Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.05.05 - ISS On-Orbit Status 05/05/08


Underway: Week 3 of Increment 17.

>>>Today 47 years ago (1961), the first U.S. Astronaut, Navy Commander Alan 'Big Al' Shepard Jr., launched into a suborbital flight of 15 minutes duration, reaching an altitude of 116 miles. This restored faith in the U.S. space program only 23 days after the Soviet space program launched Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into orbit around the planet.<<<

FE-2 Reisman supported the Japanese CW/RW (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) experiment in the MSG EMCS (Microgravity Science Glovebox/European Modular Cultivation System), removing and relocating EC1 (Experiment Container 1) and EC2 on Rotor A and Rotor B. (CW/RW operates in the EMCS facility in eight special ECs (Experiment Containers) which Garrett recently (3/30) installed on the centrifuges of the facility. The EMCS rack contains two rotating centrifuges, Rotor A & Rotor B, which can support a wide range of small plant & animal experiments under partial gravity conditions.)

CDR Volkov, later assisted by FE-1 Kononenko, conducted the periodic inspection & audit of lighting fixtures in the RS (Russian Segment), testing each light by turning it on and checking fixtures that show one or both light bulbs inoperative with a working light unit from spares. (There are close to two dozen lighting fixtures in the SM (Service Module), about a dozen lights in the FGB and 3 in the DC1 (plus two portable units). An audit of the available light spares will be conducted at a later date.)

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), the FE-2 continued his troubleshooting work on the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory), today focusing on repairing the MIL Bus 1553 jumper connection after last week's LAN cable repair. (Checkout of the FSL rack is scheduled later this week.)

FE-1 completed another radiation data monitoring & logging session for flux & dose rate 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.)

Kononenko also continued the transfer & installation in the FGB of the new stowage enclosures delivered by the ATV1 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 1), which were built in Russia to provide more efficient stowage spaces behind FGB panels and improve airflow/circulation. (Oleg transferred the components for two containers, to be installed tomorrow in the FGB zones 30A & 30B (panel 421).)

Reisman took more detailed measurements and photographs of the 'divot' discovered earlier on the Node-1 hatch seal for ground analysis.

The FE-2 also inspected spare hatch seal segments currently stowed at the Airlock Port bulkhead to verify that they are in good condition in case they are needed for R&R.

Garrett had another 1.5 hrs set aside to prepare and configure tools and equipment in the US Airlock for the EVAs (Extravehicular Activities) during the upcoming STS-124/1J docked mission.

For the Russian EVA 20, Kononenko gathered tools required during the spacewalk which is currently scheduled for 7/10-11. (Before stowing the tools at their location, Oleg inspected and checked out diverse ratchet wrenches, adapters, wing keys, wire & MLI (Multi-Layered Insulation) cutters and a hammer. )

CDR Volkov continued outfitting SM crew cabin air ducts with new mufflers, replacing US-made noise suppressors (blue) with Russian acoustic mufflers (white) and taking documentary photographs for subsequent ground inspection. (The muffler replacements were started last January by Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani on various fans in the SM.)

The two Russian crewmembers worked with the Russian KPT-2 science payload BAR-RM, Kelvin, Ira and TTM, set up yesterday for battery charging, today running tests and taking the first measurements (temperatures, relative humidity, dew point temperatures), using the RSE1 laptop. (The data, collected at locations such as feedthroughs, windows, hatches etc., are being used to get proficient in experimenting with ISS leak detection based on environmental data anomalies (temperature, humidity, and ultrasound emissions) at potential leak locations. After the data gathering, downlinking was via BSR-TM channel. The BAR-RM payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2), an ultrasound analyzer (AU-01), and a leak detector (UT2-03) to determine physical background signs of loss of ISS pressure integrity which could be indicative of leaks in the working compartments of the station. Measurements are taken in specific zones (13 in SM PkhO and 4 in DC1), both with lights, fans & ASU pump turned on and off.)

In the JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section), Garrett Reisman performed the periodical status and shell temperature check from the MKAM (Minimum Keep-Alive Monitor).

Reisman also conducted the periodic calibration of the two CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen sensor) instruments #1041 & #1052, using a calibration tank with accurately known pressure (2100 psi).

Kononenko completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists of replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of an EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine container, replacement of the KOV EDV at the SKV-2 air conditioner for the Elektron-intended water, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.)

Volkov performed 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 exerciser (FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR).

Afterwards, Garrett downloaded the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as 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).

Working off the Russian 'time permitting' discretionary task list, Oleg performed a special session of the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the NIKON D2X to take telephotos of the fresh eruption of the volcano Chaiten on the southern coast of Chile. (More than 4000 people have been evacuated as a result of the volcano's eruption. Only 300 people remain in the town of Chaiten located ~10km away from the volcano. Ash has covered an area within 10,000 km radius of the outbreak.)

At ~4:25am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU; (Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya = 'Main Operative Control Group')), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~11:15am, Garrett Reisman conducted a 30-min 'handover' teleconference with Gregory Chamitoff, his planned successor as FE-2. (As usual for these FE/FE conferences, the purpose is to begin the handover process prior to the arrival on orbit through videocons and data exchanges between the current crew and the upcoming crew. These tagups should start toward the end of the first month on orbit.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:17am EDT (= epoch)):
Mean altitude -- 341.6 km
Apogee height -- 346.3 km
Perigee height -- 336.8 km
Period -- 91.37 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007026
Solar Beta Angle -- -1.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 106 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 54179

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