Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 2 November 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
November 3, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 2 November 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 4 of Increment 21.

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-4 Thirsk supported once again the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting 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 are being 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 De Winne & FE-2 Stott continued commissioning activity on the new MSRR1 (Materials Science Research Rack 1). The CDR powered on the MSRR laptop and installed the first MSL SCA (Materials Science Laboratory / Sample Cartridge Assembly), with the FE-2 taking documentary video & photography of the first cartridge installation. [The ESA/NASA MSRR-1 provides a powerful multi-user MSL with diverse EMs (Experiment Modules) so that many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied in micro-G to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials. MSRR experiments will be coordinated by international teams that share different parts of the samples. There are 25 investigators on three research teams participating in the first of these investigations.]

Continuing OGS (Oxygen Generator System) troubleshooting, FE-5 Williams & Nicole Stott temporarily deactivated and removed the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) dosimeter unit to allow OGS rack access, then removed the failed water ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) and replaced it with a refurbished unit. [Additional activities included purging with the HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter), reconnecting the OGS H2 sensor, activating OGS, rotating the rack down for a first visual leak check, then temporarily closing out the track for a 3-hr dwell, rotating it down for a second leak check and finally replacing the rack rear panel, rotating the rack up and reinstalling the ALTEA.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Jeff Williams undertook his second (FD30) ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo session as Subject, assisted by Bob Thirsk as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Jeff underwent the ultrasound scan for the Resting Echo mode of ICV, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. The ultrasound echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan includes an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise.]

In the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Suraev deactivated the Vozdukh CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) scrubber.

Afterwards, Suraev installed the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #13 with the battery charged yesterday, then launched the experiment with a calibration session using a fully zoomed FOV (field of view) view of Moon, assisted by FE-3 Romanenko for adjusting SPM (Spectrometer) modes & settings. Afterwards, the experiment was closed out and the equipment torn down for stowage. [Using the GFI-1 UFK “Fialka” ultraviolet camera, SPM spectrometer and VKJ camcorder, controlled from Laptop3, the experiment usually deals with observing and recording hyperspectral observations of the Earth atmosphere and surface, with a Moon calibration performed today. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

To be prepared for an emergency evacuation and return to Earth in winter time, Romanenko & Suraev relocated six standard Russian TZK-14 Thermal Protection Jackets from FGB, SM & Progress stowage to the two Soyuz spacecraft TMA-15/19S & TMA-16/20S, three jackets for each. [These warm coats, always ready for an emergency return in winter, would be required for the landing in Russia or Kazakhstan this time of year.]

Frank De Winne reconfigured the power supply of the Russian C&C (Command & Control) A31p laptop from its previous HTV1-docked setting.

Later, the CDR supported the ground in preparing for “multicasting” (MCAST) four SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptops with new software image preparatory to the upcoming Exp-21 OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) Reload, by inserting four DVDs with the software in the laptops (three wireless, one other), to be removed tomorrow. [Overnight, the ground-commanded MCAST will copy the image from the disks to the hard drives of each SSC.]

After Nicole had activated the US A/L (Airlock) Minicam for video recording, she and Jeff worked in the A/L on making space for ULF3-docked EVA operations, clearing out and removing equipment items not certified for the vacuum during the PMA-3 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 3)/Crewlock depressurization scheduled on 11/4 (Wednesday).

Afterwards, Bob Thirsk initiated ACS (Atmosphere Control & Supply) pressurization of PMA-3 in preparation for ingress.

Roman Romanenko continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, working in the SM to clean the “Group B1” fan screens, while Maxim Suraev worked in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) cleaning the grilles of interior panels 201, 301 & 401, followed by the vent screens of panels 116, 316, 231, 431.

The FE-3 had ~70 min. set aside to float through the FGB, SM and DC1 Docking Compartment doing an audit to assess available stowage space for cargo to be delivered on 11/12 on 5R/Progress 302 (MRM2).

Roman also conducted the periodic/long-term inspection of the SM RO (Working Compartment)’s pressure hull and ring, looking for any moisture, deposits, mold, corrosion and pitting behind panels 130, 131, 134, 135, 138, 139 and also underneath the TVIS treadmill (where deposit was discovered in the past) and the cold plates (where SNT and STR lines are installed). Last time done: 8/25/09. [The inspection of the hull surface, which is coated with a primer and dark-green enamel, is done using cleaning napkins to wipe the area in question if required and reporting results to the ground. The hull inspection looks for changed color and cavities; if cavities are found, they are to be measured for depth (with chewing gum) after cleaning. Digital photographs of the shell before and after the removal of deposits were to be made for documentation.]

CDR De Winne went on a search for two PPRV (Positive Pressure Relief Valve) caps which will be required for installation in Node-3 “Tranquility” on Flight 20A next year. If two caps can be found, it would save space on the crowded 20A manifest.

Later, Frank worked in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) on the EPM PDU (European Physiology Module / Power Distribution Module), exchanging the ESEM-4 (Exchangeable Standard Electronic Module 4) of Slot 6 with the ESEM-4 of Slot 8.

Working in the Zvezda SM, Romanenko performed troubleshooting on the BKS onboard cable network for a circuit in the RRZh1 KOKh1 power supply box behind panel 134 where fuses have repeatedly blown. [After setting up connections, the FE-3 used the Elektronika MMTs-01 Multimeter tester to check DC resistances in the wiring. This had already been looked into by Gennady Padalka on 10/4/09, apparently in vain.]

Maxim Suraev performed the periodic update of the AntiVirus program in the Russian VKS auxiliary laptops (RSS2, RSK1, RSK2, RSE1, RSE2), which are not loaded from the ground, from a new uplinked program copy of Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, first scanning the latter, then transferring the database by flash-card to the other computers and scanning them one by one.

Roman did 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).

Maxim 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.]

Thirsk started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 41st) with the 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 will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

Bob also did the regular checkup on the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) experiment in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), inspecting the homogenized Sample 6 for crystals and taking photographs. [This activity is performed daily during BCAT-5 operations to check for crystals, but it is not required after crystals have been found. The sample is being photographed by a DCS 760 digital camera & the EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer). Sample pictures are taken automatically with electronic flash every hour for 21 days, and the pictures are downlinked via OCA during nominal OCA downlink sessions.]

Frank De Winne had ~2 hrs set aside for continuing cargo transfer & prepacking activities for STS-129/ULF3, going by an uplinked prepack list.

The FE-4 performed the periodic evacuation of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration. [The pneumatic cylinder of the ARED continues to exhibit a small leak, and an onboard repair cannot be conducted at this time. The crew continues exercising with the current configuration, with frequent cylinder evacuations.]

Nicole continued T2/COLBERT treadmill troubleshooting, using a newly uplinked batch file to attempt retrieving missing data from last week’s T2 Long-Duration ACO (Activation & Checkout) sessions. [If successful, the ground will review the data and hopes to give a Go for nominal T2 operations with handrail deployed.]

Before sleeptime tonight, Frank & Nicole will raise and secure the ARED in stowage position to allow access around its site.

The FE-2 also performed the daily service of the MDS (Mice Drawer System), today cleaning the windows for the camera and the lighting LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes).

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Later, Frank transferred the exercise data files 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).

At ~12:00pm EST, Bob Thirsk supported a PAO TV event arranged by CSA (Canadian Space Agency) at CSA Headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, for CSA employees, friends and colleagues of Bob, moderated by CSA President Steve MacLean, CSA Astronaut Julie Payette and STS-127 Commander Mark Polansky.

At ~2:55pm, Thirsk is scheduled for a CDE (Crew Discretionary Event) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

IWS Thruster Test: This morning at 1:23am EST, a ground-controlled SM thruster firing test (4 tests with 2 pulses each) was conducted for IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) structural dynamics data taking, with ISS attitude moded to free drift at 1:20am-1:23am. Control authority was returned from RS Motion Control to US Momentum Management at 2:15am.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:44am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 342.3 km
Apogee height – 346.5 km
Perigee height – 338.2 km
Period — 91.38 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006161
Solar Beta Angle — 35.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 129 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62775

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/04/09 — HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) launch on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/16/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) 2:28pm EST
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 —> two-member crew
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.