Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 October 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Columbus Day (US Federal Holiday). Underway: Week 1 of Increment 21.

Wake/sleep cycle: 2:00am-5:00pm (nominally 5:30pm) EDT.

FE-4 Robert Thirsk started out the day with his participation in the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [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.]

CDR De Winne, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams continued their week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [To monitor the crewmembers’ 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.]

The six-member crew 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.]

FE-1 Suraev did the periodic checkup behind ASU panel 139 in the SM (Service Module) on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

As part of the house cleaning, Suraev & FE-3 Romanenko conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens, Group A, in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3), and SM (VPkhO, VPrK, FS5, FS6 & FS9).

Later, the FE-1 performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. [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.]

Romanenko completed the regular maintenance of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air purification subsystems in the SM and FGB by cleaning the pre-filters with a vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle attachment and later restarting POTOK in automatic mode.

Supporting the ground on the ESA BLB (Biolab) incubator in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), De Winne installed the REC (Reference Experiment Container) and exchanged the incubator’s biological filters and cold spot sponge. BLB was then powered on. [Activation of the BLB ISPR (International Standard Payload Rack) is only done by the ground. Later, after several hours of experiment run, POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) flushed the BLB LSM (Life Support Module) with N2 (nitrogen) for 6 hrs and deactivated the BLB.]

Max Suraev unstowed a new BSMM (Multi-Channel Matching Unit) payload computer from the recently arrived Soyuz TMA-16/20S and transferred it to the SM.

Roman had ~40 min set aside to review and familiarize himself with the BSMM and its installation procedures, with ground support tagup via S-band.

Later, Maxim installed a SOTR (Thermal Control System) Block-II unit in the TMA-16.

FE-2 Stott continued commissioning activity on the new MSRR1 (Materials Science Research Rack 1), first turning on the MSRR laptop and preparing the MSRR VAS (Vacuum Access Subsystem) for a ground-controlled vacuum check, then after ~8 hrs she verified completeness of the leak check and performed umbilical connections to the VRS (Vacuum Resource System) and the MSRR Rack UIP (Utility Interface Panel). [The ESA/NASA MSRR-1 provides a powerful multi-user MSL (Materials Science Laboratory) with diverse EMs (Experiment Modules) so that many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied in micro-G to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials. MSRR experiments will be coordinated by international teams that share different parts of the samples. There are 25 investigators on three research teams participating in the first of these investigations.]

Nicole also supported the Italian MDS (Mice Drawer System) payload by refilling its potable water supply and later setting up the SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) application on ELC 4 (EXPRESS Rack 4 laptop computer) to support a 2-hr video observation downlink of the MDS that began at 12:00pm EDT. [According to the latest IMMT/POIC report, the four occupants of the MDS are doing fine and are looking good.]

FE-5 Williams completed the now regular transfer of pre-treated Russian urine directly from EDV-U container into the Lab UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) for processing, done each morning for about 5 minutes.

In the US Airlock, Jeff terminated discharge of the last EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery, #2079, set up on 10/9 in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) in the BC4 (Battery Charger 4).

The FE-5 also started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 36th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. 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. Yesterday, the AQM suffered a temporary “crash” in the middle of the run but was subsequently restored with a reboot (power-cycle). There is a possible loss of some scientific data.]

Additionally, Jeff reviewed ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) reference materials to prepare himself for Bob Thirsk’s ICV Echo scan scheduled tomorrow. [The materials also serve as a refresher for his ICV activities later this week.]

Using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, Romanenko performed the standard check on the SM cabin air for Formaldehyde and Sulphur dioxide. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.],

Later in the day, Roman switched the Russian Vozdukh CO2 removal system from manual control to automatic mode.

After yesterday’s replacement of the broken right dashpot on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), crew activities today focused on returning the ARED to nominal use, requiring a cylinder evacuation, setting up the photo/video equipment, preparing for the nominal ACO (Activation & Checkout) routine and then conducting the ACO exercise sessions in place of the regular ARED exercise runs. Jeff and Max were asked to use another device of their choice instead of ARED.

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

Later, 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).

The CDR & FE-5 were scheduled for their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Jeff at ~10:50am, Frank at ~3:25pm EDT.

UCCAS Checkout: At ~9:00am–2:00pm, the ground perform an actuation checkout of the UCCAS-2 CLA (Unpressurized Cargo Carrier Attachment System #2 Capture Latch Assembly) and UMA (Umbilical Mechanism Assembly), operating CLA & UMA on both IMCAs (Integrated Motor Controller Actuators). Due to loads constraints, Russian thrusters were disabled at 11:00am–11:30am.

Nicole and later Bob activated the transducer-instrumented TVIS harness again for their individual exercise runs on the treadmill. Afterwards, they downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).

At ~6:15am EDT, Romanenko & Suraev Padalka & Romanenko engaged in a PAO TV interview with Ekaterina Beloglazova, Editor of Rossiyskiy Kosmos Magazine, an old friend of ISS cosmonauts. [“How did the crew handover go? What experiments have been performed?”; “How did the presence of such an extraordinary person like a circus performer Guy Laliberte impact the life of the crew? What do you think about his campaign about saving drinking water?”; “Is recently experienced Roman helping a newcomer Maxim to adapt to the station?”; “Tell us about your next month activities. What kind of experiments do you plan to run?”; “A new Russian module will arrive to the ISS in November. What will you be doing in this regard?”]

At ~12:20pm, Roman & Max downlinked PAO/TV greetings and congratulations to Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov on his 90th birthday (on 11/10). [“…In your distant and half-starved childhood, you were using birchbark notebooks for your studies in school. In your youth, you were defending the Motherland during the Great Patriotic War, and then you invested all your knowledge, combat experience and life’s wisdom into creating the world’s best firearms – the submachine gun that was named after you. Today, It is difficult to count how many modifications have been based on your submachine gun -47 that became the best submachine gun in the USSR, and then in the modern Russia, turning into the guarantor of freedom and independence of many countries in the world. Your name, dear Mikhail Timofeyevich, along with the name of the first cosmonaut on the planet, Yuriy Alekseyevich Gagarin, became the symbol of our country in the 20th century…”]

Romanenko & Suraev also downlinked a PAO/TV greeting to the 17th Annual International Space Olympiad for School Children, hosted by the City of Korolev from 10/14-10/24. Students from the city of Korolev, from the USA, England, and Greece will be among the participants. On 10/16, TsUP-Moscow is planning a live comm session for Roman & Max to involve the best representatives of the international student delegations. [“…We are happy to greet you from the International Space Station. It has become a good tradition for the Russian space capital – the science town of Korolev, to host the annual intellectual marathon for students who are interested in space exploration…”]

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:14am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 345.2 km
Apogee height – 350.5 km
Perigee height — 339.9 km
Period — 91.44 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.00079148
Solar Beta Angle — -42.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 62 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62443

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
10/14/09 — Progress M-03/35P launch (9:14pm EDT)
10/17/09 — Progress M-03/35P docking (DC-1, ~9:41pm)
10/27/09 — Ares I-X Flight Test
10/29/09 — HTV1 hatch closing
10/30/09 — HTV1 unberthing
11/04/09 — HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2)
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/??/10 — Soyuz 20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04/36P docking
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/28/10 — Progress 37P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress 38P launch
07/27/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/31/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/27/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/21/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
02/09/11 — Progress 42P launch
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 — Progress 43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.