Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 September 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
September 16, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 September 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 16 of Increment 20

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

Robert Thirsk started out with the extended U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Bob 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 are being 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.]

Nicole Stott undertook her first US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam, assisted by Thirsk as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who later also logged the data and stowed the equipment. A subjective evaluation was part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC laptop.]

Padalka, Barratt, Romanenko, Thirsk & DeWinne each took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

The CDR underwent his fourth periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 (“Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest”) on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System). CMO assistance was rendered by Roman Romanenko during the first part and by Frank De Winne during the second part. [Equipment used were VPG/Temporal Pulsogram and ECG/Electrocardiogram Data Output Devices (USI). The test was conducted in two separate parts, constrained by RGS (Russian Groundsite) overflight windows, during which Gennady had to tag up with ground specialists (~5:14am & ~6:50am) via VHF for data downlink from the VPG and Gamma-1M ECG for about 5-6 minutes.]

Later, the CDR, with Romanenko assisting as required, spent an hour on the TVIS treadmill for the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, 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.]

FE-3 Romanenko initiated the discharge/charge cycle on the first pair of three NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries for the Russian BMD (Biomedical Device) PZE STIMUL-01 payload in the payload’s charger device, in preparation for his upcoming physical stimulation/conditioning training with the device. [The neuromuscular myostimulator suit STIMUL-1, which uses electrical stimulation to contract and relax leg muscle fibers for conditioning, is part of the suite of BMS (Biomedical Support) systems under development at the Moscow IBMP (Institute for Biomedical Problems) for long-duration spaceflights including piloted Mars missions.]

Afterwards, the FE-3 recharged camcorder batteries, then set up the Russian PLAZMA-ISS experiment, unstowing and configuring Relaksatsiya hardware (spectrometer unit, UV-still & video cameras plus accessories) at SM (Service Module) window #9, then took the spectral measurements during the day in three data take sessions, Korona, Iskra -1 (Spark 1) & Iskra -2, controlled from the RSE-1 laptop. [Experiment purpose: to record the luminescence near the targeted space region during and after the operation of the ILI-SM plasma pulse injector.]

FE-2 Stott completed the regular monthly session (her first) of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh her CMO’s acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on eye treatment. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

Nicole Stott & Bob Thirsk performed a familiarization/checkout of the RSP (Respiratory Support Pack), inspecting it for any anomalies, with nominal result.

Stott & De Winne later completed a checkout of and familiarization with the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System). [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (crew medical officer) who is also provided with restraints around the device. CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs (crew medical officers) during their delivery of medical care.]

Bob & Frank made preparations for Nicole’s first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session which begins tomorrow. [Bob charged four “Makita” NMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) power tool batteries, while Frank changed out the Lithium batteries in two Actiwatches, initializing both, and formatted two Holter HiFi CF memory cards.]

For FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5, it was time for another training session, probably their last, for HTV tracking & capture operations with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) for proficiency and team coordination purposes, using the ROBoT (Robotics onboard Trainer) simulator with video coverage. Focus was on low hover through capture, then a 30m hold run. [The video camera was to be pointed at the ROBoT screens for downlink, simulating the camera that will be set up to downlink the RWS (Robotic Workstation) overlay data to the ground during HTV Rendezvous. This serves the purpose of helping with ground Situational Awareness, ROBoT troubleshooting and instructor feedback. 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 ops. Capture of the HTV with the SSRMS will be effected at ~8.9 m distance, with HTV commanded to free drift. HTV will then be berthed at Node-2.]

Nicole & Frank also conducted an OBT (Onboard Training) session with ROBoT for their upcoming JEMRMS (JEM Robotic Manipulator System) activities in the Kibo laboratory on the berthed HTV. [The EP (Exposed Pallet) will be moved with the SSRMS from the HTV, handed over to the JEMRMS and berthed to the JPM EF (Exposed Facility). Using the Japanese robotarm, the cargo, including two external payloads on the pallet, will then be transferred to the EF.]

Later, Frank supported Japanese ground control by rebooting the JEMSLT (JEM System Laptop Terminal) in the Kibo laboratory. [The SLT had to be reconfigured for HTV EP ops, with new functionality to monitor EP status and issue EP commands. The necessary configuration file was uplinked by SSIPC (Space Station Integrated & Promotion Center/Tsukuba), and Frank had to reboot the SLT to activate the new application software.]

In the U.S. Lab, FE-1 Barratt performed a checkout on the new MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2) rack hardware, inspecting all dewars and stowage compartment contents, and recording humidity levels to log file, then connected umbilicals.

The FE-1 also started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 29th) with the 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 (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

CDR Padalka completed another periodic health check of the KhSA Cooler/Dehumidifier Assembly’s V1 fan in the Soyuz 18S spacecraft’s DM (Descent Module) by turning the V2 fan off and the V1 fan on, then checking air flow. [On 6/25, a planned replacement of the apparently faulty fan in the Soyuz 18S DM with a new unit proved to be not necessary after Padalka configured a jumper bypass which successfully recovered functionality of the air conditioner fan. Today’s activity was to check up on the fix.]

Gennady also spent several hours stowing excessed equipment and waste on the Progress 34P cargo ship-turned-trash can for disposal.

Bob complemented the Progress loading by gathering and transferring U.S. trash.

Mike conducted the periodic manual filling of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) flush water tank (EDV-SV), estimated to take about 35 min today and rendering the WHC unavailable during this time. [If the tank fill caused the red WHC “Pretreat Bad Qual” LED to be illuminated on the ASU control panel, Mike was to clear it.]

Barratt also performed the periodic FDS (Fire Detection & Suppression) system inspection of bacterial filters and smoke detectors in the Airlock (A/L), Lab and Node-1. [There are one bacterial filter & smoke detector (SD) in the A/L, two SDs in the Lab and two in Node-1.]

FE-2 Stott had an hour reserved for herself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Afterwards, Nicole installed 17 new JAXA ARDs (Area Radiation Dosimeters) and one experimental dosimeter on the walls of the JPM and JLP (JEM Pressurized Logistics Segment), taking photographs of all installed units.

Bob Thirsk supported ongoing JAXA micro-G assessments by tapping a portside seat track in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) several times with his fist to provide intentional excitation to the MMA. [Bob’s sleep station is in the JPM. Three sets of data measurement were planned in the current week 23 (9/11-9/15), each lasting 24 hours. The first set of data collection was on 9/11. The second set was on 9/13 and the third one today. Comparing the data between the U.S. SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System) and MMA is important for ground analysis. Therefore, after begin of micro-G data measurement by SAMS and MMA, in order for the ground to accurately compare the data collection, Bob was to provide an intentional vibration near the JPM CQ (Crew Quarters).]

In the SM, Romanenko installed and tested new hardware for the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, upgrading & verifying the software, activating & checking out the equipment, then shutting the hardware). [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Roman also prepared for another session of the new Russian science hardware RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) by taking the battery from the experiment’s kit and initiating its charging. [RUSALKA ops will involve calibration and tests of research equipment relating to the Sun and the Earth’s limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted). To be tested are the procedure for remote determination of Methane (CH4) & Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere (in the First Phase), measurement of CH4 & CO2 content in the atmosphere and reception of data on NI2 and NI4 content over the territories subjected to natural and technogenic effects, reception of sufficient data on seasonal dependencies of tropospheric parameters being studied (in the Second Phase). Equipment used: Rusalka monoblock, Nikon D2X(s) digital photo camera; AF VR Nikkor ED 80-400f/4.5-5.6D lens with ultraviolet filter, bracket for attachment to the window, and Rusalka-Accessories set. Support hardware: Device TIUS DKShG/PNSK, Laptop RSK1, and Software Package loading disk.]

The CDR did 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).

Romanenko 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 had ~90 min set aside to ready EVA tools in the A/L for HTV contingency use. [This included completing (if required) HTV tool gathering, taking a photograph of a “floater” item found in the A/L on 9/10, and reporting serial numbers of tool equipment (for IMS tracking on the ground).]

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-5 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Frank at ~5:40am, Nicole at ~8:45am & Mike at ~10:05am EDT.

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

Afterwards, Frank 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).

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 7:00am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 347.1 km
Apogee height – 353.5 km
Perigee height — 340.8 km
Period — 91.48 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009381
Solar Beta Angle — 30.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 42 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62001

HTV Update: The vehicle continues its planned trajectory for rendezvous with the ISS, and consumables remain within normal limits. The following two anomalies are being assessed by JAXA & NASA, details to be forthcoming:

  • Navigation error due to a SIGI (Space Integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation System) filter anomaly on HTV & PROX (SIGI allows navigation & attitude determination using the GPS/Global Positioning System),
  • An HTV FDIR (Fault Detection, Isolation & Recovery) system setting associated with a Gyro-A data comparison check on the Y-axis.

HTV Flight Day (FD) Overview:

  • FD4, FD5: Far field rendezvous: HTV1 successfully completed the MD2 maneuver (MiD course maneuver) this morning (FD5, 9/14) at 5:12am EDT.
  • FD6: IMMT review of demonstrations
  • FD7: Far field rendezvous
  • FD8: Prox Ops, Capture (~3:50pm if on 9/17), Installation
    • Capture will occur during time without Ku-Band available.
  • FD9: Crew half-duty day, Ingress
  • FD10: JEMRMS checkout and EP (two payloads) prep
  • FD11: EP Transfer to JEM-EF
  • FD12: Payloads Transfer from EP to EF (Exposed Facility) with Kibo RMS (Robotic Manipulator System)
  • FD13: EP Transfer back to HTV
  • FD14-38: Cargo transfer from HTV to ISS
  • FD38: Prep for release
  • FD39: Deactivation and Release
  • FD40: Re-entry

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
09/17/09 — HTV1 (H-IIB Transfer Vehicle 1 ) rendezvous & berthing (~3:50pm)
O Arrive at Capture Point – 3:30pm
O Capture Window opens (sunset) – 3:45pm
O Capture & berth w/SSRMS – ~3:50pm
O Capture Window closes (sunrise) – 4:20:34pm
O Backup Capture & berth w/SSRMS – 5:20pm
09/21/09 — 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 (under review)
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.