Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 12, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 September 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. The crew has an off-duty day.

Hurricane Ike: Hurricane Ike’s landfall is predicted for tonight at Galveston, TX, and NASA-JSC at nearby Clear Lake is closed. Control of operations for the US systems on the ISS has been handed over to the BAT (Backup Advisory Team), a subset of the FCT (Flight Control Team) temporarily stationed near Austin, TX, with command & telemetry capability for the US systems while MCC-H remains powered. When MCC-H powers down completely tonight due to storm conditions (expected to be severe), the BCC (Backup Control Center) at MSFC-Huntsville will assume control, with voice and command/telemetry capability for the US systems via S-band in single-string capability (no backup), with “cold” sparing (i.e., requiring time for repair turn-around). Since the IPs (International Partners) do not have that capability for JEM/Kibo or Columbus, both Columbus and Kibo are in Safe mode or powered down for the duration of BCC mode. Changes were made to the crew’s timeline for today and the next few days to remove activities that need significant interaction with US ground specialists.

Progress Docking Deferred: Progress M-65/30P is currently in orbit on its Flight Day 3. Due to the complexity of operations for the USOS (US Segment) to support a Progress (or Soyuz) docking, which involves configuring solar arrays, maintaining power balance, attitude handovers, etc., the M-65 docking scheduled for today has been deferred until no earlier than 9/17 (Wednesday, see new timeline below). The uncrewed cargo vehicle will be “loitering” in a safe orbit until commanded in for docking.

After connecting up the Telescience PK-3+ hardware yesterday, CDR Volkov today transferred digital video from the last session (7/30) of the Russian TEKh-20 Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+ (Plasma Crystal-3+) experiment to the BSPN payload server (TS laptop). [Main objective of PK-3: studying 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).]

Gregory Chamitoff took measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide partial pressure) in the Lab, SM at panel 449 and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) plus battery ticks, using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002). The unit was then deactivated and returned to its stowage location (LAB1S2). [Purpose of the 5-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements.]

FE-1 Kononenko meanwhile completed another radiation data checkup for accumulated flux & dose rate data with the Matryoshka-R radiation payload (RBO-3-2) and its LULIN-5 electronics box.

Sergey Volkov performed an inspection of the tread patch which the crew installed on 8/11 in an improvised repair of the TVIS treadmill running belt.

In the US Airlock, the FE-2 terminated the 85-day maintenance cycle on the first two EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries (#2072, #2067) in BCM3 (Battery Charger Module 3) and BCM4. [The periodic battery maintenance consists of fully discharging and then recharging the storage units to prolong their useful life. After end of the maintenance cycle, Greg restored the SSC laptop, which is used in DOS mode for the automated procedure, to nominal ops.]

Oleg 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).

In the SM, Sergey completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS), today as a discretionary job from the “time permitting” task list. [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.]

Also from the at-crew’s-discretion task list, Oleg Kononenko conducted the regular status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth and development of plants (barley) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-13 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems {Russian: IMBP}).

A third suggested task list job was for Sergey to conduct the periodic time synchronization between the RSS1 laptop and BSPN payload server, after a functionality test by checking data comm between the two computers and synching RSS1 to station time with the RSCE PingMaster application. The CDR then downlinked BSPN log files for ground review.

At ~9:15am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya = “Chief Operative Control Group”), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~9:30am, Sergey & Oleg linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

Before sleeptime tonight, Chamitoff is to set up NASA’s NUTRITION/Repository experiment hardware for his fourth session scheduled tomorrow. For the phlebotomy (blood sample draw), Greg has to start fasting 8 hrs before, i.e., tonight, with only water consumption allowed. [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.]

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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), and RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

Later, Oleg 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).

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.]

Timeline for Progress 30P Rendezvous & Docking on 9/17 (all times EDT):

  • Correction burn DV5 (4.00 m/s) 3:22pm (9/16)
  • ISS attitude handover to RS 11:10am (9/17)
  • ISS mnvr to dock attitude 12:20pm
  • Progress Kurs-A Activation (T1) 1:08:30pm
  • SM Kurs-P Activation (T1) 1:10 :30pm
  • Good Kurs-P data at 80 km 1:34:24pm
  • Kurs-A/Kurs-P Short Test @ 15km 1:55pm
  • Range = 9km – VHF-2 activation 2:00pm
  • Range = 8km – Progress TV act. 2:00:44pm
  • AR&D Flyaround mode start 2:17:17pm
  • AR&D Stationkeeping start 2:26:17pm
  • AR&D Final Approach start 2:34pm
  • Local Sunrise 2:35:46pm
  • RGS AOS 2:41pm
  • 30P Docking at SM aft port 2:43pm
  • Local Sunset 3:04pm
  • ISS attitude handover to USOS 4:30pm.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 8:26am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.0 km
Apogee height — 357.7 km
Perigee height — 348.3 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007025
Solar Beta Angle — 46.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 36 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56227

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/17/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (~2:43pm EDT)
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).

Note: The daily ISS On-Orbit Status reports can also be found at

SpaceRef staff editor.