Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 7 November 2008

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

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

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.]

FE-1 Lonchakov performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:15pm EST and Bed #2 regeneration performed tomorrow. (Last time done: 10/18-19). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (last time: 9/29 & 9/30).]

In the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok, Functional Cargo Block), Lonchakov and CDR Fincke again spent several hours on the extensive IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the “Komparus” Command Measurement System (KIS), removing and replacing boxes with electronic components & their cabling of the KIS 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. [Today, Yuri & Mike retrieved new spare parts from behind stowage panels in the FGB, then removed & replaced three electronics containers (KR-MPA Radio Engineering box, KS1-MPA Main Control box #1, KD-MPA Integrator box), following up with closeout ops. Returning and stowing cargo items and tools are scheduled tomorrow. Background: 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).]

As has become standard operating procedure after deactivation/reactivation of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry system and VD-SU monitoring mode, Yuri performed a quick function verification of the relatively new SUBA Ethernet connection between the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) and the BRI Smart Switch Router in the SM. [The routine task uses the RSS1 laptop for a comm check with the RSC-E PingMaster application and for downloading BRI log files.]

Afterwards, the FE-1 switched the Vozdukh CO2 removal system from automatic mode to manual control.

Continuing the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian segment) ventilation systems, FE-2 Chamitoff performed a 1h15m inspection and cleaning of Group A ventilator fans and grilles in the SM (Service Module).

Gregory also filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his 19th, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). Mike Fincke’s second FFQ session remains on the discretionary “job jar” task list. [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.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), the FE-2 disconnected and removed the AmiA (Antimicrobial Applicator) module from the TCS (Thermal Control System) loop, an exacting 1-hr job, which he had installed yesterday. [Running since yesterday, AmiA has introduced OPA (Ortho-phthalaldehyde), an antimicrobial agent, into the COL TCS coolant at the 1F3 Z-Panel. Prior to installation, Greg had purged the applicator to vacuum and conducted a leak check. AmiA was stowed for return, and a small amount of fluid was be drained from the module with a TCS Coolant Sampling Adapter into an ITCS Sample Port Flush Bag.]

Fincke & Chamitoff again worked in the US Airlock (A/L), clearing it of non-EVA related items, continued EVA tool configuration procedures and started EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery maintenance charging on battery #2073 in BC (Battery Charger) 4. [Discharge/recharge of the 16V-batteries takes about 12-15 hours. The full maintenance discharge, done manually in the early days of ISS ops, is handled automatically by an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop equipped with a special DOS application which will terminate the process on 11/10.]

Afterwards, Mike took a video camera into the A/L for filming a “tour” of its interior to be used for an early preparation of the STS-126 crew for their ULF-2 spacewalks, emphasizing EVA Tool & EMU Configurations, generic layout of METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters & batteries in the MO2 Bag, the mesh bag labeled "ULF2 EMU B/U (Pp)", and other view deemed important by the CDR.

The FE-2 performed the regular bi-weekly reboot of the SSC OCA Comm Router laptop.

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

Fincke 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 task list for today, Yuri Lonchakov got the regular daily job of IMS (Inventory Management System) “delta file” updating/editing for the weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Greg had another 60-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.

At ~2:10am EST, CDR Fincke powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 2:15am, a ham radio exchange with the Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, India. [Dibrugarh University, the easternmost University of India, was set up in 1965 under the provisions of the Dibrugarh University Act, 1965 enacted by the Assam Legislative Assembly. It is a teaching-cum-affiliating University with limited residential facilities. The University is situated at Rajabheta at a distance of about five kilometers to the south of the premier town of the Dibrugarh in the eastern part of Assam as well as India. Dibrugarh, a commercially and industrially advanced town in the entire north-eastern region, also enjoys a unique place in the fields of Art, Literature and Culture. The district of Dibrugarh is well known for its vast treasure of minerals (including oil and natural gas and coal), a flora and fauna and largest concentration of tea plantations. The diverse tribes with their distinct dialects, customs, traditions and culture form a polychromatic ethnic mosaic which makes this area a veritable paradise for the study of Anthropology and Sociology, beside Art and Culture. Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. “How do you feel in zero gravity?”; “Which part of the Earth and space do you find most beautiful?”; “Have you seen the mighty Brahmaputra?”; “How do you manage yourself out there? Are there any facilities for your entertainment?”; “How long do you sleep?”; “What is the mission behind your space tour?”; “How does it feel while escaping the gravity?”; “Have you found anything which could be beneficial to the world as a whole?”; “What kind of changes do you expect on your return to Earth?”; “How was your experience while voting for the presidential election?”]

At ~4:15am, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~2:45pm, the ISS crew will have their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer)].

New voluntary tasks added to the US “job jar” job list for Fincke are (a) documentary photography of panel and strap installations in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), (b) replacement of rack pivot fittings in JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment) and JPM, and (c) preparation of retention nets in Kibo for stowing ULF-2 delivered cargo items.

WRM Update: An updated WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked overnight for the crew’s reference, updated with yesterday’s water audit. [The new card (18-0006B) lists 23 CWCs (~792.5 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (151.3 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.]

VolSci Look-ahead: For this weekend’s VolSci (Voluntary Science) program, Mike & Greg were asked to consider additional BCAT (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test)-4 operations, including crystal checks on some samples (8, 9, 10), taking photos of any crystals found, and then homogenizing and photographing sample 1 which would have photos taken automatically once an hour for three days using the EarthKAM system.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Kerguelen Archipelago (this glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far south Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles southeast of the island of Madagascar. Primary interest for monitoring is shots of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island. ISS approach was from the W in mid-afternoon illumination and at least partial clearing was expected. Using the long lens settings for a detailed, mapping pass looking just left of track), Beni River dynamics, Bolivia (the Beni River breaks out of the Andes Mountains about 100 miles north-northeast of the capital city of La Paz to become the major drainage feature of northern Bolivia. It is a very dynamic meandering stream with numerous oxbow lakes and meander scars visible in its floodplain. The Beni’s seasonal changes in course, along with the rapid evolution of its channels and meanders, makes it an ideal candidate for studying, understanding, and illustrating these erosional processes. On this mid-morning pass with just a few clouds expected, the crew had nadir views of a key segment of the river. Their approach was from the NW and the Beni flows generally northward. Using the long lens settings for a detailed mapping strip), and Patagonian Glaciers (best pass of the day for lighting of this target area was at nadir over the southernmost portion of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The crew should have had mid-afternoon light with an expected partial clearing. CEO already has numerous, excellent views of most of the beautiful, large glacier on the eastern flank of the Andes. This time Mike & Greg were to try for detailed views of the smaller, less-well photographed ones on the western flank).

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, 8:53am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 351.9 km
Apogee height — 354.3 km
Perigee height — 349.5 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003549
Solar Beta Angle — 17.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 53 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 57109

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.) – DC1 Nadir
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.