Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 21, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 February 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – rest day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus.

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning. [“Uborka”, usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the FE’s sleep station with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the house cleaning, Lonchakov conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3) and SM (VPkhO, VPrK, FS5, FS6 & FS9).

Additionally, the FE-1 checked up on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for reporting to TsUP-Moscow, and cleaning the pre-filter in the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air purification subsystem with a vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle attachment.

Lonchakov serviced the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), setting up new Bubble dosimeters for recording radiation traces, initializing and deploying the detectors. Proper function of the setup was later verified with the LULIN-5 electronics box. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (A01-A08) were initialized in the Bubble dosimeter reader in the SM and 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 setup was 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.]

Magnus 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, 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.]

For today’s discretionary VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, the crew had selected another session with the new US payload SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment), performed in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), controlled by its A31p laptop with SPICE microdrives. Mike & Sandy each conducted six test points using Propane (#25-30; #31-36). [SPICE determines the point at which gas-jet flames (similar to a butane-lighter flame) begin to emit soot (dark carbonaceous particulate formed inside the flame) in microgravity. Studying a soot emitting flame is important in understanding the ability of fires to spread and in control of soot in practical combustion systems in space.]

At ~9:30am EST, the crew conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

At ~1:16pm, CDR Fincke powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 1:21pm conducted a ham radio session with students at Erie Planetarium, Erie, PA. [The Erie Planetarium is operated by the Erie County Historical Society. It began programming in the winter of 1959/1960 making it one of the oldest planetariums still in operation. It serves thousands of school groups, scout groups, private functions and hosts the local national astronomy day festivities. The planetarium has worked with astronaut Mike Fincke on various occasions. Questions were uplinked beforehand. :”Do you play checkers in space and how do you keep them from floating away?”; “Do you celebrate the holidays when you are in space?”; “How do you sleep in space?”; “How do you workout in space?”; “How do you recycle water?”; “How often do you get to see & talk to your family while you’re in space?”; “Is it scary on the outside of the space station?”; “Have you seen the Hubble Telescope from the station?”; “What does the moon look like from space?”; “How fast does your ship impact Earth when you land?”]

The FE-1 & FE-2 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Yuri at ~10:30am, Sandy at ~1:37pm.

Mike also completed the regular bi-monthly reboots of the OCA Router and File Server SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops.

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

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” suggestions list, the FE-1 conducted another session for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen — Week 17)

3-D SPACE: Planned: 15A/FE-2.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): Planned.

BIO-4: Complete.

BIOLAB (BLB): “Sandy did the verification of the Rotor B Experiment Containers alignment on 2/17. Thank you Sandy for releasing all the levers and reengaging them. This will be verified by a ground activity planned for 2/23. A picture of the BIOS page of the BIOLAB laptop was also taken so that ground teams can troubleshoot the laptop boot-up problem. Thank you Sandy and Mike for solving the depleted battery problem to get us that picture.”

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): Underway.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Ongoing.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): Planned.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Planned.

EDR (European Drawer Rack): Planned.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): ENose is operating normally.

EPM (European Physiology Module): Underway.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): “The Buzz Lightyear and SPHERES EPO-Demos conducted were fantastic! You did a great job of matching the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to their grade level. Disney is currently in the process of implementing the Buzz video into a joint NASA/Disney education product for the web. Awesome job! Wonderful job completing the Careers, ARISS, and Spacesuits EPO-Demos. Thank you for taking the extra time to film Mike conducting an ARISS ham radio contact. All videos are currently in the process of being edited to compliment and enhance existing NASA education products. You are great at speaking to grades K-12 students and educators and helping them understand what it is like to live and work in space.”

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): DOSTEL, MEDET, EXPOSE and FIPEX are acquiring science. The DEBIE-2 team is changing the thresholds limits in order to solve the problem of empty science packets after a certain amount of time. And TRIBOLAB is not currently acquiring science due to a shaft motor anomaly. EVC did not acquire any pictures due to a high rate data problem.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): FSL FCE (Facility Core Element) locking was successfully performed on 2/4.

GEOFLOW: “Thank you for removing the GEOFLOW EC so that it can be returned on 15A for investigation on its anomaly. Crew also performed the FCE lock and the video by-pass installation.”

HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): Complete.

ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): “2/17: It was observed that one of the three thermo modules in SCOF Ice Crystal Cell was not working correctly. When TM3 (one of the thermo module) was set at temperate of 20 degree Celsius, however, able to reach at 13 degC. Same situation was observed on 2/18. On 2/19: since TM3 (Peltier device) is not working correctly, JAXA decided to not continue SCOF Ice Crystal experiments. However, background data, which will be used for the analysis of Ice Crystallization process, was obtained on this day. Next troubleshoot will be performed after 15A flight.”

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): Complete.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Reserve.

Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.


PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

RadGene & LOH (JAXA): “We have started the preparation of this experiment using ground commanding. Thank you for your support on RadGene.”

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): Reserve.

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Sun visibility window is expected to start on 2/21.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): “The Science team is very excited about the data you are getting for them Mike. Thank you for the additional body mass measurements and making sure to get both measurements in fasting state. This will help the team correlate with the data from the first session. We also appreciate the all the additional information you are providing including the extra PCBA sample.”

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): “Sandy, you bore the brunt of the learning curve, but hung in there to complete 12 runs working Voluntary Science for us. Mike, you had it a little easier on Tuesday after Sandy’s ground breaking work and completed another 12 runs. Thank you both for your efforts.”

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): “Thank you Sandy and Mike for performing the last activity of VLE-1, Design elements that improve living and working in Space. We are looking forward to watching the video.”

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 2/19, the ground has received a total of 20,141 of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing (7,428 frames in the past three weeks). “Photos with times corresponding to our CEO target times are reviewed first and this week include: Urumqi, China – 18 frames – target not acquired; Chongqing, China – 2 frames – target not acquired; East Haruj Megafans – Libya – 48 frames – under review; Southwest Algeria Megafans – 48 frames – under review; Ile Rouleau Impact Crater, Quebec, Canada – 17 frames – target not acquired; Beijing China Aerosol – 4 frames – under review; Sakura-jima Volcano, Japan – 10 frames – target acquired – excellent; Tin Bider Impact Crater, Algeria – 3 frames – target not acquired; Mount Redoubt, Alaska – 7 frames – under review; Florida Coastal Everglade – 47 frames – target acquired – under review; Caracas Venezuela – 25 frames – under review; Hyderabad, India – 29 frames – under review; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 19 frames – under review. Thank you for your high rate of response to our daily target list requests. Your incredibly detailed view of the All American Canal near the California-Mexican border will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. The stark contrast and changes in land use of this sandy, desert area of the U.S. and Mexico are beautifully illustrated in your image. Nice going!”

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Mekong River Delta, Vietnam (fifteen million people live in the tropical wetlands of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong is among the least developed of Asia’s great rivers. Recent upstream river engineering has resulted in deforestation. Floodplains help to regulate the ebb and flow of the Mekong and the recent upstream deforestation has made the annual monsoon floods of the Mekong more severe. Documenting land use along ISS orbit track. As with most deltas, small cumulus clouds were probably present), Mount Toondina Impact Crater, South Australia (ISS had a nadir pass over the Mount Toondina impact structure, which is 4 km in diameter and no more than 110 million years old. A roughly circular ring structure that contrasts with the surrounding desert should be visible, located within a white “spot” between two large river channels. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along track, were suggested as the best approach to acquiring imagery of the crater. Some scattered clouds may have been present), and Perth, Western Australia (weather was predicted to be clear over the capital city of Western Australia. Looking under track for the city located along the Swan River. Requested were overlapping mapping frames, taken along track, of the southeastern urban-rural fringe of the metropolitan area to track land use and land cover change).

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, 4:15am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 355.9 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 349.7 km
Period — 91.66 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009271
Solar Beta Angle — -26.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 44m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58773

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/25/09 — Review of STS-119/Discovery/15A launch date
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — 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.