Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 24, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 September 2008

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

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Kononenko terminated his eleventh SONOKARD experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. Sergey Volkov’s new MBI-12 session starts tonight (~5:20pm). [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

CDR Volkov worked several hours on the Russian BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system, performing maintenance by removing its PTsB central processor subsystem (Monoblock TA968MA) and replacing it with a new TA968MA unit delivered on Progress 30P. [Deactivating the BITS2-12 and VD-SU monitoring mode also required the Elektron oxygen generator to be turned off during the outfitting activities.]

Later, the Elektron electrolysis machine was activated again at 32 amps, supported by Kononenko monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

As has become standard operating procedure after deactivation/reactivation of VD-SU monitoring mode, Oleg also performed a quick function verification of the SUBA Ethernet connection between the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) and the BRI Smart Switch Router in the SM.

The FE-1 performed the periodic hardware structure & surface sampling for microbial contamination in the RS (Russian Segment), using a sampling kit for taking swabs from designated panel locations in the SM (Service Module) and FGB. The sample tubes were then prepared for return on Soyuz TMA-12 next month.

For FE-2 Chamitoff and the USOS (US Segment), today began the long-awaited X2FR7 software transition during which MCC-Houston is remotely upgrading several MDM (Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) computers to new software versions, from today to 9/26 (Friday). For Chamitoff, today’s activities consisted of installing new 60GB hard drives with R11 software into the Airlock & CUPOLA PCS (Portable Computer System) A31p ThinkPad laptops which he had previous image-ghosted. The old CPS R10 hard drives were stowed away. [MCC-H will transition the C&C (Command & Control) MDM to CCS R7 software, the GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control) MDM to GNC R7, and the Node-1 MDMs to NCS R3 software. More upgrade steps are scheduled tomorrow and Friday.]

Gregory also had 3.5 hrs for unpacking and stowing US cargo delivered on Progress 30P, with special attention to his food for the upcoming SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment. Completed items were reported to MCC-H for IMS (Inventory Management System) logging.

After emptying 30P’s potable water tanks BV1 & BV2 yesterday, Sergey Volkov today began the usual transfer of liquid waste (urine) from 2-3 EDV-U containers to the cargo ship’s BV1 Rodnik tank, using jumpers and the electric pump. [More transfers from an accumulated total of currently 5 EDV-Us will be performed in the next several days as part of SOZh maintenance.]

Oleg Kononenko worked on the plant growth experiment BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2"), first copying accumulated CR10X data files to a memory card for return to Earth, then collecting samples of grown Mizuna plants, taking documentary photography, placing the samples in a Ziploc bag and stowing the package in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS), in Dewar 3, Tray B. [Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

In the Node-1, Chamitoff performed maintenance on the RED (Resistive Exercise Device) workout machine, adjusting the spiral pulleys of both canisters (to increase their load for the user) and installing an external spline (which he had found) on the fore canister. Afterwards Greg concluded the job with the standard Flexpac canister load calibration, as required after cable replacements/adjustments. [Chamitoff’s on-orbit calibration of the Schwinn RED cans re-established the relationship of specific load settings with a specific number of pulls per setting, followed by recording of the load values measured with a calibration tool and steel handles from the on-orbit calibration kit.]

On the Russian Matryoshka-R (RBO-3-2) radiation payload in the DC1 (Docking Compartment), Oleg checked out the ALC-952 memory card and activated the AST Spectrometer for data takes. [After retrieving a used PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) card, ALC-952, from stowage, Oleg activated the AST twice to verify the card’s labels and orientation, then re-inserted ALC-952 in the spectrometer and activated the AST again after its powerdown yesterday.]

The FE-1 also conducted the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways, including the passageways SM PrK (Transfer Compartment) – RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel) – RO, PkhO – DC1, PkhO – FGB PGO, FGB PGO – FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1, but not for the hatch to Soyuz.

Afterwards, Kononenko took 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 Isopropanol (“rubbing alcohol”, C3H8O), Methanol (“wood alcohol”, CH3OH) and Toluene (methylbenzene, C7H8).

Continuing the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, the FE-1 spent an hour in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), cleaning the detachable fan screens 1, 2, and 3 of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) and the fixed grill of GZhT #4.

As a new item on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, the CDR completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Oleg meanwhile handled the daily IMS 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 completed 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-2), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR/2.5h, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Later, Sergey transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

As generally every day now, starting at ~9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) is activated intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS cooling loop. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking. CDRA remains “yellow” on the ISS critical systems list.]

At ~2:00pm EDT, Gregory is scheduled for his regular weekly PMC (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, deferred from yesterday.

Week 23 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Thu. (9/25): SODF deploy; PCS R11 reload; MDM X2R7 software upgrade; BSK-2B timer R&R; CO2 BF filter R&R; CEVIS R&R; WRM/CWC audit; MBI-5/KARDIO-ODNT/LBNP; SONOKARD.
  • Fri. (9/26): CB (Clean Bench) funct. checkout; PFE-OUM exam; VT-7 heat exch. fan grille cleaning, MBI-5/KARDIO-ODNT/LBNP; GFI-1; ham equipment R&R; FS & OCA router reboot; FFQ; NUTRITION prep.
  • Sat. (9/27): NUTRITION w/blood collect; station cleaning; POTOK mtn; PFCs (CDR, FE-1); prep for HRF-2 rack transfer (PC2 laptop decable).
  • Sun. (9/28): NUTRITION w/urine collect; TVIS video; FMK deploy; SOLO diet mon; GFI-1 charge; PFC (FE-2).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Typhoon Hagupit, Pacific Ocean (Dynamic Event. Looking to the right of track for Typhoon Hagupit, predicted to be a Category 1 storm at the time of ISS overpass. The storm was beginning to interact with land along the northern Gulf of Tonkin, and the center should have been over the island of Hainan, Antarctic Ice Pack, S. Atlantic Ocean (shooting to the right of track as ISS approached Antarctica for ice rafts; a gap in the cloud cover is predicted for this portion of the South Atlantic Ocean. Photographs of sea ice are requested as part of IPY [International Polar Year] activities), and Tenoumer Impact Crater, Mauritania (Greg had a nadir pass over this young, small [2 km diameter] impact structure. While a well-defined circular crater is present, its small size will make it a challenging target. Overlapping mapping nadir-viewing frames, taken along track, were recommended in order to obtain imagery of the crater).

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, 7:01am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.6 km
Apogee height — 357.2 km
Perigee height — 348.0 km
Period — 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006805
Solar Beta Angle — 34.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 54 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56415

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/29/08 — ATV de-orbit (nighttime re-entry for observation from 2 NASA aircraft; ~9:12pm)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/02/08 — ISS Reboost (~1.8 m/s)
10/10/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4) 12:33am
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:03am EDT; Lonchakov, Fincke, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port, ~4:51am)
10/24/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) & landing
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/14/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/25/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking & deorbit
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
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.