Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 November 2008

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – light-duty day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Chamitoff.

After wakeup (1:00am EST), FE-2 Chamitoff again downloaded the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from his Actiwatch 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.]

Yuri 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 #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:00pm EDT. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday (see note on False Fire Warning below). [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).]

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the FE’s sleep station with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the house cleaning, Yuri Lonchakov conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens in the FGB (TsV2) and DC-1 (V3).

In the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok, Functional Cargo Block), Lonchakov and CDR Fincke closed out the extensive IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the “Komparus” Command Measurement System (KIS), running final tests and cleaning up by stowing equipment & removed components in the FGB. [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).]

Mike Fincke set up the NUTRITION with Repository hardware for his second session (FD30), starting tomorrow with blood draw and urine collections. The protocol requires Mike to begin the usual 8-hr fast tonight by 7:00pm EST, i.e., no food or drink, but water consumption is highly encouraged to ensure proper hydration. [Mike’s 24-hour urine collect starts with the first void of the day tomorrow morning and continues through the first void Monday morning. The 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 supercold MELFI dewars), 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.]

At ~9:05am the crewmembers conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

For today’s VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, FE-2 Chamitoff, with CDR Fincke assisting, had ~4 hrs on his timelines for another exciting range of tests of the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) experiment which today used three satellites and five beacons. [Today’s run (Test Session 15), with ground team support, included the innovative use of “distributed computing” where the satellites perform low level path-following while high level path-determination happens in the crew’s laptop, the ability of the crewmember to interactively tune his controller while testing in a micro-G environment, and the implementation in hardware of the crewmember’s algorithm.]

Gregory 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.]

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-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Lonchakov performed a session of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take 800mm-lens telephotos. [Uplinked target zones were Darwin Island (one of the Galapagos Archipelago islands) and Patagonian Glaciers.]

Also off the work suggestions list, the FE-1 conducted another session for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.

A third task item from the Russian discretionary job list for Yuri was the regular service of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, collecting initial data in the dry substrate for ~12 hrs, copying the data to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink via BSR-TM and OCA channels, plus filling the KDV water canister. [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), a 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.]

SSRMS Walk-off: Yesterday, Robotics ground controllers released the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) from PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture)-4 on the MBS (Mobile Base System) railcart and “walked” it the onto the Node-2 PDGF. System performance was nominal. This completed the ULF-2 setup activities, and the double-grappled SSRMS is now in position for Flight ULF-2 docked operations, with its cameras stowed to protect them from thruster contamination during docking.

False Fire Event: Also yesterday, a fire warning was enunciated in the SM associated with the on-going RS (Russian Segment) BITS2-12 Onboard Telemetry Measurement System testing of the BD1 (Database 1) mass memory unit. At test start, VD-SU (Data Output-Control System) mode was deactivated in an effort to prevent any erroneous messages from the BD1 when activated. At this time the BMP Micropurification Unit channel 1, being “baked out” for regeneration, had a temperature of 56 degC. Per software coding, when the temperature is more than 50 degC while VD-SU is off, a BMP-1 fire hazard warning is triggered. The crew was immediately informed of the false alarm via RGS (Russian Groundsite).

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen — Week 2)

3-D SPACE: Planned.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air): Continuing.

BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): BCAT-4 operations were initiated on 11/1. Samples 8, 9, and 10 were homogenized for long-term crystal observations. Sample 3 was homogenized and the images are being analyzed on the ground at Harvard University. “So far, sample 3 image quality has been fantastic! In addition, Thank You for taking initiative to collect GNC vector data to help us understand the microgravity forces imposed on the BCAT module.”

BIO-4: Complete.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): In progress. For the next CCISS session, Mike will be using a newly refurbished unit that will arrive on ULF-2.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.

CSI-2/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): In progress.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): Due to safety concerns identified for the PLEGPAY instrument when operated in Plasma Discharge mode, the entire EuTEF platform had to be put in survival mode on 9/1. Since then, the EuTEF power feeder#1 is de-activated and no science acquisition is possible. Request has been approved at IMMT for intermittent activation for 3 of the 9 EUTEF payloads. This only mitigated the science loss for the EXPOSE, DOSTEL and MEDET instruments. The situation implies significant loss of science return for all EUTEF payloads. On 10/30, the ground commanding activity to erase the software instructions of the so-called “Experiment 1” (Plasma Generation) from the memory of PLEGPAY was performed nominally. A full memory dump of PLEGPAY instrument was performed and the ground teams analyzed the outcome of the memory deletion. The EuTEF platform was permanently activated on 11/5.– DEBIE-2: 24-hrs science script ran starting on 11/5;– DOSTEL: On-going science acquisition;– EuTEMP: Currently inactive as planned;– EVC: Currently no picture taking;– EXPOSE: On-going science acquisition;– FIPEX: Science script started on 11/6;– MEDET: On-going science acquisition; — PLEGPAY: Inactive, “Experiment 1” memory has been erased on 10/30. Plasma generation capability has been disabled;– TRIBOLAB: In thermal stabilization mode, Ball Bearing #4 experiment planned to be started on 11/6.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): FSL is nominal.

GEOFLOW: The EC (Experiment Container) has been successfully installed back into the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) drawer. ESA is planning to resume the GEOFLOW science runs after ULF-2 mission and 30P undocking & 31P docking.

HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): Complete.

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): In progress.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): In progress.

Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MOP (Motion Perception in Zero-G): Planned for STS-126.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

MUSCLE-G (LBP/Low Back Pain): Complete.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.

NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY: “Mike, thanks for the great catch on the RC spin settings during your FD15 session. The PI really appreciated your attentiveness and awesome communication! Your next session will be your FD30.”

PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): In progress

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): The present Sun visibility window has started on 10/27, but due to high ISS yaw angle, SOLAR only started to track the Sun on 10/29 early morning. On 11/03, 3 Criss-Cross measurements have been successfully performed. On 11/04 a problem with the telemetry caused a sun tracking interruption. Some anomalies are currently being worked for SOLACES and SOVIM instruments. The current Sun observation window is planned to end on 11/09.– SOVIM: no science acquisition, non-nominal mode: instrument power consumption was much lower than expected in nominal mode. For the time being it is powered off as the ground teams are working out a recovery plan, to be performed after the current Sun observation window.– SOLSPEC: daily science acquisition – nominal;– SOLACES: problem of synchronization of the instrument microcontrollers, some work-around procedures are being implemented since the start of the Sun observation window.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): Complete.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


WAICO #1 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 11/5 the ground has received a total of 2,074 frames of CEO images for review and cataloging. “Thanks for your excellent response to our target requests. Photos with times corresponding to our CEO target request times are reviewed first and since our last report included: Cairo, Egypt (35 frames in a dual camera session – target confirmed – under review – sorry about the clouds); Wetumpka Impact Crater, Alabama (5 frames under review); Caracas, Venezuela, (29 frames under review); Central Arizona-Phoenix (32 frames – target confirmed – under review); Amazon River Delta (35 frames – target confirmed – more clouds than we had hoped); South Tibesti Megafans (52 frames – under review); Vredefort Impact Crater, South Africa (15 frames – target confirmed- soft focus – under review); South Georgia Island – 15 frames – target confirmed – and icebergs too); Patagonian Glaciers (17 frames – target not acquired); Arkenu (28 frames – target not acquired); Antarctic Ice Pack (20 frames – target confirmed – bergs and landmass too); Luquillo Forest (42 frames – target confirmed – under review). Glad to hear you are pumped, so are we! We are now holding off on our long-lens requests until we hear that the focus issues you described are resolved to your satisfaction. Your excellent imagery of the Arkenu impacts, from the first attempt, will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. Great work!”

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Bosumtwi Impact Crater (this well-marked impact crater is located about 150 km west of the south end of Lake Volta in south central Ghana. It is a very young impact [just over a million years old], about 10.5 km in diameter, and almost completely filled by a lake. There are only a few images of this crater in the CEO database because the area is usually cloud and/or haze covered. On this partly cloudy, mid-morning pass, as ISS approached the coast from the NW, Mike & Greg were to find Lake Volta and look just right of track), 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. Trying for a nadir mapping pass with the 180mm lens), Heard Island, Australia (Heard Island is a bleak, uninhabited, and mountainous island located in the Southern Ocean; about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica. Its mountains are covered in glaciers and dominated by Mawson Peak, a 9,006 ft high complex volcano which forms part of the Big Ben massif. A long thin spit named "Elephant Spit" extends from the east of the island. ISS pass was in mid-afternoon light with weather satellite imagery suggesting partial clearing from the W. Looking well right of track and trying for oblique context views of this challenging target), and S. Georgia/S. Sandwich (the South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous, and glaciated island that lies about 860 miles ESE 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 ISS pass, but the crew was to try for a mapping pass of the north coast of South Georgia. The pass was in early afternoon, looking well right of track and looking also for large icebergs reported in the vicinity).

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, 4:54am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 351.9 km
Apogee height — 354.2 km
Perigee height — 349.5 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000352
Solar Beta Angle — 21.0 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) — 57122

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.