Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 May 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
May 18, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 May 2009
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 May 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 7 of Increment 19.

FE-1 Barratt began his second week of sleep logging for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. This is similar to Barratt’s BCD (Baseline Data Collection) which was performed pre-flight for comparison. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Mike wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and uses 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.]

FE-2 Wakata started his day with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which he again 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 will be 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.]

CDR Padalka performed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

After reviewing an uplinked 18-page procedures document, Koichi Wakata, assisted by Barratt as required, had several hours of IFM (Inflight Maintenance) work for removing the UPA FCPA (Urine Processor Assembly/Fluids Control & Pump Assembly) check valve of the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System) rack 2. [Check valve 4 in the FCPA has periodically failed to open, causing a hard stop of the UPA. On 5/13, this failure occurred four times in a row, and subsequent startup attempts have been unsuccessful. In order to return the UPA to a functional state, this check valve (which is actually no longer required) must be removed from the flow path. For the removal, the WRS-2 had to be rotated away from the module wall and three shims taken out, requiring a special on-orbit built tool.]

After closing out the IFM and restoring connections, the FE-2 set up the pump & transfer equipment, then transferred urine from EDV-U container to the WSTA (Waste Storage Tank Assembly) to ~35% for processing, then verifying proper backflow to the EDV-U before disconnecting the FCPA for a leak check. [A processing checkout of the UPA without the offending check valve will follow tomorrow.]

Before the WRS leak check, Wakata also performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) 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.]

In the SM (Service Module), CDR Padalka meanwhile continued the extensive outfitting job of installing and connecting new control and navigation hardware plus associated cabling for the Russian MRM-2 (Mini Research Module 2), to be launched on a Proton later this year (Flight 5R). [Today, Gennady installed and checked out a BOK SS command processing unit for MRM-2 onboard systems control, along with associated low-frequency cables.]

Barratt 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.]

Mike also conducted 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).

After the SAMS ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System Interface Control Unit) and RTS (Remote Triaxial Sensor) drawer swap on 5/6, the ground today checked out the SAMS, supported by Barratt activating the SAMS ICU in its new location in ER 1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) drawer 2 in the Lab. [The purpose of the drawer rearrangement was to consolidate the equipment, so that by activating a single rack, both SAMS and MAMS acceleration data can be obtained.]

In the Lab, Mike also started another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the second, with the new 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 were again to be compared with VOA measurements.]

Koichi set up the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) hardware, checked it out and used it for BMM (Body Mass Measurement),- his first time. Afterwards, the procedure was repeated on Mike Barratt, his third time, followed by stowage of the hardware. [SLAMMD, performed first on Expedition 12 in December 2005, provides an accurate means of determining the on-orbit mass of humans spanning the range from the 5th percentile Japanese female and the 95th percentile American male. The procedure, in accordance with Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, finds the mass by dividing force, generated by two springs inside the SLAMMD drawer, by acceleration measured with a precise optical instrument that detects the position versus time trajectory of the SLAMMD guide arm and a micro controller which collects the raw data and provides the precise timing. The final computation is done via portable laptop computer with SLAMMD unique software. To calculate their mass, crewmembers wrap their legs around a leg support assembly, align the stomach against a belly pad and either rest the head or chin on a head rest. For calibration, an 18-lbs. mass is used at different lengths from the pivot point, to simulate different mass values. Crew mass range is from 90 to 240 lbs.]

In the SM, Gennady worked on the SRV-K2M condensate water recovery system, performing the periodic inspection & cleaning of the sediment trap pipe filter insert (vstavka-ulovitelj). The task included taking a situational photograph and downlinking it via BSR-TM channel.

In the US Airlock, the FE-1 began the extended job of troubleshooting EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery #2037 which was damaged in March when it was over-discharged on the BC4 (Battery Charger 4) in the BCM (Battery Charge Module). The ideas is to do a test charge & discharge on the battery in BC4 to see if the failure signature occurs again, hoping that this information can be used to clear BC3. [After doing an OCV (Open-Circuit Voltage) check on 2037 in BC3 and then charging the battery for 1-2 hrs on the stand-alone charger on the PSA (Power Supply Assembly) today, another OCV check in BC3 will be performed tomorrow. On 5/20 (Wednesday), a third OCV check will follow and if 2037 is shown to have recovered, it will be recharged on BC4. The crew will also charge two HL (Helmet Light) batteries on BC1 for use during the upcoming Russian spacewalks and a REBA battery on the PSA standalone charger. The charging will be terminated on all batteries on 5/21, followed by a discharge (on BC4), to be terminated on 5/22.]

Barratt also conducted the daily status check on the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4) science payload, running by itself since 5/12 on Sample 5. [The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 5, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

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

Afterwards, Mike downloaded the exercise data file 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).

Gennady had two job items remaining on his discretionary “as time permits” task list for today:- searching for a BVN air heater fan (#3) [recommended search sites: In DC1 near DC-Soyuz SU hatch; in the FGB behind panel 113 in a bag with the Assembly Unit], and conducting the periodic audit/inventory of RS (Russian Segment) medical kits (which total about 35).

Progress M-01M/32P Reentry: The uncrewed cargo ship Progress 32P is scheduled to perform its deorbit burn today at ~3:00pm EDT for destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean. Since its undocking on 5/6, 32P has been used to conduct “a series of geophysical used to conduct a series of geophysical experiments under the Plasma-Progress program.”

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today. (In recent days, ISS daylight-awake orbit tracks have shifted rapidly into the Southern Hemisphere which is now some seven weeks into the fall season, and both day length and sun elevation are significantly lowering. This situation along with deteriorating seasonal weather greatly limits good view opportunities for targets. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the ISS orbit tracks nearly parallel with the terminator. The consequence is very low light right of track, low light near nadir, and adequate to good light left of track. Beginning a few days ago and for the near future, there may be no targets with suitable illumination or weather.)

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, 7:03am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 350.6 km
Apogee height — 357.0 km
Perigee height — 344.3 km
Period — 91.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009491
Solar Beta Angle — 47.9 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 79 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60127

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/18/09 — Progress M-01M/32P deorbit (~3:00pm EDT)
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch (6:34am EDT)
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
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)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A — MPLM (P), LMC
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 MRM2 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/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module) on Proton — tentative
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/??/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A — Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A — MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 — ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 — ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
06/??/10 — ATV2 — Ariane 5 (ESA)
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA — on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.