Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 June 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
June 13, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 June 2008

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

Before breakfast, CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko and FE-2 Chamitoff began their workday with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement (third for CDR & FE-1, first for FE-2). [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

The FE-1 performed the periodic service of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated before sleeptime, at ~4:30pm EDT. Regeneration of bed #2 follows tomorrow. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

For the benefit of the new US flight engineer, Gregory Chamitoff, CDR Volkov took Greg through the mandatory 60-min Emergency Event OBT (Onboard Training) drill for new crewmembers for situations such as rapid cabin depressurization or fire, involving all ISS modules including ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) “Jules Verne”, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and the new Kibo laboratory. [Russian, US and European experts stood by at TsUP/Moscow, MCC/Houston and COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen for consultation. The rule is that the Russian-led emergency exercise should be performed by every new station crewmember once within seven days after departure of the previous crew. Background: Purpose of the drill for new station residents is to (a) familiarize them with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) familiarize them with the translation routes to the Soyuz vehicle, (c) work through the Russian Segment (RS) hardware deactivation procedures, (d) familiarize them with the particulars of the scenario and the results of the previous US Segment (USOS) fire drill, and (d) practice crew interactions in emergency situations. Referring to EMER book crew procedures, first Sergey and Greg translated along the emergency egress path to the DC1 Docking Compartment (where Soyuz TMA-12/16S is currently docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the USOS the inspection focused on fireports in the Lab, Node and Airlock, readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBAs (portable breathing assemblies) and PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The exercise was topped off by a thorough debrief with the ground via S-band. During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.]

With the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) deactivated by the ground yesterday (~12:50pm-5:50pm) and its cooling no longer required, Chamitoff today demated and took down the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) jumper at the CDRA-supporting LAB1D6 rack.

FE-1 Kononenko had another 2 hrs set aside for more Progress M-64/29P unloading & cargo transfers, based on an uplinked cargo transfer list showing 231 items, and logging movements in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.

The CDR meanwhile conducted the periodic inventory audit of ~30 Russian medical kits and items located in the Service Module (SM) medical cabinet and Progress. [Purpose: to verify their availability, condition and stowage locations, weed out a number of discarded kits, replace medications in the Emergency First Aid Kit (NP-2 #A 082) with fresh supplies, and relocate/reconfigure medical kit contents.]

Greg Chamitoff set up the new ESA/CNES experiment 3D-SPACE (Mental Representation of Spatial Cues During Space Flight) and then spent another half hour on his first experiment protocol, performing every exercise (Distance, Illusion, Writing) once to complete the activity. [3D-SPACE is designed to identify accurate perception & localization of objects in the space environment as prerequisites for spatial orientation & reliable performance of motor tasks in microgravity. Humans have mental representations of their surroundings based on sensory information & experience. It is hypothesized that depth & distance perception of objects could be altered in space due to the absence of gravitational reference and ambiguous perspective cues. 3D-SPACE investigates (a) depth perception & the role of perspective cues using geometric illusions, (b) distance perception using both standard psychophysics tests & natural three-dimensional scenes presented on a virtual reality head-mounted display, and (c) the effects of cognitive vs. perceptual-motor changes using handwriting & drawing tests.]

Later, the FE-2 set up NASA’s NUTRITION/Repository experiment hardware for his first blood draw scheduled tomorrow. For the phlebotomy (blood sample collection), 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.]

Kononenko had ~90 min set aside for the periodic equipment servicing in the SM’s ASU toilet facility, changing out replaceable parts with new components, e.g., a filter insert (F-V), the pretreat container (E-K), and the E-K’s hose. All old parts were discarded as trash. [E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in a dispenser (DKiV) and used for toilet flushing.]

Volkov began a new round of periodic preventive maintenance of cabin ventilation systems in the RS (Russian Segment), today cleaning the “Group A” fan grilles in the SM.

On the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), Chamitoff prepared and formatted a new PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) for storing his personal physical exercise data for subsequent download to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).

Sergey & Oleg each spent ~1.5 hrs on the TVIS for the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, their first time, using the TVIS in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the BSR-TM payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmembers worked out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a medium pace of 6.5 km/h, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace.]

The CDR performed the regular bi-monthly reboot of the OCA Router and File Server SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops.

Using the hand-held CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1002), Chamitoff collected air measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Partial Pressure Carbon Dioxide) in the Lab, SM (at panel 449) and COL, and recording CO2 readings and battery “ticks”. [Batteries were to be replaced if necessary. After all readings were taken, the CDM was deactivated and returned to its stowage place at LAB1S2.]

In the SM, Oleg completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh/ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System) complex, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables, today working off the discretionary “as time permits” task list.

Also suggested for Kononenko on today’s task list was another EKON KPT-3 session, making observations and taking aerial photography of environmental conditions of Aqtobe (Aktyubinsk) and water contamination in the Kerch Strait for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON) using the Nikon D2X digital camera with SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.

For CDR Volkov, the discretionary task list held two jobs for today: (1) a session with the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the D2X to take telephotos [shooting the forest cover on mountain slopes on the north shore of lake Sevan, drilling platforms near western shores of the Caspian Sea, drilling wells on the eastern shore of the Caspian, the coastal strip of the Aral Sea with overlapping frames, general views of the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Carpathian mountains, the Oka and Don river valleys, all other river valleys between Don and Volga, and fields of drilled wells along Ural river]; and (2) another run, his fourth, of the Russian DZZ-2 "Diatomeya" ocean observations program, using the NIKON-F5 DCS and the HDV (high-definition) video camcorder from SM windows 8 for ~20 min to record high production water areas in North Atlantic [for obtaining data on color field composition in dynamic regions of the ocean and in near-estuary areas of large rivers, plus the current cloud cover above these waters, its rating, and special forms of cloud formation, for the Atlantic Ocean (coastal area of Brazil and the Strait of Gibraltar).]

FE-2 Chamitoff had another hour for himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

The crew 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/MO-3, FE-1/MO-3), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1).

Afterwards, Oleg transferred the exercise data file to the MEC 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).

At ~4:05am, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU; [Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya = “Main Operative Control Group”]), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~4:50am EDT, the ISS crew (assembled in the Columbus laboratory on TV camera before flags of Germany, U.S., Russia and Japan) received a VIP call from Germany’s Bundespraesident (Federal President) Horst Koehler from COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen, accompanied by the Ambassador of the Holy See (Vatican) Dr. Jean-Claude Perisset, Bavaria’s State Minister for Science, Research & the Arts Dr. Thomas Goppel, and former ESA astronaut Reinhold Ewald.

At ~8:40am, Sergey & Oleg linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues, equipment locations and Progress cargo transfers.

WRM Update: An updated Water Recovery Management “cue card” was uplinked for the crew’s reference. [The new card (17-0002L) lists 37 CWCs (~1457.2 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (694.6 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene, incl. 553.4 L non-usable water because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (706.7 L, incl. 260.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (29.1 L), waste/EMU dump and other (7.9 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.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) 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, 10:45am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 339.2 km
Apogee height — 343.1 km
Perigee height — 335.4 km
Period — 91.32 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0005711
Solar Beta Angle — -15.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 195 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 54796

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
06/14/08 — STS-124/Discovery landing (KSC: 11:15am EDT – 1st opportunity; 2nd : 12:50pm).
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20 (7/10-11)
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking (from FGB nadir)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (SM aft port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir)
11/03/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation
11/10/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
12/04/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
12/06/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
12/15/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
2QTR CY09 — STS-127/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
3QTR CY09 — STS-128/17A/Atlantis – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/??/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 18S-2 docking)
3QTR CY09 — STS-129/ULF3/Discovery – ELC1, ELC2
4QTR CY09 — STS-130/20A/Endeavour – Node-3 + Cupola
1QTR CY10 — STS-131/19A/Atlantis – MPLM(P)
1QTR CY10 — STS-132/ULF4/Discovery – ICC-VLD, MRM1 (contingency)
2QTR CY10 — STS-133/ULF5/Endeavour – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.