Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.06.26 - ISS On-Orbit Status 06/26/08


Today at ~9:55am EDT, the ISS (specifically its FGB module) completed 55,000 orbits of the Earth, having covered a distance of 2.

2 billion kilometers (1.45 billion st.miles) in 3506 days. The 19,300 kg (42,600 lbs) Zarya ('Dawn') was launched on a Russian/Khrunichev Proton from Baikonur over 9.5 years ago (11/20/98) as the first element of the multi-national space station.<<<<

Current sleep cycle: Crew wakeup last night: 11:00pm EDT; sleeptime today: 3:30pm. Wakeup tomorrow: back at 2:00am, for a half-duty day.

Crew activities focused on a thorough Orlan systems checkout and suited exercise in preparation for the EVA-20a on 7/10. The successful Orlan-suited dry run demonstrated that in the case of a contingency situation during the spacewalk, the crew would be able to ingress the Soyuz module while still in their Orlan suits. The activities were recorded on VTR (Video Tape Recorder) by camcorder equipment set up by FE-2 Chamitoff. (Plans for live TV downlink during the run had to be scrapped because a necessary drag-through cable could not be located in time.)

After breakfast and DPC (daily planning conference), CDR Volkov & FE-1 Kononenko proceeded with the suited dry run, beginning with disassembly and removal of the SOTR ventilation air ducts between the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) & DC1 (Docking Compartment) and between the DC1 SU (vestibule) and Soyuz BO (Orbital Module), to gain room for the suited translation exercises.

With the STTS communications links configured for S/G (Space-to-Ground) for their stay in the DC1 & BO and fresh batteries installed in the BRTA telemetry comm units of both Orlan-Ms (#26 & #27), the two spacewalkers checked out the suits, their equipment and BSS interface units via USI data output device. (All EVA preps were monitored by TsUP/Moscow via S-Band and VHF.)

Donning of EVA gear began at ~2:30am, starting with checkout of the comm hookups & biomedical parameter telemetry via BSS support panel and equipment monitoring, then culminating in complete ingress in the Orlans at ~3:00am and closure of backpacks.

DC1 hatch closing (isolation) and start of partial depress for subsequent leak checks was timelined at ~4:00am but conducted ahead of schedule, followed by a functionality checkout of the suits and their BSS controls, preliminary fit checks at 0.4 atm (5.9 psi) suit pressure, and about an hour of testing/training of suited mobility & translation. (The suited mobility & translation exercises included moving to VL1 (EVA hatch #1), translating to the EVA support panel (POV), BSS and SU-BO hatch (closed but not latched), checking out rotation capability with and without lights on, moving payload bundles, operating with OTAs (Orlan tether assemblies), plus operating the PGPU pneumohydraulic control panel and switching to autonomous suit power.)

Sergey & Oleg then moved through the DC1 SU hatch into the Soyuz BO Module and closed the hatch to the DC1 (no comm while suited), then started depressurizing the Orlans and finally doffed the suits, re-establishing comm through Soyuz systems.

Orlan egress was ahead of schedule, followed by a 2h 20m period of post-training cleanup activities. (These include changing clothes, drying out LCG (liquid cooling garment), biomed harness belt, thermal undergarment, socks, comfort gloves, hygienic trunks and comm caps, removing LiOH canister and moisture collector, etc., restoration of STTS communications settings to nominal operation, re-installation of the air duct between SM PkhO and DC1, and replacing the BRTA telemetry unit batteries for both suits (always for immediate readiness).)

FE-2 Chamitoff monitored the training activities from the SM. (During the actual EVA, Gregory will be located in the Soyuz Descent Module (SA), with the BO/SA hatch closed.)

Later, Chamitoff had ~2 hrs reserved for performing Part 1 of the planned IFM (Inflight Maintenance) task on the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System), first clearing the work area in the Lab by moving obstructing stowage to temporary locations and relocating (but not disconnecting) File Server, MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), Printer, and SSC (Station Support Computer) Client laptops as needed, then setting up the FSS (Fluid System Servicer) and priming (filling) the FSS, consisting of the FCPA (Fluid Control Pump Assembly) with jumpers, and the ITCS CSA (Coolant Sampling Adapter). (Since FSS ops are scheduled over two days, today's procedures also included steps for overnight safing of the FSS. Day 2 activities tomorrow will focus on the actual refilling of the LTL & MTL PPA (Low Temperature Loop & Moderate Temperature Loop Pump Package Assembly) accumulators as well as the space ITCS CSA, draining the FSS & FSS jumpers drained plus purging them to vacuum FSS jumpers, and finally stowing everything. The coolant refill of the accumulators became necessary due to the recent installation of the Lab AmiA (Antimicrobial Applicator) by Karen Nyberg during 1J and the leak at the LTL supply QD (Quick Disconnect). The PPAs are located in the LAB1P6 & LAB1S6 racks. The refill of the spare CSA anticipates its use in the Kibo JPM: since both JEM ITCS CSAs were deleted from the 1J manifest, the plan is to eventually install the spare onboard CSA in the JPM to take samples until the JEM Adapters are delivered on a later mission.)

Gregory also conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) audit as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management (WRM)) assessment of onboard water supplies. (Updated 'cue cards' based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week. The current card (17-0002N) lists 36 CWCs (~1484.9 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (694.6 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene, incl. 553.4 L non-usable water because of Wautersia bacteria), potable water (706.7 L, incl. 260.6 L currently on hold), condensate water (75.7 L), waste/EMU dump and other (7.9 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.)

In the US Airlock, Oleg Kononenko initiated recharge on the REBAs (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies) and helmet light batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), for use on the Orlans during the EVA-20a. Recharge was terminated after about 5.5 hrs.

The FE-2 worked out according to his regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise protocol (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS treadmill and RED resistive exerciser. Afterwards, 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 ~11:50am EDT, Gregory participated in an interactive TV PAO/Educational event with Burleson Independent School District, Burleson, TX, responding to questions asked by the students of Burleson High School. (The primarily rural Burleson, TX district highlighted the downlink around an existing summer science & technology camp for students called 'All Systems Go.' Greg's downlink, which allowed students in grade levels 5-8 an opportunity to ask questions about the ISS and living and working in a microgravity environment, provided a stage to spotlight math & science to the surrounding community, and the district looked to establish new partnerships within their community as a result.)

Chamitoff completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Working off the Russian discretionary 'time permitting' task list, Kononenko was to perform 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).

Still remaining on the voluntary task list item for Kononenko & Volkov was an audit of expired Expedition 16 food rations, with repacking & preparation of food packages for disposal on the ATV1. (To clear storage space for cargo items delivered on Progress M-64/29P.)

The FE-2 again had the option of spending about an hour for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residence, if she/he chooses to take it.

PPS P6 Battery Capacity Test: The capacity testing on the P6 truss batteries 2B3 (channel 2B) and 4B3 (channel 4B) by ground commanding, started on 6/24, was successfully completed yesterday morning. The batteries were re-connected and are supporting nominally. Data analysis is currently in work with the results on the battery capacity expected tomorrow.

EVA-20a Timeline Preview (preliminary): The Orlan EVA-20a by Volkov/EV1 & Kononenko/EV2 on 7/10 is scheduled to begin at ~2:18pm EDT (DC1 EV hatch open), to last an estimated 5 hrs 43 min, i.e., concluding at approximately 8:00pm. The EVA is supported by the DC1-based Strela 1 crane, operated via hand crank by EV1. Main objective is the inspection of the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft at its first separation plane (Plane I) followed by removal of one Soyuz pyrobolt for retrieval to the DC1 and return to Earth. Before the removal of the separation bolt, protective covers will be temporarily installed on the spacecraft's attitude control thrusters (later removed), the pyrobolt's electrical connector will be demated, and the wiretie between the pyrobolts will be cut. If enough time remains after the Soyuz activity, the spacewalkers will also install a docking target (for the new MEM module) on the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment) exterior.
(Background: Before their separation, Descent Module (SA) & Instrumentation Compartment (AO) are connected by five locks, each 'zamok' containing two pyrobolts (explosive bolts) with individual electrical connection, of which only one needs to fire to release the lock. The locks are equally spaced around the 360-degree circumference of the separation plane, i.e., 72 deg apart. After the five locks have released, there are five spring-loaded pushers, also equally spaced, for separating the two modules by spring force. Each lock and pusher is located at the apex of two triangularly arranged aluminum pipes, i.e., altogether 20 inclined pipes, which make up the open truss structure between the modules.)

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Mt. Etna, Sicily (nadir pass over Etna smoking. Crew was to shoot detail of black lava flows near summit), and Afar Rift Zone, Ethiopia (looking left towards the Red Sea Coast to document modern lava flows from several volcanoes. The alignment of fault lines also interests geologists. Lavas and fault lines relate to active opening of the Red sea and the Gulf of Aden).

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