Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 October 2008

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Columbus Day – off-duty for CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko, FE-2 Chamitoff. Underway: Week 26 of Increment 17.

Soyuz TMA-13 (17S) with Exp-18 crewmembers CDR Michael Fincke, Soyuz CDR/ISS-18 FE-1 Yuri Lonchakov, and SFP (Spaceflight Participant) Richard Garriott, 15th guest cosmonaut for the RS (Russian Segment), continues to catch up with the ISS for the docking tomorrow morning at ~4:33am EDT. [FD2 activities, started yesterday afternoon with Soyuz crew wakeup on Orbit 12, include systems & crew health status reports to TsUP, preparation of the Soyuz Habitation Module (SA) workspace, building attitude for and executing the DV3 burn, placing Soyuz back in its sun-spinning "barbecue" mode (ISK), and swapping CO2 absorption cartridges (LiOH) in the BO. Afterwards, the crewmembers put on their Sokol suits and PKO biomed harnesses, transferred to the SA, activated its air purification system (SOA) and closed the hatch to the Descent Module (BO). After activation of the active Kurs-A system on Soyuz and of the passive Kurs-P on the Service Module (SM), with a short Kurs-A/P test and several additional adjustment burns during automated rendezvous, station fly-around to align with the FGB nadir port will begin tomorrow morning at ~4:05am at ~400m range, followed by station keeping at ~160m (~4:14am) and docking at the FGB at ~4:33am. Fincke & Lonchakov will replace Exp-17 CDR Volkov & FE-1 Kononenko. FE-2 Dr. Gregory Chamitoff remains on the station, joining Exp-18 until next month (November) when he is replaced by U.S. Astronaut Sanda Magnus, arriving on STS-126/ULF2. Richard Garriott, the son of veteran U.S. Astronaut Owen Garriott (Skylab, Shuttle), will return with Sergey & Oleg on 10/23 in Soyuz TMA-12/16S.]

FE-2 Chamitoff started out with his third week-long session of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, using payload software for data downloading and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s session file on the HRF-1 laptop. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Greg wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list.]

Gregory also had the fourth day of his second SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session, which runs in two blocks of six days each. Today, Greg again began with measurements and sampling of body mass (with SLAMMD/Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine, to continue for three more days. Samples were stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [Background: For the SOLO experiment, Chamitoff follows a special high-salt diet, for which prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA Consumable Kit in the MELFI along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Blood and urine samples are stowed in the freezer.]

Sergey & Oleg conducted their third preliminary training session with the Russian "Chibis" LBNP suit (lower body negative pressure; Russian: ODNT), ramping up to get them ready for returning to gravity on 10/23. Assisting each other in turn as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), the subjects were supported in their two one-hour sessions by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 5:25am (DO3) & 7:00am EDT (DO4). [The assessment uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Volkov’s and Kononenko’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set today at -20, -25, -30 and -35 mm Hg (Torr) for five min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

For another try at the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 4) experiment with a new SSC (Station Support Computer) for his VolSci (Voluntary Science) program session, Gregory configured the equipment in the Lab Avionics Racks 2 & 3 seat track area (no MWA/Maintenance Work Area table), along with camcorder and still camera,- to take video and photos of his subsequent sample homogenization plus the last sample (#3), and then initiated the activity. [The FE-2 set up the SGSM (slow growth sample module) by mixing the samples 8, 9, 10, and 3 and starting automated photography of sample 3 with the Kodak DCS-760 digital still camera controlled by the EarthKAM software running on a new SSC (Station Support Computer), automatically taking one photo every hour of sample 3 for the next six days.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s Soyuz docking and the preceding thruster activity, the FE-2 ensured that the protective science window shutters in the US Lab and JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) are closed.

At ~105am EDT, the crew downlinked two PAO video messages of greetings,- one to the opening ceremony on 10/17 of the 16th International Space Olympiad for Schoolchildren in Korolev, the other to a Moscow event to present books by Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky. [The International Space Olympiad for Schoolchildren is conducted annually by the City of Korolev’s Council of Education jointly with RSC-Energia. This time around it’s the XVI Olympiad that will take place from 10/15-26 in Korolev, dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the City of Korolev and to the 45th Anniversary of Valentina N. Tereshkova’s flight to space. High school students from Korolev, Moscow Region, USA, and the UK are among the participants of the International Space Olympiad. The best of delegates will come to TsUP to see the ISS crew during a comm session. Also, on 10/16, a presentation of new K. E. Tsiolkovsky’s books to be sent to the ISS Space Library in orbit will take place at Biblio-Globus book store in Moscow. Media, representatives of Roskosmos, faculty and students of Bauman University, MAI, MATI, and other institutions of higher learning, are invited to this presentation. The ISS crew was to point out that there are already two books by Konstantin Eduardovich on board — “The Science Faith Shield ” and “About My Life” – as well as his picture.]

Sergey Volkov performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [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.]

Chamitoff’s weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), which had to be aborted yesterday due to a video issue, was re-scheduled today for ~4:10pm, as usual via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

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, FE-1), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2). Sergey’s & Oleg’s exercise regimen today was in part accounted for by their Chibis/ODNT training activity.

An activity to upgrade SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops to Wireless capability (by installing wireless cards and modifying software) remains on Greg’s discretionary “job jar” task list.

17S Flight Plan Overview:

  • Flight Day 2
    • Post-sleep activities; BO Workstation prepared; data for DV3 burn uplinked; crew tests RUO-2 & RUD-2 rotational and translational hand controllers; DV3 attitude established by crew; DV3 burn executed; Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew swaps CO2 filters in BO; crew sleep.
  • Flight Day 3
    • Post-sleep activities; KURS-A heaters activated; data for automated rendezvous uplinked; crew dons Sokols; SOA deactivated in BO and activated in SA; crew ingresses SA, closes BO-SA hatch and dons harnesses for docking; DV5 burn; automated rendezvous & docking via KURS-P in ISS and KURS-A in Soyuz; docking; pressure equalized between Soyuz and ISS ; crew transfers.

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

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).

Week 26 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Tue. (10/14): TV prep.; Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking; Sokol dryout; KRIOGEM & KUBIK activate; Safety Briefing; Priority Transfers; Soyuz deact.; IWIS dwnl.; SODF update; SLEEP Actiwatch init.; VC15 Program.
  • Wed. (10/15): IMMUNE; SLEEP log; ISS-18 expmts.; VC15 Prgm.; Handovers ISS-18; AED inspect.; WRM CWC fill; OGS activ.; Ham; IP-1 check.
  • Thu. (10/16): ISS-18 expmts.; VC15 Prgm.; EDV replace; ULF-2 prepacking; Handovers ISS-18; WRM CWC audit; PEPS inspect.; Iridium recharge; IP-1 check.
  • Fri. (10/17): ISS-18 expmts.; VC15 Prgm.; PAO; GOGU tagup; ULF-2 prepacking; Handovers ISS-18; ODNT/LBNP OBT; IDZ-2 smoke detector mntn.; CMS sampling; IP-1 check.
  • Sat. (10/18): ISS-18 expmts.; VC15 Prgm.; BMP ch.1 regen.; GANK sampling; IP-1 check; FFQ; Handovers ISS-18; Symbolic Activity; OGS deact.; DOUG review for JEMRMS checkout.
  • Sun. (10/19): ISS-18 expmts.; VC15 Prgm.; Handovers ISS-18; BMP ch.2 regen.; JEMRMS DOUG review ; JEMRMS activities/checkout ; MBI-15 NEURO; O-OHA assess.; IP-1 check; Elektron BZh check.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:13am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.6 km
Apogee height — 355.0 km
Perigee height — 350.2 km
Period — 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003502
Solar Beta Angle — -53.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 85 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56713

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S dock (FGB nadir port, ~4:33am EDT)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undock (DC1 nadir, 8:15pm) & land (11:36pm) = 10/24 — 9:36am Kazakhstan)
11/02/08 — Progress 30P reboost; Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends
11/14/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/16/08 — 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
12/01/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 landing (~1:25pm EST est.)
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).

SpaceRef staff editor.