Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 20 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 21, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 20 August 2009

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

Upon wakeup, FE-2 Timothy Kopra continued his current experiment activity of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of an extended session.

FE-1 Mike Barratt had ~2 hrs set aside for stowing the hardware of the sophisticated InSPACE-2 experiment, powering off the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) video system and removing & stowing all INSPACE & INSPACE2 hardware plus MSG video equipment, including remaining video tapes. Stowage also included the last coil assembly and all vial assemblies. [Purpose of the InSPACE-2 experiment was to obtain data on fluids that change properties in response to magnetic fields. Observations of the microscopic structures should provide a better understanding of the interplay of magnetic, surface and repulsion forces between structures in magnetorheological (MR) fluids (fluids that change properties under the influence of an applied magnetic field).]

In preparation for the arrival of STS-128/Discovery (8/27) –

  • FE-1 Barratt updated his photo/video cue card for the RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) picture-taking pattern for the 400mm-lens bottom side imagery, and
  • CDR Padalka underwent another 15 min of in-cabin rehearsal of 400mm-lens photography using an Orbiter cutout.

Continuing the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, the CDR also charged the unit once again with pressurized N2 from the BPA Nitrogen Purge Unit (#23) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2). The last test pressurization test to monitor for leakage was on 8/10. [Objective of the monthly checkout of the BZh, which has been in stowage for about 2 years, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

Afterwards, Padalka supported the activation of the Elektron at 24 amps by the ground by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was 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. Elektron had been turned off for the SKV1 BTA R&R since the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control system mode were deactivated for this activity.]

FE-4 Thirsk completed the sorting and relocating of a total of 31 CWC-I’s (Collapsible Water Containers-Iodine) from the Lab to the JLP to make room for installing a new rack in the Lab (loc. LAB1S2). [This has been a 4-hr job of which the first two parts were performed yesterday and on 8/18 by Bob & Mike.]

Later, the FE-4 completed 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 (20-0055M) lists 64 CWCs (~1,652.3 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (50 CWCs with 1,222.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis & flushing, incl. 379.9 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria, 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 323.1 L, of which 171.8 L (4 bags) are currently off-limit pending ground analysis results and 1 CWC with 23 L contains Wautersia), 3. condensate water (3 CWCs, 34.1 L), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (3 CWCs with 72.6 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.]

FE-2 Kopra had ~45 min reserved to go look for and gather hardware items needed for PGB (Portable Glovebox) activities prior to use with the MDS (Mice Drawer System) currently manifested on 17A, reporting their quantities and whether they are stowed or deployed. [IMS (Inventory Management System) database currently shows these items in the FGB.]

Working on the WRS (Water Recovery System), the FE-2 configured and filled the RFTA QD (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly Quick Disconnect) hose.

On the TVIS treadmill, with the circuit breaker set to Off, Tim removed the treadmill’s SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices)

Kopra also performed the periodic manual filling of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) flush water tank (EDV-SV), which took about 35 min, rendering the WHC unavailable during this time.

FE-1 Mike Barratt set up, checked out and conducted his fifth test with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #3, using the ESA Multipurpose Laptop with a prepared HDD (Hard Disk Drive), data storage on a PCMCIA memory card, and an electronic pen table connected to it. Thirsk assisted during the Writing exercise. [3D Space, which involves distance, writing and illusion exercises, is designed to test the hypothesis that altered visual perception affects motor control. To do this, the subject is asked to reproduce shapes or text on an electronic pen pad (Wacom Intuos3 A4). The test person is asked to reproduce shapes or text on the pen tablet which allows researchers to record and analyze the reactions both on earth and in space.]

FE-3 Roman Romanenko configured the equipment for his third session with the Russian experiment MBI-18 DYKHANIE (“Respiration”) and undertook the test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop and supported by ground specialist tagup. Roman then closed down the hardware and stowed it. [Dykhanie-1 uses two body belts (PG-T/thoracic, PG-A/abdominal), a calibrator, resistor, mouthpiece, etc., to study fundamental physiological mechanisms of the external breathing function of crewmembers under long-duration orbital flight conditions. During the experiment, physiological measurements are taken and recorded with a pneumotachogram, a thoracic pneumogram, an abdominal pneumogram, and pressure data in the oral cavity. All experimentally derived plus salient environmental data along with personal data of the subject are recorded on PCMIA card for return to the ground at end of the Expedition. Objectives include determining the dynamics of the relationship between thoracic (pectoral) and abdominal breathing function reserves and their realization potential during spontaneous breathing, the coordinated spontaneous respiratory movements in terms of thoracic and abdominal components of volumetric, time & rate parameters of spontaneous respiratory cycle, identification of the features of humoral-reflex regulation of breathing by dynamics of ventilation sensitivity of thoracic and abdominal components to chemoreceptor stimuli, etc. Overall, the experiment is intended to provide a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of pulmonary respiration/gas exchange gravitational relations of cosmonauts.]

CDR Gennady Padalka broke out and set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the 1h15m session, his fifth, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment, supported by ground specialist tagup, was then closed out and the test data stowed for return to the ground. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

FE-5 Frank De Winne had ~2 hrs (of 4 hrs total required) for consolidating & relocating payload items in the Lab, JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Node-2 to make room for new payload hardware arriving on 17A and HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle). [Two more hours will be timelined next week.]

Gennady performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated tonight at ~3:30pm EDT before crew sleep, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 7/29-7/30). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

After terminating recharging the batteries for the Kelvin-Video and TTM-2 (Thermoanemometer-Thermometer 2) of the BAR/EXPERT experiment, Padalka had another 2 hrs to take various environmental measurements behind SM (Service Module) panels 211, 212, 216, 217 & 218. Afterwards, data were downloaded to the RSE1 laptop, log tables filled out for OCA downlink, and the equipment restowed. [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

FE-3 Romanenko collected and downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has ten sensors placed at various locations in the Russian segment (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.).

Roman also conducted another 30-min. session of new ocean observations program, DZZ-13 SEINER, to obtain data on color field patterns and current cloud cover conditions over the Pacific Ocean between the Aleutian Islands and the US coastline. [The experiment uses visual observation, videography (HDV camcorder, PAL mode) and selective photography (NIKON D2X with AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 mm lens) of color-contrast images and large discontinuities in cloud fields along the flight path, controlled from the RSK-1 laptop. Roman’s photography had to be accompanied by a continuous non-stop video recording of underlying terrain using the HDV camera securely fixed above SM Window #8 precisely in nadir using the LIV adapter.]

FE-4 & FE-5 jointly had ~2 hrs reserved for more transfer & prepacking of return cargo for 17A, including calldown of progress made to “bookkeepers” on the ground.

Bob also relocated stowage items from Node-2 (loc. D5) to prepare the Node for 17A operations.

Tim Kopra & Bob Thirsk each conducted another session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows) by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. It was Tim’s 3rd and Bob’s 4th session. [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.]

The FE-4 worked in the JAXA JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment), removing a Yellow Tag from a shell heater. [The task required disengaging K-BAR (Knee-Brace Assembly Replacement) thumb latches of the ZSR (Zero-G Stowage Rack) at JLP1A2 from the its standoff, slowly rotating the rack down to a controlled stop, removing the tag and restoring the ZSR to its nominal position. Yellow Tags, more formally called "uncertified dual ops tags", are used to identify items not certified for ISS Operations (certification and/or paperwork not complete prior to launch); items which have IP (International Partner) segment-specific certification (can be used in one IP segment but should not be used in anther IP segment); items that could pose a safety hazard; and items that are broken or expired. Blank yellow tags are flown so hardware can be tagged on-orbit as necessary.]

Timothy had an hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth on STS-128/17A. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

Frank De Winne completed the regular monthly session of the HMS (Health Maintenance System) training protocol, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer)’s acuity in a number of critical health areas. The proficiency drill today focused on ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). [The HMS hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The impact of not maintaining proficiency with the HMS hardware and procedures could lead to a substantial impact to ISS operations, potential evacuation of ISS, and loss of crew life.]

The FE-3 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.]

Romanenko also did 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).

As part of normal CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) service, Barratt replaced the battery in the Backup CSA-CP (#1055), then redeployed the unit (powered off).

At ~7:45am EDT, all six crewmembers held a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss crew provision particulars.

At ~11:05am, the ISS crew joined in another teleconference with ground support personnel to discuss overview and timeline of the upcoming STS-128/17A, to be launched on 8/25.

At ~12:50pm, the FE-1 had his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and u-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR).

Afterwards, Tim 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Heidelberg, Germany (looking right. Visual cues are the straight forested edge of the Rhine Graben [next to Heidelberg], and the Rhine River with the large university town of Karlsruhe), Esslingen, Germany (looking right for a deforested valley within several larger patches of forest), Munich, Germany (looking right at the foot of the Alps, near two prominent lakes. Munich is so large that it appears as a large gray urban patch), Vienna, Austria (looking slightly left for a gray patch on either side of the green line of the Danube River), Toshka Lakes, Egypt (images to document water levels in the lakes for this hot season are needed. Targets appear near nadir well west of the River Nile. Images of Lake Nasser, Aswan Dam and Aswan Airport have already been acquired), Hurricane Bill, Atlantic Basin (Dynamic event. Looking just left for the large eye [25-30 nautical miles wide] of Hurricane Bill, now a strong Category 4 storm), Mount Rainier, WA (nadir pass), Mount Hood, OR (looking right), and Hawaii pass (looking right for images of Kilauea, Kona and Mauna Loa, in that order).

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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/25/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~1:36am EDT)
09/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A landing (KSC; ~8:38pm)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:04pm EDT)
09/16/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth w/SSRMS
09/29/09 — Progress 34P undock
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
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
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.