Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 30, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 September 2008

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

CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko and FE-2 Chamitoff began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

The CDR 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 ~4:15pm 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: 9/22 & 9/23).]

For the Russian KPT-12 science payload EXPERT, the CDR terminated charging of the power packs for the BAR instruments “Kelvin-Video” and TTM-2 anemometer/thermometer, then conducted the experiment for the next 2.5 hrs. [Objective of EXPERT is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM (Service Module) panels and other areas susceptible to possible corrosion, before and after insolation (day vs. night). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A) and a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities included documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Afterwards, Volkov & Kononenko completed a session with the ESA experiment NOA1 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, MBI-21), Sergey’s fifth, Oleg’s fourth, filling in the electronic log book on the RSE1 laptop for downlink and restowing the hardware. During the session, each subject took two NO (Nitric Oxide) measurements in exhaled air. [Purpose of the ESANO1 experiment, consisting of the “Platon” analyzer and its power supply, is to monitor expired NO in the subject’s exhaled air to detect signs of airway inflammation and indications of venous gas emboli (bubbles) that may be caused by inhalation of pollutants in the closed environment of the ISS cabin and increased risk of decompression sickness.]

The FE-1 performed CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) maintenance, first replacing the battery of the four units (#1382 being prime), then conducting the usual zero-calibration. [The sampling pumps used for the checkout measurements and the backup CSA-CPs were returned to their Node-1 and -2 locations.]

In preparation for the planned relocations of the HRF (Human Research Facility) racks tomorrow (10/1) & 10/2 from the US Lab to the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Gregory Chamitoff cleared stowage items from the rack fronts at the Lab S2 & P4 locations and from the empty rack bays F4 & A4 in COL, the new locations for HRF-1 & -2. [Preparations included removing any protruding items from the 50in x 72in. translation path needed for the rack transfer. Cables were to be temporarily rerouted as necessary, and stowage items will be returned after the rack move.]

Chamitoff also completed the periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, from the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) 1A5 location to the SM (panel 338). [The FE-2 also photo-documented the current state of the TEPC power/data cable which he had covered with fresh Kapton tape on 8/24 to contain any FOD (Foreign Object/Debris). TEPC had been relocated to the JPM by Greg on 8/24.]

Afterwards, Gregory disassembled still remaining BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) payload equipment and stowed the hardware.

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, the FE-2 powered off the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) and its laptop (MLT), by first deactivating the MMA’s NCU/RSU (Network Control Unit/Remote Sensor Unit), powered since 9/25 from the Ryutai rack’s UDC (Utility DC-to-DC Converter) unit.

In the Soyuz TMA-12/16S crew return vehicle, Sergey, Oleg and Greg conducted once again the standard 30-min. fit check of the Kazbek couches, the contoured shock absorbing seats in the Descent Module (SA) of the spacecraft docked at the DC1 Docking Compartment. (Last time done: 6/24). [For the fit check, crew members remove their cabin suits and don Sokol KV-2 suit and comm caps, get into in their seats and assess the degree of comfort & uniform body support provided by the seat liner. Using a ruler, they then measure the gap between the top of the head and the top edge of the structure facing the head crown. The results are reported to TsUP-Moscow. Kazbek-UM couches are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing. Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and noncocked. In cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown. The fit check assures that the crewmembers, whose bodies gain in length during longer-term stay in zero-G, will still be adequately protected by the seat liners for their touchdown in Kazakhstan, either emergency or regular return.]

Volkov performed regular maintenance on the SRVK-2M condensate water processor, replacing one of the two BRPK separators with a new spare. The old unit was discarded as trash.

The CDR also transferred US condensate, generated by the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier and collected in a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1070), to a Russian EDV container, while monitoring the time it took for the pump to fill the latter (in order to evaluate the performance of the US filter used).

Gregory worked on completing the ITCS MFCV (Internal Thermal Control System/Manual Flow Control Valve) adjustments in the US Lab, using the Non-intrusive Flow Meter powered from the Shuttle BOB (Breakout Box), instead of batteries. [After adjusting the MFCVs in the Lab Forward End/cone and behind the O3 rack yesterday, Greg today dealt with the MFCVs at the P3, O6 & S6 rack locations (for which the racks were rotated out of the way yesterday. Later, BOB was torn down and stowed again. The MFCV adjustments in the Lab are in preparation for the future Regenerative ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System).]

Sergey Volkov undertook his monthly CMO (Crew Medical Officer) proficiency training on using HMS (Health Maintenance System) hardware including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment which may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. [To maintain proficiency, the CMOs spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS CBT, and CBT (Computer Based Training (CBT) and the ACLS CBT. Maintaining proficiency with the HMS hardware and procedures is essential to successful ISS operations and well-being of the crew.]

In preparation for the Progress 30P reboost on 10/2 (Thursday), the CDR set up and configured the IWIS RSUs (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System Remote Sensor Units) in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, FGB (#1035) and SM (#1028), then programmed the timing of the IWIS ICU (Interface Control Unit) for the automated activation on 10/2 (start time 6:20am EDT). [IWIS will monitor dynamic/vibrational responses of the ISS structure during the reboost thrusting, measured by RSUs which transmit their measurements via radio to the central NCU (Network Control Unit). Structural vibrational data will also be taken by the SDMS (Structural Dynamic Measurement System).]

Oleg meanwhile conducted 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 the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Later, Sergey 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).

With the SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) science program almost finished for his Increment, Greg Chamitoff had volunteered for another VolSci (Voluntary Science) activity today to complete the last two remaining SHERE test points, for which he –

  • Activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) from the A31p laptop,
  • Powered on the SHERE hardware,
  • Accessed the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) to install the SHERE FM (Fluid Module) #20;
  • Supported the first SHERE experiment run (Test Point 14);
  • Transferred the module with the fluid sample,
  • Installed FM #16 for the second experiment run (Test Point 15);
  • Removed the FM from the CGBA, followed by SHERE data transfer;
  • Turned off the SHERE/CGBA equipment;
  • Transferred the data files to the MSG laptop for subsequent downlink, and
  • Powered down the MSG.

[Background: Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress (“preshearing” = rotation) which might be, for example, a shear stress or extensional stress. In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the "classical" disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. SHERE is designed to study the effect of preshear (rotation) on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for solutions with long chains of monodisperse dilute polymer molecules in the MSG. Collectively referred to as “Boger fluids,” these polymer solutions have become a popular choice for rheological studies of non-Newtonian fluids and are the non-Newtonian fluid used in this experiment. The SHERE hardware consists of the Rheometer, Camera Arm, Interface Box, Cabling, Keyboard, Tool Box, Fluid Modules, and Stowage Tray.]

Chamitoff completed another one of the periodic inspections of the RED (Resistive Exercise Device) canister cords and accessories, currently done every two weeks.

Later today, the FE-2 is scheduled to take down and stow the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) bypass power cable to the VTR (Video Tape Recorder) at the Lab CUP RWS (Cupola Robotics Work Station).

Also late tonight, Gregory will retrieve and stow the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies deployed by him on 9/28 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

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 (CDR, FE-1), and RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

Later, Volkov 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).

The crew had their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S-band/audio & Ku-band/video, Sergey at ~10:10am, Oleg at ~10:25am, Greg at ~2:40pm.

COL False Fire Alarm: Yesterday, a smoke detector (SD1) in the Columbus module erroneously annunciated an emergency, probably triggered by some dust particles floating close to the sensor. Since no controlled air flow was in place at the time (due to an ongoing air loop characterization test), the SD1 reading was not reliable, and a False Fire alarm was declared. SD readings went back to nominal after 10 seconds, and no further suspect behavior was detected afterwards.

VolSci Program Preview: For the weekend ahead (10/4-5), Greg Chamitoff was offered three choices for the Voluntary Weekend Science program: (1) an operations improvement session with SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) with all three satellites; (2) a LOCAD-PTS (Lab-On-A-Chip Application Development – Portable Test System) surface sampling session in COL using Glucan LAL cartridges, targeting fungus on ISS surfaces; and (3) an EPO (Education Payload Operations) session with “Buzz Lightyear”, to shoot a video of the Buzz Lightyear doll demonstrating working aspects of working and living in the space environment by showing how micro-G affects familiar objects and activities.

Week 24 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Wed. (10/1): HRF-2 relocate & mate; 30P trash stow; MO-4; SODF updates; REGUL-Paket reconfig.; Crew Departure preps.; OGS Power reconfig.
  • Thu. (10/2): Progress reboost; HRF-1 relocate & mate; 30P trash stow; KPT-12 expmt.; RS Ventilation cleaning; WRM CWC audit.
  • Fri. (10/3): MELFI rack relocate & mate; CDMK chck.; BRI-RSS1 data dump; JPM Panels reconfig; RS Ventilation cleaning; 30P trash stow.
  • Sat. (10/4): Station cleaning; SAMS activation; SOLO Diet monitor.
  • Sun. (10/5): PFP-ODNT OBT/trng.; SODF updating

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Yellow River Delta (“The Mother River” of China empties into the Bohai Sea on the northeastern coast. The dynamic nature of the river’s delta is the focus of interest for this target. As ISS approached it from the SW in mid-afternoon light, Greg should have had a nadir pass in fair weather. Trying to acquire a seasonal, low water view of the delta), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (Greg recently acquired a number of excellent context views of this target area located in the desert just west of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser. On this early-afternoon pass in clear weather he should have had a nadir view. This time trying for a detailed long lens view of the recent human development near the lake, i.e. agriculture, roads, canals), Red River Basin, TX (CEO researchers are continuing to document and monitor land use patterns and change in this still largely agricultural area. Greg’s pass was in mid-afternoon sun and fair weather. Since most of the area is left of track, researchers requested a short-lens contextual mapping from W to E as ISS approached and crossed from the SW), and Santa Barbara Coast, California (this Long-term Ecological Research site [LTER] is located on the southern California coast NW of the Los Angeles area. On this mid-afternoon pass in fair weather, Greg was to look just left of track and attempt a detailed mapping strip of the Santa Inez River valley from Lompoc to Lake Cachuma).

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, 4:54am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.2 km
Apogee height — 356.5 km
Perigee height — 347.9 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000634
Solar Beta Angle — 6.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 74 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56508

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
10/02/08 — ISS Reboost (~1.8 m/s; 6:25am EDT)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:03am EDT; Fincke, Lonchakov, 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; Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends.
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC (~7:02pm EST) – U/R
11/18/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking – U/R
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.