Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 September 2009

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

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

Rising Sun: At 1:01:46 pm EDT, JAXA successfully launched the first H-IIB rocket at Tanegashima, Japan, carrying the HTV1 (H-IIB Transfer Vehicle) with about 3.5 metric tons of supplies to the ISS. After nominal orbit insertion, HTV1 was successfully activated at ~1:40pm. Berthing to Node-2 is scheduled on 9/17 (Thursday next week). Congratulations, Nippon! [The 57.6m tall H-IIB (total liftoff mass 567,600 kg) is an upgraded version of the current H-IIA, with two LE-7A liquid rocket engines in the first-stage instead of one for the H-IIA. Stage I diameter was extended from 4m to 5.2m and Stage I lengthened by 1m. Stage 0 consists of four strap-on solid rocket motors (SRB-A) which assists during liftoff, with 115 sec burn duration., H-IIB, primarily intended to lift the HTV to the ISS, has a payload capability of 16,500 kg to LEO, 8,000 kg to GEO and can launch multiple satellites per launch. Manufacturer for JAXA: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The HTV is an unmanned cargo-delivery spacecraft consisting of a main body and two cargo modules – the PLC (Pressurized Logistic Carrier, 3.4 t cargo), and the ULC (Unpressurized Logistic Carrier) – which can carry a total of 6 tons of supplies. The PLC, kept at ground pressure (1 at), contains crew supplies and experiment equipment. The ULC carries supplies exposed to the vacuum conditions in space, such as batteries, replacement units for the attitude control devices and EVA equipment for extravehicular experiments. The main body, in turn, consists of an AM (Avionics Module), equipped with computers, power sources and communication devices, and a PM (Propulsion Module) with 4 engines and propellant tanks. After about a month, the HTV will separate from the ISS and perform destructive Earth reentry over the Pacific. Current plans provide for a total of seven HTVs to deliver supplies to the ISS.]

The crew is back on regular work schedule (2:00am – 5:30pm EDT).

CDR Padalka started out with regular periodic KAV/condensate water sampling at the Russian SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor, upstream of its freshly replaced BKO Water Purification Column Unit, setting up (later replacing) the sampler and installing the flush bag.

In preparation for a possible contingency EVA during HTV arrival, FE-1 Barratt initiated METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 adsorption canister regeneration in the U.S. Airlock (A/L)’s “bake-out” oven.

Also in the A/L, Barratt stowed away remaining EVA tools from the 17A spacewalks and worked on identifying and preparing EVA equipment for HTV contingency support.

Later, Mike, Nicole Stott & Bob Thirsk joined in a review of logistics & tasks for HTV contingency EVA tasks, should it become necessary to egress from the station for manual intervention in various releasing, demating, restraining & tie-down tasks.

In preparation for HTV arrival & berthing next week, Bob Thirsk –

  • Installed & checked out the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) at the Node-2 nadir port’s CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism), and
  • Reconfigured the PIP (Plug-in Plan) of Lab UOPs (Utility Outlet Panels) to support additional AVIUs (Advanced Video Interface Units) and PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops for HTV Robotics operations.

The FE-2 worked on the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), installing eight PEUs (Plant Experiment Units) for the Space Seed plant in the CBEF’s IU-1G (Incubation Unit 1G) and IU Micro-G IU, activating the ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal) and starting the experiment (8:38am).

FE-3 Romanenko initiated (later terminated) a refresh of the cabin atmosphere with O2 from Progress 34P tankage.

Later, Roman 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. A SOZh weekly situational report is to be filed every Sunday.]

FE-4 Thirsk went around powering down PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops not being used.

FE-4 also completed 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.

In addition, Bob deployed 17A-delivered SDOF (Station Operations Data File) material in the ISS.

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 De Winne worked on the BLB (Biolab) laptop, changing its BIOS settings and the MS Windows screen resolution, followed by a test of the changes.

De Winne printed out an updated NINJA (Network Information for JSL Administration) access document for SSC Service Pack & E20/E21, with new password, to replace the previous document in the POC (Portable Onboard Computers) book, then also printed out an HTV Back-away Procedures cue card, to be used in case of a capture failure before the SSRMS is over the grapple pin.

In the JPM, Frank activated the JEMRMS LT (JEM Robotics Laptop Terminal) for a file upload from the ground and later confirmed the activation after the upload to the DMS (Data Management System) rack.

The FE-5 also performed the offloading of the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) from WRS (Water Recovery System) Rack 1 into a CWC-I (Collapsible Water Container-Iodine, #2008) with the common H2O transfer hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

CDR Padalka completed another periodic health check of the KhSA Cooler/Dehumidifier Assembly’s V1 fan in the Soyuz 18S spacecraft’s DM (Descent Module) by turning the V2 fan on and the V1 fan off, then checking air flow. [On 6/25, a planned replacement of the apparently faulty fan in the Soyuz 18S DM with a new unit proved to be not necessary after Padalka configured a jumper bypass which successfully recovered functionality of the air conditioner fan. Today’s activity was to check up on the fix.]

After temporarily moving the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) dosimeter unit out of the way if required to allow OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) maintenance, Bob accessed the OGS Rack access for performing purging with the HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter), then reconnected the OGS H2 sensor and closed out after the maintenance.

In the COL, Nicole performed her first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo session as Subject, assisted by Frank DeWinne as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Nicole underwent the ultrasound scan for the Resting Echo mode of ICV, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. The ultrasound echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

Afterwards, with Frank setting up the hardware (and later stowing it), the FE-2 also undertook her first BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration micro-Gy conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to micro-G and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

At ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Gennady Padalka will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his tenth experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [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.]

At ~11:05am, Padalka &B Romanenko downlinked a message of greetings & congratulations to TsUP/Moscow for a concert dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, to be celebrated on 9/23. [On August 11, 1959, Sheremetyevo officially opened by providing its first service to a Tupolev TU-104 airliner arriving with passengers from Leningrad. Crew from ISS: “…It is very gratifying to return home from a long journey through our dear airport. Sheremetyevo brings people joy of rendezvous, anticipation of discovery, and memorable experience…. We wish you happiness, safe flights, and new altitudes. Keep it up!”]

The crew performed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-2), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3).

Afterwards, Frank transferred the exercise data files 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).

At ~8:50am, De Winne held a tagup with the ESA staff at Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is normally scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

At ~11:35am, Thirsk tagged up with the CSA staff in Canada. [This conference is normally scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and CSA via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

TDRSS Update: The spare Cesium beam timing unit from ESTL (Electronic Systems Test Laboratory) at KSC has been successfully installed in the STGT (Second Tracking & Data Relay Satellite System Ground Terminal) at WSC (White Sands Complex), integrated, and checked out.

Russian BVS Computer System: The TVM Terminal Computer System on the SM (Service Module) lost one of its redundant subunits. Two (of three) lanes continue to work normally on both the TVM and the TsVM (Central Computer System).

Space Mice OK: The MDS (Mice Drawer System) is nominal, with its six occupants reportedly feeling great (food bars are now again being fed automatically through the repaired mechanism). MDS is a new type of housing unit for mice in space that was built by ASI (Italian Space Agency) to investigate the genetic mechanisms underlying bone mass loss in micro-G, particularly testing the hypothesis that mice with an increased bone density are likely to be more protected from osteoporosis, when the increased bone mass is a direct effect of OSF-1 (Osteoblast Stimulating Factor-1), a protein involved in skeletogenesis (skeleton formation). Research conducted with the MDS, implemented under an agreement with NASA, serves as a model for the effects of living in space on the human body, and will help solve medical problems experienced by space travelers. The increased knowledge of physiology may also benefit medical approaches to disease on Earth.

HTV FD (Flight Day) overview:

  • FD2: Far field rendezvous
  • FD3: Far field demonstrations
  • FD4, FD5: Far field rendezvous
  • FD6: IMMT review of demonstrations
  • FD7: Far field rendezvous
  • FD8: Prox Ops, Capture (~3:50pm if on 9/17), Installation
    • Capture will occur during time without Ku-Band available.
  • FD9: Crew half-duty day, Ingress
  • FD10: JEMRMS checkout and EP (two payloads) prep
  • FD11: EP Transfer to JEM-EF
  • FD12: Payloads Transfer from EP to EF (Exposed Facility) with Kibo RMS (Robotic Manipulator System)
  • FD13: EP Transfer back to HTV
  • FD14-38: Cargo transfer from HTV to ISS
  • FD38: Prep for release
  • FD39: Deactivation and Release
  • FD40: Re-entry

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.
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, 8:31am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 347.3 km
Apogee height – 353.5 km
Perigee height — 341.1 km
Period — 91.48 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009265
Solar Beta Angle — 47.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 105 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 61939

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
09/10/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A deorbit burn – ~6:05pm
09/10/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A landing (KSC; ~7:08pm)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:01pm EDT)
09/17/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) capture & berth w/SSRMS (~3:50pm)
09/29/09 — Progress 34P undock
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth (under review)
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) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or 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.