Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 September 2008

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 21 of Increment 17. Congratulations, Greg, on your 100th day in space today!

Before breakfast, FE-2 Chamitoff began Part 1 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, to be carried for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). (Last time done: 7/12-13). [Tonight, after about 15 hours of measurements, dosimeter data will be downloaded and the hardware power-cycled for another data take after 8.5-hr. sleep, starting tonight. At that point, the crew will deploy the dosimeters statically in the station for the duration of the day, record measurements tomorrow noon and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

CDR Volkov 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 ~4:45pm EDT and Bed #2 regeneration performed tomorrow. [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: 9/3 & 9/4).]

FE-1 Kononenko, with the CDR assisting as required, had ~6 hrs reserved for disassembling, removing, closing out and stowing the ATV PCE (Automated Transfer Vehicle/Proximity Communications Equipment, Russian: MBRL) hardware in the SM (Service Module), now no longer needed after “Jules Verne” departed last week. [The main MBRL components are the space-to-space radio “monoblock” (PCE Z0000), the BUAP antenna switching control box (BUAP), and the ATV control panel (PU).]

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, the FE-2 activated the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) and its laptop (MLT), by first powering up the MMA’s NCU/RSU (Network Control Unit/Remote Sensor Unit) set from the Ryutai rack’s UDC (Utility DC to DC Converter), then turning on both the NCU/RSU and MLT.

After reviewing uplinked POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) material for today’s robotics activity, Volkov and Chamitoff operated the Canadian SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) by maneuvering it to and grappling the ESP-3 (External Stowage Platform 3) at the zenith side of the P3 truss for a ground-controlled checkout of the EBCS (External Berthing Camera System). Later, the crew released the ESP-3 PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) and maneuvered the arm to the Stage park position.

CDR Volkov performed Part 2 of the scheduled removal & replacement of the renewable condensate removal lines (SMOK) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System in the SM, today replacing the hoses between the SKV-2 air conditioner’s BTA heat exchanger-evaporator and the NOK-2 condensate pump.

After disconnecting a jumper (77-1), from the FSS (Fluid System Servicer) flow meter tube, Chamitoff torqued (tightened) the jumper’s male QD (Quick Disconnect) to ensure continued secondary seal integrity.

In preparation for the upcoming rack relocations within the US Lab, Gregory performed functionality checks on low pressure QDs which need to be manipulated for the transfers. All QDs checked out nominal except for the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control, System) QDs for ER-5 (EXPRESS Rack 5) which still show leakage. ER-5 was transferred to the JAXA JPM on 8/26, (when the leakage was seen first) and remains unpowered and unconnected. [If one or more of the QDs cannot be demated, thus preventing rack transfer, flight controllers will reconfigure the ITCS by depressurizing lines on the rack transfer day to allow QD removal, the goal being only to reconfigure the ITCS system once if possible. Depending on which QDs leak, this may or may not be possible.]

The crew conducted the regular fire drill/OBT (on-board training), a mandatory periodic one-hour exercise (including ground debrief conference), deferred from 8/27 because of the DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver). [Primary goal of this Russian-led interactive exercise is to provide the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible. The drill is always conducted with the support of both MCCs in close coordination. It should be performed every 2.5 months, but not later than 1 month prior to end of Increment. OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) browse through RS laptop and the Signal-VM fire detection system displays as well as the automated software (algorithms) response to the fire event; (c) practice crew communication necessary to perform emergency FRPs; (d) ensure familiarization with support equipment (CSA-CP compound specific analyzer-combustion products, PBAs portable breathing assemblies, PFE/OSP-4 portable fire extinguishers, and IPK-1M gas masks to be used for fire suppression. These exercises do not actually use any fire equipment but simulate such actions to the maximum extent possible. The Emergency Procedures OBT concluded with a 15-min. debrief with Russian/U.S. ground specialists at ~12:00pm EDT via S-band.]

Gregory conducted the periodic hatch seal inspection in all USOS (US segment), ESA & JAXA modules (Node-1 Forward, Aft & Starboard, Airlock, Lab Aft & Forward, Node-2 Aft, Starboard & Port, Columbus, Kibo JPM Starboard & Zenith, Kibo JLP Nadir) in support of ACS (Atmospheric Control System) maintenance, using a special vacuum cleaner and other tools (last time done: 7/8).

The FE-2 continued the JAXA CGSE (Common Gas Supply Equipment) CO2 leak troubleshooting in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) begun last week, today preparing the Saibo rack with the CGSE for the planned leak check (which, as per JAXA report this morning, is still showing pressure decay on the CO2 line). [Preparations focused on isolating the SAIBO rack from the system CO2 line by disconnecting the QD (Quick Disconnect) on the UIP (Utility Interface Panel/Z-Panel) and repressurizing the system CO2 line, to be then monitored by SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba/Japan for two days to determine if either the system or the payload is the CO2 leak source. Background: On 8/8, the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) in the SAIBO rack exhibited a sudden unexpected pressure drop at the CGSE CO2 high-pressure sensor, from 3000 kPa to 500 kPa within 1.5 minutes. Specialists believe that the SSV (Self Shut-off Valve) closed itself unexpectedly, making it a potential contributor to the sudden pressure decrease. Also suspected is leakage from the CO2 supply line.]

Chamitoff also conducted another one of the periodic offloadings of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier’s condensate tank, filling a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1070) with the collected water slated for processing. No samples were required. [Estimated offload time before reaching the tank’s neutral point (leaving ~6 kg in the tank): ~30 min.]

For Sergey Volkov, it was time again for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone brought up on Soyuz 16S, a monthly routine job and his fifth time. [After retrieving it from its location in the TMA-12/16S descent module (BO), Sergey initiated the recharge of its lithium-ion battery, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion at ~3:00pm, the phone was to be returned inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed back in the BO’s operational data files (ODF) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an “undershoot” ballistic reentry, as happened during the recent 15S return). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule’s GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put onboard Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

Working off the Russian at-crew’s-discretion task list, Oleg Kononenko 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.]

Also from the task list, the FE-1 completed 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).

As third “time permitting” task list job, Oleg conducted the regular status check of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth and development of plants (barley) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-13 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems {Russian: IMBP}).

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

Later, Sergey transferred the exercise data files 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).

As generally every day now, starting at ~9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) was activated intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) 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.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) 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).

Week 21 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Tue. (9/9): SLEEP; Acoustic Survey; BMP ch.2 regen; TORU OBT; O-OHA; EMU batt. maint.; BCAT-3 fam.; PMCs; JAXA AQUA-Ink Ball exp.; MBI-12.
  • Wed. (9/10): SLEEP; MBI-18; MBI-12 term/dwnld; “Life on ISS” video; RS Video/MPEG-2 Ku-Band test; CGSE troubleshoot; SOTR-SMOK R&R; MAS microbial analyses (T+5); BCAT-3/-4; Progress 30P launch.
  • Thu. (9/11): MBI-11; JAXA Art video; TORU OBT rvw; CHeCS Rack relocate; SOTR-SMOK R&R; CWC audit; IWIS reprog.
  • Fri. (9/12): Tekh-20 (PK-3) BSPN; Lulin-5 check; ICS umbilical mate; Progress 30P docking (SM aft port); Node-2 cleanout; NUTRITION setup.
  • Sat. (9/13): NUTRITION w/blood collect; Progress 30P SSVP-StM docking system dismantle; US-21 install; BITS2-12 connect; 30P cargo transfers (BTKh-1,-2,-3,-4,-20, SOLO-PCBA); BTKh-29 trans./install; IWIS dwnld; ham pass; FFQ.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:17am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.2 km
Apogee height — 357.9 km
Perigee height — 348.5 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006424
Solar Beta Angle — 31.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 20 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56164

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
09/08/08 — Progress M-64/29P de-orbit (~4:47pm)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch (~3:50pm)
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft, ~5:01pm)
09/29/08 — ATV de-orbit (nighttime re-entry for observation from 2 NASA planes; 9:12pm)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years (official)
10/10/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4) 12:33am
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:03am EDT; Lonchakov, Fincke, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port, ~4:51am)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) & landing
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/14/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
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
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.