Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 September 2008

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

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

Upon wake-up, CDR Volkov terminated his 11th SONOKARD experiment session for the long-term MBI-12 Russian sleep study, 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.]

Continuing communications outfitting activities in the SM (Service Module), begun earlier, CDR Volkov installed new cabling connecting the BSK-1B and BSK-2B Common Power Switching Timers behind panel 436 to the ASN Satellite Navigation System. [BSK-2B was temporarily taken out to for installing the connections and a subsequent checkout of the activated ASN and SM Printer1, before these systems were powered off again and the BSK-2B re-installed.]

Later, the Elektron electrolysis machine, turned off for the duration of BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry system powerdown, was reactivated 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.

FE-2 Chamitoff unstowed and set up the PFE-OUM (Periodic Fitness Exam-Oxygen Uptake Measurement) equipment on the HRF-2 (Human Research Facility 2) rack, including the PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module), Mixing Bag System and GDS (Gas Delivery System), for his second PFE-OUM protocol session tomorrow, with Volkov serving as operator. [The PFE-OUM experiment, using the CEVIS ergometer for workout, demonstrates the capability of crewmembers to perform periodic fitness evaluations with continuous oxygen consumption measurements within 14 days after arrival on ISS, and once monthly during routine PFEs. Once the capability of the pulmonary function system (PFS) to perform PFEs is verified, crewmembers will be able to integrate their monthly PFE with oxygen consumption measurements to fulfill the requirement for cardiovascular fitness evaluations during long-duration space flight.]

Volkov underwent his first session of the biomedical protocol KARDIO-ODNT (MBI-5), an extensive cardiovascular test of human pericardium (heart muscle) activity as well as of primary parameters of central and regional blood circulation at rest and under the effect of lower body negative pressure (LBNP, Russian: ODNT). The test was controlled from TsUP-Moscow by a biomed specialist via VHF over RGS (Russian ground site) comm window (~10:16am EDT). FE-1 Kononenko assisted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The LBNP, generated by a specially designed “Chibis” suit (PVK), applies suction on the lower body ranging from 10 to 60 mm Hg, thereby exerting a functional loading roughly equivalent to 10-60 kg of force on the musculoskeletal system to test the body’s adaptation to prolonged exposure to microgravity. After an initial setup period, during which Oleg attached a large number of electrodes to Sergey’s head, body and extremities, cardiographic readings on the oscilloscope of the Gamma-1M medical complex were taken during two RGS comm passes, first without, then with the Chibis suit.]

The CDR had two hours set aside to work in the DC1 (Docking Compartment), removing the SU-95 matching unit of the RS (Russian Segment) STTS onboard radio communications system and replacing it with a new spare.

In preparation for brief Progress thruster firings at ~11:35am EDT, Chamitoff closed the protective shutters of the science window in the JAXA JPM and in the U.S. Lab. [The thruster firings were in support of the R7 software upload to the primary & backup GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control) MDMs at ~11:30am. For the transitioning of the backup GNC to primary, ISS attitude control authority was handed over to the RS MCS (Motion Control System) at 11:30am, to be returned to US Momentum Management at ~2:10pm after the GNC MDM transition. The Lab window can be re-opened two orbits later, at ~5:10pm. The Kibo window remains closed at least until after the Relaxation Experiment tomorrow (9/26, ~1:45pm).]

Chamitoff’s participation in the ongoing X2R7 software transition today focused on

  • Powering on the CUP PCS (Cupola Portable Computer System) and A/L (Airlock) PCS A31p laptops, each equipped with vers. R11 hard disks, following the ground-controlled transition of the C&C (Command & Control) MDMs to CCS R7, and
  • Replacing the remaining old R10 hard drives of the SM, COL, JEM and Lab RWS PCS laptops with the deployed new R11 drives, powering each PCS laptop up after the swap and finally stowing the old R10s.

[Reconfiguration of the new primary and backup C&C MDMs was performed by MCC-H. The ground also loaded the Node-1 MDMs (with NCS R3) and the GNC MDMs (with GNC R7).]

Sergey Volkov performed monthly maintenance on the deactivated Russian IK0501 GA (Gas Analyzer) of the SOGS Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System by replacing its CO2 filter assembly (BF) with a new unit from FGB stowage (done last: 8/14), then reactivating the unit. The old filter was discarded.

FE-1 Kononenko updated the Russian laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSE1, RSK1 and RSK2 with the latest virus definition database for their Norton AntiVirus application, then scanned the laptops, saving the scan protocols for downlink to TsUP-Moscow via OCA for analysis.

Oleg also collected the periodic ISS cabin air readings with the Russian GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system. [AOK GANK-4M tests for Methane (CH4), Ammonia (NH3), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Formaldehyde (HCHO), Nitrogen Oxides (NO, NO2), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), and Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN).]

To support IPU (Image Processing Unit) activation in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by the ground, Gregory Chamitoff turned on the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) and its laptop (MLT), by first powering up the MMA’s NCU/RSU (Network Control Unit/Remote Sensor Unit) set from the Ryutai rack’s UDC (Utility DC to DC Converter), then turning on both the NCU/RSU and MLT. [Kibo Lab systems were powered down by SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) in Tsukuba from 8:30am-10:00am in support of the GNC X2R7 software transition.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Gregory was to search for a stowage bag with 5 pairs of K-BAR (Knee-Brace Assembly Replacement) capture mechanisms (CMs), required for the upcoming relocation of the two HRF (Human Research Facility) racks to Columbus, set for 10/1 & 10/2, and their correct installation at the F4 & A4 locations. The K-BAR CMs were to be installed right away. [If the bag is not found, two pairs of CMs from NASA stock were to be used for now, to avoid delaying the rack relocation.]

Chamitoff and Kononenko each had about 1.5 hrs reserved for deploying new Emercy-2/Warning SODF (Station Operations Data File) procedure documents reflecting the X2R7 software upgrade.

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.]

Sergey also handled 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).

Gregory retrieved the LOCAD-PTS (Lab-On-a-Chip Application Portable Test System) media slides of his last VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) session from incubation, recorded the temperature reading from the incubation bag and the colony count for each slide, photographed the slides and then discarded them as wet trash. [LOCAD technology has an ever-expanding range of applications in the biotech industry. Chips are available (or in development) which can also detect yeast, mold, and gram positive bacteria, identify environmental contaminants, and perform quick health diagnostics in medical clinics. The technology has been used to swab the MERs (Mars Exploration Rovers) for planetary protection. With expanded testing on ISS, began by Sunita Williams in March/April of last year, this compact technology has broad potential applications in space exploration–from monitoring environmental conditions to monitoring crew health. The current study should prepare for long-duration exploration by demonstrating a system that enables the crew to perform biochemical analysis in space without having to return samples to Earth.]

The FE-2 completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (17-1016) lists 29 CWCs (~1047.4 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (326.2 L, for flushing only because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (669.8 L, incl. 174.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (34.4 L), waste/EMU dump and other (17 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Gregory also conducted another one of the periodic offloadings of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier’s condensate tank, filling a CWC (#1054) with the collected water slated for processing. Samples were not required.

Chamitoff performed periodic maintenance on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), changing out its isolators with new 6-inch units from a stowage kit.

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, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Later, Oleg 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, today starting at ~4:00am and running until 10:00am, 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 ~7:30am, Gregory powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 7:35am, a ham radio exchange with the Michael Sobell Sinai School in Harrow, Middlesex, UK. [The Michael Sobell Sinai School opened in 1981 and is the largest Jewish Primary School in Europe. It caters for children aged 3-11 and offers a challenging curriculum and the highest standard of education. Two of its pupils, Jessica and Amelia Diamond, visited KSC in May to see their cousin, FE-2 Greg Chamitoff, launch on the Shuttle to the ISS. Questions were uplinked beforehand. “What training do you do to become an astronaut?”, “What is the purpose of your trip?”; “How do you go to the toilet?”; “Will there ever be a day when we can holiday on the moon?”; “Could you describe what the earth looks like when you are in space and can you identify continents, weather conditions and the seas?”; “If one of your children wanted to be an astronaut, what would you say to them?”]

Week 23/24 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • 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 equipmt R&R; FS & OCA router reboot; FFQ; NUTRITION prep.
  • Sat. (9/27): NUTRITION w/blood collect; station cleaning; POTOK maint.; 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 mntr.; GFI-1 charge; PFC (FE-2).
  • Mon. (9/29): NUTRITION; BMP ch.1 regen; VELO maint.; ASU toilet replmnts; Elektron maint.; MFCV valve adjustments; Node-2, A/L, Lab SD/BF maint.; GFI-1/Relax. exp. (ATV1); air sampling (CMS, GSC, AK-1M); IP-1 inspect.; KPT/BAR-RM power charge.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target uplinked for today was S. Mozambique (Greg had a nadir pass over this site; overlapping mapping frames taken along track were requested. The region is undergoing rapid development, and imagery of the existing state of land cover will be useful to track changes to regional ecosystems over time).

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, 7:27am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.6 km
Apogee height — 357.2 km
Perigee height — 347.9 km
Period — 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006862
Solar Beta Angle — 30.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 57 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56431

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)
10/14/08 — 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
11/02/08 — Progress 30P reboost
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC (~7:02pm EST)
11/18/08 — 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
12/01/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 landing (~1:25pm EST est.)
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.