Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 May 2008

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

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

From the US voluntary “job jar” task list, after wakeup and before breakfast, FE-2 Reisman downloaded the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor his sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Garrett wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout this week, for the last time. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

CDR Volkov completed the periodic servicing 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 ~5:15pm 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. In order to assist in atmosphere scrubbing after the Freon-218 (Khladon) spill from the SKV-2 air conditioner on 4/24, the BMP’s regeneration cycle was moded to 5 days instead of the regular 20 days.]

In the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Kononenko took the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants with the CMS (Countermeasure System) component of the GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, which uses preprogrammed microchips to measure H2CO (Formaldehyde, methanal), CO (Carbon Monoxide) and NH3 (Ammonia), taking one measurement per microchip. [CMS is a subsystem of the Russian SKDS Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System.]

After setting up the experiment equipment yesterday, Volkov & Kononenko completed the first part of the onboard “Profilaktika” (MBI-8, “Countermeasures”) preventive health maintenance fitness test on the VELO bicycle ergometer, assisting each other in turn. Part 2, on the TVIS treadmill, is scheduled tomorrow. [Test procedure for MBI-8, which requires workouts on the VELO and TVIS, is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal procedure it uses the TEEM-100M gas analyzer with breathing mask, a blood lactate test with the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories, and a subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test (using the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale, viz., 10 steps from very light over hard and very hard to maximum). Results are entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data are transferred to the RSE-Med laptop, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results are also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP.]

FE-2 Reisman had 30 min set aside to review procedures for tomorrow’s MFCV (Manual Flow Control Valve) adjustment activity, for which he charged up three HRF (Human Research Facility) and Flow Meter batteries yesterday. [The MFCVs will be adjusted in the Lab in preparation for the future Regenerative ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System), using a non-intrusive Flow Meter instrument.]

Afterwards, Reisman worked in the US Airlock, rotating the Avionics rack to gain access and performing troubleshooting on the ATU-6 (Audio Terminal Unit #6) in an attempt to regain the system or determine once and for all the possible cause of its current failures. [ATU-6 has not performed satisfactorily despite repeated troubleshooting attempts dating back several months. Today’s attempt was the third since ATU-6 was installed by Clay Anderson on 10/11/07 in place of a failed unit, which was returned on 10A. The new ATU-6 has been experiencing periodic lockups and PBIT (passive built-in test) faults. Of the three ATUs in the A/L, at least one must be functional for EVAs so long as the suited EVA crew has established UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio communication.]

In preparation for Progress M-64/29P docking on 5/16 (Friday), Volkov & Kononenko completed the standard three-hour training course with the TORU teleoperator system, which provides a manual backup mode to the Progress’ KURS automated rendezvous radar system. Afterwards, Sergey & Oleg tagged up with TORU specialists at TsUP/Moscow via S-band audio. Another training review is scheduled on 5/15. [The drill included procedure review, rendezvous, docking data and rendezvous math modeling data review, fly-around, final approach, docking and off-nominal situations (e.g., video or comm loss). Two modes were simulated on the RSK1 laptop: 29P from stationkeeping range (~170 m) in sunlight (insolation), and 29P in final approach in darkness (eclipse). The TORU teleoperator control system lets a SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the CDR would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM’s TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 8 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground. On 5/16, Progress KURS will be activated at 4:04pm EDT on Daily Orbit 16 (DO16), SM KURS two minutes later. Progress headlight will be switched on at a range of ~8 km. Flyaround to the FGB nadir docking port (~400 m range, in sunlight) starts at 5:14pm. Start of final approach: 5:27:30pm (DO1). Local sunset: ~5:34pm. Estimated time of contact: 5:36:30pm.]

Later, on DO13 over RGS (Russian Groundsite) VHF, the two cosmonauts conducted the standard pre-docking test of the TORU, including the BPS Signal Conversion Unit in the SM as well as its RUO & RUD hand controllers. [The elaborate testing of the digital video/multicast downlink of the 29P docking via RS (Russian Segment) to USOS (US Segment) to Ku-band to MCC-Houston to COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen to TsUP-Moscow is scheduled tomorrow.]

In further troubleshooting of the Russian SRVK-2M Condensate Water Processor, Kononenko checked the performance of the liquid/air separators of the Condensate Separation & Pumping Units BRPK-1 & -2, using a water-filled EDV container. The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup. [The units have failed to show “filled”, “empty” and NOK pump “shutdown” indicators as required, causing liquid to pass through the air connections of the separators.]

The CDR completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh/ECLSS system in the Service Module (SM), including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists of replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of an EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine container, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.]

Volkov also performed 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).

The crew conducted 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), RED resistive exercise device (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR/MBI-8, FE-1/MBI-8).

Later tonight, Garrett will download the crew’s exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as 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 ~9:45am EDT, Volkov, Kononenko & Reisman joined in two separate televised PAO interview events, one with the Parsippany, NJ Daily Record (Lorraine Ash), the other with CNN Radio (Mike Jones/Christy Henry/Marcia Shipley). [Parsippany, New Jersey is Garrett’s hometown.]

At ~11:05am, the crew conducted the standard pre-mission teleconference with members of the STS-124/1J Shuttle crew, via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop].

The three crewmembers had their regular periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~2:10pm, Garrett Reisman is scheduled for his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

At ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Oleg will again set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD (Sonocard) payload and start his second experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. Sergey will start his second MBI-12 session tomorrow evening. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

VolSci Program: For the Voluntary Science program on the weekend ahead (5/17-5/18), Garrett Reisman was offered two choices for his selection: (1) an “operations improvement” session with SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) with all three satellites (single-satellite experiments to test new thrusting algorithms and demonstrate safe trajectories for the inspection of space structures; two-satellite experiments to introduce new controllers and on-line path planning tools for purpose of docking to a complex tumbling satellite; three-satellite runs for formation flight experiments to test initialization of a formation and obstacle avoidance; (2) an EPO (Education Payload Operations) Demo on Space Careers, creating an educational video discussing different careers found at NASA, to be used to produce an educational product to enhance existing education resources for students in grades 9-12. Garrett’s choice is required by tonight.

Microbial Water Sampling Results: Results of the sample analysis from the five transferred STS-123/1J/A CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) are now available. The samples from two potable water CWCs (#1094, #1095) and three technical water CWCs (#1043, #1071, #1070) have exhibited no bacterial, coliform or fungi growth after standard incubation periods. One of the three technical water CWC samples indicated some bacterial growth but at a level within the potable water acceptability limit. The Wautersia bacteria of this sample are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.

Progress M-64/29P Update: At Baikonur, Kazakhstan, the Commission in charge meets tonight to decide on the Go/No Go for tomorrow’s Progress launch. The vehicle is currently undergoing final L-1 day preparations on Launch Pad 1. Launch is set for 4:23pm EDT, followed by orbital insertion at 4:31:39pm. There will be three midcourse correction burns (DV1: 5/14 – 7:58pm; DV2: 5/14 – 8:39pm; DV3: 5/15 – 5:06pm). Six more course adjustment “tweaks” will be executed later as required. The Progress KURS-A will be activated Friday afternoon at 4:04pm on Daily Orbit 1 (DO1), followed 2 minutes later by activation of the SM KURS-P transponders on the ISS. Video link and 29P floodlight activation is at ~8 km distance (4:57pm, 5/16); flyaround in sunlight at ~400 m range starts at ~5:14pm, stationkeeping at ~170 m at 5:23pm, final approach at 5:27:30pm and docking at FGB nadir port at ~5:37pm. Orbital sunset occurs at ~5:35pm.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Teide Volcano, Canary Islands (located on the island of Tenerife, the Teide stratovolcano is the highest point in the Atlantic Ocean. It is located within a large elliptical collapse caldera [La Canada], and was perhaps witnessed in eruption by Christopher Columbus. Looking to the left of track for the islands; a mapping series of the islands as ISS passed was requested), Vredefort Impact Crater, South Africa (looking slightly to the left of track for this 300-km in diameter impact structure, which was formed over 2 billion years ago. Despite its great age, some rocks deformed by the impact are still present, suggesting the circular outline of the original structure. Overlapping frames of the crater and surrounding area were requested to provide context for higher resolution imagery), and Johnston Island reef, Central Pacific (weather was predicted to be clear over Johnston Island and its associated reefs. Johnston Island is mostly barren and covered only with low vegetation consisting of herbs. A runway is also visible on the island. High resolution imagery of the islands and nearby reefs is requested to monitor island morphology and reef extent).

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, 8:09am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 341.0 km
Apogee height — 345.2 km
Perigee height — 336.8 km
Period — 91.35 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006252
Solar Beta Angle — 37.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 48 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 54305

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
05/14/08 — Progress M-64/29P launch (4:23pm EDT)
05/16/08 — Progress M-64/29P docking/FGB nadir (5:37pm)
05/31/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J launch – JEM PM “Kibo”, racks, RMS (5:02pm EDT)
06/02/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J docking
06/14/08 — STS-124/Discovery landing (KSC: ~11:02am EDT)
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20 (7/10-11)
??/??/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking (from DC1)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
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)
10/16/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
10/18/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 docking
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (FGB nadir)
11/03/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation (from SM aft to FGB nadir)
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.