Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 9 July 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
July 9, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 9 July 2008

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

Crew Sleep Cycle: With wakeup this morning remaining at 5:30am EDT, sleeptime is beginning to move left, tonight at 8:50pm, i.e., 10 min earlier. Wakeup tomorrow will also be 10 min earlier, at 5:20am.

FE-2 Chamitoff started his day again with the week-long SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, using the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. [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. 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 1 of 3 for the FE-2.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s Orlan EVA-20A, CDR Volkov & FE-1 Kononenko began their day by tagging up with ground specialists via S-band to review an updated EVA timeline. [The Orlan spacewalk by Sergey/EV1 & Oleg/EV2, now estimated at 6hrs 10min, will begin with DC1 (Docking Compartment) hatch opening at 2:18pm EDT (ingress & hatch close at ~8:22pm). The spacewalkers will experience three orbital “nights”, during which they will rest, and a fourth during their ingress. EVA-20A objectives are: (1) Inspection & mechanical unlatching of one of five locks on Plane I of the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft, followed by removal of one of the two pyrobolts (8Kh55) from inside the lock body, (2) installation of the docking target unit for the new Russian research module on the SM PkhO (Service Module/Transfer Compartment), Plane 4, for the zenith (upward facing) docking port. During the EVA, the protective thruster covers & wipes/towels will be jettisoned from the Soyuz in carefully prescribed zones to prevent later recontact.]

After the timeline review, CDR Volkov was to –

  • Make preparations for Gregory Chamitoff’s stay in the Soyuz Descent Module (SA) by placing instructional/reference material (radiograms) in the SA and readying its ASU toilet facility,
  • Support an automatic closure test of the hatch cover between the DC1 Docking Compartment and its transfer vestibule (SU) to the Soyuz, with the DC1 & Soyuz air ducts (VD2 & VD) temporarily moved out of the way [the hatch closure was ground commanded during an RGS (Russian Ground Site) comm window],
  • Configure CCPKs (Crew Contamination Protection Kits, Russian: PNST) in the DC1, for protecting the spacewalkers from FORP (Fuel/Oxidizer Reaction Products, e.g., N-nitrosodimethylamine, NDMA), i.e., incompletely-burnt fuel residue on the SM hull from yaw/pitch thruster plumes [protective gear kits for use during and after the EVA in case the Orlans are inadvertently contaminated, are extensively equipped with wet wipes, dry towels, goggles, IPK gas masks and half masks, latex gloves, high performance filters, trash containers, etc. The crew review today included detailed instructions what to do if any spacesuit contamination is detected after the EVA. Towels used for wiping gloves etc. will be thrown overboard in retrograde direction (i.e., against flight direction)], and
  • Conduct a functional test of the KSD Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) in the+ Soyuz BO (Orbital Module) from the DC1 EVA panel (POV).

FE-1 Kononenko’s preparatory activities meanwhile include –

  • Conducting a pressure check on the BNP portable repress O2 tank in the DC-1, to be used for repressurization of the “Pirs” airlock after the spacewalk,
  • Retrieving three “Pille-MKS” radiation dosimeters, recording their dosages and equipping each Orlan (in pocket on left calf) with a sensor unit (A0309 & A0310) [a third sensor (A0307) is worn by the FE-2 in his flight attire, and a fourth, A0308, remains on duty for SM background readings on the Pille Reader tray];
  • Preparing & setting up a kit with test strips for the MO-9 “Biochemical Urinalysis” experiment in the SM’s ASU facility for the usual pre-EVA session of the two spacewalkers tomorrow,
  • Deactivating the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator after purging its BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen (N2) at 0.65 kg/cm2 via its KE3 & VN3 valves, and
  • Turning off the AST Spectrometer of the Matryoshka-R (RBO-3-2) radiation payload plus checking the ALC-950 memory card for file quantity and space [RBO-3-2 is using the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS/ALC) with its Spectrometer (AST) and ALC equipment, temporarily located in the FGB on panel 429 (normally in DC1)].

FE-2 Chamitoff prepared for the EVA-20A by setting up two SONY PD100 camcorders in the Lab and Node-1 to provide situational awareness during the uncrewed period tomorrow (viewing only, not recording). [There’s no tape in the camcorders, to prevent them from going into “Standby” mode. To get the longest view, the cameras are “zoomed out” with a Wide Conversion lens attached. The camcorders were positioned to provide most the encompassing view of the modules, each one using one of the module power outlets.]

In addition, the USB cameras on the Lab SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptops were positioned by the FE-2 such that areas not covered by the Lab PD100 video cam can be viewed from the ground.

Also, to provide a laptop for his stay in the Soyuz, Gregory powered off the SSC-5 A31p and its “cobalt brick” power supply for temporary transfer to the Descent Module (SA) and collected freshly charged batteries from four Lab SSC Clients for use in the Soyuz during the Russian EVA, replacing them in the laptops temporarily with stowed batteries.

Other preparatory activities by Greg Chamitoff for EVA-20A, the decrewed period and a potential Soyuz relocation to the FGB nadir port (after Progress 29P undocking) today include –

  • Readying the Kodak DCS760 EVA camera by initiating charging two batteries for it and later configuring the camera for operation,
  • Closing the protective Lab science window shutter [to be verified as Closed tomorrow prior to attitude control handover to RS (Russian Segment) thrusters at 11:50am],
  • Demating & taking down the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) jumper at the LAB1D6 rack after deactivation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) by the ground today (~12:20pm-5:20pm) and cooling no longer required,
  • Transfer of US items, such as ODF (Operations Data Files) & CCPKs, to the RS,
  • Deactivating PWS (Portable Workstation) laptops in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), and
  • Closing USOS hatches at ~2:55pm [for Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Kibo JLP JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment), COL, Node-2, and US A/L (Airlock).]

After CDR Volkov sets up the NOA/Nitric Oxide Analyzer (MBI-21) experiment later today, he and Kononenko are to conduct another data take session (his third, Oleg’s second), later filling in the electronic log book on the RSE1 laptop for downlink and restowing the hardware. Each subject takes two NO (Nitric Oxide) measurements in exhaled air. There will also be post-EVA data takes. [Purpose of the ESA experiment ESANO1, consisting of the “Platon” analyzer and its power supply, is to monitor expired NO in the subject’s exhaled air to detect signs of airway inflammation and indications of venous gas emboli (bubbles) that may be caused by inhalation of pollutants in the closed environment of the ISS cabin and increased risk of decompression sickness.]

Oleg is also scheduled to perform routine IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the Russian SRVK condensate water processor by removing & replacing its BRPK-1 (Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit) separator. [The latter had been temporarily moved over on 5/30 from the line-2 BRPK to replace the earlier failed BRPK-1 separator.]

The FE-2 spent a few minutes on the weekly inspection of the TVIS treadmill roller bearings, checking the treadmill’s belt both left and right for any noticeable depressions due to seized or worn rollers. [With the TVIS treadmill rollers approaching their end-of-life, the frequency of their inspection has recently been increased for safety.]

The FE-1 will conduct 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).

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, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later tonight, Oleg will transfer 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).

Volkov & Kononenko are scheduled for their regular pre-EVA PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sergey at ~2:15pm EDT, Oleg at ~2:30pm.

At ~11:05am EDT, Kononenko powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, and power supply) and at 11:10am conducted a ham radio exchange with students at the City of Ottawa Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa/Ontario Canada. [The Canada Agriculture Museum in Ottawa is a unique combination farm and museum. The Museum offers animated bilingual interpretation which shows the making and tasting of foods such as ice cream, bread and butter. Other demonstrations present farming activities, including year-round animal care and spring sheep shearing. Visitors to the animal barns will see a collection of common farm animals, as well as several rare breeds. The Museum’s Tractors exhibition and the exhibition on rural electrification of one hundred years ago bring the science of the past to life. Questions to the crew were uplinked beforehand. “What kind of animals have been brought to space?”; “Is it possible to grow food in space?”; “What planet would be the best for farming?”; “What would be the easiest plant to grow in space?”; “What is the difference between growing plants on earth and in space?”; “What is GPS technology, and how does it affect agriculture?”; “What are the difficulties of agriculture in space?”; “What is your favorite farm animal and why?”]

Uncrewed Station Ops Update: For the Orlan spacewalks on 7/10 & 7/15 Moscow has proposed not to configure RS hatches for station decrewing. This will keep hatches open between FGB & PMA-1, and SM & DC1, and hatch closed inside the SM between RO/Working Compartment & PkhO/Transfer Compartment). In case of a DC1 leak during airlock repress, the Soyuz TMA-12, with all three crewmembers, would relocate from the DC1 to the FGB nadir port, a brief 25-min trip. In this contingency, the Progress 29P, currently docked at the FGB port, would be separated on 7/11 at ~1:18pm EDT in sunlight. Soyuz 16S would undock from the DC1 on the same day at ~6:31pm, translate a few meters along the RS and redock at the FGB nadir dock at ~6:56pm. [Note: A second docking attempt at the SM aft end, the current ATV location, is not considered due to insufficient Soyuz consumables.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were S. Mozambique (the southern portion of this African nation is undergoing rapid land use change as mineral exploration is driving the construction of new infrastructure. This fair-weather pass in late morning offered the opportunity to acquire good baseline, contextual views of the southwestern part of the CEO target area. There are very few strong visual cues for this area, so as ISS approached the target area from the NW and left the mountain regions of South Africa, Greg was to try for near nadir views in the plains until the coast, then to map the coastal area), Hurricane Bertha (Bertha became a major hurricane yesterday with winds briefly approaching 115kts. The early morning pass of ISS found a somewhat weakened storm well to the right of track holding at just 95kts and moving northwestward. Trying for more detailed views today of the cloud structure and using the long lens settings only if the eye becomes visible during transit), Andrews Forest, Oregon (the Andrews Forest is a Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] site located in the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon. On this early morning pass, in fair weather, Chamitoff was to look left of track and try for contextual mapping views of the western flank of the Cascade Range), Barringer Impact Crater (also known as “Meteor Crater,” this site is a landmark feature in northern Arizona about 60 miles east of Flagstaff. After crossing the Grand Canyon, the FE-2 was to begin looking for the small crater just right of track. It will be midmorning and monsoon clouds will be closing in from the SE. It lies just south of Interstate Highway 20 in a barren plains area. Using the long lens settings for detail), and Lake Poopo, Bolivia (Lake Poopo is a small lake near the southern end of a long, elevated basin in the Bolivian Andes known as the Altiplano. The Altiplano extends from the relatively moist region of Lake Titicaca S-SEward to the large, bright playa of Salar de Uyuni. Poopo is subject to significant changes in size and color related to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. The station pass was in late morning and expected to be clear. Looking well right of track and trying for contextual views of the southern end of the Altiplano including Lake Poopo.)

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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:32am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 344.6 km
Apogee height — 350.7 km
Perigee height — 338.4 km
Period — 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009145
Solar Beta Angle — 33.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 53 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55204

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20A (2:18pm)
07/15/08 — Russian EVA-20 (1:14pm)
07/18/08 — ATV1 reboost
08/30/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until ~9/25 for nighttime reentry/observation)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir)
11/10/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
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
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
07/30/09 — STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking, May ’09)
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.