Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 10, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 February 2009

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

Progress M-66/32P launched on time this morning at Baikonur on time, at 12:49:46am EST. Ascent was nominal and the vehicle reached orbital insertion at 12:59am. All appendages (antennae & solar arrays) deployed nominally. [32P is the last-but-one of the “older” type of unmanned Progress cargo ships, equipped with analog avionics as opposed to the new version’s state-of-the art digital computer system and more-compact radiotelemetry avionics. On 2/13 (Friday), Progress KURS will be activated at ~12:40am EST on Daily Orbit 1 (DO1), SM KURS two minutes later. Progress floodlight will be switched on at a range of ~8 km (~1:35am). Flyaround to the SM aft docking 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.]

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Lonchakov terminated his seventh 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.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov and FE-2 Magnus completed a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, the FE-1 closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Magnus “ghosted” another software update on the EPM (European Physiology Module) facility’s laptop from DVD and later deactivated and stowed the PC.

Lonchakov unstowed, set up and activated the DAKON-M hardware for the third run of the Russian experiment TEKh-15/IZGIB (“Bend”), taking documentary photography. The activity which will run from 2/12 – 2/14, requiring visual control of hardware operations three times a day and report to the ground. The second IZGIB session was conducted by Sergei Volkov on 10/15-10/19/08. [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.]

After a brief familiarization review, Mike Fincke conducted his first session with the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload, setting up the video camera for unattended filming, configuring the MWA WSA (Maintenance Work Area/Work Surface Area) for BCAT operations, then taking photographs of the BCAT-3 samples 1-6 (undisturbed since September 2008) and restowing the BCAT-3 sample module. [The BCAT equipment includes a DCS760 digital still camera run by the AAL (Alternate Applications Laptop) converted yesterday from an SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p, with “legacy” EarthKAM software for automatically taking flash photography of the sample every two hours over the next several days, a Mini-MagLite, and a camcorder for historical video. BCAT science in micro-G is a unique opportunity to explore fundamental physics and simultaneously develop important future technology, such as computers operating on light, complex biomolecular pharmaceuticals, clean sources of geothermal power, and novel rocket engines for interplanetary travel. The experiment itself is simple and elegant: photographing samples of colloidal particles with a digital camera onboard the ISS. Colloids are tiny nanoscale spheres of Plexiglas a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair (submicron radius) that are suspended in a fluid. They are ubiquitous (e.g., milk, smoke, and paint) and therefore interesting to study directly. Colloids are also small enough that they behave much like atoms and so can be used to model all sorts of phenomena because their size, shape, and interactions can be controlled.]

Afterwards, Mike performed the periodic status check on the running payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

Lonchakov continued the periodic audit/health check of all stationary lighting fixtures (SD-17) and their power supplies in the RS (Russian Segment) which he started yesterday. The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup. [The audit involved 17 lights in SM, 12 in FGB, and three in DC-1, plus some portable lights. For the health check, the crew used a functioning reference lamp and a reference power supply to test lighting fixtures with one or two faulty lamps and failed power supplies.]

The FE-2 conducted the periodic atmospheric sampling in the center of the Lab, SM and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) with the U.S. GSCs (Grab Sample Containers), afterwards packing the containers for return on 15A.

The FE-1 completed the periodic collection of air samples, including checking for Freon, in the SM & FGB using the AK-1M adsorber, recording date, time & location. Kits and pouches were then stowed for return to Earth.

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 (LAB1S2). [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).]

In Node-1, Sandy removed a failed LHA (Lamp Housing Assembly) and replaced it with a new spare. The old unit was stowed in COL.

Yuri transferred an Orlan-MK space suit (#04) from the Soyuz spacecraft for stowage in the DC1 Docking Compartment.

Afterwards, the FE-1 started a new round of the periodic (monthly) preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems in the DC1 (Docking Compartment) by cleaning the PF1 & PF2 dust collectors in its air duct system and the protective mesh screens of the V1 & V2 ventilator fans.

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).

Mike Fincke had the fourth day of his first six-day SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session, which comprises a series of diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. Today, Mike began with measurements and sampling of body mass (with SLAMMD/Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine, to continue for three more days. Samples were stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [During the Session 1 block, the crewmember follows a special low-salt diet, during Session 2 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. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device); blood samples are taken with the PCBA. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

FE-1 Lonchakov completed the periodic data collection on the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, copying data from its built-in control computer to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

FE-2 Magnus performed routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, first replacing the battery of the prime unit (#1045) with a fresh spare (#1239), then zero-calibrating all units. [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Following zero calibration, the backup units (#1058, #1051, #1044), were stowed in the Node-1, along with the sampling pump, while the prime unit was deployed at the SM Central Post.]

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).

The crewmembers had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~9:25am, Yuri at ~11:00am, Sandy at ~1:25pm EST.

At ~5:20am, Fincke powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 5:25am, a ham radio exchange with students at the Istituto Comprensivo Pietrasanta1-Scuola Secondaria 1° Grado, “Padre Eugenio Barsanti” in Pietrasanta, Italy. Pietrasanta is a small town in Tuscany, 30km north of Pisa near the Ligurian Sea. It is a center for processing marble and bronze with many art galleries. The school is attended by 313 students from the age of eleven to the age of thirteen-fourteen. Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. [“How important is the amateur radio station on board the ISS?”; “What projects do you carry out on board the International Space Station?”; “Who pays for all the costs of the ISS project?”; “What is it like living in a small place like the space shuttle for a few days?”; “Would you like to participate in a journey to the Moon?”; “What does the ISS inside smell like?”; “Is there a magnetic field in the ISS orbit?”; “Can you breathe normally on board the ISS?”; “How do you cope with the alternation of day and night every 45 minutes?”; “How long did the training last in order to participate in this mission?”; “What do you do if you get sick in Space?”]

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Ile Rouleau Impact Crater, Quebec, Canada (Ile Rouleau is a 4 km-diameter impact structure that is visible at the surface as a small island. Looking under track for the long narrow northeast-southwest trending Lake Mistassini. Overlapping frames along the extent of the lake will capture the crater near the southern end), and Mount Redoubt, Alaska (as of 2/8, elevated seismicity levels continue to be recorded at Redoubt volcano according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Elevated seismicity indicates upward movement of the magma within the volcano. An eruption is still considered likely within days or weeks. As of 2/9, a small steam plume is visible. Because the volcano is not currently experiencing a major eruption CEO researchers picked an orbit that would give the crew the best opportunity to view Redoubt without disrupting their sleep schedule. Looking directly up Cook Inlet and taking overlapping photos of the volcanoes along the western shore. The weather today is cloudy with snow. There was a possibility of a break in the cloud cover at the time of the ISS overflight on 2/10. White clouds, white snow, and white steam plumes do not offer much contrast, so this is a challenging target).

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!):
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 — “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.