NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 9 August 2008

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, August 11, 2008


All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday - mostly off duty for CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko & FE-2 Chamitoff.

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) 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.]

As part of the house cleaning, the crew also conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan grilles in the FGB (TsV2) and SM (VPkhO, VPrK) plus in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory).

For today's VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, another session with SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment), FE-2 Chamitoff -

  • Activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox),
  • Powered on the SHERE hardware,
  • Accessed the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) to install the SHERE FM (Fluid Module) #8,
  • Supported the first SHERE experiment run (Test Point 15),
  • Transferred the module with the fluid sample,
  • Installed FM #11 for the second experiment run (Test Point 25) ,
  • Removed the FM from the CGBA, followed by SHERE data transfer,
  • Turned off the SHERE/CGBA equipment,
  • Transferred the data files to the MSG laptop, and
  • Powered down the MSG.

[Background: Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress which might be, for example, a shear stress or extensional stress. In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the "classical" disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. SHERE is designed to study the effect of preshear on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for monodisperse dilute polymer solutions in the MSG. Collectively referred to as "Boger fluids," these polymer solutions have become a popular choice for rheological studies of non-Newtonian fluids and are the non-Newtonian fluid used in this experiment. The SHERE hardware consists of the Rheometer, Camera Arm, Interface Box, Cabling, Keyboard, Tool Box, Fluid Modules, and Stowage Tray.]

The FE-2 performed another standard calibration on the new CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1043 & #1059, delivered on 1J.

Supporting ground-commanded commissioning preparations in the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Gregory turned off power output from the Saibo & Ryutai Rack UDCs (Utility DC-to-DC Converters) to the MMA NCU & RSUs (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus/Network Control Unit & Remote Sensor Units), then deactivated the NCU/RSUs themselves.

FE-1 Kononenko completed the routine daily servicing of the SM's SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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 FE-2 took measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide partial pressure) in the Lab, SM (at panel 449) and COL, using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002). [The battery pack was to be replaced with the one from unit #1009 if necessary. Purpose of the 5-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements. Greg's CDMK reading in the SM was 0.49; in Lab 0.46, and in COL 0.50.]

Gregory also filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his ninth, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

The crew conducted 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 (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later, Greg transferred the exercise data file to the MEC 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).

At ~10:15am EDT, the crewmembers conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week's "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

The two cosmonauts had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Oleg at ~6:30am, Sergey at ~8:10am.

Working off his suggested "time permitting" task list, Volkov conducted another session for Russia's Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography with the NIKON D2X camera of environmental conditions near Tskhinvala and the Baikonur launch site.

Also working from the discretionary task list, Oleg Kononenko conducted another session of the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the D2X digital camera with the F800 telephoto lens and the HVR-Z1J SONY video camera. [Uplinked target areas were glaciers on the north slope of the main Caucasus Ridge, the Dombai region, after-effects of border conflict operations in the Caucasus, the Kalmyk steppe, the main stem stream of the Volga river (west-most) from Astrakhan to Caspian Sea, a series of overlapping shots of the Ob and Bia river valleys (Bia river head stream, Teletsk lake, confluence of Katun and Bia rivers form Ob river), general photography of Carpathian region on both sides of track and of the river valleys in Moldova, gulley and ravine topography of Central Russia up to Volga river, steppe on the left shore of Volga river to the south of Saratov including Y. A. Gagarin's landing site in nadir, petroleum deposits along both shores of the Ural river and oil drilling fields, former Soviet Army fire ranges in Germany and coal pits after reclamation, scenic shots of Central America and Caribbean basin for educational purposes, and the Gulf Stream.]

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Seventeen -- Week 16)

3-D SPACE: In progress.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Measurements continue in FGB module. Last memory card exchange and data downlink have been successfully performed on 8/4.

ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air): Continuing.

BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3): Reserve.

CARDIOCOG-2: Completed.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): Reserve.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.

CSI-2/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Continuing.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2): Planned.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): EuTEF platform is nominal, with temperatures now steadily reaching normal levels after high beta angles period. A DHPU (Data Handling Processing Unit) software patch is currently being developed to fix the link error issues encountered with DEBIE-2 and FIPEX instruments. - DEBIE-2: Instrument Operations Procedures (IOP's) performed for 24hrs duration, from 8/2 to 8/5. Generic status: link error still in work. However a work-around allows for regular science data acquisition using an on-board IOP, but not yet in conjunction with any FIPEX IOP - a final software patch, which will enhance the present instrument capabilities, is under finalization on ground; - DOSTEL: On-going science acquisition; - EuTEMP: Currently inactive as planned; - EVC: Activities pending for 8/7; - EXPOSE: On-going science acquisition; - FIPEX: Science acquisition from 7/30 to 8/2. New FIPEX IOP started on 8/6 for 2.5 days; - MEDET: Continuous science acquisition since 7/30; - PLEGPAY: Currently in READY mode, no science data acquisition on-going; - TRIBOLAB: The instrument is currently in Stand-By Mode. The Ball-Bearing experiment would be restarted towards mid-Aug (i.e. Week#18). Analysis is on-going on ground.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): FSL is back. Further FSL commissioning activities remain to be done (see following item).

GEOFLOW: On 8/5, Greg managed to fix the FSL Feedthrough Panel minor problem which prevented the continuation of activities since 7/28. On 8/6, the GEOFLOW EC (Experiment Container) check-out tests have been performed flawlessly. On 8/7, the very first Science Run was performed - exciting times! Thanks a lot, Greg, for your great help to fix FSL mechanical setup.

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): In progress.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Planned.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 "Pirs".

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

NOA-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): In progress.


PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): In progress.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): "Greg, thanks for completing your Actiwatch download initialization session. We are targeting next week, the 11th-17th, for your second week of Sleep logging. Thanks for your participation."

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Present Sun observation window started on 7/31 and will continue until 8/12. All the instruments are nominal, and 2 criss-cross manoeuvres have been successfully performed on 8/4 and 8/6 (GMT219), respectively. - SOVIM: Sun irradiance measurements on-going during Sun observation window; - SOLSPEC: Solar mode and Lamps calibration measurements on-going on a daily basis during Sun observation window; - SOLACES: Sun measurements on-going with the various spectrometers (with and without Ionization Chambers).

SOLO: Planned.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): In progress.

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


WAICO #1 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): A troubleshooting plan has been developed to recover all the BIOLAB functionalities. On 8/4, BIOLAB has been activated from ground for about 5 hours, in order to get telemetry about the Smoke Detector sensor and perform a series of BIT (Built-In Test) sequences. This test was positive and we can confirm the full functionality of the Smoke Detector sensor. Next steps will be resumed in the next coming weeks, starting with the BIOLAB Rotor A bellow test (ground only) and later on the remaining WAICO-#1ECs (Experiment Containers) will be disposed and replaced by 6 Reference ECs on Rotor B. Planning for this last activity is currently TBD.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 8/4 the ground has received a total of 4,002 frames of CEO images for review and cataloging. Photos this week had camera times corresponding to target list times for the following requests: Western Pamirs (34 frames-hazy, soft), Mount Rainier (single frame-clouds), Coast Mountains (10 frames of target area-mostly cloudy), and Slate Island Impact Crater (single frame-target not acquired). "Preliminary review indicates that we will require additional imagery for all of these targets. We'd like to acknowledge your nice oblique views of Tropical Storm Edouard, acquired in two sessions during the afternoon of 8/4. The storm-precautionary closure of JSC that day and the next precluded any timely processing and release of your images. The hurricane season is still young and you will likely have more chances to photograph these dynamic events. An Increment 17 image acquired on 5/29 will be posted on NASA/GSFC's Earth Observatory website this weekend. The photo is a rare, striking view of the Pyramids of Dashur, Egypt (almost all good photos to date of pyramids are of the ones at Giza). Good illumination and focus accentuate the location and shape of these ancient structures.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Kwanza Basin, NW Angola (good pass across the center of this site. Mapping swath of overlapping images at nadir was requested as a basic mapping tool for this rapidly changing area. Visual cues were the linear forested ridges at right-angles to track), East Libya megafans (ancient rivers sourced in the Tibesti Mountains when the climate of the Sahara was wet [> 8000 years ago] have laid down vast spreads of sediment as a series of large fans ["megafans"] hundreds of km long and wide. With more than 150 megafans recently discovered worldwide, the significance of megafans has only recently been understood. A continuous pattern of criss-crossing stream channels, large and small, covers the entire surface of megafans. Looking right beyond the black Namus volcano, Greg's visual cue, for detailed overlapping images of the flat channel-covered plains), Gordion, Turkey archaeological site (a close repeat of a prior pass on 8/7 put this archeological left of track. A mapping swath looking ~45 degrees left should have captured this famous site), Mount Vesuvius, Italy (a close repeat pass puts Vesuvius right of track at the head of the prominent Bay of Naples), Palmyra Atoll, central Pacific (this 6 mile-long atoll is surrounded by a continuous reef which is the scientific feature of interest. Detailed handheld images of coral reefs are being widely used), and Kingman Reef, equatorial pacific Ocean (this 4 mile-long, V-shaped atoll appeared left of track. Handheld imagery is a major component in the effort to map coral reefs worldwide).

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, 7:24am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 350.6 km
Apogee height -- 357.6 km
Perigee height -- 343.6 km
Period -- 91.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010411
Solar Beta Angle -- -15.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 53 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 55692

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
08/13/08 -- ATV Reboost (~3:30am EDT)
09/02/08 -- Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir
09/07/08 -- ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until 9/29 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 (official)
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 (~3:03am EDT)
10/14/08 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port, ~4:51am)
10/23/08 -- Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) or 10/24?
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
11/25/08 -- 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).

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