Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 19, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 February 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>Yesterday Russia’s R7 rocket had its Golden Anniversary: 50 years ago, on 2/17/1959, the first “Semyorka” was launched at Tyuratam in Kazakhstan, today’s Baikonur. Congratulations, Roskosmos!<<<

CDR Fincke completed Day 4 of Session 2 of his daily diet monitoring for the SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment. SOLO runs in two blocks of six days each. Today, Mike conducted measurements and sampling of body mass, blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine. Samples were stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Fincke also used the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) for determining his body mass, then temporarily stowed the device. [During the Session 1 block, the CDR followed a special low-salt diet, during the current Session 2 a high-salt diet. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals will be 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.]

Later, the CDR broke out the Russian MO-8 BMM (Body Mass Measurement) "scales" (IM) for a measurement run and then put it away in stowage. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

FE-1 Lonchakov performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated tonight at ~4:15pm EST before crew sleep, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 1/29-1/30). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

The crew conducted the regular fire drill/OBT (on-board training), a mandatory periodic one-hour exercise (including 15-min ground debrief conference). [Primary goal of this Russian-led interactive exercise is to maintain crew skills in responding to a fire and to provide the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible. The drill is always conducted with the support of all MCCs (TsUP-Moscow, MCC-Houston, COL-CC, SSIPC/Tsukuba) in close coordination. It should be performed every 2.5 months, but not later than 1 month prior to end of Increment. OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) browse through RS laptop and the Signal-VM fire detection system displays as well as the automated software (algorithms) response to the fire event; (c) practice crew communication necessary to perform emergency FRPs; (d) ensure familiarization with support equipment (CSA-CP compound specific analyzer-combustion products, PBAs portable breathing assemblies, PFE/OSP-4 portable fire extinguishers, and IPK-1M gas masks to be used for fire suppression). These exercises do not actually use any fire equipment but simulate such actions with comm channels, PBAs, CSA-CP and laptop displays to the maximum extent possible. The Emergency Procedures OBT concluded with a 15-min. debrief with Russian/U.S. ground specialists at ~5:00am EST via S-band.]

FE-2 Magnus serviced the WPA (Water Processor Assembly), performing the regular changeout of the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer)’s waste water bag, then conducting the periodic WPA sample analysis in the TOCA after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. 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.]

FE-1 Lonchakov spent several hours working with the ground to configure and checking out the newly installed ATV PCE (Automated Transfer Vehicle/Proximity Communications Equipment; Russian: MBRL) in the SM, end-to-end testing its BUAP antenna switching control box, its connectivity with the BKS onboard cabling system, and the ATV PU (Control Panel. [The main MBRL components are the space-to-space radio “monoblock” (PCE Z0000), the BUAP, and the PU.]

Magnus & Fincke in turn went through a 30-min CRE-1 (Component Repair Equipment 1) training video and material for familiarization. [Background & Objective: In an effort to minimize the logistical footprint required to support space exploration, NASA-wide studies are being conducted to determine practicality & feasibility of repairing failed hardware in space at the lowest possible hardware level. The current ISS electronics repair plan is to replace an entire ORU. However, ORU-level replacements will be logistically challenging for programs such as Constellation; thus, electrical repairs at a component level are seen as highly desirable. Electrical repair in microgravity using solder is the focus of this experiment. To help gather data needed to develop a capability of repairs with a smaller logistical footprint, this CRE-1 activity will use the materials in the CRE-1 Kit to attempt repairs to functional circuit cards, which will be returned to Ground for analysis. The procedure uses the US Soldering Iron Kit, ISS IVA Vacuum and the CRE-1 Kit contents (delivered on ULF2) to be set up on the MWA Work Surface Area, complete with the MWA Containment System. CRE-1 is SDTO (Station Development Test Objective) 17012-U.]

Mike & Sandy also worked another European VLE1-R (Video Lessons ESA Reserve) session, #4, setting up the video-camera and loading it with a videocassette, then recording items and features of the eating, sleeping and working areas on the ISS, one as the operator, the other as the subject. [Afterwards, the labeled videocassette and video-camera were stowed again.]

The CDR performed a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Windows Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool), his third onboard session, by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and conducting the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT experiment. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request.]

Yuri Lonchakov serviced the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner by recharging it with Khladon (Freon-218) from a Progress-delivered KVO.6003 tank.

Mike Fincke performed the periodic status check on the running payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), the FE-2 locked the FSL FCE (Fluid Science Laboratory/Facility Core Element) with four locking bolts to protect it against acceleration forces.

In addition, Sandy had ~1.5 hrs for deinstalling and stowing the failed FSL GEOFLOW experiment container hardware for return, stowing its two not-to-be-returned experiment handles separately. Afterwards, the FE-2 re-installed the ECP video bypass connector on the FSL.

The FE-2 also conducted the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Later, Magnus 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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

The station residents completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Florida Coastal Everglades (the majority of this Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] site is located in the freshwater marsh in the Everglades National Park. Requested was documentation of the vegetation and land use as well as drainage patterns in the marsh), and Caracas, Venezuela (the Venezuelan capital city is situated in a narrow valley, just inland from the Caribbean Sea coast south of a forested mountain range. Trying for detailed near-nadir views of the city. As always with this city, the crew probably saw partly cloudy conditions).

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, 4:21am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.1 km
Apogee height — 362.3 km
Perigee height — 349.9 km
Period — 91.66 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009244
Solar Beta Angle — -41.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 65 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58726

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/20/09 — FRR (Flight Readiness Review) for STS-119/Discovery
02/27/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment — “NOT EARLIER THAN”
02/29/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
03/10/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
03/13/09? — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 — Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/12/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
Six-person crew on ISS
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC, last crew rotation
08/XX/09 — Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4
12/XX/11– Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

SpaceRef staff editor.