Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 March 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday. Flight Day 7 (FD7) of STS-119/15A — EVA-2 Day & plenty of work for all 10 station residents. ISS crew work cycle today: Wake 7:45am EDT; sleep 10:45pm (until 7:15am tomorrow morning).

Mission 15A EVA-2 is underway. Begun at 12:51pm EDT (6 min behind schedule), the spacewalk is being performed by MS2 Steve Swanson (EV1) & MS3 Joseph Acaba (EV-2). [EV1 & EV2 began their “campout” (nachalo desaturatsiy = desaturation start) last night at ~10:10pm in the U.S. Airlock (A/L) with hatch closure and depressurization of the Crewlock (CL) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi, followed by mask prebreathe at ~10:10pm-11:15pm. This morning, following the usual hygiene break/with mask prebreathe for Swanson & Acaba at ~8:20am-9:30am after spending the night on 10.2 psi, the A/L hatch was closed again by Fincke & Wakata for EVA preps in 10.2 psi, followed by EMU purge (~11:00am) and prebreathe (~11:15am) in the EMUs. Afterwards, with CL depressurization (~12:15pm) and EV1/EV2 switching to suit power, EVA-1 began at 12:51pm EDT. The excursion is expected to last about 6h 30m, i.e., nominally until ~7:21pm, viewed by the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System) videocams, operated by M1 John Phillips & FE-2 Sandra Magnus.]

EVA-2 Objectives:

  • Prepare six P6 Batteries, install gap spanner, break torque/retorque two bolts (H1 & H2) on each battery with ratchet wrench;
  • Deploy P3 Nadir UCCAS (Unpressurized Cargo Carriers Attachment System);
  • Install JLP (JEM Pressurized Logistics Segment) GPS Antenna B for JAXA;
  • Perform infrared photo/video imagery on S1/P1 Thermal Radiators;
  • Swap two connectors on CMG Patch Panel on Z1 truss;
  • Deploy S3 Outboard/Zenith PAS (Payload Attach System); and
  • Cleanup & Ingress.

Before the spacewalk, CDR Fincke powered down the amateur/ham radio equipment to prevent RF interference, while FE-2-18 Wakata closed the shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science window to protect against thruster firing effluents during the maneuver to Shuttle waste & CWC (Contingency Water Container) water dumping (~11:20am). [Besides waste water, excess water is produced by the Shuttle in its power-generating fuel cells.]

After the spacewalkers’ return on board tonight, post-EVA activities by Antonelli, Fincke & Wakata in the “Quest” A/L will consist of –

  • Recharging the EMU/spacesuits with water from PWR (Payload Water Reservoir),
  • Reconnecting the LTAs (Lower Torso Assemblies) to the EMUs,
  • Initiating battery charging in the A/L BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly),
  • Installing two of the expended Campout & spacesuit METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 removal canisters in the “bake-out” oven for regeneration, and
  • Taking photographs of the EMU gloves for subsequent downlink and inspection.

Before breakfast, FE-2 Magnus began her second Increment session with the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function), collecting one wet saliva sample. [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.]

For the Russian BTKh-11 BIODEGRADATSIYA ("Biodegradation”) experiment, FE-1 Lonchakov collected surface samples from specific equipment and structures in the SM (Service Module) behind panels 139 & 407 for subsequent stowage in the Soyuz TMA-13 Descent Module for microbial analysis on Earth. [The activities, supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band, were documented with the Nikon D2X digital camera with SB 28DX flash attachment for downlink via OCA.]

Afterwards, Yuri had another hour for his regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth early next month. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

Mike Fincke replaced batteries in his & Sandra’s SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) Actiwatches, then replaced the 9V battery in the Actiwatch Reader, set up the Reader and performed downloads of data accumulated on the Actiwatches. The devices were then temporarily stopped for later initialization.

Sandy Magnus conducted another sampling round with the LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 2 payload, swabbing EMU gloves and using LOCAD-PTS Glucan LAL Cartridges for analysis. [LOCAD uses small, thumb-sized “microfluidic” cartridges that are read by the experiment Reader. The cartridges contain dried extract of horseshoe crab blood cells (LAL/Limulus amebocyte lysate) and colorless dye. LAL tests are used for the detection and quantification of bacterial endotoxins: in the presence of the bacteria, the dried extract reacts strongly to turn the dye a green color. Therefore, the more green dye, the more microorganisms there are in the original sample.]

After yesterday’s installation of the new UPA DA (Urine Processing Assembly/Distillation Assembly) and RFTA in the WRS2 (Water Recovery System 2) Rack, FE-2 Magnus later today will set up the HD (High Definition) videocam for ground observation of the UPA in action, then open the manual MV1 valve of the new RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly), take documentary photography and close up the WRS rack. [Sandy yesterday successfully removed & replaced the DA and the DA mounting hardware in the WRS rack, resolving initial difficulties in installing the mounting hardware by finally driving home 15 of the 16 attachment bolts (which cost an additional ~1.5 hr on the timeline). Subsequently, ground controllers successfully powered-on the UPA. Overnight ground controllers evacuated the DA in preparation for Magnus today obtaining audio, video and IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) vibrational data while observing the DA during the Dry Spin cycle.]

FE-1 Lonchakov performed the periodic (currently daily) checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways, including the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)-PrK-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, FGB PGO-FGB GA, FGB GA-Node-1. [This checkup is especially important when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a larger crew on board, currently ten persons, and one of the two Russian SKV air conditioners off (SKV-1) because it is beyond its service life.]

In the SM, Yuri uninstalled the TsVM2 subset, one of the three “lanes” of the Russian TsVM Central Computer System from behind panels 217 & 218, each one a box measuring 25 cm high, 16 cm wide & 29.5 cm deep. The failed subset will be returned to Earth.

Starting a new round of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Lonchakov worked an hour in the SM to replace its four dust filters (PF1-4). The discarded filters were then carefully packed for return on Soyuz 17S on 4/7.

Yuri is also to perform 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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

FE-2-18 Wakata used a DCB (Double Coldbag) to transfer the DomeGene large fixation cylinder with sample from the new ISS GLACIER freezer to MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) units are ultra-cold freezers that store samples as low as -185 degrees C. The GLACIER, designed and originally manufactured by the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), provides a double middeck locker-sized ER (EXPRESS Rack)-compatible freezer/refrigerator for a variety of experiments that require temperatures ranging from +4 degC (39 degF) to -185 degC (-301 degF). GLACIER is part of the Cold Stowage Fleet of hardware which includes the MELFI and the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator).]

Afterwards, the Japanese Flight Engineer is scheduled for his second PMC (Private Medical Conference) at ~7:35pm, and Koichi also has another ~70 min to himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is customary for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residence, if she/he chooses to take it.

As a new daily activity for the ISS crew during the docked mission, begun yesterday, Koichi Wakata & Sandy Magnus are scheduled for the twice-daily survey of onboard CO2 levels, using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit) for measuring ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide partial pressure) in the ISS/Orbiter “stack”, at ~3:30pm and ~7:40pm EDT. [The data are recorded on an onboard spreadsheet which will be downlinked once the mission is complete to support a long-term analysis of Station/Shuttle ventilation.]

Sandy & Koichi have another hour blocked out for standard joint “handover” activities, to be continued through the docked period ahead. [Total generic face-to-face handover time between Sandy & Koichi for 15A amounts to 13.5 hrs.]

Wakata will also perform some more troubleshooting on the PCDF (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility) in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) which he worked on 3/19, today re-aligning and reconnecting the FBR Fiber Optic Cable. [Yesterday, ESA ground controllers suspended the Go for start of science on the PCDF due to low data rate and suspect misaligned connection of a fiber optic cable.]

The CDR & FE-2 have their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) scheduled, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Mike at ~1:00pm, Sandy at ~5:30pm.

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 (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-1/2.5h, FE-2), and ARED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2). [The IFM on the failed Ergometer bike in the Shuttle has been successful. The exercise cycle is working again. Root cause still uncertain.]

RM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked last night for the crew’s reference, updated with the latest water audit. [The new card (18-0006Q) lists 37 CWCs (~1,017.7 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (616.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 110.6 L currently off-limits, filled from WPA and pending sample analysis on the ground), potable water (345.7 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (0.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (55.7 L, including 22.2 L not to be used. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

ISS Crew Sleep Shifting: To synchronize the ISS crew’s timeline with STS-119/15A docked period and departure, the station wake/sleep cycle is undergoing a number of shifts to the left. For the next few days, the schedule is as follows:


Wake: 7:45am – 10:45pm


Wake: 7:15am – 10:15pm


Wake: 6:45am – 9:45pm


Wake: 6:15am – 9:45pm


Wake: 6:15am – 9:00pm


Wake: 5:30am – 9:00pm


Wake: 5:30am – 5:30pm


Wake: 5:30am – 10:00pm


Wake: 6:30am – 5:30pm

STS-119/Discovery — 15A Crew & Mission Timeline:

  • CDR: Lee Archambault
  • PLT: Dominic Antonelli
  • MSs: Joseph Acaba; John Phillips; Steven Swanson; Richard Arnold
  • ISS FE-2s: Koichi Wakata (UP); Sandra Magnus (DOWN).
  • FD07 (3/21) — EVA-2 (objectives see above)
  • FD08 (3/22) — Transfers; prepare for EVA-3; Campout (Arnold & Acaba)
  • FD09 (3/23) — EVA-3; relocate CETA; lubricate SPDM LEE B; replace two RPCMs; S1 tasks;
  • FD10 (3/24) — Crew off duty (2h); final cargo transfers; reboost (option);
  • FD11 (3/25) — Close & leak check hatches; undock (3:54pm); flyaround & sep;
  • FD12 (3/26) — Crew off duty (ISS crew 4 hrs)
  • FD13 (3/27) — Cabin stow, Orbiter FCS checkout, RCS hot fire
  • FD14 (3/28) — Nominal deorbit (12:39pm); landing (1:42pm KSC).

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen — Week 21)

3-D SPACE: Planned: 15A/FE-2.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): Planned.

BIO-4: Complete.

BIOLAB (BLB): Two anomalies are being investigated: 1) leak of the Life Support System (LSS) loop; 2) bad alignment of bellow door for Rotor B.


CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Sandy, thank you for completing your second session of CCISS. We appreciate your patience in working the procedures piece by piece.”

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Ongoing.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack): Ongoing.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): “On 3/18, the DomeGene experiment was started. Everything is nominal including temperature control.”

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.

EDR (European Drawer Rack): The rack was configured to host the PCDF (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility) experiment, launched on 15A. EDR will provide power, data, and temperature control via cooling loop to PCDF. Moreover, all the PCDF science data will be stored on the EDR VMU (Video Management Unit).

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): “ENose has been operating on ISS for 102 days so far. We see a few events a week involving low concentrations of alcohols or other small organic compounds. Each of those events lasts about an hour or less. The sensors have responded to every payload status check that has involved a disinfectant wipe; thank you to Mike and Sandy for doing these confirmational events, so we know that ENose is working well.”

EPM (European Physiology Module): Underway.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Complete.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): “The platform experienced a spontaneous reboot on 3/16 and a MIL Bus error on 3/19. After each occurrence, the instruments were successfully reconfigured. The DEBIE-2 instrument continues to start generating empty science packets at regular intervals (of 30 to 34hrs). Science acquisition is pursued with regular power cycling of the instrument (work-around). DOSTEL, FIPEX and MEDET continue to acquire science. For TRIBOLAB further attempts to resume Ball Bearing run#4 were performed on 3/13, but unfortunately with no luck.”

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): Microgravity measurements were successfully performed on 3/17 during the 15A docking.

GEOFLOW: Aborted. “The return of the Experiment Container is confirmed with 15A.”

HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): Complete.


IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): Complete.

Integrated Immune: “Mike, thank you for finding our “LOST” Integrated Immune Saliva Kit! Your consumable inventory allowed us to better plan for our future subject collections; your attention to detail has helped us greatly! And we hope you will enjoy spitting for us as you proceed into your second session. Sandy, you’ll be beginning your final series of collections for us today and into next week. We’re sure you’re pretty sad about that, so we have another set of collections waiting for you on the ground.”

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): “The crews of both Expedition 18 and STS-119 did a superb job on FD5 doing this experiment, especially among all their other duties. The LOCAD-PTS Exploration Team was very happy with how things went and appreciated everyone’s hard work and the mention on FD5 NASA TV Highlights. Sandy was right there ready to get the swabs done before and after EVA 1. The EVA crew, Swanny and Ricky, were very patient holding still in the Equipment Lock for the glove swabs even after 6+ hours hard work outside on EVA. Tony, Bru and Mike did a great job supporting the exercise. The swab samples are now ready for processing. Due to solar array deploy moving up to FD6, our analysis of the 4 swab samples can wait for a session scheduled after Shuttle undock. That is ok, because the swab samples are dry and Sandy has stored them in the swab kit bags. The crew’s work on FD5 was phenomenal and it will help prepare future crews perform science on the Moon and Mars. We’re very grateful for their hard work and support.”

Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.

NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY: “Sandy, thank you for completing your FD-120 session. We appreciate the information on consumable numbers. This will help us in planning for Nicole’s sessions.”

PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): “Thanks, Koichi and Sandy, for successfully performing the transfer of the PCDF-Process Unit (PCDF-PU) from the Shuttle 15A Middeck to the EDR Rack in Columbus laboratory, well within the predefined thermal clock. After mating of all power, data cables and water loop hoses by the crew, EDR was activated and the commissioning of PCDF was started overnight. Some issues with the optical fibre cable between the PCDF-Electronic Unit (EU) and the PCDF-Process Unit (PU) have been encountered, leading to some delays in the start of science acquisition. On 03/20 (GMT079) Koichi Wakata was asked to re-install the optical fibre cable, which he did after the mDPC. But this did not solve the issue so far.”

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Mike, this weekend you will be performing your monthly SLEEP download and initialization session. Today, you will be changing the Li batteries in your and Mike Barratt’s future Actiwatch; changing the 9V battery in the reader; and downloading your, Sandy’s, and Koichi’s Actiwatches. You will then initialize all four Actiwatches. Koichi, this week you are scheduled to complete your first week of Sleep logging. Any additional Sleep logging is above and beyond and greatly appreciated by the PI.”

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): The platform has been in Idle Mode during the last reporting period as it is out of the Sun visibility window. SOLAR was put in safing mode for the 15A docking on 3/17. The next window is predicted to start on 3/22.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): Experiment completed by Mike Fincke. Blood and urine samples are now stowed in MELFI for return on 2J/A.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): “Mike and Sandy, during SPICE operations from GMT 044 through 062, SPICE was very fortunate to collect more flame measurements than originally planned. This was largely due to efficiencies obtained through your making multiple flame size measurements for each ignition. You were able to make approximately 190 flame measurements compared to the planned number of 108. The extra points were mostly used to fill in the test matrix more completely and to explore operating the still camera in manual mode to obtain non-saturated images. We are in the process of conducting the image analysis to determine whether we obtained good measurements of all of the possible smoke points and which images are suitable for temperature deconvolution. Once that is completed, we would be anxious to conduct additional tests to fill in any missing smoke points and to conduct tests with the still camera at different exposure settings to achieve images that can be deconvolved for temperature. Unfortunately due to the limitations in the camera exposure metering, and the wide dynamic range of flame luminosity, it was not always possible to set the camera to achieve optimal exposures. However now that we have the down linked images, it will be possible to return to the same conditions and set the camera based on the measured brightness in the images we have collected. Thank you both for our very rewarding success so far!”

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): VLE-1 completed.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 3/16, the ground has received a total of 24,715 of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “Photos with times corresponding to our CEO target times are reviewed first and this week include: Kerguelen – 32 frames – target acquired – under review; Chaiten Volcano – 27 frames – target not acquired; S. Georgia./ S. Sandwich Islands – 33 frames – target acquired – under review; Acraman Impact Crater, Australia – 54 frames – target acquired – under review; Patagonian Glaciers – 138 frames – target acquired – under review; S. Mozambique – 29 frames – target not acquired -under review; and Lake Poopo – 25 frames – target acquired – refilling has started – under review. Your spectacularly detailed view of the summit of Mexico’s Volcan Popocatepetl will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. The structure and conditions illustrated in your image are rarely observed due to clouds. Way to go, crew!”

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were East Haruj Megafans (these subtle, ancient erosional features are found roughly between the northern Tibesti Mountains and the Black Haruj volcanic field in south-central Libya. Today ISS had a nadir pass over the target area in mid-afternoon sun. As ISS tracked northeastward just west of the main mass of the Tibesti, the crew was to simply begin a nadir mapping strip with the long lens for about a minute out over the megafan region), Patagonian Glaciers (ISS orbit will take the crew over the Northern Patagonian Ice Field located in Chile. The San Rafael Glacier is one of the major outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field in southern Chile and it calves into the Laguna San Rafael. The crew was successful in capturing the terminus of this glacier earlier in their increment. Requested today was for them to map this glacier near nadir, using the 800 mm lens to follow the glacier from its end [terminus] back to its source [ice field]. The pass was at mid-morning with partly cloudy conditions expected), and Mississippi Delta Region (ISS had a late afternoon, fair-weather pass with nadir viewing of an interesting portion of the Mississippi Delta Region. The proximity of the Mississippi, Red, and Atchafalaya rivers and their dynamic hydrology, especially in the spring high water period, has created a challenge for the US Army Corps of Engineers. Without intervention, the Atchafalaya with its shorter, steep course to the Gulf of Mexico would capture most of the flow of the larger, longer Mississippi River with catastrophic consequences for the deepwater ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans down river. The Old River Control Structure, completed by the Corps in 1963, uses a system of floodgates to maintain a 70/30 ratio of water distribution. This system is fragile and vulnerable to flood water pressure in the spring from both the Mississippi and Red River discharges and will eventually fail despite man’s efforts. On this relatively low light pass, the crew was to try for a contextual, nadir mapping of the region of the control structure and the adjacent river courses).

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, 7:52am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 354.6 km
Apogee height — 361.0 km
Perigee height — 348.2 km
Period — 91.63 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009528
Solar Beta Angle — 28.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 56 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59215

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
03/23 — STS-119 EVA-3 (~11:45am-6:15pm)
03/25/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking (3:54pm)
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch (7:49am EDT)
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (SM aft port; 9:14am EDT)
03/28/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A deorbit (12:40pm) & landing (1:43pm)
04/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking (1:02am) & landing (4:20am EDT)
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)
05/12/09 — Progress 33P docking
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
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.