Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.05.15 - ISS On-Orbit Status 05/15/08


Progress M-64/29P launched nominally yesterday at Baikonur at 4:22:56pm EDT, when ISS was leading with 152 deg phase angle.

Ascent was nominal, all appendages (antennae & solar arrays) deployed nominally, and the vehicle reached orbital insertion at 4:31:41pm. Corrective maneuvers DV1 & DV2 were conducted as per plan at 8:12:27pm (delta-V 22.62 m/s) and 8:50:36pm (23.71 m/s). 29P is scheduled to dock to the ISS FGB nadir port tomorrow evening (5/16) at 5:37pm. Congratulations, Baikonur! (The cargo ship will deliver more than 2.3 tons of various supplies to the ISS, including oxygen, water and food supplies, propellant, a new Sokol KV-2 spacesuit, consumables, scientific hardware and equipment. The spacecraft was injected into a reference near-earth elliptical orbit with 51.65 inclination, min/max altitudes of 193.9/245.9 km and 88.57 min revolution. Onboard systems are operating as designed as the 'chase' is on.)

For the US Sleep study, currently on his voluntary 'job jar' task list, FE-2 Garrett Reisman downloaded the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data after wakeup and before breakfast from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. (To monitor his sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the Flight Engineer wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout this week, for the last time. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.)

For the Russian Sleep study, CDR Volkov terminated his second MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session upon wake-up by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. (SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.)

After their 3-hr training course on 5/13 with the TORU teleoperator control system, Volkov & Kononenko today conducted a joint teleconference with ground specialists, discussing the results of the drill, in preparation for tomorrow's 29P docking. (The TORU provides a manual backup mode to the Progress' KURS automated rendezvous radar system in case of KURS failure. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera ('Klest'), on a color monitor ('Simvol-Ts', i.e. 'symbol center') in the Service Module (SM), which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the CDR would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM's TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the 'Klest-M' video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 8 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground. Tomorrow, Progress KURS-A (active) will be activated at 4:04pm EDT on Daily Orbit 16 (DO16), SM KURS-P (passive) two minutes later. Progress' headlight will be switched on at a range of ~8 km. Flyaround to the FGB nadir docking port (~400 m range, in sunlight) starts at 5:14pm. Start of final approach: 5:27:30pm (DO1). Local sunset: ~5:34pm. Estimated time of contact: 5:36:30pm.)

FE-2 Reisman had 2 hrs set aside for the periodic updating of the onboard 'Red Book' emergency procedures documents. (Garrett collected the five copies of the 1J/A EMER-1 book (from Soyuz, SM, Airlock, Lab,and Node-2), removed outdated pages, replaced them with new pages and restowed the books at their designated locations.)

In preparation for the cargo loading/unloading activities ahead during the STS-124/1J docked period (6/2-6/11), the crew conducted a joint review of uplinked material comprising the 1J Transfer List and a summary of the intricate 'choreography' of the transfer activities.

FE-2 Reisman afterwards had 1.3 hrs for marshalling and prepacking 1J transfer cargo.

Later (~12:05pm), the FE-2 and his crewmates tagged up with ground specialists to discuss transfer implementation details.

FE-1 Kononenko continued troubleshooting activities on the Russian SRVK (Multifiltration Unit) of the BRPK (Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit), off since 5/6. (Russian specialists are confident that SRVK functionality can be restored by next week. As of now, one of two SRVK strings is operational. Troubleshooting will continue tomorrow on string 1, followed by refilling of the SKV-2 air conditioner with coolant (Freon-218) next week upon delivery by 29P. Until restoration of SRVK condensate processing, European and Russian specialists are in agreement that transferring about 2 EDVs of US condensate to ATV tanks is a viable option. A water dump into space will thus be avoided.)

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Reisman supported ground activities on the BLB (Biolab) incubator by installing RECs (Reference Experiment Containers) on Rotor A, then activating COL1A2 rack software. (Further BLB troubleshooting will require replacement of the locking pin with a new pin manifested on Flight 1J.)

The CDR had an additional 2.5 hrs reserved to continue the periodic Russian SPOPT (Fire Detection & Suppression System) maintenance in the FGB, started yesterday, by dismantling IDZ-2 smoke detectors, cleaning their ionizing needles and then reinstalling the sensors. (Part of the job is inspection and cleaning of surrounding areas behind panels. More SPOPT SD maintenance is scheduled tomorrow.)

Kononenko completed the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator's water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV EDV container with water collected in CWC (Contingency Water Container) #1050 from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier. (The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.)

Meanwhile, Garrett conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC audit as part of on-going WDS (Water Delivery System) assessment of onboard water supplies. (Updated 'cue cards' based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week. The current cue card (17-0002D) lists 38 CWCs (~1480.1 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (772.7 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene), potable water (625.2 L), condensate water (76.4 L), waste/EMU dump and other (5.8 L). Of the 38 containers, 15 CWCs with technical water (620.5 L) and 4 CWCs with potable water (176.3 L) must be cleared for Wautersia bacteria by MCC-H before they can be used. Follow-up: As of 5/13, partial results of the sample analysis are now available for the five CWCs transferred from STS-123/1J/A. Two potable water CWCs (#1094, #1095) and three technical water CWCs (#1043, #1071, #1070) have exhibited no bacterial, coliform or fungi growth after standard incubation periods. One of the three technical water CWC samples indicated some bacterial growth but at a level within the potable water acceptability limit. The Wautersia bacteria of this sample are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.)

Sergey & Oleg underwent their first periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 ('Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest') on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System). (During the 45-min. test, the crewmembers tagged up with ground specialists on an RGS (Russian ground site) pass on DO14 via VHF and downlinked data from the Gamma-1M ECG (electrocardiograph) for about 5-6 minutes.)

The FE-1 completed the routine maintenance of the SM's SOZh/ECLSS system, 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, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.)

Later, Kononenko 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).

Oleg also had his third run with the Russian DZZ-2 "Diatomeya" ocean observations program, using the NIKON F-5 digital still camera with 80-200 mm lens and the HDV (high-definition) video camcorder from SM windows 7 & 8 to obtain color blooms in water area and large irregularities in cloud cover above the ocean and in surface wave fields.

In the SM, Reisman deactivated the onboard amateur radio equipment (a Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, and power supply) to prevent radio interference during the prox ops with the arriving Progress spacecraft.

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 TVIS treadmill (CDR/ MO-1, FE-1/ MO-1, FE-2), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2). (The RED, as an anaerobic muscle exerciser, allows a variety of routines: squat, heel raises, bent-over rowing, abdominal crunches, deadlift, bench presses, upright rowing, etc. For Sergey & Oleg, who are using RED three times a week, each session features four different routines which vary from day to day to target different muscle groups.)

Later tonight, Reisman will transfer the crew's exercise data file to the MEC 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).

At ~3:45am EDT, Sergey & Oleg linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues and equipment locations. (Topics of discussion today included photo equipment listed as stowed in the Soyuz BO 'divan', ID number of a battery slated for disposal, location of the kits for two NIKON F5 cameras, etc.)

At ~4:15pm EDT, Garrett is scheduled for his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

ANITA Update: After some helpful troubleshooting by Reisman yesterday, the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) instrument is again downlinking health and status data nominally.

A/L F1 Rack Update: Additional work by Garrett on the Airlock Avionics Rack yesterday completed rotating the rack back into place. (The lower pivot fittings were removed allowing the top attachment points (knee braces) to be secured. One lower launch restraint was re-installed. The two lower pivot fittings were not re-installed, but were stowed behind the rack. This configuration is acceptable for on-orbit loads. Reisman also returned the stowage into the airlock. Background: The F1 rack had to be rotated away from the A/L wall to allow the (successful) replacement of the failed ATU-6 (Audio Terminal Unit #6) with a spare unit. Afterwards, Garrett was unable to rotate the structure completely back into place.)

MFCV Adjustment Update: Yesterday's scheduled ITCS MTL (Internal Thermal Control Systems/Moderate Temperature Loop) flow adjustment of four MFCVs (Manual Flow Control Valves) in the Lab could not be completed when it turned out that the non-intrusive Flow Meter, required for the adjustment, would not remain powered. Several attempts to power it were unsuccessful. Ground teams are assessing next troubleshooting steps. The adjustment is required for the Regen ECLSS rack that arrives later this year on ULF2.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Vredefort Impact Crater, S. Africa (shooting slightly to the left of track for this 300-km diameter impact structure, which is over 2 billion years old. Despite the operation of tectonic and weathering processes over that time, the impact structure is still recognizable. Overlapping frames of the crater and surrounding area were requested to provide context for higher resolution imagery), Madrean Sky Islands, Mexico (ISS orbit track paralleled the eastern shoreline of the Gulf of California. As ISS moved SE-ward along the coast, the crew was to aim the camera to the left of track for the prominent mountains of the Sierra Madre (oriented roughly north-south in Mexico). General context imagery of the mountains is desired as a baseline for assisting in locating of the "sky islands" near the peaks), Kingman Reef, Hawaiian Island chain (weather was predicted to be mostly clear over this long narrow reef at the time of this near-nadir pass. High resolution imagery of reefs was requested to track changes in morphology over time), and Palmyra Atoll, Central Pacific (located directly to the SE of the previous Kingman Reef target, Palmyra Atoll consists of small islands and submerged reefs. ISS had a near-nadir pass over the atoll. High resolution imagery of the islands and adjacent reefs was requested).

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