Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 October 2011

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

CDR Mike Fossum started out by troubleshooting the T2/COLBERT treadmill from which no data have been downlinked to the ground since 10/11. [Mike’s retrieved the stored data to a USB stick for downlink, and then checked on a possible issue with the wireless card preventing the wireless transmittal to the laptop for downlink. After finding several inconsistencies, the CDR ran the T2 for several minutes in Manual Mode.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa again spent several hours on the troubleshooting IFM (Inflight Maintenance) of the failed GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace) on the Kobairo Rack, assisted in part by Mike Fossum. [Two anomalous overcurrent events of the GHF Central Heater occurred on 4/12/11 & 4/20/11. Suspected cause of the short circuit was inadvertent contact between a lock wire and a heater flange, or an incorrect position of the End Heater with respect to the Central Heater. Today’s work consisted of Satoshi photo documenting the two thermocouple harnesses of the Central Heater, taking measurements of the distance between the GHF End and Central Heaters, and cleaning the MPU (Material Processing Unit) with wet wipes and vacuum cleaner. Afterwards, the GHF MPU access door was shut, the GHF Cartridge cleaned of any contamination and the SCAM (Sample Cartridge Automatic exchange Mechanism) front door closed. Mike Fossum assisted with the USB camera operation and the lighting for the GHF thermocouple harness photography.]

FE-4 Volkov completed the daily inspection of the recently activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

With the RS (Russian Segment) STTS communications system temporarily configured for MRM2 “Poisk” module occupancy, Sergey Volkov tended the current experiment with the Russian/German KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) Telescience payload by evacuating the EB vacuum chamber with the turbopump, then checking its hermeticity after wakeup and before bedtime (any pressure increase above the vacuum should stay within 5 mmHg). After testing the equipment with ground specialist tagup support, Sergey terminated the experiment, leaving the turbopump running, and reset the STTS comm system to nominal. [The PK-3+ hardware comprises the EB (Eksperimental’nyj Blok) Experiment Module with a turbopump for evacuation, Ts laptop, video monitor, vacuum hoses, electrical circuitry, four hard storage disks for video, and one USB stick with the control application. Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles. The experiment is conducted in automated mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

Elsewhere, Volkov supported the deactivation of the RS Elektron-VM oxygen (O2) generator by ground commanding by purging its BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen (N2) at 0.65 kg/cm2 via its KE3 & VN3 valves, a periodic safety measure.

CDR Fossum had ~1h40m set aside for preparing a new BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) payload session. [Mike set up the BCAT-5 hardware in the Lab MWA (Maintenance Work Area) including the SSC-13 (Station Support Computer 13) laptop and the SGSM (Slow Growth Sample Module), then mixed BCAT-5 samples 4-10 (samples 1-4 having gelled, thus becoming nonviable) and manually photographed them with the NIKON D2Xs camera connected to the SSC-13. Afterwards, he removed and stowed the SGSM. BCAT-5 operations start on 10/24 (Monday), with the EarthKAM software on the SSC-13 laptop automatically taking flash pictures of the sample for some time at different intervals throughout the run.]

In Node-3, Fossum worked on the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System 2), first setting up the camcorder to capture video of the activities, then removing the new ARFTA (Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly), draining it into with the Russian Kompressor-M into an EDV-U container, performing a leak check, cleaning it and replacing it in WRS-2. [The recycle tank was then to be filled via the refill method using the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) depress hose which was later removed again, along with the tank’s vent adapter. Uplink to crew from MCC-H: “Thanks for helping us turn yesterday’s coffee into tomorrow’s fruit punch!”]

FE-5 Furukawa underwent his first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo Scan in the US Lab, assisted by Fossum who served as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) to operate the USND (ultrasound) scans. [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Satoshi underwent the USND scan for ICV assessment, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) cabin camera. Heart rate was tracked with the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor). There are dietary constraints, and no exercise is allowed 4 hrs prior to scan. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. The USND 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 ICV 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 are fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months).]

In the US Airlock, the CDR terminated one EMU battery maintenance discharge/recharge cycle in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), started on 10/17, and initiated another round. [Since two of the EHIP (EVA Helmet Interchangeable Portable) light batteries did not get good maintenance cycles during the first round, they were included.]

Satoshi serviced the VIABLE experiment (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS), touching and blowing the top of each of 4 VIABLE bags in the FGB (loc. 409) where they are stowed to collect environment samples.

In the SM, Volkov took detailed photography of an interior panel (#121), for the ground to identify locations for openings on the panel contour to be used to fasten detachable plates. [To take a picture of a general view of the panel from three different angles, obstructing cargo items and equipment had to be removed temporarily. Both the external side and the back side of the panel were photographed.]

Other activities completed by Sergey were – Collecting & downloading the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which currently has 10 sensors placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, MRM2, MRM1,etc.) and one in Node-3, plus one, the “duty” dosimeter, in the Reader. Today’s readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. Automatic mode was then reactivated and the dosimeters returned to their original locations; [the dosimeters take their readings automatically every 90 minutes],
Activating the Kenwood D700 “Sputnik” amateur radio station in the SM and starting the program for the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment, to run until 10/24; [objective of the experiment is the automatic retranslation of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions], Performing the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways; [inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO-FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1], Conducting 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 Taking care of the daily IMS (Integrated 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).

Using the MPC (Multi Protocol Converter), Mike Fossum downlinked the HD video of Satoshi’s 4th Treadmill Kinematics session conducted yesterday. [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]

At ~4:00am EDT, the three crewmembers held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~4:45am, Sergey 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 ~10:30am, CDR Fossum supported a PAO Educational TV downlink for an Alabama Schools Education Event at Carver High School, Birmingham, AL, attended by Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL), MSFC Director Robert Lightfoot and elementary & middle school-aged children from Birmingham area schools.

At ~1:55pm, Mike powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 2:00pm conducted a ham radio session with students at the Zespol Szkol Technicznych, Rybnicka in Poland.

At ~3:15pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

At ~4:15pm, the crew will join for a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss the “Road to Soyuz 28S”, i.e., the work to be performed preparatory to the arrival of the next crew (or a possible, although unlikely, decrewing).

Before “Presleep” period tonight, Furukawa turns on MPC HD routing and starts the Ku-band data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, Mike will turn MPC routing off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-4, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill. [CDR Mike Fossum is currently following a special experimental “SPRINT” protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5hrs per day regime and introduces special daily sessions. No exercise will be timelined for Friday. If any day is not completed, Mike picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The new card (29-0002D) lists 116 good CWCs (2,610.7 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (30 CWCs with 1,205.2 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 942.9 L in 24 bags containing Wautersia bacteria and 129 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use; 2. Silver potable water (no CWCs); 3. Iodinated water (74 CWCs with 1,333.6 L (also 33 expired bags with 603.2 L); 4. condensate water (35.7 L in 4 bags, plus 6 empty bags); and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (36.2 L in 2 CWCs, incl. 20.2 L from hose/pump flush). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Tasks listed for Sergei Volkov on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were – Continuing the preparation & downlinking of more reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb), and Another ~30-min. session for Russia’s EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera with the RSK-1 laptop.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Niamey, Niger (looking left for Niger’s capital city which lies on West Africa’s largest river, the Niger River. With a population of only 250,000 in 1980, the city is now thought to house 1.5 million people), South Asia cities at night (looking right for the major cities of Karachi, the Indus River valley, and Mumbai), and Middle East cities at night (nadir views of Istanbul then Mediterranean coastal cities; then Mesopotamian and Persian Gulf coast cities left of track).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:07am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 387.8 km
Apogee height – 400.3 km
Perigee height – 375.4 km
Period — 92.31 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.001841
Solar Beta Angle — 23.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 43 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,063
Time in orbit (station) — 4718 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4005 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 29)————-
10/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking (5:01am EDT)
10/30/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch (6:11am)
11/02/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (~7:42am)
11/13/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin (11:14pm)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2) (~12:45am)
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/22/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~9:21pm)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon — Target date
12/26/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit — (date “on or about”)
12/28/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1) — (date “on or about”)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
TBD — Progress M-13M/45P undock
TBD — Progress M-14M/46P launch
TBD — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
TBD — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/05/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 — Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/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.