Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 August 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
August 26, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 August 2008

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

Today’s main activity for the crew was to transfer two Lab racks to the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) – ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) and ER5, as part of a larger move of nine U.S. racks to Kibo as per international agreement. For the transfer, Gregory Chamitoff, assisted by CDR Volkov, had to –

  • Disconnect the two ELCs (ER laptop computers) and stow them temporarily with their cables & support equipment,
  • Rotate the CEVIS ergometer bicycle 90 deg out of the way to its stowed position (after having performed his one-hour physical exercise on it),
  • Relocate ER4 from LAB1P2 to Kibo position JPM1F5,
  • Relocate ER5 from LAB1S4 to Kibo position JPM1F1,
  • Mate ER4’s umbilicals at the JPMF5 UIP (Utility Interface Panel, “Z-panel”);
  • Mate ER5’s umbilicals at the JPM1F1 UIP (“Z-panel”),
  • Set up & connect each ELC at its respective ER, and
  • Restow any items temporarily relocated before the transfers to their original locations.

[The EXPRESS (EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station) Racks are standardized payload rack systems that transport, store and support science payloads aboard the ISS in several disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and medicine, including commercial activities. Each ER is housed in an ISPR (International Standard Payload Rack) – a refrigerator-size container that acts as the ER’s exterior shell. Each rack can be divided into segments, whether as large as half the entire rack or as small as a breadbox.]

Sergey Volkov used an early RGS (Russian Groundsite) comm pass (DO4/~2:27am EDT) to downlink a Fialka UVC (Ultraviolet Video Camera) recording from the geophysical GFI-1 Relaksatsiya ("relaxation") experiment session on 8/20, which took images and radiation patterns of the Earth atmosphere & surface from spectra recorded with the UV camera from SM window #9. [Relaksatsiya normally deals with the study of the chemoluminescent chemical reactions and atmospheric light phenomena (emissions, i.e., molecular relaxation processes), including those that occur during high-velocity interaction between the exhaust products from space vehicles and the atmosphere at orbital altitude and during the entry of space vehicles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

After temporarily deactivating the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner, FE-1 Kononenko collected another set of condensate water (KAV) samples from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Recovery System, upstream of its FGS Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter, in an empty drinking bag for return to Earth.

As part of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, the FE-1 used a vacuum cleaner and soft brush for cleaning 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).

Volkov, Kononenko & Chamitoff had another ~8:40 hrs reserved on today’s timeline between them for ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo unloading/loading, i.e., moving consumables to the ISS via the SM (Service Module) and loading trash & excessed equipment on “Jules Verne”.

Yesterday’s scheduled O2 (oxygen) refresh of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-64/29P stores was aborted and moved to today’s schedule for the CDR.

The crew had their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sergey at ~12:05pm, Oleg at ~1:20pm, Greg at ~2:30pm EDT.

The CDR 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, Sergey also 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).

In preparation for the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) thruster test scheduled tomorrow evening (~6:12pm), Gregory verified closure of the protective window shutter of the JAXA JLP.

The station residents conducted their regular 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 (CDR), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later, Volkov transferred the exercise data file 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).

At ~5:20pm EDT, just before sleep time, the FE-1 will again set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD (Sonocard) payload and start his ninth experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [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.]

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

WRS (Water Recovery System) Update: Yesterday’s scheduled installation of the O2 port on the PD4 standoff in the Lab and the relocation of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care System) O2 supply hose to the new port, followed by an overnight leak check, could not be completed by the FE-2 when an adapter required for umbilical and port purging could not be located. The activity has been deferred until the missing equipment is located. [The CHeCS rack will be relocated next week in the U.S. Lab from the D4 position to the S4 position in order to install the WRS-1 rack during STS-126/ULF2. Since there will be no O2 connection to the CHeCS rack at the S4 location, the new O2 port must be installed, also to interface with the Regenerative ECLSS system to maintain a functional O2 port in the D4 bay of the Lab.]

HRM Update: When Kononenko’s exercise HRM2 (Heart Rate Monitor 2) #1001 stopped working yesterday, it was replaced by the available spare (#1002), pending further troubleshooting of #1001. [The wireless POLAR S810 HRMs resemble sports wrist watches, with some of their features. They display the heart rate as BPM (beats per minute) and % of HRmax, average HR plus exercise duration, along with 7 different exercise profiles. The HR is radioed by the HRM transmitter, worn on an elastic belt around the chest, to the wrist receiver for subsequent downloading to the MEC and analysis by special software. Receiver settings are also uploaded from the laptop.]

VolSci Preview: For next weekend’s Voluntary Science program, Gregory has selected a 4-hr. session with the SPHERE (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) payload, using all three satellites and requiring the CDRA to be running. Two additional candidate payloads were suggested for 8/31 (Sunday) & 9/1 (Monday, a holiday): (1) a LOCAD-PTS (Lab-On-A-Chip Application Development – Portable Test System) run, using Glucan LAL cartridges in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to look for fungus on surfaces, and (2) another SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) session.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target uplinked for today was West Hawk Impact Crater, Manitoba (looking right from track, West Hawk crater was a more circular lake situated on the near side of a set of many elongated lakes. This 4.5 km-diameter crater was formed 350 million years ago, and is still evident in the landscape despite several episodes of glacial erosion in the last 2 million years).

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).

Week 19 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Wed. (8/27): MBI-12/Sonokard (FE-1); ATV cargo transfers; LULIN data dwnld.; DC1 IDZ-2 smoke detector cleaning; THC-IMV flow meas.; SVO BRP-M water sampling; IWIS setup; Emergency proc. OBT/drill; IWIS thruster test.
  • Thu. (8/28): MBI-12/Sonokard (CDR); BMP ch.1 regen; Regen ECLSS Mod Kit 1 install; JAXA CB Microscope C/O; Clay EPO return; COL FSL FCE release; ATV cargo transfers; PHS w/blood set-up; ASU R&R; WRM audit.
  • Fri. (8/29): BMP ch.2 regen; PHS w/blood (PCBA); 29P: LKT remove/activate/hatch close/leak check; BRTK-MBRL prox.comm. prep; ITCS fluid sampling (JEM, Lab, Node-2, COL); OCA & FS laptop reboots.
  • Sat. (8/30): Station cleaning (RS); PFCs (CDR, FE-1); VolSci (SPHERES); FFQ; Ham pass.
  • Sun. (8/31): Station cleaning (USOS); WINSCAT; PFC (FE-2).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:35am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 355.6 km
Apogee height — 361.5 km
Perigee height — 349.6 km
Period — 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008817
Solar Beta Angle — -23.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 40 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55960

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
08/27/08 — IWIS thruster test (~6:12pm)
09/01/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, FGB nadir (~3:47pm); independent flight w/”Plasma” exp.
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (~5:27pm); independent flight
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P de-orbit (~5:19pm)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch (~3:49:45pm)
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft, ~5:08pm DM)
09/29/08 — ATV de-orbit (nighttime re-entry for observation)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft)
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)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) or 10/24?
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
11/25/08 — 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.