Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 May 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
May 12, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 May 2011

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

FE-3 Garan, FE-5 Nespoli & FE-6 Coleman completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. It was the 10th for Ron, the 33rd for Paolo & Cady. [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.]

In the morning (~4:05am EDT), FE-3 Garan concluded his first NUTRITION w/Repository 24-hr urine collection period, with samples deposited in MELFI. Afterwards, Ron underwent the associated generic blood draw, with FE-5 Nespoli assisting with the phlebotomy as operator. FE-3 then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [The operational products for blood & urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads were revised some time ago, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they must verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

FE-6 Coleman started her 5th 24-hr NUTRITION/Repository urine sample collections, with samples stored in MELFI, to be concluded tomorrow morning. Later in the day, Cady set up the equipment for her associated generic blood draw, scheduled tomorrow. [Urine samples go into MELFI within 30 minutes after collection. Every individual urine/blood sample tube must be labeled with time of void and Crew ID. Barcodes can be called down, placed in crew notes or the barcode reader can be used. For the blood draw, there is a prior 8-hr fasting requirement, i.e., no food or drink, but water consumption is highly encouraged to ensure proper hydration. Exercise should not be conducted during the 8 hrs prior to the blood draw.]

CDR Kondratyev terminated his 3rd session of the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiograph) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2 protocol. [After the ECG recording and BP (blood pressure) measurements with the Kardiomed system, Sasha doffed the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over the past 24 hours, recording data on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results were then downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. The data were downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

Using the KPT-2 BAR TTM-2 anemometer/thermometer, Kondratyev measured air flow velocities in the RS (Russian Segment) to update recent measurements (5/4). [Data were obtained at the VPO11 fan for the BSPN Payload Server, Vozdukh vacuum pump, IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) outlets, across the FGB/Node IMV air duct and at the V1, V2 AGZh low-noise fan air duct outlet in the MRM1 Rassvet. Additional data were taken in the BSPN area after relocation of an EDV-RP container, along with photographs of the air duct between BSPN and the VPO1 fan.]

In the SM (Service Module), FE-2 Borisenko reconfigured the REGUL-Packet radiogram channel from REGUL-OS/String 2 to work with String 1, a periodic alternating task and today done to allow ground-commanded testing of String 1 from TsUP-Moscow. Later, Andrey switched REGUL back to String 2. [FE-2 had conducted some major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on REGUL on 4/21, uninstalling the failed first-string transmitter unit SA325-I and replacing it with the third-string SA325-III which he had removed on 4/20. Located in the SM, the Regul-OS is a subsystem of the RSUS Radio Control & Comm System of the RS (Russian Segment) for handling two-way voice communication, digital command/program information, and telemetry transmission via Russian RGS (Groundsites). Regul is the nominal uplink channel for all Russian commands; operating at a low data rate, it is equivalent to the US S-band system.]

In support of a full calibration session of the MCA (Mass Constituents Analyzer) by ground commanding, Ron Garan manually opened the HVO2 valve and closed it again ~15 min later.

Ron also performed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of the 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 for recording changes. [The current card (27-0041G) lists 115 CWCs (2,212.8 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (11 CWCs with 435.1 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 130.1 L in 4 bags containing Wautersia bacteria and 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use; 2. Silver potable water (no CWCs); 3. iodinated water (91 CWCs with 1,668.3 L for reserve (also 14 expired bags with 251.5 L); 4. condensate water (76.6 L in 5 bags, plus 6 empty bags); and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (32.8 L in 2 CWCs from hose/pump flush). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Working several hours in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), where he recently (4/27) removed the PEHG (Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway) and installed the LEHX (Layer 2 Ethernet Hub & Multiplexer) instead, FE-3 Garan conducted Ethernet system checkouts. [After first setting up the PFS (Portable Flow Sensor) and adjusting the flow rate to the new configuration using the FVA (Flow Adjusting Valve), Ron hooked up cables and conducted a checkout of the LEHX MRDL (Medium Rate Data Link), followed by checkout of the HRDL (High Rate Data Link) and finally connecting two remaining cables from the DMS1 (Data Management System 1) Rack to the HRMS (High Rate Multiplexer Switch).]

FE-6 Coleman set up the equipment for the JAXA experiment Spiral Top-II, along with two G1 camcorders and NIKON D2X still cameras, then was assisted by FE-5 Nespoli in conducting the EPO (Education Program Operation) Spiral Top-II demo of the motion of a spinning top onboard the ISS, ejected from a housing. Afterwards, the hardware was stowed away.

After reviewing uplinked procedures and a demo video clip on “Pepper Oil Surprise”, Cady Coleman prepared another “Kids in Micro-G” experiment, then performed the demo session with Ron Garan’s assistance. The video recording was later downlinked to the ground via MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter). [The “Kids in Micro-G” suite of experiments was developed and written by 6th grade students to demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion both on ISS and in the classroom.]

Paolo Nespoli serviced the running BXF NPBX (Boiling Experiment Facility / Nucleate Pool Boiling Experiment) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) by removing & stowing the tapes from both analog recorders, labeling & installing new tapes, and resetting the tape counters. [BXF supports two investigations in MSG: NPBX and MABE (Microheater Array Boiling Experiment). Nucleate boiling is bubble growth from a heated surface and the subsequent detachment of the bubble to a cooler surrounding liquid (bubbles in micro-G grow to different sizes than on Earth). As a result, these bubbles can transfer energy through fluid flow. The BXF-NPBX investigation provides an understanding of heat transfer and vapor removal processes that take place during nucleate boiling in microgravity. This understanding is needed for optimum design and safe operation of heat exchange equipment that uses nucleate boiling as a way to transfer heat in extreme environments of the deep ocean (submarines) and micro-G.]

Sasha Samokutyayev & Andrey Borisenko had ~3 hrs set aside for performing a thorough inventory/audit of cargo stowage both in the FGB and SM. [Guided by uplinked listings, the flight engineers updated the IMS (Inventory Management System), consolidated items in dedicated kits, pre-packed empty packs for disposal and took NIKON D2X photography of views for downlink via OCA.]

The CDR meanwhile removed Russian cargo items from specific locations in the FGB (behind panels 302, 302_1, 303_1) and relocated them to other locations in FGB, MRM1 and SM. [This is in compliance with a Roskosmos/NASA agreement on NASA stowage in the FGB.]

FE-1 conducted 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 filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

Kondratyev, Borisenko & Samokutyayev had another ~2 hrs reserved for preparing the traditional commemorative (“symbolic”) items delivered on Progress 42P. [The crew stamped and signed 60 Roskosmos envelopes plus 50 UN envelopes with date and ISS seal while being auto-recorded on video. Also signed were 2 UN flags and one Saratov Region flag (Gagarin landing area). The cancelled envelopes and the flags were then stowed in Soyuz 25S for return.]

FE-5 Nespoli again had over an hour reserved for ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo operations. [Today’s activities mainly consisted of installing cover plates on packed racks.]

Paolo also had time set aside for personal crew departure preparations; these are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

FE-6 Coleman went on a search in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module), looking for a missing blood collection kit of the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) Vascular Blood Collection experiment. Cady was to notify POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) of the outcome.

Tonight before sleeptime, Dmitri will initiate battery charging for the Russian GFI-8 “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program with FSS science hardware. [The FSS system consists of an image recording module with lens and a spectroradiometer module with an electronics module. FSS includes the ME Electronics Module & MRI Image Recording Module.]

Before sleep time, Alex Samokutyayev will prepare the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his 2nd 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.]

Later tonight before “Presleep” period, Cady will power on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and start the data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, MPC will be turned off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

At ~8:40am, Paolo Nespoli conducted his regular tagup with the ESA staff at Col-CC 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 ~11:20am, the six crewmembers had a teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~12:05pm, Kondratyev, Borisenko & Samokutyayev used the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) for a ham radio session with students, schoolchildren and participants in the “Science-Technology & Innovation Achievements of Russia” Exhibition in Madrid, Spain. [These ham radio sessions are organized by Kursk South-West University, scheduled today, tomorrow and Saturday.]

At ~2:35pm Dmitri, Sasha & Andrey conducted a PAO TV downlink, transmitting a message of greetings to Professor Dr. Vladimir Ilyich Lysak, Pro-Rector for Research at Volgograd State Technical University to commemorate his 60th birthday (May 17).

At ~ 2:50pm, Paolo had the daily tagup with MCC-Houston to debrief on today’s ATV cargo transfers.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

Elektron Failure: Yesterday, the BZh Liquid Unit of the Russian Elektron oxygen generator was declared failed by RSC-Energia after it had outlasted its certified life time three times over – a record. Its lack will not prevent moving forward as planned. Alternative plans for O2 supply are being assessed. Available are multiple O2 sources: ATV2 gas supply will be used first since it will undock first. Old SFOG (Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator) candles currently onboard need to be used up before their end of life (end of this year for the old cartridges, not for the new). Endeavour/ULF6 should be able to supply O2 while it is docked. A new BZh will be delivered on Progress 43P on 6/23. There are also about 2 weeks of gas stored in 42P. In addition, the USOS OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) may soon become useable. There is an old spare BZh onboard (#056), but it has technical issues, misses some parts necessary for installation and is also at end of life. Basically, ISS needs to support 200 crew-days until 43P arrives. 230 crew-days of O2 are available from ATV2 plus old SFOGs plus 42P, not including Shuttle or OGA.

GEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Niamey, Niger (the capital city of Niger with a population of about 800,000 lies on a broad bend of the Niger River as it bisects a plateau in the extreme southwestern part of the country. Today ISS had a mid-morning pass in fair weather. At this time as the crew approached from the SW, they were to aim nadir and try for contextual views of this city within a single frame), Astana, Kazakhstan (the Kazakhstan capital city of nearly three-quarters of a million is located on the Ishim River in a very flat semi-desert steppe. ISS approach was from the west in clear weather and this pass provides a near-nadir view in early afternoon light), and Florida Coastal Everglades (this is an LTER [Long-Term Ecological Research] site located in the Everglades of south Florida. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the ecosystems along the major drainage basins of the region known as “sloughs” where fresh water from the interior moves slowly to the sea. On the fair-weather, mid-morning pass ISS approached the target area from the SW. The crew was to try to create a high-detail mapping strip that begins at the coast of Florida Bay in the south and progresses northward to the shores of Lake Okeechobee).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:33am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 344.9 km
Apogee height – 346.5 km
Perigee height – 343.4 km
Period — 91.44 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0002354
Solar Beta Angle — -28.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 122 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 71,528

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/16/11 — STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS) ~8:56am EDT
05/16/11 — Soyuz 25S thruster test firing
05/18/11 — STS-134/Endeavour docking – 6:15am
05/23/11 — Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock – 7:06pm EDT (End of Increment 27)
05/23/11 — Soyuz TMA-20/25S landing – 10:26pm (8:26am local on 5/24)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/11 — STS-134/Endeavour undock – 11:53pm
06/01/11 — STS-134/Endeavour landing – ~2:32am
06/07/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/09/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/xx/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)
06/28/11 — STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) ~3:30pm EDT NET
06/30/11 — STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) NET
07/27/11 – Russian EVA #29
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-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-03M/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-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
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)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/05/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 — Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/18/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/02/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.