Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 23, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 January 2009

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

FE-1 Lonchakov began his workday by winding up the current experiment session of 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 was deactivated again at ~7:00am EST, followed by hardware removal & stowage. [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 was performed with 2.55 µm (micrometer) particles, to study phase transitions in dust plasma systems at different voltages of an AC electrical field in argon & neon gas mixture. The experiment was run in automatic mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

To prepare the new ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) for today’s use, FE-2 established and verified a vacuum condition in the machine’s cylinder flywheels. ARED is Go for exercise.

CDR Fincke conducted the final session of the SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) payload equipment with three more sample runs plus two tests of the force transducer and laser micrometer. To do so, Mike –

  • Activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) from the A31p laptop,
  • Powered on the SHERE hardware,
  • Accessed the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) to install the SHERE FM (Fluid Module) #59 (Test Point 58);
  • Supported the first SHERE experiment test run;
  • Transferred the module with the fluid sample;
  • Installed FM #57 for the second experiment run (Test Point 59);
  • Transferred the module with the fluid sample;
  • Installed FM #58 for the third experiment run (TP 49);
  • Removed the FM from the CGBA, and conducted the force transducer test;
  • Conducted the laser micrometer test;
  • Transferred the data files to the MSG laptop for subsequent downlink;
  • Turned off the SHERE/CGBA equipment; and
  • Powered down the MSG.

[Background: Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress (“preshearing” = rotation) which might be, for example, a shear stress or extensional stress. In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the "classical" disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. SHERE is designed to study the effect of preshear (rotation) on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for solutions with long chains of monodisperse dilute polymer molecules in the MSG. Collectively referred to as “Boger fluids,” these polymer solutions have become a popular choice for rheological studies of non-Newtonian fluids and are the non-Newtonian fluid used in this experiment. The SHERE hardware consists of the Rheometer, Camera Arm, Interface Box, Cabling, Keyboard, Tool Box, Fluid Modules, and Stowage Tray.]

CDR Fincke supported the JAXA DomGene experiment in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by power-cycling the ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal) to troubleshoot a communications error between the ELT and the IPU (Image Processing Unit). [The Ethernet communication between ELT and IPU failed on 1/5. On 1/8, the connections were checked and the cables changed. However, communication was still missing.]

In the RS (Russian Segment), FE-1 Lonchakov serviced the Service Module (SM) condensate water processor (SRV-K2M) system, replacing the BKV water conditioning unit’s BKO multifiltration/purification column with a new spare. The old unit was pre-packed for disposal. [The SRV-K2M, with its BKO multifiltration unit, removes dissolved mineral and organic impurities from the condensate. Downstream from it, the condensate water is treated in the BKV water conditioning unit with salts for taste and silver ions for preservation, before it flows to the KPV potable water container.]

In the US A/L (Airlock), Magnus terminated the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) CO2 removal canisters #0017 & #0019 in the “bake-out” oven. A few hours later, in preparation for the 15A spacewalks, Sandy installed two more expended canisters (#0020, #0021) for regeneration. [Start of regeneration of the swapped cans had to wait until the TCCS (Trace Contaminant Control System), which was turned off for today’s CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) troubleshooting, was up and running again.]

For the CDRA IFM (Inflight Maintenance), the FE-2 had ~110 min to step through uplinked troubleshooting procedures with the intent to isolate possible locations of blockage within the system.

Working in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) on the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System), Sandy Magnus –

  • Uninstalled its GRM (Gas Removal Module/#FM004) from the inside of the EMCS Main door because it has a possible loss of containment, and then
  • Swapped the male & female QDs (quick disconnects) on the RBLSS (Rotor Based Life Support System/#FM007) on rotor A connecting it to the EMCS water reservoir, to restore the water distribution path from the EMCS water reservoir to the EC (Experiment Container).

Magnus also –

  • 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.],
  • Updated the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) software to decrease the “React TOC” (oxidation reaction time) phase from 10 min to 2 min to allow a one-run operation without exceeding the P4 sensor pressure limit (whereby H2/Hydrogen and O2/Oxygen were vented and dispersed into the cabin instead of utilizing TOCA’s catalytic action for elimination),
  • Conducted the desired TOCA analysis of the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) water sample via the TOCA sample hose, and
  • Recorded and transferred the analysis data from TOCA USB drive into the SSC7 (Station Support Computer 7) laptop for ground review.

In addition, the FE-2 installed the new WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) “Kabin” toilet and emptied the WHS EDV-SV waste/flush water container, then swapped it with a full EDV-SV.

Sandra also conducted the “T+2d” inflight microbiology analyses for the samples collected on 1/21 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Ambient plus SVO-ZV and SRV-K Warm taps. [Sandy reported “yellow” for Coliform (= Negative), “lots of small dots” (= Positive) on the MCD (Microbial Capture Device) and a (nominal) incubation bag temperature of 78 degC. Photos were taken for downlink to Earth via SSC12, and the MCD packed for return on 15A.]

Yuri Lonchakov had another 2:10h for loading discarded equipment & refuse on the cargo ship-turned-trash can Progress 31P while keeping track of the moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

FE-2 Magnus 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.]

Sandy filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), her seventh, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). Mike Fincke’s fourth FFQ activity is still on his “job jar” task list. [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.]

Fincke unstowed and set up the NUTRITION w/Repository hardware for a new session for urine and blood collections for him, starting tomorrow. For his blood draw tomorrow, Mike’s 8-hr fast begins tonight at ~6:55pm EST.

At ~2:45am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~5:30am, Yuri & Mike linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~9:40am, the FE-1 downlinked a PAO TV message of greetings to the Participants of a Gala Assembly of Foreign War Veterans dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan. [“…It gives me an immense pleasure from the deck of the International Space Station to greet participants of the gala assembly dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the Soviet Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan, and all of you representing all veterans of foreign wars…From the bottom of my heart I wish you to be healthy, happy and prosperous for many years to come.]

At ~2:10pm, the ISS crew had their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

Working off his discretionary “time permitting” job list, Lonchakov performed the regular daily IMS 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).

Also from the suggested job list, Yuri conducted the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

The station residents completed 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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Mumbai, India Aerosol (looking to right and ahead of track for pollution plumes as ISS approached the major Indian port city of Mumbai. One of the world’s megacities, more than 21 million people currently live in the Mumbai metropolitan area. Atmospheric limb imagery of the size, orientation, color, and stratification of any visible aerosol plumes in the Mumbai region was requested), and Southwest Algeria Megafans, Africa (the station had a near-nadir pass over the southeastern portion of a large [320 km radius] megafan complex in Algeria. These megafans [or inland deltas] have been laid down by rivers that used to flow west and northwest out of the Adrar N’Ahnet Mountains in SW Algeria, and have been proposed as analogs for similar features observed on Mars. Looking for a linear dune field to the northwest of the megafans, and highly contorted rocks to the east as landscape markers. Overlapping mapping frames, looking slightly to the left of track, were requested).

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov (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 morning, 7:59am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 357.3 km
Apogee height — 362.5 km
Perigee height — 352.1 km
Period — 91.69 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007733
Solar Beta Angle — 4.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.70
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 62 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58319

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.