Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit 12 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 12, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit 12 February 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>One year ago today the European Columbus Laboratory was activated with the help of Astronaut Hans Schlegel. Congratulations, ESA!<<<

Progress M-66/32P is continuing its rendezvous flight to the ISS. Docking at the DC1 nadir port is scheduled for ~2:19am EST tomorrow morning. [Progress floodlight will be switched on at ~1:35am at a range of ~8 km. Flyaround to the DC1 nadir port (~400 m range, in sunlight) starts at 1:53am. Start of final approach: ~2:10am (DO1) in sunlight, contact: ~2:19am. Note: Soyuz & Progress flights are supported by (currently) 11 RGS stations: five connected to TsUP-Moscow by fiber-optic land line, four by the “Primyorka” geostationary satellite, and two in autonomous mode. Real-time commanding is normally performed directly by the RGS sites, with voice link to/from TsUP. There is also a tracking ship, “Cosmonaut Posayev” (KVP 47), in the port of Kaliningrad.]

FE-2 Magnus started the day with the daily download of the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from her Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of another week-long session with SLEEP, her third. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list.]

Mike Fincke had the sixth and last day of his first SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment, which comprises a series of diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. Today, Mike finished up with measurements and sampling of body mass, blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine, begun two days ago. Samples were stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Because of a malfunction with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), Moscow granted use of the Russian MO-8 IM "scales" for determining body mass. The SOLO equipment was stowed away afterwards. [During the Session 1 block, the crewmember follows a special low-salt diet, during Session 2, next week, a high-salt diet. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals will be logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. SOLO, an ESA/German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight.]

FE-1 Lonchakov activated and intermittently checked the DAKON-M hardware for the third run of the Russian experiment TEKh-15/IZGIB (“Bend”) for untended measurement of micro-accelerations. The activity runs through tomorrow, requiring Yuri to visually control hardware operations three times a day and report to the ground. The second IZGIB session was conducted by Sergei Volkov on 10/15-19/08. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-2 Magnus performed the periodic inspection & vacuum-cleaning of the screens of the CDA (Cabin Depress Assembly) and PPRA (Positive Pressure Relief Assembly).

Yuri Lonchakov collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM (Service Module), using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today using preprogrammed microchips to measure for Ammonia (NH3) and Formaldehyde (HCHO).

Sandy Magnus took measurements for the regular (currently daily) atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide partial pressure) in the Lab and in the SM at panel 449 plus battery ticks, using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002). The unit was then deactivated and returned to its stowage location (LAB1S4). See below for an update on the CO2 issue. [Purpose of the 5-min activity is to check on the cabin CO2 level and to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements. The results are usually logged in the OSTPV (Onboard Short Term Plan Viewer) and are immediately available to the ground. Note: CO2 is measured on board by the CDMK in percentage (i.e., concentration). To convert to mmHg, multiply the CDMK value (e.g., 0.55%) by the current cabin pressure (e.g., 760 mmHg) and divide by 100 (example result: 4.8 mmHg).]

Working in the US Airlock, Fincke & Magnus continued preparations for the 15A EVAs. [Mike checked out three PGTs (Pistol Grip Tools, #1002, #1006, #2008), equipping them with batteries and setting them to the expected torques, Sandy later retrieved and configured two EVA tools (an adjustable fuse tether, aka “Fish Stringer”, and a Right Angle Drive,]

The FE-2 set up a video camcorder in Node-1 for recording the crew’s subsequent workout on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device). After the exercise runs, the equipment was restowed. [The video, taken with three camera views, will be used on the ground for verifying proper ARED functioning. The recording did not interfere with the already set up equipment for covering the Progress docking tomorrow morning, since only one camera at a time is transmitting to the AVIU (Advanced Video Interface Unit) and thence to Ku-band and the ground.]

The station residents completed 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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Sandy conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (18-0006M) lists 41 CWCs (~1,207.9 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (642.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 110.6 L currently off-limits, filled from WPA and pending sample analysis on the ground), potable water (515.0 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (0.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (50.6 L, including the new CWC-I with 3.9 L from PWD flushes). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Lonchakov 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, 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 conducted the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

For tomorrow’s Progress docking, the FE-2 closed the protective shutters of the Lab & JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science windows.

At ~3:30am EST, Fincke & Lonchakov conducted a teleconference with TsUP-Moscow specialists to discuss the results of their 3-hr Approach & Docking TORU OBT (Onboard Training) drill on Monday (2/9) and tomorrow’s docking event.

At ~7:45am, the CDR conferred with payload specialists at POIC (Payload Operation Integration Center) on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) experiment, with the PI participating via phone patch.

At ~8:40am, Yuri & Mike linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~11:50am, Sandy Magnus conducted her weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), deferred from yesterday, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

At ~1:25pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

Crew Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate tomorrow’s early Progress docking (~2:19am EST), the crew today has a shortened workday and an earlier (by 2.5 hrs) wakeup: Sleep 2:00pm to 10:30pm tonight. Sleep tomorrow: 2:00pm – 1:00am (i.e., back on regular schedule).

CO2 Issue Update: With the Russian Vozdukh CO2 scrubber running solo as a test, CO2 level yesterday reached the one-day running ppCO2 average of 6.1 mmHg, exceeding the Flight Rule threshold, whereupon the test was terminated and the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) was turned on to lower the on-orbit CO2. Today, ppCO2 reading was down at 3.1 mmHg. Vozdukh is showing degraded performance, and to maintain allowable ppCO2 on ISS, both the Vozdukh and CDRA (running two half-cycles a day) need to be operating. LiOH (Lithium Hydroxide) candles are available, if needed, and Moscow plans to burn six of them that have reached their end-of-life, during the 15A docked period.

TVM Restart Update: TsUP-Moscow yesterday restarted the TVM Terminal Computer in the SM in the hopes of recovering functionality of all three subsets. Two channels became operational, as required by Flight Rule for the docking. The third line is hard-failed and will be replaced with an available spare during the 15A docked period.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Beijing, China Aerosol (the crew had their second opportunity in two days to capture a smog pall over the Bohai Sea. Looking right of track towards the Liaodong Peninsula and across the Bohai Sea towards land which should have made the edges of any smog pall more visible. Overlapping frames were requested), and Sakura-jima Volcano (Sakura-jima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. It is located in a part of Kagoshima bay. In 1914 the lava from an eruption created new land that connected the former island to the Osumi Peninsula. Looking left of track. Overlapping images were requested).

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, 7:58am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.4 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 350.5 km
Period — 91.67 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008695
Solar Beta Angle — -63.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 25 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58634

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/13/09 — Progress 32P docking (2:19am EST); [crew wake: 10:30pm on 2/12]
02/18/09 — FRR (Flight Readiness Review) for STS-119/Discovery
02/22/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment (~3:31am EST) — “NOT EARLIER THAN”
02/24/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
03/05/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
03/08/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — 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.

SpaceRef staff editor.