Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 August 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
August 28, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 August 2008

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

Upon wake-up, CDR Volkov terminated his ninth MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session for the long-term 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.]

Volkov also performed the periodic service of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~5:15pm EDT and Bed #2 regeneration performed tomorrow. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently to remove any lingering Freon-218 from the cabin atmosphere (last time: 8/11 & 12)];

After completing sampling of condensate water (KAV) from the SRVK-2M condensate processor upstream of the FGS gas-liquid mixture filter in drink bags, FE-1 Kononenko removed the processor’s BKO multifiltration unit and replaced it with a spare, stowing the old unit for deorbiting on Progress 29P. [BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Sergey Volkov conducted an inspection and photo-documentation of currently sunlit window panes in the RS (Russian Segment), specifically on windows 2 & 13 in the SM (Service Module) and VL1 (EV hatch 1) and VL2 (EV hatch 2) in the DC1 Docking Compartment. The observed defects were recorded in image and text files on the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via U.S. OCA assets. [Objective of the inspection, which uses a digital still camera (Nikon D1X w/SB-28DX flash) and voice recorder, was to assess the window pane surfaces for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection. The new assessment will be compared to earlier observations. Defects on the currently are measured with the parallax method which uses eyeball-sighting with a ruler and a right isosceles triangle to determine the defects’ size and position with respect to the window’s internal surface (parallax being the apparent change in an object’s position resulting from changing the observer’s position).]

In the FGB module, Volkov worked on the BR-9TsU-8 Radiotelemetry System (RTS), supporting the ground with another verification of the proper functioning of two temperature sensors (T97, T98) of the SIT-9L Temperature Measuring System.

Oleg Kononenko worked on the SM toilet systems (ASU), performing the monthly 30-min. maintenance/servicing of the facility, changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.

Afterwards, the FE-1 had an hour in the FGB to search for and gather the necessary gear for the upcoming installation of ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) control equipment in the SM, i.e., an ATV hand controller with its stand, a BUAP antenna switch box with cabling and the PCE (Proximity Communications Equipment; Russian: MBRL) unit.

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, Chamitoff powered down the MMA NCU/RSU (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus Network Control Unit/Remote Sensor Unit) at the Ryutai rack UDC (Utility DC-to-DC Converter) unit, without turning off the MLT (MMA Laptop Terminal) and its software. [These systems were powered up by Greg on 8/19.]

Also in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Gregory had 1:15 h to reconfigure the PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility).

After the recent (8/11) first Japanese payload activity in Kibo, an EPO (Educational Payload Operation) experiment to model a piece of clay into a human-shaped form in micro-G, Gregory today prepared the clay form for return to Earth, packing it up carefully to protect it against breakage.

Pursuant to the discovery of a blacked out display on the CB (Clean Bench) subrack facility in the JPM during yesterday’s Saibo CB checkout, Chamitoff today supported ground-commanded troubleshooting of the display by verifying cable connectivity (two cables, four plugs) and looking for possible bent connector pins. [Ground commanding of JPM payloads is done by JAXA’s SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba/Japan. The CB provides a germ-free environment for life science and biotechnological experiments. It has a specially designed microscope that operates with bright-field, phase-contrast and fluorescence modes. The objective lens can be switched between four magnification levels (4x, 10x, 20x, 40x).]

In the Lab, the FE-2 continued outfitting for the future U.S. Regenerative ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System) with the Modification Kit #1, Part 2. [The work included installation of the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) secondary power jumper on its Utility Interface Panel (UIP, i.e., Z-panel LAB1PD1), connecting a MIL-Standard 1553 data bus for the WRS (Water Recovery System) on the PD2 Z-panel and retrieving equipment from stowage in the P1 volume.]

FE-1 Kononenko had another ~3 hrs set aside for finishing up ATV cargo transfer activities and preparing the “Jules Verne” contents for ATV undocking next week (9/5).

At the TVIS treadmill, Kononenko did another inspection and documentary photography of the improvised patch of the running belt and four shifted belt plates above the patch for ground verification of belt integrity after its improvised repair conducted on 8/11.

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 (17-0002W) lists 31 CWCs (~1204.3 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (426.5 L, for flushing only because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (706.7 L, incl. 174.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (54.1 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 worked on the failed SSC-1 (Station Support Computer 1) laptop, replacing its defunct shell ((#1098; failed backlight) with an A31p shell (#1173) from stowage and equipping it with the HDD (hard disk drive) of the failed laptop, making #1173 the new SSC-1.

Sergey Volkov was scheduled to initiate, later terminate, an oxygen refresh of the cabin atmosphere with O2 from Progress M-64/29P stores.

The CDR performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (ECLSS) in the SM. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Afterwards, Sergey took care of 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).

Later today (~2:00pm), Greg Chamitoff will break out and set up the equipment for tomorrow’s scheduled U.S. PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/Blood Labs exam, a clinical evaluation of Chamitoff as subject, with Sergey Volkov assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for the blood sampling part. [The task today included an electronic function test and control analysis of the blood lab equipment, viz., the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), which was then temporarily stowed.]

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, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later, Sergey will transfer 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 ~9:35am EDT, Greg Chamitoff supported an interactive PAO TV event of ~20 min. with students from Sydney Girls High School at Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Catalyst” Science Program of the Royal Botanic Gardens “Seeds in Space” Project, Sydney, Australia.

Conjunction Update: Using ATV thrusters, the ISS performed a 1 m/s braking burn yesterday at 12:11pm EDT to remove the risk of collision with an orbital object,- #33246 (part of the Kosmos-2421 satellite). The retrograde firing of 5 min 2 sec duration resulted in a mean altitude loss of ~1.77 km. Propellant usage: ~98 kg of ATV prop, leaving ~190 kg in “Jules Verne” prior to undock (possibly with some margin, to be assessed by ESA) and ~320 kg of Progress/SM props for attitude control of the stack. A second possible conjunction with another piece (#33248) of Kosmos-2421 has been identified for tomorrow (8/29) at 9:09pm EDT, currently predicted to be in the RED box. This would require another DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver), but more tracking is required for a burn decision. Estimated prime TIG (Time of Ignition): tomorrow 7:00pm. Prop strategy is currently under study. If a second DAM is necessary tomorrow, using ATV prop, the Progress 29P undocking on 9/1 (Monday) can be supported by SM thrusters. Ballistic calculations must continue to account for future Soyuz launch, Soyuz landing and Shuttle ULF2 launch/rendezvous constraints.

Tropical Storm Gustav Update: Gustav is approaching Jamaica, with a hurricane warning already issued for the island. JSC/Houston is currently in the potential zone for Hurricane Gustav. Predictions for the 5-day timeline still have significant uncertainty. JSC will go to Level 4 if the storm threatens within 72 hours. Landfall is currently predicted to be on Tuesday, 9/2.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target uplinked for today was Gordion archaeological site, Turkey (looking left. Visual cues were a man-made lake and narrow wooded [green] ridges. Broad images of the area were requested to assist future focused imaging efforts), Algerian megafan (detailed overlapping images were requested along track and just right of track, of this newly identified feature. During wet phases in the Sahara Desert one major river repeatedly built up this large “cone” of river sediment. Of special interest is the apex zone where the sediment cone has partly engulfed several hills [dark spots within fan margin]. This process of sediment burial of hills is providing a new analog for landscape models on Mars [where “hills” are impact crater rims]), Hurricane Gustav, Caribbean (interacting with the mountains of Hispaniola, Gustav has declined to a tropical storm, but is expected to intensify again to hurricane status by the time of this pass. The center was predicted to lie between Jamaica and Cuba), and Beni River dynamics, Bolivia (the Beni River transports great quantities of sediment from the Andes Mts and deposits it as a vast fan [450 km in radius] in SW Amazonia. The river has swept across the entire surface of the fan in the process. Shooting right to obtain images of numerous prior river courses).

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 19/20 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • 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).
  • Mon. (9/1, Labor Day): Crew off duty; Progress 29P Undock (~3:47pm); CSA-CP probe replacement; ham session; FSL/FCE lock.
  • Tue. (9/2): ATV Undock OBT; BUAP/MBRL (PCE) equipment install in SM (ATV hand controller, antenna switch box, prox comm unit); Elektron deact/act; Vozdukh AVK test; FGB PS1/PS2 filter & TsV1 screen cleaning; USOS water sampling; CMO profic.train.; FSL/FCE release.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:05am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.8 km
Apogee height — 358.1 km
Perigee height — 349.4 km
Period — 91.61 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006422
Solar Beta Angle — -16.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 1770 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55991

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
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.