Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 June 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
June 15, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 June 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 3 of Increment 20.

FE-2 Wakata & FE-4 Thirsk began the day with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Wakata & Thirsk (the latter having joined the experiment on 6/8) 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 will be 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.]

FE-1 Barratt exchanged the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) digital tape recorder 1 with a spare unit. [Steps included temporarily switching on the VTR to remove its tape, replacing it with the spare VTR and activating it to insert the tape removed from the old unit which has a suspect tape drive mechanism.]

Afterwards, Mike conducted another session with the SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment) payload, performed in the MSG and controlled by its A31p laptop with SPICE microdrives. The activities were photographed and video-recorded. [To allow the SPICE team to evaluate the functionality of the experiment fan & associated electronics and permit an insight into the amount of blockage at the fan outlet from soot generated by the burns, Mike started out with a flow calibration, first with open experiment assembly door, then with it closed. Next, he cleaned soot from openings to allow sufficient air flow to continue. Subsequently he conducted science ops with 50% propylene testing and a mixture of smoke points and lifted flames, to be compared to other concentration levels. 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 space. For each test point, the crewmembers adjusted the fuel flow rate until the flame was at the smoke point. Science data are collected by still images and downlinked video.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 DeWinne, equipped with gloves and wipes, performed cleanup activities inside the JAXA CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility), opening up and wiping out the 1G IU (Incubator Unit), centrifuge, Micro-G IU and sample trays to remove contamination.

Afterwards, Frank also cleaned the JAXA CB (Clean Bench) facility, wiping the OC (Operation Chamber) & DC (Disinfection Chamber) and checking out their relief valves. The CB was then returned to stowed configuration. [The Clean Bench consists of two compartments; the DC and the OC. Air circulated inside is kept clean by HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. Crewmembers operate the experiment materials with gloves from outside to prevent contamination from the ambient air.]

In the U.S. Lab, Robert Thirsk started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the eighth, with the new 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 hardware.]

Working on the U.S. WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), Koichi changed out the urine receptacle plus hose and its filter insert with new units.

FE-3 Romanenko performed the regular inspection of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for presence of coolant fluid. [On 5/19, the CDR had replaced a pump unit of the 4SPN1 replaceable pump panel at this location.]

Gennady & Roman completed scheduled IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the SM’s condensate water processor (SRV-K2M) by removing & replacing its water-conditioning unit’s purification columns (BK BKV) with a new spare. The old unit was stowed for disposal on Progress 33P. (Last time done: 11/28/08). [The SRV-K2M, with its BKO multifiltration unit, converts collected condensate into drinking water by removing dissolved mineral and organic impurities from the condensate. Downstream from it the condensate water is treated in the BKV water conditioning unit with salts for taste and silver ions for preservation, before it flows to the KPV potable water container from which the reclaimed water is dispensed warm or hot for drinking and preparation of food and beverages.]

Koichi Wakata performed IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) flow measurements for the Kibo JPM between modules with the electronic Velocicalc instrument. [IMV flow data were collected for Node-2 IMV Part FWD inlet, JPM IMV Stbd Fwd outlet, Aft inlet and Ovhd aft inlet. There is no direct measurement of airflow except as reflected by, and calculated from, differences in atmosphere partial pressures measured at selected points between the RS and USOS. ppCO2 is a good yardstick since for example an increasing ppCO2 in the Lab not reflected in the SM would indicate that Vozdukh is not receiving the air from the Lab at an efficient rate. Periodic air flow degradation checks support establishing a most effective fan cleaning schedule. CO2 is measured on board in percentage (i.e., concentration). To convert to mmHg, multiply the percentage value (e.g., 0.52%) by the current cabin pressure (e.g., 760 mmHg) and divide by 100 (example result: 3.9 mmHg).]

Also in the JPM, it was Bob Thirsk’s turn to begin the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM by donning its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph) and starting data recording for his first on-board session. The ECG is being recorded for 24 hrs.

In the FGB module, the FE-3 replaced the three OSP-4 portable fire extinguishers with fresh units (#00039084R, #00039085R, #00039086R).

Padalka conducted the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

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.]

Afterwards, the FE-3 also 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).

CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko supported the reactivation of the Elektron oxygen generator at 32 amps by the ground by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was 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. Elektron had been turned off to preserve lifetime during the operation of the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) and represses from Progress storage.]

The two cosmonauts also closed out the reconfiguration of the “Pirs” DC1 (Docking Compartment) and SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) after their recent uses for the Orlan EVA-22 & EVA-23, finishing up by –

  • Reinstalling & activating the MATRYOSHKA-R (RBO-3-2) radiation suite’s LULIN-5 electronics box and its associated spherical "Phantom" unit, then checking/adjusting date & time. [Data accumulated by LULIN comprise measurement date, time, mode, three-directional flux data ( per sec.), and three-directional dose rate.], and
  • Replacing the BNP portable air repress bottle at its usual location.

For the USOS (US Segment), Frank DeWinne performed the periodic inspection & cleaning of the FDS (Fire Detection & Suppression) system’s bacteria filters and SDs (smoke detectors) in the US Airlock (one SD), Node-1 (2 SDs), Lab (2 SDs), Node-2 (2 SDs).

With Wakata due to depart on STS-127, Mike, Koichi, Frank & Bob had a total of ~6 hrs between them for more E19/E20 handover activities.

FE-3 & CDR had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Roman at ~11:50am, Gennady at ~12:50pm EDT.

The crew completed 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). [On the CEVIS, the actual loads remain slightly lower than the commanded loads, but this was expected. A manual correction of the pertinent calibration coefficient via the control panel touch screen will be done at a later time when the new value has been determined.]

Later, Bob 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).

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for Roman & Gennady today suggested one job item – another run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D2X digital camera photography (with 800mm telelens)

OGS Status Update: The OGS (Oxygen Generator System) in the Lab was shut down early last Friday (6/12 because the cabin ppO2 had reached upper flight rule limits (close to 21 psi). If 2J/A is launched on 6/17 before the “Beta cutout”, the plan is to proceed with the water pump R&R (removal & replacement) during 2J/A. If the launch slips into July, more work on a forward plan for the R&R including risk & hazard analysis is required.

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, 8:48am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.2 km
Apogee height – 354.3 km
Perigee height — 342.1 km
Period — 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009034
Solar Beta Angle — -19.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 74 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60569

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
06/17/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD — 5:40am EDT (if slipped, next chance: 7/11)
06/19/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking
07/04/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing
07/17/09 – Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/07/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~8:49am EDT)
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
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.