Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 September 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
September 4, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 September 2008

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

CDR Volkov 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 ~5:15pm 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 BMPs 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: 8/28 & 29).]

FE-1 Kononenko continued the current reloading and scanning of Russian crew support laptops and flash memory cards with new antivirus software from DVD, then downlinking the results and consulting with ground specialists via S-band tagup. Todays activity focused on the RSK2 and RSE-med laptops. Memory cards and DVDs are coming up next.

Kononenko also performed maintenance on the SRV-K2M condensate water processor, replacing both BRPK separators (Lines 1/2) with new spares. [The BRPK-1 was recently reported to have lasted only about 80% of its expected life-time.]

Volkov meanwhile worked on the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System in the SM (Service Module), repeating his earlier (8/15) attempt to drain coolant from the #1 loop (KOB-1) to conduct pressure readings at various valve settings and reposition the membrane separating loop gas & liquids to improve hardware function. After the tests, which included an air flow and leak test, the loop was to be restored to its initial configuration. [Purpose of the coolant draining was to determine the volume of free air in KOB-1 and check the leak tightness of the KOB-1 accumulator bellows; also: to perform preventive maintenance on the SOTR loops solenoid valves.]

The CDR had an hour to collect and prepare new pipelines, connectors and all necessary tooling for tomorrows scheduled removal & replacement of the renewable SMOK condensate removal lines in the SOTR.

FE-2 Chamitoff 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 crews water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (17-0002X) lists 31 CWCs (~1163.8 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (385.0 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.]

The FE-2 worked on the MPC (Multi-Purpose Converter) to configure its data rate for upcoming Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) operations. [The MPC is part of the video equipment used for HDTV (High Definition TV) playback & downlink by ground commanding.]

In preparation for another run with the US SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, Gregory first downloaded SLEEP data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop for subsequent downlink & verification by the support scientist, then re-initialized and donned the Actiwatch. [To monitor his sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Chamitoff now wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout this run. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Chamitoff prepared six R11 HDDs (hard disk drives) for the upcoming upgrade to CCS (Command & Control System) software vers. R7 by ghosting them with the desired file structure/image from CD. [One each of the HDDs (##1149, 1150, 1157, 1170, 1177, 1190) for the six deployed PCS laptops.]

Volkov unstowed an electronic box of the German GTS (Global Timing System) payload from the FGB and transferred it to the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for temporary stowage in the EDT (European Drawer Rack, COL1F1_F1).

Preparatory to tomorrows ATV undocking, CDR Volkov verified proper setup of the IWIS RSUs (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System Remote Sensor Units) in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, FGB and SM, then programmed the timing of the IWIS ICU (Interface Control Unit) for the automated activation (start time 5:07pm EDT). [IWIS will monitor dynamic/vibrational responses of the ISS structure during the ATV undocking, 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).]

After removing smoke detectors, GLA (General Luminaire Assembly) light fixtures and other useful equipment from the ATV on TsUP/Moscow Go for recycling, Volkov & Kononenko stepped through final preparations for tomorrows undocking of Jules Verne by

  • Removing the quick-release screw clamps which had rigidized the docking joint,
  • Taking & downlinking ATV/SM interface photo/video documentation before hatch closure,
  • Closing the ATV-SU (outer) and PrK-SU (inner) transfer vestibule hatches (~12:30pm EDT),
  • Testing the TV downlink from the RS (Russian Segment) over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in streaming video packets,
  • Performing the usual one-hour leak check on both hatches, and
  • Powering down the onboard Kenwood ham radio equipment to prevent RF (radio frequency) interference during ATV proximity operations.

Greg took measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide partial pressure) in the Lab, SM at panel 449 and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) plus battery ticks, using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002). The unit was then deactivated and returned to its stowage location (LAB1S2). [Purpose of the 5-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements.]

The FE-1 conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support 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.]

Oleg also completed 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).

Kononenko also reformatted his TVIS treadmill physical exercise PCMCIA(Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) storage card on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).

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, Volkov transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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).

As generally every day now, starting at ~9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) was activated intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) cooling loop. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking. CDRA remains yellow on the ISS critical systems list.]

A new addition to Chamitoffs voluntary job jar task list was to remove WAICO1 ECs (Experiment Containers) and exchange Reference ECs on Rotor B of the BLB (Biolab) incubator in the COL.

CGSE Troubleshooting Update: The first part of CGSE (Common Gas Supply Equipment) CO2 leak troubleshooting in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) was initiated yesterday as reported, but not completed for lack of time. Teams plan to add the missing steps into Part 2 of the troubleshooting. [On 8/8, the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) in the SAIBO rack exhibited a sudden unexpected pressure drop at the CGSE CO2 high-pressure sensor, from 3000 kPa to 500 kPa within 1.5 minutes. Specialists believe that the SSV (Self-Shutoff Valve) closed itself unexpectedly, making it a potential contributor to the sudden pressure decrease. Also suspected is a leak from the CO2 supply line.]

Reboost Planning Update: Teams are discussing reboost plans to meet Soyuz landing phasing and rendezvous conditions for ULF-2. Russia has proposed the reboost during a major U.S. software transition (to CCS Vers. R7), and teams are working to resolve this conflict.

CSA Personnel Announcement: Canadian Space Agency has elected Steven Glenwood MacLean as their new President. Dr. MacLean has flown twice on the Shuttle (STS-52; STS-115), becoming the first Canadian Astronaut to operate the Canada-built SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) on the ISS and the second Canadian to walk in space. Congratulations, Steve!

ATV Jules Verne Undocking Update: Tomorrow the ATV cargo ship, with ~900 kg (2,000 lbs) of dry waste and 254 kg (560 pounds) of liquid waste, will undock from the ISS SM aft port. The crew will undergo a slight sleep cycle shift to accommodate the event, viz., wake-up at 3:30am EDT (instead of 2:00am) and sleeptime at 7:00pm (instead of 5:30pm). The ATV summary flight plan is as follows (times are Eastern):

  • ISS mnvr to undocking attitude 3:10pm EDT
  • ISS Free Drift 5:27pm
  • Sunrise 5:27:36pm
  • Undock Command 5:28pm
  • Phys.Sep/hooks open (spring delta-V0.08m/s) 5:31pm
  • ATV departure mnvr (316 s, delta-V4.00 m/s) 5:32pm
  • ISS mnvr to TEA attitude 5:55pm
  • Sunset 6:24pm
  • Independent flight until deorbit on 9/29 (Monday):
  • Deorbit Burn #1 (29.80 m/s) 6:14:39am
  • Deorbit Burn #2 (70.28 m/s) 9:12:27am

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Tin Bider Impact Crater, Algeria (ISS had a nadir pass over this well-exposed, 6-km diameter impact structure. The concentric ring structure of the crater is bordered on three sides by relatively flat desert), Hurricane Ike, Atlantic Ocean (looking to the left of track for this compact storm, predicted to be a Category 1 hurricane at the time of this overpass [9:41am EDT]. The storm is currently predicted to head westwards towards Cuba. Looking for outflow banding and an eye feature), Araguainha Impact Crater, Brazil (weather was predicted to be clear over central Brazil, providing an opportunity to photograph this impact structure. The expression of this 40-km diameter crater on the landscape is subtle, and is mainly defined by circular variations in vegetation patterns. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along-track, present the best technique for imaging the crater), and High Central Andean Glaciers, S. America (looking to the left of track as ISS began to parallel the South American coastline for views of the western slopes of the Andes Mountains. Oblique imagery of glaciers and icefields located near the summits and upper slopes of the mountains was requested).

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 20/21 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Fri. (9/5): ATV Undock (5:31pm EDT); PCS reboot; Microbial water & surface sampling; CGSE troubleshoot?
  • Sat. (9/6): FFQ; IWIS deactivation.
  • Sun. (9/7): Station cleaning; DCP video bypass cable install for Robotics; PFC (FE-2).
  • Mon. (9/8): SLEEP; Acoustic Survey; BMP ch.1 regen; POC-DOUG revw; SSRMS/ESP-3; Hatch seal inspect; CGSE troubleshoot; EMER OBT; ATV MBRL/PCE uninstall; Iridium phone recharge.
  • Tue. (9/9): SLEEP; Acoustic Survey; BMP ch.2 regen; TORU OBT; O-OHA; EMU batt. maint.; BCAT-3 fam.; PMCs; JAXA AQUA-Ink Ball exp.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:03am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.4 km
Apogee height — 358.0 km
Perigee height — 348.7 km
Period — 91.61 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006906
Solar Beta Angle — 14.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 61 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56101

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (~5:31pm); independent flight
09/08/08 — Progress M-64/29P de-orbit (~4:45pm)
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 from 2 NASA planes; 9:12pm)
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.