Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 October 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Light-duty day for the crew.

As follow-up to the three-hour training drill on the TORU teleoperator system on 10/14 in preparation for tomorrow’s Progress M-03/35P docking, FE-1 Suraev & FE-3 Romanenko today held a one-hour teleconference with ground specialists via S-band to discuss TORU procedures. [The TORU teleoperator control system is a manual backup to the Progress’ KURS automated rendezvous radio system. It lets a SM (Service Module)-based crewmember perform the approach & docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest“), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts“, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM’s TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 8 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground. On 10/17, Progress KURS will be activated at ~8:05pm EDT on Daily Orbit 16 (DO16), SM KURS two minutes later. Progress floodlight will be switched on at a range of ~8 km (~8:57pm). Flyaround to the DC1 docking port (~400 m range, in sunlight) starts at 8:16pm. Start of final approach: ~9:30pm (DO1) in sunlight, contact, in darkness: ~9:41pm.]

In preparation for FE-5 Williams’ first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo scanning session tomorrow, FE-2 Stott got out the pertinent reference material and reviewed it for her role as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). For the Echo session, Jeff must begin observing the usual constraints already today. [The ultrasound echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan includes an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise.]

FE-4 Thirsk concluded his fourth (FD135) session of ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring, doffing the two Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) about 24 hrs after the end of yesterday’s “midpoint” activity. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate >=120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

Jeff Williams broke out and set up the NUTRITION with Repository hardware for his first onboard session, starting tomorrow morning with his blood draw and urine collections. Bob will assist with the phlebotomy from an arm vein. [The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

CDR De Winne hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab & CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station) for video coverage of the Progress approach with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras.

Afterwards, De Winne worked in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) with FE-4 Thirsk, setting up the Canon G1 camcorder to allow ground controllers to monitor the acoustics of repeated ground-commanded on/off cycling on three WOOVs (Water On/Off Valves), of which one (#8) is stuck open, and to listen whether the valve is moving and whether the noise is different from the sounds made by WOOV6 & WOOV 7. [On 9/14, during a regular cycling of WOOVs 6, 7 & 8, WOOV8 remained stuck in the OPEN position. If today’s ground-commanded attempt is unsuccessful, the valve will have to be closed by manual override, which requires going behind ER3 (EXPRESS Rack 3).]

The CDR continued the relocation of eight stowage bags with food for more immediate consumption to the COL (loc. F3) for easier access before newly arrived food containers on the HTV (H-IIB Transfer Vehicle) are consolidated next week. The moves were logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Bob Thirsk performed a visual inspection of the MDS (Mice Drawer System) Status Check and reported on the status of the three surviving mice and food bar supplies.

Later, Bob also conducted the regular weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices), SLD cables and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.

Supporting the ground in the continuing commissioning activities of the MSRR (Materials Science Research Rack), Nicole booted up the MSRR laptop.

Stott & Williams performed their first standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training, using D2X digital still cameras with 400 & 800mm lenses to take Earth Observation imagery from Windows 6 or 8 in the SM, facing the velocity vector. Afterwards, Jeff downlinked the obtained photographs for ground analysis. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-129/Atlantis) in November. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Atlantis, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Jeff also completed the now regular transfer of pre-treated Russian urine directly from EDV-U container into the Lab UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) for processing, done each morning for about 5 minutes.

FE-3 Romanenko conducted 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.]

For Jeff Williams, it was Day 2 of the sleep shift sequence for the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS), which is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following the sleep shift. [The experiment consists of a 5-min reaction time task that will allow the subject to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

At ~4:10am EDT, the entire crew supported an interactive TV PAO Event with participants of the 17th International Space Olympiad for High School Students, taking place at the city of Korolev from 10/14 through 10/24, with students from Russia, USA, England, and Greece. The best representatives from the foreign delegations were at TsUP-Moscow today for the crew downlink. [“…We are glad to welcome you aboard of the International Space Station. It has become a good tradition to have an intellectual marathon of the students who are interested in space exploration in the science city Korolyov. It is important that the questions of conquering space attract much attention of the students from different countries. It is a good chance for them to meet and to discuss problems which are real for people all over the world. The International Space Olympics is a great event where everybody is able to show talent, success and good results in the subject competitions. We, the International Space Station crew, declare the 17th International Space Olympics open and wish you good luck and the unforgettable days in Russia!”]

At ~5:50am, Suraev & Romanenko downlinked PAO TV messages of greetings to four different events. [(1) the 8th International Applied Science Conference on the topic of manned spaceflight at GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) on 10/28-29, to be attended by A.N. Perminov and heads of other FSA enterprises; (2) the State television corporation “Telekanal Rossii” at its celebratory gala for Alexandra Nikolaevna Pakhmutova, USSR People’s Artist, Winner of national awards and composer, on 10/23 at the Moscow Stanislavsky & Nemorovich-Danchenko Academic Musical Theater (Pakhmutova will observe her 80th birthday on 11/9); (3) the 10th Tsiolkovsky Youth Readings, to be held in Kirov on 10/21-23 in memory of spaceflight pioneer K. E. Tsiolkovsky (originally conceived by cosmonaut V.P. Savinykh, the readings have been held since 1989 and continue to attract large numbers of participants from many regions of Russia and the former Soviet Union. More than 350 schoolchildren from Russia’s regions will participate in this year), and (4) the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Kaluga branch of Moscow’s Bauman State Technical University.]

At ~8:20am, De Winne conducted the periodic tagup with the ESA staff at Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is scheduled generally once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

At ~10:35am, the crew held their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

At ~11:25am, Nicole, Bob & Frank debriefed with ground specialists on specific questions regarding their HTV Rendezvous/Capture and EP (Exposed Pallet) experiences & activities.

The crew also had two CDEs (Crew Discretionary Calls), Nicole at ~7:20am, the entire crew at ~9:00am.

With the assistance of Bob Thirsk, Nicole moved the transducer instrumentation hardware from the nominal TVIS harness to the Glenn harness, then activated the new harness for another individual exercise run on the treadmill. Afterwards, she downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).

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

Later, 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).

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked last night to the crew for their reference, updated with yesterday’s CWC (Collapsible Water Container) water audit. [The new card (21-0028) lists 78 CWCs (~1,784.5 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (65 CWCs with 1,400.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 187.4 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria & 176.2 L in 4 clean bags for contingency use, 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 323.1 L, of which 194.8 L (5 bags) are currently off-limit pending ground analysis results), the remainder good for contingency use, 3. condensate water (3 CWCs, empty), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (2 CWCs with 61.1 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

PAS Checkout: At 9:20am-12:20pm, the ground performed an actuation checkout of the PAS (Payload Attach System) #1, CLA (Capture Latch Assembly) and UMA (Umbilical Mechanism Assembly), operating CLA & UMA on both IMCAs (Integrated Motor Controller Actuators). Due to loads constraints, Russian thrusters were disabled at 10:50am-11:25am, i.e., were not available for CMG (Control Moment Gyroscope) desaturation.

USOS Software Transitions: X2GNCR8 (Transition 2 Guidance, Navigation & Control software Release 8) software transitions in the US Segment have been going well. After having started out with the GNC MDMs (Guidance, Navigation & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexers, computers), on 10/14 the Primary & Backup INT (Internal) MDMs (Multiplexer/Demultiplexers, computers) were loaded with the new INTSYS R5 software, and the LA3 (Lab 3) MDM was loaded with the new LSYS 3 R4 software. All MDMs were reinitialized successfully. A subsequent series of reconfiguration steps then restored systems to a nominal configuration with the new software. Yesterday, the Payload MDMs were transitioned to the new PEP (Payload Executive Processor) R8 software and the STR (Starboard Thermal Radiator) MDM was loaded with SPTR (Starboard & Port Thermal Radiator) R2 software. Today, the activity concluded with the transitioning of the PTR (Port Thermal Radiator) MDM to R2. A challenging accomplishment!

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Merapi Volcano, Indonesia (Merapi lies in one of the world’s most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. This volcano is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. Smoke can be been emerging from the volcano at least 300 days a year. Looking left of track), Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (looking to the left of track for this famous volcano – clouds may be present along the lower flanks but the summit is typically clear. Of particular interest are the small glaciers located at the summit. These glaciers have been receding dramatically over the past century, and have been predicted to disappear completely by 2020. Detailed imagery of the summit will help document changes in the extent of the glaciers and snow cover), Sky Islands, Northern Mexico (looking to the right of track into northwestern Mexico for a zone of roughly NW-SE trending mountain ranges. The upper flanks and peaks of these ranges are relatively green with vegetation in comparison to the tan, sparsely vegetated lowland deserts around them. These high-elevation vegetated areas are known as "sky islands" due to their isolated nature on the landscape. Oblique imagery of the mountain ranges and their sky islands of vegetation was requested), Ubinas Volcano, Peru (ISS had a nadir pass over Peru’s most active volcano Ubinas; some clouds may have been present. The summit caldera contains an ash cone, and debris avalanche deposits extend 10 km from the southeast flank of the volcano. Overlapping frames of the volcano summit and flanks were requested. CEO staff recommended commencing photography as the station crossed the Peruvian coastline and terminating the Ubinas session as it approached Lake Titicaca as the best means of capturing the volcano), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (general views were requested to round out recent highly detailed views. The lake was left of track. Lake levels in Poopo are generally affected by El Nino episodes with water levels declining during ENSO [El Nino Southern Oscillation] events. CEO imagery will also add to existing time series imagery of the fluctuations of lake levels in Poopo), and Villarrica Volcano, Chile (looking right. The line of glacial lakes extending at right angles away from track is the visual cue, with Villarrica between two of these lakes. Shooting along the line of lakes to capture the target. Snow-covered Villarrica is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes and one of only four worldwide known to have an active lava lake within its crater).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:14am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 344.7 km
Apogee height – 349.6 km
Perigee height – 339.8 km
Period — 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007345
Solar Beta Angle — -25.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 184 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62506

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
10/17/09 — Progress M-03/35P docking (DC-1, ~9:41pm)
10/27/09 — Ares I-X Flight Test
10/29/09 — HTV1 hatch closing
10/30/09 — HTV1 unberthing
11/04/09 — HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) launch on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2)
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/??/10 — Soyuz 20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04/36P docking
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/28/10 — Progress 37P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress 38P launch
07/27/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/31/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/27/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/21/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
02/09/11 — Progress 42P launch
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 — Progress 43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.