Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 16, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 February 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – rest day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus.

FE-2 Magnus started the day with the daily download of the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from her Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of another week-long session with SLEEP, her third. [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, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list.

CDR Fincke & FE-1 Lonchakov spent an hour with unloading cargo from Progress M0-66/32P, logging moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System) with the BCR (Bar Code Reader.

As part of Progress unloading, Yuri then transferred a number of new science experiments to the ISS, photo documenting the moves , viz.:

  • STRUCTURA Luch-2 (to obtain protein crystals with highly ideal crystal structure);
  • TKhN-9 CRYSTALLIZER hardware (to obtain protein crystals with highly ideal crystal structure);
  • BIOECOLOGY – LAKTOLEN; (effects of micro-G on growth, genetic & physiological properties of Lactolen-producing cells);
  • BIOECOLOGY – GINSENG-2 (to study and research new bio-producers and biologically hyperactive plant genotypes).

For today’s discretionary VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, Fincke & Magnus had selected sessions with LOCAD-PTS and SPICE. For LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1, Mike applied media slides to a single sampling site and then performed four swabs adjacent to that area. [This was the first side-by-side sampling using all three different types of cartridges, allowing for detection of Gram Negative and Gram Positive Bacteria, as well as yeasts and molds.]

The second VolSci program, the new US payload SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment), conducted by Mike & Sandy in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), controlled by its A341p with SPICE microdrives, is testing six different fuels, each using three different burner sizes, and each burner size requires six test points. [Looping through the test procedure three times, each fuel thus requires eighteen test points, and today’s run involved two groups of six test points each for a total of twelve. More test points are scheduled next week. SPICE determines the point at which gas-jet flames (similar to a butane-lighter flame) begin to emit soot (dark carbonaceous particulate formed inside the flame) in microgravity. Studying a soot emitting flame is important in understanding the ability of fires to spread and in control of soot in practical combustion systems in space.]

FE-1 Lonchakov continued the current (third) run of the DAKON-M hardware for the Russian experiment TEKh-15/IZGIB (“Bend”) for untended measurement of micro-accelerations. The activity requires Yuri to visually control hardware operations three times a day and report to the ground. The second IZGIB session was conducted by Sergei Volkov on 10/15-19/08. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

Later, the FE-1 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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

Yuri also conducted the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

At ~8:00am EST, the crew conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

The CDR & FE-2 had 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), Mike at ~11:15am, Sandy at ~1:40pm.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen — Week 16)

3-D SPACE: Planned: 15A/FE-2.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): “Mike–Thanks again for the great BCAT-3 images. We are really looking forward to analyzing all the images with the different phenomena that were observed and we’ll send you more feedback on this as we obtain it. Also thank you for the crew conference—it was great to talk with you on the ISS and hear about all your helpful pointers for BCAT photography!”

BIO-4: Complete.

BIOLAB (BLB): On 2/10 the bellow test of Rotor A was performed and successful. Bellow test of Rotor B had to be aborted due to an EC not being properly aligned.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): Underway.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Ongoing.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): Planned.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Planned.

EDR (European Drawer Rack): The EDR parameters were set on 2/9 in preparation for PCDF (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility) which will be launched on 15A.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): ENose is operating normally.

EPM (European Physiology Module): LTU (Laptop Terminal Unit) software upgrade was performed on 2/10, crew activity was successful but still needs some ground activity to complete the file transfer on the laptop. The PCBA software was also successfully upgraded by the crew on 2/09.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): DOSTEL, MEDET operated nominally this week. FIPEX started a Science acquisition script on 2/11. For DEBIE-2 the empty science packet problem is still under investigation. DEBIE-2 also had sensor unit anomalies this week. Troubleshooting activities are ongoing on the TRIBOLAB shaft driver continues therefore it is no longer acquiring science data this week.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): FSL FCE (Facility Core Element) locking was successfully performed on 2/4.

GEOFLOW: Aborted.

HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): Complete.

ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): This week several runs have been conducted with ground commanding. PI team is now investigating whether the downlinked images can be used for analysis. Some images are not good enough for analysis.

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): Complete.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Reserve.

Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.


PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Planned (timed to 15A launch).

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Sandy, thanks for completing your third week of sleep logging. This completes your requirement, but as always, the PI appreciates any additional sleep logging.”

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): The Sun observation window ended on 1/28 and the SOLAR Platform is now in Idle Mode.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): First diet session completed on 2/12. SLAMMD successfully performed on 2/10. Blood operations and start of 24hr urine collection were performed on 2/11. End of urine collection and storage in MELFI were successfully completed on 2/12 but the SLAMMD measurements were not successful due to a problem with the device. Instead the measurement was performed on the Russian body mass measurement device. “Thank you very much Mike for all the video and the information you have provided during each activity. That has really helped the ground teams. And a very big thank you for all the troubleshooting you did with SLAMMD trying to get the measurement and for doing the measurement on the Russian device before lunch.”

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): “Sandy, it was a pleasure working with you as you performed the SPICE setup.”

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): “Thanks Sandy & Mike for the smooth performance of the VLE-1 Single meal activity on 1/9.”

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 2/12, the ground has received a total of 18,091 of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing (2,023 frames this past week). “Photos with times corresponding to our CEO target times are reviewed first and this week include: Andrew’s Forest, Oregon – 23 frames – under review; Mount Hood, Oregon – 24 frames – under review; Sevilleta Wildlife Area, New Mexico – 26 frames – under review; Konza Prairie, Kansas – 41 frames – under review; Wanapitei Impact Crater, Ontario, Canada – 39 frames – target acquired – under review; Niwot Tundra Ridge – 31 frames – target acquired – under review; Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico – target acquired – excellent detail; Mount Redoubt, Alaska – 23 frames – under review. Highlight: we’ve determined that your high-quality imagery for the Gulf of Fonseca, Central America and Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico meets all requirements for this increment and these targets can now be retired from our target list. Kudos to the crew! We are aware of your efforts to acquire views of some of our targets at times other than when we have requested them in a target list. We appreciate your interest and efforts. If you can please advise us of the times when you do this we can give these frames priority in our review. Your recent, fine image of Tetiaroa Island, French Polynesia (a.k.a. "Marlon Brando’s Island") will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. Besides its notoriety though Brando’s former ownership, it is a typical example of a fully-developed atoll formed originally from a volcanic island. Nice shot!”

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Urumqui, China (this city is the focus of China’s hydrocarbon exploration effort in its far west. Snow tends to highlight man-made boundaries by offering greater contrast than in other seasons. Overlapping images were requested), Chongqing, China (near nadir pass over this famous city situated on the Yellow River in the Red Basin. The population of Chongqing proper is 4 million, but 31 million cluster in the county of Chongqing. Looking slightly right of track. Images looking obliquely at the mountain walls around the basin in which Chongqing lies will also reveal the density and altitude of the persistent smog blanket), Irrawaddy River Delta, Burma (the Irrawaddy River starts in the high mountains (reaching elevations more than 6000m) of northern Burma. The Irrawaddy is one of southeast Asia’s 5 major rivers [Yangtze, Red, Mekong, Salween, Irrawaddy] whose source regions are very close together in the Folded Ranges. Since this is the dry season [December through March] and ISS had a nadir pass over the delta, researchers requested that the crew take nadir, mapping passes over the delta), Mumbai, India Aerosol (the crew should haved been able to detect the smoke-dust-smog haze drifting out to sea from greater Mumbai. Conditions are good for acquiring images of this phenomenon: high atmospheric pressure, sea as backdrop, and look angle strongly oblique [which lengthens line of sight, making aerosol more apparent to the viewer]. Atmospheric layering-with layer colors expected to differ-is especially interesting to atmospheric chemists. It is very helpful to get some coastline in at least some images), East Haruj Megafans (ancient, now defunct rivers [sourced in the Tibesti Mountains to the south of the site when the Sahara Desert was much wetter] have laid down vast spreads of sediment as a series of large fans hundreds of km long and wide. As rivers shifted position they produced networks of criss-crossing stream channels covering the entire surface of megafans. Earth’s megafans may be the best analog for widespread "intercrater plains" on Mars. This analog is being applied for the first time in ongoing research), Southwest Algeria Megafans (ISS orbit track clipped the southwestern portion of a large [320 km radius] megafan complex in Algeria. These megafans [or inland deltas] have been laid down by rivers that used to flow west and northwest out of the Adrar N’Ahnet Mountains in SW Algeria, and have been proposed as analogs for similar features observed on Mars. Looking for linear dune fields and highly contorted rocks as landscape markers. Overlapping mapping frames, looking left of track, are requested), and Mount Redoubt, Alaska (Mount Redoubt remains at Aviation Code Orange, meaning that the volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, unrest at Redoubt continues. Volcanic tremor with variable amplitudes is ongoing and has changed little over the past 24 hours. Clouds and low sun continue to make this a very challenging target for the ISS crew).

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 noon, 12:12pm EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.3 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 350.5 km
Period — 91.67 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008744
Solar Beta Angle — -58.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.70
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 46 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58668

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/20/09 — FRR (Flight Readiness Review) for STS-119/Discovery
02/27/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment — “NOT EARLIER THAN”
02/29/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
03/10/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
03/13/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
Six-person crew on ISS
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC, last crew rotation
08/XX/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4
12/XX/11– Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.