Space Stations

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 29, 2015
Filed under , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2015
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2015.

Carrying more than 6,000 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 59 cargo craft launched at 3:09 a.m. EDT (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
However, Russian flight controllers initially could not confirm the health of the spacecraft’s systems and deployment of Kurs rendezvous and other navigational antennas. They selected the backup rendezvous plan with a targeted arrival Thursday for the cargo ship and its supplies for the space station crew. The Progress spacecraft is in a safe preliminary orbit.

At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 257 miles over northeast Kazakhstan near the Russian border, having flown over the launch site two and a half minutes before lift off.

As Progress passed over Russian ground stations, the Russian flight control team issued commands through the telemetry system onboard the spacecraft in an attempt to receive confirmation that navigation and rendezvous systems had deployed. But, due to sporadic telemetry from Progress 59, inconclusive data, and trouble uplinking commands to the spacecraft, controllers were unable to confirm the status of the systems.

Flight controllers will continue to look at the telemetry system to determine the overall health of the spacecraft’s systems. Instead of a four-orbit, six-hour docking later this morning as originally planned, Progress now will make a two-day, 34-orbit rendezvous with the station. With the two-day rendezvous, the Russian cargo craft is scheduled to arrive at the space station at 5:03 a.m. Thursday. Russian flight controllers are continuing to work to establish a good link with the Progress as it approaches the space station.

Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts and his five crew mates continue to conduct a variety of microgravity experiments on board the space station as they await the arrival of Progress 59.

UPDATE (4/28 8:15 a.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers are continuing to troubleshoot issues with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft. The spacecraft made another pass over Russian ground stations and continued to experience telemetry problems regarding the deployment of navigational antennas and the pressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system. Flight controllers also confirmed that the vehicle had entered into a slow spin and have issued commands to attempt to control it.

UPDATE (4/28 9:35 a.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers have continued to try and recover telemetry capability with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft this morning. The most recent ground pass started at 9:20 a.m. EDT and flight controllers reported no change in the issues with receiving telemetry data from the unmanned craft. The Russian flight control team attempted to command the vehicle over four orbits flying over Russian ground sites with no success. The next series of ground station passes is expected to resume late Tuesday evening. Teams are standing down on the Thursday docking attempt while Russian teams continue to analyze data and develop a troubleshooting plan going forward.

UPDATE (4/28 11:00 p.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers are continuing attempts to communicate with and troubleshoot issues with the Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft as it makes additional passes tonight over Russian ground stations.

On-Orbit Status Report

59 Progress (59P) Status: 59P launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:09 AM CDT and achieved orbital insertion. Shortly after the third stage separation, the ground experienced partial loss of communication with the vehicle. Mission Control Center (MCC)-Moscow attempts to re-gain communication with the vehicle over subsequent ground passes were unsuccessful. The next troubleshooting opportunity will be during the next ground pass at approximately 8:00 PM CDT.

Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF): Cristoforetti set up the Ryutai rack for the next Soret Facet experiment by removing a Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF) cable and reconfigured a Thermo Module converter cable on the Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF). This is the first of three on board cable reconfigurations with checkouts performed by the ground this week prior to the Soret Facet cell2 experiment planned for May 12. The Soret effect in fluids is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which different particles respond in different ways to varying temperatures. The effect, studied by the Swiss chemist Charles Soret, has been difficult to examine in detail on Earth because of gravity. The Study on Soret effect (thermal diffusion process) for the mixed solution by the in-situ observation technique facilitated at SCOF (Soret-Facet) is the first investigation to verify Soret conditions in steady and changing conditions, and to compare the Soret effect in microgravity with results on the ground, an important measurement for calibrating future investigations.

TripleLux-A: Cristoforetti removed the Biolab reference Experiment Containers (EC) from the centrifuge Rotor L and installed the Triplelux EC’s and the Triplelux dummy mass for the EC characterization in preparation for the first Triplelux-A experiment run. Long-term space missions present a number of risks for astronauts. Some effects of the space environment level appear to act at the cellular level and it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms of these effects. This project uses a rat macrophage cell line to focus on two aspects of cellular function which may have medical importance: i) The synergy between the effects of the space radiation environment and microgravity on cellular function and, ii) The impairment of immune functions under spaceflight conditions.

Drain Brain: Cristoforetti set up the Human Research Facility (HRF) Pulmonary Function System (PFS) and initiated hardware warmup in support of her final (Flight Day 161) Drain Brain Plethysmography measurement. The crew verifies the Ultrasound 2 and Video Power Converter configuration, sets up a video camera and performs ultrasound scans with guidance from the Drain Brain ground team. On Earth, blood flows down from a person’s brain back toward the heart thanks in part to gravity, but very little is known about how this flow happens without gravity’s effects. Many crewmembers report headaches and other neurological symptoms in space which may be related to the absence of gravity acting on blood flowing through the veins. Drain Brain uses a special neck collar to measure blood flow from the brain, to help researchers understand which physical processes in the body can compensate for the lack of gravity to ensure blood flows properly.

Robotic refueling Mission-Phase 2 (RRM-2): Cristoforetti completed a JEM Airlock depress and venting in preparation for Thursday’s planned operations to deploy the RRM-2 task boards using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). The objective of RRM-P2 operations is to demonstrate servicing capabilities. These new technologies, tools and techniques could eventually give satellite owners resources to diagnose problems on orbit, fix anomalies, and keep certain spacecraft instruments performing longer in space.

Rodent Research-2 Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (RR-2 CASIS): Yesterday during the Bone Densitometer calibration procedure the team received errors. Earlier today Virts, with ground specialist assistance, completed troubleshooting which allowed the Bone Densitometer calibration to be completed successfully. The second session of Rodents processing is planned for tomorrow.

Water Recovery System (WRS) Distillation Assembly (DA) Remove & Replace (R&R): Earlier this morning Kelly R&Rd the WRS DA. This was required due an increase in compressor temperatures and a decrease in the production rate. The UPA has been repowered and is currently in a process cycle.

SpaceX(SpX)-6 Cargo Transfer: Virts and Kelly were scheduled to continue with SpX-6 cargo operations today. Today the crew started loading the DRAGON with return items. At the completion of today’s operations transfer specialist are reporting that the crew is 60% complete with required cargo transfer.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

IMMUNO. Saliva Sample (Session 1)
IMMUNO. First stress test, questionnaire data entry.
IMMUNO. Test-Tube Blood Collection (finger).
IMMUNO. Blood Sample Processing.
IMMUNO. Equipment Stowage
Drain Brain PFS Setup And Power Up
Verification of anti-virus scan results on Auxiliary Computer System (???) laptops
USND2 – Hardware activation
Closing USOS Window Shutters [Aborted]
ISS HAM – Radio Power Down [Aborted]
SCOF Cable Connection
Bone Densitometer Troubleshooting
ECON-L. Observation and Photography
SCOF – Cable Reconfiguration
Closing window shutters 6,8,9,12,13,14 [Aborted]
UDOD. Experiment ops using DYKNANIYE-1 and SPRUT-2 sets.
Water Recovery System (WRS) Distillation Assembly (DA) Remove & Replace
VIRTUAL. Experiment Ops Tagup with specialists
TPLXA – Experiment Ops
MPEG2 Multicast Test via Ku-band [Aborted]
Waste Water Bag Changeout
WRS Water Sample Analysis
DRAGON cargo transfer
Drain Brain (DB) – Measurements behind panel 1
Preparation for Progress 426 Docking to DC1 [Aborted]
Drain Brain (DB) – Ultrasound Ops
Counter Measure System (CMS) Harmful Contaminant Measurements in SM
Progress 416 Docking to DC1 [Aborted]
Comm Configuration for Nominal Ops after Docking [Aborted]
Activation of MPEG2 Multicast TV Monitoring. [Aborted]
??? 426 Docking to DC1 [Aborted]
Activation of MPEG2 Multicast Recording Mode on CP SSC [Aborted]
??? 426 Docking to DC1 [Aborted]
Closing Laptop Applications and Downlink of MPEG2 Multicast via OCA
TOCA Data Recording
EML – Opening Gas Valves
USND2 – Hardware Deactivation
Bone Densitometer Troubleshooting
DRAGON Cargo Transfer
JEMAL – Depressurization
Diagnostics of Chibis-M Malfunction.
Hardware prepack for return and disposal via ?? 715
BIOEMULSIYA. Cryogem-03 Thermostat Installation for the Experiment
IMS Delta File Prep
Replace Pille Flash Card
Download Pille Dosimeter Readings
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
PRODUTSENT. Setup of TBU-V No. 2
Fluid Shifts CCFP Taping
Verification of Airlock Depressurization Completion.
DB – Measurements, Part 2
IMMUNO. Saliva Sample (Session 2)
IMMUNO. Second stress test, questionnaire data entry
IMMUNO. Final Equipment Stowage
Video Footage of Greetings
ISS HAM – Radio Power up [Aborted]
Verification of JEM Airlock Venting Completion.
Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Drain Brain Ultrasound ops
JEMAL depress
Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 04/29: Triplelux A insert, SCOF relay connector reconfig 2, 41S undock pre-pack
Thursday, 04/30: 41S undock pre-pack, Body Measures, RR access unit cleaning, Space Aging sample 1, JEMAL table extension for RRM
Friday, 05/01: USOS crew half day off, DRAGON Cargo Transfer
QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – On
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Shutdown
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.