Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 July 2009

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

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

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 Work Compartment (RO) evacuated. The turbopump was 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.]

CDR Padalka, FE-1 Barratt & FE-2 Wakata started the day before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. Fifth time of MO-7 for Gennady, Mike & Koichi. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

FE-5 DeWinne completed a 3-hr. task of auditing/inventorying all OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) equipment aboard the ISS based on and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Frank also performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA, after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged for calldown. [The current procedure is a work-around for TOCA’s failed catalyst.]

The FE-2 conducted the regular sample collection from the WRS PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient & hot lines for in-flight microbial and chemical analysis. [Ambient samples were collected in a small waste water bag (50 mL, flushing) and in a larger bag (200 mL) for inflight TOCA analysis.]

FE-1 Mike Barratt completed another session, his second, of the LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1 surface sampling experiment and combined it with an EPO (Education Payloads Operations) opportunity. [For the EPO session, Mime & Koichi discussed the objectives of the LOCAD research onboard ISS via video downlink. LOCAD uses small, thumb-sized “microfluidic” cartridges that are read by the experiment reader. The cartridges contain dried extract of horseshoe crab blood cells and colorless dye. In the presence of the bacteria, the dried extract reacts strongly to turn the dye a green color. Therefore, the more green dye, the more microorganisms there are in the original sample. The handheld device tests this 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.]

Wakata activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and powered on the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions-2) hardware, as well as the MSG video cameras and monitor. Next, the optical alignment of the cameras was verified and the MSG video was configured. Today, Koichi completed session #51 & #52. [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).]

In the SM, Roman performed regular service on the SRVK-2M condensate processor by removing its BKO multifiltration column unit and replacing it with a spare from FGB stowage, discarding the old unit for deorbiting on Progress 33P and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System). [BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Afterwards, the FE-3 supported the ground in reactivating the Elektron oxygen generator (via pre-programmed sequencer) at 24 amps, by 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.]

FE-4 Bob Thirsk continued with the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) commissioning by checking out the MVIS (Microgravity Vibration Isolation Subsystem) sensors. Purpose of this activity is to verify the functionality of the po PSDs (Position Sensing devices) and accelerometers.

FE-3 Romanenko removed the BRI Smart Switch Router from its location and stowed it. [Roman observed that it is "really hot" in that location. There is speculation that the excessive heat could be contributing to the failure situation. A replacement BRI is due to be available in December and discussions are underway on means to mitigate the temperature situation. In early June the BRI failed which resulted in lost LAN (Local Area Network) wireless connectivity between the RS (Russian Segment) and USOS (US Segment). A workaround was implemented using exterior cables to re-establish connectivity between the elements.]

Romanenko spent an hour on the TVIS treadmill for the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, his second time, using the TVIS in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmembers worked out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace.]

Before sleep time, Gennady set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his seventh 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.]

The CDR, FE-3 & FE-4 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Thirsk at ~8:00am, Gennady at ~12:55pm & Roman at ~2:12pm EDT.

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

BGA 2B Update: Today ground controllers commanded the BGA 2B (Beta Gimbal Assembly 2B) on the port solar back to nominal autotracking of the sun. The recent anomaly (jamming) experienced by the 2B BGA was believed to be due to the high Beta angles which caused thermal expansion of the BGA components. Now that Beta angles have decreased, no additional issues are anticipated with the 2B BGA.

Rapid Depress Manual Response Issue: Late last week it was discovered via testing that a manual crew response in the RS to a rapid depressurization event does not trigger automated safing for the USOS, although proper responses via automated alarms in the RS and USOS do occur. The issue is that coding in RS software was changed for an update, but was not picked up by USOS software. Procedures are in work by the FCT (Flight Control Team) to uplink for crew cognizance and action in the event the situation occurs. It has been determined the likelihood of this situation occurring is very low.

RED Update: RED (Resistive Exercise Device) canister cords have reached cycle life based on estimation of use by six crewmembers since ARED (Advanced RED) has been down. RED engineers have approved a life extension, but even so the canister cords will still reach the new life limit likely by tomorrow (7/15). A plan is in place to have each crew member inspect the canister cords after each exercise session and to use safety straps. Discussions are underway to schedule a canister cord replacement.

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!):
07/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (6:03pm EDT)
07/12/09 — Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (closest approach 10m; ~1:06pm) & separation
07/13/09 — Progress 33P deorbit burn, entry interface (11:45am; 12:20pm)
07/17/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking;
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking;
07/28/09 — 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.