Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 17, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 August 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 12 of Increment 20.

Upon wakeup, FE-2 Timothy Kopra continued his current experiment activity of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of an extended session. [To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, 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.]

For Thirsk, the day began with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Bob 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 are being 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 had Day 4 of his second SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session (low salt diet), which entails a series of diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. Today, Mike temporarily set up the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) for measuring his body mass. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Mike will have to eat special diet (Session 1: High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level and Session 2: Low salt diet). Solo Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. SOLO, an ESA/German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Blood samples are taken with the PCBA. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

FE-3 Roman Romanenko configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the 1h15m session, his third, 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.]

With the US OGS (Oxygen Generator System) currently down (see below), CDR Gennady Padalka in the course of the day ignited three more end-of-certified-life SFOG (Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator) “candles” in the RS (Russian Segment). [The SFOGs, used as oxygen source backup to the Elektron and OGS, generate O2 by decomposing cartridges of solid potassium perchlorate (KClO4) into potassium chloride (KCl) and O2 when heated at 450-500 degC. Each candle releases ~600 liters (1.74 lbs.) of O2, enough for one person per day.]

Gennady then supported the ground in powering down the Elektron-VM O2 generator, safety-purging its BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen (N2) at 0.65 kg/cm2 via its KE3 and VN3 valves. Elektron will be reactivated on 8/21, and until then the cabin atmosphere will be refreshed with O2 from Progress 34P stores.

After deactivating and temporarily removing the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) dosimeter unit to allow OGS maintenance, FE-4 Bob Thirsk accessed the OGS Rack access for performing HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter) purging and then, joined by FE-5 Frank DeWinne, reviewed the upcoming troubleshooting of the failed OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly). [The task will entail removing & replacing the OGS pump ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) filter, located behind the water inlet QD (Quick Disconnect), followed by leak checking some time afterwards. The R&R will take an estimated 1h20m (prior cool-down not included) and require two crewmembers.]

In the morning, FE-2 Kopra broke out and set up the equipment for a clinical evaluation, the U.S. PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/o Blood Labs exam, with Mike Barratt assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). For examination, Mike used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack) and automatic blood pressure cuff from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). [The second part of PHS, Subjective Clinical Evaluation, was also performed afterwards. All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam, with PCBA analysis and clinical evaluation, is guided by special software (IFEP, In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC laptop. While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, the blood’s hematocrit is particularly measured by the Russian MO-10 protocol.]

Barratt & Padalka completed their fifth 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training, using the D2X digital still cameras with 400 & 800mm lenses to take in-cabin target imagery using an Orbiter cutout. Afterwards, Mike 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-128/Discovery/17A). 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 Discovery, 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.]

FE-3 Romanenko wrapped up his annual outfitting IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the SOTR Thermal Control System in the SM (Service Module), removing old SMOK condensate lines and replacing them with new spares (last time done: September 2008). [Today Roman completed Part 5, replacing condensate line components between the KR1 control valve and the SK1 valve assembly. Afterwards, he cleaned up and restowed tools & equipment. The R&R involved about 20 flexible hoses (SMOK) and line components.]

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).

The CDR 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.]

In the SM, Romanenko & Padalka completed another major outfitting job – routing and installing a comm cable behind wall panels to provide telephone communications to the crew in the Russian MRM-2 (Mini Research Module 2) after its docking to the SM zenith port on 11/12. A tagup with ground specialists supported the activity.

In preparation for configuring the SDRM (SpaceDRUMS) activity during 17A, Thirsk removed closeout panels (left, center, right) from ER 5 (EXPRESS Rack 5) and ER6.

Afterwards, the FE-4 closed the protective shutters of the science windows in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and US Lab, preparatory to tonight’s Russian thruster testing on the SM ODU Integrated Propulsion System (Manifold 2) scheduled at ~1:12am EDT (handover from USOS to RS: 12:50am).

Barratt, Thirsk & DeWinne had several hours set aside for collecting & prepacking cargo for 17A.

Supported by an extensive itemized list, Kopra unstowed and transferred CDs/DVDs, placing new ones in the onboard CD Library Volumes and obsolete ones in a case marked for return to the ground.

In preparation for the 17A mission, Barratt & Kopra supported the ground in cycling and checking out MSS (Mobile Service System) mechanisms, including a walkoff of the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) from the Lab PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) to the Node-2 PDGF. The MSS is configured and ready for the mission. [During power-up a false “read” of a joint angle was observed, similar to an event last week but involving the EP (Elbow Pitch) joint rather than the SR (Shoulder Roll) joint. Ground teams were able to re-create this signature in ground testing over the weekend, and it was cleared by rebooting that joint’s electronics unit. Since it is believed that a timing issue is responsible for these events, it will be taken care of in the software upgrade to MSS 6.1. An investigation of these events is continuing. No other anomalies were discovered during the 17A checkout.]

Romanenko used the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to check for Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde and Ammonia in the SM. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.],

The FE-3 also conducted the periodic inspection (the 20th) 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].

The FE-5 performed the regular periodic inspection and cleaning of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) in the US Lab.

DeWinne started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 22nd) with the 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.]

Padalka completed the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWCs (Collapsible Water Containers, #1074, #1008, #1050) to the RS for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Gennady continued the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, cleaning the VD1 & VD2 air ducts in the DC1 Docking Compartment.

Working in the SM on the TA968MA (A11) box of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system’s prime central processor subsystem (PTsB) behind panel 314, Padalka replaced its PZUB data storage unit with a new spare.

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-5 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~3:05pm EDT, Tim at ~2:15pm, Frank at ~7:35am EDT.

At ~3:55pm EDT, the FE-4 had his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and u-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

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

Afterwards, Mike Barratt transferred the exercise data files 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).

Airlock RPC Trip: Late last Friday (8/14), RPC-7 (Remote Power Controller 7) in the RPCM (RPC Module) AL1A4A_B, a kind of fuse, tripped open. This RPC powers the A/L (Airlock) Zone 1 primary shell heater that covers the circumference of the CL (Crewlock). The trip was due to over-current, and the RPC was declared No-Go for re-closure. A/L secondary heaters are capable of maintaining temperatures in this zone as required for the near term but at the current solar Beta angle heaters are not required to be powered on for temperature control, and the Zone 1 secondary heaters were temporarily disabled following the RPC trip. Specialists are working on a forward plan.

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, 8:28am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.4 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height — 343.0 km
Period — 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008066
Solar Beta Angle — -12.7 deg (magnitude decreasing out)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 35 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 61561

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/24/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~1:58am EDT)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:04pm 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)
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
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) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or 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.