Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 22, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 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 performed the monthly SLEEP data downloading from his current Actiwatch, then stowed it for return on STS-128 and refurbishment on the ground. [He also changed the lithium battery of a new Actiwatch and initialized it, to wear it for the remainder of his mission. For all other crewmembers, Mike downloaded and initialized their devices for them to re-don.]

Assisted by CDR Padalka, Barratt unstowed the KUBIK FM-1 incubator in the RS (Russian Segment) and transferred it to the COL for reconfiguration for Earth return by removing its KIP (KUBIK Interface Plate) insert and eBox (electronic box). [To support different types of experiments, the KUBIKs can be outfitted with different inserts. KUBIK FM-1 (Flight Model 1) was equipped with the KIP that was used for the BIO4 experiment XENOPUS. KUBIK-FM1 will be brought back with 17A, while the KIP insert and the insert eBox will be stowed on-board for further use in other KUBIKs.]

After terminating battery charge and setting up the video equipment and Russian payload TkhN-7 SVS (Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis), FE-3 Romanenko conducted another run of the experiment, then closed out and prepacked the SVS-05 video cassette for return on Soyuz TMA-14/18S. Gennady took documentary shots with the digital still camera. [SVS uses its own camera, “Telescience” hardware from PK-3 (Plasma Crystallization) and the onboard Klest TV system for researching self-propagating high-temperature fusion of samples in space.]

Padalka & Romanenko began the extensive task of auditing/inventorying of all photography/video equipment in the RS, going by an uplinked IMS (Inventory Management System) listing comprising ~330 entries with serial numbers, bar codes, locations, etc.

The CDR also performed a functional check and HF (high-frequency) calibration of the FSH3 Onboard Spectrum Analyzer recently used (8/12) to check for potential damage in the KURS-P Antenna #1 (AKR-VKA) feeder circuits in the SM. [The FSH3 is part of the GTS (Global Timing System) suite of equipment from ESA/Germany. In the past, cosmonauts have used it for checking out ATV antennas, etc.]

With the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) Rack in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module, loc. A5) now defunct, FE-2 Timothy Kopra scavenged an SD (Smoke Detector) and RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) from the rack, protecting the latter with Kapton tape and stowing both as spares.

Continuing the elusive troubleshooting of the failed U.S. OGS (high delta-pressure), Bob Thirsk & Tim Kopra –

  • Deactivated and temporarily removed the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) dosimeter unit (without disconnecting its cables) to allow OGS rack access,
  • Performed HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter) disconnect & purge,
  • Removed & replaced the OGS water ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit), a 1h:15m task for one crewperson,
  • Reconnected the H2 sensor and
  • Closed out the worksite.

[If today’s R&R proves unsuccessful, the failure of the OGS could impact the 17A mission. The CSCS (Contingency Shuttle Crew Support, i.e., “Safe Haven”) supply of O2 would allow 63 days (vs. 79 days required). Engineers are looking at options to make up the days if necessary, including reducing crew size, manifesting extra O2 on Progress or HTV1, etc. To be discussed at the L-2 on 8/23.]

After FE-5 De Winne set up and activated the ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal) in the JPM, Timothy installed the PEU (Plant Experiment Unit) program of the JAXA experiment SPACE SEED on the computer. Afterwards, the FE-2 shut down the ELT, reconnected its power cable to the MTL (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus Laptop Terminal) and reactivated the latter.

In the US Airlock (A/L), Kopra performed the yearly inspection of the SCU (Service & Cooling Umbilical) O2 poppets on both EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) to verify they are secure.

Tim Kopra, as Subject, undertook the PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer in the US Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Frank De Winne acted as Operator/CMO. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

Romanenko serviced the RS radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), verifying proper function of the setup with the LULIN-5 electronics box. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (A01-A08) are positioned at their exposure locations, three in the spherical “Phantom” unit on the DC1 panel and five in the SM (two in starboard crew cabin on both sides of the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) dosimeter detector unit, two under the work table, and one at panel 410). The deployment locations of the detectors were photo-documented with the NIKON D2X camera and also reported to TsUP via log sheet via OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

FE-4 Thirsk worked in the JPM, reconfiguring the RLT-BU (Robotic Manipulator System Laptop Terminal Backup) by replacing the Bus 1553 PC card in the laptop with a spare, then activated the MA (Main Arm) software in the computer to support subsequent communications checkouts of the WS (Workstation) 1553B bus by the ground. [Tim Kopra later deactivated the RLT-BU after the SEED-PEU work.]

Roman Romanenko 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.]

Barratt & Thirsk had 90 min set aside for an in-depth review of upcoming 17A robotics tasks with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) and of uplinked setup notes for the commensurate DOUG (Dynamic Operations Ubiquitous Graphics) application. [DOUG is a special software program running on the MSS (Mobile Service System) RWS laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

The FE-1 picked up previously sidelined troubleshooting activities on the AgCam (Agricultural Camera) payload, swapping out and re-seating some cables plus setting up the video cam for the ground to watch the AgCam computer screen for anomalous behavior during a ground-controlled image acquisition attempt. The ground also transferred some files. [The AgCam, currently nonfunctional, is a multi-spectral camera for use on the ISS as a payload of the WORF (Window Observational Research Facility). Primary AgCam system components include an Imaging System Assembly, a Base Mount Pointing Assembly, a Power/Data Controller, associated cabling and support items, and a NASA-supplied A31p laptop and power supply. It will take frequent images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth, principally of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Images will be delivered within 2 days directly to requesting farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land for which they are responsible. Images will also be shared with educators for classroom use. The Agricultural Camera was built and is operated primarily by students and faculty at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.]

Frank De Winne worked with Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) on an IFM (Inflight Maintenance, Tekhobslushivaniye na bortu) removing & replacing the CMU1 (Command & Monitoring Unit 1) of the DMS (Data Management System), accessible by tilting down the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1 rack. The VCA (Video Camera Assembly) was set up for ground monitoring. Afterwards, when good data were received on the ground, Frank was to close out the worksite and tilt the rack back to its nominal position. [CMU1 is one of four units in the DMS. The failed CMU1 was prepacked for return on 17A.]

Continuing the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, recharged on 8/10 with nitrogen (N2) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2), Gennady Padalka conducted the usual pressure check to verify the unit’s hermeticity. [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.]

Padalka also 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 was terminated at ~4:00pm EDT. 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 is normally done every 20 days. (Last time done: 7/30-7/31).]

DeWinne undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it from SM Panel 327 to Columbus (COL1A3/A2).

The CDR 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).

Padalka also 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.]

Bob Thirsk undertook the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) guide rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and also evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Mike Barratt, Tim Kopra & Frank DeWinne filled out their regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Roman conducted the regular weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices), SLD cables and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values. [Particular attention was requested on inspecting, marking & recording any visible SLD damages.]

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.]

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

Afterwards, Bob 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 ~4:25am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~7:10am, Gennady & Roman linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~3:05pm, the ISS crew held their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

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 (Collapsible Water Container) water audit. [The new card (20-0055N) lists 64 CWCs (~1,643.3 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (50 CWCs with 1,213.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis & flushing, incl. 370.9 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.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Como, Milan and Venice, Italy, East Haruj Megafans, Libya (looking at nadir and just left for a mapping swath of subtle river features, relicts of former wet times in the Sahara. Such “networks” of stream channels are a new analog for patterns seen on Mars), Madeira Island, Portugal (HMS Beagle site. The Beagle touched at Madeira to confirm latitude and longitude without stopping), Porto Praya, Santiago, Cape Verde Island (HMS Beagle site. In the horseshoe of the Cape Verde Island chain, Santiago is the largest island with Porto Praya located at the southern tip. Darwin begins his Journal at this island. It is reported that he was “fascinated by his first sight of tropical vegetation and by the volcanic island’s geology.”), Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil (HMS Beagle site. Looking just right of track), Hurricane Bill, Atlantic Basin (Dynamic event. Looking far left for this Category 3 storm), Black Pt. Lava Flow, AZ (after crossing the Grand Canyon, looking left of track at the margin between dark forested country and the light-toned desert flats), and Lake Poopo, Bolivia (general views were requested to round out recent highly detailed views. Lake water levels in the new filling episode are the scientific interest since Poopo generally fills out of phase with El Nino episodes).

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.