Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 22 June 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
June 22, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 22 June 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 4 of Increment 20.

FE-2 Wakata & FE-4 Thirsk began the day with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Wakata & Thirsk (the latter having joined the experiment on 6/8) ingested an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [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 will be 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.]

Also before breakfast, De Winne started Part 1 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, to be carried by all crewmembers for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). (Last time done: 3/5-3/6). [Tonight, after about 15 hours of measurements, dosimeter data will be downloaded and the hardware power-cycled for another data take starting tonight after 8.5-hr. sleep. At that point, the crew will deploy the dosimeters statically in the station for the duration of the day, record measurements tomorrow noon and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

FE-2 Wakata accessed the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) in the Lab by removing equipment from its right door, then conducted purge operations with the HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter), removed & replaced the OGA ORU (Oxygen Generator Assembly Orbit Replaceable Unit), reconnected the OGS H2 sensor and closed out after the maintenance.

In the US Airlock meanwhile, FE-1 Barratt started the discharge the discharge process on the batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly).    [After Mike initiated the EMU battery discharge, MCC-H opened the RPC (Remote Power Controller) to BCM 3 (Battery Charger Module 3) to determine if there is current draw on the battery in this configuration.  Later in the week, Mike will check the battery OCV (Open Circuit Voltage). No current draw will validate that opening of the RPC is an acceptable option to stop an EMU battery discharge that was not terminated as expected by a BCM.]

FE-3 Romanenko worked in the FGB to perform the periodic Russian SPOPT (Fire Detection & Suppression System) maintenance, removing and replacing all ten of its IDZ-2 smoke detectors.   [One of them (designated #9) kept tripping after the R&R.  It will not be activated at this time.]

Also in the FGB, Gennady & Roman removed and replaced the electric PTAB current converter and its BUPT control unit on the #2 800A storage battery block (of six) with new units brought up on 33P. The old PTAB was pre-packed for disposal, the BUPT stowed in the spare parts kit.  [Each of the 800A batteries has its own charge/discharge unit (ZRU) which tracks 49 battery parameters and is designed to increase the operating life of the battery by setting up charging and discharging modes. Each ZRU is comprised of one battery current converter (PTAB), one control unit (BUPT), and three charge/discharge current integrators (MIRT-3).]

Gennady worked in the Soyuz TMA-14/18S spacecraft, starting preparations for replacing its cooler/dehumidifier assembly.

CDR Padalka set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the 1h15m session, his third, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data stowed for return to the ground. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

Thirsk & DeWinne conducted another session each with the experiment BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment), complete with videocam coverage, investigating the relative contributions of internal and external cues to self-orientation during and after zero-G exposure, the fifth for Bob & Frank. After setting up the camcorder for recording the activity, configuring the “Neurospat” hardware and activating the BISE software on its A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop, the crewmembers each then had ~20-25min for completing the experiment protocol, as they had done it for their BDC (Baseline Data Collection) runs on the ground. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration microgravity conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to microgravity and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

Mike Barratt conducted another test session of the SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment) payload in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), controlled by its A31p with SPICE microdrives. [Mike exchanged burner tubes, set up the still camera, exchanged the gas bottle with new fuel, performed ignition to start the flame test, adjusted to the smoke point and took photos.  After the tests, Mike was to close out the session, exchange video tape & microdrive and power down the MSG. 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.]

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 DeWinne worked on the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory).    [Frank de-installed the Optical Target from the CEM-L (Central Experiment Module – Lower) in preparation for the upcoming Checkout 3, then installed the FSL laptop and activated it to check its C&C (Command & Control) functionality for changing AAA fan speed and making mode transitions.  Afterwards, the laptop was deactivated, removed and stowed.]

Padalka took up the task of recovering the functionality of a dosimeter instrument (P-16) of the Russian SRK radiation monitoring system.

CDR Padalka performed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). Gennady also took photos of the plants in the LADA greenhouse using the Nikon D2Х photo camera with F=17-55 mm lens for subsequent downlink via OCA.  Harvested plats were transferred to the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) for conservation.  [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

In the U.S. Lab, Barratt started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the eighth, with the new EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS hardware.]

Bob & Frank continued their detailed checkout and inspection of the HMS CMRS (Health Maintenance System/Crew Medical Restraint System), stowed in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack, followed by a checkout of the RSAP (Respiratory Support Pack, #002). [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO who is also provided with restraints around the device. The device can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and can also restrain two CMOs during their delivery of medical care.]

At ~8:10am EDT, Frank DeWitt powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset & power supply) and at ~8:15am conducted a ham radio session with students at Berlaymont School in Waterloo, Belgium.

Roman Romanenko did the daily IMS 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).

FE-3 also 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

FE-2 & FE-1 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~11:10am, Koichi at ~11:45am EDT.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3).   [On the CEVIS, the actual loads remain slightly lower than the commanded loads, but this was expected. A manual correction of the pertinent calibration coefficient via the control panel touch screen will be done at a later time when the new value has been determined.]

Later, Wakata transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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 afternoon, 2:45pm EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 347.7 km
Apogee height – 353.4 km
Perigee height — 342.0 km
Period — 91.49 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008488
Solar Beta Angle — 6.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 66 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60683

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
06/30/09 — Progress 33P undocking
07/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/11/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD — NET (Not Earlier Than)
07/12/09 — Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (based on solar constraints)
07/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking (if launched nominally 7/11)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/25/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking
07/29/09 — Progress 34P docking (would be able to dock as early as July 27 depending on STS-127)
08/07/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~8:49am EDT)
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 – Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 — Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 — Progress 37P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-134/Discovery/ULF6 – ELC3, AMS
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.