Monitoring the Russian channels of the ISS in the period from 10 July until 11 October 2007 relatively did not produce much highlights. The radio communications in range within my position were poor. The expected increase of that traffic by the Russian crew members Yurchikhin and Kotov did not happen. The traffic generally was limited by the normal routine matters about the Russian systems, for instance the CO-2 scrubber Vozdukh, the TORU and Simvol. Working with the Simvol Yurchikhin used an American laptop.
Expected was an intensification in the communications via the Russian channels during the launch and flight of the freighter Progress-M61. On the 3rd and 4th August I monitored the telemetry transmissions in the 166 and 165 mc bands. Now and then it was possible to pick up the transmissions of the TORU-system in the frequencies 130.165 and 121.750 mc. The docking (soft mate) took place on 5 August 2007 at 184025 UTC. For the greater part this operation could be followed via NASA-TV.
On 8 August 2007 the launch took place of Endeavour with mission STS-118 at 223636UTC. Between 2256 and 2301UTC Scott Kelly communicated with Houston via the UHF-AM frequency 259.700 mc via Moreno in Spain. This traffic could be good received in the Netherlands. So it is always useful to monitor this frequency at about 19 minutes after the launch of a Space shuttle. At that time communications via the Ku-band is still not possible due the closed payload bay doors of that ship.
On 10 August 2007 at 1802UTC the docking (soft mate) with the ISS took place. The period in which the Endeavour was docked at the ISS was very exciting. To follow this flight was possible by watching NASA.TV. In the first place there were problems with the heat shield of the shuttle.
Also, the radio communications from the Russian segment were very intensive due to a PC problem caused by an improper connection with the system BOK-3 (a unit for the processing of commands) by corrosion. Kotov discussed this problem extensively with experts at TsUP-Moscow. In the period until 17 August regularly the form 14 was checked. (The form 14 is a calculated of the times at which an eventual returning Soyuz has to enter the atmosphere under a certain angle of attack, to make a save descent.)
In general the communications during that period were for the exchange of the normal routine matters of the Russian segment of the ISS.
Soyuz-TM11: Successful launch from Baykonur on 10 October 2007 at 132237UTC.
Radiocommunications during the flight to the ISS via the 121.750 mc FM-N.
During the full period I did not monitor the transmissions of the TLM channels in the 166 and 165 mc bands.
During pass in orbit 3:
Agat (Malenchenko) reports the time of a transition to a unit in the BO (life compartment). This time was 1857.
Something switched. Partial pressure 605 mm. Pressure according to the mano-vacuum meter 800 mm. Time check 1925 5 6 7 8 10. How did you receive the time check? Now it is alright.
Pass during orbit 4. 1754-11800 UTC.
Agat about the 1st and 2nd impuls. Everything was normal. 2nd impuls result 10 M/sec.
Peggy says something, unclear, she said something with '5'.
Agat about impuls (sounds like 10.800)
Agat: We received avariya 13.
How do you read? I say you in (unclear).
Do you want the data about format BU?
We executed the operation.
Pass in orbit 5, 1928-1934UTC.
Agat: Everything alright, repeat please... 12
One moment please. Some repeated calls by Agat. Now excellent reception, we are ready for it. TsUP: Unclear. Agat: I copy.
Communications on 11 October 2007:
During pass in orbit 19, 1615-1619UTC, short contact between Agat and TsUP-Moscow.
Agat: I am ready.
TsUP-M: Schedules to begin with the 20th orbit, 2047-2103 etc.
Form 14, the 6 figure groups. (Giving the exact times on which under a certain angle of attack the Soyuz-TMA must enter eht atmosphere in case of emergency)
During pass in orbit 20, 175030-1754UTC.
Agat: I received this. Time startengines 001100, time switching on engines at 02??05.
Agat: one moment please, do you mean form 24?
During pass in orbit 21, 1924-1930UTC. Agat here is Malenchenko (I did not hear the 2 other crew members)
Agat calling TsUP-M .
I am ready to do that. Now I have no reception.
Agat: Question about the 25th form.
Agat: Copy. Good.
Agat: 22 (on the 22nd orbit). Switching on engines at 004402.
Agat 23 021607
Agat: 23 021607.
24 034902, oh sorry 10
26 065645, oh sorry 46
27 083321 (unclear).
TsUP: (unclear) Agat: Ready for it.
Agat: I got it. Switch on engines 094135 Switch on engines at 111600.
(TsUP is not loud and clear due to the fact that these transmission come from the speaker in the Soyuz-TMA. In this way Malenchenko enables his crew mates to listen to the conversation)
Chris van den Berg, NL-9165.