Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 17, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 September 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Crew sleep cycle: Wake time was shifted forward by one hour (3:00am-6:30pm EDT) to gain additional time tonight for Progress post-dock activities.

Hurricane Ike Recovery Update: JSC/MCC-H remains closed but will open on Monday (9/21). BAT/BCC (BCC Advisory Team/Backup Control Center) are maintaining monitoring and commanding through JSC assets.  Communications with ISS are open from JSC, but on single server/string (no redundancy). Ku-band downlink for video depends on TDRS (Tracking & Data Relay Satellite) availability.

Yest kasaniye!    At 2:43pm EDT, Progress M-65 (30P) docked smoothly at the SM (Service Module) aft port, followed by a final DPO post-contact thrusting burn, docking probe retraction and hook closure (“sborka”) after motion damp-out, while the ISS was in free drift for ~20 min. At “hooks closed” signal, the SM returned to active attitude control, maneuvering the ISS to LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal Torque Equilibrium Attitude). Control authority will return to US Momentum Management at ~4:25pm. All Progress systems operated nominally from Automated Rendezvous start at ~2:12pm. The crew was provided with all necessary instructions for taking over USOS (US Segment) docking preparations in case the single-string command link from BCC/Huntsville was lost.&nbsp [Launched on 9/10 (3:50:02pm EDT), the cargo vehicle was “standing by” since 9/12, orbiting independently in a holding position to await resumption of adequate NASA ground support after the Hurricane emergency. For remote commanding of Progress, Russia has 12 RGSs (Russian Groundsites) spread west-to-east along northern Russia. They up-command autonomously but are connected to TsUP-Moscow for real-time telemetry & video via fiber optic land lines and the Primyorka geostationary satellite (Molniya sats were not used for 30P). The M-65 resupply drone delivered about 2.4 tons (5357 lbs) of cargo for the ISS crews, including propellants (~1900 lbs) for the Russian thrusters, fresh water (~465 lbs), oxygen and air (~110 lbs), food, and dry cargo (~2865 lbs of spare parts, repair gear, life support and science experiment hardware).]

CDR Volkov serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out"-to-vacuum cycle on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system.  The regen process will be terminated tonight at ~4:50pm EDT.  Filter bed #1 was regenerated yesterday.&nbsp   [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods.  The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently to remove any lingering Freon-218 from the cabin atmosphere (last time: 9/8 & 9/9).]

FE-1 Kononenko conducted the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) 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.

In Node-1, FE-2 Chamitoff worked on the RED (Resistive Exercise Device), performing the periodic re-calibration of the two pulley canisters.&nbsp  [The calibration is performed approximately every 2 months and after cable replacement to allow exercise specialists on the ground to update exercise protocols as necessary and track hardware status. Upon receipt of the results of the calibration, the specialists review the data and, assuming favorable engineering analysis, give the crew a GO for their RED exercise session.  Calibration of the load settings of the pulley cans is performed with an on-orbit calibration kit with a special calibration tool and steel handles.]

Volkov & Kononenko had their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via VHF and RGS comm on DO14. Chamitoff’s PMC was yesterday, also over RGS/VHF.

In the SM, the CDR completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS), today as a discretionary job from the “time permitting” task list. &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.]

The FE-1 performed 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).

The crew completed 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 (CDR, FE-1).

Later, Greg transferred the exercise data files 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).

Most of the crew’s time today went to preparing and supporting the Progress 30P docking at 2:43pm. Pre-docking activities called for Greg Chamitoff to –

  • Close the protective shutters of the science window in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and in the US Lab (~8:30am),
  • Power down the Kenwood amateur radio equipment in the SM, to prevent RF (radio frequency) interference with Progress final approach and docking,
  • Activate & configure the A31p laptop to support the transmission of MPEG2 streaming video from the RS via OpsLAN/Ku-band and US assets to Moscow, and
  • Power up & reprogram the IWIS ICU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System Interface Control Unit) with its RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, FGB and SM, for the automated activation at 2:23pm to monitor dynamic/vibrational responses of the station structure during the docking.

Sergey and Oleg meanwhile prepared their workplace at the TORU control station in the SM and stood by during the docking in readiness to take over control of the cargo ship. [TORU is the manual mode through which a crewmember can perform necessary guidance functions from the SM in the event of a failure of the KURS automated rendezvous and docking (AR&D) of the Progress. With both KURS systems active by ~1:10pm (Active KURS radar on Progress, passive KURS transponders on SM solar array wing tips), KURS health was determined by a test at ~2:05pm. Should the test have failed, Volkov would have controlled the cargo ship’s motions from the TORU control panel with two hand controllers, viewing the approach to the ISS from a Progress point-of-view through the Klest-M television camera mounted on the Progress.  Remote TORU control from the ground is not available.]

After the cargo ship’s successful docking, activities by the two cosmonauts include –

  • Shutting off TORU and reconfiguring the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops  [the "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 and USOS, and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside.  There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel.  Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support];
  • Conducting the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and SM [during leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters were inhibited (as was the case during docking)];
  • Opening the hatches (~4:15pm) and installing the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling;
  • Performing the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler;
  • Powering down the spacecraft and installing the ventilation/heating air duct (~5:00pm); and
  • Dismantling & removing the video equipment for the TV Ku-band downlink of the docking.

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

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website:  (as of 3/1/08, this database contained 757,605 views of the Earth from space, with 314,000 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit  (as of this morning, 7:22am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.8 km
Apogee height — 357.5 km
Perigee height — 348.2 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006921
Solar Beta Angle — 53.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 55 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56305

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/29/08 — ATV de-orbit (nighttime re-entry for observation from 2 NASA planes; 9:12pm)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/02/08 – ISS Reboost (~1.8 m/s)
10/10/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4) 12:33am
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:03am EDT; Lonchakov, Fincke, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port, ~4:51am)
10/24/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) & landing
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/14/08 — 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
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.