Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 July 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
July 2, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 July 2009

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

Upon wakeup (~2:00am EDT), FE-1 Barratt, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne continued their current session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [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.]

Also at wakeup, CDR Gennady Padalka terminated his sixth experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

FE-3 Romanenko, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device, which Romanenko then stowed away again. Second time for all three. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

Roman continued the current round of monthly preventive maintenance/cleaning of RS (Russian Segment) SOTR ventilation systems, today working in the SM. [The cleaning involved “Group C” fans and the associated flexible air ducts.]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Bob Thirsk completed the second (of three) setups of the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) for the planned MS (Marangoni Surface) experiment. [FE-4 today cleaned the inside of the MS Core, attaching an LED (Light-emitting Diode) lamp cap, wiping the O-ring surface of the MS cooling disk, etc., installed the MS cassette into the FPEF MS Core, adjusted the LED and installed the MS into the FPEF. These activities are in preparation of the upcoming Marangoni experiment in July.]

FE-1 Barratt performed the periodic status check on the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) Galley fridge, inspecting the desiccants and looking for any internal condensation moisture. [MERLIN is used for cold storage of crew food and drink.]

The FE-2 also closed the Lab science window shutter in support of the subsequent Soyuz 14S thruster test firing as protection against jet plume contaminants.

For tomorrow’s Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (PRST) from the SM aft port to the DC1 Docking Compartment nadir port, Padalka, Barratt and Wakata conducted a review of flight procedures and completed the standard 3-hr. PRST training drill for the mission using the onboard laptop-based simulator and supported by ground specialists via tagup on S-band/VHF-audio. [The OBT (on-board training) included Soyuz procedures and data analysis for ascent/descent, orbital flight and relocation as contained in RODF (Russian Operations Data File) books, tag-up with instructor, and OBT simulator work on the RSK1 laptop.]

Also in preparation for the spacecraft relocation, Gennady Padalka spent an hour in the 18S Descent Module (SA) supporting a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz motion control system (SUD, Mode 2/“Docked”) which included pressurization of the Combined Propulsion System (KDU) Section 1 and Tank 1, a test of the pilot’s translational hand controller (RUD), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters (1:12pm-1:28pm EDT). KDU maneuver thrusters and DPO lateral thrusters were not fired. [For the test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 1:07pm, commanded to free drift at 1:12pm, then back to LVLH XVV (Local Vertical Local Horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) attitude. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 14 at ~1:15pm during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) pass. Attitude control was returned to the USOS (U.S. Segment) at 2:13pm.]

In support of the 18S thruster test firing, at ~9:00am FE-2 Wakata closed the Lab and JPM science window shutters as protection against jet plume contaminants. [The shutters can be reopened later today after 5:13pm, i.e., two orbits after attitude control handover to U.S. Momentum Management.]

FE-5 DeWinne performed the monthly reboot of all active PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops in the Lab and JPM plus the COL PWS (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Portable Workstation) laptop and recorded the battery SOC (state of charge) of each active PCS.

In the SM, FE-3 Romanenko took close to two dozen situational photographs of enclosures behind wall panels (229A, 225) in preparation for upcoming activities to install the new SUBA BRI (Smart Switch Router, behind 229A) and re-route BRI cabling (behind 225). [The photos were then transferred for downlinking via U.S. OCA comm assets.]

After Wakata, as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), set up the video camcorder for ground-commanded recording of the subsequent CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) activity, Mike Barratt, as Subject, undertook the PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS in the US Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

In the Kibo laboratory, Koichi worked on the SLT (System Laptop Terminal), shutting it down and replacing it with a spare (SLT2), which he updated with new procedure display files and checking out new files.

Frank had ~35 min set aside for troubleshooting PMIC (Portable Microphone) #10 and HEC (Headset Extension Cable) #09, in an effort to isolate audio problems associated with either one of the two units. [The troubleshooting determined that the HEC unit is good; however the PMIC unit is considered to be suspect and was discarded.]

Koichi conducted the periodic status & screen check on the payloads CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

Roman used the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to check for Vinyl Chloride, Ethanol, and Ethylene Oxide in the SM. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.]

FE-2 & FE-5 filled out their regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). It was Koichi’s 17th, Frank’s 5th FFQ session. [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

FE-3 conducted the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s sediment trap insert. [The Russian SRVK-2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water].

Using the IMS (Inventory Management System) for reference, Frank DeWinne conducted a one-hour audit/inventory of onboard crew provisions for the current Increment 20.

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Romanenko 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).

Roman also 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.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s Soyuz relocation flight, Mike Barratt worked with Romanenko to configure & test the TV downlink from the Soyuz spacecraft and the SM over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-/band in “streaming video” packets. [The setup involves the designated A31p laptop at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation) for converting analog-to-digital video, the video connection from the SONY HVR-Z1J digital high-definition camcorder and the ZVK LIV Experimental Video Complex in the SM over the MPEG-2 encoder. After the test, with the RSCE PingMaster application, Barratt deactivated the A31p again. The KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder uses the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptop (for converting analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC). The video hardware connection is checked with a network ping test. The digital video transmission is carried over JSL(Joint Station LAN)/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to TsUP-Moscow, plus transfer of the USOS analog video of the RS ISS video downlink via Streambox 2 to NISN (i.e., the Moscow Ostankino communication hub).]

In the US Airlock, Wakata terminated the maintenance discharge of the #2069 EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery in the BC3 BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) and initiated the process on battery #2068, using BC3 (Battery Charger 3). [Each discharge takes approximately 23 hrs.]

Padalka & Romanenko performed outfitting in the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment), relocating BUP-2 Drive Control Units of the SSVP Docking & Internal Transfer System. [Two BUP-2 units (A5, A6) were transferred from their mounting seats in PkhO plane II to a position between PkhO planes II & III, around window #3. Connecting the necessary cabling to the units required the temporary deactivation of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control mode.]

Afterwards, Gennady supported the activation of the Elektron oxygen generator at 24 amps by the ground by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had been turned off during the recent cabin atmosphere represses with gases from Progress 33P. Also, the Elektron has to be turned off when the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control system mode are deactivated for avionics outfitting work.]

Roman performed more outfitting on the SKV-2 air conditioner in the SM, installing missing thermal insulation on its compressor relief valve behind panels 404-405, then activating the SKV-2 from control laptop. [SKV-1 has been out of service for a long time.]

At ~2:40pm EDT, Padalka conducted his sixth data collection for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (Interactions) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

In the US Lab, Mike Barratt reinstalled the alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to lock down the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) preparatory to tomorrow’s Soyuz relocation.

Later, Bob Thirsk transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3), RED resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3). [The interim RED is being used in lieu of the ARED (Advanced RED) until the latter has had its damaged VIS (Vibration Isolation System) dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

Later, Frank DeWinne transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

Barratt & Thirsk had their weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) scheduled, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Bob at ~3:45pm, Mike at ~4:30pm.

At ~4:10am EDT, all crewmembers joined in a tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

At ~12:05pm, Padalka, Thirsk & DeWinne conducted a tagup with the ESA staff at Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

At ~7:35am, Frank DeWinne supported an ESA PAO TV event at Brussels, Belgium, chatting with representatives of four Belgian media – VRT, VTM, RTBF & RTL.

Heads-up on Soyuz TMA-14/18S Relocation (all times EDT):

  • Soyuz will be activated tomorrow (7/2) at 12:10pm EDT. Crew: Padalka, Barratt, Wakata.
  • Remove BZV clamps – 1:10pm.
  • Soyuz/SM hatch closing — 1:30am, followed by one-hour leak check.
  • ISS maneuvers to LVLH undocking attitude at 4:42pm, goes Free Drift at 5:25pm.
  • Orbital sunrise – 4:44pm
  • TMA-14 undock command — 5:26pm; physical separation — ~5:29pm.
  • Spacecraft (S/C) backs off SM aft end by about 25-30 m, performs stationkeeping.
  • At ~5:35pm, S/C translates toward the USOS, rotating its heading by 90 deg angle in yaw and flying sideways “under” the ISS until stopping at second stationkeep point 25-30 m in front of the DC-1 nadir hatch (~5:43pm).
  • Local sunset — 5:47pm.
  • During stationkeep, S/C rolls (“indexes”) to align angularly with DC-1 docking mechanism; crew adapts visually to darkness (with floodlight), then starts Final Approach.
  • Final Approach begins ~5.50pm, ends with docking at ~5:54pm.
  • Soyuz/DC-1 docking hooks & latches close ~6:10pm (after possible structural dynamics have damped out).
  • After docking, there will again be a 1-hr. leak check.
  • Hatch opening to DC-1 ~8:45pm, followed by QD (quick disconnect) clamps installation (to rigidize the interface) and “Pirs” ingress

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Vredefort Impact Crater, South Africa (this large impact located in northern South Africa is about 300km in diameter and over 2 billion years old, making it one of the oldest know terrestrial impact craters. ISS approached the impact crater from the NW. Looking slightly left of track and use the short lens settings for a context view of the arching ridge features marking the rim of the impact), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS Beagle Site: On July 1836 the HMS Beagle arrived at Ascension Island in the late evening. While there Darwin climbed Green Hill, a volcano. After four days the Beagle continued on its voyage. Looking right of track for the island), Pernambuco, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Fierce weather forced the HMS Beagle to shelter along the coast at Pernambuco. While there Darwin examined rocks for elevation, studied Mangroves and investigated marine invertebrates at various depths on the sandbar. The Beagle departed on August 17, 1836. Looking under the orbit track for the coast. Overlapping images were requested), Johnston Island reef, central Pacific (looking under track for Johnston Island and adjacent reefs. Detailed imagery will add to the existing time series of information on the island-reef system, specifically documenting the change to shorelines and reef exposed structures), and Kingman Reef, Hawaiian Island chain (this 4 mile-long, V-shaped atoll appeared under the track shortly after ISS passed over Johnston Island. Handheld imagery was a major component in the effort to map coral reefs worldwide).

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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1 nadir; 5:29pm – 5:54pm EDT)
07/11/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (7:39am EDT)
07/12/09 — Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (based on solar constraints)
07/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking (if launched nominally 7/11)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/25/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking
07/27/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC, ~12:16pm EDT)
07/29/09 — Progress 34P docking (would be able to dock as early as July 27 depending on STS-127)
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
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
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-134/Discovery/ULF6 – ELC3, AMS
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.