Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 October 2008

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Day 3 of joint E17/18 operations.  &nbsp

The crew’s work/sleep cycle returned to the one-hour earlier wake-up time of 1:00am EDT; sleeptime tonight remains at 4:30pm.

Aboard ISS, the E17/18 crew rotation/handover activities continued nominally. [Volkov, Kononenko, Fincke and Lonchakov had ~4 hrs between them for dedicated CDR/CDR & FE/FE handover activities, focusing today on Video, Audio, Prox Ops systems, Communications System, STTS (Telephone/Telegraph), ECLSS, Iridium-9505A (Motorola) satphone, recommendations on working with Radiograms, ODFs (Operations Data Files) & the IMS (Inventory Management System), and the relevant RBS power outlets 2, 4, 7 8, 9 10 (English: UOP/ Utility Outlet Panel).  In addition, there are “generic” handovers where crewmembers are scheduled together to complete various designated standard tasks.]

After wakeup and before breakfast, FE-2 Chamitoff & SFP (Space Flight Participant) Garriott downloaded the daily SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop.  Garriott is participating in the SLEEP experiment for NASA.&nbsp  [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition.  The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

CDR Volkov performed the (currently daily) visual status check on the running DAKON-M hardware in the second session of the Russian experiment TEKh-15/IZGIB (“Bend”), tagging up with the ground, downlinking data and restarting the data taking afterwards. [The activity runs till 10/19, requiring visual control of hardware operations three times a day and report to the ground. The first IZGIB session, for checkout, was conducted on 9/23. IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

FE-1 Kononenko used the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment hardware and conducted his fifth session, which disallows moving or talking during data recording.  Volkov had his fifth session yesterday.  The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure.&nbsp &nbsp [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions.  By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

FE-2 Chamitoff conducted the monthly 30-min PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules. &nbsp  [The IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), QDMAs (Quick-Don Mask Assemblies) and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware.]

Chamitoff and CDR-18 Fincke conducted their first standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training, using the NIKON D2Xs digital still camera with 400 & 800mm (by teleconverter) lenses at SM (Service Module) windows 6, 7 & 8 (facing in flight direction) to take CEO (Crew Earth Observations) target imagery with manual focusing.  The practice run involved mapping of ground features with images having 40-50% overlap and about 20 images in each sequence.&nbsp Afterwards, the obtained OBT (onboard training) images were downlinked by Gregory to the ground for analysis (~3:55am).  &nbsp [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 on 11/16. 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 Discovery, 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.]

Working on the MATRYOSHKA-R (RBO-3-2) radiation instrumentation in the SM (panel 326), Yuri Lonchakov conducted a health check on the new setup and downlinked the first data from the ALC-954 PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card via the RSK1 laptop. The AST Spectrometer afterwards remained off. &nbsp [RBO-3-2 is using the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (ALC/Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS) with its Spectrometer (AST) and ALC equipment, which is periodically moved around and now located again in the SM.]

Major science activities in the RS by Yuri Lonchakov today focused on the biotechnological experiment BIOEMULSION, ARIL, RECOMB-K and BIO-4.  &nbsp [BIOEMULSION (BTKh-14): activation of mixing mode Day 1, photography during mixing ops; retrieving BTKh-14 Bioreactor #02, ARIL tubes & Recomb-K hardware from thermostat-controlled container KRIOGEM-3M (Cryogem-3M), resetting thermostat temperature to +4 degC and re-inserting the previous payloads. BIO-4: fourth relocation of RLD containers to KUBIK-2 and then to MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).]

The FE-2 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. &nbsp &nbsp [The new card (17-1016C), to be updated with today’s data, lists 28 CWCs (~911.2 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (263.2 L, for Elektron electrolysis, except for 22.2 L off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (627.6 L, incl. 174.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (3.4 L), waste/EMU dump and other (17 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.]

Volkov performed the regular transfer of US condensate to the Russian water supply system (SVO-ZV) by taking the filled CWC (Contingency Water Container) #1094 to the RS (Russian Segment) and transferring the water to two EDV containers via the BP transfer pump. One of the EDVs was then connected to the SVO-ZV, replacing the emptied container.

For Sergey, with Yuri for handover, it was time again for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone brought up on Soyuz 16S, a monthly routine job and his sixth time.     [After retrieving it from its location in the TMA-12/16S descent module (BO), Sergey and Yuri initiated the recharge of its lithium-ion battery, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place.  Upon completion at ~10:15am, the phone was returned inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed back in the BO’s operational data files (ODF) container.  The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an “undershoot” ballistic reentry, as happened during the recent 15S return).  The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials.  During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap.  The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule’s GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews.  The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put onboard Soyuz in August 2003.  The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

Oleg Kononenko conducted the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways, including the DC1-to-Soyuz tunnel, and the FGB-to-Soyuz and FGB-to-Node passageway. &nbsp [This is especially important when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a larger crew on board, currently six persons, and one of the two Russian SKV air conditioners still off (SKV-1), having run out of service life.]

Greg Chamitoff performed the periodic battery replacement on the prime CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) instrument.

VC-15 Richard Garriott, assisted in part by Russian crewmembers, worked on his daily onboard program which today included –

  • SLEEP Actiwatch logging;
  • Telephone talk to AT via USB1;
  • Tagup with consultants at TsUP-Moscow via VHF-1;
  • 2 Ham radio sessions with Austin, TX (VC-15 program & Challenger Center);
  • TV conference with family at TsUP (Owen Garriott);
  • PICTURE experiment (creation of a painting in zero-G with free-floating paint drops, along with still & video documentation);
  • PRK Visual Acuity evaluation;
  • MUSCLE-G (LBP/Low Back Pain) questionnaire;
  • MOP-G (Motion Perception; vestibular adaptation to changes in micro-G);
  • Video blogs (e.g., SEIKO watch, UK Challenge, Art topics & Art Show in Space);
  • Earth photography (Phoenix and across mid0-US); and
  • Copying files to HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for return.

The CDR-17 performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. &nbsp [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.]

Sergey also conducted the daily IMS 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).

Volkov & Lonchakov spent ~30 min in the two Soyuz spacecraft to conduct the regular multi-element communications test between Soyuz TMA-12, the SM and Soyuz TMA-13. [Test objectives are to check hard-line comm mode (MBS) & S-band link, Soyuz VHF-2 with S-band & SM VHF-1 in relay mode, Soyuz-to-Soyuz VHF-2 in simplex mode with S-band & SM VHF-1, and to perform some multielement communications procedures training.]

As part of handover activities, Yuri Lonchakov spent ~30 min on a familiarization review of the onboard physical exercise equipment.

Greg & Mike had another ~3.5 hrs set aside on their timeline for pre-packing hardware to be returned on STS-126/ULF-2.

Lonchakov & Fincke performed their standard PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S-band/audio & Ku-band/video, Yuri at ~11:20am, Mike at ~1:15pm.

The E17 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/2.5h, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Later, Greg transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlink, including 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 ~12:25pm, Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff participated in two PAO TV interview events, one with CBS News (Bill Harwood, Peter King), the other with ABC News (Gina Sunseri).

OGS Update: After yesterday’s successful activation of the US OGS (Oxygen Generation System) with the WDS (Water Delivery System) as part of the nominal 90-day procedure, the OGS ran nominally until it was turned off again last night. O2 is being provided by the Elektron in the RS.

Conjunctions: Two conjunctions with orbital debris are being closely monitored by MCC-H specialists, both for 10/18 (Saturday): Object #33326 (from a Chinese CZ-2C rocket) with a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) at 9:55am EDT and a predicted overall miss distance (R) of 4.87km, and Object #87985 (unknown) with TCA of 4:44pm and R = 7.544km.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target uplinked for today was Aral Sea, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan (Dynamic Event: Aral Sea. The Aral Sea is one of CEO’s long-term monitoring sites. Once the fourth largest inland sea, Aral Sea lake levels have been steadily declining since the 1960’s. The reason for the decline is that the Amu Darya and the Syr Dara rivers that feed the Aral were diverted by the former Soviet Union for irrigation projects. By 2004 the Aral had shrunk to 25% of its original surface area. Context views of the Aral Sea were requested).

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:

  • 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, 8:07am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.3 km
Apogee height — 354.6 km
Perigee height — 350.0 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003459
Solar Beta Angle — -60.5 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) — 56762

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