Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 2 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 2, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 2 February 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 15 of Increment 18.

As part of the crew’s regular morning inspection tour, FE-1 Lonchakov conducted the routine checkup of DC1 (Docking Compartment) circuit breakers and fuses. [The monthly checkup in the “Pirs” module looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.]

CDR Fincke, FE-2 Magnus & Lonchakov began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement & PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device which Yuri broke down afterwards for stowage. [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. 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.]

Fincke conducted the last three runs of the new series of seven runs of the experiment InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions, #47, #48, #49) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), first setting up the payload equipment and video camera at the MSG, activated the latter via its A31p laptop and performed the sessions, exchanging tapes in between and powering down the equipment at the end. [InSPACE, conducted in 2006 by Jeff Williams on Increment 13 and in 2007 by Peggy Whitson on Increment 16, obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The dispersed particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields of different strength (amps) and frequency (Hertz) from run to run. For the new runs, Mike set up CA2-002, VA-007 (Vial Assembly 7), connected a fiber optics cable with its light guide tool to the CA, and inserted video tapes.]

FE-1 Lonchakov meanwhile had 90 min. reserved for configuring the GFI-11/OBSTANOVKA (Environment) equipment in the DC1 Docking Compartment and performing more electric field measurements with the Langmuir Probe on the external hull of the SM (Service Module). [Field voltages (mV) were scanned cell by cell with the Fluke 105B ScopeMeter oscilloscope, and the oscillograms on the screen recorded by photographing, plus the scanning values were logged in a table. The performance of the ScopeMeter was checked with the Elektronika MMTs-01 MultiMeter. All photographic records were then downlinked via OCA.]

Afterwards, Lonchakov performed routine maintenance (filter cleaning) on the Russian SRVK condensate water processor of the SVO water supply system.

In preparation of the Progress M-01M/31P undocking on 2/4, the FE-1 & CDR had ~40 min scheduled for testing the main TORU (Teleoperator Control System) receiver on the mated Progress vehicle, working with ground specialists on the standard vehicle-to-vehicle TORU checkout between the Service Module (SM) and 31P docked at the DC1 nadir port. Progress thrusters (DPO) were inhibited and not involved. [Crew activities focused on TORU activation, inputting commands via the RUO Rotational Hand Controller and close-out ops. TORU lets an SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of failure of the automated KURS system. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember steers the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM’s TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 7 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground. Progress M-66/31P and all subsequent vehicles which carry more advanced avionics equipment, will require new TORU procedures.]

FE-2 Magnus spent ~2 hrs supporting ground-commanded O2 valve trip testing on the FCF CIR (Fluids & Combustion Facility/Combustion Integrated Rack). [Support activities included turning off the CIR power switch, opening the upper FCF doors, setting CIR valve timers, installing a CIR N2 (nitrogen) manifold bottle onto the Optics Bench, closing bottle valves and relieving pressure on all four manifolds. For the ground testing via S-band, Magnus then powered up the CIR again. Afterwards, Sandy turned off the rack. Calibration of the motors and fuel reservoirs will begin in Wednesday (2/4).]

Mike completed the visual (plus photographic) microbial analysis of air and surface swab samples collected last week (1/28) in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) with SSK (Surface Sampler Kit) on slides and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) in Petri dishes at the T+5d incubation point (collection day counts as Day 1). [FE-2 Magnus had taken air samples (one bacterial, one fungal) in the FGB mid-module, with potential fungal spores in the FGB atmosphere being of primary interest.]

The CDR also set up and activated the equipment for a new 6-day session of EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) in Node-2. [This is the 30th time for EarthKAM aboard the ISS and the second time on Increment 18. EK is using a DCS 760 electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens, powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. The student requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OPS LAN.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Sandy Magnus performed more cleanup work, including clearing and inspecting fireports.

Yuri Lonchakov collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM, using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today using preprogrammed microchips to measure for Ammonia (NH3) and Formaldehyde (HCHO).

In the US Lab, Magnus performed periodic service on the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator), replacing its desiccant.

The FE-2 also completed the daily flushing of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), now from a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) instead of drink bags. [The PWD had been found, via several microbial analyses by Magnus, to have bacteria growing in the ambient water leg. Latest microbial results indicate that not enough iodine may get into the system to kill off any microbes, since the amount of 250 mL used lately did not take into account the filter and, as ground testing has shown, it takes about 24 hours for the iodine to convert to non-biocidal iodide when left stagnant in a filter like the one used in the PWD. The amount of iodinated flush water was reduced last Friday (1/30) to 0.5 L for the next seven days (to end 2/6).]

In the SM, the FE-1 performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Yuri 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).

As a standard procedure for new station residents, Sandy & Mike were asked to fill out the experimental questionnaire for the standard Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa ("bracelet/questionnaire") test procedure. [If desired, the crewmembers may evaluate a number of "bracelet" cuffs for their usefulness in suppressing the adverse effects of micro-G for the "newcomer" aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness, if there are such indications. The "bracelets" are compression cuffs attached to a belt and worn on the upper thighs over the coveralls, intended as countermeasures against the initial micro-G effects of blood filling (vascularity) in the upper torso (heaviness and blood pulsation in the head), facial puffiness, nasal stuffiness, painful eye movement, and vestibular disorders (dizziness, nausea, vomiting). They create artificial blood accumulation in the upper thirds of the thighs, causing some of the circulating blood volume to relocate from the upper body to the lower extremities, thereby (hopefully) correcting the adverse hemodynamic effect of micro-G and thus improving the crewmember’s working capability. The actual compression cuff in the Braslet units is a combination of alternating multi-layer tensile and non-tensile elements, whose distension by body movements creates elastic forces that produce the necessary pressure on the body surface. The questionnaire lists bracelet types, days worn, cuff tension used, wearing method (on body or over clothing), thigh cuff positioning, etc.]

Yuri was timelined for another repressurization of the ISS atmosphere with fresh air from Progress 31P storage.

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

At ~12:29pm, Sandy Magnus powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 12:34pm, a ham radio exchange with students at the Humber College Institute of Technology & Higher Learning in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

At ~3:30pm, the crewmembers are scheduled to convene for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

CDRA Update: The US Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly has been running on half-duty cycle but NASA would like to shut it down to conserve life cycle of hardware. TsUP-Moscow agreed to run Vozdukh full-time.

MT Update: After a pre-motion survey today, the MSS MT (Mobile Servicing System/Mobile Transporter) was moved from WS4 (Worksite 4) to WS1. A checkout was then performed. Later, the MT was translated to WS6, the starting position for the upcoming Shuttle mission.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 8:07am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.8 km
Apogee height — 362.3 km
Perigee height — 351.3 km
Period — 91.68 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008176
Solar Beta Angle — -40.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 44 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58477

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/04/09 — ISS Reboost (~2:50am EST), SM mid-ring thrusters, 0.5 m/s (not SM ME twin thrusters)
02/05/09 — Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit (~11:00pm EST)
02/10/09 — Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment (7:32am EST)
02/13/09 — Progress 32P docking (2:20am EST); [crew wake: 10:30pm on 2/12]
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking (3:57am EST)
02/23/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking (9:30pm EST)
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (KSC, 1:50am EST)
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 — 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.