Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 January 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
January 10, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 January 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 7 of Increment 26.

>>>Americans observed a National Moment of Silence at 11:00am EST in honor of the victims of the Tucson, AZ shooting last Saturday, which included Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, spouse of Shuttle STS-133 Commander Mark Kelly, twin brother of ISS Commander Scott Kelly. NASA, one more family hit by this tragedy, stood together in deep sadness along with the crew of the ISS.<<< FE-4 Kondratyev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19/09 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [Dmitri will inspect the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.] FE-6 Cady Coleman undertook her 4th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. The required ~10h fast period started last night for her. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.] At wake-up, CDR Scott Kelly, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli & FE-6 Cady Coleman completed their 5th post-sleep shift session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.] The crew conducted the periodic pre-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device set up by Skripochka who later stowed it away again. In addition to MO-8, the three Russian crewmembers, Oleg, Sasha & Dima, also completed the PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement protocol. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM “scales” for MO-8 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. MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. ] Scott Kelly initiated another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer); deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 8th session with the newly replaced GC/DMS unit #1004, after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 7 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop (due to a software glitch, the software needs to be opened, closed, and then reopened in order to ensure good communication between GC/DMS and SSC-12). The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.] After configuring the STTS communications system for working in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, Kaleri made payload preparations for the upcoming activation of the Russian/German KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3 Plus (PK-3+) experiment, the first of Expedition 26, by unstowing the hardware in the FGB and assembling it in MRM2, with Skripochka taking documentary imagery. [Steps included installing four special PK-3 video hard disks and a USB stick in the apparatus, then performing an initial leak check of the PK-3 Electronics Box before chamber evacuation. After configuring the download for copying, dumping & resetting log files, Alex reconfigured the STTS comm and deactivated the KPT-21 equipment. The PK-3+ hardware comprises the EB (Eksperimental’nyj Blok) Experiment Module with a turbopump for evacuation, Ts laptop, video monitor, vacuum hoses, electrical circuitry, four hard storage disks for video, and one USB stick with the control application. The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside a vacuum work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode.] In early preparation for the Russian EVA-27 on 1/21, Dmitri & Oleg performed a 1-hr session each with the standard Russian MedOps procedure MO-6 (Hand-Cycle Ergometry) in the SM, assisting each other in turn and being supported by ground specialist tagup on two comm passes. [Because cosmonauts in early Russian programs have shown noticeable decrease in arm muscle tone, TsUP/IBMP (MCC-Moscow/Institute of Biomedical Problems) physical fitness experts have groundruled the handgrip/arm tolerance test analysis (hand ergometry) as a standard pre-Orlan EVA requirement. For MO-6, the subject dons the ECG (electrocardiogram) biomed harness, attaches three skin electrodes and plugs the harness into the PKO medical exam panel on the cycle ergometer. The other crewmember assists. The exercise itself starts after 10 seconds of complete rest, by manually rotating the cycle’s pedals, set at 150 W, backwards until “complete exhaustion”.] FE-2 Skripochka continued preparations for the Orlan EVA and the preceding suited training exercise, today testing the proper function of the hatch pressure equalization valve (PEV; Russian: KVD) from the POV panels in the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) & DC1 and checked out the DC1 POV. FE-6 Coleman had about an hour set aside to gather US EVA tools & equipment for use by Oleg & Dmitri in the RS Orlan EVA-27. FE-5 Nespoli set up the video camcorder to provide the ground with a live view of his activities, then worked several hours on the FIR/ARIS (Fluid Integrated Rack / Active Rack Isolation System) facility to support hyperextension tests on the ARIS pushrod/actuators. The task will extend to tomorrow and Wednesday. [Steps included first removing the FIR alignment guides, then standing by for ground-commanded “hyperextension” tests on the ARIS actuators, each followed by a re-adjustment of the snubbers. For this, Paolo had to remove/install the FIR alignment guides several times, to allow microgravity during the test and to protect the ARIS during each subsequent power-down. For close-out, FE-5 re-installed the guides to lock ARIS down. Background: Designed to attenuate external vibration disturbances of payload racks, ARIS is quite different from traditional shock absorbers by working with active feedback control. This is done with accelerometers to measure vibration disturbances, an electronic unit to process the data, eight actuators with pushrods for applying compensatory (counteracting) forces against the framework of the station in response to signals from the electronic unit that are calculated to “counteract” the disturbances measured by the accelerometers, and microgravity rack barriers (“snubbers”) that prevent accidental disturbance of the active ARIS rack. Before regular operation, ARIS is checked out and calibrated in order to fine-tune the multiple-component system. The standard ground-commanded hyperextension test cycles the eight pushrod/actuators through their full range of motion until the rack motion is stopped by the snubbers, to verify that its motion does not over-extend.] FE-6 Coleman installed the CANON G1 video camcorder at the earth-facing Cupola window #7 in order to support ESA in recording footage of the overflown Earth surface. The recording was terminated about 30 mins. later, and the G1 camera was removed for nominal deployment. [The camera is required for multiple video recording sessions always from the same Cupola location.] Cady later serviced MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), MELFI-2 and MELFI-3, by –
* Removing & replacing the battery of the TDR (Temperature Data Recorder) in MELFI-1,
* Inserting desiccants in all 4 dewars of MELFI-2 and removing its TDR battery (no replacement), and
* Verifying correct Ice Brick & Box Module configuration in the 4 dewars of MELFI-3 preparatory to first science inserts.

Working periodic maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), FE-5 Nespoli removed & replaced both cable arm ropes, then evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

FE-4 Kondratyev conducted the regular monthly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization). [This requires inspecting the condition of harnesses, belt slats, corner bracket ropes, IRBAs (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assemblies) and gyroscope wire ropes for any damage or defects, lubricating as required plus recording time & date values, and making sure that the display cable and skirt were properly secured afterwards.]

FE-1 Kaleri later completed the regular weekly maintenance of the TVIS. [This is primarily an inspection of the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices) in contingency configuration, SLD cables for fraying and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.]

Dmitri continued the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, repressed on 12/13 with nitrogen (N2) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2), by conducting the usual pressure check and recharging it with N2 from BPA-1M Nitrogen Purge Unit as required to verify the unit’s hermeticity. [Objective of the monthly checkout of the spare BZh, which has been in stowage since March 2007, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), CDR Kelly worked several hours on the FPEF MI (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility / Marangoni Inside [as opposed to “Surface”]) payload, performing maintenance on its MI core. [Activities included removing the FPEF MI core from the Ryutai Rack, setting it up on the MWA (Maintenance Work Area), setting up the I/F B & A (Interfaces A & B), and changing its configuration to non-operation mode. Scott then removed the MI Core and cleaned its inside from the MI Cassette insertion hole. The Marangoni convection experiment in the FPEF examines fluid tension flow in micro-G: first, a liquid bridge of silicone oil is formed into a pair of disks. Then, using temperature differences imposed on the disks, convection is induced causing the silicone oil to move and transition through different types of flows because of its fluid instability: successively from laminar to oscillatory, chaos, and turbulence flows as the driving force increases. The flow and temperature fields are observed in each stage and the transition conditions and processes are investigated.]

Also in Kibo, Scott supported the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) payload by performing the periodic camera setup status check on the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) with Sample 10, without SSC (Station Support Computer). [The checkup includes image transfer, camera battery and camera/flash position. It is currently scheduled every other day after Initiation+1 day during automated photography. Pictures are being taken automatically of Sample 10 for 14 days (started on 12/30).]

Oleg & Dmitri spent several hours continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems. In the DC1 Docking Compartment, FE-2 changed out the PF1 & PF2 dust filter cartridges and cleaned the V1 & V2 fan screens, the VD1 & VD2 air ducts and the V3 fan screen, while FE-4 replaced the PF1-PF4 dust filter cartridges in the SM with fresh units from FGB stowage. The old cartridges were discarded and the IMS (Inventory Management System) updated.

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Paolo unstowed and configured necessary hardware for the HTV-2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle) arrival & berthing, assembling the HCP (Hardware Command Panel) and a number of lines for building the HCP power/data cabling. Spare HCP cables were consolidated.

Later, Paolo toggle-tested the PROX (Proximity Communication System) Rack power switches in support of a subsequent 5-hr ground-commanded activity of powering on PROX ORUs (On-orbit Replaceable Units) in the ICS (Inter-Orbit Communication System) Rack and setting their parameters from the ground for the ‘PROX 3 GPS’ data path.

Afterwards, Coleman, Nespoli & Kelly spent ~1.5 hrs with OBT (Onboard Training) material on HTV rendezvous approach procedures.

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 worked on the ESA FSL FCE (Fluid Science Laboratory / Facility Core Element) configuration in preparation of scientific operations. [FCE was locked with four locking bolts to protect it against acceleration forces. It has to be unlocked before the experiment starts, to improve its micro-G condition. Instead of the locks, 4 AVM (Anti-Vibration Mount) brackets or 2 MVIS (Microgravity Vibration Insulation System) stops have to be installed to prevent the unwanted extraction of the FCE from the FSL Rack.]

At 11:05am EST, Cady was scheduled to perform another VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today with the VHF site at Wallops Station (11:10:34am-11:17:45am), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM/Munich and JCOM/Tsukuba in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the periodic test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

After powering on the A31p HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1) laptop, Coleman downloaded the data from her first ICV Ambulatory session last week (1/7), i.e., from two Actiwatches, two HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF cards and the Cardiopres data.

Alex scan-checked on the periodic refresh of the IUS AntiVirus program in the Russian VKS network laptops RSS1, RSS2 & RSK1 which are loaded automatically from the ground (RSS2 once a week on Friday, RSS1 & RSK1 from a special software program on RSS2), and updated the Norton AV database on the auxiliary (non-networked) machines RSK2, RSE1 & RSE-med.

Kaleri also conducted an equipment search for the ATV PCE (Automated Transfer Vehicle / Proximity Communications Equipment; Russian: MBRL) hardware and assembled hardware behind SM panels 226 & 227. [MBRL will be used for the approach & docking of the European ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler”, currently planned to be launched 2/15/2011. The PCE system was assembled and checked out by ESA/TsUP last October, to verify proper operation of the PCE WAL3 (Low Gain) and WAS2 (Medium Gain) antennas as well as the PCE equipment internal to the SM. The WAL3 & WAS2 antennas are prime for ATV Rendezvous operations. As part of the October checkout, the PCE equipment was activated, directed to perform a self-test and switched to CW (Carrier Wave) mode. After an attitude maneuver that maximized coverage for the antenna(s) being tested, the PCE transmitted a beacon signal to ESA’s Maspalomas (MAS) and Villafranca (VIL) Ground Stations. The ground stations tracked the ISS, checked that the CW signal was received, verified the proper RF power level, and recorded the evolution of the RF power level over time. For the duration of the maneuvers, Lab, JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and Node-3 Cupola windows were shuttered and the SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) was feathered (arrays facing Russian thrusters edge-on).]

FE-2 did the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).

FE-4 took care of 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.]

Kondratyev & Skripochka had ~1h reserved for shooting more “Chronicle” newsreel footage using the SONY HVR-Z7 #2 high-definition camcorder as part of the ongoing effort to create a photo & video documentary database on the flight of ISS-26 (“Flight Chronicles”) for Telecanal Roskosmos. [Footage subjects generally include conducting experiments, current activities at the station, repair activities behind panels, exercise, cosmonauts looking out the window at the Earth, Earth surface, station interior, cosmonaut in zero gravity, leisure, life on orbit, personal hygiene, meals, station exterior, comm. passes with the ground, ham radio passes, station cleaning, spacesuits, space hardware, MRM1, MRM2, DC1, FGB, Soyuz & Progress, intermodular passageways, meeting a new crew, crewmember in space, medical experiments, handover activities, crew return preparations, farewell ceremonies, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

CDR & FE-6 had their weekly their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Cady at ~7:45am, Scott at ~9:05am EST.

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-2). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

Dmitri’s workout on the TVIS was captured on video and downlinked for subsequent biomechanical evaluation of the crewmember and hardware status at MCC-H.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:17am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 351.2 km
Apogee height – 354.8 km
Perigee height – 347.7 km
Period — 91.56 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0005243
Solar Beta Angle — -46.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 43 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,609.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
01/13/11 — ISS Reboost Pt. 2
01/20/11 — HTV2 launch
01/21/11 — Russian EVA-27
01/24/11 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/27/11 — HTV2 berthing (Node-2 zenith)
01/28/11 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 — Progress M-09M/41P docking (DC1)
02/15/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” launch
02/19/11 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
02/21/11 — Russian EVA-28
02/24/11 — STS-133/Discovery launch – NET (not earlier than)
02/24/11 — HTV2 unberthing (Node-2 nadir)
02/26/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” docking (SM aft)
03/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-01M/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/20/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R.Garan/A.Samokutayev
03/22/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/26S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
04/01/11 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) launch – ~3:15am — NET
04/26/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC1)
05/xx/11 — Russian EVA-29
05/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/27S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/04/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” undock (SM aft)
06/21/11 — Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 — Progress M-11M/43P docking (SM aft)
08/29/11 — Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-23/28S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/25/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-24/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-24/29S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 — Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-23/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-25/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
04/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-25/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/15/12 — Soyuz TMA-24/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-26/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-26/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/09/12 — Soyuz TMA-25/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/23/12 — Soyuz TMA-27/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O. Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/25/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/07/12 — Soyuz TMA-26/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-28/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-28/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-27/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/34S launch.
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.