Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 June 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 June 2008

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

Crew sleep cycle shift: After wake-up at the regular 2:00am EDT this morning, the crew will begin their sleeptime at 2:30pm, i.e., three hours earlier than usual, followed by a late-night wakeup at 11:00pm, to adjust the planned Orlan-suited dry-run & Soyuz ingress training for live VHF telemetry/comm visibility over RGS (Russian Groundsites). Tomorrow’s sleep period begins at 3:30pm and extends to the regular 2:00am on 6/27 (Friday). The crew will then have half the day off to recover from the sleep shift.

Upon wake-up, FE-1 Kononenko terminated his fifth MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session, started last night, 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. [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.]

After resetting STTS communication/telemetry links for their stay in the DC1 Docking Compartment, Volkov & Kononenko continued preparations for the subsequent suited Soyuz emergency ingress and the training for the Orlan EVA-20a:

  • Kononenko, with FE-2 Chamitoff assisting, installed the US EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) lights and TV camera on the helmet of Orlan-M #26, based on uplinked detailed procedures, while
  • Volkov set up the DC1 and the Soyuz Orbital Module (BO) for the simulation run, creating room for moving about in the Orlans by removing air ducts (VD1, VD2) in DC1 and the BVN fan/heater assembly with air duct in the BO.

Afterwards, the CDR & FE-1 had three hours blocked out for rehearsing emergency escape from the DC1 into the Soyuz spacecraft while clad in the bulky spacesuits. [Should the DC1 exhibit a pressure anomaly during the Orlan EVA activities, the BO of the Soyuz would be used (off-nominally) as an airlock. This would require: equalizing the pressure between DC1 and BO, ingressing the BO, closing the BO-DC1 (SU) hatch, doffing the Orlan-Ms, equalizing the pressure between the BO and the SA, and ingressing the SA (which already contains the FE-2). Either restoring DC1 hermeticity or Soyuz relocation to the FGB nadir port or return to Earth could then be performed safely.]

After conclusion of the exercise, Sergey restored the nominal STTS comm settings and reconfigured the DC1 & Soyuz SOTR (Thermal Control System) with its air ducts etc. back to nominal.

Meanwhile, Gregory Chamitoff had an hour set aside for unpacking cargo delivered on STS-124/1J and stowing it at its final locations.

For covering tomorrow’s Orlan donning & checkout for real-time photo/video downlink via US Ku-band assets, Greg worked on setting up the SONY PD100 camcorder with the necessary connections, including long drag-thru cables from the DC1.

The FE-2 also prepared the third Icepac insertion into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS) in the Lab for upcoming sample stowage by retrieving one -32deg Icepac belt from stowage and inserting it in Section 1 of Tray B in Dewar 3. [Second insertion: 6/19.]

Chamitoff then completed a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Windows Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool), his first onboard session, by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT experiment. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request.]

The FE-1 conducted the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways, including the passageways SM PrK (Service Module Transfer Compartment)-ATV, PrK-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, FGB PGO-FGB GA, FGB GA-Node-1.

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Oleg completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables

Kononenko also performed 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).

At ~9:45am EDT, Greg Chamitoff, with Volkov & Kononenko floating beside him, downlinked two televised PAO messages of greetings, to be taped on the ground for use at NASA Visitors Centers around the US and for promotional clips for NASA TV and the NASA website.

At ~11:40am, the FE-2 powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, and power supply) and at 11:45am conducted a ham radio exchange with students at Robinson Elementary School, Robinson, TX. [Robinson Elementary is a second and third grade public school in Robinson, a suburb of Waco, TX. The campus has approximately 250 students and 32 teachers and staff. Students are from, mostly, low to middle income families with a rural background. The school has been recognized by the state of Texas for their performance in the state-based TAKS test. Questions to Greg were uplinked beforehand: “What countries are represented by the space station right now?”; “Do you float or walk in the space station?”; “Have you walked in space?”; “How do you go to the bathroom?”; “What do you do for fun in the space station?”; “Can you email or surf the web on the space station?”; “Do you watch your TV shows or any TV shows on the space station?”; “Does the space station orbit at the same speed as the earth?”; “How do you take a shower or a bath?”]

The crew worked out according to their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise protocol (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS (CDR, FE-2), RED (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1). Afterwards, Gregory transferred the exercise data file to the MEC 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).

Periodic Noise Level Survey Abort: Due to a software/display issue with the new SLM (Sound Level Meter), yesterday’s scheduled acoustic station survey by Chamitoff was aborted for lack of troubleshooting time. Currently being assessed and to be re-scheduled at a later time.

Columbus Troubleshooting: Ground teams are investigating what appears to be insufficient humidity collection (condensing) by the COL CWSA (Columbus Orbital Laboratory/Condensate Water Separator Assembly), possibly caused by a bad delta-pressure sensor, system blockage upstream of the sensor, or simply by the alteration of the station configuration by the addition of the Kibo JEM (Japanese Experiment Module). COL has also lost one of eight lighting fixtures, and a replacement with a spare LHA (Lamp Housing Assembly) is being considered.

VolSci Program: After receiving kudos from the PI for his excellent LOCAD Voluntary Science session last weekend, Greg Chamitoff was offered three choices each for the two weekends ahead (6/28-6/29, 7/5-6): (1) a SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) session, to locate and assemble the SHERE hardware in the MSG WV (Microgravity Science Glovebox Work Volume) and assess the condition of the hardware (SHERE will study the effect of rotational preshear on a polymer fluid being stretched axially in a microgravity environment; this knowledge can be applied to designing and processing materials for future exploration missions); (2) an “operations improvement” session with SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) with all three satellites (single-satellite experiments to test new thrusting algorithms and demonstrate safe trajectories for the inspection of space structures; two-satellite experiments to introduce new controllers and on-line path planning tools for purpose of docking to a complex tumbling satellite; three-satellite runs for formation flight experiments to test initialization of a formation and obstacle avoidance; (3) an EPO (Education Payload Operations) Demo on Space Careers, creating an educational video discussing different careers found at NASA, to be used to produce an educational product to enhance existing education resources for students in grades 9-12. For 7/5-6: (1) SHERE (see above); (2) SPHERES (see above); (3) a LOCAD PTS (Lab-On-A-Chip Application Development – Portable Test System) surface sampling session using Glucan LAL cartridges, targeting yeast & molds on ISS surfaces.

EVA-20a Timeline Preview (preliminary): The Orlan EVA-20a by Volkov/EV1 & Kononenko/EV2 on 7/10 is scheduled to begin at ~12:18pm EDT (DC1 EV hatch open), to last an estimated 5 hrs 43 min, thus concluding at approximately 6:00pm. The EVA is supported by the DC1-based Strela 1 crane, operated via hand crank by EV1. Main objective is the inspection of the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft at its first separation plane (Plane I) followed by removal of one Soyuz pyrobolt for retrieval to the DC1. Before the removal of the separation bolt, protective covers will be temporarily installed on the spacecraft’s attitude control thrusters (later removed), the pyrobolt’s electrical connector will be demated, and the wiretie between the pyrobolts will be cut. If enough time remains after the Soyuz activity, the spacewalkers will also install a new docking target (for the new MEM module) on the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment) exterior.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target uplinked for today was Ganges River Delta (the Ganges Delta is the world’s largest delta. It empties into the Bay of Bengal and is one of the most fertile regions in the world. The Ganges Delta is one of CEO’s long term monitoring sites. Context views of the delta were requested. There’s particular interest in the land use boundaries. As with most deltas, there will probably have been clouds covering parts of the delta).

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website: (as of 3/1/08, this database contained 757,605 views of the Earth from space, with 314,000 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:34am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 345.3 km
Apogee height — 350.9 km
Perigee height — 339.8 km
Period — 91.44 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008287
Solar Beta Angle — -22.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 50 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 54983

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
06/26/08 — Orlan-suited dry-run & Soyuz ingress training
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20a (7/10-11)
09/05/08 — ATV1 Undocking
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking (from FGB nadir)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (SM aft port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir)
11/03/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation
11/10/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
02/10/09 — Progress M-67/32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress M-67/32P docking
1QTR CY09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
2QTR CY09 — STS-127/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
3QTR CY09 — STS-128/17A/Atlantis – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking, May ’09)
3QTR CY09 — STS-129/ULF3/Discovery – ELC1, ELC2
4QTR CY09 — STS-130/20A/Endeavour – Node-3 + Cupola
1QTR CY10 — STS-131/19A/Atlantis – MPLM(P)
1QTR CY10 — STS-132/ULF4/Discovery – ICC-VLD, MRM1 (contingency)
2QTR CY10 — STS-133/ULF5/Endeavour – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.