Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 November 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
November 14, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 November 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. L-1 for STS-126 (see below).

Before breakfast and exercise, FE-2 Chamitoff performed his third PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/Blood Labs examination, using the U.S. PCBA(Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer). The second part of PHS, Subjective Clinical Evaluation, was performed later in the day. CDR Fincke assisted with the blood draw as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. [The PHS exam, with PCBA analysis and clinical evaluation, is guided by special software (IFEP, In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC laptop. While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, the blood’s hematocrit is particularly measured by the Russian MO-10 protocol.]

FE-1 Lonchakov conducted the periodic data collection and downlink on the long-term BIO-5 RASTENIYA-1 ("Plants-1") micro-gravity plant growth payload in the LADA/MIS (Module for the Investigation of Substrates) greenhouse. He also dried the substrate, took documentary photography and discussed the experiment with a ground specialist. [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). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

In final preparations for tomorrow’s undocking of the Progress TM-65/30P cargo ship from the SM (Service Module) aft port (at 11:20am EST), Yuri Lonchakov dismantled and removed electronic equipment from the ship, specifically the US-21 matching unit, the cargo ship’s LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit. [When a Progress is undocked and jettisoned, the valuable electronics are retained, to be recycled on a future vehicle.]

After yesterday’s installation of the StM Docking Mechanism between Progress and the SM, Mike & Yuri had another hour reserved today for transferring more discarded cargo to 30P and stowing it according to detailed plan in the logistics spacecraft-turned-trash can, then reported the completed stowage operation to the ground. [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.]

At ~10:15am EST, Yuri & Mike activated the 30P, disassembled the air duct in the hatchway to the SM, removed the threaded quick-disconnect (QD) screw clamps of the SM docking & internal transfer system (SSVP), which has rigidized the mating surfaces, closed hatches and initiated the standard one-hour leak check of the connecting vestibule (AO) to verify hermeticity.

Mike Fincke successfully installed an IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) accelerometer RSU (Remote Sensor Unit) in the U.S. Airlock (A/L). The 25 ft cable will be routed on 11/15 to the A/L installation site. [IWIS gathers data on structural dynamics in micro-G that cannot be obtained on the ground, for reducing conservatism in dynamic math models of ISS structure and forcing functions,. This would possibly allow relaxation of operational constraints that limit activities that cause structural loads (activities such as: crew-exercise, vehicle dockings, re-boost) and extension ISS life (15 years) through more accurate fatigue calculations. IWIS consists of a suite of software on the A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops and four major hardware components: Strain Gauges, Accelerometers, Remote Sensor Unit (RSU), and Network Control Unit (NCU). Sensors are four 4 tri-axial accelerometers and eight strain gauges (only in Node-1). Each accelerometer needs one RSU and can be relocated if needed for better measurements. The NCU, which is also movable provides RF (radio-frequency) interface between IWIS software and RSUs, as well as time synchronization for all RSU clocks in the network prior to data collection.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) at location COL1O2, the CDR prepared for the upcoming ZSR (Zero-G Stowage Rack) relocation during the ULF-2 docked period by installing a Pivot Pin Bracket, a K-BAR (Knee-Brace Assembly Replacement) capture mechanism and an ISPR(International Standard Payload Rack) Bonding Strap.

In the Kibo JLP (Japanese Logistics Pressurized Segment), at loc. P2, Fincke replaced the bottom Pivot Fitting with an ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) Bottom Pivot Fitting from JPM (Japanese Pressurized Module), loc. F2.

The FE-1 completed the periodic collection of air samples in the SM & FGB using the AK-1M sampler kit, recording date, time & location. Kits and pump were then restowed.

In the A/L, Mike Fincke & Greg Chamitoff continued the EVA preparations, today –

  • De-gassing three PWRs (Payload Water Reservoirs, #1024, 1025, 1026) to be used for the spacewalks (“De-gassing” = removing air bubbles from the PWR water that will be used to refill the EMU water tanks, by centripetal force, i.e., swinging the water bags to produce temporary “artificial gravity”),
  • Checking out three PGTs (Pistol Grip Tools, #1001, 1002, 1008) along with their batteries,
  • Installing two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters (#0016 in EMU 3003, #0019 in EMU 3018),
  • Installing batteries on two helmet light/EMU TV assemblies, and
  • Installing two REBAs (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies) in EMUs 3003 & 3018.

The FE-2 removed the recorded video tape of the last SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) run (9/30) from the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) video drawer.

Gregory also completed the visual “T+2 Day” microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the Week 3 potable water samples, collected on 11/11 from the SRV-K hot tap and two CWC (Contingency Water Containers) specimens and processed on board with the MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) and coliform detection bags.

Mike meanwhile conducted the monthly 30-min PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules. [The IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus) and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware. FE-2 Chamitoff conducted the monthly 30-min PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules. [The IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware. QDMA (Quick-Don Mask Assembly) harness inspection was not required today.]

FE-2 Chamitoff performed the regular 30-day inspection of the new AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. AEDs are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend events or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs and any other location where people may congregate.]

For his return to Earth, Chamitoff prepared for gathering his personal exercise equipment, to be closed out after his last session on each device, and the gear to be used by his replacement, FE-2 Sandy Magnus. [The equipment includes such items as HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) transmitter, HRM watch, HRM resupply kit, HRM chest strap, TVIS PCMCIA memory card, TVIS harness, and CEVIS ergometer shoes.]

Fincke & Chamitoff had ~2:15 hrs reserved for more hardware pre-packing for return on STS-126.

In the RS (Russian Segment), the Elektron electrolysis machine, inactive for a while due the ongoing BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system maintenance, was reactivated by the ground at ~11:55am EST at 32 amps, supported by Lonchakov by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

Fincke completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (18-0006C) lists 23 CWCs (~771.1 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (151.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis), potable water (573.6 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (7.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (39.2 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.]

FE-2 Chamitoff again had a one-hour period to himself for the regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth later this month. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

Greg completed the routine daily servicing of the SM’s SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

The FE-2 also conducted another checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways, including the passageways SM PrK (Transfer Compartment)-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, FGB PGO-FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1.

Later, Gregory completed a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), his fifth onboard session, by logging in on the MEC laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory – Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

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

Chamitoff set up NASA’s NUTRITION w/Repository experiment hardware for his sixth and last session, starting tomorrow with the standard blood draw (phlebotomy), for which 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 crew conducted their regular daily 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, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

STS-126/ULF-2/Endeavour L-0 (11/14) Launch Countdown Milestones:

  • Tanking Weather Briefing – 10:00am EST
  • Earliest Tanking Operations – 10:30am
  • MMT on console – 4:30pm
  • Launch Window Opens – 7:50pm
  • In-Plane Launch Time – 7:55pm
  • Launch Window Closes – 8:00pm.
  • Launch Weather Forecast:
    • Probability of KSC Weather Prohibiting Launch: 30%
    • Probability of KSC Weather Prohibiting Tanking: 0%

STS-126 Mission Highlights: STS-126/ULF-2/Endeavour, the 124th Shuttle mission (the 27th to the station), will be crewed by CDR Chris Ferguson, PLT Eric Boe, MS1 Donald Pettit, MS2/EV2 Steve Bowen, MS3/EV1 Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, MS4/EV3 Shane Kimbrough, and MS5/ Exp-18 FE-2 Sandra Magnus.

  • ISS wake/sleep cycle will be shifted from 1:00am EST to 4:30am on FD2, then to 9:30am on FD3. The early undock time (10:32am) drives crew wakeup 2.5 hrs earlier, to 7:00am by FD14. The shift is completed by moving crew sleep 30 min earlier on FD4, and then one hour earlier each day on FD12 and 13.
  • MPLM “Leonardo” will be installed on Node-2 on FD4; ingress same day just before Presleep. MPLM transfers start FD5 with four racks, followed on FD6 by 8 racks, including the Galley (ER6).
  • Focused Orbiter inspection is nominally planned for FD6. However, since the installed MPLM will obstruct a small area on the lower starboard wing for Focused inspection, MPLM berthing could be delayed to FD5 if the Debris Assessment Team, in reviewing the RPM imagery on the evening of FD3, identifies an area of concern associated with the starboard wing. Late inspection will be completed in its entirety after the Shuttle undocks on FD14. Endeavour will be undocking with the OBSS (Orbiter Boom Sensor System) on the SRMS (Shuttle Remote Manipulator System) in preparation for that inspection.
  • Generic face-to-face handover time between Chamitoff & Magnus will be 12 hrs max; Gregory will remain on the ISS until the day before undocking and will be scheduled as an ISS crewmember.
  • Endeavour will be powered by the SSPTS (Station-Shuttle Power Transfer System) from post-docking to just before undocking. During the mated mission when ISS solar arrays are feathered for attitude maneuvers and EVA operations, SSPTS may be powered off to maintain station power margin.
  • 30 hrs are required for transfer ops to/from the Shuttle middeck and 105 hours for MPLM. With all the timelined activities and rack transfers scheduled, ULF2 will be a highly choreographed transfer mission. The Shuttle crew has been thoroughly trained on the details of the choreography. In addition, each day a transfer message will be uplinked, listing specific items that need to be transferred that day due to operations requiring the items.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Sydney, Australia (CREW REQUEST: The target is Australia’s largest city [estimated population 4.28 million] and the state capital of New South Wales. It is also a major seaport located on the southeast coast. ISS pass was in late afternoon sun with fair weather expected. As ISS approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to shoot left of track), S. Georgia/S. Sandwich (the South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous and glaciated island that lies about 860 miles ESE of the Falkland Islands. The South Sandwich Islands form a separate island group and are to the SE. Only partial clearing was expected at the time of the pass, but Mike & Greg were to try for a mapping pass of the north coast of South Georgia. ISS pass was just after midday, looking well right of track. Looking also for large icebergs reported in the vicinity), Lake Eyre, Australia (this large, mostly dry lakebed is a landmark from space in South Australia. It is the lowest point of a basin that drains an area about one-seventh of the continent. This makes it a good indicator of long-term rainfall trends in east-central Australia. As ISS approached the area from the NW in early morning light, the crew was to look well right of track for the lakebed with perhaps a darker flow of water from the north. Using the short lens for context views and trying to acquire most or all of the lakebed in a single frame. Then getting ready for the next target Canberra in just over three minutes), Canberra, Australia (the capital city of Australia is situated inland in the mountains and hills of southeastern Australia. ISS had a fair weather pass in mid-morning light as it approached from the NW. Using the long lens settings and looking just left of track for a detailed mapping of the urban area).

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, 7:58am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 351.5 km

Apogee height — 354.0 km
Perigee height — 349.0 km Period — 91.57 min.

Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg

Eccentricity — 0.0003707

Solar Beta Angle — 32.1 deg (magnitude increasing)

Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72

Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 61 m

Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 57203

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
11/14/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC, PSSC; (7:55:34pm EST)

11/14/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking – 11:20am EST (phys. sep.)

11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 docking; ~5:13pm

11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years

11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch (nom.)

11/27/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 undocking; 10:40am

11/29/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 landing; ~2:10pm

11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking (nom.) – DC1 Nadir

12/07/08 — Progress M-65/30P reentry (after 3 weeks autonomous flight for geophysical experiments)

12/18/08 — Russian EVA-21

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

05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch

Six-person crew on ISS
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 (contingency)

05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.