Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 June 2009

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

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

FE-5 Frank DeWinne performed the periodic WRS (Water Recovery System) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-7 (Station Support Computer 7) 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.]

Then, the FE-5 completed the regular sample collection from the WRS PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient & hot lines for in-flight microbial and chemical analysis as well as post-flight samples for return on 2J/A. [Ambient samples were collected in a small waste water bag (50 mL, flushing) and in a larger bag (125 mL) for in-flight microbial analysis, plus in a large bag (500 mL) for post-flight analysis; hot line samples went into a small waste water bag (50 mL, flushing), a lager bag (175 mL) for inflight TOCA analysis, and a bag (750 mL) for return and post-flight analysis.]

The subsequent inflight analysis of the microbial sample was conducted by DeWinne 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). The activity must be performed within 6 hrs after water collection from the PWD ambient line. [As usual, the flush water was reclaimed by evaporation, by releasing it into a towel which was then allowed to dry in the cabin atmosphere.]

FE-2 Wakata collected samples of ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System Low Temperature Loop) coolant fluid and OPA (Ortho-phthalaldehyde) both in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for return to Earth and ground analysis.

FE-4 Thirsk made advanced preparations for his next ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) session scheduled tomorrow, this time focusing on Ambulatory Monitoring, accompanied by CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on Return from the ISS). [Preparations included lithium battery changeout and initialization on three Actiwatches, two for ICV, one for CCISS. Bob also formatted two HiFi memory cards to allow 48 hrs of Holter monitoring and charged Makita batteries for use with the ESA Cardiopres (CDPB). The latter is a portable instrument to monitor and store finger arterial blood pressure, a full 12-derivations ECG, and chest circumference changes, all measured continuously for up to 24 hours or longer under ambulatory conditions, using air pressure to inflate finger cuffs for measuring blood pressure, ECG cables, plus two respiratory belts for recording thoracic and abdominal chest circumference changes. ]

CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko had two more hours set aside for stowage and disposal of Russian equipment & tools used in the recent Orlan EVA-22 & EVA-23.

Continuing the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, Gennady & Roman charged the unit once again with pressurized N2 from the BPA Nitrogen Purge Unit (#23) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2). The last test pressurization test to monitor for leakage was on 6/4. [Deferred from yesterday. Objective of the monthly checkout of the BZh, which has been in stowage for about 2 years, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

To prepare for upcoming FSS (Fluid Systems Servicer) operations in the Lab, FE-1 Barratt cleared affected areas in the Lab by relocating equipment to temporary stowage, including the File Server, MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), Printer and SSC (Space Station Computer) laptops as needed. [Cables were to be kept long enough to avoid power or data disconnects.]

After yesterday’s intensive cleaning of soot residuals on the SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment) payload in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), which returned flow values to nominal (prelaunch values from prelaunch, Mike Barratt resumed test operations (having run out of time yesterday), performed in the MSG and controlled by its A31p with SPICE microdrives. [Mike exchanged burner tubes, set up the still camera, exchanged the gas bottle with new fuel, performed ignition to start the flame test, adjusted to the smoke point and took photos. Today’s session featured 50% propylene testing and a mixture of smoke points and lifted flames, to be compared to other concentration levels. Planned were a total of 35 test points (#1-27; #28-35), after which Mike was to close out the session, exchange video tape & microdrive and power down the MSG. 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 in space.]

Gennady Padalka made preparations for tomorrow’s planned R&R (removal & replacement) of the TVM-1 Terminal Computer Lane 1 in the SM (Service Module), unstowing the newly delivered TVM-1 unit (#R115) and readying tools from Russian & U.S. tool kits. [The German-built TVM, like the TsVM Central Computer, is triple redundant, with subunits (lanes) TVM-1, TVM-2, TVM-3.]

Barratt, Thirsk & DeWinne in turn conducted a session each with the experiment BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment), complete with videocam coverage, investigating the relative contributions of internal and external cues to self-orientation during and after zero-G exposure, the first for Mike, the third for Bob & Frank. After setting up the camcorder for recording the activity, configuring the “Neurospat” hardware and activating the BISE software on its A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop, the crewmembers each then had ~20-25min for completing the experiment protocol, as they had done it for their BDC (Baseline Data Collection) runs on the ground. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration microgravity conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to microgravity and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

The CDR performed the frequent photos of the plants in the LADA greenhouse of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment using the Nikon D2Х photo camera with F=17-55 mm lens for subsequent downlink via OCA. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from Moscow’s IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

The FE-3 serviced the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), setting up new Bubble dosimeters for recording radiation traces, initializing and deploying the detectors. Roman later verified proper function of the setup with the LULIN-5 electronics box. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (A01-A08) were initialized in the Bubble dosimeter reader in the SM and positioned at their exposure locations, three in the spherical “Phantom” unit on the DC1 panel and five in the SM (two in starboard crew cabin on both sides of the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) dosimeter detector unit, two under the work table, and one at panel 410). The deployment locations of the detectors were photo-documented with the NIKON D2X camera and also reported to TsUP via log sheet via OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

In Node-2, Wakata worked in the two CQs, installing covers on the speakers of their ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [The Node-2 CQs are at locs. NOD2P5 & NOD2S2.]

Afterwards, Koichi disconnected the vacuum umbilicals at both HRF racks in the COL. [The HRF racks are at locs. COL1F4 & COL1A4.]

After yesterday’s installation of new BJK BKV purification column unit in the SM SRV-K2M (condensate water processor)’s water conditioning unit, Gennady today concluded the IFM (Inflight Maintenance) by flushing the new subsystem. [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.]

For another radiation reading, Padalka collected and downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has ten sensors placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). Today’s readings were taken from four dosimeters (A0301, A0303, A0309, A0310).

With Koichi due to depart on STS-127, Roman, Gennady, Koichi & Frank had a total of ~3 hrs between them for more E19/E20 handover activities.

Padalka 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-4, FE-1 & FE-2 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Bob at ~9:55am, Mike at ~10:20am, Koichi at ~10:55am EDT.

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

GLACIER Anomaly: Fan and cooler unit of the GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) were powered off yesterday in response to exhibiting loud noise and vibration as the fan speed was increased. The crew removed the JAXA DomeGene samples from GLACIER and transferred them to the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISSI). GLACIER is scheduled to return on Flight 2JA. Specialists will review the data and determine a forward plan.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan (Crew Site: The crew should have been able to see the Baikonur Cosmodrome under the ISS orbital track. Recommended were overlapping, nadir-viewing frames as during approach, pass over, and departure of the target area to ensure capturing imagery of the target), Sofia, Bulgaria (Capital City: Sofia is not only the capital of Bulgaria, but it is also the largest city in the country. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha. Sofia is one of the oldest European cities and its history can be traced back approximately 7000 years. Overlapping imagery was recommended. Aiming right of track for the city), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (the B.P. [British Petroleum] Structure is the first impact crater ISS crossed. It is small and it is a very challenging target. The crater is 2 km in diameter [similar in diameter to Meteor Crater in Arizona] and its age has been dated at less than 120 million years. The crater should be close to right of track. Mapping pass was requested), Brent Impact Crater, Ontario, Canada (Brent Impact Crater is 3.8 kilometers in diameter and is one of the older craters, dated at approximately 396 million years. As with many craters in Canada, this one is highlighted by lakes that partially fill the crater. Looking right of track), and Coast Mts., BC, Canada (the Coast Mountains are located in western British Columbia and are a continuation of the Cascade Range. These glaciers have been in a well-documented, heavy retreat for the past couple of decades even though they are located in a moist, marine environment, with heavy winter snowfalls and elevations ranging from 10,000 to 13,000 feet. Documenting the extent of the glaciers.)

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, 7:50am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.1 km
Apogee height – 354.1 km
Perigee height — 342.2 km
Period — 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008908
Solar Beta Angle — -16.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60584

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 — ~2:32am
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.