Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 August 2009

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

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Barratt, FE-2 Kopra, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne continued their new session of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, logging data from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [To monitor the crewmember’s 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.]

Before breakfast & exercise, CDR Padalka, FE-3 Romanenko & FE-5 DeWinne each completed a 10-min session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), which measures the red cell count of the blood, with one of them acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer, Russian: “Examiner”). It was the third session for the three of them. [The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit’s minicentrifuge, and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time. After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), and Romanenko stowed the equipment.]

Romanenko continued his major outfitting IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the SOTR Thermal Control System in the SM (Service Module), removing old SMOK condensate lines and replacing them with new spares (last time done: September 2008). [Today Roman completed Part 4, replacing condensate line components from the SK1 valve assembly to the SBK1 condensate tank. More to follow next week. The R&R involves about 20 flexible hoses (SMOK) and line components.]

After the two-day proficiency training sessions (OBT/Onboard Training) by Thirsk & DeWinne for Exp 20 on the JAXA HTV (H2 Transfer Vehicle) mission profile, HTV Rendezvous crew procedures, and HCP (Hardware Command Panel) for controlling the HTV, followed by a tagup with the ground crew, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne, after a pre-brief, today participated in a ROBoT “mini-Sim” with a subset of the FCT (Flight Control Team), focusing on the integrated objectives and timeline from ~300m through capture. A debrief followed. [Sim CapCom for the HTV activity was Aki Hoshide. ROBoT uses DOUG (Dynamic Operations Ubiquitous Graphics) software, a hand controller and two laptops (one for graphics, one for the simulation) for on-orbit training of MSS (Mobile Service System) and SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations.]

FE-1 Barratt performed another run of the InSPACE-2 experiment, activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and powering on the hardware, as well as the MSG video cameras and monitor. Next, the optical alignment of the cameras was verified and the MSG video recorders were configured. Then, Mike completed session #55, switching the magnetic field to “steady” mode, sweeping and focusing the field of view, and then removing & stowing the video tapes from the MSG video recorders and inserting new blank tapes. Later, the hardware including MSG was deactivated, the A31p turned off, and the gear stowed. [The purpose of the InSPACE-2 experiment is to obtain data on fluids that change properties in response to magnetic fields. Observations of the microscopic structures will yield a better understanding of the interplay of magnetic, surface and repulsion forces between structures in magnetorheological (MR) fluids (fluids that change properties under the influence of an applied magnetic field). These runs are allowing researchers to better understand the kinetics of formation of chain-like aggregates over longer times (2+ hrs) than were achieved in the initial runs of InSPACE-2 during Increment 16.]

Mike Barratt started the first day of his second SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session, which entails a series of diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Mike will have to eat special diet (Session 1: High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level and Session 2: Low salt diet). Solo Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. SOLO, an ESA/German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Blood samples are taken with the PCBA. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

Barratt continued replenishing the Icepacs in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) by inserting two more +4C Icepac belts into MELFI. [The Icepacs were originally removed as part of 2J/A packing. Nine additional activities spaced at least 24 hours apart are being planned over the next two weeks, each time inserting two Icepac belts (to prevent temperature increase inside the MELFI.]

After configuring the Lab camcorder to provide a field-of-view of his activities, FE-5 DeWinne finished his supportive work on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility), opening the FCF doors and the CIR front end cap, then removing the MDCA (Multi-user Drop Combustion Apparatus) Boot Selector inside the CIR combustion chamber. Afterwards, front end cap and FCF doors were closed again.

Frank performed CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) maintenance, first replacing the battery of the four units (#1053 being prime), then conducting the usual zero-calibration. [The sampling pumps used for the checkout measurements and the backup CSA-CPs were returned to their Node-1 and -2 locations.]

FE-4 Thirsk worked on the WRS (Water Recovery System), removing and replacing the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) #4 per plan. The removed RFTA will be returned on STS -128/17A.

CDR Padalka conducted a session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment. Romanenko provided assistance. It was Gennady’s third MBI-15 run. Afterwards, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled and stowed away, and the CDR discussed the session in a teleconference with ground personnel at ~7:40am EDT. [MBI-15 requires a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

The CDR also continued upgrading the Russian BVS computer system, swapping Laptop1 (RS3) and Laptop RS Remote, testing the latter, and then upgrading it to Vers. 08.03.

Timothy Kopra conducted a LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1 sampling session using only the LAL (Limulus amebocyte lysate) cartridges, setting up the equipment, preparing media and taking samples by swabbing. [LOCAD uses small, thumb-sized “microfluidic” cartridges that are read by the experiment reader. The handheld device tests a new analysis technology by sampling for the presence of gram negative bacteria in the sample in about 15 minutes. Lab-on-a-Chip technology has an ever-expanding range of applications in the biotech industry. Chips are available (or in development) which can also detect yeast, mold, and gram positive bacteria, identify environmental contaminants, and perform quick health diagnostics in medical clinics. The technology has been used to swab the MERs (Mars Exploration Rovers) for planetary protection. With expanded testing on ISS, this compact technology has broad potential applications in space exploration–from monitoring environmental conditions to monitoring crew health. After today, there are nine sessions remaining to complete the planned science requirements.]

After yesterday’s relocation of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) Rack from the Lab (LAB1S4) to the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Kopra today reconfigured the LAB1S4 location for the new FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack), removing Regenerative ECLSS Mod Kit and Rack Hardware not required for FIR and ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) operations.

After setting up the hardware for the new Russian geophysics experiment DZZ-12 Rusalka at SM window #9 and terminating charging its battery, the FE-3 conducted a session of the experiment, then downloaded the data and disassembled & stowed the gear.

FE-2 Kopra set up, checked out and conducted his first test with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #6, 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. Bob Thirsk assisted. [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.]

Having reached the end of HTV PROX (Proximity Communication System) Checkout #3 operations, DeWinne terminated the PROX software. [Status of PROX Checkout #3: The checkout of commanding capability to HTV through string A, BSP (Baseband Signal Processor) switching and RF-B performance was successfully completed. Also, HCM checkout was conducted using simulated HTV data uplinked from Tanegashima ground station.]

Romanenko terminated recharging of the batteries for the Kelvin-Video and TTM-2 (Thermoanemometer-Thermometer 2) of the BAR/EXPERT experiment.

With the US OGS (Oxygen Generator System) currently down, Gennady Padalka in the course of the day ignited two more end-of-life SFOG (Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator) “candles” in the RS (Russian Segment).

Bob Thirsk & Frank DeWinne filled out their regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC. [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

The FE-3 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.]

At ~3:55am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~10:35am the crew joined in a teleconference with the participants of the International Regatta-2009. [All 12 sail boats participating in the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009 finals among the International regatta of the training sail boats have arrived in Northern Ireland. The Russian Barque Krusenstern did not participate in the regatta finals. A Marine Festival dedicated to the completion of the race will be held from 8/13-16 in Belfast. Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009 was kicked off on 5/3 from the Spanish port of Vigo. The race route retraced traditional well-known for centuries trade route: Vigo, Spain – Tenerife, the Canaries – Hamilton, Bermuda – Charleston, USA – Boston, USA – Halifax, Canada – Belfast, Ireland.]

At ~3:15pm, the ISS crew had their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

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

Later, Bob Thirsk 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).

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, 8:36am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.6 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height — 343.2 km
Period — 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007991
Solar Beta Angle — -23.5 deg (magnitude decreasing out)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 34 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 61514

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/24/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~1:58am EDT)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:04pm 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)
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
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) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or 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.