Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 7 August 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 7 August 2008

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

As part of the crew’s regular morning inspection tour, CDR Volkov began his workday with the routine checkup of DC1 (Docking Compartment) circuit breakers and fuses. [The monthly checkup in the “Pirs” module looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.]

For the Russian KPT-2 science payload BAR-RM, the CDR terminated battery charging for the “Kelvin-Video” instrument and started the process on the TTM-2 anemometer/thermometer’s power pack. After about 4 hrs, the charging was terminated. [Objective of the payload is to experiment with ISS leak detection based on environmental data anomalies (temperature, humidity, and ultrasound emissions) at leak locations. The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2), an ultrasound analyzer (AU-01), and a leak detector (UT2-03) to determine physical background signs of loss of ISS pressure integrity which could be indicative of leaks in the working compartments of the station. Measurements are taken in specific zones (13 in SM PkhO and 4 in DC1), both with lights & fans turned on and off. ]

Later, in preparation for an upcoming training session of physical stimulation/conditioning of the two cosmonauts with the Russian BMD (Biomedical Device) PZE STIMUL-01, the CDR removed the first pair of freshly charged NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries from the payload’s charger device and initiated the discharge/charge cycle on the second pair. [The neuromuscular myostimulator suit STIMUL-1, which uses electrical stimulation to contract and relax leg muscle fibers for conditioning, is part of the suite of BMS (Biomedical Support) systems under development at the Moscow IBMP (Institute for Biomedical Problems) for long-duration spaceflights including piloted Mars missions.]

FE-1 Kononenko completed outfitting the FGB module with new stowage structures, transferring additional enclosures from the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) for installation in FGB zones 35B, V (panel 407) to provide more efficient stowage spaces behind panels and improve airflow/circulation;

Afterwards, Oleg stowed a variety of equipment in the new FGB enclosures, such as two CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) with IVA (Intravehicular Activity) Seal Kits from Node-2 and an IFHX (Interface Heat Exchanger).

Sergey Volkov set up the equipment for his third session with the Russian experiment MBI-18 DYKHANIE (“Respiration”, “Breathing”), then undertook the session, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, followed later by Oleg Kononenko who also completed the experiment for the third time. The crewmembers took photographs of each other working the hardware, then closed down the payload and stowed it. [Dykhanie-1 uses two body belts (PG-T/thoracic, PG-A/abdominal), a calibrator, resistor, mouthpiece, etc., to study fundamental physiological mechanisms of the external breathing function of crewmembers under long-duration orbital flight conditions. During the experiment, physiological measurements are taken and recorded with a pneumotachogram, a thoracic pneumogram, an abdominal pneumogram, and pressure data in the oral cavity. All experimentally derived plus salient environmental data along with personal data of the subject are recorded on PCMIA card for return to the ground at end of the Expedition. Objectives include determining the dynamics of the relationship between thoracic (pectoral) and abdominal breathing function reserves and their realization potential during spontaneous breathing, the coordinated spontaneous respiratory movements in terms of thoracic and abdominal components of volumetric, time & rate parameters of spontaneous respiratory cycle, identification of the features of humoral-reflex regulation of breathing by dynamics of ventilation sensitivity of thoracic and abdominal components to chemoreceptor stimuli, etc. Overall, the experiment is intended to provide a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of pulmonary respiration/gas exchange gravitational relations of cosmonauts.]

FE-2 Chamitoff conducted another lengthy session with the SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) payload, proceeding through the individual experiment steps by –

  • Activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) in the US Lab,
  • Powering on the SHERE hardware,
  • Accessing the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) to install the SHERE FM (Fluid Module) #1,
  • Supporting the first SHERE experiment run (Test Point 23),
  • Transferring the module with the fluid sample,
  • Installing FM #26 for the second experiment run (Test Point 5),
  • Removing the FM from the CGBA and transferring SHERE data,
  • Turning off the SHERE/CGBA equipment,
  • Transferring the data files to the MSG laptop, and
  • Powering down the MSG.

[Background: Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress 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 on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for monodisperse dilute polymer solutions 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.]

The FE-2 completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) audit 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 current card (17-0002U) lists 34 CWCs (Contingency Water Containers, ~1314.1 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (535.2 L, for Elektron, flushing & hygiene, incl. 487.2 L flushing-only water because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (706.7 L, incl. 174.6 L currently for flushing only), condensate water (64.3 L), waste/EMU dump and other (7.9 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.]

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 and 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.]

Sergey performed 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Oleg conducted 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).

In continuing support of the COL FSL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory/Fluid Science Lab) facility, Greg inserted a blank DLT (Digital Line Tape) cartridge in the FSL VMU (Video Management Unit) tape recorder.

The crew 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 (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), 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 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 ~4:15am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya = “Main Operative Control Group”), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~8:45am, Sergey & Oleg linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues, equipment locations and ATV & Progress cargo transfers.

At ~10:15am, the crew supported two interactive PAO TV interviews with US media of ~10 min each: KHOU-TV, Houston, TX (Jeremy Desel), and Cal Pol Magazine, San Luis Obispo, CA (Scott Roark).

TVIS Update: Replacement of the treadmill roller bearings is scheduled next week on 8/11 & 8/12. Before the change-out, the torn belt must be repaired with a patch, to be created and installed by the crew. Only after this procedure is completed, the scheduled roller bearing change-out can be performed, since it involves manipulation and stretching of the tread belt during the change-out, which could propagate the tear. Delivery of a new tread belt is proposed on Progress 30P.

SPDM Update: The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator “Dextre” was powered-up on Monday for installation of an Arm-2 Shoulder Joint software patch. After patch installation, the polarity inversion error that occurred initially during the 1J/A mission (3/19/08) re-occurred. Preliminary analysis indicates the problem is in an ambiguity switch returning an inconsistent value. This ambiguity switch is only used during power-up and for a specific range of angles. In the near term, parking the arm at a specific angle can work around the issue. In the long term, this problem can be resolved through software updates.

MT Update: Tomorrow (8/8, ~2:05-3:35pm EDT), the Mobile Transporter will be moved from WS-4 (Worksite 4) to WS-6 to support JEM RMS (Japanese Experiment Module Robotic Manipulator System) checkouts.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Kwanza Basin, Angola (the Kwanza basin is undergoing rapid economic development, especially around the capital city Luanda, as Angola becomes a major oil exporter. ISS CEO imagery will be used as “baseline” imagery against which to measure future growth [settlements, railroads, highways, etc.]. A mapping swath looking obliquely left will ensure capturing the site. Visual cues are straight ridges extending away from track), Gordion, Turkish archaeological site (this rich archeological site was a city [capital of Phrygia] 800 years BCE where King Midas reigned. It is also the city where Alexander the Great cut the Gordion knot with his sword. For the last century Turkish and US researchers have excavated here. They have requested oblique views to illustrate publications and presentations. Shooting left for context views. A mapping swath will ensure capturing the site), Mount Vesuvius, S. Italy (looking near nadir. Visual cues are [1] the peninsula leading out to the Isle of Capri; and [2] Vesuvius’s volcanic cone itself which is a prominent dark circular feature in the coastal plains just south of Naples), and Haze SE USA (looking left after crossing Cuba for the margin of a hazy airmass moving offshore from Georgia. Recent high pressure conditions have concentrated “aerosols” [smog, smoke, dust and other materials] in the lower atmosphere. These are especially visible from space as Greg looked obliquely through the atmosphere [giving a longer “line of sight” through the pollution]. Images of haze are effective if the margin/front between clear and hazy air can be detected. The smog front was expected to be approximately over southern Florida during the overflight).

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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 3:59am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 350.7 km
Apogee height — 357.6 km
Perigee height — 343.8 km
Period — 91.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0010247
Solar Beta Angle — -7.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 40 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55658

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
08/13/08 — ATV Reboost
08/30/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until ~9/25 for nighttime reentry/observation)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
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 port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir)
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
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
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
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
07/30/09 — STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking, May ’09)
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.