Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 April 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
April 15, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 April 2009

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

FE-2 Koichi Wakata started the day with the daily download of the overnight data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of another week-long session with SLEEP, his second. [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.]

FE-1 Mike Barratt broke out the equipment for the CCIS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS) experiment and performed Day 1 of his first on-orbit CCISS session. [Steps involved setting up and donning the Holter Monitor 2 (#1004), donning the CBPD (Continuous Blood Pressure Device) plus two Actiwatches on his “dominant” wrist (not identical with the SLEEP Actiwatch on the other wrist), performing the Baro Study, doffing the CBPD, and starting the 24-hr passive heart rate data collection. Data are recorded on a PCMCIA memory card, with the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack laptop for control. Data download and equipment stowage is scheduled tomorrow after the 24-hr period. Former Flight Surgeon Mike Barratt assisted as Operator, placing electrodes and donning the CBPD, and took documentary photography. CCISS studies the effects of long-duration spaceflight on crewmembers’ heart functions and their blood vessels that supply the brain (= “cerebrovascular”). Learning more about the changes in cardiovascular & cerebrovascular systems in zero-G could lead to specific countermeasures that might better protect future space travelers and their ability to meet the challenge of return to an upright position on Earth. For the Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are being recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food (water is acceptable) allowed two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.]

After yesterday’s preparations, CDR Padalka worked on the RS (Russian Segment) computer system, first removing the TsVM-2 (Central Computer 2, #R113), which had been operating in the place of the failed TVM-1 (Terminal Computer 1), then installing a new TVM-1 (#R114) instead. Afterwards, the removed #R113 TsVM-2 was installed at its nominal place in the SM (Service Module). [Full redundancy will be restored on all six German-supplied computers (three TsVMs & three TVMs) if the R&Rs and testing prove successful. Each of the coldplate-mounted computer subset/units is a box 25 cm high, 29.5 cm long & 16 cm wide.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Wakata took digital photographs of the door of the CBEF 1G IU (Cell Biology Experiment Facility 1G Incubator Unit) in the Saibo Rack which currently cannot be fully closed. The images will be used by SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba to diagnose the malfunction.

Mike Barratt continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB), cleaning the mesh screen of its central ventilation fan TsV1 and the detachable fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT1,2,3), plus the fixed grill of GZhT4.

The FE-2 conducted the regular sample collection from the WRS PWA (Water Recovery System/Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line in a small waste water bag (50 mL), in a larger postflight analysis bag (1000 mL), and in a third bag (125 mL) for in-flight microbial analysis.

Later (within 6 hrs from the sample collection), Dr. Mike worked on inflight analysis of the microbial sample with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit/Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).

In the US Airlock, Wakata performed regular maintenance on EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) #3011 by performing a partial water tank dump for 3 min, followed by tank refilling.

FE-1 Barratt terminated the data collection of the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM started yesterday, removing the digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph) from his body and downlinking the data.

Padalka reconfigured the Russian Regul/Paket email (radiogram) channel from the primary string to string 2.

The FE-1 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).

Dr. Mike also took care of the daily status check on the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-4) science payload, running by itself since 4/3. [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.]

Padalka performed 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.]

Later, the CDR completed 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).

Koichi performed corrective service on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) by straightening its left upper stop cable and attaching warning signs for the crew to “Never manually retract cable”.

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), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2), and VELO with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). [The CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation), which had shown anomalous workload indications, is currently “No-Go” as engineers are developing a forward plan for an inspection of its internals. All CEVIS exercise is being replaced with TVCIS exercise for the near term.]

Afterwards, Padalka transferred the exercise data file 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).

At 1:30pm EDT, FE-2 Wakata conducted the periodic VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today at the Wallops station (1:37pm–1:44pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM/Munich and JCOM/Tsukuba in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

Later, near sleeptime, Gennady is to conduct the data collection for the MBI-16 VZAIMODEJSTVIE (Interactions) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a mood questionnaire, a group & work environment questionnaire, and a critical incidents log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

At ~10:25am, Gennady, Mike & Koichi participated in a PAO TV event of two interviews, one with CBS News (Bill Harwood), the other with the Dayton Daily News, Dayton, OH (Jim Debrosse). [Mike Barratt studied Aerospace Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River (nadir pass. Broad, contextual views were requested), Berlin, Germany (capital city. Looking left and shooting for ~15 secs. The city is tree-covered and can be difficult to discern), Baku, Azerbaijan (capital city. Looking right: the city lies at the tip of the major cape that juts into the Caspian Sea), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (capital city. Near-nadir pass: looking just right of track. The city appears as a distinct gray, platted area in the tan-colored desert), Tunis, Tunisia (capital city. Looking right of track at the head of the major bay on the coastline), Khartoum, Sudan (capital city. Nadir pass. The city lies in the angle where the White and Blue Nile rivers meet), Southwest Algeria Megafans (shooting a mapping strip right of track for 60-75 secs. This is a remote but large site. Visual cues are numerous old river courses, and a major dune sea just uptrack of the site. River-formed fanlike features in the Sahara Desert may be good analogs for river-like features on Mars), Nouakchott, Mauritania (capital city. Nadir pass. The city lies on the coast.), Regina, Saskatchewan (provincial capital. Looking right of track, beyond the major river of the area), Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat (looking just right of nadir. The volcano erupted for the first time [since the 17th Century] in mid-1995. Continued eruptions have made more than half the island uninhabitable), and Austin and Houston, Texas (state capital. Nadir pass. Houston lies near the coast ~30 secs later, left of track).

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, 8:47am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 352.6 km
Apogee height – 358.5 km
Perigee height — 346.8 km
Period — 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008739
Solar Beta Angle — -37.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 66 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59609

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/06/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/07/09 — Progress 33P launch
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4) – 9:58am EDT
05/12/09 — Progress 33P docking
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD

Six-person crew on ISS

07/17/09 — Progress 33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (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) — tentative
11/10/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz — tentative
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
12/XX/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.