Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 22 March 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
March 22, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 22 March 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Flight Day 8 (FD8) of STS-119/15A — ISS crew work cycle today: Wake 7:15am EDT; sleep 10:15pm (until 6:45am tomorrow morning). Sunday – another busy day for the Shuttle crew and CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus. Ahead: Week 22 of Increment 18.

Mission 15A EVA-2 was completed with partial success last night by Steve Swanson & Joseph Acaba in 6h 30min, accomplishing three of its six objectives.
During the spacewalk, Swanson (EV1) & Acaba (EV2) –

  • Prepared six P6 Batteries, install gap spanner, break torque/retorque two bolts (H1 & H2) on each battery with ratchet wrench;
  • Performed infrared photo/video imagery on the S1/P1 Thermal Radiators; and
  • Installed the JLP (JEM Pressurized Logistics Segment) GPS Antenna B for JAXA.

Official start time of the spacewalk was 12:51pm EDT, and it ended at 7:21pm. Total EVA duration (PET = Phase Elapsed Time) was 6h 30min. It was the 122nd spacewalk for ISS assembly & maintenance and the 94th from the station (68 from Quest, 26 from Pirs, plus 28 from Shuttle) totaling 580h 10min. After yesterday’s EVA, a total of 165 spacewalkers (127 NASA astronauts, 27 Russians, and 11 astronauts representing Japan-1, Canada-4, France-1, Germany-2 and Sweden-3) have logged 768h 32min outside the station on building, outfitting & servicing. It was the 142nd spacewalk in history involving U.S. astronauts.

P3 Zenith UCCAS (Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Attach System): The spacewalkers were unable to fully deploy the UCCAS due to a mechanical interference. The UCCAS was tied down with EVA adjustable tethers and its deployment is now scheduled for tomorrow’s EVA-3.

S3 PAS (Payload Attach System): The deployment of the PAS was deferred from the EVA as a result of the difficulty experienced with the P3 UCCAS (time pressure). Its deployment is now scheduled for tomorrow’s EVA-3. [The sites are not needed until flight STS-129/ULF-3 as locations for ELCs (Express Logistics Carriers) 1 & 2.]

Z1 Patch Panel Reconfiguration: The EVA crew was unable to disengage the bail on the P2 connector on the Z1 Patch Panel and therefore the patch panel could not be reconfigured as planned. [CMG-2, which had been powered off, is being spun up again to be reincorporated into ISS attitude control management.]

The newly installed UPA DA (Urine Processing Assembly/Distillation Assembly) suffered another setback today. After running a second dry spin activity on the DA this morning, CDR Fincke attempted to take the DA through its first wet processing cycle, without success due to insufficient amount of liquid. [Yesterday’s dry-spin tryout of the new UPA was repeated briefly today because the HD video from the otherwise successful DA spin did not contain audio, which is needed to determine the baseline performance of the DA while dry. Today, after checking the audio of the HD video observation setup and repeating the dry run, Mike filled up the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) and WSTA (Water Storage Tank Assembly) with pretreated urine from Russian EDV-U container. The subsequent attempt to start the wet spin failed when one of the valves showed a too-low flow rate. Engineers are replanning another attempt in the future.]

As part of the presently intensified onboard CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) level monitoring, FE-2 Magnus set up the CDM (Carbon Dioxide Monitor, #1009) close to her breathing zone throughout her workday, to be stowed before sleeptime. [Station time (GMT) and CDM clock was called down to MCC-H for correlation with the data downloaded from the CDM.]

For the survey (currently daily) of CO2 measurements during the docked mission, Mike Fincke & Koichi Wakata were scheduled for the twice-daily survey of onboard CO2 levels, using the hand-held CDMK for measuring ppCO2 (CO2 partial pressure) in the ISS/Orbiter “stack”, at ~2:00pm and ~7:00pm 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.]

Sandra Magnus assisted STS-CDR Lee Archambault in tearing down and removing the gear used for transferring N2 (Nitrogen gas) from the Shuttle to the ISS.

Magnus & Wakata, the two FE-2s, had another ~6 hrs blocked out on their timelines 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.]

FE-1 Lonchakov worked a major 4-hr outfitting activity in the SM (Service Module), installing the new “Istochnik-M” (source, spring) telemetry reception & recording system (SPR TMI) system which will enable the ISS to receive telemetry from Soyuz spacecraft. [The equipment, including the Istochnik TM station, power amplifiers, power supply, USB software sticks and cables, was brought up on Progress 32P.]

Later, the FE-1 completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. Additionally, Lonchakov checked up on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s 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 the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Yuri also conducted the periodic checkup behind panel 139 in the SM on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

Two additional routine tasks performed by the FE-1 were –

  • 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], and
  • the regular daily job of IMS (Inventory Management System) “delta file” updating/editing for the weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Before sleeptime tonight, Yuri will replace another one of the P-16 filter cartridges of the SOGS air revitalization subsystem in the SM, discarding the old unit and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Lonchakov also 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.]

FE-2-18 Wakata deployed a new set of three SODF Warning books in the ISS (Lab, SM, FGB, WHC), removing old books for disposal as trash.

Afterwards, Koishi maneuvered the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System) to the MT (Mobile Transporter) Translate Stowe position. [The MT was moved later by ground commanding from Worksite 1 (WS1) to WS4 on string A IMCAs (Integrated Motor/Controller Assemblies).]

Mike Fincke performed the periodic visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) rails & rollers, then evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

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, FE-2-18), TVIS treadmill (FE-1/2.5h, FE-2), and ARED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2). [This was the first regular physical exercise for Koichi Wakata.]

At ~4:40pm, Wakata will have his weekly PFC (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

Afterwards, the Japanese Flight Engineer is scheduled for his third PMC (Private Medical Conference) at ~9:15pm.

At ~6:14pm, Archambault, Antonelli, Acaba, Phillips, Magnus and Wakata will support three PAO TV interviews with CNN en Español (Claudia Palacios), CBS News n(Bill Harwood) & WOFL-TV (Talitha Vickers).

For tomorrow’s EVA-3, CDR Fincke set up the batteries of the D2Xs cameras for recharge (which takes at least three hours) and later was to configure the D2Xs for the spacewalk.

At ~7:15pm tonight, the joint crew is scheduled for an in-depth one-hour review of procedures for the EVA-1 spacewalk, with egress scheduled to start tomorrow at ~11:45pm EDT.

Afterwards, Joseph Acaba (EV2) & Richard Arnold (EV1) will begin their “campout” (nachalo desaturatsiy = desaturation start) in the A/L (Airlock) with hatch closure and depressurization of the CL (Crewlock) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi at ~9:10pm, followed by mask prebreathe at ~9:10pm-10:15pm. Sleep time for the ISS crew begins at 10:15pm.

EVA-3 Objectives (revised):

  • Relocate CETA (Crew & Equipment Translation Aid) cart from P1 to S1 truss;
  • Deploy P3 Nadir UCCAS (Unpressurized Cargo Carriers Attachment System);
  • Swap two connectors on CMG Patch Panel on Z1 truss;
  • Deploy S3 Outboard/Zenith PAS (Payload Attach System);
  • Get ahead task: repair/lubricate SSRMS LEE B (Latching End Effector B)
  • Cleanup & Ingress.

Loss of CMG Attitude Control: An unexpected rise in CMG (Control Moment Gyroscope) roll rates was experienced yesterday in the first hour of EVA-2 after handover from RS thruster MCS (Motion Control System) to US Momentum Manager with 3 CMGs, which resulted in a loss of attitude control during EVA-2. Attitude control was quickly recovered with Shuttle VRCS (Vernier Reaction Control System). It was subsequently determined that the CMG control parameters used for EVA-2 were erroneously based on a location of the MT (Mobile Transporter) at WS4 (Worksite 4) instead of WS1.

Conjunction Advisory: A new conjunction with space debris (Object 26264, part of a Chinese CZ-4 rocket launched in 1999) is being tracked for close approaches for the next 2+ days. For the short term, there is no concern because the object’s closest approaches pass safely above the stack altitude. However, the object has a higher drag than the stack so that its altitude is decreasing faster. TCAs (Times of Cloest Approach) that are being watched particularly closely start early on FD9 (late tomorrow evening).

Space Poem Initiative: An interesting voluntary onboard task by Koichi Wakata in his free time is his contribution to an ongoing Japanese Space Poem Chain activity. The Space Poem Chain is being composed as a universal message of Life in the Universe and on Earth. Approximately 1000 people have joined in the composition of the Space Poem Chain, transcending nationalities, cultural backgrounds, genders, specialties, and age. Koichi has been invited to write poem No. 25 from space. A Japanese poet, Shuntaro Tanikawa-san, will then pen poem No.26, as a final poem. Poems are in five lines, free format, in Japanese and clear & big letters for photography by the JEM internal camera.

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: 7:15am – 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).
  • FD08 (3/22) — Transfers; prepare for EVA-3; Campout (Arnold & Acaba)
  • FD09 (3/23) — EVA-3; relocate CETA; deploy UCCAS & PAS, reconfigure Z1 patch panel, lubricate SSRMS LEE B (get-ahead);
  • 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).

No CEO 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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:24am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 355.1 km
Apogee height — 361.2 km
Perigee height — 348.9 km
Period — 91.64 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009147
Solar Beta Angle — 24.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude gain in the last 24 hours — 470 m (Shuttle VRCS)
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59229

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.

Note: The daily ISS On-Orbit Status reports can also be found at