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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 December 2007

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2007

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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday -- off-duty day for CDR Whitson, FE-1 Malenchenko and FE-2 Tani. New Year's Eve's Eve! Ahead: Week 11 of Increment 16.

Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani began the day with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data accumulated during the night, for logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment's session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink. [To monitor the crewmembers' sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dan and Peggy wear 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.]

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning. ["Uborka", normally done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the FE's sleep station with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

Continuing his troubleshooting of the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner, FE-1 Malenchenko finished cleaning the condensate line that pulls condensate from the SKV-2 air conditioner by means of the NOK-2 condensate evacuation pump. [On 12/28, Yuri had found a "rubbery, jelly-like" substance inside the inlet line of which he at that time removed as much as he could. The remainder of the pipe was cleaned today. The NOK-2 pump was to be permanently installed once the condensate & inlet line cleaning is complete. These activities are in support of SKV-2 troubleshooting that began after SKV-2 and the SRVK condensate processing unit in the RS (Russian Segment) shut down on 12/23 (last Sunday). SRVK and SKV-2 both remain operational, but are currently deactivated. SKV-1 has been inoperable for some time.]

Afterwards Malenchenko terminated the test compression of the Progress Rodnik BV1 & BV2 water tank bladders, to check for leak tightness, and tore down the pumping equipment for stowage. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before water transfer and the subsequent reception of liquid waste for disposal.]

With the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator turned off since 12/28, Yuri was scheduled today to perform a 1.5-hour O2 repress of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-62/27P storage tankage, upon TsUP Go. [The Elektron will remain powered down until 1/9/08 to conserve hardware lifetime. During this time, the station will be periodically repressurized with oxygen from Progress 27P.]

FE-2 Tani performed the daily status check on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload, running by itself in Node-2 since 12/13 (briefly interrupted for EVA-13 photo support). The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. [The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

CDR Whitson continued her support of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), today transferring the data for SPU-13 (Sample Processing Unit 13) from the ECU (Electronics Control Unit) to the MSG Laptop, then removing SPU-13 from the WV (Work Volume) and reinstalling SPU-10 for double-checking its humidity. MSG will then be powered down. [If humidity level checks out correctly at 99%, that will be the end of CSLM-2 operations.]

Malenchenko also completed of the routine 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. Weekly SOZh reports (on Sundays) to TsUP/Moscow deal with number & dates of water and urine containers, counter readings of water consumption & urine collection, and total operating time of the POTOK air filtration system.]

After Houston Flight Controllers deactivated the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) late yesterday (~5:00pm EST) when Dan Tani's work with the SPHERES experiment was finished, and cooling was no longer required, Peggy Whitson today disconnected the ITCS LTL QD (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop/Quick Disconnect) jumper to the CDRA (LAB1D6) rack.

The crew worked out in their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Working from his discretionary "time permitting" task list, the FE-1 also completed another radiation data monitoring & logging session for flow & dose power data with the Matryoshka-R radiation payload and its LULIN-5 electronics box. [Accumulated readings were recorded on a log sheet for subsequent downlink to TsUP/Moscow via the BSR-TM payload data channel.]

Led by Yuri Malenchenko, at ~5:00am EST the crew donned their flight suits and supported three formal live PAO TV downlinks with greetings and congratulations to special Russian educational events, viz. --

  1. Moscow Region Scientists on Russia's annual Science Day [Russian Science Day is celebrated annually on February 8. "...the crew of the International Space Station is extending their heartfelt greetings to extraordinary scientists, engineers, and designers of the Moscow Region and wishes them a Happy Russian Science Day."];
  2. Participants of a Scientific Conference dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Space Era ["...these days when humankind enters the second half century of the Space Era having celebrated its 50th anniversary, you are gathered to once again remember and honor the individuals who made it possible for humanity to break into space and open it for further exploration. By a quirk of history, many of these trailblazers were men and women in uniform. While not forgetting about defending the Motherland, these people, still hot from the battles of the Great Patriotic War, channeled their thoughts and deeds to purely peaceful objectives. One of such tasks had literally cosmic proportions... Long live the Union of Space Force Veterans!"]; and the
  3. Second Russian Youth Science Readings in honor of Sergey Pavlovich Korolev [scheduled for January 18-19, with the participation of university and grade-school students from Moscow, Moscow Oblast, St. Peterburg, Archangel, Vologda, Irkutsk, Kaluga, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, Republic of Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Location: the S.P. Korolev Memorial Museum, newly opened a year ago after renovation. (Main objectives of the Readings: "To stimulate trainees for in-depth study of the achievements of cosmonautics, to scout and provide support for gifted students, to promote innovative aerospace educational programs using Earth images from space, and to provide career guidance to a younger generation.")]

The crewmembers each had a "New Year's Eve's Eve" PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-10 laptop), Yuri at ~4:00am, Peggy at ~12:40pm, and Dan at ~2:55pm.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today again were Polar Mesospheric Clouds -- (PMC - also known as noctilucent clouds) over selected ground sites (12 minutes for each). (Southern spring is the season for relatively uncommon polar mesospheric clouds to form very high over Antarctica. PMC are being studied as part of the International Polar Year [IPY] investigation of climate change in high latitudes. PMC form in the stratosphere and higher, i.e. well above the lowest layer of the atmosphere [troposphere, or weather layer, characterized by clouds, and an orange tinge produced by brushfire smoke, smog, etc.]. The AIM satellite (Aeronomy of Ice in the Atmosphere) has recently been launched to investigate how PMC form and why they are apparently becoming thicker and brighter. ISS/CEO imagery will complement images from AIM and from the ground. The collaborating IPY scientist is excited to receive any images ISS may acquire. Collaborating Swedish scientists are now working at a base in Antarctica (73S 13 W) for PMC observation.)

CEO photography can be viewed and studied at the websites:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov (about 700,000 NASA digital photographs of Earth are downloaded by the public each month from this "Gateway" site);
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/AstronautPhotography

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:01am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 335.6 km
Apogee height -- 336.7 km
Perigee height -- 334.4 km
Period -- 91.24 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.63 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0001721
Solar Beta Angle -- -69.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.78
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 88 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 52176

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Standard, some changes possible. NET = Not Earlier Than):
TBD -- STS-122/Atlantis/1E launch -- Columbus Module, ICC-Lite.
TBD -- STS-122/Atlantis/1E docking
TBD -- STS-122/Atlantis/1E undocking
01/31/08 -- Explorer-1 50 Years (1st U.S. Satellite on Redstone rocket) [Check it out at http://usspace50.com ]
02/06/08 -- Progress M-62/27P undocking & reentry
02/07/08 -- Progress M-63/28P launch
02/09/08 -- Progress M-63/28P docking (DC1)
02/22/08 - NET: ATV-1 "Jules Verne" launch/Ariane V (Kourou, French Guyana)
02/14/08 -- STS-123/Endeavour/1J/A launch/1J/A, ~11:53am, w/SLP-SPDM, JEM ELM-PS
02/16/08 -- STS-123/Endeavour/1J/A docking
02/27/08 -- STS-123/Endeavour undocking
02/29/08 -- STS-123/Endeavour landing
03/06/08 -- ATV-1 Demo Day 1
03/12/08 -- ATV-1 Demo Day 2
03/15/08 -- ATV-1 Demo Day 3 & Docking (SM aft port)
04/07/08 -- Progress M-63/28P undocking (DC1) & reentry
04/08/08 -- Soyuz TMA-12/16S launch
04/10/08 -- Soyuz TMA-12/16S docking (DC1)
04/19/08 -- Soyuz TMA-11/15S undocking (FGB nadir port)
04/23/08 -- Soyuz TMA-12/16S relocation (from DC1 to FGB nadir port)
04/24/08 -- STS-124/Discovery/1J launch - JEM PM "Kibo", racks, RMS
04/26/08 -- STS-124/Discovery/1J docking
05/04/08 -- STS-124/Discovery/1J undocking
05/14/08 -- Progress M-64/29P launch
05/16/08 -- Progress M-64/29P docking (DC1)
08/07/08 -- NET: ATV-1 undocking (from SM aft port)
08/12/08 -- Progress M-65/30P launch
08/14/08 -- Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
09/09/08 -- Progress M-64/29P undocking (from DC1)
09/10/08 -- Progress M-66/31P launch
09/12/08 -- Progress M-66/31P docking (DC1)
09/18/08 -- STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 launch - MPLM Leonardo, LMC
09/20/08 -- STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 docking
10/01/08 -- STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 undocking.
10/01/08 -- NASA 50 Years
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 (SM aft port)
10/23/08 -- Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (FGB nadir)
11/03/08 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation (from SM aft to FGB nadir)
11/06/08 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A launch - S6 truss segment
11/08/08 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
11/17/08 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
11/20/08 -- ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 -- Progress M-67/32P launch
11/28/08 -- Progress M-67/32P docking (SM aft port)
04/15/09 -- Constellation's Ares I-X Launch
05/??/09 -- Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 18S-2 docking)
04/??/10 -- STS-132/Discovery/20A - Node-3 + Cupola.

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