Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 22 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 22, 2009
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

FE-1 Lonchakov began his workday by attending to the current experiment session with the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, activating the turbopump in the Service Module (SM)’s Transfer Compartment (PkhO) for keeping the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO) evacuated. The turbopump will be deactivated again tonight at ~4:25pm EST before sleeptime. [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. Today’s experiment is performed with 9.2 µm (micrometer) particles, to study a two-phase linear structure development process (Relay-Taylor instability), evolution of boundary (to study surface phenomena). The base experiment is in argon and neon gas mixture. The experiment is run in automatic mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

In Node-1, FE-2 Magnus worked on the new ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), adjusting the Vectran Cord exercise rope to remove some excess slack and retensioning the cable arm ropes. The crew was then given the GO to continue exercising on the ARED. [The earlier reported “fraying” was determined to be just some protruding strands of the braided rope that can emerge nominally when the splice is travelling through the rope guide. They do not reduce functionality, and the rope is not frayed. Use of ARED has resulted in relocation of water bags from Node-1 to Lab to make room. ARED calibration is scheduled for next week but is not a prerequisite for crew use.]

CDR Fincke had ~70 min added to his timeline today for gathering & prepacking US trash for disposal on Progress 31P on 2/9.

Sandy Magnus’ schedule provided for ~70 min. for prepacking cargo to be transferred to STS-119/Discovery next month, going by an uplinked 15A Prepack List.

Continuing the current round of the periodic (monthly) preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, FE-1 Lonchakov spent ~1h in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) to clean the vent grills of the three SOTR (thermal control system) gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT-1, -2, -3).

In the US A/L (Airlock), the FE-2 terminated the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) CO2 removal canisters #0015 & #0016 in the “bake-out” oven and installed two more expended canisters (#0017, #0019), in preparation for the STS-119 spacewalks.

Fincke & Magnus completed another standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training, using the D2X digital still cameras with 400 & 800mm lenses to take imagery from Windows 6 or 8 in the SM facing the velocity vector. Afterwards, Mike downlinked the obtained photographs for ground analysis. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-119/Discovery/15A) on 2/14. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Sandy Magnus conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (18-0006J) lists 40 CWCs (~1,242.4 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (665.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 110.6 L currently off-limits, filled from WPA (Water Processor Assembly) pending sample analysis on the ground), potable water (530.4 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (0.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (46.7 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.]

The crew had three hours set aside to conduct the Soyuz descent training exercise, standard procedure for each station crew. The exercise, which does not involve any command activation, uses computer simulation on the RSK1 laptop with a descent hand controller (RUS) to set up reentry conditions and switch between modes. It was supported by a tagup and discussions with a ground instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band. [The onboard training (OBT) session included a review of the pertinent RODF (Russian Operations Data Files), specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures such as manual undocking.]

After his medical equipment inventory on 1/14, Yuri performed checkouts on Russian GAMMA-1M Rheoplethysmographic data output devices for a number of functions: Venous & Arterial Pulsogram-Kinetocardiogram (USI VAP-KKG), Temporal Pulsogram (USI VPG), Rheoplethysmography (USI RPG-1), Electrocardiogram (EKG USI) and Rheoencephalogram (USI REG-1). [The checkout used the MTsM-01 MultiMeter, and physiological test data from left & right arm were transmitted to the ground at ~12:32pm EST.]

Mike Fincke supported the first test activation of the new FCF CIR (Fluids & Combustion Facility/Combustion Integrated Rack) by starting up the SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) application on the ELC1 (EXPRESS Rack 1 Laptop Computer) which then captured data for 3 hrs before POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)/Huntsville powered down the CIR and downlinked the data for analysis.

Sandy Magnus completed the daily flushing of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser). [The PWD had been found, via several microbial analyses by Magnus, to have bacteria growing in the ambient water. It is suspected that this is due to the water being stagnant and not used. The crew now performs daily flushes with 100 mL of iodinated water.]

Yuri Lonchakov completed the routine daily servicing of the SM’s SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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 US CWC to Russian EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

The FE-1 also performed the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The station residents conducted 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).

At ~8:00am EST, Sandy Magnus conducted a 30-min “handover” teleconference with Dr. Koichi Wakata from JAXA, her replacement as FE-2 on Expedition 18, arriving on STS-119. [As usual for these FE/FE conferences, the purpose is to begin the handover process prior to the arrival on orbit through videocons and data exchanges between the current crew and the upcoming crew. These tagups should start toward the end of the first month on orbit.]

At ~6:00pm, Mike & Sandy are scheduled for 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).

A voluntary task item on the “job jar” list for CDR Fincke continues to be filling out his fourth 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.]

SHERE Update: Mike Fincke was lauded by the POIC SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) investigators for successfully conducting 5 runs yesterday. “It was a good “honey” day. The team was also really excited by the opportunity to talk with you.”

SPDM “Dextre” Update: ISS is in the second week of SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) checkout. It has been successful to date. The ground yesterday performed SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) loaded operations remotely for the first time.

TOCA Update: An operational run of the failed TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) with reduced TOC oxidation reaction time is scheduled tomorrow for troubleshooting, as per IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) approval. No additional runs will be conducted until Russian ECLSS & Safety teams have reviewed the issue.

Consumables Update: Status of consumables aboard ISS remains ”Green” for the remainder of Increment 18.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were S. Georgia/S. Sandwich Island (the South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous and glaciated island that lays about 860 miles east-southeast of the Falkland Islands. The South Sandwich Islands form a separate island group and are to the southeast. At least partial clearing was indicated. Trying for detailed views of the glaciers on the north coast of South Georgia. ISS pass was in early morning with summer sun; looking well right of track), Chaiten Volcano (ISS had a late morning pass with clear weather near this recently reactivated volcano in southern Chile. Prior to its eruption in May 2008, the volcano had been quiet for more than 9000 years; it has caused significant damage to the town of Chaiten located to the southwest. After passing south of the large Isle of Chiloe, the crew was to look to the left of track for the volcano and try for a contextual view from this more oblique look angle), and Soufriere Hills Volcano (the Soufriere Hills volcano comprises the southern half of the island of Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles chain. An active and highly dangerous volcano, eruptions beginning in 1995 caused the evacuation and destruction of the capitol city of Plymouth. ISS pass was at mid-afternoon with partly cloudy conditions expected. For this more oblique view, left of track, the crew was to use the shorter lens to capture both the morphology of the volcano and extent of visible eruptive products. Gas, steam, and ash plumes may also have been visible).

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!):
02/04/09 — ISS reboost 2
02/09/09 — Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 — Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress 32P docking
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
02/24/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (nominal)
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 — 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.