Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 August 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
August 16, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 August 2011

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

Today 51 years ago (1960), USAF-Capt. Joseph Kittinger became the fastest human without an aircraft when he jumped out of a balloon at 102,800 ft (31,300 m), reaching a free-fall velocity of 714 mph (1149 km/h), before opening his chute at 18,000 ft (5,500 m). [Astronauts in spacesuits outside the ISS circle Earth with 25,000 km/h, but they are in a vacuum and won’t hit the ground.]

As part of the regular Daily Morning Inspection, CDR Borisenko performed the routine checkup of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel.

Before breakfast & first exercise, CDR Borisenko, FE-1 Samokutyayev & FE-4 Volkov each took a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis, one of four Russian crew health status assessments currently being conducted (the other three: MO-3 (Physical Fitness Evaluation), MO-7 (Calf Volume Measurement) & MO-8 (Body Mass Measurement). Afterwards, Sergei closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the “PHS/Without Blood Labs” exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

The CDR inspected the newly activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying the proper humidity level of the KM A23 root module which is periodically watered. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

FE-5 Furukawa conducted his 2nd science run with the SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) payload. [Satoshi activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) from its laptop and conducted three consecutive experiment runs, each with an FM (Fluid Module, #45, #47, #49), unstowed & retrieved from the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) and restowed after its run. At the conclusion later today, FE-5 will transfer the experiment data and turn off the equipment, including the MSG. Background: Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress (“preshearing” = rotation) which might be, for example, a shear stress or extensional stress. In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the “classical” disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. SHERE is designed to study the effect of preshear (rotation) on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for solutions with long chains of monodisperse dilute polymer molecules in the MSG. Collectively referred to as “Boger fluids,” these polymer solutions have become a popular choice for rheological studies of non-Newtonian fluids and are the non-Newtonian fluid used in this experiment. The SHERE hardware consists of the Rheometer, Camera Arm, Interface Box, Cabling, Keyboard, Tool Box, Fluid Modules, and Stowage Tray.]

After terminating the overnight charging of the KPT-2 Piren battery and verifying functionality of the Piren-V Piroendoscope, Samokutyayev & Volkov spent ~2h with the KPT-2 payload with its BAR science instruments suite, checking out micro conditions of the SM (Service Module) surface in areas with identified signs of microflora growth on the pressurized shell surface and measuring local temperatures with the Piren-V. Panels under scrutiny were 135 and 251. [Problem area monitoring is necessary to predict shell micro-destruction rate and to develop measures to extend station life. Data were copied to the RSE1 laptop for downlink to Earth via OCA, with photographs, and the activities were supported by ground specialist tagup as required. Objective of the Russian KPT-2/BAR science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind RS (Russian Segment) panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Piren-V is a video-endoscope with pyrosensor, part of the methods & means being used on ISS for detecting tiny leaks in ISS modules which could lead to cabin depressurization. Besides KPT-2 Piren-V, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU-1) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Later, after configuring STTS communication systems temporarily for crew presence in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, Andrey set up and conducted another active session with the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), supported by ground specialist tagup. STTS was then reconfigured to nominal. Andrey later sets up the two SONY HVR-Z1J video camcorders for replaying and downlinking their recorded footage over RGS (Russian Groundsite) at 12:00pm-12:25pm and at 1:35pm-2:00pm EDT. [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS: condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

FE-6 Fossum had another 2h50m reserved for more unpacking & stowing of US cargo delivered on Progress M-10M/42P, docked at DC-1.

FE-4 Volkov meanwhile worked on Progress M-11M/43P, docked at SM aft end, gathering & loading waste and discarded equipment for disposal in the cargo ship-turned-trash can on 8/23.

FE-3 Garan again took the SSC-15 (Station Support Computer 15) T61p laptop with the SPHERES GUI (Graphic User Interface) application from the Lab to the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), set up the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) equipment, cameras, beacons & LPTX antenna in the Kibo work areas, welcomed the students on the ground to the Zero Robotics competition (~12:20am EDT) and then spent the next 2 hrs going through the test procedures with 2 satellites & 5 beacons and downlinking & taping the live action via HD video with the G1 camcorder. The satellites were then deactivated, the battery packs checked & removed, the beacons powered off, laptops power & data cables disconnected, and the equipment stowed. Ron also relocated the SSC-15 laptop from the JPM back to the Lab. [The Zero Robotics game is part of the SPHERES Challenge 2011 conducted by 5 middle school programs from Massachusetts. Today, Ron ran the student-written code to control the two satellites, with schools around the nation tuned in to watch the action live. SPHERES was operated the last time by Scott Kelly in December 2010 with students at the 2010 Zero Robotics competition. SPHERES was originally developed to demonstrate the basics of formation flight, autonomous docking and other multi-spacecraft control algorithms, using beacons as reference for the satellites, to fly formation with or dock to the beacon. A number of programs define various incremental tests including attitude control (performing a series of rotations), attitude-only tracking, attitude and range tracking, docking with handheld and mounted beacons, etc. The payload consists of up to three self-contained 8-inch dia. free-floating satellites which perform the various algorithms (control sequences), commanded and observed by the crew members which provide feedback to shape algorithm development. Each satellite has 12 thrusters and a tank with CO2 for propellant. The first tests, in May 2006, used only one satellite (plus two beacons – one mounted and one hand-held); a second satellite arrived on ULF1.1, the third on 12A.1. Formation flight and autonomous docking are important enabling technologies for distributed architectures. Per applicable Flight Rule, SPHERES operations have no CO2 output constraints if the CDRA (CO2 Removal Assembly) is operating in dual-bed or single-bed mode.]

Before and after the SPHERES session, Garan checked the CO2 level of the JPM and SM cabin atmospheres with the CDM (Carbon Dioxide Monitor).

FE-3 also conducted the periodic zero calibration on the combustible products sensors of all CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, then deactivated the instruments after calibration was complete.

Andrey Borisenko continued the audit/inventory of stowage in the SM and FGB, working his way through an uplinked stowage list comprising a total of 938 Russian equipment items.

On TsUP Go ahead, Sasha Samokutyayev was to repressurize the ISS cabin atmosphere with N2 (nitrogen) from Progress 43P’s SrPK air supply tankage to make up total pressure.

FE-4 Sergei Volkov took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, his first, spending ~90 min on the TVIS treadmill 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 Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember rests for 5 min., then works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h].

Later, FE-4 conducted 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).

Sergei also took care of the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [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 filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

FE-6 Mike Fossum worked ~3h on the CEVIS exercise cycle, performing the yearly maintenance to lubricate guide pins so that CEVIS can be rotated to the stowed position. Furukawa assisted as required. Mike then stowed the device temporarily by rotating it out of the way in order to prevent interference with his subsequent activities with the MSRR (Material Science Research Rack).

On MSRR, Fossum set up the SQF (Solidification & Quenching Furnace) for commissioning in the MSL (Materials Science Laboratory) by inserting the commissioning sample cartridge in the SQL.

Afterwards, Satoshi reinstalled the CEVIS machine after Mike had closed the MSRR doors for the day.

As part of the Russian experimental project OBR-5 (Obrazovanie-5, Education 5) VELIKOE NACHALO (“Great Beginning”), Sasha & Sergei joined for about an hour to shoot video footage of micro acceleration & attitude sensors aboard ISS, supplemented by hardware photographs for the Russian public. [Goal of this experiment is to develop a method to promote the accomplishments of national piloted cosmonautics, i.e., Russian human spaceflight, using digital IT (Information Technology), for which RSC Energia has created the (truly excellent!) “Planet Korolev” website ( ).]

In Node-3, Ron Garan performed an inspection of the T2/COLBERT treadmill’s ITCS MTL (Internal Thermal Control System / Moderate Temperature Loop) lines for wear & tear. [During the recent T2 PAU (Power Avionics Unit) removal & replacement, some wear damage was noted on the short Beta cloth sleeve protecting the T2’s ITCS supply/return lines. Ron was to inspect the lines for damage and document any possible causes of wear that could be observed.]

Borisenko had an hour reserved for auditing of some specific VKS auxiliary network laptops. [This involved pre-packing the failed RSE-Med A31p for disposal, locating laptop RSS2 (A31p) and, if found, labeling it #1183, and also labeling three other A31p laptops – RSK1, RSK2 and RSE-Med (new A31p).]

Starting a new round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Andrey worked about an hour in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) cleaning the grilles of interior panels 201, 301 & 401.

Likewise, Sasha spent an hour each cleaning the V3 fan screens in the MRM2 Poisk and DC-1 Pirs modules, after taking documentary photographs.

Sergei conducted the regular monthly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization). [This requires inspecting the condition of harnesses, belt slats, corner bracket ropes, SLD (Subject Load Device) cables & exit pulley housing, IRBAs (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assemblies) and gyroscope wire ropes for any damage or defects, lubricating as required plus recording control panel time & date values, and making sure that the display cable and skirt were properly secured afterwards.]

Before “Presleep” period tonight, Garan turns on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts the data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, MPC will be turned off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

At ~5:45am EDT, Satoshi Furukawa powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 5:55am conducted a ham radio session with students at Yokohama Kurata Elementary School, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

At ~7:40am, Satoshi supported a JAXA PAO TV interview by Channel TV Tokyo, in Tokyo, Japan, responding to questions from Moderator Mariko Oe and selected participants by TV Tokyo.

CDR, FE-1 & FE-4 had their standard PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sergei at ~9:45am, Sasha ~10:00am, Andrey at ~2:25pm.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Antananarivo, Madagascar (this capital city of about 1.5 million is located in this large, island nation’s central highland. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with target just right of track. Much of the interior of Madagascar is exposed and heavily eroded with little vegetation. The Antananarivo area has more wood lands and small lakes. At the uplinked time as the crew tracked the NW part of the island partly cloudy conditions were expected, but the crew was to try for a single frame view of the entire city), SW Glaciers of S. Patagonian Gl. Field (ISS had a midday pass in partly cloudy weather with this target area near nadir. The crew may have found sufficient breaks in the winter cloud field for detailed views of these rarely-photographed glaciers near the southern end of this large ice field. As the crew approached the coast from the W, they were to look for these glaciers ending in long fjords), Chiloe Island, southern Chile (HMS Beagle Site: ISS had an early afternoon pass with partly cloudy weather expected. At this time, the crew was to look just right of track for this large, rugged and forested island as it approached the southern coast of Chile from the SW. Trying for context views of the island as a whole. Darwin arrived at this island on June 12, 1834), and La Paz, Bolivia (the Bolivian capital city is located in the western part of the country, less than 50 miles southeast of Lake Titicaca. La Paz has a population of 1 to 2 million and is the world’s highest capital city, at over 10,000 feet elevation. As ISS approached the Andes from the SW at mid-afternoon with partly cloudy skies, the crew was to shoot just right of track for this target).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:57am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 386.5 km
Apogee height – 395.3 km
Perigee height – 377.7 km
Period — 92.28 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0013026
Solar Beta Angle — 61.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 44 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 73,032

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
08/23/11 — Progress M-11M/43P undocking (5:34am EDT)
08/24/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch (~9:00am)
08/26/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft) (~10:40am)
09/08/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/22/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
09/24/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/25/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 — Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/05/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 — Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/18/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/02/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.