September 09, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/09/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Flight Day 13 of STS-128/17A. The Long Sleep.

ISS and STS-128/Discovery are flying in separate orbits again. [After hatch closure at 11:11pm EDT on 9/7 (Monday, Labor Day), Discovery undocked yesterday at 3:26pm from PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2). After separation, PLT Kevin Ford completed a 270-deg station flyaround, and the Orbiter crew obtained photo/video imagery of the ISS. Final sep burn: 4:38pm. Landing at KSC is expected tomorrow (9/10) at ~7:08pm (Orbit 203). Second KSC opportunity: 8:41pm (Orbit 204). For Timothy Kopra, this will conclude a 115-day stay in space.]

For the ISS crew, back at six persons, today is a day of extended rest & sleep, from 3:00am this morning to 2:00am tomorrow, with no activities scheduled except for some crew-discretionary “job jar” task suggestions. It’s also Nicole Stott’s first full day as FE-2.

The only scheduled interruption of onboard tranquility is the weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) for FE-4 Bob Thirsk at ~6:30pm via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

MT Translation: Under complete Robotics ground control, the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) was powered up at ~12:00pm for the usual pre-translation survey. Russian thrusters will be disabled during the period 2:10pm-5:50pm due to loads constraints, and the MT (Mobile Transporter) will then be rolled from WS-4 (Workstation 4) to WS5 in preparation for HTV arrival.

TDRSS Update: Ground engineers continue to work on risk mitigation plans arising from the failure of a timing unit in the STGT (Second Tracking & Data Relay Satellite System Ground Terminal) at WSC (White Sands Complex), which could affect users of the TDW (TDRSS West) and TDE (TDRSS East) satellites, i.e., Shuttle, ISS & HTV. A spare Cesium Beam timing unit has now been located at ESTL (Electronic Systems Test Laboratory) at KSC and is being rushed via NASA STA (Shuttle Training Aircraft) to El Paso, where it will be met by a truck from WSC. It should be installed sometime tonight and be in place for HTV launch and Shuttle landing.

HTV Preview: JAXA is still Go for HTV launch at Tanegashima/Japan. This will be the first launch for the H-IIB vehicle. No weather issues/typhoons around launch site. Launch time tomorrow at 1:01:46pm EDT (there are several additional launch opportunities until the cutoff on 9/30).
HTV FD (Flight Day) overview:
  • FD2: Far field rendezvous
  • FD3: Far field demonstrations
  • FD4, FD5: Far field rendezvous
  • FD6: IMMT review of demonstrations
  • FD7: Far field rendezvous
  • FD8: Prox Ops, Capture (~3:50pm if on 9/17), Installation
    • Capture will occur during time without Ku-Band available.
  • FD9: Crew half-duty day, Ingress
  • FD10: JEMRMS checkout and EP (two payloads) prep
  • FD11: EP Transfer to JEM-EF
  • FD12: Payloads Transfer from EP to EF (Exposed Facility) with Kibo RMS (Robotic Manipulator System)
  • FD13: EP Transfer back to HTV
  • FD14-38: Cargo transfer from HTV to ISS
  • FD38: Prep for release
  • FD39: Deactivation and Release
  • FD40: Re-entry

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.
CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov (as of 9/1/08, this database contained 770,668 views of the Earth from space, with 324,812 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:07am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 347.4 km
Apogee height – 353.6 km
Perigee height -- 341.2 km
Period -- 91.49 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009225
Solar Beta Angle -- 51.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 48 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 61923

STS-128/Discovery - 17A Crew & Mission Timeline:
v CDR: Fredrick W. “Rick” Sturckow
v PLT: Kevin A. Ford
v MSs: Patrick G. Forrester; Jose M. Hernandez; John D. “Danny” Olivas; Christer Fuglesang
v ISS FE-2s: Nicole Passonno Stott (UP); Timothy L. Kopra (DOWN)
· FD13 (9/09) -- Cabin stow; Orbiter FCS checkout; RCS hot fire; H2O dump
· FD14 (9/10) -- Nominal deorbit (6:05pm); landing (~7:08pm KSC).

ISS Crew Sleep Shifting: To synchronize the ISS crew’s timeline with STS-128/17A arrival and docked activities, the station’s wake/sleep cycle is undergoing a number of shifts which started on 8/29 and ends on 9/9. Starting tomorrow, the schedule has returned to normal:

Sleep: 3:00a – 2:00a
Sleep: 5:30p – 2:00a

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
09/10/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A deorbit burn – ~6:05pm
09/10/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A landing (KSC; ~7:08pm)
09/10/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:01pm EDT)
09/17/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) capture & berth w/SSRMS (~3:50pm)
09/29/09 -- Progress 34P undock
09/30/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/11/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth (under review)
10/15/09 -- Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 - ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 -- Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 -- Progress 37P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 -- Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 -- Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 -- Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 -- Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton