Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 July 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 July 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 7 of Increment 20.

For FE-2 Wakata & FE-4 Thirsk, the day began with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Wakata & Thirsk ingested 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 will be 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 Padalka began his workday by attending to the current experiment session with the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, activating the turbopump in the Service Module (SM)’s Transfer Compartment (PkhO) for keeping the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM RO (Work Compartment) evacuated and subsequently conducting the test program. The turbopump will be deactivated again shortly before sleeptime. [Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

As part of the regular monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Romanenko spent time in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), cleaning up and servicing the detachable VT7 fan screen guards (grilles) of the TCS/SOTR (Thermal Control System)’s gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) as well as replacing the PS1,2 dust collector filters.

In the U.S. Lab, Bob Thirsk started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 14th, with the new 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 hardware.]

Gennady performed an audit/inventory on Orlan spacesuit replaceable elements & equipment, verifying locations and serial numbers of KVO-M and underwear, along with their sizes and description.

The CDR also did the daily IMS 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-3 Romanenko & FE-5 DeWinne conducted Data Take Part 2 on the TVIS treadmill, i.e., an unmanned speed characterization test to capture audio during ops. [Recent TVIS data has shown a power sharing anomaly during unmanned operations; and recent audio captures have revealed unusual noises. Roman & Frank removed closeout panels and forward and aft deck plates to perform an audio capture.]

The CDR 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.]

FE-1 Barratt consolidated BCR (Bar Code Reader), PDA (Personal Data Assistant) and HAM Radio equipment, combining the BCR & PDA CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) and relocating all Ham radio gear into one bag.

DeWinne & Thirsk set up & checked out the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) and each conducted their second tests with as Subject #4 & #5, using the ESA Multipurpose Laptop with a prepared HDD (Hard Disk Drive), data storage on a PCMCIA memory card, and an electronic pen table connected to it. [3D Space, which involves distance, writing and illusion exercises, is designed to test the hypothesis that altered visual perception affects motor control. To do this, the subject is asked to reproduce shapes or text on an electronic pen pad (Wacom Intuos3 A4). The test person is asked to reproduce shapes or text on the pen tablet which allows researchers to record and analyze the reactions both on earth and in space.]

Padalka conducted an end test of the RSE2 A31p laptop installation of new software for working with the RS Zveno-B (“Link-B”) modems.

Koichi Wakata set up the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), shaking the vials and looking for bubbles or any clumping of particles. [InSPACE obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The dispersed particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields of certain strength and frequencies.]

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3), RED resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3). [The interim RED has been declared Go for nominal use until the ARED (Advanced RED) has had its damaged VIS (Vibration Isolation System) dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

Later, Mike Barratt transferred the exercise data file 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).

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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch attempt (6:56pm EDT)
07/13/09 — Progress 33P deorbit burn, entry interface (11:45am; 12:20pm)
07/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking (~2:40pm EDT);
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/27/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking;
07/29/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing
07/27/09 — Progress 34P docking (if STS-127 departs nominally; can slip to 7/29)
07/31/09 — PMA-3 relocation
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:00pm EDT)
09/16/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth w/SSRMS
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)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
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
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — 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.