Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 March 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
March 21, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 March 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 2 of Increment 27.

Upon wake-up, CDR Kondratyev performed the regular daily check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19/09 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [Dmitri will inspect the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Dmitri’s morning inspection today included the weekly checkup behind ASU/toilet panel 139 in the SM (Service Module) on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

FE-6 Cady Coleman undertook her 14th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. The required ~10h fast period started for her last night. [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.]

All crewmembers conducted the periodic pre-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IMT mass measurement device set up by Kondratyev who later stowed it away again. In addition to MO-8, Dmitri also completed the PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement protocol. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IMT “scales” for MO-8 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. MO-7 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. ]

Later, Kondratyev took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, spending ~90 min on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember rests for 5 min., then works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h].

After charging batteries, the CDR installed and started the equipment of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9 for observing & measuring lightning storm emissions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere while simultaneously taking video from window #6. Later, Dmitri tagged up with ground specialists for debriefing and dismantled the equipment. [Using the GFI-1 UFK “Fialka-MV-Kosmos” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and SONY HVR-Z7 HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from windows #9 & #6, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. “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.]

FE-5 Nespoli spent a major part of his work day on the USOS FDS (Fire Detection & Suppression) system, first swapping out five QDMAs (Quick Don Mask Assemblies) of deployed PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus) with newly delivered QDMAs, then conducting the standard 6-month audit of the PEPS (Portable Emergency Provisions) hardware and QDMA harness inspection. [The previously deployed QDMAs, stored now for future return, do not have functional communication equipment unlike the new masks which are fully functional. Each PBA consists of a QDMA and a PBA “bottle” (oxygen reducer/cylinder assembly). Prior to the swap-out, the new QDMAs had their harnesses inspected along with the others due to the duration they remained in PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) stowage prior to launch.]

For the subsequent periodic PEPS inspection & audit, Paolo had 3.5 hrs reserved, checking PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers, PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), EHTKs (Extension Hose Tee Kits) and QDMA (Quick-Don Mask Assembly) harnesses. [There are 1 PFE, 3 PBAs, 3 QDMAs, 1 EHTK in Node-1, 1 PFE, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs 2 EHTKs in Node-2, 1 PFE, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs, 1 EHTK in Node-3, 4 PBAs, 7 QDMAs in A/L, 2 PFEs, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs, 2 EHTKs in the Lab, 2 PFEs, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs in JPM, 1 PFE in JLP, 2 PFEs, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs in COL and 1 PFE, 1 PBA, 1 QDMA in HTV2.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 serviced the MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3) by inserting 12 ice bricks (-32 degC) in Dewar 1 trays and 4 -Box Modules for upcoming storage needs during Stage ULF5.

In the Lab, FE-6 Coleman similarly stocked Dewar 2 trays of MELFI-1 with 16 Stage ULF5 ice bricks (-32 degC).

For the annual re-certification of the European MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) rack, i.e., sensor verification and cleaning, FE-6 Coleman first activated the A31p MLC (MSG Laptop Computer), then worked her way through the individual certification steps. [Steps included MSG activation and warm-up, checkout of the MSG’s temperature sensors without & with MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) cooling, checkout of the two delta-pressure sensors by on/off switching of the three AHU (Air Handling Unit) fans which provide negative pressure inside the WV (Work Volume) to prevent escape in case of a leak, system inspections, WV cleaning, returning MSG back to delta-P Sensor 1 mode, switching it to Standby, and finally deactivating and reconfiguring the A31p.]

Other activities completed by Cady Coleman today included –
* Initiating another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer) and deactivated the system ~5 hrs later [this was the 25th session with the replaced GC/DMS unit #1004, after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 7 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop (due to a software glitch, the software needs to be opened, closed, and then reopened in order to ensure good communication between GC/DMS and SSC-12). The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). 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],
* Installing the ALI (ALICE-Like) insert in the ER4 EXL (EXRESS Rack 4 / Experiment Locker) and powering up the DECLIC (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization) payload, [ALICE = Analyse des Liquides Critiques dans l’Espace (Analyses of Critical Fluids in Space)],
* Performing the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling in Node-3 using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose, followed by the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag), [after the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged],
* Configuring the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) toilet for using the internal EDV-U container after the ground had deactivated the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) and UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) in preparation for tomorrow’s planned WPA maintenance activities,
* Connecting a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1008) to the WPA WWT (Waste Water Tank) and draining the tank for tomorrow’s WPA maintenance (waste water filter renewal plus waste water solenoid valve replacement with a pass-through), and
* Spending another 50 min on finishing up HTV2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 2) cargo transfer activities, followed by a tagup with ground specialists for debriefing on progress of transfer ops.

Activities completed by Dmitri Kondratyev included –
* The periodic update of the IUS AntiVirus program on the Russian VKS auxiliary (non-network) laptops that are not loaded from the ground, from a special software program working with Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, plus verification of automatic virus definition file update on network laptops, [Background: Regularly on Mondays, automatic virus definition file updates are verified on the RSS2, RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 laptops, while the non-networked laptops RSE-Med & RSE1 are manually updated. Antivirus scans are then started & monitored on RSS2 & RSE-Med. Results of the scans on RSS1, RSK1-T61p, RSK2 & RSE1 are verified on Tuesdays. Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday],
* Searching Progress 41P & Soyuz 25S for tools & equipment required for tomorrow’s planned R&R (removal & replacement) of IMV (Intermodular ventilation) air ducts for visiting vehicles docked to MRM1 Rassvet & DC1 Pirs,
* Using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to perform the monthly standard check on the SM cabin air, testing for Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Formaldehyde, followed by an audit of CMS equipment kits, [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, etc.],
* 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 filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator], and
* The daily IMS Inventory Management System) maintenance, added to his discretionary “time permitting” task list, 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).

FE-5 Nespoli retrieved and gathered the newly-delivered hardware required for setting up the NASA BXF-NPBX (Boiling eXperiment Facility-Nucleate Pool Boiling eXperiment) in the MSG. [Nucleate boiling is bubble growth from a heated surface and the subsequent detachment of the bubble to a cooler surrounding liquid (bubbles in micro-G grow to different sizes than on Earth). As a result, these bubbles can transfer energy through fluid flow. the BXF-NPBX investigation provides an understanding of heat transfer and vapor removal processes that take place during nucleate boiling in microgravity. This understanding is needed for optimum design and safe operation of heat exchange equipment that uses nucleate boiling as a way to transfer heat in extreme environments of the deep ocean (submarines) and micro-G. BXF-NPBX is one of a two investigations to be operated in the BXF; the other investigation is the BXF-MABE (-Microheater Array Boiling Experiment).]

Afterwards, Nespoli performed periodic maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) by evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

Cady & Paolo joined up for a one-hour HTV Undock OBT (Onboard Training) session, spending ~50 min on reviewing vehicle-specific and Robotics-specific objectives, followed by a 10-min debrief with Robotics and VVO (Visiting Vehicle Officer) personnel. [For Robotics, objectives were to review the HTV Release briefing and HTV Release cue card, for VVO to brush up on the departure portion of the computer-based OBT and the Departure Monitoring procedure.]

At 2:55pm EDT, Cady was scheduled to perform another VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today with the VHF site at Wallops Station (2:56:41pm-3:04:17pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM/Munich and JCOM/Tsukuba in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the periodic test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

At 11:50am, Dmitri Kondratyev downlinked two Russian PAO TV messages of greetings on Ku- & S-band, one to the UN (United Nations) General Assembly for its special meeting on 4/7, to declare April 12 an International Day of Human Flight to Space, the other to the citizens and guests of the Saratov Oblast (region) on the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight (Gagarin considered Saratov his second home town, and it was also the place where he landed after his historic mission). [“Dear Representatives of the United Nations Member States, on behalf of the crew I am glad to welcome you from the International Space Station. Your gathering today for the Special Meeting of the UN General Assembly dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of Human Space Flight signifies the important role that the peaceful exploration of outer space plays in the modern life. Since ancient times people were looking up into the skies with delight and wonder, dreaming to fly to the stars. But it was only 50 years ago that the dream became a reality. It was then that the endeavors of scientists, researchers, engineers, test pilots were crowned with success: on April 12, 1961, a spaceship brought a man to the Earth’s orbit. And the first human who looked at the Earth from the outside was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin….”]

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

JAXA SSIPC Update: Full command, telemetry and voice capabilities have been restored to SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba. It is expected that 24-hour support will resume tomorrow night. Meanwhile, backup operations continue to be available at MCC-Houston.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:39am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 353.6 km
Apogee height – 354.5 km
Perigee height – 352.7 km
Period — 91.61 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0001328
Solar Beta Angle — -47.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 150 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 70,710

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/28/11 — HTV2 unberth (~12:00pm)
03/29/11 — HTV2 deorbit (~12:00am EDT)
04/04/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/26S launch – A. Borisenko (CDR-28)/R.Garan/A.Samokutayev – 6:18:20pm EDT
04/06/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/26S docking – ~7:18pm EDT
————–Six-crew operations————-
04/19/11 — STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS) ~7:48pm EDT NET
04/21/11 — STS-134/Endeavour docking (NET)
04/26/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC-1 nadir)
05/01/11 — STS-134/Endeavour undock
05/03/11 — STS-134/Endeavour landing
05/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/04/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” undock (SM aft) – under review
06/21/11 — Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 — Progress M-11M/43P docking (SM aft)
06/28/11 — STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) — ~3:30pm EDT NET
07/29/11 – Russian EVA #29
08/29/11 — Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/25/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 — Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/xx/12 – 3R Russian Proton — Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA
05/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/18/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/02/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.