Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
April 21, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2009
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2009

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

After configuring and activating the G1 camcorder equipment in Node-1 (set up yesterday), FE-1 Barratt and FE-2 Wakata proceeded with Day 1 of the major TVIS Combined Maintenance, assisted in part by CDR Padalka. [Today’s IFM (Inflight Maintenance) had the crew remove the treadmill from its “pit” in the SM (Service Module) floor, dismantle all components, take out and re-install the Rear & Forward Deck Assemblies to replace fasteners and remove shims (installed during Expedition 17), take off the Left Chassis Side Plate, remove the tread belt and remove all 50 Roller Bearing Assemblies.]

Padalka performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated tonight at ~5:15pm EDT before crew sleep, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 3/30-3/31). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

The CDR monitored the educational experiment FIZIKA-OBRAZOVANIYE with its “Physics-Phase” demo, today three times taking photographs of the running experiment. [OBRAZOVANIE (Education) is a suite of three educational demonstrations of physics in micro-G, viz., OBR-1-1/”Fizika-LT” (Motion), OBR-1-2/”Fizika-Faza” (Phase) and OBR-1-3/”Fizika-Otolit”. The current Phase demo studies a complete gas-liquid phase separation of fine dispersion particles in micro-G with diffusion and surface tension of the fluid. The experiment is conducted for four days, documented with photography.]

Padalka also performed IFM in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), removing and replacing a sensor component (TA604) of the SIT-9L Temperature Measuring System with a new unit, discarding the old component.

Barratt supported ground-commanded AgCam (Agricultural Camera) operation by opening the protective Lab science window shutters for several hours. They will be closed again later tonight. [The AgCam is a multi-spectral camera for use on the ISS as a payload of the WORF (Window Observational Research Facility). Primary AgCam system components include an Imaging System Assembly, a Base Mount Pointing Assembly, a Power/Data Controller, associated cabling and support items, and a NASA-supplied A31p laptop and power supply. It will take frequent images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth, principally of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Images will be delivered within 2 days directly to requesting farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land for which they are responsible. Images will also be shared with educators for classroom use. The Agricultural Camera was built and will be operated primarily by students and faculty at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.]

The FE-1 also performed the daily status check on the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-4) science payload, running by itself since 4/3. [The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

FE-2 Wakata conducted the daily procedure of flushing the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line with ~50mL of water (into a towel/Ziploc bag). PWD water is currently cleared only for hygienic use. [While final analysis of the PWD sample results on the ground is still pending, experts recommend keeping water flowing in the line daily to help control microbial growth. The flushing will be done daily unless at least this amount has been dispensed for other activities during the day).]

The CDR terminated the recharge of the power packs for the BAR instruments “Kelvin-Video” and TTM-2 and then began taking measurements near welds along structural rings 86 & 9 in the SM, under the open panel 137 and in particular under the TVIS (after the treadmill had been removed for the ongoing IFM). [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Padalka performed 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Gennady also completed 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).

With the Elektron generator currently off, the cabin air is repressed with O2 from Progress 32P tankage as required. [32P is to be undocked and deorbited on 5/6.]

The crew performed 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-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), and VELO with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). [For the renewed CEVIS activity with CCC (CEVIS Contingency Controller) by Barratt & Wakata, Koichi set up the G1 video equipment for recording the CEVIS workout on VTR (Video Tape Recorder) by ground commanding. Later, the video cables were disconnected and removed, to comply with cable drag-thru flight rules.]

Afterwards, Koichi downloaded the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Barratt, Padalka, and Wakata had their PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~8:30an EDT, Gennady at ~10:40am, Koichi at ~2:55pm.

Open House at Tsukuba: Last Saturday (4/18), the Tsukuba Space Center (SSIPC/Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) in Japan held an Open House event, under the motto “Feel a touch of space in Tsukuba!”. More than 18,000 visitors enjoyed the “touch”, which included a video tour of ISS and Kibo by Koichi Wakata, ISS space food tasting, and other Space Center attractions.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Ganges River Delta (shooting just right of track to document the rapid changes in coastline and positions of shifting islands in the eastern part of this large delta), Irrawaddy River Delta, Burma (shooting the extensive coastline of this major Asian delta looking right of track. Numerous changes are expected to be seen after the severe damage inflicted on the delta and valley further inland by Cyclone Nargis in 2008), Berlin, Germany (Capital city. Looking left of track. The city is forested and can be difficult to discern, but it is large and contrasts with the surrounding agricultural farmland), Paris, France (Capital city. Look at nadir and a touch right. The city is located along great bends in the River Seine), Labrador Sea ice (Dynamic event. Sea ice is moving south along the Labrador coastline as a broad white band. Cloud cover permitting; the crew was to shoot this feature looking left and to include the coastline in any images to allow CEO researchers to “geolocate” the images), and Southwest Algeria Megafans (shooting left of track for 60-90 secs to capture detail of the stream patterns of this large inland delta. Desert landscapes such as these appear to provide analogs for the landscapes of Mars).

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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:23am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 352.2 km
Apogee height – 358.0 km
Perigee height — 346.4 km
Period — 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000866
Solar Beta Angle — -15.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 87 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59703

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/06/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/07/09 — Progress 33P launch
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4) – 9:58am EDT
05/12/09 — Progress 33P docking
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
Six-person crew on ISS
07/17/09 — Progress 33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) — tentative
11/10/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz — tentative
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
12/XX/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.