP (Utility Interface Panel) to provide cooling to the rack.

At ~10:05am, Frank powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~10:10pm conducted a ham radio session with students at the Euro Space Center (ESC) at Transinne, Belgium. [ESC is a residential (100 beds) US-licensed Space Camp for kids of ages 8-18. Transinne is near Bastogne in Belgium (of Battle of the Bulge fame, Christmas 1944). ESC also hosts a permanent Space Expo and a restaurant open to visitors as well as amateur radio club station. As in previous years, on Sunday, 7/12, the Euro Space Center organizes the Air Space Day, during which over 1000 people come and visit the center. The purpose of the event is to promote space and make the general public more aware of the different space related aspects.]

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-2, FE-3), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-2). [The interim RED is being used in lieu of the ARED (Advanced RED) until the latter has had its damaged VIS (Vibration Isolation System) dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

BGA 2B Update: Yesterday, BGA 2B (Beta Gimbal Assembly 2B) on the port solar array was taken to Autotrack to test the rotational capabilities of the joint. The joint operated with better performance than was seen in previous days before it stalled. BGA 2B has been parked at 225 degrees which is a good config for both 33P Re-approach and 2J/A Docking. The MCC-H team is currently assessing the forward plan for BGA 2B operations.

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, 8:26am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 346.6 km
Apogee height – 351.5 km
Perigee height — 341.6 km
Period — 91.47 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007358
Solar Beta Angle — 64.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 44 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60994

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/12/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (7:14pm EDT)
07/13/09 — Progress 33P deorbit burn, entry interface, impact (11:42am; 12:20pm; 12:28pm)
07/14/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking;
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking;
07/28/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing
07/27/09 — Progress 34P docking (if STS-127 departs nominally; can slip to 7/29)
07/31/09 — PMA-3 relocation
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:00pm EDT)
09/16/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth w/SSRMS
09/29/09 — Progress 34P undock
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 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/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
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
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-134/Discovery/ULF6 – ELC3, AMS
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.