Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 24, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 January 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – rest day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus.

CDR Fincke’s first activity this morning was to start on the second day of his FD120 (Flight Day 120) session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, after the overnight 8-hr fast. This was an all-day session, the fourth for Mike, of collecting blood samples (assisted by FE-2 Magnus) plus urine samples several times until termination tomorrow after 24 hrs. [The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus performed their part of the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning in the US & Russian Segments. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the FE’s sleep station with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

For today’s VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) programs, Sandra Magnus first set up the HD (High Definition) camcorder for recording a live video of her real time interaction with EPO (Educational Program Operation) activities, then went through an EPO demo of using spacesuits.

For his VolSci part, CDR Fincke later activated (then turned off) the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) in order to de-install and stow the finished SHERE payload equipment. Fincke then set up for another VolSci LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) session, using LOCAD-PTS Gram+ LAL Cartridges for swabbing surface samples in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) at the Airlock handle, handle-to-tray DMS2-4 (overhead) and return grill (A2D) return grill (Aft Deck). [LOCAD uses small, thumb-sized “microfluidic” cartridges that are read by the experiment Reader. The cartridges contain dried extract of horseshoe crab blood cells (LAL/Limulus amebocyte lysate) and colorless dye. LAL tests are used for the detection and quantification of bacterial endotoxins: in the presence of the bacteria, the dried extract reacts strongly to turn the dye a green color. Therefore, the more green dye, the more microorganisms there are in the original sample. Glucans are complex carbohydrate (sugar, D-glucose) macromolecules. The handheld device tests this new analysis technology by sampling for the presence of gram negative bacteria in the sample in about 15 minutes, showing the results on a display screen. Background: Lab-on-a-Chip technology has an ever-expanding range of applications in the biotech industry. Chips are available (or in development) which can also detect yeast, mold, and gram positive bacteria, identify environmental contaminants, and perform quick health diagnostics in medical clinics. The technology has been used to swab the MERs (Mars Exploration Rovers) for planetary protection. With expanded testing on ISS, began by Sunita Williams in March/April last year, this compact technology has broad potential applications in space exploration–from monitoring environmental conditions to monitoring crew health. The current study should prepare for long-duration exploration by demonstrating a system that enables the crew to perform biochemical analysis in space without having to return samples to Earth.]

Lonchakov configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the 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. Obtained test data were then downlinked via OCA. [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.]

The FE-1 also performed the regular maintenance of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air purification subsystems in the SM and FGB by cleaning the pre-filters with a vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle attachment and later restarting the POTOK in automatic mode.

Magnus completed the regular bi-monthly reboots of the OCA Router and File Server SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops.

In the US A/L (Airlock), Sandy also terminated the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) CO2 removal canisters #0020 & #0021 in the “bake-out” oven, then re-stowed the regenerated cans for use in the upcoming 15A spacewalks.

Afterwards, the FE-2 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 leg. Latest microbial results indicate that not enough iodine may get into the system to kill off any microbes, since the amount of 250 mL used lately did not take into account the filter and, as ground testing has shown, it takes about 24 hours for the iodine to convert to iodide when left stagnant in a filter like the one used in the PWD. The amount of iodinated flush water was today increased to 1 L per flush, through next Wednesday (1/28). Results TBD.]

Yuri 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.]

At ~9:00am EST, the crew conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

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

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” suggestions list, the FE-1 conducted another session for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.

Also from the discretionary task list, Lonchakov performed a session of the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take telephotos. [Uplinked target zones were the Falkland Current, glaciers of the Patagonia northern ice field, bright mudflow line runs from the slope of Huascaran volcano, a trace of a 1970 disaster, and the Coast of Cuba.]

A third voluntary task for Yuri was the routine service on the Matryoshka-R radiation payload via its Lulin-5 electronics box, checking and adjusting date/time, taking readings and entering time tag.

A discretionary 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).

Reboost Update: The next ISS reboost with one or both SM main engines on 2/4 is currently on temporary hold until results from the last SM reboost on 1/14 (which showed higher-than-usual structural oscillations) have been reviewed in depth. Near-term reboosts are planned to adjust orbital phasing (central angle) of the station for Shuttle/15A, Progress/32P and Soyuz/18S rendezvous. Reboosts by Progress on DC1 & SM aft end port or by the Shuttle are not on hold.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen — Week 13)

3-D SPACE: Complete 3 in 1J Stage. Planned: 4th in Inc-19.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): Planned/Reserve.

BIO-4: Complete.

BIOLAB (BLB): Activities to prepare the BIOLAB facility fully in view of the next experiment in Incs-19/20 continued with some ground activities for maintenance file uplink and the HM (Handling Mechanism) positioning and functional test which were executed nominally on 1/21.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Mike, from your request we are currently planning a combined session with you and Sandy as a Voluntary Science option for 2/7. This would be an optional mid-increment session. You would still be required to complete another session three to two weeks prior to landing to count as a subject. Sandy, we are currently planning your final on-orbit CCISS session to be offered through a Voluntary Science option on 2/7. This session has a constraint window of Return minus 21-14 days.”

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Ongoing.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): “On 1/21, commanding to IPU, which initiates transferring the file from ELT to IPU, was executed. The result was unsuccessful. Communication between IPU and ELT was confirmed normal. We requested the power cycle of the ELT in 1/23. And now ELT works fine and we confirm that ELT is ready for DomeGene experiment.”

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.

EDR (European Drawer Rack): Planned. A smoke detector test was successfully carried out on 1/7.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): ENose is operating normally. Confirmational event done on 1/21 showed up well in ENose data.

EPM (European Physiology Module): MEEMM (Multi Electrodes Encephalogram Measurement Module) calibration was successfully performed on 1/21.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): Science data acquisition for the EuTEF instruments continues. A EuTEF DHPU (Data Processing Handling Unit) software upgrade was performed nominally on 1/16. This software upgrade makes it now possible to operate DEBIE-2 and FIPEX instruments simultaneously.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): “Thanks for the performance of the troubleshooting activity on the FSL video tape recorder on 1/20-20. We hope a positive outcome on the noise can be confirmed when the FSL will be activated on 1/23.”

GEOFLOW: An anomaly occurred during the science run#10 on 1/9. Analysis by the PD led to the MRB recommendation to stop further GEOFLOW operations. All activities are being removed from the timeline.

HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): Complete.

ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): 24 runs have been conducted this week.

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): In progress.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Reserve.

Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.

NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY: “Sandy, thanks for the great work and attention to detail in completing your FD60 session within the timeline constraints! Your next session will be your FD120.”

PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): “Mike, congratulations on the completion of the final SHERE runs yesterday! Gareth says "awesome work!" We have all been really impressed with your attention to detail and the extra work you have done with the HD video. This has added immensely to the value of the science obtained, and we thank you very much for it. Without your outstanding research efforts, SHERE could not have been nearly as successful or rich in science data. We are thrilled with the results you have obtained over the past month, and the last runs all looked great. Even the run in which the fluid snapped definitively shows preshear rotation has a strong effect on the fluid’s stretch behavior, so it is quite useful. As Gareth notes, it sets a boundary on the "work of adhesion" – it is clear that preshearing the molecules and the resulting tensile stress induced can overwhelm the intrinsic ‘tackiness.’ Waiting until the fluid temperature reaches at least 22 deg C helped us make sure all the test points are comparable to each other since the fluid’s viscosity dramatically increases when cooler. This saturates the force transducer, which is something we want to avoid. PS – Nice Superman flying through the US Lab, too!”

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Mike, we are currently planning on scheduling your second of three weeks of sleep logging next week. Any additional logging is above and beyond and is greatly appreciated by the PI. Sandy, we are currently planning on scheduling your second of three weeks of sleep logging next week. If you have difficulties with the password, you can create a new one by typing it and acknowledging the pop-up in the software. Any additional logging is above and beyond and is greatly appreciated by the PI.”

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Measurements during this Sun observation window which started on 1/14 continue well. A new anomaly occurred on 1/19 leading to a SOLAR reboot and switch-off of the instruments. The platform could be recovered in Pointing Mode after 4 orbits.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): Complete (1J Stage).

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): “Thanks Sandy & Mike for the smooth performance of the VLE-1 Single meal activity on 1/9.”

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): “Through 1/19, the ground has received a total of 10,130 frames of CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. Photos with times corresponding to the CEO target request times are reviewed first. However, no additional target request imagery was received this week. “Results of reviews of previous imagery include: Kerguelen Island – your excellent, high resolution imagery has features suggesting the presence of large kelp beds reported near the coast – verification in progress; Patagonian Glaciers – more excellent imagery of features in the Northern Patagonian Ice Field – best views in several years; and Lake Eyre, Australia – good detail of portions of the northern areas – dry conditions persist. Nice job! Your recent, snow-enhanced view of the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. It is a nice depiction of the urban geography process of agglomeration with a number of small cities combining into a larger one. Good shot!”

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Hyderabad, India (ISS had a nadir pass over this important Indian city. Weather over the target was also predicted to be unusually clear. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along-track, were requested as the station approached, passed over, and then departed the metropolitan area. This will provide a rural-urban-rural transect useful for tracking land use/land cover change), Kilimanjaro, Kenya (some low clouds were predicted over Kilimanjaro during your nadir pass, but the peak should have been visible. Detailed photographs of summit snow cover and glaciers were requested for comparison with historical imagery), Tenoumer Impact Crater, Mauritania (this well-defined, young impact crater in Mauritania is less than 2 km wide. To capture the crater, the crew was to begin overlapping, nadir-looking mapping frames as ISS approached, continued over, and then departed the target area), and Gulf of Fonseca, Central America (weather was predicted to be clear over this highly productive embayment of the Central American coastline. The Gulf is notable for its extensive mangrove swamps and wetlands – but land use change is also occurring in the region. Imagery of the western portion of the Gulf was requested to track land use change and the current extent of vegetation).

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!):
02/09/09 — 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.