Home > Nasa news > NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 November 2009

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 November 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.


FE-3 Romanenko did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which FE-1 Suraev had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-3 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Afterwards, Romanenko again had several hours allotted to conduct an audit of available stowage space in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), SM (Service Module) and DC1 Docking Compartment to assess available stowage space for cargo to be delivered on 11/12 on 5R/Progress 302 (MRM2).

Maxim Suraev meanwhile worked ~3 hrs unloading the resupply ship Progress M-03M/35P and transferring cargo to the ISS, going by an uplinked priority list. [Due to the lack of stowage space in the RS (Russian Segment), only cargo to support scheduled activities are being unloaded. Equipment removed to gain access to priority cargo must be returned to the spacecraft, stowed in place, and secured with straps. All hardware relocations are logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System).]

The FE-1 also conducted the periodic downlinking of regular data files from the BU Control Unit of the running BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment in the SM, archiving them on a PCMCIA memory card (a ~5-hr activity), and downlinking pictures of the experiment setup. [Rasteniya-2, set up on 10/29 with a new batch of seeds, researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

In the US A/L (Airlock), FE-2 Stott prepared EVA tools and equipment for the upcoming STS-129/ULF3 spacewalks. [EVA tool configuring is scheduled for 13 crew-hours over 4 days, starting today with 4h25m. Activities include setting up tethers, preparing (loading) the grease gun, etc.]

FE-4 Thirsk began the day by terminating the overnight leak check of the PMA-3 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 3), in preparation for PMA ingress. [The VAJ/ISA (Vacuum Access Jumper/Internal Sampling Adapter) hose assembly was left in place in preparation for PMA-3 depress.]

Afterwards, in preparation for Node-3 “Tranquility” arrival on STS-130 in February, Thirsk & FE-5 Williams –


  • Opened the Node-1 port hatch to PMA-3 and removed the hatch center disk cover, two CPAs (Controller Panel Assemblies) and the PMA target assembly,
  • Removed several closeout panels to gain access to the bulkhead feedthroughs, then
  • Spent several hours replacing five electrical feedthrough cables with five fluid feedthrough umbilicals.

Also in Node-1, Nicole Stott subsequently spent ~1h15m removing the existing NPRV (Negative Pressure Relieve Valve) at the Port and installing an IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) valve in its place, preparatory to Node-3 midbay modifications. [The valve was installed already now while access to the extravehicular side of the bulkhead is available to ensure that the NPRV could be successfully removed from the bulkhead. Power, data and RMO (Remote Manual Override) connections to the valve will be made later, during/after ULF3.]

Afterwards, Jeff Williams closed the Node-1 port hatch to help minimize the humidity levels in the PMA. [Will be opened again tomorrow to continue work. To prevent condensation in PMA-3, PMA activities can only be performed during certain Beta angles since the module’s heaters were not connected on Flight 17A. The acceptable Beta window opened on 10/29 and closes on 11/9.]

CDR De Winne worked at the SSC-6 (Station Support Computer 6) laptop, re-enabling its network connections to support recovering OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) preparations from the aborted overnight MCAST (Multicast) activities. [When the ground attempted the overnight multicast software imaging of 10 SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptops from DVDs, three SSCs (5, 8, 12) did not indicate completion as required. The image loading (“ghosting”) of these three computers will have to be repeated (or verified as completed) prior to the OpsLAN/JSL (Joint Station LAN) reload with new software in two weeks.]

As part of regular preventive maintenance, De Winne inspected and cleaned the forward portside IMV fan inlet in the US Lab.

Continuing periodic checking up on IMV performance, the CDR also took airflow measurements with the electronic Velocicalc instrument of the airflow between the US Lab and Node-2, after removing a closeout panel in the Lab and cleaning the inlet grille with the vacuum cleaner.

Later, Frank performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

In the SM, FE-1 Suraev worked on the ASU toilet facility, performing the monthly 30-min. maintenance/servicing of the facility by changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.

FE-1 also conducted the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWCs (Collapsible Water Containers, #1073, #1043) to the RS for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [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. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

FE-3 Romanenko completed the periodic switchover of the Russian STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to an alternate subset, today to the primary string after operating for some time on a backup string. [The “Voskhod-MSTTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 and USOS (U.S. Segment), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels (LINE-1,-2,-3), plus an intercom channel (VPU). Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support.]

At ~11:40am EST, Romanenko & Suraev had ~40 min set aside for conducting the regular intermodular tests via the main TORU (Teleoperator Control System) receiver on the mated Progress 35P, working with ground specialists via VHF on DO1 (VHF coverage 12:04pm-12:14pm) on the standard vehicle-to-vehicle TORU checkout between the SM and the Progress cargo ship docked to the DC1 nadir port. Progress thrusters (DPO) were inhibited and not involved. [Crew activities focused on TORU activation, inputting commands via the RUO Rotational Hand Controller and close-out ops. TORU lets an SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of failure of the automated KURS autopilot system. 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”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember steers 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 7 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.]

The FE-3 conducted the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s VU sediment trap insert. [The Russian SRV-K2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water].

In the SM, Roman also worked on the SRK Radiation Monitoring System, removing its nonfunctional R16 dosimeter instrument, photographing the dismantled dosimeter and moving it to a stowage location for return to Earth on STS-129.

Maxim unstowed fresh Progress-delivered OKR-1 fire extinguishers and installed one each in the DC1 and SM, removing the old OKR-1s and pre-packing them for disposal.

Thirsk took his final BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) Crystal experiment photo of Sample 6 in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). [This activity was performed daily during BCAT-5 operations to check for crystals, but is not required now after crystals have been found.]

Williams continued troubleshooting the HRF2 (Human Research Facility) Rack 2 laptop computer, working on re-establishing communication between the rack and the HRF PC2. [Troubleshooting steps included verification of correct cable configuration, verifying that rack and PC communicate, ensuring that the correct RIC (Rack Interface Controller) IP address is used, and swapping Ethernet cables with the ANITA A31p laptop.]

Continuing T2/COLBERT treadmill commissioning, Frank De Winne retrieved two closeout panel fillers from stowage and installed/latched them in holes where T2 handrails would be installed.

Afterwards, Frank continued T2 treadmill troubleshooting, using an uplinked batch file to attempt retrieving missing data from last week’s T2 Long-Duration ACO (Activation & Checkout) sessions.

The CDR also conducted the deployment of three new T61p laptops as PCSs, installing them along with new 1553 PCMCIA memory cards in the A/L, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and JPM in the PCS locations. [Frank powered up the PCSs, leaving them on overnight so that they can be loaded with patches from the ground. One of the two removed A31p’s was redeployed in the FGB to serve as a backup in the case of an emergency; the other A31p was stowed in a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag). One difference to note between the A31p & T61p is that the PCMCIA memory card goes in the front left corner of the T61p as opposed to the right rear corner of the A31p. Functionally the software is the same between both laptops.]

In the JPM, Jeff supported JAXA payload activities by disconnecting the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) payload bus cable & IPU (Image Processing Unit) user video cables, then connecting SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility) payload bus cable and IPU user video cables.

FE-2 Stott conducted her regular daily support of the MDS (Mice Drawer System) facility by checking its potable water supply and performing a visual inspection of cages 1, 2 & 5 with their live occupants.

Roman did the daily IMS 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).

Maxim completed the routine daily 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.]

Frank performed the regular monthly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), inspecting the condition of harnesses, belt slats, corner bracket ropes, IRBAs (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assemblies) and gyroscope wire ropes for any damage or defects, lubricating as required plus recording time & date values.

For the sixth time, Nicole donned the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation, then activated the new harness for another individual exercise run on the TVIS treadmill. [Afterwards, she was going to download the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective), but the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) was temporarily down.]

Bob Thirsk also used the instrumented harness for his TVIS session, for the sixth time.

CDR, FE-1 & FE-3 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Frank at ~9:25am, Roman at ~11:25am & Maxim at ~12:20pm EST.

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-3).

Later, Frank was to transfer the exercise data files to the MEC for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~2:24pm Bob Thirsk will power up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 2:29pm conduct a ham radio session with students at Westbrook Intermediate School, Friendswood, TX. [Westbrook Intermediate, one of 8 intermediate schools in Clear Creek Independent School District, is a 6th – 8th grade campus of almost 1500 students. Housed on the campus is the district’s intermediate gifted and talented (GT) magnet, Webster Academy – Visions in Education, or WAVE. This GT magnet brings together over 500 gifted and talented students from across the district to participate in a unique program design. One of the opportunities available to WAVE students is an amateur (ham) radio license class. In partnership with the Clear Lake Amateur Radio Club, over 300 students have earned their ham radio license over the last 8 years. At any time, there are approximately 100 hams in attendance at the school.]

SSRMS Operations: Starting at ~10:00am EST, the Space Station Remote Manipulator was maneuvered remotely from the ground inchworm-like through a double walk-off, first from the Node-2 PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) to the MBS (Mobile Base System) PDGF-2, then, at ~12:50pm-7:00pm, to MBS PDGF-1. Some diagnostic tests were also performed, in order to satisfy ULF3 pre-launch checkout requirements.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Simon’s Bay, Cape Point, S. Africa (HMS Beagle site: The ISS pass was just off shore from the southern tip of Africa in mid-morning light with partly cloudy conditions expected. Looking left of track for views of this target. The most important aspect of this stop appears to have been Darwin’s visit to the noted astronomer Sir John Herschel who lived near Cape Town. Darwin called this “the most memorable event which, for a long period, I have had the good fortune to enjoy.” Both Darwin and Herschel had read the Lyell’s famous Principles of Geology. Their discussion is not recorded, but they were thinking along similar lines: a few months earlier Herschel had written to Lyell praising the Principles as “a complete revolution in [its] subject, … altering entirely the point of view” in which scientists would think about geology; and as opening a way for bold speculation on “that mystery of mysteries, the replacement of extinct species by others.”), Kerguelen Islands, S. Indian Ocean (this glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far south Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles SE of the island of Madagascar. Of primary interest is photography for monitoring of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island. As ISS approached from the W, the crew should have found this target at nadir in early afternoon light under partly cloudy skies), Port Louis, Berkeley Sound, Falkland (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at the Falkland Islands on March 1, 1833 and found shelter for several weeks in Berkeley Sound at Port Louis on East Falkland Island. ISS approached this target from the W near midday. Partly cloudy weather with a near nadir pass offers an excellent opportunity for detailed views of Port Louis and Berkeley Sound), and Port Desire, Patagonia, Argentina (H.M.S. Beagle Site: Weather was expected partly cloudy over the eastern coast of southern Patagonia and Port Desire at the time of this overpass. As the station approached the coast in early afternoon, the crew was to look just left of track for this port city, now known as Puerto Deseado, located on the estuary of the Deseado River).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:47am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 342.2 km
Apogee height – 346.4 km
Perigee height – 338.1 km
Period — 91.38 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006205
Solar Beta Angle — 36.1 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 92 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62790

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U @ 9:22am EST)
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith) @ 10:43am EST
11/16/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) @ 2:28pm EST
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 —> two-member crew
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility” + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

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