Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 31 December 2007

By SpaceRef Editor
December 31, 2007
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 31 December 2007

New Year’s Eve… 16 times for the Expedition 16 crew of CDR Peggy Whitson, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko and FE-2 Dan Tani while counting down to 2008!

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Crew off-duty day. Underway: Week 11 of Increment 16.

Peggy and Dan began the day with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data accumulated during the night, for logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dan and Peggy wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list.]

The CDR continued her support of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility. [Today, Whitson activated the MSG, closed the vacuum vent, checked for acceptable humidity levels, and opened the SPU-10 (Sample Processing Unit #10) water valve to initiate unattended vacuum preparation. Later, in Step 2, she reset MSG, closed the water valve, again checked for acceptable humidity levels in the sample chamber, then opened the vent & vacuum valves to initiate the required vacuum draw on the sample chamber. CSLM-2 examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid matrix. During this process, small particles shrink by losing atoms to larger particles, causing the larger particles to grow (coarsen) within a liquid lead/tin matrix. This study defined the mechanisms and rates of coarsening that govern the manufacture with metals from turbine blades to dental amalgam fillings.]

Peggy also checked the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS) to see whether its current N2 (nitrogen) pressure is in acceptable range.

FE-2 Tani performed the daily status check on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload, running by itself in Node-2 since 12/13 (briefly interrupted for EVA-13 photo support). The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. [The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

Dan also worked on the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network), disconnecting the IBM 760XD laptop from the OCA router assembly and stowing it away for use as a future Russian spare.

The CDR ran the periodic check of active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. [The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA continues to collect data every six seconds and downlinks the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.]

FE-1 Malenchenko dumped application software log files from the Russian BVS (Onboard Computer System) RS3 laptop to a CD-ROM disk for subsequent downlink to the ground.

Whitson & Tani assembled and configured new equipment from the ACS (Atmosphere Control System) modification kit for installation in the Regenerative ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System). [In support of the activities, the ground temporarily deactivated the LAB1PD1 rack smoke detector.]

Malenchenko completed of the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Russian ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [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.]

With the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator turned off since 12/28, Yuri performed a 1-hour O2 repress of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-62/27P storage tankage. [The Elektron will remain powered down until 1/9/08 to conserve hardware lifetime. During this time, the station will be periodically repressurized with oxygen from Progress 27P.]

The crew worked out in their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Dan Tani copied 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 ~5:40am EST, Peggy & Dan supported an interactive PAO interview event on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” (David Muir), via Ku- and S-band.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today again were Polar Mesospheric Clouds — (PMC – also known as noctilucent clouds) over selected ground sites (12 minutes for each). (Southern spring is the season for relatively uncommon polar mesospheric clouds to form very high over Antarctica. PMC are being studied as part of the International Polar Year [IPY] investigation of climate change in high latitudes. PMC form in the stratosphere and higher, i.e. well above the lowest layer of the atmosphere [troposphere, or weather layer, characterized by clouds, and an orange tinge produced by brushfire smoke, smog, etc.]. The AIM satellite (Aeronomy of Ice in the Atmosphere) has recently been launched to investigate how PMC form and why they are apparently becoming thicker and brighter. ISS/CEO imagery will complement images from AIM and from the ground. The collaborating IPY scientist is excited to receive any images ISS may acquire. Collaborating Swedish scientists are now working at a base in Antarctica (73S 13 W) for PMC observation.)

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites: (about 700,000 NASA digital photographs of Earth are downloaded by the public each month from this “Gateway” site);

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:09am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 335.5 km
Apogee height — 336.7 km
Perigee height — 334.3 km
Period — 91.24 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0001773
Solar Beta Angle — -65.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.78
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 75 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 52191

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Standard, some changes possible. NET = Not Earlier Than):
TBD — STS-122/Atlantis/1E launch — Columbus Module, ICC-Lite.
TBD — STS-122/Atlantis/1E docking
TBD — STS-122/Atlantis/1E undocking
01/31/08 — Explorer-1 50 Years (1st U.S. Satellite on Redstone rocket) [Check it out at ]
02/06/08 — Progress M-62/27P undocking & reentry
02/07/08 — Progress M-63/28P launch
02/09/08 — Progress M-63/28P docking (DC1)
02/22/08 – NET: ATV-1 “Jules Verne” launch/Ariane V (Kourou, French Guyana)
02/14/08 — STS-123/Endeavour/1J/A launch/1J/A, ~11:53am, w/SLP-SPDM, JEM ELM-PS
02/16/08 — STS-123/Endeavour/1J/A docking
02/27/08 — STS-123/Endeavour undocking
02/29/08 — STS-123/Endeavour landing
03/06/08 — ATV-1 Demo Day 1
03/12/08 — ATV-1 Demo Day 2
03/15/08 — ATV-1 Demo Day 3 & Docking (SM aft port)
04/07/08 — Progress M-63/28P undocking (DC1) & reentry
04/08/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S launch
04/10/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S docking (DC1)
04/19/08 — Soyuz TMA-11/15S undocking (FGB nadir port)
04/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S relocation (from DC1 to FGB nadir port)
04/24/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J launch – JEM PM “Kibo”, racks, RMS
04/26/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J docking
05/04/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J undocking
05/14/08 — Progress M-64/29P launch
05/16/08 — Progress M-64/29P docking (DC1)
08/07/08 — NET: ATV-1 undocking (from SM aft port)
08/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
08/14/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking (from DC1)
09/10/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking (DC1)
09/18/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
09/20/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 docking
10/01/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 undocking.
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
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 (SM aft port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (FGB nadir)
11/03/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation (from SM aft to FGB nadir)
11/06/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
11/08/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
11/17/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-67/32P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-67/32P docking (SM aft port)
04/15/09 — Constellation’s Ares I-X Launch
05/??/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 18S-2 docking)
04/??/10 — STS-132/Discovery/20A – Node-3 + Cupola.

SpaceRef staff editor.