Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 October 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – docking day for Progress M-03/35P.

The crew’s sleep cycle has been adjusted to accommodate the late-night Progress docking:

  • Today, 10/17:
    • Wake 2:00am EDT
    • Sleep 9:00am
    • Wake 5:30pm
  • Tomorrow, 10/18:
    • Sleep 9:00am
  • Monday, 10/19:
    • Wake 2:00am

FE-5 Jeff Williams started out with Day 3 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.]

Continuing her support for the JAXA Space Seed payload in the Kibo’s CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility), FE-2 Nicole Stott relocated the four Space Seed KFTs (KSC Fixation Tubes) in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) from 2 degC to -95 degC storage.

Nicole 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. She will do it a second time later tonight after wakeup (~5:30pm).

Before their early sleeptime (9:00am), FE-1 Suraev and FE-3 Romanenko took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. Later tonight after wakeup, the O-OHA test is also on schedule for CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk, FE-5 Williams. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

FE-5 Williams began Day 1 of his first session (FD15) with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, focusing today on the blood draw. Bob Thirsk assisted with the phlebotomy from an arm vein. Afterwards, Jeff began the 24-hour urine collections of the NUTRITION protocol, i.e. through the early sleeptime and the second wake period tonight. [After the phlebotomy, Jeff’s samples were first allowed to coagulate in the Repository for 20-30 minutes, then spun in the HRF RC (Human Research Facility/Refrigerated Centrifuge) and finally placed in MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). No thruster activity was allowed during the blood drawing. The RC was later powered off after a temperature reset to limit wear on the compressor, and cleaned. 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.]

Thirsk started transferring fresh food containers from the HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) to the ISS as first step in the ensuing food consolidation. De Winne will continue the activity later tonight after wakeup.

Frank had time set aside this morning and tonight for more cargo transfers from the HTV to the ISS and trash in the reverse direction, followed by a 15-min debriefing/bookkeeping tagup with ground specialists. Bob will join the effort later tonight.

FE-3 Romanenko conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. Max Suraev is scheduled to do it again tonight after the Progress docking. [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.]

All crewmembers have their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) on their timelines, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Max & Roman this morning (6:15am, 6:45am), Nicole & Bob tonight (5:30pm, 9:15pm), and Bob, Frank & Jeff tomorrow morning (5:15am, 7:00am, 8:15am).

After wakeup at 5:30pm tonight, FE-4 Thirsk s scheduled for another participation in the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting 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.]

Later tonight, Thirsk, Jeff & Frank also are scheduled for filling out their regular weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC. [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Jeff will also have Day 4 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 crew has two physical exercise periods today, a 1-hr workout this morning (on CEVIS/FE-2; TVIS/FE-1, FE-4; and ARED/CDR, FE-3, FE-5), and the regular daily 2-hr. program tonight (CEVIS/CDR, FE-1; TVIS/FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5; ARED/CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5; and VELO/FE-3).

Following the sessions, Jeff & Frank are to transfer 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).

After their wakeup tonight (~5:30pm), Romanenko & Suraev will go through the usual preparations for the subsequent docking of the Progress 35P cargo ship, including –
· Testing of the RS (Russian Segment) video system, which uses the SONY HDV camera for transmitting over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM to downlink via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in “streaming video” packets,
· Configuring & activating the FGB-based A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop for the TV conversion to NTSC and Ku-band,
· Activating the video equipment for covering the Progress approach & docking at the DC-1 Docking Compartment,
· Configuring the Russian STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to docking ops and later restoring its normal settings,
· Powering down the amateur/ham radio equipment to prevent RF interference with Progress prox ops, and
· Monitoring approach and final docking of 35P from the SM, ready to take over with TORU.

After the docking at the DC-1 at ~9:41pm EDT, Roman & Max will –
· Conduct the usual one-hour leak checks,
· Install the BZV QD (quick disconnect) clamps of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the connection,
· Open hatches,
· Take air samples with the Russian AK-1M sampler, and
· Deactivate the spacecraft.

MEDS Update: FEV (­Food Envelope) replacements for the MDS (Mice Drawer System) was completed yesterday after initial difficulties, perhaps related to the MELFI spill. Payload specialists are working with MCC-H engineers to get ambient humidity and temperature data for the MDS interior to determine if these may be factors contributing to problems with MDS subjects (three mice remain alive). Measurements have indicated 73-80% humidity.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty-One — Week 1)

3-D SPACE: “Bob, thank you for completing your 3D-SPACE session.“

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): No report.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

ALTEA DOSI (NASA/ASI): “Our ISS back-up radiation monitoring system continues to function nominally. Thanks for your support in maintaining the system which not only helps protect all the crew but also provides research data for future exploration opportunities on other space platforms.”

BCAT-4/5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4/5): No report.

BIOLAB (ESA): Thank you, Frank, for performing BIOLAB filter exchange, installing the Reference ECs taking the pictures for the troubleshooting teams.

BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): No report.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report.

BISPHOSPHONATES: “Bob, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 10/19. Jeff, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Due to sleep shifting, your next session is scheduled for 10/17.”

CARD (Long Term Microgravity: Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): No report.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CB (JAXA Clean Bench): No report.

CBEF (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility)/SPACE SEED: “CBEF manual ventilation was conducted to lower the humidity inside incubators.”

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Bob, thanks for completing your fourth ICV/CCISS session. The PI will review the data when he returns from Russia.”

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Complete.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), MDCA/Flex: No report.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

Commercial 2 (JAXA): Completed.

Commercial 3 (JAXA): Completed.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

DOSIS (ESA): Experiment is progressing nominally with active and passive dosimeters measurements. Data downlink was performed on 10/2.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Planned.

EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): The rack is continuously active in support of the Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility (PCDF) experiment. EDR is providing power/data and temperature control (via cooling loop) to PCDF.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.

EPM (European Physiology Module): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA): No report.

EPO LES-3 (ESA): No report.

EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): No report.

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): Ongoing.

EPO Dewey’s Forest (JAXA): The sample was transferred to MELFI.

EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): No report.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): No report.

EPO Try Zero-G (JAXA): “No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Spiral Top (JAXA): No report.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): With landing of 17A on 9/11, EuTEF platform was returned to the ground.

FACET (JAXA): No report.


FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): No report.

GEOFLOW: No report.

HDTV System (JAXA): To be launched by HTV1.

Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.

HQPC (JAXA): To be launched by 34P.

HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System/JAXA): No report.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “Bob and Jeff, the ICV PIs want to thank you for one of the best echo sessions we have had to date. The clear concise images obtained will provide sound data products once analyzed. Bob, we appreciate all your efforts with troubleshooting the Cardiopres as well as the detailed descriptions of the errors you were receiving. The details really help us to understand the extent of the problem, ultimately aiding us in communicating a rapid resolution. Your willingness to go above and beyond to ensure a quality data product is greatly appreciated. Nicole, thanks for your assistance during Bob’s Ambulatory Monitoring Start session yesterday. Nicole & Bob, the detailed description of the conflict that Cardiopres causes during ARED and TVIS exercise really helped the ground team to further understand the issue. We originally interpreted Nicole’s comment about performing ARED while wearing the Cardiopres as pertaining only to her sessions, as it had been performed during past ambulatory monitoring activities. However, after learning how it disrupts your ability to perform ARED techniques properly, we will work with the planners to avoid overlaps in the future or, if that isn’t possible, provide words about removing the equipment.”

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.


InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): No report.

IRIS (Image Reversal in Space): No report.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): No report.

MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): Software reboot has been repeated (6 times in one week) to troubleshoot MRDL (Medium Rate Data Line).

MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): No report.

MDCA/Flex: See under CIR.

MDS (Mice Drawer System): “Ciao, Nicole and Bob and crew. A very special thanks for your efforts with our science in another week which started out with difficulty. We are saddened by the loss of the third mouse but we truly expect to gain valuable science both from the mice which have expired at different times while on orbit and from the mice we expect to return home with STS 129/ULF-3. Thank you for your efforts to preserve the expired specimens and to continue to maintain the facility which supports the mice.”

Microbe-1 (JAXA): No report.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): No report.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): No report.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC-1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.


PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 3; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): No report.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): No report.

PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): Continuous protein crystallization has finished and PCRF shut down. 2 PCGs were handed-over to RS on 10/10. The PCGs were recovered by Soyuz 18S and transported to JAXA.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.


RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

RadSilk (JAXA): RadSilk experiment has started. Sortie sample (launch control sample) was returned by 17A.

RST/Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): “Jeff, this week you began the first sleep shift sequence for Reaction Self Test. Thank you for your participation and we look forward to analyzing the data from your sessions.”

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): Started nominal operation.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “All, spare Actiwatch bands are now available for you to use. A bag of neoprene and a bag of Velcro bands are located in COL1A4_F1. If you like, you can trash your old bands. Bob, you are scheduled to download and initialize all the Actiwatches on 10/18. You will also be downloading and stowing Mike’s sleep Actiwatch which Mike temp stowed on SLAMMD.”

SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device): No report.

SMILES (JAXA): System checkout is ongoing. Observation mode check out was done on 10/9 and could detect O3, HCl and ClO with high resolution.

SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in. Liquids, ESA): SODI-IVIDIL runs continue this week on the first cell array. A longer duration run was also performed to study the steady state of the concentration distribution to see if any changes occur after the duration of the standard runs.

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Currently not in Sun observation window. Next window is predicted to start on 10/16.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): No report.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): No report.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): No report.

SPINAL (Spinal Elongation): No report.

SWAB (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): No report.

THERMOLAB (ESA): “Jeff, thank you for performing the first session of THERMOLAB. The science data from your session has been downlinked.”

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VO2max (NASA): “Frank, thank you very much for performing the very first in-flight VO2max session! We appreciated all of your work and input during the session. Your next session is currently planned for the second week in November. Jeff, thank you very much for your diligent efforts to complete the first VO2max with Thermolab data collection! We received your input regarding the request to temp stow the majority of the Portable PFS hardware and are working your request through here on the ground. We will let you know the status as soon as we can. Your next session is planned for the second week in November.”

VLE (Video Lessons ESA): VLE-1 completed.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage). No report.

YEAST B (ESA): “Frank, thank you for completing the YEAST-B experiment. The samples have been safely returned to the science team. They are very pleased with their initial assessment of the samples.”

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 10/14, the ground has received a total of 25,843 frames of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to confirm your acquisition of imagery for the following CEO target: Mount St. Helens, Washington – excellent long-lens views of this famous caldera – now under review for completion of requirements. Your marvellous, unsolicited, dynamic event view of the ash and steam plume from the Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. This long-standing CEO science target has proven challenging for crews because of frequent cloud cover. Your oblique view with a touch of sun glint provides a fresh and striking perspective of this dangerous and active stratovolcano. Many thanks for spotting and composing this fine Earth Observation!”

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (after a quick review of ISS CEO imagery of this target area from yesterday it does not appear that the crew was able to capture this challenging impact crater. For that reason they were asked to try again today. The B.P. Structure is the first impact crater ISS crossed. 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 have been close to right of track. Mapping pass was requested), Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (Oasis impact crater is larger than B.P. [18 km in diameter] and probably a little easier to recognize. The age has been dated as less than 120 million years. Mapping pass along the orbit track was requested), and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Addis is seldom clear of clouds and because of that observers are seldom able to make this target request to the crew. Preliminary forecasts show that this city may be under more clouds than is usually preferred, however, because the sun angle is high and as stated before, the weather is seldom perfect, the crew was asked for it on this day. Addis has a population of more than 3 million. As the capital of Ethiopia and home of the African Union, it has communities representing 80 nationalities. It is growing fast, and requested were images of the urban fringe where change is focused).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:39am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 344.6 km
Apogee height – 349.3 km
Perigee height – 339.8 km
Period — 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007065
Solar Beta Angle — -20.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 109 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62522

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.