Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 April 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
April 9, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 April 2009

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

Yest posadka! (We have Landing!) Welcome back home, Michael Fincke, Yuri Lonchakov and Charles Simonyi! After 178 days 14 min in space (176 docked to ISS), Soyuz TMA-13/17S, carrying two-thirds of the Expedition 18 crew plus the US SFP, landed successfully this morning at ~3:15am EDT in the steppes of southern Kazakhstan, with the crew in excellent condition. [The 17S undocking sequence was initiated on 4/7 with the command to open the Soyuz hooks at 11:52pm EDT. 17S separated from the ISS FGB nadir port at 11:55pm using the docking system springs. Three minutes after initial separation an automatic separation burn was performed by the Soyuz spacecraft. A 4 min 21 sec de-orbit burn was initiated this morning at 2:24am EDT. During descent, the tri-module separation was nominal, and the 17S vehicle guidance system operated well. Russian SAR (Search & Rescue) helicopters sighted the parachute descent of the capsule and reached the crew immediately after touchdown. The crewmembers were reported to be in excellent health. They were flown to Karaganda to participate in the landing ceremony, and then boarded the GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) plane for Moscow. ]

After yesterday’s long post-nap workday (12:00pm – 3:45am this morning), the remaining ISS-19 crewmembers CDR Padalka, FE-1 Barratt & FE-2 Wakata are enjoying a really long (22h15m) sleep & rest period, from 3:45am – 2:00am tomorrow morning. The station sleep/wake cycle will then be back on the standard 2:00am-5:30pm EDT period.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Mumbai, India Aerosol (as ISS approached India, the crew was to look forward and right towards the coastline for likely smog haze drifting out to sea. Overlapping oblique shots, ending if possible with visible [i.e. identifiable] points on the ground, are helpful. Smog hazes from major cities can remain as large coherent plumes for hundreds, even thousands of km from source areas), and Cairo, Egypt (the crew was to shoot overlapping images, at nadir and slightly left, to document the growth of this major city which is expanding eastward toward the Suez Canal).

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, 7:38am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 353.2 km
Apogee height – 359.3 km
Perigee height — 347.0 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000913
Solar Beta Angle — -40.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 45 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59498

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/06/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/07/09 — Progress 33P launch
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/12/09 — Progress 33P docking
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
Six-person crew on ISS
07/17/09 — Progress 33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) — tentative
11/10/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz — tentative
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
12/XX/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.