Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 September 2010

By SpaceRef Editor
September 22, 2010
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 September 2010

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

FE-5 Yurchikhin conducted the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-5 again inspects the filters before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Upon wakeup, FE-6 Shannon Walker & FE-4 Doug Wheelock performed their 3rd liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of t he liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

Also upon wake-up, FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson & Doug Wheelock performed a new session with the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol and also took documentary photography of each other during the test. [The RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

FE-5 Yurchikhin conducted the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~5:05pm EDT before sleep time. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday by Fyodor. [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: 8/30-8/31).]

FE-5 also conducted the daily temperature check of the Russian experiment BTKh-10/KONYUGATSIYA (Conjugation), currently installed in the TBU thermostat-controlled incubator at +29 degC, and reported the temperature to TsUP-Moscow.

With the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Lab and Cupola windows closed, CDR Skvortsov prepared for Soyuz 22S undocking next Thursday evening by spending an hour in the TMA-18 Descent Module (SA) supporting a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz MCS (Motion Control System SUD, Mode 2/“Docked”) which included pressurization of the KDU (Combined Propulsion System) Section 2 and Tank 2, a test of the pilot’s translational hand controller (RUD), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters (3:51am-4:17am). DPO lateral thrusters were not fired. [For the RST (rasstjkovkoy/undocking) test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 3:30am, commanded to free drift at 3:51am, then back to LVLH XVV (Local Vertical Local Horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) attitude. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 2 during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) pass. Attitude control was returned to the USOS (U.S. Segment) at 4:18am.]

Skvortsov, Kornienko & Caldwell-Dyson then spent three hours in the spacecraft’s SA/Descent Module to conduct the Soyuz descent drill, a standard training exercise for every crew returning on a Soyuz. The exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display), was supported by a tagup and discussions with ground instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band. [The session includes a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console. The training uses a Descent Simulator application on the RSK1 laptop. During the actual descent, Alexander, as Soyuz CDR, will occupy the middle couch, with Kornienko in the left and Tracy in the right Kazbek couch. Pending the final State Commission decision at about 3.5h before undocking, 22S return is expected for 9/23 (next Thursday), with undocking at 9:34am EDT and landing at ~12:55am on Friday morning.]

In preparation for their return to gravity in three days, Skvortsov & Kornienko undertook the first session of their fifth and final training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisting each other as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). The activity was then closed out. [The assessments, lasting one hour each, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites (at 5:27am & 7:02am EDT), uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmembers’ orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each, then -25, -30, and -35 mmHg (Torr) for 10 min. each plus 30mmHg for 5 min. while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Wheelock switched cable connections on the SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility), disconnecting the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) payload bus and IPU (Image Processing Unit) User Video cables and mating the SCOF payload bus cable and IPU User Video Cables connection, in support of the FACET program. [The series of the SCOF/FACET tasks is not only sample cell exchange but also includes trouble shooting steps, i.e., installation of SCOF Air Circulation Covers. FACET is an investigation of the mechanism of faceted cellular array growth. In order to investigate the phenomena at the solid-liquid interface in facet growth, in-situ observation of concentration and temperature diffusion field with two wavelength interferometer are carried out using transparent organic materials under microgravity condition. Results can provide the useful data on the optimization of the crystal growth condition not only in space but also on earth.]

Afterwards, Wheels spent several hours in Node-2, installing a rack grounding strap in the D5 location and making other necessary preparations in support of tomorrow’s scheduled relocation of the CQ3 (Crew Quarters 3) rack from the JPM (loc. D3) to Node-2 (D5).

FE-6 Shannon Walker set up and prepared the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware in COL, including MBS (Mixing Bag System), for her 3rd session with the VO2max assessment, integrated with Thermolab. After concluding, Shannon downloaded the data, including Thermolab, to a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop, powered down, cleaned up and temporarily moved all hardware aside for subsequent crew operation. [The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Later, Shannon undertook the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh her CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on airway issues. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) 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 training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

In Node-3, Tracy accessed the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) Rack to prepare for unpowering the OGS by conducting purge operations with the HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter), disconnecting the O2 outlet hose from the N2 (nitrogen) purge ORU and later, after the purging, reconnecting the H2 sensor and closing out the rack.

FE-5 Yurchikhin had 2h 50m reserved for doing his 4th onboard session of the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, assisted by Skvortsov. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, data files were downloaded, and Fyodor reported to TsUP on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

Later, Fyodor Yurchikhin –

  • Performed preventive maintenance of the RS (Russian Segment) ventilation system, today cleaning the VD1 & VD2 airducts & fans in the MRM2 Poisk module,
  • Completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PrK–Progress, DC1–Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1],
  • Did the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance by 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),
  • Conducted 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.]
  • Undertook the periodic transfer of condensate water to an RS EDV container for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & (waste) hydrogen, filling the designated KOV (condensate water) EDV container from a CWC (Contingency Water Container). When filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the Elektron’s BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. If bubbles are detected in the EDV, they are separated (by centrifugation) into another EDV. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator] and
  • Performed the regular inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

Mikhail Kornienko made preparations for a microbial air sampling session scheduled tomorrow with the MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, initiating charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP) and readying the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container(at -22 degC) for the samples. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

FE-6 Walker supported the ground in troubleshooting the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack which indicated ORU (Orbit Replaceable Units) failures. [Activities included powering on the HRF PC1, checking ORUs with the EXPRESS software and reporting results to POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center), then leaving the PC powered on.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Tracy Caldwell-Dyson returned to the ESA BLB (Biolab), supporting ground-commanded temperature testing of the BLB Glovebox by installing a Ref EC (Reference Experiment Container) and EC mounting plate, followed later by a second ECs and finally removing the test equipment.

With the 22S thruster testing behind, FE-2 removed the four T2/COLBERT treadmill alignment guides.

Tracy also conducted the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED advanced resistive exerciser, evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Tracy, Sasha & Misha again had an hour each set aside for personal crew departure preparations, standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

Before sleeptime tonight, Fyodor sets up the Russian MBI-12 payload and starts his 7th Sonokard experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

At ~3:05pm EDT, the six I24/I25 ISS residents joined for the customary crew photo.

CDR, FE-2, FE-3 & FE-5 were scheduled for their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Tracy at ~6:35am, Fyodor at ~8:20am, Mikhail at ~1:10pm, Alex at ~2:00pm EDT.

The crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-4), TVIS treadmill (CDR/2x, FE-3/2x, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-4, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-5). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after the last T2 session of the day but is now regularly being done once a week after the last T2 session.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Tehran, Iran (looking to the left of track for the city of Tehran. The city is located between the Alborz Mountains to the north and the desert to the south. Overlapping frames of the urban and surrounding rural area were requested), Roseau, Dominica (Roseau is the capital city of the island nation of Dominica. The city is located on the southwestern coastline of the island. Overlapping frames of the city and island were requested), Hurricane Igor, Atlantic Ocean (Dynamic event. Hurricane Igor is weakening, but is still predicted to be a major storm at the time of ISS approach. Looking to the right of track for the storm; short lens views were suggested to capture the extent of the storm), and Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati (ISS had a nadir-viewing pass over this central Pacific atoll. The capital city of the Republic of Kiribati, Bairiki, is also located on the atoll. Overlapping mapping frames of the atoll were requested).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:38am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 355.5 km
Apogee height – 359.9 km
Perigee height – 351.0 km
Period — 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006619
Solar Beta Angle — -50.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 96 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,826.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations—————–
09/23/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock – 9:34pm EDT (End of Increment 24; CDR-25 – Wheelock)
09/24/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S landing – 12:55am EDT (local Kazakhstan: 10:55am)
09/24/10 – Tracy Caldwell-Dyson returns to Houston by direct flight from Kazakhstan
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/08/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/10/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
11/01/10 — STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) ~4:33pm EDT
11/12/10 — Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 — Russian EVA-27
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
————–Three-crew operations————-
12/14/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/16/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
12/20/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
01/24/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/28/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/xx/10 — Russian EVA-28
02/26/11 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) ~4:19pm EDT“target”
03/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R.Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
04/26/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
05/xx/10 — Russian EVA-29
05/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/21/11 — Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 — Progress M-11M/43P docking
08/29/11 — Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-22/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-24/28S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/20/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/21/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/23/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock
03/14/12 — Soyuz TMA-24/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/26/12 — Soyuz TMA-26/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
03/28/12 — Soyuz TMA-26/30S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/15/12 — Soyuz TMA-25/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/09/12 — Soyuz TMA-26/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/23/12 — Soyuz TMA-28/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O. Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/25/12 – Soyuz TMA-28/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/07/12 — Soyuz TMA-27/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-29/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-28/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-30/34S launch.
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-30/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.