Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 7 July 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
July 8, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 7 July 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 12 of Increment 17.

Crew Sleep Cycle: Wake/sleep cycle remains right-shifted by 3.5 hrs (5:30am – 9:00pm EDT).

Gregory Chamitoff started his day with his first week-long session with the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, using the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. [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. 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 1 of 3 for the FE-2.]

Gregory also ended his FD30 session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, his second, by collecting a final urine sample upon wakeup for storage in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). The sampling kit was then stowed away. Greg’s next activity with this experiment will be the FD60 session. [The current 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 MELFI), 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.]

Before breakfast, the CDR, FE-1 and FE-2 completed another periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement (fifth for CDR & FE-1, third for FE-2). [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

After breakfast, Volkov & Kononenko had an hour reserved for reviewing specific procedures for EVA-20A, the first of two planned Orlan spacewalks, and tagged up with ground specialists via S-band. [Among the procedures reviewed were timeline details, Strela crane operations (to maneuver EV2/Oleg to the Soyuz worksite), EV1/Sergey joining him at the worksite, crew interactions during the EVA, placement of safety tethers, etc. Specialists are still assessing if there is a potential issue with the configuration in which Soyuz and the extended Strela could be left in case of an EVA termination due to a systems failure.]

Later, with the STTS communication/telemetry links configured for working in the DC1 Docking Compartment, the two spacewalkers spent several more hours on –

  • continuing Orlan preparations, e.g., gathering equipment & tools,
  • taking documentary photography of the VSPLESK payload, to be installed outside during the second spacewalk (EVA-20),
  • checking the installation of selected US add-on hardware on EV2’s Orlan-M #26 (TV camera, power harness, etc.) for video coverage of the work at the Soyuz spacecraft,
  • performing the gas/water separation in the Orlan & DC1 BSS interface unit cooling loops, and
  • restoring STTS comm/TM links to nominal configuration.

Sergey also recharged the battery of the SONY HVR-Z1J digital high-definition camcorder (provided last year by VC12 Charles Simonyi) and configured the ZVK LIV Experimental Video Complex in the Service Module (SM) for covering EVA-20A. [Volkov’s setup involves the KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder which uses the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop (for converting analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC) and making the video hardware connections, checked with a network ping test. Transmission tests with the ground followed (10:00am – 2:00pm EDT), including launching the NViewer (NASA Viewer) application on the Central Post SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop and the VLC Media Player on the RSS1 laptop, linking KL-211 to various video cameras onboard, and checking the digital video transmission over JSL/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to at TsUP-Moscow, plus transfer of the USOS analog video of the RS ISS video downlink via Streambox 2 to NISN (i.e., the Moscow Ostankino communication hub).]

FE-2 Chamitoff worked several hours in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), first preparing the TCA LTL (Thermal Control Assembly/Low Temperature Loop) gas trap for the subsequent operations, by reconfiguring valves manually and activating the gas trap heater. After the operations, the heater will be deactivated and the valves reset to their nominal (bypassed) configuration.

As next steps, Gregory was to collect fluid samples in the JPM, specifically, to remove an LTL flexhose, install an ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) fluid sampling adapter, connect umbilicals at the SAIBO and RYUTAI racks, and collect both ammonia and OPA (Ortho-Phthalaldehyde) fluid samples at the JPM1F2 sampling port. [SAIBO (“living cell”) is a Japanese multipurpose experiment/payload rack system on the ISS that transports, stores and supports subrack facilities such as the CB (Clean Bench) and CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) equipment by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water and other items needed to operate science experiments in microgravity. RYUTAI (“fluid”) is a Japanese multipurpose experiment/payload rack system to support the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility), SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility), PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) and the IPU (Image Processing Unit) by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water and other items needed to operate science experiments in micro-G.]

The FE-2 conducted the periodic (monthly) CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) maintenance/checkout, today on all four units. [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Garrett checked batteries, then zero-calibrated all instruments (to eliminate drift in the combustion sensors). Following zero calibration, the backup units were stowed in the Node, along with the sampling pump, while the prime unit was deployed at the SM Central Post.]

Later tonight, Gregory is timelined for ~10 min. for the periodic inspection of the ELPS (Emergency Light Power Supply) in the Columbus module.

Sergey Volkov will conduct the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Oleg Kononenko is scheduled to handle 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).

The crew worked out in their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise protocol (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 tonight, Chamitoff transfers 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 ~9:15am, Sergey & Oleg downlinked a PAO TV message of greetings via S- & Ku-band to an International Youth Science School Conference on “Space Exploration: Theory and Practice”, held currently (July 5-15) in Moscow at the Bauman MGTU (Moscow State Technological University). [Today’s crew downlink to TsUP Mission Control Center was viewed by International Youth Science School attendees including students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (Switzerland), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Northwestern University (Evanston, USA), the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK), Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (Gujarat, India), Aalborg University (Copenhagen, Denmark), and Russian students and professors.]

At ~5:20pm, Volkov & Kononenko will be performing a video shoot in the ATV1 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 1) “Jules Verne” to be replayed on 7/17 in Paris at a festive event about ATV and ESA’s ISS efforts during the top-level HOA (Heads of Space Agencies) meeting. An ISS downlink with a crew address will be scheduled during the event at ~8:00am EDT at ESA Headquarters. [Shooting suggestions for today have one crewmember shown entering the ATV and conducting a “tour” of the large vehicle, then making presentations of four historic items, namely an original copy of the 19th century of Jules Verne’s book “De la Terre a la Lune” (From the Earth to the Moon), a Jules Verne poster showing three small original manuscripts, and a set of two original manuscripts within their protective plastic covers.]

CMG Testing: At 9:40am-12:40pm EDT today, a CMG steering test was performed by ground commanding. CMGs 1,2 and 3 were tested at five different speeds for each CMG to see if they stay in the steering law. This was an attempt to recreate a problem seen on the last CMG wheel speed test where CMG-3 toggled out of the steering law briefly.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 7:46am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 344.7 km
Apogee height — 350.8 km
Perigee height — 338.6 km
Period — 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000909
Solar Beta Angle — 24.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 49 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55172

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20A (2:18pm)
07/15/08 — Russian EVA-20 (1:14pm)
07/23/08 — ATV1 reboost (tent.)
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until ~9/25 for nighttime reentry/observation)
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir (may move to 8/30)
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
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
1QTR CY09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
2QTR CY09 — STS-127/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
3QTR CY09 — STS-128/17A/Atlantis – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking, May ’09)
3QTR CY09 — STS-129/ULF3/Discovery – ELC1, ELC2
4QTR CY09 — STS-130/20A/Endeavour – Node-3 + Cupola
1QTR CY10 — STS-131/19A/Atlantis – MPLM(P)
1QTR CY10 — STS-132/ULF4/Discovery – ICC-VLD, MRM1 (contingency)
2QTR CY10 — STS-133/ULF5/Endeavour – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.