Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 May 2009

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

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

FE-1 Barratt continued his second run 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.]

The crewmembers began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. Third time for MO-7 for all three. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

In the SM (Service Module), after deactivating the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system plus VD-SU control system mode (which also required the Elektron oxygen generator to be off), Padalka continued the extensive outfitting job of installing and connecting new control & navigation hardware 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 associated cabling behind panels in the SM.]

Later, the CDR also installed a long cable in the DC-1 (Docking Compartment).

Subsequently, Padalka supported the ground in reactivating the Elektron oxygen generator (via pre-programmed sequencer) at 32 amps, by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there is no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

FE-1 Barratt 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.]

Afterwards, Barratt continued the current round of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, using vacuum cleaner and soft brush to clean the detachable VT7 fan screens 1, 2 & 3 of the three SOTR (Thermal Control System) gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok).

In the SM, Gennady performed regular service on the SRVK-2M condensate processor by removing its BKO multifiltration column unit and replacing it with a spare from FGB stowage, discarding the old unit for deorbiting on Progress 33P and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System). [BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

In the Lab, Mike Barratt started another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the third, 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.]

Wakata conducted the standard review of the POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software setup for today’s SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) activity, then had about an hour for “walking off” the SSRMS to the MBS PDGF-3 (Mobile Base System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 3) to get it into SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) Dextre viewing position.

After setting up and connecting the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable, the FE-2 then performed a checkout of the Lab & Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation) in preparation for the upcoming Mission 2J/A (6/13).

Koichi Wakata meanwhile worked in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), preparing the RLT (Robotics Laptop) for the systems checkout of the JEMRMS BDS (Japanese Experiment Module Robotic Manipulator System Backup Drive System) scheduled for 5/22. [Koichi verified proper file upload to the BDS via the RLT, which was then deactivated again.]

Performing regular maintenance on the Russian SOTR KOB-2 (Thermal Control System Cooling Loop #2), Gennady uninstalled the N2 micropump (ENA) of the replaceable pump panel 4SPN1 and replaced it with a spare unit. [Each of the two SOTR KOB loops has two redundant pump panels with two redundant pumps each. While in the early years of Mir and ISS the pumps were integral to the SPN panels, the current design allows them to be replaced without requiring an entire new SPN block.]

FE-2 Wakata serviced the US WRS (Water Recovery System) by refilling the WSTA (Water Storage Tank Assembly) with pretreated urine from EDV-U container for processing by the UPA (Urine Processing Assembly). The WRS is now ready to process urine and produce potable water for the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser). [The WSTA should be filled to no more than 75%. Yesterday’s hard work by Koichi to remove the UPA check valve and shims from the WRS2 rack was eminently successful, thanks to the crewmember’s dedication and good training. The IFM (Inflight Maintenance) was followed by a successful processing run of the UPA and was cleared for operation.]

The FE-2 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.]

Afterwards, the FE-2 —

* Completed the standard changeout of the TOCA’s WWB (Waste Water Bag), and
* Offloaded the WPA into one of the new CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine, #1023) with the common H2O Transfer Hose (which took about 26 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

FE-1 Barratt meanwhile —

* Completed the regular sample collection from the WRS PWA (Water Recovery System/Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line in a small waste water bag (50 mL) plus in a larger bag (125 mL) for in-flight microbial analysis, and later (within 6 hrs from the sample collection),
* Performed inflight analysis of the microbial sample with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit/Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative). [As usual, the flush water was reclaimed by releasing it into a towel which was then allowed to dry in the cabin atmosphere.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s session with the CARD experiment, Koichi inserted fresh AA batteries in the Holter BP (blood pressure) unit. [Must be done a minimum of 16 hrs before experiment start. The ESA cardiological experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) uses the battery-powered Russian CDL Holter Arterial Blood Pressure (BP) instrument. CARD was performed last by ESA crewmember Thomas Reiter in November 2006. Astronauts experience lowered blood volume and pressure during space missions due to relaxation of the cardiovascular system in microgravity which may be a result from decreased fluid and sodium in the body. CARD examines the relationship between salt intake and the cardiovascular system when exposed to the microgravity environment and explores whether blood pressure & volume can be restored to the same levels that were measured during groundbased measurements by adding additional salt to the crew’s food. Results from this may lead to new health safety measures for astronauts to protect them on long duration missions.]

After discussing 2J/A prepacking in a teleconference with ground specialists, Barratt had several hours for initial gathering, prepacking & staging cargo itemized in an uplinked list for return on Endeavour (2J/A) in June.

Padalka 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.]

Barratt conducted the daily IMS 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).

Continuing battery troubleshooting in the US Airlock, Koichi checked out the OCV (Open-Circuit Voltage) of EMU battery #2037, which was damaged in March when it was over-discharged on the BC4 (Battery Charger 4). The idea 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 today’s OCV check in BC3, a third OCV check will follow tomorrow (5/20), 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.]

Mike performed Part 2 of the usual TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) speed characterization test and A&CO (Activation & Checkout) after the recently installed new TVIS hardware has had time to break in. The results were then downloaded to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).

In preparation for the Exp-20 crew, Koichi worked on the MEC, formatting the PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) card for Frank DeWinne (#1038). The other two cards (#1040, #1041) remain to be done later. The MEC was readied to account for a six-person crew.

The CDR completed the periodic data collection on the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, copying data from its built-in control computer to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [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). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

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), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-2).

Afterwards, Michael downloaded the exercise data file 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).

Barratt, Padalka & Wakata, and had their PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~10:30am, Gennady at ~12:40pm, Koichi at ~1:55pm EDT.

At ~5:00pm EDT, the ISS residents are scheduled for a 30-min teleconference with crewmembers of the next Shuttle mission, STS-127/2J/A (Endeavour), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/video. [Endeavour, on its 23rd flight, will deliver the JEM EF (Exposed Facility), ELM-ES (Experiment Logistics Module-Exposed Section, and ICC-VLD (Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable, carrying six batteries), and its crew will conduct five spacewalks.]

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked last night to the crew for their reference, updated with yesterday’s CWC water audit. [The new card (19-0025H) lists 43 CWCs (~1,305.9 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (29 CWCs with 888.8 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 244.3 L currently off-limits pending sample analysis on the ground & 644.5 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria), 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 349.6 L, of which 221.3 L are currently off-limit pending ground analysis results), 3. condensate water (3 CWCs with 0 L), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (3 CWCs with 67.5 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Congratulations, STS-125: At 8:58am EDT, the crew of STS-125/Atlantis re-deployed the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in space, after five highly successful EVAs to restore it to its full potential, upgraded well beyond what it was before. In five service & repair missions, Shuttle crew have conducted 23 spacewalks since the Hubble’s first deployment. Without Shuttles, no further service visits can be performed henceforth.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were S. Mozambique, Africa (weather was predicted to be mostly clear over Mozambique. Significant development of petroleum infrastructure is expected here over the next several years, and imagery documenting the current condition of the landscape is essential to tracking change over time. Nadir-viewing, overlapping context photography, taken along-track, was requested), Lake Chad, Africa (ISS orbit track tracked directly over this shallow lake. Short-lens imagery of the lake was requested to provide context for higher resolution images), Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (ISS passed directly over the center of this 18 km diameter impact structure. The crater presents a well-defined circular wall structure of dark rocks against the lighter desert sands. Overlapping, nadir-viewing frames were requested), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (immediately after passing over the preceding Oasis impact structure, the crew was to look slightly to the left of track for the much smaller B.P. Structure. While this crater also has a well-defined circular wall structure comprised of dark rocks, its small diameter [2 km] makes it difficult to spot. Overlapping, near-nadir viewing frames were requested), and Megafan SW Algeria (clear weather was predicted over this Mars analog site. Looking for sinuous overlapping dry stream courses located between a large dune field to the north, and dark folded rocky hills to the NE. Overlapping, nadir-viewing frames taken along track as ISS approached, passed over and departed the target area were suggested).

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, 7:28am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 350.6 km
Apogee height — 357.1 km
Perigee height — 344.0 km
Period — 91.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009731
Solar Beta Angle — 43.3 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 61 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60143

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/22/09 — STS-125/Atlantis landing (KSC — 11:42am EDT)
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch (6:34am EDT)
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir, ~8:36am)
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 MRM-2 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/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) 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/XX/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A — Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A — MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
03/05/10 — Progress 38P launch
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 — ICC-VLD, MRM-1 — tentative
04/30/10 — Progress 39P launch
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress 40P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 — ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
07/30/10 — Progress 41P launch
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/30/10 — Progress 42P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 — Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA — on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.