Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 September 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
September 26, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 September 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – Half-duty day.

FE-1 Mike Barratt began the second day of his FD180 session (his fifth on board) with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, after the 8-hr overnight fast. This was an all-day session, starting with the usual blood draw and continuing with urine sample collections for both several times until termination tomorrow after 24 hrs. [After the phlebotomy, Mike’s samples were first allowed to coagulate in the Repository for 20-30 minutes, then spun in the HRF RC (Human Research Facility/Refrigerated Centrifuge) and finally placed in MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). No thruster activity was allowed during the blood drawing. The RC was later powered off after a temperature reset to limit wear on the compressor, and cleaned. The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

For FE-2 Nicole Stott, it was the start of her FD30 NUTRITION w/Repository 24-hr urine collections, to be followed by the blood draw tomorrow. This was Nicole’s second onboard NUTRITION session.

FE-5 Frank De Winne had Day 6 of Session 1 with the SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment, i.e., the no-diet rest day between the two session blocks. Frank took measurements and sampling of body mass (BMM) with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), which was then temporarily stowed, plus samples of blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine, stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Ahead: Session 2 with high-salt diet. [SOLO runs in two blocks of six days each. During the Session 1 block, the FE-5 followed a special low-salt diet, during the next Session 2 a high-salt diet. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA Consumable Kit in the MELFI along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. SOLO, an ESA/German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning, including COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the house cleaning, CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens, Group A, in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3), and SM (VPkhO, VPrK, FS5, FS6 & FS9), plus dust filter replacement in the FGB.

The CDR also completed the regular maintenance of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air purification subsystems in the SM and FGB by cleaning the pre-filters with a vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle attachment and later restarting POTOK in automatic mode.

In preparation for his return to gravity on 10/10 (Eastern), Gennady Padalka undertook the second (of five) training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisting by Roman Romanenko as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The 55-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground site (DO2, 6:44-7:07am), uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Malenchenko’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

FE-5 De Winne, with Padalka assisting, took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, spending an hour on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmembers worked out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace.]

Romanenko completed 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.]

For today’s several VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) activities, on the crew’s free time, Mike Barratt & Nicole Stott set up the hardware for another BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment run, then each of them worked through the protocol, with Canadian flight engineer Thirsk participating and taking photographs. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity, investigating the relative contributions of internal & external cues to self-orientation during and after micro-G exposure.. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration micro-G conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to micro-G and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

For a second VolSci activity, Mike worked on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), installing a fiber arm inside the MDCA CIA (Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus / Chamber Insert Assembly). Mike also retrieved the CIR fuel supply bypass QD (Quick Disconnect) from temporary stowage and installed it to support the CIR fuel valve timer test, then closed the combustion chamber’s front end cap. [The MDCA is a multi-user facility designed to accommodate different droplet combustion science experiments, using the CIR of the NASA Glenn Research Center’s FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility). The MDCA, in conjunction with the CIR, allows cost effective extended access to the micro-G environment, not possible on previous space flights. It contains the hardware and software required to conduct unique droplet combustion experiments in space, consisting of a CIA, an Avionics Package, and a multiple array of diagnostics. The Fiber Arm installed today allows fuel droplets to be deployed onto (and thus tethered to) the fiber during experimental burn & observation.]

As a third VolSci task, also on the CIR, Nicole replaced both MDCA fuel reservoirs with new reservoirs containing the fuel required to support new science test points.

As fourth VolSci activity, Bob Thirsk had chosen to inspect & photograph the CVB (Constrained Vapor Bubble) module with the science sample on the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack), checking for bubbles to verify the module’s integrity (i.e., no leakage, cracks or broken materials after launch). [The CVB, with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module), is designed to determine, through optical interferometry, specific fluid characteristics under micro-G conditions that are crucial for the design & engineering of heat pipes for space applications (such heat pipes could be made to use capillary flow to induce CVB flow, eliminating the need for wicks and providing large weight savings). The LMM allows the identification of microorganisms with a broad suite of optical diagnostics including fluorescence microscopy.]

With the MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) still inactive, Bob again used the hand-held CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1002) to take CO2 readings in the Lab at mid-module, recording time, CO2 percentage and CDM battery ticks.

For further assurance, Bob checked CO2 levels in the Lab also with the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) instrument (#1046).

Frank De Winne disconnected the 17A-delivered new TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) hardware, which had shown some anomalies after ACO (Activation & Checkout) on 9/21. [The new hardware should remain deployed but unpowered at SM Panel 327 to give easy access to the device for future troubleshooting.]

After setting up the G1 camcorder & preparing the hardware, Frank supported three runs of the ESA experiment “Foam Stability”, replacing camcorder battery, rewinding the tape and exchanging cell arrays between runs. [The project aims at the study of aqueous and non-aqueous foams in micro-G environment. The behavior of foams in micro-G and on earth are very different, because the process of drainage is absent in space. The effective enhancement of the “foamability” of liquid solutions without this drainage effect of gravity is investigated. Other fundamental questions addressed are: how long can those foams be stable? What is the role of solid particles in the liquid in water foam stabilization? Is it possible to create very "wet" foams in microgravity?]

Barratt & Stott had time set aside for filling out their regular weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Thirsk completed the regular bi-monthly reboots of the OCA Router and File Server SSC laptops.

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Padalka conducted a session of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the NIKON D3X digital camera with SIGMA 300-800 telephoto lens for subsequent downlinking on the BSR-TM payload data channel.

A second voluntary job for Gennady & Roman was another run for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.

The crew is also working, at their convenience, on reviewing an uplinked lengthy list of “Yellow Tag” items. [Yellow tags, more formally called "uncertified dual ops tags", are used to identify items not certified for ISS Operations (certification and/or paperwork not complete prior to launch); items which have IP (International Partner) segment-specific certification (can be used in one IP segment but should not be used in anther IP segment); items that could pose a safety hazard; and items that are broken or expired. Blank yellow tags are flown so hardware can be tagged on-orbit as necessary.]

At ~5:20am EDT, Bob Thirsk powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~5:25am conducted a ham radio session with students at the Houya Elementary School in Nishitokyo, Japan. [Houya Elementary School was established in 1874, and the number of students is 387.]

At ~9:00am EDT, the crew held their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-2), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR/2h, FE-3, FE-4 FE-5), and ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5).

Later, Barratt transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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).

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty — Week 17)

3-D SPACE: No report.

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): “Mike, thanks to your previous troubleshooting efforts and ground analysis of the results, a number of potential sources for the problem AgCam has been experiencing have now been eliminated. A range of different conditions can unfortunately manifest the same symptoms thus troubleshooting has been time consuming; only two sources now remain, electronics internal to the AgCam Power/Data Controller (PDC) or the A31p laptop. We know you earlier changed out the laptop, but that was an unrelated issue and there is a chance there may be an independent problem with the new one. We will soon have a procedure ready for you to change out the laptop again, which you could address on the crew task list. Though you soon depart Station, the AgCam team hopes you will have time for this last AgCam task. After the Laptop swap is completed, the AgCam system will separately be tested via ground commands to see if recovery has been achieved. If still no joy after that, the plan will be to return the AgCam PDC to the ground for internal fault analysis and subsequent reflight. Much of the AgCam system works fine and will remain on orbit; recovery options are being investigated which includes the potential for flight of an upgraded sensor component.”

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

ALTEA DOSI (NASA/ASI): JSC’s Space Radiation Monitoring Group (SRAG) continues to obtain good radiation data. The data is also received by the ALTEA PI in Italy who, at JSC this week, expressed his thanks for maintaining the hardware which generates the science for him.

BCAT-4/5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4/5): No report.

BIOLAB (ESA): No report.

Biological Rhythms (JAXA, BIORHYTHMS): No report.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report.

BISPHOSPHONATES: “Bob, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 9/28.”

CARD (Long Term Microgravity: Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): No report.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CB (JAXA Clean Bench): No report.

CBEF (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility)/SPACE SEED: “The 63-day long experiment was begun on 9/10. Enough germination rate was obtained and the seedlings in the PEU units are growing well.”

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Mike, thanks for completing your last CCISS session. This was the last on-orbit stand alone CCISS activity. We look forward to seeing you on the ground on R+1.”

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Complete.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), MDCA/Flex: No report.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

Commercial 2 (JAXA): Completed.

Commercial 3 (JAXA): Completed.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

DOSIS (ESA): Experiment is progressing nominally with active and passive dosimeters measurements. Data downlink was performed on 8/31.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Planned.

EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): The rack is continuously active in support of the Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility (PCDF) experiment. EDR is providing power/data and temperature control (via cooling loop) to PCDF.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.

EPM (European Physiology Module): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA): “Bob and Nicole completed the EPO-Weight vs. Mass-Demo. They did an excellent job! EPO looks forward to more opportunities for education on orbit.”

EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): No report.

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): Ongoing.

EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): No report.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): “Additional sessions are being scheduled due to PI request. These sessions will improve the photo moon data. First opportunity for additional sessions will be 10/3-5; second opportunity will be 10/20-21.”

EPO Try Zero-G (JAXA): “No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Spiral Top (JAXA): No report.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): With landing of 17A on 9/11, EuTEF platform was returned to the ground.

FACET (JAXA): No report.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): FSL MMA measurements performed for HTV1 berthing on 9/17.

GEOFLOW: No report.

HDTV System (JAXA): To be launched by HTV1.

Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.

HQPC (JAXA): To be launched by 34P.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “The Actiwatch, Holter Monitor 2, and Cardiopres data files were downlinked successfully. Frank had to re-downlink the Holter Monitor 2 HiFi card, because we suspect that “Add Data” wasn’t pressed between the two cards. We’re looking forward to Nicole’s FD30 Echo next week at which time Mike will be taking his turn at scanning!

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.


InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): No report.

IRIS (Image Reversal in Space): “Bob: Many thanks from the PI and IRIS team on your feedback in both your crew notes and your call down response to the daily summary. The feedback you provided will give good insight to the ISU students on the operation of IRIS on-orbit. This has been a great experience not only in the concept, but also the design, implementation and on-orbit operation of a science payload. We now have two successful IRIS sessions on-orbit with good data and consider IRIS to be successful and complete, and do not see further need for either troubleshooting or additional sessions. Once again, many thanks for all your efforts in making IRIS happen.”

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): No report.

MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): On 9/8, Ethernet trouble (Low and Medium Rate Data Line) communication error occurred. The Software Reboot/Power Cycle is scheduled for 9/22.

MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): Preparation began on 9/15.

MDCA/Flex: See under CIR.

MDS (Mice Drawer System): “The science and engineering teams in Italy and the US numbering almost eighty persons are very grateful for the additional attention provided to the MDS facility and for the care provided to the mice during this second off-nominal week. Thank you, Nicole, for your thorough comments following your MDS activities. The MDS team is working even harder reviewing the engineering designs to ensure conditions are appropriate and identify potential procedure modifications, if required. We sincerely appreciate all your special efforts to make this investigation a success.”

Microbe-1 (JAXA): No report.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): No report.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): No report.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.


PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 3; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): Area Dosimeters deployment was completed on 9/14 to start radiation monitoring on JPL and JLP. Great thanks for the effort to fit this task into the timeline.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): No report.

PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): Temperature monitoring by ground operations is now in progress and temperature is stable at around 20 degrees.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.


RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

RadSilk (JAXA): RadSilk experiment has started. Sortie sample (launch control sample) was return by 17A.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): Temperature monitoring by ground operation is now in progress.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Bob, thanks for downloading all the Actiwatches and getting an Actiwatch ready for Jeff. The data looks great.”

SMILES (JAXA): “Launched via HTV-1 on 9/10. The system C/O will be started on 9/25-28.”

SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in. Liquids, ESA): “SODI hardware & SODI IVIDIL hardware have been installed inside the MSG WV (work volume). SODI instrument is ready for SODI IVIDIL Checkout. Thank you very much, Bob and Frank, for the installation of SODI-IVIDIL in MSG. The science team is eager to start the science runs.”

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): SOLAR was put in Pointing Mode and the Sun observation window started on 9/15. SOLSPEC and SOLACES are acquiring science data.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): “Thank you very much Frank for your dedication in performing this SOLO experiment. The science team is very excited to have been able to get this in the plan between all the sleep shifting due to all the vehicle traffic.”

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): No report.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): No report.

SPINAL (Spinal Elongation): No report.

SWAB (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): “Mike, thank you for completing the second of eight sessions for SWAB Water collection! For your information, the 10 minutes called out for the activity was a transcription error. It should have read 70 minutes. The samples from these first two sessions will be returned on STS 129/ULF3. The PI team looks forward to analyzing the samples. Thank you for your work on SWAB!”

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): VLE-1 completed.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage). No report.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 9/22, the ground has received a total of 27,916 frames of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to confirm your acquisition of good-quality imagery for the following CEO targets: East Haruj Megafans, Libya; and Cairo, Egypt. The content of this imagery is still under review for requirements completion. Thanks for your diligence. Your absolutely stunning night-time image of the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. The good focus and composition of this imagery offers good definition under artificial lighting of many features of this prosperous Persian Gulf city including the famous Palm Island Resort. Fabulous shot!”

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Flooding in Angola and Namibia, Africa (Dynamic Event. Looking to the left of track for flooding to the north of Etosha Pan. Heavy rains in Angola have led to increased river flow around and into the Pan. Sun glint on water surfaces may have been present; if so, images containing sun glint are particularly useful for mapping water extent), Arkenu 1 & 2 Impact Craters, Libya (weather was predicted to be clear over the Arkenu 1 & 2 area. Recently, the impact origin of these features has been questioned. Some researchers are now suggesting that these may be volcanic features. Overlapping, nadir-viewing frames taken along track will be useful for mapping the visible geology of the structures. Looking for two dark mountains {Arkenu and Auenat] located to the NE as landmarks for the craters), Cairo, Egypt (the crew had clear weather and a nadir-viewing pass over this famous megacity. Overlapping frames, taken along track, will provide a transect across the urban area useful for mapping land use and land cover), Sky Islands, Northern Mexico (ISS passed over the central portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental in northern Mexico. Overlapping mapping frames of the upper mountain slopes and summits were requested in order to capture imagery of the vegetated "sky islands"), and West Hawk Impact Crater, Manitoba (looking to the left of track for this 350 million year old and 4.5 km-diameter impact crater, now filled with water as West Hawk Lake. Despite glacial modification of the landscape over the past two million years, the crater is still recognizable. Overlapping mapping frames, taken parallel to the orbit track, were suggested to capture 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, 8:18am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 346.3 km
Apogee height – 352.4 km
Perigee height — 340.2 km
Period — 91.46 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009049
Solar Beta Angle — -27.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 87 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62191

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch (3:14:42am, Baikonur: 1:14:42pm, Moscow DMT: 10:14:42am) — J. Williams/M. Suraev/G. Laliberte
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port) (~4:37am)
10/10/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock (9:05pm)
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S land (~00:30am; Kazakhstan: ~10:30am)
10/14/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth (under review)
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
10/27/09 — Ares I-X Flight Test
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2)
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/??/10 — Soyuz 20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress 36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress 36P docking
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/28/10 — Progress 37P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress 38P launch
07/27/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/31/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/27/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/21/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
02/09/11 — Progress 42P launch
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 — Progress 43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.