Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 13, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 February 2009

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

Yest kasaniye! At 2:19am EST, Progress M-66 (32P) docked smoothly at the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port under automatic KURS control, followed by a final DPO post-contact thrusting burn, docking probe retraction and hook closure (“sborka”) after motion damp-out while the ISS was in free drift for ~20 min. At “hooks closed” signal, the SM (Service Module) returned to active attitude control, maneuvering the ISS to LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal Torque Equilibrium Attitude). Control authority returned to US Momentum Management at ~3:30am.

After the cargo ship’s successful docking, activities by FE-1 Lonchakov & CDR Fincke included –

  • Shutting off the TORU teleoperated rendezvous & docking system, used as manual standby, and reconfiguring the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops [the "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 and USOS, and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support];
  • Conducting the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC1 [during leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters were inhibited (as was the case during docking)];
  • Opening the hatches (~5:20am) and installing the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling;
  • Performing the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler;
  • Taking two photos of the internal part of the DC1 nadir port’s SSVP-StM docking cone to obtain digital imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left by the head of the active docking probe on the internal surface of the passive drogue (docking cone) ring, now rotated out of the passageway and the hatch closed down;
  • Powering down the spacecraft and installing the ventilation/heating air duct (~6:20am);
  • Dismantling & removing the video/MPEG equipment for the TV Ku-band downlink of the docking;
  • Dismantling the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1 (~7:05pm) [the StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress’ cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC1], and
  • Installing the standard US-21 matching unit, a 1-hr. task, and then hooking up its TM connector to the BITS2-12 [the US-21 Matching Unit “matches” (connects) the SM with the Progress motion control and DPO thrusters systems, so that they can be commanded by the SM computer system (BVS). The BITS2-12 and its VD-SU control system mode were subsequently turned back on. A dynamic Progress thruster test of the complete integration of 32P into the ISS will be conducted later, after the installation of the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12, along with its ROM unit (read-only memory, TA765B).]

Lonchakov continued the current (third) run of the DAKON-M hardware for the Russian experiment TEKh-15/IZGIB (“Bend”) for untended measurement of micro-accelerations. The activity requires Yuri to visually control hardware operations three times a day and report to the ground. The second IZGIB session was conducted by Sergei Volkov on 10/15-19/08. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

Magnus undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, today from the port CQ (Crew Quarters) in Node-2 to the SM (Panel 327).

The FE-2 also worked on the WPA (Water Processor Assembly), first priming (filling) the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) water sample hose, then analyzing the WPA sample in the TOCA. Results were transferred to SSC-7 (Station Support Computer 7) via USB drive for downlink and the data were also logged for calldown. [The current procedure is a work-around for TOCA’s failed catalyst.]

Later, Sandy disconnected and took down the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station) which allowed video coverage of the Progress departure with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras.

Before using the new ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) for her fitness session, Magnus inspected the machine’s rails & rollers visually and then evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

The station residents 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) and ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2).

Sandy filled out the regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), her ninth, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

The FE-2 also completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [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.]

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

Working from his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Yuri performed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Mike Fincke had two discretionary tasks on his “job jar” list,- changing out the EDV-U urine container at the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), and filling out his fourth FFQ on the MEC.

Crew Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate today’s early Progress docking (2:19am EST), the crew woke up last night at 10:30pm EST, i.e., 2.5 hrs earlier than usual. Sleeptime today is 2:00pm, returning to regular schedule with crew wakeup at 1:00am.

CEO photo target uplinked for today was Tin Bider Impact Crater, Algeria (ISS had a nadir pass over this 6-km in diameter impact structure. Looking for a circular crater located at the southwestern margin of a mountain range between the Grand Erg Oriental and Tifernine dune fields. Overlapping frames, taken along track, should have captured the crater).

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, 8:19am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.3 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 350.5 km
Period — 91.67 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008744
Solar Beta Angle — -61.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 30 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58650

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/18/09 — FRR (Flight Readiness Review) for STS-119/Discovery
02/22/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment (~3:31am EST) — “NOT EARLIER THAN”
02/24/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
03/05/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
03/08/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
Six-person crew on ISS
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC, last crew rotation
08/XX/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4
12/XX/11– Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.