Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 July 2009

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

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

STS-127 Launch:  Flight 2J/A had a successful launch today at 6:03 pm EDT.  The SRBs (Solid Rocket Boosters) separated at 6:05pm.  MECO (Main Engine Cutoff) occurred at 6:12 pm followed by ET (External Tank) separation.  Endeavour will rendezvous and dock with the ISS on Friday at approximately 1:53 pm EDT.

Upon wakeup, CDR Gennady Padalka terminated his seventh experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [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.]

Padalka also attended 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 pulling a vacuum on the work chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO), then turning off the pump, conducting experiment ops in semi-automatic (manual) mode, closing the experiment out, copying & downloading data from the hard drive and downlinking them to the ground. [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. Today’s experiment is performed with 9.2 µm (micrometer) particles, to study a two-phase linear structure development process (Relay-Taylor instability), evolution of boundary (to study surface phenomena).  PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

FE-3 Romanenko set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the 1h15m session, his second, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data stowed for return to the ground. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

FE-4 Thirsk used the MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) kit to obtain the periodic microbiology air samples from specific sampling locations including from Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) mid-module, and the SSK (Surface Sample Kit) to collect/incubate microbiology samples. [After a 5-day incubation period, the air & surface samples will be subjected to visual analysis & data recording with the surface slides and Petri dishes of the MAS & SSK.]

FE-1 Mike Barratt completed another session, his third, of the LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1 surface sampling experiment.    [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.]

FE-2 Wakata continued working with the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions-2) experiment, activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and powered 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 was configured. Then, Koichi completed session #53, switching the magnetic field to “steady” mode, sweeping and focusing the field of view, and then removing & stowing video tapes from the MSG video recorders and inserting new blank tapes.  Later, the hardware 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).]

Romanenko conducted the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)–PrK–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, FGB GA–Node-1.]

Roman 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.]

The FE-3 also –

  • Conducted the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s sediment trap insert [the Russian SRVK-2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water],
  • Set up the power packs for the BAR instruments “Kelvin-Video” and TTM-2 for charging for another operational run of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload; charging will be terminated tomorrow, and data taking will be continued in a second session [objective of EXPERT is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A) and a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash],
  • Checked the image sensors of the onboard NIKON D2X digital cameras for cleanliness, and
  • Audited/inventoried the available stowage space in the FGB, SM, and DC1.

CDR Padalka monitored the TV LIV television system’s converter deactivation and took measurements of voltage & resistance on its associated power outlet.

Gennady initiated discharge/charge cycle on the first pair of four NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries for the Russian BMD (Biomedical Device) PZE STIMUL-01 payload in the payload’s charger device in preparation for another 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.]

FE-2 Wakata set up, checked out and conducted his fourth test with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #2, 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. (Third time done: 4/30). [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.]

Mike Barratt conducted the periodic status & screen check on the payloads CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

Expedition 19/20 Science Research Overview:   Exp 19/20 include operation of 105 NASA, Canadian Space Agency (CSA), European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA) integrated experiments in biological sciences, human research, technology development, physical sciences, education and Earth observation.  Russia manages its experiments and requirements separately.
· 5 CSA experiments
· 34 ESA experiments
· 16 JAXA exp[erimentds
· 50 NASA experiments.

US, CSA, ESA and JAXA experiments during Exp 19/20 will support the scientific work of over 400 scientists.
The ISS currently has 32 research facilities, located in the US, ESA and JAXA labs (i.e., not counting Russian facilities):
· 2 Human Research Facility (HRF) Racks (USND/Ultrasound, RC/Refrigerated Centrifuge, PC/Portable Computer, PFS/Pulmonary Function System, etc.)
· Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR)
· Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)
· Materials Science Research Rack-1 (MSRR-1)
· 6 EXPRESS Racks (ERs – they provide power & communications for experiments housed inside, two also provide vibration isolation)
· European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) – located within ER-3A
· Advanced Biological Research System (ABRS)
· Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG)
· 2 Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezers for ISS (MELFI-1 & MELFI-2)
· Biological Experiment Laboratory (BioLab)
· European Drawer Rack (EDR)
· European Physiology Module (EPM)
· European Transportation Carrier (ETC)
· Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL)
· European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF)
· Sun Monitoring on the External Payload Facility of Columbus (SOLAR)
· Ryutai Experiment Rack (Ryutai)
· Saibo Experiment Rack (Saibo).

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)
07/17/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking; (~1:53pm)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
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.