Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 November 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
November 6, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit  Status 6 November 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Uplink to crew from MCC-H Flight Control: “Excellent job on the SSRMS Ops and Komparus repair. You guys make it look easy!” (Which it isn’t).

After wakeup, FE-2 Chamitoff again downloaded the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from his Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of his final week-long session with SLEEP. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Greg wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and uses 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, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list. This is Week 3 of 3 for the FE-2.]

In the FGB (Functional Cargo Block), FE-1 Lonchakov, in part assisted by CDR Fincke, continued the extensive IFM (Inflight Maintenance) work on the “Komparus” Command Measurement System (KIS), removing and replacing boxes with electronic components & their cabling of the system which acts as the communications portal of the Khrunichev-built FGB, receiving & forwarding ground commands addressed to onboard systems when the FGB is in view of a ground station, and serving other central functions. [Komparus maintains the FGB internal clock, stores time-tagged program commands for sequenced execution, activates & deactivates the dual-redundant radio telemetry system, measures FGB relative motion, and receives and routes USOS (US Orbital Segment) commands to be sent to the Node MDMs (Multiplexer/Demultiplexers).]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-2 Chamitoff successfully installed an AmiA (Antimicrobial Applicator) module in the TCS (Thermal Control System) loop, an exacting 2-hr job. [Running for a minimum of six hours, AmiA is introducing OPA (Ortho-phthalaldehyde), an antimicrobial agent, into the COL TCS coolant at the 1F3 Z-Panel. Prior to installation, Greg purged the applicator to vacuum and conducted a leak check. Later, AmiA will be removed and stowed for return, and a small amount of fluid will; be drained from AmiA with a TCS Coolant Sampling Adapter.]

CDR Fincke meanwhile verified the stowage location of an empty OGS PWR (Oxygen Generation System/Payload Water Reservoir, #2003) to be used for ULF-2 activities. [The PWR was disconnected and stowed away several weeks ago.]

Afterwards, Fincke 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 crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (18-0006A), to be updated with today’s data, lists 25 CWCs (~794.5 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (153.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis), potable water (573.6 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (28.4 L), waste/EMU dump and other (39.2 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.]

Mike also spent some time on locating and verifying availability of rack pivot pins required during the ULF-2 docked period for MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) transfer operations.

In the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Lonchakov serviced the new Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment by upgrading its MIS-LADA control unit (BU), i.e., uninstalling its old software and loading it with a new program version. [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 “greenhouse” from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.]

In preparation for another RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) training session, Mike Fincke gathered and powered down the four D2Xs digital cameras, as required for the regular “blank image” checkout which he performed some time later (after a minimum of 30 mins.) by taking blank images, storing them on a PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) flash memory card and later downlinking them to MCC-Houston for analysis. [Blank images are used to identify “dead” pixels for each camera.]

Afterwards, Mike & Greg performed their third standard 30-min Shuttle RPM skill training, using the D2X digital still cameras with 400 & 800mm lenses to take in-cabin target imagery using a Shuttle cutout. Afterwards, the obtained OBT (onboard training) images were downlinked to the ground for analysis (~12:25pm EST). [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-124/1J) on 6/2. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Working in the US Airlock, Chamitoff & Fincke configured EVA tools, set up the CL (Crewlock) and readied the large ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) bag and staging bags in preparation for the three ULF-2 mission EVAs. [Overheard from Mike while reviewing EVA tools: “This looks like something you might fight a vampire with,” referring to a loop pin puller.]

The FE-2 completed the once-a-month reboot of all active US PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops, along with recording their batteries’ state of charge for the ground.

Gregory had another 50-min reserved for hardware prepacking for STS-126/ULF-2, using as reference a revised uplinked Prepack List which reflects crew calldowns from the 11/3 ground specialist tagup.

The crew performed 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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Chamitoff completed the routine daily servicing of the SM’s SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

As an addition to his voluntary “job jar” task list for today, Greg also was assigned the regular daily job of IMS (Inventory Management System) “delta file” updating/editing for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

A second discretionary task list item was for Mike Fincke to fill out his second FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [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.]

MT Translation: In preparation for ULF-2, the MT (Mobile Transporter), carrying the MCAS (Mobile Base System [MBS] Capture Attach System) with the ESP-3 (External Stowage Platform 3), was successfully trundled on the truss from WS (Work Site) 7 to WS 5 via ground commanding. For the translation, the RS thrusters were disabled from 8:40am – 11:50am due to loads constraints. Later, new mass properties, accounting for the MT dislocation, were uplinked.

TsVM Restart with Context: As a follow-on after the recent BITS2-12 Onboard Telemetry Measurement System repair & checkout, TsUP-Moscow has begun restarting the Russian TsVM Central Computer in the SM with context (i.e., with a new uplinked RSS communication program). The complex recovery of the BVS onboard computer system’s control involves a large number of subsystems that need to be activated, reset, inhibited or updated. The Elektron oxygen generator remains off until later tonight, but represses with O2 from Progress 30P tankage are being conducted as required.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were South Tibesti Megafans (ISS had a clear, mid-morning pass over this target located in northwestern Chad south of the Tibesti Mountains. Relict channels of an extensive megafan river system occupy a large area, probably dating from the last wet period in the Sahara Desert [~10, 000 years ago]. These channel networks appear to be good analogs for river-like lines on Mars. Overlapping images just left of track were requested. The relict stream beds are located on the light-toned flats below the dark volcanic slopes of the Tibesti Mountains), Vredefort Impact Crater (this large, ancient impact located in northern South Africa is about 300km in diameter and over 2 billion years old. On this fair-weather pass, in late-morning light, ISS approached the impact from the NW, and Mike & Greg were asked to shoot near nadir, using the long lens settings for mapping the arching ridge features marking the rim of the impact), Kerguelen (this glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far south Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles southeast of the island of Madagascar. Of primary interest is photography for monitoring of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island. The station’s approach was from the W in mid-afternoon illumination and at least partial clearing was expected. Using the long lens settings for a detailed, near-nadir mapping pass), S. Georgia/S. Sandwich (the South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous and glaciated island that lies about 860 miles east-southeast of the Falkland Islands. The South Sandwich Islands form a separate island group and are to the SE. Only partial clearing was expected at the time of the overpass, but Mike & Greg were to try for detailed views of the glaciers on the north coast of South Georgia), and Coral reefs, American Samoa (although much of this target area is to the right of track, the crew appeared to have an excellent late morning pass with only a few clouds. It should have provided nadir views of the islands of Western Samoa and Apia. Using the long lens settings and try to map in detail the beautiful fringing reef structures of these South Pacific islands).

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, 8:30am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.0 km
Apogee height — 354.3 km
Perigee height — 349.7 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000344
Solar Beta Angle — 14.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 48 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 57093

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
11/14/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC, PSSC; 7:55pm EST
11/14/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 docking; ~4:56pm
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch (nom.)
11/27/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 undocking; 10:32am
11/29/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF-2 landing; ~2:01 pm
11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking (nom.)
12/18/08 — Russian EVA-21
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
Six-person crew on ISS
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 (contingency)
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).+

SpaceRef staff editor.