Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 December 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
December 12, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 December 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – light-duty day for the Exp-22 crew.

FE Suraev started out with the regular daily checkup of the aerosol filters at the Elektron O2 generator, installed by him on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [Photographs are to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Williams continued his current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes 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.]

CDR Williams continued his third session with the NASA/JSC NUTRITION w/Repository experiment, today performing the usual urine sample collections several times until termination tomorrow after 24 hrs. [The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

The two station residents performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning, including COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the house cleaning, Suraev conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning of fan screens in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3), and also Group E fan grills in the SM (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP).

Williams wrapped up the successful OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) reload by working on two (of 15) SSCs (Station Support Computers) which needed additional help, then cleaned up. [The Ops LAN reload is complete and ready for use. During the reload, SSC-3 failed to register on the network and SSC-5 appeared to have a corrupted load. Jeff registered the wireless SSC-3 (and any others) that did not join the domain automatically during the reload, and fixed SSC-5 by swapping its hard drive, using a new one (#1087 from laptop # 1108) and when there was still “no joy”, removing an overlooked USB stick (from TOCA).]

With the transition to the new T61c FS (File Server), the T2/COLBERT treadmill and ARED resistive exerciser software needed to be updated accordingly. Jeff corrected login and time for the T2 and transitioned the ARED display from A31p to the T61c FS.

The CDR also made the necessary P&I (Pen & Ink) change in the six EMER-1 contingency books from FGB, Lab, Soyuz and Node-2, concerning retrieval of the two new Servers in an emergency, then restowed the books.

Afterwards, Jeff performed the periodic checks on the MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) and MELFI-2 racks to ascertain whether the nitrogen (N2) pressure of the racks remains within acceptable range.

Maxim Suraev completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [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.]

Williams conducted the daily status check of the APEX (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit) hardware, checking for health and color of the plants, since the Cambium plants are removed from the ABRS (Advanced Biological Research System), necessitating henceforth a daily status check & weekly photo session). [When completed, the APEX-Cambium payload in conjunction with the NASA-sponsored TAGES will determine the role of gravity in Cambium wood cell development (providing the pulp & paper and construction industries insight into the fundamental mechanisms of wood cell formation) and demonstrate non-destructive reporter gene technology & investigate spaceflight plant stress. APEX-Cambium provides NASA & the ISS community a permanent controlled environment capability to support growth of various organisms (i.e. whole plants).]

Working off the Russian discretionary task list, FE Suraev spent free time on –

  • Auditing K1 & K2 bags in the MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2),
  • Conducting a photography run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D3X digital camera (with SIGMA AF 300-800mm telelens) of the Kolka glacier and Panama Canal,
  • Completing a session for Russia’s EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the Nikon D3X, and
  • Performing the periodic documentary close-up photography of the two SKK materials exposure payloads mounted on the outside of the station,- SKK-2 on the “Pirs” Docking Compartment (DC-1) from SM window #6, and SKK-9 on the SM hull from the DC-1 EVA hatch window, then transferring the digital images to the RSK-1 laptop for downlink to the ground via OCA.

At ~8:10am EST, the crew held their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

The station residents also had their weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Maxim at ~5:40am, Jeff at ~12:10pm.

At ~4:14am, the CDR powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~4:19am conducted a ham radio session with students at Scuola primaria De Gasperi, Noicattaro, Bari, Italy. [The school, a public primary school named after Alcide De Gasperi, is attended by about 700 pupils, aged between 6 and 11 years. In addition to the compulsory activities, the school gives the opportunity to attend optional activities in the afternoon; these concern English language, music, sports, theatre, science, ecology, and other artistic and research activities. De Gasperi School would like realize the contact with the ISS in occasion of the celebrations of the centenarian of the Nobel Prize to Guglielmo Marconi. The contact site is located at “Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza” of Bari, promoted by University of Bari. The “Cittadella Mediterranea della Scienza” is a permanent structure whose main aim is to diffuse scientific culture and its related technologies.]

Jeff & Max performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE).

Later, the CDR 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).

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty-Two — Week 2)

3-D SPACE: No report.

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): No report.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.


APEX-Cambium: “Jeff, this is the PI’s health assessment of the plant: “…it is apparent that the leaves on the front side are healthier than those on the back side. I wonder if the back side could be near a source of heat, as that sort of leaf deterioration often arises due to too much warmth. Young leaves are developing on many of the trees; roots are popping up out of the foam and out of the root tubes; the stems, looped and un-looped, look fine. The pre-existing leaves are of variable health – some have died, some are blotchy, some are mostly green, some are very green; however, the most important indicator of tree health is the currently active production of new leaves (and extending roots), so overall I see no reason to be concerned about tree health. The sphagnum also looks in good health, and the surface of the foam is clean. We are now at 18 days post-looping, which is sufficient developmental time to have achieved full maturation of at least some of the newly produced xylem elements (i.e., wood) within the loops…. Overall, the grow-out is clearly a success in relation to the science objective!” Thanks again for your support! ”

BCAT-4/5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4/5): No report.

BIOLAB (ESA): No report.

BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): No report.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report.

BISPHOSPHONATES: Jeff’s next session is scheduled for 12/13.

CARD (Long Term Microgravity: Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): No report.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CB (JAXA Clean Bench): No report.

CBEF (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility)/SPACE SEED: No report.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): No report.

CERISE (JAXA): Samples will return on the next shuttle.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Ongoing.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), MDCA/Flex: No report.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

Commercial Photo (JAXA): “The photo shooting task was completed as planned. Thank you very much for your cooperation.”

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

DECLIC (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization, CNES/NASA): “This week we performed the DECLIC DSI (Directional Solidification Insert) Commissioning sequence. This sequence consisted of a fit-check and performance testing of the DSI hardware sub-systems. We performed a preliminary science activity (36 hours) which allowed us to adjust some parameters and to verify the quality of the data. All engineering and science objectives were achieved, and we can conclude that the DSI insert runs as expected. The next DSI Science Sequence is planned for Monday 1/4/10.”

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

DOSIS (ESA): Acquiring data. Data downlink completed nominally on 12/4. Assessment from all previous downlink shows full nominal performance of the DOSTEL active detectors.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): No report.

EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): The rack is continuously active in support of the Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility (PCDF) experiment. EDR is providing power/data and temperature control (via cooling loop) to PCDF.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.

EPM (European Physiology Module): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA): No report.

EPO LES-2 (ESA): No report.

EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): No report.

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): Ongoing.

EPO Dewey’s Forest (JAXA): No report.

EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): No report.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): No report.

EPO Try Zero-G (JAXA): “No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Spiral Top (JAXA): No report.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): With landing of 17A on 9/11, EuTEF platform was returned to the ground.

FACET (JAXA): No report.

FIR/LMM/CVB (Fluids Integrated Rack / Light Microscopy Module / Constrained Vapor Bubble): No report.

FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device, ESA): No report.

FOAM STABILITY (ESA): Tapes are being returned on ULF3.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): No report.

GEOFLOW: No report.

HDTV System (JAXA): Was delivered by HTV1.

Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.

HQPC (JAXA): Was delivered by 34P.

HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System/JAXA): No report.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “Jeff, you are now past the halfway point with ICV data collection! We very much appreciate your perseverance as well as your call-downs which are very helpful in keeping us in-the-loop. We are looking forward to receipt of the Holter, Cardiopres and Actiwatch data from your latest session.”

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

INTEGRATED IMMUNE: “Jeff, the Integrated Immune PI team received your Health Survey on the ground. The information provided in the survey will help in interpreting the data. The samples that you took earlier this week are currently on the ground in Star City and initial reports from the lab team confirm successful sample collections.”

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): No report.

IRIS (Image Reversal in Space, CSA): No report.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): No report.

Marangoni UVP (JAXA): Postponed. Troubleshooting planning is now in progress.

MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): Continuing observation operation.

MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): Postponed because of sample cassette failure.

MDCA/Flex: See under CIR.

Microbe-1 (JAXA): No report.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): No report.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MSL (Materials Science Laboratory): Processed SCAs from CETSOL and MICAST were returned on ULF3.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC-1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.

NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY: “Jeff, thank you for the additional effort you put into the second blood draw! We appreciate your dedication in collecting a full FD60 session!”

PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 3; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): Dosimeter reattach is planned for 11/29.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): No report.

PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): No report.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.


RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

RadSilk (JAXA): Samples were returned to ground on ULF3.

RST/Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): “Jeff, we received the files that you transferred for downlink and are currently reviewing them.”

SAIBO Rack (JAXA): On 12/2 the Kapton tape on the fire port was peeled off. A photo shoot was conducted on 12/10 for verification.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): No report.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility, JAXA): No report.

SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): Continuing observation operations.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): Jeff is currently completing his third week of Sleep logging this Increment. Thursday’s Actiwatch download will be statused next week when the data are received by the team.

SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device): No report.

SMILES (JAXA): Continuing observations.

SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in. Liquids, ESA): The Cell Array #2 has a binary mixture of 50% water – 50% isopropanol leading to positive Soret coefficient (when the lighter component is driven towards the higher temperature region). Six runs have so far been performed on the Cell Array#2 with relatively high frequency / high amplitude vibration stimuli and varying imposed temperature gradients. Preliminary assessment of science images is on-going. During the run on 12/3, the script ended off-nominally, and this anomaly is under investigation. This run will be repeated later to complete the data set.

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Currently out of Sun observation window. Weekly SOLSPEC calibration performed on 12/7.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): Samples from Frank De Winne and Mike Barratt were returned on ULF3 (sessions were in Inc 19/20).

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): No report.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): No report.

SPINAL (Spinal Elongation): No report.

SWAB (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): No report.

THERMOLAB (ESA): No report.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VO2max (NASA): Jeff’s next VO2max with Thermolab session will be planned in January.

VLE (Video Lessons ESA): VLE-1 completed.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): No report.

YEAST B (ESA): No report.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 12/9 the ground has received a total of 18,805 frames of ISS-21 CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to report your acquisition of imagery for the following CEO Target Request: Victoria, Seychelles – several properly located and well-centered views of this island capital city – we will continue request this target for similar views with less clouds. Although we have only just resumed daily target list submissions this week, the quality, content, and composition of most of your imagery received to date is excellent. Please feel free to provide any feedback you can on our target list product or techniques to use in acquiring our target requests, and, in turn we will offer feedback to you in this report and other communications. This past weekend we published a striking Increment 21 view of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website. This detailed image beautifully illustrates this historic military installation in its picturesque setting of the island of Oahu. Thanks for a wonderful and timely photo!”

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:55am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 340.4 km
Apogee height – 345.7 km
Perigee height – 335.0 km
Period — 91.34 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000800
Solar Beta Angle — -38.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 70 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,406

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer – 4:52pm
12/22/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S docking @ FGB nadir — 5:58pm
01/14/10 — Russian EVA-24
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
02/07/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility”+Cupola (target date)
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC (~1:30pm EST)
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 (~2:00pm EST)
05/15/10 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/xx/10 – Russian EVA-25
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) (~7:30am EST)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/15/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) (~12:01pm EST)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/xx/10 — Russian EVA-26
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/15/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing
11/18/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA) U/R
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.