Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 August 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
August 18, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 August 2008

Underway: Week 18 of Increment 17. Underway: Week 18 of Increment 17.

Volkov, Kononenko and Chamitoff began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement & PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device which Sergey Volkov broke down afterwards for stowage. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

FE-1 Kononenko 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 ~5:15pm EDT. Filter bed #1 was regenerated yesterday. [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: 8/5 & 8/6).]

Sergey & Oleg undertook their fourth periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 (“Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest”) on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System). [During the 50-min. test, the crewmembers tagged up with ground specialists on an RGS (Russian ground site) pass (~6:52am EDT) via VHF and downlinked data from the Gamma-1M ECG (electrocardiograph) for about 5-6 minutes.]

Chamitoff retrieved an RF cable from stowage and readied it in the Lab for Wednesday’s relocation of the Ku-band forward receiver. [The Ku receiver will be relocated on 8/20 from ER-4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) to ER-2 and checked out. ER-4 & ER-5 will be relocated in the near future.]

On ER-4, Gregory also terminated ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) sampling mode, deactivated the ANITA hardware and stowed it for return to the ground on ULF2 (STS-126/Endeavour), preparatory to the planned ER-4/ER-5 relocation. [Note: CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) in ER-4 was deactivated by the ground for its relocation to ER-1 on Wednesday. CGBA-5 will also be relocated on 8/20, to ER-2.]

The CDR & FE-1 prepared the worksites, equipment and cabling for tomorrow’s installation and connecting of an A31p laptop in the U.S. Lab as Remote RS (Russian Segment) Central Post computer. [Software to enable the laptop to operate with Russian software Vers. 7.05 has already been installed.]

At the TVIS treadmill, the FE-2 took additional documentary photography of the improvised patch repair of the running belt and four shifted belt plates above the patch, for the ground to verify integrity of the IFM (Inflight Maintenance) conducted last week.

In the U.S. Airlock (A/L), Chamitoff initiated maintenance discharge on the first of two EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries (#2071) and ran the process later also on the second (#2073). [The periodic maintenance consists of fully discharging (and later recharging) the storage units to prolong their useful life. After end of the maintenance cycle, Greg restored the SSC laptop, which is used in DOS mode for the automated procedure, to nominal ops.]

After Saturday’s VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program featuring SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment), Chamitoff today conducted another SHERE session, by –

  • Activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox),
  • Powering on the SHERE hardware,
  • Accessing the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) to install the SHERE FM (Fluid Module) #4;
  • Supporting the first SHERE experiment run (Test Point 18);
  • Transferring the module with the fluid sample,
  • Installing FM #17 for the second experiment run (Test Point 10);
  • Repeating the procedure on TP 10;
  • Transferring the module with the fluid sample;
  • Installing FM #2 for the third experiment run (Test Point 20) if time permitted;
  • Removing the FM from the CGBA, followed by SHERE data transfer;
  • Turning off the SHERE/CGBA equipment;
  • Transferring the data files to the MSG laptop, and
  • Powering down 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.]

CDR Volkov conducted the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV EDV container with water collected in a CWC (Contingency Water Container) from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s planned session with the geophysical GFI-1 Relaksatsiya ("relaxation") experiment, Sergey started (later terminated) battery charging for the SONY DCR digital camcorder. [Relaksatsiya normally deals with the study of the chemoluminescent chemical reactions and atmospheric light phenomena (emissions, i.e., molecular relaxation processes), including those that occur during high-velocity interaction between the exhaust products from space vehicles and the atmosphere at orbital altitude and during the entry of space vehicles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.]

At ~9:10am EDT, the crew held a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo transfers, to be occurring primarily this week and next week. Today’s schedule provided for ~2h 50m of transfer time. [Originally estimated to require ~41 hrs of crew time, MCC-H specialists have been able to scrub the time for the transfers down to ~31 hrs, including moving major consumables to the ISS besides loading trash & excessed equipment on “Jules Verne”.]

For a ground-controlled checkout of the JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) and the upcoming Marangoni convection experiments, Gregory turned on the gas supply from the CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment) in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). [The CGSE consists of a valve unit and four CO2 & Argon GBUs (gas bottle units).]

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

Oleg Kononenko performed the periodic recharge of the water tank for the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-13 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems {Russian: IMBP}). The regular status check was also conducted, from the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list.

At 2:30pm EDT, Greg is scheduled to support the periodic VHF-1 emergency communications check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today at the Wallops (2:34pm-2:40pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM and JCOM in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

The three station residents conducted 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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1). Later, Oleg 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).

As generally every day now, starting at ~9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) was activated intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. In this configuration for the daily ops, connecting & disconnecting the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) cooling loop is not required. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking.]

SOTR KOB-1 Maintenance Update: Volkov’s attempt to drain coolant from the #1 loop (KOB-1) of the Russian Thermal Control System (SOTR) in the SM failed last Friday (8/15). The intended pressure check at various valve settings could not be performed. The issue is being investigated. [Purpose of the attempted coolant draining was to determine the volume of free air in KOB-1 and check the leak tightness of the KOB-1 accumulator bellows; also: to perform preventive maintenance on the SOTR loops’ solenoid valves.]

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).

Week 18 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Tue. (8/19): AED Defib inspect; 85 Day Maint Initiate for EMU Battery 2071; VHF Emergency Comm Checkout; Rack Hardware Installation Prep; MO-9; NOA1; CSA-CP maint.; SM CP laptop install in USOS Lab; Extension springs install on spare ZVB quick-release screw clamps;
  • Wed. (8/20): Ku-Band Forward Receiver Relocation & Checkout; Ground Strap/Pivot Fitting install in JPM; MO-10 (all); CGBA-4/CGBA-5 subrack relocation; PFE-OUM setup & prep.
  • Thu. (8/21): LULIN dosimeter placement; EMU Battery maint.; PFE-OUM ops; BKS cabling outfit for Zveno (Link) unit; DOUG revw/prep for JEMRMS Checkout #4; COL Cycle 11 transition for PWS-1; WRM/CWC water audit.
  • Fri. (8/22): EMU batt. #2073 maint.; BKS cabling for Zveno (Link); Zveno unit install in ZVK LIV exp. video complex; RSE-2 laptop set-up for Zveno; PEPS inspect/checkout; Elektron BZh unit #56 leak check; Elektron On; JEMRMS Checkout #4; GANK & CDMK reading; Progress M-64 SSVP-StM docking mechanism install.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:51am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.0 km
Apogee height — 361.6 km
Perigee height — 350.3 km
Period — 91.66 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008343
Solar Beta Angle — -38.7 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 45 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55833

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/02/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir
09/07/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until 9/29 for nighttime reentry/observation)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
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)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) or 10/24?
11/10/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/12/08 — 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.