Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 October 2008

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

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

FE-2 Chamitoff had the last day of his first SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session, which runs in two blocks of six days each. Greg finished up with measuring body mass (with SLAMMD/Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), and sampling of blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) and urine, begun 10/5. Then, the equipment was stowed for now. [For the SOLO experiment, Chamitoff follows a special high-salt diet, for which prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Blood and urine samples are stowed in the MELFI.]

FE-1 Kononenko completed his first session of the 24-hour of ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps MO-2 protocol. [For the ECG recording, the Russian flight engineer yesterday donned the five-electrode Holter harness which read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over 24 hours and recorded data on the Kardioregistrator 90205 unit. CDR Volkov’s MO-2 session took place the day before.]

Afterwards, the FE-1 collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM (Service Module), using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today using preprogrammed microchips to measure for Isopropanol (“rubbing alcohol”, C3H8O), Methanol (“wood alcohol”, CH3OH) and Toluene (methylbenzene, C7H8).

FE-2 Chamitoff conducted “Exp-17 Week 25” sampling of potable water for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and the SRV-K Warm tap, the latter after preliminary heating of the water (three heating cycles) and flushing. [Gregory collected three 225 mL samples (for inflight microbial analysis) and two 750 mL samples (for postflight chemical analysis) from each of three ports (SRV-K hot, SRV-K warm, SVO-ZV) for return on STS-126/ULF2. The flush water, collected in three small waste water bags, was then reclaimed for technical use. For the in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis, Greg used MCDs (microbial capture devices) from the U.S. WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing after no more than 6 hours of the collection (done ~10:55am EDT). Sample analysis included subsequent processing of water samples in the MWAK (microbial water analysis kit) for inflight coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) detection (done ~11:55am). Results of the on-board processing will be available after a two-day incubation period, in case of the MWAK after 4-6 days of incubation.]

Kononenko took US CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) #1064 & #1008 to the Russian Segment (RS) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops’ EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Continuing the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, Volkov replaced the four dust collector filters (PF1-4) in the SM. Additional cleaning of fan grilles and air ducts remains on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list.

In preparation for the relocation of the ZSR (Zero-G Stowage Rack) at the Node-2 D5 position to the JAXA JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Section) position A2 tomorrow (10/9), the FE-2 cleared up the D5 location by removing stowage items, which required rotating the rack down and later moving it upright again. The removed items were restowed at other locations. [Two more racks are also to be moved: one ZSR from Lab O5 to JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) F6, and one RSR (Resupply Stowage Rack) from Node-2 P5 to Lab O5.]

Chamitoff also performed a test on the BOB (Breakout Box) power unit to ascertain that it can be used for Flow Meter operations on (still incomplete) ITCS MFCV (Internal Thermal Control System/Manual Flow Control Valve) adjustment later this week. [The ground-developed test involved resistance and voltage measurements. Afterwards, the Flow Meter was also checked out, including a zero calibration, to verify that it was not damaged by the electrical anomaly on 9/30 and is still functioning properly.]

Sergey & Oleg had 2 hrs. reserved to setting up the work area for SFP/VC15 (Space Flight Participant/Visiting Cosmonaut 15) Richard Garriott, due to arrive on 10/14 on Soyuz 17S. [To support the ESA BIO#4 experiments during the ISS-17/ISS-18 handover, the crewmembers unstowed and set up the KUBIK 1 & 2 controlled temperature containers (thermostats) in the SM. Activation at +21 degC and +37 degC, respectively, will occur on docking day. The equipment setups pertain to the BIOEMULSION and CONJUGATION experiments, and include the KRIOGEM-03 refrigerator, laptop HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) and digital storage cards for VC-15.]

The FE-1 conducted another run of the Russian DZZ-2 "Diatomeya" ocean observation program, using the NIKON-F5 DCS digital still camera to shoot color contrast formations and wind-induced wave anomalies (foam bands, smooth-out sections) in sea water at specified times. [The current DZZ-2 sessions are in support of a multi-discipline scientific expedition of the Institute of Oceanic Studies under the Russian Academy of Science, chief developer of the Diatomeya space experiment, which will be operating in the first ten days of October in the NE part of the Black Sea. Water areas with the most pronounced hydro-physical and hydro-biological characteristics are selected to be measured from the sea vessel. In good weather these water areas can be easily observed from space in colored and bright fields.]

Sergey Volkov completed the monthly & quarterly TVIS treadmill maintenance. [The inspection checks out the TVIS in the current SLD (subject loading device) contingency configuration, primarily looking at the condition of the SPDs (subject positioning devices) with clamp/rope assembly wire rope isolators for fraying and damage, and recording time & date values.]

Oleg performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [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.]

Sergey later took care of 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).

At ~5:20pm EDT, just before sleep time, Kononenko will again set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD (Sonocard) payload and start his ninth experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

The CDR & FE-1 worked another hour on pre-packing cargo for return or disposal on Soyuz TMA-12, based on a detailed 15-page loading list with schematics (“maps”) as stowage guides for the extremely limited stowage space in the 16S Descent Module (SA). Trashed items will be packed in the spacecraft’s Orbital Module (BO).

The two cosmonauts also had a 50-min period each to themselves for the regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth later this month. [It is usual for Russian crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

The crew completed 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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR/2.5h, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Later, the FE-1 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 ~3:15pm, the crewmembers will convene for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

As generally every day now, today starting at 9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) is running intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS cooling loop. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking. CDRA remains “yellow” on the ISS critical systems list.]

Conjunction Update: One conjunction pass (of originally two) with orbital debris from the Kosmos-2421 satellite remained under observation for today at a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) of 10:18am EDT. With a total miss distance of 18.5 km predicted yesterday and updates remaining consistently stable, the pass had a PC (Probability of Collision) of zero.

Marangoni Experiment: Today’s Marangoni experiment in the JAXA JPM, requiring a “quiet” environment, will be performed between 5:30pm and 2:00am EDT, remotely controlled from Tsukuba/Japan.

MCAS Checkout Update: Yesterday’s checkout by ground controllers of the MCAS (Mobile Servicing System Common Attach System) and UMA (Umbilical Mechanism Assembly) on both MBS (Mobile Base System) strings showed that the “Demated” microswitch on the string 2 MCAS UMA was not depressed as expected when powered up, and neither was the “Mated” microswitch on the prime string after the MBS switched to it. Additional commanding was required to reset. No impact to the upcoming ESP-3 (External Stowage Platform 3) operations.

GNC Issue Troubleshooting: After recent intermittent anomalous behaviors of both GNC MDM (Guidance, Navigation & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) computers, flight controllers uploaded a software patch to the MDMs to gather more data for diagnostic analysis. The patch will not be exercised on orbit until after the Soyuz 16S undocking.

Week 24/25 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Thu. (10/9): MBI-12 dwnld.; ODNT OBT; IP-1 mnt.; ZSR-LAB1O5 relocate; ZSR NOD2D5 relocate; WRM CWC audit;
  • Fri. (10/10): Soyuz 16S thruster/SUDN test; MO-8; MBI-12 dwld.; FFQ; ITCS MFCV adjust; RS Video MPEG config.; Water T+2 anal.; SOLO #2; CDMK check.
  • Sat. (10/11): Station cleaning; PFCs; Ham radio call; SOLO #2.
  • Sun. (10/12): SOLO #2; PFC; VRU disk exchange.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Afar Rift Zone, Ethiopia (the Afar Rift Zone is a depression caused by the rifting or spreading apart of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The Afar is one of two places on Earth where a spreading center can be studied on land, the other being Iceland. Greg was asked to document the modern lava flows as well as the alignment of the fault lines. Erte Ale, a large, dark volcanic structure should also have been visible), Teide Volcano (the large triangular island of Tenerife is composed of a complex of overlapping volcanoes that have remained active into historical time. The United Nations Committee for Disaster Mitigation has designated Teide as a Decade Volcano. It is considered to be the 13th most dangerous volcano in the world due to its proximity to several major towns and the nearby city of Puerto de la Cruz), Hurricane Norbert (Hurricane Norbert is a Category 1 storm, moving toward the Baja Peninsula. It is forecasted to possibly become a Category 2 before landfall on the Baja), and Konza Prairie, Kansas (the Konza Prairie is one of the Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] sites. This target is located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas. The vegetation is primarily native tall grass prairie. ISS CEO imagery will help in the study of the effects of fire, grazing and climate variability as well as help to document the grassland ecosystems. Overlapping mapping pass was requested).

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 noon, 8:00am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.9 km
Apogee height — 355.6 km
Perigee height — 350.2 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0003998
Solar Beta Angle — -32.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 64 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56636

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
10/10/08 — Soyuz 16S thruster test
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:01:29 am EDT; Fincke, Lonchakov, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S dock (FGB nadir port, ~4:33am EDT)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undock (DC1 nadir, 8:15pm) & land (11:36pm) = 10/24 — 9:36am Kazakhstan)
11/02/08 — Progress 30P reboost; Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC (~7:02pm EST) – U/R
11/18/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking – U/R
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/25/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking & deorbit
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
12/01/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 landing (~1:25pm EST est.)
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
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking)
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
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.