Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 April 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
April 25, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 April 2008

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

FE-2 Reisman continued his support of the experiment CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), today concluding the processing of SPU-8 (Sample Processing Unit 8), transferring the data from the ECU (Electronics Control Unit) to the MSG laptop, then removing SPU-8 from the WV (Work Volume) and installing SPU-7 for the next run. MSG was later powered down from its A31p laptop (~8:30am EDT). [CSLM-2 examines the kinetics (e.g., growth rate) of “competing” particles within a liquid matrix. During this process, small particles shrink by giving up atoms to larger particles, causing the larger particles of tin, suspended in a liquid comprised of molten lead/tin alloy (“matrix”), to grow in size (“coarsen”). This study defines the mechanisms and rates of coarsening that govern the manufacture with metals from turbine blades to dental amalgam fillings.]

As is standard for new Expeditions, the two Russian crewmembers, Volkov & Kononenko, performed the periodic 3-hr. routine health checkout on the RS (Russian segment)’s STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem, including inspection and audio function checks of all comm panels (PA) in and between the Service Module (SM), FGB and Docking Compartment (DC1), VHF receiver tests, and an audit of headsets. [The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels (LINE-1,-2,-3), plus an intercom channel (VPU). Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support. Last time done 11/30/07 by Malenchenko & Tani.]

The three crewmembers performed the mandatory CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency/contingency medical OBT (on-board training) drill, a one-hour U.S. exercise designed to refresh crewmembers’ acuity in applying HMS (Health Maintenance System) equipment like ACLS (Advanced Cardio Life Support) in an emergency. [The drill gives crewmembers the opportunity to work as a team in resolving a simulated medical emergency onboard ISS and to refresh their memory of on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment use, and procedures. Setting up (but not actually operating/manipulating) onboard equipment such as the RSP (Respiratory Support Pack), ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack), intubation kit, HMS defibrillator, all stowed in the Lab CHeCS rack, and the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System), Garrett, Sergey and Oleg stepped through the ACLS algorithm manual to resolve a simulated medical emergency onboard ISS. Objectives of the exercise include practicing communication and coordination necessary to perform medical emergency procedures, locating appropriate emergency medical components, and determining each crewmember’s individual method of delivering CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) in zero-G.]

FE-2 Reisman conducted the periodic (monthly) CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) maintenance/checkout, today on all four units. [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Garrett changed out the battery on the prime unit, then zero-calibrated all instruments (to eliminate drift in the combustion sensors). Following zero calibration, the backup units were stowed in the Node, along with the sampling pump, while the prime unit was deployed at the SM Central Post.]

Reisman also gathered measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Partial Pressure Carbon Dioxide) in the Lab, SM (at panel 449) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002) and recording CO2 readings and battery “ticks”. Batteries were to be replaced if necessary.

Later, the FE-2 completed a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Windows Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool) by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT experiment. It was Garrett’s second onboard session. [WinSCAT is a time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request.]

Reisman also filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his sixth, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA/ESA 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. Latest food count (as of 4/20): 287 containers with 903.5 rations (456 US/447.5 Russian). Rate of food consumption by Exp-16 was 396 rations used in 190 days by three persons = 69% of one ration/person/day.]

As standard procedure for newly arrived station residents, Volkov & Kononenko filled out the questionnaire for the standard Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa ("bracelet/questionnaire") test procedure. [If desired, the crewmembers may evaluate a number of "bracelet" cuffs for their usefulness in suppressing the adverse effects of micro-G for the "newcomer" aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness, if there are such indications. The "bracelets" are compression cuffs attached to a belt and worn on the upper thighs over the coveralls, intended as countermeasures against the initial micro-G effects of blood filling (vascularity) in the upper torso (heaviness and blood pulsation in the head), facial puffiness, nasal stuffiness, painful eye movement, and vestibular disorders (dizziness, nausea, vomiting). They create artificial blood accumulation in the upper thirds of the thighs, causing some of the circulating blood volume to relocate from the upper body to the lower extremities, thereby (hopefully) correcting the adverse hemodynamic effect of micro-G and thus improving the crewmember’s working capability. The actual compression cuff in the Braslet units is a combination of alternating multi-layer tensile and non-tensile elements, whose distension by body movements creates elastic forces that produce the necessary pressure on the body surface. The questionnaire lists bracelet types, days worn, cuff tension used, wearing method (on body or over clothing), thigh cuff positioning, etc.]

Garrett supported a new ground-commanded upgrading of the PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops with a patch required for the upcoming JEM/1J mission, including such data as C&W (Caution & Warning) messages, emergency texts for NH3 leak events, etc. [The FE-2 powered up all PCS machines and deployed a stowed laptop in Node-2, after which each machine was patched by the ground and then reconnected to the C&C MDM (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer) after automatic reboot. Afterwards, Garrett configured the COL, LAB & SM PCS laptops and called down their battery charge levels.]

Later, Reisman also performed the regular bi-weekly reboots of the SSC (Station Support Computer) File Server and OCA Comm Router laptops.

Earlier, the FE-2 downloaded the structural dynamics data collected last night during the ATV reboost by the IWIS (Internal Wireless Integrated System) from the RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) and NCU (Network Control Unit) to the SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. The IWIS gear was then disassembled and removed.

Additionally, Garrett completed the periodic checkup on active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. [The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA is now back up again and running, collecting data every six seconds and downlinking the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.]

In preparation for the following PAO TV event, Reisman set up and activated the VDS MPC (Video Distribution System/Multi-Purpose Converter) with its four downlinks for transmitting SONY PD-100 camcorder imagery. Later (~12:00pm), the MPC was powered off again.

At ~11:35am, Garrett engaged in two PAO TV interviews with US clients,- WCBS-TV, New York (Dana Tyler, Jim Rosenfeld), and WOFL-TV, Orlando, FL (Mike Dunston, Holly Bristow).

Kononenko completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists of replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of an EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine container, replacement of the KOV EDV for the Elektron-intended water, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC (Contingency Water Container) from the Lab humidifier. Weekly SOZh reports (on Sundays) to TsUP/Moscow deal with number & dates of water and urine containers, counter readings of water consumption (SPK-U, SVO) & urine collection, plus data and total operating time of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SOGS air revitalization subsystem.]

Volkov took on the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).

The camcorder setup in the SM for filming the workout of all crewmembers on the RED resistive exerciser in Node-1 during the last two days was today focused on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) for similar documentation of their treadmill workout (with the TVIS skirt removed for visibility). Later, Reisman removed and stowed the video equipment. [The periodic videos are required for biomechanical assessment of hardware status by ground engineers.]

The crew completed their regular 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), RED resistive exercise device (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1).

Afterwards, Garrett downloaded the crew’s exercise data file to the MEC for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~4:00am, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU, [Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya = “Main Operative Control Group”]), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~8:45am, Sergey & Oleg linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing transfer details and stowage locations. [Discussions today concerned the current whereabouts of the 800A storage battery removed in the SM on 4/23 and of the BNP Portable Repress Tank transferred from Soyuz TMA-11 on 4/19.]

At ~3:10pm, the crewmembers are scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

Listed on the crew’s “job jar” task list for today was a battery check & reboot on the PWS (Portable Workstation) laptop in the COL.

ATV Reboost Update: The overnight ISS reboost with the ATV1 “Jules Verne” main engines was started at 12:22am EDT for 12m 15s and completed successfully. Planned Delta-V was 2.64 m/s vs. 2.66 m/s actual, resulting in a mean altitude increase of 4.64 km (2.51 nmi). Purpose of the reboost maneuver was to set up the proper phasing (central orbit sweep angle) for the upcoming launches of 29P and STS-124/1J. ISS attitude control authority was handed over to RS MCS (Motion Control System) at 11:15pm for the subsequent maneuver to reboost attitude at 11:20pm. After the burn, the station was turned back to TEA (Torque Equilibrium Attitude) and returned to US Momentum Management at ~1:25am.

CDRA Update: The Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) was activated yesterday when the CO2 level peaked at 5.4 mmHg. After running for ~24 hrs, it was turned off again today starting at ~9:00am. [The RS Vozdukh CO2 scrubber is more effective when the CO2 levels are higher, so normally the ppCO2 will slowly rise over about a week and stabilize between 5 & 6 mmHg, which is within Flight Rule limits but has been known to cause symptoms in some more susceptible crewmembers. Therefore, Flight Control activated the CDRA yesterday temporarily as a pre-emptive measure.]

COL Condensate Issue Update: Since activation of the Columbus condensate system, ground specialists have suspected a partial blockage of the condensate line from COL through Node-2 into the Lab. Ground-commanded troubleshooting has had inconclusive results. The ISS crew will now be required to temporarily disconnect the condensate (waste water) jumper in the Node-2/COL vestibule in order to obtain flow rate data as a step towards possibly locating the site of the blockage. [Starting next Monday, there will be a two-day sequence of steps to be performed by the crew: On 4/28, safing the waste water bus and initial setup of the sample bag for collecting condensate; on 4/29, final setup for the troubleshooting with periodic checks of the condensate collected within the sample bag, followed by the tear-down.]

MCAS Checkout: For today’s ground-commanded checkout of the Robotics MCAS (Mobile Base System [MBS] Common Attachment System) at ~2:00pm, requiring UMA (Umbilical Mechanism Assembly) mating, later demating, the RS thrusters were disabled at 1:10pm until ~3:15pm and physical exercise restricted, both due to loads constraints.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Tigris-Euphrates Delta (nadir views of the coastline were requested), Mt. Etna, Sicily (nadir views were requested), Tin Bider Impact Crater, Algeria (this 6-km-diameter crater is a dark circular feature off track left. The crater lies between a dry inland delta under track, and a major dune field [erg], the Grand Erg Oriental), and Virginia Coast Reserve, Virginia (this environmental site is the barrier island-lagoon-mainland landscape of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Looking left on the seaward side of the Delmarva Peninsula, close to the southern tip).

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website: (as of 3/1/08, this database contained 757,605 views of the Earth from space, with 314,000 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:26am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 342.7 km
Apogee height — 347.6 km
Perigee height — 337.8 km
Period — 91.39 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007277
Solar Beta Angle — -36.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude gain in the last 24 hours — 4600 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 54022

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
05/07/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S relocation (from DC1 to FGB nadir port)
05/14/08 — Progress M-64/29P launch
05/16/08 — Progress M-64/29P docking (DC1)
05/31/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J launch – JEM PM “Kibo”, racks, RMS (5:01pm EDT)
06/02/08 — STS-124/Discovery/1J docking
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20 (7/10-11)
08/07/08 — ATV1 undocking
08/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
08/14/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
08/28/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking (from DC1)
09/10/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking (DC1)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (SM aft port)
10/16/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
10/18/08 — STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 docking
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (FGB nadir)
11/03/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation (from SM aft to FGB nadir)
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-67/32P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-67/32P docking (SM aft port)
12/04/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
12/06/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
12/15/08 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
2QTR CY09 — STS-127/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
3QTR CY09 — STS-128/17A/Atlantis – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/??/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 18S-2 docking)
3QTR CY09 — STS-129/ULF3/Discovery – ELC1, ELC2
4QTR CY09 — STS-130/20A/Endeavour – Node-3 + Cupola
1QTR CY10 — STS-131/19A/Atlantis – MPLM(P)
1QTR CY10 — STS-132/ULF4/Discovery – ICC-VLD, MRM1 (contingency)
2QTR CY10 — STS-133/ULF5/Endeavour – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.