Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 April 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
April 23, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 April 2009
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 April 2009

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

After again configuring and activating the G1 camcorder equipment in Node-1, FE-1 Barratt & FE-2 Wakata proceeded with Day 3 of the major TVIS Combined Maintenance. [Today’s IFM (Inflight Maintenance) had the crew re-install the TVIS in the SM (Service Module) “pit”. Verification of torque on belt slat screws from yesterday’s work will be done tomorrow, along with re-installation of closeout panels, verification of chassis squareness, an unmanned speed characterization test and a full Activation & Checkout (including exercise) with high definition video and audio capture. Yesterday, Mike & Koichi replaced 50 truss rollers, installed a new treadbelt, replaced the transfer case, and reinstalled the left chassis side plate, flywheel case, and the gyroscope. The crew was unable to locate the new flywheel case that was delivered on Flight ULF-2; per ground instruction, the existing one was lubricated and then re-installed. Barratt & Wakata also noted that corner wire-ropes were frayed and replaced them. A new electronics box was installed, and the nominal 6-month maintenance performed, consisting mostly of lubricating. Later, the video cables were to be disconnected and removed tonight, to comply with the cable hatch drag-thru flight rules.]

On the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation), FE-2 Wakata removed the temporarily used CCC (CEVIS Contingency Controller) and installed the new Control Panel and Display Cable (-302) instead. [The subsequent physical exercise on the CEVIS was performed with a new protocol (IFM-WK2) for the Control Panel, transferred to the CEVIS on Monday (4/20).]

CDR Padalka performed preventive maintenance on the Russian LIV television equipment in the SM by cleaning the ventilation grille of its UN941 voltage converter, on a pull-out tray at panel 426.

Afterwards, the CDR collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM, using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today using preprogrammed microchips to measure for Ammonia (NH3) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).

Additionally, Gennady performed the final documentary photography on the educational experiment OBR-1/Fizika-Obrazovaniye with its running “Physics-Phase” demo, then terminated the experiment and closed it down. [Obrazovaniye (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 studied a complete gas-liquid phase separation of fine dispersion particles in micro-G with diffusion and surface tension of the fluid. The experiment was conducted for four days, documented with photography.]

FE-1 Barratt took care of 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.]

Dr. Mike also supported ground-commanded AgCam (Agricultural Camera) operations by opening the protective Lab science window shutters for several hours. They will be closed again later tonight for the S4 Solar Array Characterization test. [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.]

In the DC1 (Docking Compartment), Padalka conducted the first part of getting the new Russian Orlan-MK #005 spacesuit ready, today unstowing and preparing the Progress-delivered equipment and initiating the charging of the Orlan 825M3 battery pack in the ZU-S recharge unit. [Further activities on the Orlan-MK are scheduled for tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday.]

Afterwards, Gennady terminated the discharge/charge cycle on the first pair of four NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries for the Russian BMD (Biomedical Device) PZE STIMUL-01 payload and started the process on the second pack in the payload’s charger device in preparation for his upcoming physical stimulation/conditioning training with the device. [The neuromuscular myostimulator suit STIMUL-1, which uses electrical stimulation to contract and relax leg muscle fibers for conditioning, is part of the suite of BMS (Biomedical Support) systems under development at the Moscow IBMP (Institute for Biomedical Problems) for long-duration spaceflights including piloted Mars missions.]

Koichi Wakata completed 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). Preliminary results of the sample analyses look good; the final report will be available on 4/28/09. It is likely that approval for consumption of PWD water will be given at that point.]

Continuing the current round of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, the CDR used vacuum cleaner and soft brush to clean the detachable VT7 fan screens 1, 2 & 3 of the three SOTR (Thermal Control System) gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok).

Gennady also 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.]

Afterwards, the CDR 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).

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).

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).

At ~4:10am EDT, the crew held a tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at the SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) in Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

At ~4:25am, Gennady linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers. [Topics today included 3 hardware items reportedly stowed in the Progress ship.]

S4 Solar Array Characterization Test: For tonight’s recurring S4 Solar Array Characterization thruster firings (12:22am-12:27am EDT), the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) was programmed today from MCC-Houston for taking structural dynamics data during the test. [The Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science window shutters must remain closed until return of attitude control authority to US Momentum Management.]

Russian TVM Update: Subset 1 (of 3) of the Russian TVM (Terminal Computer System) in the SM remains failed after two attempts at restart. The third restart attempt is scheduled for tomorrow morning at ~4:05 am EDT.

Progress 32P Update: All gases (O2, air) have been transferred from 32P tankage to the ISS. Tonight, TsUP-Moscow will be pumping propellants from 32P to the SM tanks. 32P undocking & deorbit is scheduled on 5/6.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Megafans, Algeria (a mapping swath just left of track, for 60 secs, was requested, to document ancient river courses and other features along the southern side of this large “inland delta”. Accumulations of desert sediment appear to be good analogs for layered deposits on Mars), Black Point Lava Flow, AZ (this Arizona lava flow is being used as an analog site for lunar lava phenomena. Looking right of track: the lava flow appeared as a dark tongue protruding into the light-toned valley floor. The Grand Canyon appeared just uptrack from the site. In September 2009 a 3-week field traverse is planned with the Lunar Rover [LER] at this site. Imagery from ISS thus simulates an orbiting crew imaging lunar landing and transect sites), and Sky Islands, Mexico (general orientational views looking into this large target area were requested. Looking right of track obliquely to image the green forests of the mountain crests [“sky islands”] above the yellow desert valley floors).

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, 9:10am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 352.1 km
Apogee height – 357.8 km
Perigee height — 346.3 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008528
Solar Beta Angle — -6.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 77 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59735

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) – 1:31pm 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) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM2 w/new port)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 – Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Proton — tentative
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 — Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 — Progress 37P launch
02/??/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
06/??/10 – ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 – 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.

SpaceRef staff editor.