NASA ISS On-Orbit Status – 7 January 2009
January 7, 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Russian Orthodox Christmas, a holiday also for ISS. [Eastern Orthodox Church observes Nativity according to the old Julian Calendar. After World War I, various Orthodox Churches, beginning with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, began to abandon the Julian calendar or Old Calendar, and adopt a form of the Gregorian calendar or New Calendar. The Julian calendar is at the present time 13 days behind our Gregorian Calendar.]

Using the prime CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) unit (#1059), CDR Fincke took ppO2 (partial pressure oxygen) readings in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory).

FE-2 Magnus performed the daily flushing of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser). [The PWD had been found, via several microbial analyses by Sandy, to have bacteria
growing in the ambient water. It is suspected that this is due to the water being stagnant and not used. The crew now performs daily flushes with 100 mL of deionized water.]

At ~2:57am EST, Mike Fincke powered up the SM (Service Module)’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 3:02am conducted a ham radio session with Axam Jatiya Vidyala in Guwahati, India. [Axam Jatiya Vidyalaya (AJV) is a co-educational high school situated in Guwahati City in Assam in the North-East India. Assam is the land of natural beauty through which the mighty river Brahmaputra flows. Assam is also famous for its tea, oil and the one-horned Rhino. Axam Jatiya Vidyalaya (AJV) was established in January 1, 1994, and is registered with the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), Government of Assam, India. Total strength of students is about 1300 and total strength of teachers is about 100. The primary medium of instruction in the school is Assamese. But English is taught as a compulsory second language with special emphasis on Spoken English. Apart from English, other subjects are Science, Mathematics, Social Science, Assamese, Computer Science, Sanskrit, Music, Fine Arts, Hindi, Geography, History and others. The school also has Saturday classes for musical instruments (Violin, Tabla etc), Fine Arts, Dance (Satriya, Bharat Natyam), Yoga etc. The school has a record of excellence in the state level examinations. In the 2008 Matriculation (class X) Examination (conducted by the Government Board), out of a total of 83 students who appeared for the examination, 39 students got distinction marks (80% and above) in English; moreover a student of this school stood first out of the total students in the entire State of Assam who appeared in the said examination. The students of the school are proud to host the Space Talk with Mike Fincke whose wife Renita Saikia hails from Assam.]

Afterwards, at ~4:40am, FE-1 Lonchakov & Fincke engaged in a Russian ham radio exchange with students from Montreal, Canada.

At ~6:10am, Yuri had a Christmas PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio & Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

At ~1:45pm, Yuri Lonchakov received a 20-min VIP call via S-band from Metropolitan Cyril, Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal See (Acting Patriarch) of the Russian Orthodox Church, speaking from TsUP/Moscow and extending best wishes to the crew on the occasion of today’s Orthodox Christmas celebration. [The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its Christmas 13 days after Western Christmas, on January 7, in accordance with the old Julian calendar. It is a day of both solemn ritual and joyous celebration. Christmas was banned throughout Russia after the 1917 Revolution, along with other religious celebrations, and it wasn’t until 75 years later, in 1992, that the holiday was again openly observed. Today, it’s once again celebrated in grand fashion, with citizens participating in an all-night Mass in incense-filled Cathedrals amidst the company of the painted icons of Saints, along with a traditional family get-together and special meal on Christmas Eve.]

The FE-1 completed the routine daily servicing of the SM’s SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

Yuri also performed the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways, including the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)–PrK–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, FGB GA–Node-1.

The station residents conducted their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), IRED/Interim Resistive Exercise Device (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo target uplinked for today was Patagonian Glaciers, Argentina (ISS had a nadir pass over the southern Patagonian icefields. CEO is particularly interested in imagery of the Perito Moreno glacier that was located to the left of track. This glacier periodically forms an ice dam between Lago Argentino and Brazo Rico. As meltwater fills Brazo Rico, it exerts hydrostatic pressure and eventually bursts the dam. Imagery of the glacier terminus and sides – and ice dam, if present – will help track changes in size and volume of the ice mass as well as water levels in the two lakes).

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website: (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 EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 352.9 km
Apogee height — 357.6 km
Perigee height — 348.3 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006908
Solar Beta Angle — 22.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 65 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58068

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
01/14/09 — ISS reboost w/SM thrusters
02/09/09 — Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 — Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress 32P docking
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
02/24/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (nominal)
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
Six-person crew on ISS
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC, last crew rotation
08/XX/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4
12/XX/11– Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.