Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 31 October 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
October 31, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 31 October 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – crew light-duty day. “Friendly Halloween reminder from Flight Control to ISS crew: “If any trick-or-treaters call, do not open the hatch!”

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the new aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams continued their current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), wearing their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

FE-5 Williams had Day 2 of his second session (FD30) with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, focusing today on urine collections for the next 24 hrs. [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 (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) 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.]

Williams also had Day 10 of his Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following the sleep shift.]

The six-member 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.]

FE-1 Suraev did the periodic checkup behind ASU panel 139 in the SM on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

As part of the house cleaning, Suraev & 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).

Later, Maxim also performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. [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.]

At ~8:55am 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.

For the first of today’s four VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) activities, on the crew’s free time, FE-4 Thirsk set up the video camcorder and recorded a science podcast segment on BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 5). [BCAT-5 is an experiment that explores the world of colloids, which are particles suspended in a liquid or gas. They are common in everyday substances like paint, milk and even toothpaste. Because groups of these particles will be highly visible in a weightless environment, they can be studied with unprecedented accuracy. Analyzing daily images taken by the BCAT-5 camera, scientists look at how structures form in the colloids, knowledge that may be applied to the manufacturing of plastics. In other samples, scientists study the “collapsed state” of gels made of colloids, which will give them information on how to increase the longevity of items like fabric softeners. Podcast: a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and downloaded through web syndication or on demand.]

The FE-4 also did the regular checkup on the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) experiment in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), inspecting the homogenized Sample 6 for crystals and taking photographs. [This activity is performed daily during BCAT-5 operations to check for crystals, but it is not required after crystals have been found. The sample is being photographed using a DCS 760 digital camera & the EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer). Sample pictures are taken automatically with electronic flash every hour for 21 days, and the pictures are downlinked via OCA during nominal OCA downlink sessions.]

For his second VolSci activity, Bob Thirsk conducted a 25-min run with the “Avatar EXPLORE” experiment using new uplinked GUI (Graphic User Interface) files and saving the resulting command data file for subsequent downlink to CSA. [Avatar EXPLORE is an interesting CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-developed communications & robot autonomy software that allows Bob Thirsk aboard the ISS to remotely interact with & control a robot rover on a Mars landscape – a simulated environment called the Mars Emulation Terrain, at CSA-Hqs in St. Hubert, Quebec. Since file exchanges between ISS and the ground are conducted only a few times per day to simulate a low-bandwidth channel, typical for planetary operations, all interactions must be conducted offline. For evaluating telemetry files received from the rover and building a control command file, Thirsk uses an SSC laptop with an HTML-format GUI which allows him to interact with the Avatar software in more ways than just typing. A GUI offers graphical icons and visual indicators, as opposed to text-based interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation to fully represent the information and actions available to a user. Avatar’s Mars simulation and what is learned by it will one day become a reality.]

In a third VolSci activity, Jeff Williams had chosen an EPO (Educational Program Operations) demo of the “Eye in the Sky” theme, using Earth and Moon models as props for his demonstration & discussion of the many phenomena uniquely observable from the ISS.

The fourth VolSci activity was conducted by CDR De Winne who set up the G1 camcorder & hardware for the ESA experiment “Foam Stability” and supported several runs, 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?]

Using two ~20-min RGS (Russian Ground Site) overflight windows for VHF coverage, Maxim Suraev downlinked the video footage taken by him yesterday aboard the station. His “News from Zero Gravity” report was filmed for the Russian television channel “TV Tsentr”, using an uplinked script for the various scenes and narrations. [TV Tsentr is launching a new program on science and technology and one of the first episodes is to show a report from the ISS. (“…Now you know how we live up here. The reality is that there is a lot of work in space. There are many scientific experiments and studies that we carry out for the benefit of all mankind. An example is the Rusalka experiment, in which carbon dioxide levels in our planet’s atmosphere are accurately measured. In the Uragan experiment, we are working on a procedure and system for predicting the development of natural and man-made disasters. The Vaktsina experiment is to investigate prospective proteins for AIDS vaccines on Earth and in space. Soon, a new mini research module will be added to the ISS Russian segment, thus broadening and increasing the Russian science program. Don’t forget, we are working up here for the good of our planet. Our fragile Earth. Good luck to you all….".)]

CDR De Winne conducted the regular weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices), SLD cables and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values. On special ground request, Frank also took photographs of the SLDs.

Thirsk donned the Glenn TVIS harness with installed transducer instrumentation, and Stott then took front & rear photography for ground inspection. Afterwards, they switched, and Bob likewise took imagery of Nicole’s treadmill harness, as one of the SDTOs (Station Development Test Objectives).

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Later, De Winne transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

Jeff Williams filled out the regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC. [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.]

CDR & FE-2 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Frank at ~7:25am, Nicole at ~1:38pm EDT.

A new task added to the voluntary US “job jar” list for the weekend is for the crew to perform an audit of US owned electric razors, to determine their condition and need for future resupply.

UPA Update: Yesterday’s attempt to perform a drydown (emptying-out) of the DA (Distillation Assembly) was unsuccessful, and the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) remains nonfunctional. Until UPA is regained, the crew will use the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) with urine routed to an empty Russian EDV-U container which was just installed. The operation via this setup will be available through at least Monday (11/2), at which time the WHC will be recovered or the EDV-U will be replaced with an empty unit. [Background: After reviewing the data the UPA team believes the DA is not able to pump fluid from the recycle line between the DA and the FCPA (Fluids Control Pump Assembly). In order to attempt UPA recovery a drydown (emptying-out) of the DA is needed.]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty-One — Week 3)

3-D SPACE: No report.

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): No report.

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

ALTEA DOSI (NASA/ASI): “Hello All: Our team had a routine week monitoring your back-up radiation detection system. Everything remains nominal within the ISS. We are continuing to collect data in support of the science investigation from the team in Rome, Italy. Thanks to everyone for helping maintain the system.”

BCAT-4/5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4/5): “Bob, great job within the initial setup of sample 6, in getting the flash and camera aligned, as well as removing the reflection from the sample 6 photos. We are excited about the crystals forming and look forward to reviewing the data on a daily basis. Your daily crystal checks are important for the science team as they ensure to maximize the quality of data collected on crystal growth rate. Keep up the good work and talk to you next week.”

BIOLAB (ESA): No report.

BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): On 10/20-21 Jeff’s first session was completed.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): Comments for the crew provided directly from the BISE PI, Dr. Laurence Harris, dated Oct. 26, 2009: "Data collection from BISE is now at an advanced stage with some data collected from each ‘phase’ of flight as well as after return. We are excited to notice, even in this incomplete data set, some differences in the effect of vision on the perception of "up" compared to the before-flight trials, especially in the first few weeks after arrival. There is, of course, some variation between the subjects and the data from each subject seem to show some quite large changes with time. A very significant observation is that changes seem to occur over a relatively short time scale of a few days. Variations within such short periods can only be seen because of the extra data collections that we have been so fortunate to have. The increased number of trials that has become possible since our experiment began as a result of the extensive and much- appreciated support we are receiving from NASA and the CSA, and the invaluable and enthusiastic cooperation of the crew, will make this research almost unique in space-based perceptual research in enabling us to make detailed, statistically reliable conclusions and to track changes in the data across time despite the observed variability between and within subjects."

BISPHOSPHONATES: “Bob, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 11/2. Jeff, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 11/1.”

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 started on 9/10. The seedlings in the PEU units are growing well. The seeds seem to be growing in the pod. ELT power cycle, air sampling and LED check was performed by Nicole. The final harvest is now planned for 11/11-12.”

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): No report.

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: “This week CIR executed three test conditions. All test conditions were conducted at 34% O2 and 66% N2 mixture at 10.4 psia. Two methanol fuel drop sizes were deployed. The 4mm droplet achieved a good deployment and ignition and digital camera data was collected through a 20 second burn with flame extinction observed. The 3 mm methanol droplet deployment hung on the igniter which interferes with the proper study of the combustion phenomenon. A 4 mm n-heptane test point was also deployed and ignited with digital camera data collected through flame extinction. Overall this week was a great success for the science team, with much improved execution of free droplet deployments that are required to achieve science objectives. We look forward to continued improvements to our deployment success rates and increasing operational efficiencies in the upcoming weeks.”

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): No report.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): No report.

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): No report.

EPO LES-3 (ESA): No report.

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

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): Ongoing.

EPO Dewey’s Forest (JAXA): The sample was transferred to MELFI.

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. The next opportunity for additional sessions is 11/14.

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.

FIR/LMM/CVB (Fluids Integrated Rack / Light Microscopy Module / Constrained Vapor Bubble): “During the past week, the crew completed the installation of the Fluids Sciences Avionics Package, the Image Processing and Storage Unit, and the White Light Package, in addition to all of the ARIS connections for the interfaces between the FIR and the ISS. This was done very quickly and accurately by the two crew members who worked it and we greatly appreciate their efforts to prepare the rack for the installation of the Light Microscopy Module (to be completed at a TBD date). This microscope and its peripheral equipment will be the test bed for the Constrained Vapor Bubble experiments and other follow-on payloads. Thanks to Nicole and Bob for their work in getting FIR ready for the next step!!”

FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device, ESA): “Thank you, Frank, for completing the long-awaited Flywheel check-out. The data files have been received on the ground and are complete. The data is being assessed and will help define future use of the instrument. Thank you, Bob and Jeff, for helping with the Flywheel check-out.”


FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): MMA measurements performed to support Flywheel check-out.

GEOFLOW: No report.

HDTV System (JAXA): Was delivered by HTV1.

Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.

HQPC (JAXA): Was delivered by 34P.

HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System/JAXA): No report.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “Jeff, thanks for your tireless efforts to ensure success for the ICV experiment. Performing this experiment is no easy task, but we are confident that the science gained from the study will prove invaluable in the future years of spaceflight. We have received all of your FD14 session data on the ground and the initial review looks great. The team wants to reiterate our appreciation for the time you spent re-downloading the HM2 cards last Monday to ensure a complete data product set made it to the ground. Your data provides a third set of results in which to compare with the first and second subjects. In addition, the PIs want to express their appreciation for exercising on CEVIS while wearing Cardiopres; exercise data during Cardiopres don is an important means of identifying the benefits of exercise in preventing heart muscle atrophy. Thanks for your participation and we will talk to you again in a few days at your FD30 Resting Echo scan.”

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, CSA): “Bob: thanks for your contribution to the IRIS mission. The science team is pleased with the data collected. We have completed the objectives of the experiment and we’ll see you when you get back. Bonne continuation!”

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

MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): System checkout is ongoing.

MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): Postponed because of sample cassette failure.

MDCA/Flex: See under CIR.

MDS (Mice Drawer System): “After another two relatively routine weeks, the mouse in cage #2 decided to stir up things. With no respect for its food supply mechanism and no regard or the fact that you all stay busy with operations and science it created a big distraction. The MDS team in Italy, Dr Dunlap the NASA Vet, and the MDS team in the US are extremely grateful for the prompt action taken to relieve the mouse in distress. All indications are that it and the other two mice are healthy and are faring well. A very special thanks to Nicole and her on-orbit support team for resolving the situation and continuing the science. With the muffler removed now we hope to reduce the humidity within the habitats and, accordingly, reduce the unexpected events which occur. Thank you very much for your exceptional efforts in a difficult week of other-than-routine operations.”

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 DC-1 “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): Deployment of 17 Area Dosimeters was completed on 9/14 to start radiation monitoring on JPL and JLP.

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

PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): PCG samples were returned by Soyuz 18S and transported to JAXA.

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 returned by 17A.

RST/Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): “Jeff, thank you for your participation and for continuing to complete the nominal Reaction Self Test sessions.”

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): “The ES-08 sensor installed in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) in support of the SODI-IVIDIL experiments is producing exciting results. The data generated are providing for stimulating discussions within the science team, as well as the mission team. We are still analyzing results from earlier runs and are now close to providing meaningful analysis for all runs collected so far.”

SAMPLE: Complete.

SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): Nominal.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “All, you are currently completing your first week of sleep logging for this increment.”

SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device): No report.

SMILES (JAXA): System checkout is ongoing. Observation mode check out was done on 10/9 and could detect ozone (O3), hydrogen chloride (HCl) and Chlorine oxide (ClO) with high resolution.

SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in. Liquids, ESA): “SODI-IVIDIL runs continue this week on the first cell array, after a short stand-down for the Flywheel check-out. The science team is energized by reviewing image data collected so far; lots of discussions revolve around temperature, concentration, and acceleration plots that have been produced. Analysis of this data is on-going and the role of vibrations on the thermo diffusion process is being evaluated closely. The team is evaluating the timing of the IVIDIL cell exchange and is looking forward to reaching that milestone.”

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Sun observation window started on 10/15 and ended on 10/28.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): No report.

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): No report.

THERMOLAB (ESA): No report.

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


VO2max (NASA): “Bob and Nicole, thanks for completing your first VO2max sessions; you did great! We are working to swap out the empty PFS Gas Cylinder with one from the HRF Gas Delivery System (GDS) and expect to get those words up in time for the next VO2max sessions in week 5. Thanks for your diligence in working with us.”

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

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

YEAST B (ESA): No report.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 10/28, the ground has received a total of 9,765 frames of ISS-21 CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to confirm your acquisition of imagery for the following CEO target: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – some useful frames of the urban margin, but cloud cover was more than expected. Your recent, panoramic view of a large thunderstorm complex over southwest Amazonia will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. No satellite could ever acquire your dramatic oblique view of thunderstorms with their massive anvil-tops spreading over the rainforest with a touch of sun glint on the rivers below. Wonderful picture! Thanks!”

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Port Louis, Berekely Sound, Falkland Island (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at the Falkland Islands on March 1, 1833 and found shelter for several weeks in Berkeley Sound at Port Louis on East Falkland Island. ISS approached this target from the W in early afternoon light. Fair weather with a near nadir pass offered an excellent opportunity for detailed views of Port Louis and Berkeley Sound), Matavai Bay, Tahiti (Darwin arrived at Tahiti on the Beagle on November 15, 1835 and the ship anchored in Matavai Bay for a 10-day visit to explore the island. ISS had a mid-morning approach from the NW of this beautiful island with fair weather anticipated. Trying for a detailed mapping of the bay and the coast just east of the major city of Papeete), and Cape Tres Montes, Chile (HMS Beagle Site: Cape Tres Montes was explored by Darwin and the Beagle in December, 1834. In his letters Darwin notes the numerous forested islands and mountains. ISS approach to this target was from the W-SW in mid-afternoon light with only a few clouds expected. Looking just left of track for a detailed mapping pass of this large promontory).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:45am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 342.6 km
Apogee height – 346.8 km
Perigee height – 338.4 km
Period — 91.39 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006241
Solar Beta Angle — 32.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 143 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62742

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/01/09 — Daylight Time ends/Standard Time begins
11/04/09 — HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) launch on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/16/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) 2:28pm EST
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 —> two-member crew
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.