Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 29 July 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
July 31, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 29 July 2008

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

CDR Volkov began his workday again by attending to the current experiment session with the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, activating the turbopump in the Service Module (SM)’s Transfer Compartment (PkhO) for keeping the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO) evacuated. The turbopump will be deactivated again tonight at ~5:25pm EDT before sleeptime. [The research experiment is being performed with particles having a diameter of 9.19 um under pressures of 20, 40, and 80 Pa (Pascal). The primary objective of the experiment is to study the behavior of structures when exposed to a low-frequency alternating electrical field of varying amplitudes as produced by an RF generator at various power output settings. The experiment is being performed in semi-automatic mode.]

FE-1 Kononenko configured gas transfer and initiated (later terminated) an oxygen refreshing of the cabin atmosphere with the remaining O2 supplies in the ATV1 cargo carrier “Jules Verne”.

Sergey serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out"-to-vacuum cycle on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated tonight at ~3:45pm EDT. Filter bed #1 was regenerated yesterday. [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 done: 7/16&17).]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-2 Chamitoff continued preparations for payload operation, today removing the Mach-Zehnder covers of the SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility ) and reconfigured/reconnected the CB (Clean Bench) subrack facility from its launch configuration.

Volkov, Kononenko & Chamitoff spent three hours in the TMA-12 Descent Module (SA) to conduct the Soyuz descent drill, a standard training exercise for every crew returning on a Soyuz. The exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display), was supported by a tagup and discussions with ground instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band. [The session includes a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console. The training uses a Descent Simulator application on the RSK1 laptop. During the actual descent, Volkov, as Soyuz CDR, will occupy the middle couch, with SFP (Spaceflight Participant) Garriott in the right seat and Kononenko in the Descent Module’s left Kazbek couch.]

As part of regular preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, Oleg applied vacuum cleaner and soft brush to 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).

The FE-1 also conducted the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV EDV container with water collected in a CWC (Contingency Water Container) from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Kononenko performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the Service Module (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, Oleg 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).

The three crewmembers 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, Oleg 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 seventh 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.]

OGS Update: The U.S. Oxygen Generation System is being activated periodically until the next planned processing of water by the system. The overall goal of this activity is to maintain pressure in the feedwater line below the maximum allowable pressure between activations. This will be accomplished by periodically powering the rack to monitor the rack temperature and feedwater pressure and then reopening the valve as needed to relieve pressure.

E17/E18 Handover Conference Update: Yesterday’s “handover” conference was between the current ISS crew and the upcoming CDR (and ISS veteran) Mike Fink.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Yellow River Delta (this complex and dynamic delta is formed by one of central China’s major rivers. Extensive land use changes and flood-control measures along its course have had significant impact on both the shape and location of the main river channel. The crew had a nadir pass over this feature in late afternoon. Although tropical storm Fung-wong is expected to be breaking up over interior SE China, partly cloudy to fair weather conditions were expected in the delta region. As ISS approached from the SW, Greg was to try for a mapping strip along the main channel of the river), Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya (this famous peak, at 19,340 feet, is Africa’s highest mountain and is located in northeastern Tanzania near the border with Kenya. Researchers are monitoring the tiny ice fields near the summit that have noticeably diminished during the twentieth century. On this early afternoon pass Gregory was to look for this volcanic peak just right of track. There may have been low clouds in the surrounding plains as ISS approached the area from the SW), and Amazonian Fans, Brazil (this has proven to be a very challenging target to acquire by ISS crews. Clouds usually obscure this area to the south of the Amazon for most of the year. Also the inland delta features CEO workers are attempting to detect and document here are very subtle due to vegetation cover and low topographic relief. The early afternoon ISS pass today should have had unusually few clouds, and researchers are seeking a nadir to just left of track mapping strip with the low-lens settings as the station moves from SW to NE across the region. It was hoped that these images can be used to help detect and pinpoint areas for more detailed images in the future. JSC geologists are investigating inland deltas worldwide as analogs for similar features on Mars).

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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
07/29/08 — NASA 50 Years (Pres. Eisenhower signs)
08/13/08 — ATV Reboost
08/30/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until ~9/25 for nighttime reentry/observation)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
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 port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir)
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
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
07/30/09 — STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking, May ’09)
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.