Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 October 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
October 18, 2008
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 October 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Day 6 of joint E17/18 operations. Sunday – not a rest day for CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko, FE-2 Chamitoff, CDR-18 Fincke, FE-1-18 Lonchakov & SFP Garriott. Ahead: Week 27 (last) of Increment 17.

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

Aboard the station, the E17/18 crew rotation/handover activities continued nominally. [Volkov, Kononenko, Fincke and Lonchakov had ~5:00 hrs between them for dedicated CDR/CDR & FE/FE handover activities, focusing today on Payloads, Crew data support, Medical equipment, RSE Installation & hookup to ZVENO-B units, Elektron BZh pressurization, as listed in the relevant Handover (RPS) Book sections 10, 19, 20, 21. In addition, there are “generic” handovers where crewmembers are scheduled together to complete various designated standard tasks.]

After wakeup, 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. Richard is participating in the SLEEP experiment for NASA. [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.]

Before breakfast (and brushing teeth), Chamitoff and Fincke started their second session with the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function), collecting one wet saliva sample. SFP Garriott is also participating in this medical test. [IMMUNE protocol requires the collection to occur first thing post-sleep, before eating, drinking and brushing teeth, and all samples are stored at ambient temperature. Along with NUTRITION (Nutritional Status Assessment), INTEGRATED IMMUNE samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations.]

FE-1-18 Yuri Lonchakov performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:00pm EDT. Bed #1 regeneration was performed 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 (last time: 9/29 & 9/30).]

CDR Volkov conducted 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 10/20, 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.]

Major science activities in the RS (Russian Segment) by Yuri Lonchakov today focused on work with the microbiological payload BIO-4 (ventilating the BIO-4 sample in KUBIK-1). [The four BIO-4 experiments, developed by scientists from Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and France, include research in bacterial physiology, immune cell function and developmental biology. Two experiments (BBB/BASE B & BBC/BASE C) study how bacteria cope and adapt in the spaceflight environment, being exposed to parameters such as microgravity, cosmic radiation, space electromagnetism and vibrations. Xenopus studies the development of cane toad tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) in spaceflight. The fourth experiment is ROALD looks at the “ROle of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression”. BBB, BBC & SEN will return on Soyuz TMA-12/16S.]

CDR Volkov conducted another session each with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, with FE-1 Kononenko assisting the CDR. Afterwards, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear remained configured for Oleg’s session tomorrow. [MBI-15 requires a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

In the JAXA Kibo/JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Greg Chamitoff & Mike Fincke activated the RLT (Robotics Laptop Terminal) of the JEMRMS (JEM Robotic Manipulator System), then reviewed and checked the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) files and conducted the RMS C/O-4 (Checkout #4). [For C/O-4, Greg was to “fly” the JEMRMS MA (Main Arm) around the EFU13 (Exposed Facility Unit 13) on the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Section) module to capture target images using the television camera on the MA EE (End Effector) for calibration purposes. This was to be followed by so-called “inching” operations, as a crew-in-the-loop demonstration to verify how small a command the crewmember can input using the hand controllers in Manual Mode (this inching operation is expected to be used on Flight 2J/A and subsequent flights if the RLT (Ready-to-Latch) judgment for a P/L (payload) berthing is not OK and the operator is requested to get the P/L closer to an EFU. Background: The externally mounted JEMRMS is composed of two arms: the 10-m-long MA (Main Arm) and a 2-m-long small fine arm (the latter to be delivered on a future mission). Both arms have six independent joints, to provide dexterity very similar to the human arm. The internal robotic control workstation, known as JEMRMS Console, is used for manipulating the RMS. Remote television cameras are mounted on both arms, enabling the crew to control the arms from inside the JPM.]

Oleg Kononenko completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (ECLSS/Environment Control & Life Support System) in the SM, including the periodic checkup on the Russian POTOK-150MK(150 micron) air filter unit of the SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for reporting to TsUP-Moscow. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

The daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance was conducted today by Sergey Volkov, 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).

As part of checking out the JAXA SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), CDR-18 Fincke retrieved the Reference Cell cartridge from the SCOF and removed the MMA TAA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus/Tri-Axial Accelerometer) the from the cell. [Similar to the operation and functionality of the US IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System), MMA is a network of wireless units distributed throughout the Japanese module. Each unit connects to an external TAA.]

After the FE-2 broke out the standard auditory test equipment, Mike Fincke, Oleg Kononenko, Sergey Volkov, Yuri Lonchakov and Greg Chamitoff each took the periodic O-OHA (on-orbit hearing assessment) test, a 30-min. NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop application. It was Greg’s fourth O-OHA session, the fifth for Sergey & Oleg and the first for Mike & Yuri. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Greg performed troubleshooting on the laptop which supports the BCAT-4. If successful, the FE-2 was to activate the payload for his VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, setting up the camera image on Sample 3, homogenizing and taking some manual photos of the Sample until alignment and focus are satisfactory. EarthKAM was then to take over with automated photos of Sample 3 every hour for six days. [If problems persist with getting the BCAT-4 system to operate, Greg was to homogenize samples 8, 9 and 10 for 10 minutes each, then gently re-stow the BCAT-4 SGSM (Slow Growth Sample Module).]

Chamitoff also checked the Node-2 nadir hatch for sufficient clearance for the planned setup of new EarthKAM operations the week of 10/27, allowing enough space for positioning the camera at the window and provide access to its aiming and focusing.

The FE-2 & CDR-18 also conducted the regular pre-launch checkout of the RWS (Robotics Workstations), first the Lab RWS, then the Cupola RWS, including testing the DCP (Display & Control Panel) and RHC (Rotational Hand Controller) switches for the subsequent SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) ops.

After calibrating the RWS RHC & THC (Translational Hand Controller), the two crewmembers then took the SSRMS on its planned 1-hr. checkout maneuver, grappling the PDGF-1 (Power & Data Grapple Fixture 1) on the MBS (Mobile Base System).

Lonchakov & Volkov configured the Russian RSE2 laptop and installed cabling to connect it to the two new ZVENO-B (“Link-B”) modems behind SM panel 437, and then exercised the system by uploading new antivirus software and running a scan on RSE1.

Continuing the extended leak checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, Oleg & Yuri charged the unit once again with pressurized N2 from the BPA Nitrogen Purge Unit (#23) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2). The last test pressurization to monitor for leakage was on 9/29. [Objective of the checkout of the BZh, which has been in stowage for almost 2 years, was to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

As part of handover activities, CDR-18 Fincke used the vacuum cleaner plus other tools to perform the periodic USOS hatch seal inspection (Node-1 Forward, Aft & Starboard, Lab Aft & Forward, Node-2 Aft, Starboard & Port, Airlock, Columbus, Kibo JPM Zenith & Starboard, Kibo JLP Nadir) in support of ACS (Atmospheric Control System) maintenance.

Oleg Kononenko completed 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. [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.]

Fincke & Lonchakov had their standard PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S-band/audio & Ku-band/video, Mike at ~10:15pm EDT, Yuri at ~1:35pm.

Chamitoff & Fincke have their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS- NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop) scheduled today, Greg at ~12:45pm, Mike at ~3:10pm.

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

  • INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function, collecting wet saliva sample before breakfast);
  • SLEEP Actiwatch logging;
  • Tagup with advisors (AT) at TsUP via VHF-1;
  • TV/phone downlink (“call mother”);
  • Ham radio session (Austin, TX for Challenger Center);
  • 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., Bacteria, Electrostatic Charge, Action & Reaction Sports, Gyroscopes, Rotational inertia, Energy exchange, How & Why liquids merge & mix, Physiological Factors, Family)
  • Earth photography (Europe, Central Asia, Himalayas, night shots, Central America, Space Station movie, Life Onboard);
  • Copying data & image files to HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for return.

The E17/18 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 (CDR-18, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR/2.5h, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-1-18, FE-2).

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

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 27 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Mon. (10/20): MBI-15, JPM outfit, PILLE-MKS, Descent OBT, JEMRMS s/u, TEKh-15, Vozdukh AVK c/o, RBO-3-1, IP-1, BIO-4, PAO, MBI-12.
  • Tue. (10/21): MO-22, MBI-12, RSP checkout, CMRS checkout, JEMRMS checkout, SVO EDV sampling, ODNT/LBNPO closeouts, RBO-3-1, PAO; Rodnik xfer, PMCs, PFE (FE-2), BIO-2, MO-21, KPT-1 chg., FMK deploy.
  • Wed. (10/22): RPM skill trng2, BITS-LKT removal, IPD-NH3/GSC/CMS sampling, BIO-12 xfer, CBCS install, BTKh-31/-8 xfers, KPT-3 ops, MO-21, BIO-4, Change of Command, IP-1, PMCs.
  • Thu. (10/23): SLEEP, IMMUNE, FMK stow, Pld xfers, Hatches closure, Soyuz undock & land; IP-1.
  • Fri. (10/24): Ham pass, NUTRITION s/u, COL FSL VMU troubleshoot, BLB incubator ECS xchange, BCAT-4.
  • Sat. (10/25): NUTRITION, Ham pass, WPC, FFQ, VolSci EPO, SAMS PCMCIA check, Node-1 cleanup.
  • Sun. (10/26): NUTRITION, Station cleaning, PFCs.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:52am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.1 km
Apogee height — 354.4 km
Perigee height — 349.9 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000333
Solar Beta Angle — -59.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 58 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56809

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
11/15/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/17/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/25/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking & deorbit – (UNDER REVIEW)
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.) – (UNDER REVIEW)
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.