Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 February 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

CDR Fincke completed Day 5 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 continued taking measurements and samples of blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine, which were then stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [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.]

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 #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:00pm EST. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (Last time done: 1/29-1/30).]

Lonchakov performed a two-hour leak check on the hatch between the spherical SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment) and the DC1 SU (Transfer Vestibule), focusing on its PEV (pressure equalization valve; Russian: KVD) which was subjected to high negative pressure during the Russian Orlan EVA-21 on 12/23/08. The test indicated the valve is operating correctly. [The KVD refused to open on electric command, requiring FE-2 Magnus to enter the PkhO for manual cycling of the valve. Later, after ingress, the KVD valve suddenly became electrically functional again shortly before hatch opening (the second vestibule hatch, between the SU and the DC1 SO interior.]

Afterwards, the FE-1 replaced also replaced procedures pages in RODF (Russian Operations Data File) books with updates delivered on Progress 32P. [Changes involve the books on Medical Experiments (ME, 1&2), Technical Experiments (TE), Progress M-66/32P Transfer Ops. and FGB IVA IFM Part 1.]

CDR Fincke worked with the new CRE-1 (Component Repair Equipment 1) hardware, removing, cleaning and replacing electronic test components (R1, U2, U4) on a single test card. The CDR unsoldered 1 1/2 components from an integrated circuit board and re-soldered new components including an integrated circuit chip. This was Session 1 for this SDTO; Sessions 2 & 3 are tentatively scheduled for 2/23-24. [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.]

Sandy Magnus moved the IWIS RSU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System/Remote Sensor Unit) accelerometer from the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) to the US Airlock, connected to an A31p power supply, for taking structural dynamics data during the 15A docking and photo documented the installation.

The FE-2 worked on the WPA (Water Processor Assembly), first offloading the WPA into a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) with the common H2O Transfer Hose (which takes about 20 min), then collecting the regular three water samples from the CWC with Lab condensate tank water.

Sandy also conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (18-0006M) lists 41 CWCs (~1,207.9 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (642.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 110.6 L currently off-limits, filled from WPA and pending sample analysis on the ground), potable water (515.0 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (0.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (50.6 L, including the new CWC-I with 3.9 L from PWD flushes). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

The crew collected Lab & Node-2 ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) samples on their own, voluntary time. The task was timelined for tomorrow, but were on the “job jar” list as get-ahead items. [All three return to ground samples were successfully taken and are currently stowed. An OPA (Ortho-Phthalaldehyde) test strip sample was also successfully taken, however a issue with the procedure resulted this activity being conducted more than one time. The real-time readings of this sample indicate the coolant contamination remains within specifications.]

The CDR collected “Exp-18 Week 17” samples of potable water for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and the SRV-K Warm tap, the latter after preliminary heating of the water (three heating cycles) and flushing. [Collected were two 450 mL samples (for postflight microbial analysis), one 225 mL sample (for inflight microbial analysis) and two 750 mL samples (for postflight chemical analysis) from each of three ports (SRV-K hot, SRV-K warm, SVO-ZV) for return on STS-126/ULF2. The flush water, collected in three small waste water bags, was then reclaimed for technical use. For the in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis, Mike used MCDs (microbial capture devices) from the U.S. WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing after no more than 6 hours of the collection (done ~6:25am EST). Sample analysis included subsequent processing of water samples in the MWAK (microbial water analysis kit) for inflight coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) detection. Results of the on-board processing will be available after a two-day incubation period, in case of the MWAK after 4-6 days of incubation.]

The station residents took the traditional crew photo, along with HD (high definition) video for subsequent downlink via the MPC (Multi-Purpose Converter) HD video system.

Afterwards, Mike recorded situational video in the A/L (Airlock), to be downlinked for familiarization of the 15A crew. [Emphasis on EVA Tool and EMU configs, generic layout of METOX & amp, etc.]

Yuri, with Mike assisting, had over two hours set aside for the periodic RS (Russian Segment) window inspection & photography, today in the SM and DC1, using a tool kit with ruler, adhesive tape, 90-deg equilateral triangle & measuring tape, the NIKON D2 X digital camera with 28-70 mm lens, a flash attachment, and sketches of the windows under scrutiny (2, 3, 5, 14 in SM, plus the VL1 window in DC1) with previous detected flaws marked and flaw tables. [Purpose of the activity is to assess the condition of the window panes for deterioration as compared to the data from previous increments (appearance of new cavities, scratches, discolorations, or spots reducing transparency, or an increase in the size of old flaws), plus photography. Then images and data tables were stored on the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via OCA.]

Sandy conducted a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), her second onboard session, by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT application. [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. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory – Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

Continuing the current round of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Mike Fincke worked one hour in the SM to replace its four dust filters (PF1-4).

Sandy 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 FE-2 also took care of 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).

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 TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

At ~1:35am EST, Yuri Lonchakov conducted a ham radio exchange with Russian students from Gagarin High School #1 where the first cosmonaut received his education,

At ~9:05am, the CDR powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 9:10am held a ham radio session with students of the Salluit Schools, Salluit, Quebec, Canada. [Salluit is the second northernmost Inuit community in Quebec, Canada, located on Sugluk Inlet close to the Hudson Strait. Its population was 1072 in 2001 (Census of Canada), currently 1143, and growing rapidly. It is not accessible by road, but by air through Salluit Airport. Salluit means "The Thin Ones" in Inuktitut, referring to a time when local inhabitants were facing starvation as a result of a lack of wildlife. Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. “What does Canada do on the International space station?”; “Can you see Salluit, right now?”; “What are the effects of the body living in space for a long period of time?”; “Is there rain, snow or wind in Space?”; “How long can astronauts stay in Space?”; “Is it cold or warm in Space?”; “What is the training process to become an astronaut?”; “Is there night and day in Space?”; “How was the International Space Station built in Space?”; “How do you clean yourself in Space?”]

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Lake Eyre, Australia (this large, mostly dry lakebed is a landmark from space in South Australia. It is the lowest point of a basin that drains an area about one-seventh of the continent. This makes it a good indicator of long-term rainfall trends in east-central Australia. Using the short lens for context views and trying to acquire most or all of the lakebed in a single frame), Hyderabad, India (ISS had a nadir pass over this important Indian city. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along-track, were requested as the station approached, passed over, and then departed the metropolitan area. This will provide a rural-urban-rural transect useful for tracking land use/land cover change), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (this capital city is located near the center of the rugged Ethiopian Highlands. Using Lake Tana to the north-northwest and the Rift Valley lakes the south to help find this difficult target area), and Southwest Algeria Megafans (ISS orbit track clipped the northeastern portion of a large [320 km radius] megafan complex in Algeria. These megafans [or inland deltas] have been laid down by rivers that used to flow west and northwest out of the Adrar N’Ahnet Mountains in SW Algeria, and have been proposed as analogs for similar features observed on Mars. Looking for linear dune fields and highly contorted rocks as landscape markers. Overlapping mapping frames, looking right of track, were requested).

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, 4:39am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.0 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 349.8 km
Period — 91.66 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000919
Solar Beta Angle — -36.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 44 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58742

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.