Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 May 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
May 13, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 May 2009
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 May 2009

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

After last night’s successful docking of Progress M-02M/33P at the DC1 nadir docking port (3:24pm EDT), activities by CDR Gennady Padalka & FE-1 Michael Barratt this morning included –

* Conducting the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC1 [during leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters were inhibited (as was the case during docking)];
* Opening the hatches (~6:20am) between DC-1-SU (Transfer Tunnel) & SU-TKG (Progress) and installing the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling;
* Performing the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler;
* Powering down the spacecraft and installing the ventilation/heating air ducts (~7:30am) [i.e., deactivating the SUBA Command & Data Handling System, connecting & checking the BVK-B Assembly Unit and SOTR Thermal Control System, and installing two air ducts,- one from the DC1 into the Progress hatch, the other inside the GrO Cargo Compartment from the BVK-B toward the GrO rear cone], and
* Dismantling the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1 (~8:00am) [the StM is the “classic” probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress’ GrO, while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC1.]

Afterwards the FE-1 dismantled & removed the video/MPEG equipment for the TV Ku-band downlink of the docking (which actually failed to route through the US OCA and is under investigation).

All three crewmembers then had several hours set aside for unloading the resupply ship, transferring its cargo to the ISS for stowage and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System) accordingly.

After setting up the video equipment with the G1 camcorder in the Node-1 (per quick disconnect rules) for live downlink of subsequent TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) maintenance activities, FE-2 Wakata conducted the usual TVIS speed characterization test and TVIS A&CO (Activation & Checkout) Part 2 to provide additional audio, video, and data for ground engineers to analyze after the recently installed new TVIS hardware has had time to break in. [The video equipment was dismantled afterwards to comply with the hatch cable drag-thru flight rules. There is currently no restriction on TVIS use by the crew. The TVIS IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) was substituted yesterday for the originally planned UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) check valve removal, which was postponed to a later date after some additional engineering concerns with the elaborate IFM popped up (removal of three additional shims that were previously not considered).]

The FE-2 also serviced the EHS CDM (Environmental Health System – Carbon Dioxide Monitor) unit #1009, first removing the battery and letting the unit sit unpowered for around 2+ hrs (to reset its internal clock), then installing a fresh battery, downloading all data stored in the CDM to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), and checking the internal clock time, required for data correlation.

Later, Koichi also conducted the standard sensor calibration on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1043 & #1059, delivered on Flight 1J, using a calibration adapter (#1001) brought up last year on Progress 30P.

Mike Barratt had a second go at starting a 5-hr automatic sampling run with the new EHS GC/DMS (Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), in the Lab, controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [Yesterday’s attempt failed, when the instrument could not find the download folder on the onboard server (T:drive) which should have been created beforehand by the ground. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data were to be compared with VOA measurements.]

Barrat subsequently performed the regular controlled shut-down of the VOA, with the ground power-cycling its RPC-3 (Remote Power Controller 3), part of RPCM (RPC Module) LAD42B_A.

The FE-1 also conducted the daily status check on the BCAT (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test) science payload, running by itself since 5/12 on Sample 5. [The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

Wakata completed the daily procedure of flushing the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line with ~50mL of water (into a towel/Ziploc bag). PWD water is currently cleared only for hygienic use pending Russian go-ahead. [The last PWD ambient line sample results showed 6 CFUs (Colony Forming Units) per mL (milliliter). The previous sample was 100 CFU per ml. Current results are indicative of the normal organism fluctuations anticipated by microbiologists, i.e., the water is extremely clean. The next sampling is on 5/20.]

Mike conducted the periodic status check on the payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

CDR Padalka worked on the extensive Matryoshka-R radiation monitoring payload, transferring and deploying 33P-delivered SPD (Differential Pressure Indicator/Dosimeter) assemblies at their exposure locations. [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Besides spherical containers in the SM, there is the “Phantom”, a human dummy torso assembled from individual horizontal slice-like (body cross-sectional) layers with 356 thermo-luminescent detectors (TLDs) and five nuclear radiation tracking detectors (NTDPs) between the layers. After the insertion of the detectors and re-assembly of the mannequin, the torso is “dressed” with a covering “poncho” and “hood” and used for studies of on-orbit radiation and long-term dose accumulation. The payload collects radiation measurements every 15 minutes of each hour around the clock. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

After deactivation of the CHeCS AAA (Crew Health Care System Avionics Air Assembly) at the LABS4 location, Barratt worked on the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System), demating two MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) umbilicals (for Supply & Return) to the rack at its UIP (Utility Interface Panel, loc. LAB1S4) to increase coolant flow for payload use. [The umbilicals had been mated on 5/10 to provide cooling to the rack.]

Koichi Wakata conducted a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), his second onboard session, by logging in on the MEC laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory – Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), the FE-2 took off the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) humidifier in the Saibo Rack to check the CBEF incubator wall behind it and wipe off any condensation found on it or on the back of the humidifier. The humidifier was then re-installed with its Velcro attachments.

At about 4:10pm EDT today, the Russian Elektron oxygen generator, which had been off for the Progress docking, is scheduled to be reactivated by the ground (via pre-programmed sequencer) at 32 amps, supported by CDR Padalka monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there is no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

At ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Gennady will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his fourth 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.]

Padalka 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.]

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, the CDR also conducted the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

Afterwards, Koichi downloaded the exercise data file to the MEC 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).

Gennady had two new job items on his discretionary “as time permits” task list –

* Packing & stowing a BVN air heater fan and two VD (vozduchovodiy, air ducts) in the FGB, and
* Taking documentary photography of the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment which researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).

At ~12:05pm, the crew conducted a teleconference with the Expedition 20 crew, discussing “handover” issues with Christopher “Chris” Cassidy (2J/A), Frank DeWinne (19S) and Bob Thirsk (19S).

Conjunction Advisory: A new conjunction with space debris (Object 30908, Chinese Fengyun-1C debris, from the 1/11/07 ASAT test on an old weather satellite, one of ~2500 tracked pieces) is being tracked for a close approach on 5/15 (Friday); TCA (Time of Closest Approach): 1:26am EDT. Radial miss distance: 0.49 km. Go/NoGo decision time for DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) cyclogram (maneuver programming) built: 5/14, 1:59am EDT. [The Progress 33P docking has introduced disturbances in the prediction that have the collision concern currently listed as MEDIUM.]

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, 4:54am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 351.1 km
Apogee height — 357.2 km
Perigee height — 344.9 km
Period — 91.56 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009133
Solar Beta Angle — 68.9 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 48 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60031

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/18/09 — Progress M-01M/32P deorbit (~3:00pm EDT)
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
07/17/09 — Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM2 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/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Proton — tentative
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/??/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
06/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.