Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 November 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 November 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – pre-docking preparations day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Chamitoff.

STS-126/Endeavour (ISS ULF-2) lifted off last night right on time (7:55pm EST) with all systems performing nominally, for ISS rendezvous tomorrow, Sunday (11/16), to dock at ~5:13pm EST. At launch, the ISS was over the Pacific at 46.4 deg S Lat, 161.1 deg W Long. The Orbiter is carrying the seven-member crew of 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. Magnus will replace ISS Flight Engineer 2 Gregory Chamitoff who returns on 11/29 (nominal) with STS-126. [STS-126 is the 124th space shuttle flight, the 27th flight to the station, the 22nd flight for Endeavour and the fourth flight in 2008. Endeavour carries about 32,000 pounds of cargo, including supplies and “home improvement” equipment necessary to double the crew size from three to six members in Spring 2009. The new station cargo includes additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and a resistance exercise device. The shuttle also will deliver a new crew member (Magnus) and bring back another (Chamitoff) after more than five months aboard the station.]

Wake-up time for the ISS crew today was slipped by 3:30 hrs, from 1:00am to 4:30am EST. Sleeptime tonight will start at 10:30pm, to extend to 9:30am tomorrow. See below for a partial overview of the scheduled sleep cycle shifting to bring station activities in line with Shuttle arrival and departure.

To perform a thorough cleaning of the FGB (Functional Cargo Block), FE-1 Lonchakov removed the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SOGS air revitalization subsystem from its regular location in the Service Module (SM) and transferred it to the FGB, installed it temporarily on a panel on Velcro and let it run for six hours. Afterwards, Yuri replaced the POTOK pre-filter and returned the assembly to its nominal place in the SM.

FE-2 Chamitoff’s first activity this morning was to start on Part 2 of his Flight Day 180 session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository. This was an all-day session, the sixth and last for Greg, of collecting urine samples several times for 24 hrs, to continue through first void tomorrow morning. [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.]

CDR Fincke worked on the THC IMV (Temperature & Humidity Control/Intermodule Ventilation) Assembly in the USOS (US Segment), configuring diffusers in the Lab to optimize air mixing for CO2 removal and installed a temporary (additional) air duct in Node-2 for increased Shuttle ventilation. [Until the TeSS (Temporary Sleep Station) is removed, only five of the six diffusers (air intakes) are accessible in the Lab.]

In further preparation for the ULF-2 spacewalks, Chamitoff worked in the US Airlock (A/L) –

  • removing panels as a get-ahead for O2 setup on FD3,
  • installing & connecting an IWIS RSU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System/Remote Sensor Unit) accelerometer set for ULF-2 docking data take, running off the SSC-4 laptop, and
  • powering up the A/L PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop.

Greg also booted up the Cupola A31p PCS in the Lab.

Lonchakov meanwhile prepared for tomorrow’s RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) at Endeavour’s arrival by initiating charging for the D2X cameras to be used for the photo session by Fincke and Chamitoff. [Batteries must be charged for at least three hours. Three batteries will be used for the camera configuration, with a fourth and fifth battery reserved as a backup. The RPM will document the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle with digital cameras and a video camcorder. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Endeavour, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Also for the RPM and the subsequent docked phase, Fincke configured the camcorder and installed the BPSM (Battery Powered Speaker Microphone Unit) with its long drag-through cable.

In preparation for ULF-2, Michael Fincke supported the ground in pressurizing & leak-checking the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) for ingress, hatch opening and stowage after the Shuttle’s arrival. [PMA-2, at the ISS bow, will be the docking port for Endeavour tomorrow.]

Gregory worked on the SSC (Station Support Computer) carrying the all-important OSTPV (Onboard Short Term Plan Viewer) to reprogram the OSTPV for showing Shuttle data such as the MET (Mission Elapsed Time) band and the timelines of the upcoming Endeavour crew.

Yuri 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.]

At ~10:25am, the CDR powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 10:30am, a ham radio exchange with the Newcomers Club in Saitama, Iruma, Sitama, Japan. [“After the first school contact in Japan, many children wanted to get amateur licenses because they want to talk with the astronauts on ISS. In Saitama area, about 30 children got their ham radio licenses. Therefore, we organized the Newcomers Club and used the school contact, and we are already teaching the orbit of a satellite and so on.” Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. “Is it true that you have a plan to connect the space station to the earth with the carbon nanotube?”; “How did you vote for the presidential election?”; “What do you think to become an astronaut?”; “What is inconvenient to live in zero gravity?”; “Is space food delicious?”; “When do you feel difficulty in space station?”; “Which planet would you like to visit in the future? And why?”; “How do you spend your free time? Do you play games?”; “What is your favorite Japanese word?”; “How long do you think you can live in the space station?”]

The crew performed 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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

WRM Update: An updated WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked yesterday for the crew’s reference, updated with Thursday’s (11/13) water audit. [The new card (18-0006D) lists 23 CWCs (~755.0 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (135.2 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.]

ISS Crew Sleep Shift Planning: To synchronize the ISS crew’s timeline with STS-126/ULF-2 docking and subsequent docked activities, Mike’s, Yuri’s and Greg’s wake/sleep cycle is undergoing a number of shifts which started last night (11/14). 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 FD13. For the first seven days, the wake/sleep shift schedule is as follows (all times EST):


Wake: 1:00 am (11/14) – 8:00pm
Sleep: 8:00pm (11/14) – 4:30am (11/15)


Wake: 4:30am (11/15) – 10:30pm
Sleep: 10:30pm – 9:30am (11/16)


Wake: 9:30am -12:56am (11/17)
Sleep: 12:56am – 9:26am (11/17)


Wake: 9:26am -12:26am (11/18)
Sleep: 12:26am – 8:56am


Wake: 8:56am (11/18) – 12:26am (11/19) Sleep: 12:26am – 8:56am


Wake: 8:56am (11/19) -12:26am (11/20)
Sleep: 12:26am – 8:56am


Wake: 8:56am -12:26am (11/21)

Sleep: 12:26am – 8:56am

STS-126 Mission Highlights:

  • 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 Heard Island, Australia (Heard Island is a bleak, uninhabited, and mountainous island located in the Southern Ocean about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica. Its mountains are covered in glaciers and dominated by Mawson Peak, a 9,006 ft high complex volcano which forms part of the Big Ben massif. A long thin spit named "Elephant Spit" extends from the east of the island. ISS pass was in the light of midday with weather satellite imagery trends suggesting improving visibility. Shooting well right of track and trying for detailed oblique views of this challenging target), Kerguelen Archipelago (partial clearing, early afternoon, nadir, this glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far South Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles southeast of the island of Madagascar. Of primary interest is photography for monitoring of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island. ISS approach was from the west in early-afternoon illumination with at least partial clearing expected. Trying for a near-nadir mapping pass with the long lens), Patagonian Glaciers (ISS had a nadir pass over the less-well photographed Northern Patagonian Ice Field in southern Andes between Chile and Argentina. The pass was in mid-morning with at least partial clearing expected. Using the long lens and try for detailed views of the glacial features, especially the western side, where visible), and S. Georgia/S. Sandwich (the South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous and glaciated island that lies about 860 miles east-southeast of the Falkland Islands. The South Sandwich Islands form a separate island group and are to the southeast. Only partial clearing was expected at the time of the pass, but the crew was to try for mapping pass of the north coast of South Georgia. The pass was in early afternoon light, looking well right of track. Also looking for large icebergs reported in the vicinity).

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, 4:27m EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 351.4 km
Apogee height — 354.0 km
Perigee height — 348.7 km
Period — 91.57 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003921
Solar Beta Angle — 32.9 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 50 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 57232

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.): 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.