Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 9 March 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.     Underway: Week 20 of Increment 18.

With wake period shortened from yesterday by 4 hrs (6:00am – 5:30pm EDT), the crew continued on a sleep cycle shift protocol designed to adjust to the requirements of tomorrow’s EVA-21A and the following Mission 15A docked period (see Wake/Sleep Schedule, below, based on a nominal STS-119 launch on Wednesday).

CDR Fincke started the day with the daily download of 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 another week-long session with SLEEP, his third.     [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use 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.]

After yesterday’s completion of FE-1 Lonchakov’s suited dry-run for tomorrow’s EVA-21A, the crew tagged up with ground specialists for a one-hour review of the updated EVA timeline activities.  These are planned as follows:

  • Lonchakov & Fincke will don spacesuits and ancillary gear, assisting each other, then – with Magnus assisting in the PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) – close the hatchways between SM RO/PkhO and PkhO/SU (DC1 Transfer Vestibule) at ~10:45am.
  • The spacewalkers are scheduled to seal the Orlan backpacks at ~10:54am, followed by Orlan & BSS controls checks.  Final checkout of suits and their controls include checking for leaks during successive stages of depressurization  [pressure inside the Orlans will be reduced to 0.42 at (6.2 psi).  After suit purge, the spacewalkers have a 30-minute oxygen prebreathe period, as pressures between DC-1 and the PkhO are equalized and then reduced further.]
  • Magnus retreats into the FGB at ~11:22am and closes the hatch to the SM, which now serves as a backup airlock to the DC1  [the new WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) renders the use of the Soyuz ASU toilet facility unnecessary.]
  • The spacewalk begins after a final leak check on the four BK-3 O2 tanks.  At end of prebreathe, DC1 pressure will be down to 15 mmHg (Torr), holding for 5 min for a final cabin leak check, followed by switching the Orlans to autonomous (battery) suit power (~12:18pm) and opening of EV hatch #1 at ~12:20pm.
  • After Mike & Yuri’s return and ingress from the EVA, expected at around 6:05pm, the DC1 airlock will be repressurized from SM cabin air, the hatches opened and the SM re-entered at around 7:00pm.

Additional preparatory steps for EVA-21A by Fincke & Lonchakov consisted of –

  • Setting up the batteries of the D2X digital still cameras in the US Airlock for charging and later terminating the process (after a minimum of 3 hrs),
  • Filling the DIDBs (Disposable In-suit Drink Bags) and installing them in the Orlan-M suits, #26 & #27, and
  • Retrieving three “Pille-MKS” radiation dosimeters, recording their dosages and equipping each Orlan (in pocket on left calf) with a sensor unit (A0305 & A0306)  [a third sensor, A0308, remains on duty for SM background readings on the Pille Reader tray].

FE-2 Magnus meanwhile continued her preparations for the four 15A spacewalks by terminating the recharging of the EMU batteries in the US Airlock and setting up the recharge of the REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery), EHIP (EMU Helmet Interchangeable Portable) light, and PGT (Pistol Grip Tool) batteries as well as EMU batteries #2074 & #2075 in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly).    [This is the second of two recharges required to prepare all EVA batteries for 15A.]

For the external video coverage of the spacewalk, CDR Fincke set up the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) video camera connection by hooking up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at both the Lab & CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Stations).

With Magnus acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Mike Fincke underwent the US pre-EVA PHS (Periodic Health Status) exam.  The Russian pre-EVA MO-9/Urinalysis test will follow tomorrow before the spacewalk.    [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack).  All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed.  On  the MEC laptop, the PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software.]

Sandra Magnus also began her second 24-hr. on-orbit session with the CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS) experiment, with Mike Fincke assisting as CMO/operator and photo/videographer, by setting up, activating and putting on the Actiwatch, donning the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) and the CBPD (Continuous Blood Pressure Device), performing the Baro Study, and starting the 24-hr passive heart rate data collection.  Data are being recorded on a PCMCIA memory card, with the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack laptop for control.  Equipment doffing and stowage is scheduled tomorrow after the 24-hr period, followed by data downlink on Wednesday.     [CCISS studies the effects of long-duration spaceflight on crewmembers’ heart functions and their blood vessels that supply the brain (= “cerebrovascular”).  Learning more about the changes in cardiovascular & cerebrovascular systems in zero-G that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth, could lead to specific countermeasures that might better protect future space travelers.  For the Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are being recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food (water is acceptable) allowed two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.]

FE-1 Lonchakov conducted monthly maintenance on the deactivated Russian IK0501 GA (Gas Analyzer) of the SOGS Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System by replacing its CO2 filter assembly (BF) with a new unit from FGB stowage (done last: 1/27/09), then reactivating the unit.  The old filter was discarded.

Yuri also completed 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.]

The station residents completed 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) and TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1/2.5h).

ISS Crew Sleep Shift Planning:   To synchronize the ISS crew’s timeline with EVA-21A and STS-119/15A arrival & docked period, the station wake/sleep cycle is undergoing a number of shifts which started on 3/7.  For the next few days, the schedule is as follows:


Wake:   6:00am – 5:30pm


Wake:   3:30am – 11:30pm


Wake:   9:00am – 12:30am 3/12


Wake:   9:00am –  2:00am 3/13


Wake:  10:30am – 1:50am 3/14


Wake:  10:20am – 1:20am 3/15


Wake:   9:50am – 12:50am 3/16


Wake:   9:20am – 12:50am 3/17


Wake:   9:20am – 12:20am 3/18


Wake:   8:50am – 11:50pm


Wake:   8:20am – 11:20pm


Wake:   7:50am – 11:20pm


Wake:   7:50am – 10:50pm


Wake:   7:20am – 10:50pm


Wake:   7:20am – 10:10pm


Wake:   6:40am – 9:30pm

EVA-21A Timeline Preview:   Tomorrow’s Orlan EVA-21A by Lonchakov (EV1) & Fincke (EV2) begins at ~12:20pm EDT (DC1 EV hatch open), to last an estimated 5h 45m, i.e., concluding at approximately 6:05pm.  Russian attitude thrusters will be inhibited by TsUP ground commanding at specific times when the spacewalkers work on the SM RO (Working Compartment, l.d.) and SM AO (Assembly Compartment).  Objectives of the EVA (all fallen off the previous EVA-21 timeline) are –

  • Mount the EXPOSE-R hardware on the URM-D (Portable Multipurpose Workstation) on the SM RO l.d., connect it to the PF-3 connector patch panel and remove protective cover;
  • Photograph the URM-D with EXPOSE-R monoblock & cables, ROBOTIC hardware, IPI-SM hardware and routed cables;
  • Remove fasteners (Aramide straps) in the installation areas of the docking target and AR-VKA & 2AR-VKA antennas on DC1;
  • Close MLI (Multi-Layer Insulation) flap on the SM PF-10 connector patch panel;
  • Re-install SKK #9 removable cassette container in nominal position on SM;
  • Inspect & photograph Progress antenna ASF1-M-VKA from DC handrail 3034; and
  • Inspect & photograph conditions of ISS RS exterior & structural elements (“Panorama-2009” DTO).

STS-119/Discovery/15A Crew & Mission Timeline (Launch: 3/11)

  • CDR:  Lee Archambault
  • PLT:   Dominic Antonelli
  • MSs:   Joseph Acaba; John Phillips; Steven Swanson; Richard Arnold
  • ISS FE-2: Koichi Wakata (up); Sandra Magnus down)
  • FD1  (3/11)   —   Launch 9:20pm EDT
  • FD2  (3/12)   —   TPS inspection using OBSS; checkout EVA suits; prepare for rendezvous/docking
  • FD3  (3/13)   —   Rendezvous; RPM, docking (~6:27pm); exchange Soyuz seat liners
  • FD4  (3/14)   —   Unberth S6 truss w/SSRMS; handoff S6 to SRMS; move SSRMS to WS1, hand S6 back to SSRMS; park SSRMS with S6 at overnight position; prepare for EVA1; campout (Swanson & Arnold)
  • FD5  (3/15)   —   EVA1; install S6 truss & solar arrays (~3 pm–9:30pm)
  • FD6  (3/16)   —   Focused TPS inspection with OBSS on SRMS (if not required, deploy solar array wings); prepare for EVA2; campout (Swanson & Acaba)
  • FD7  (3/17)   —   EVA2; prepare P6 battery R&R (Mission 2JA); P1/P3 tasks; deploy P3 UCCAS & S3 PAS (~2:15pm–8:45pm)
  • FD8  (3/18)   —   Deploy two S6 solar array wings (115 ft long); move MT from WS4 to WS1; prepare for EVA3; campout (Arnold & Acaba)
  • FD9  (3/19)   —   EVA3; relocate CETA; lube SPDM LEE B; replace two RPCMs; S1 tasks (~1:15pm–7:45pm)
  • FD10 (3/20)  —   Crew off duty; continue cargo transfers; joint news conference; prepare for EVA4; campout (Swanson & Arnold)
  • FD11 (3/21)  —   EVA4; JEM GPS antenna; reconfigure Z1 patch panel; photograph thermal radiators; S3 PAS; WETA (~12:45pm–7:15pm)
  • FD12 (3/22)  —   Crew off duty; final cargo transfers; reboost; close hatches (~3:27pm)
  • FD13 (3/23)  —   Undock (~10:23am); flyaround; late TPS inspection using OBSS
  • FD14 (3/24)  —   Orbiter FCS checkout, RCS hot fire
  • FD15 (3/25)  —   Nominal deorbit (2:24pm); landing (3:27pm KSC).

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 8:54am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 355.0 km
Apogee height — 361.5 km
Perigee height — 348.5 km
Period — 91.64 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000963
Solar Beta Angle — 43.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 35 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59027

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
03/10/09 — Russian EVA-21A (hatch open ~12:20pm EDT, 11:20am CDT, 19:20 DMT)
03/11/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment — 9:20:10pm EDT
03/13/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking — 6:27pm EDT
03/23/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking — 10:23am EDT
03/25/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A deorbit (Orbit 217, 2:24pm) & landing — 3:27pm EDT (KSC)

03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch (7:49am EDT)
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1; 9:15am EDT)
04/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking & landing
05/06/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit (under review)
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
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
          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.