Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 August 2010

By SpaceRef Editor
August 25, 2010
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 August 2010

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Returning to science activities!

At wake-up, CDR Skvortsov performed the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [The CDR again inspects the filters before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Also at wake-up, FE-5 Yurchikhin terminated his 5th experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/Sonokard, taking the recording device from his Sonokard sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-Med laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

Before sleeptime tonight, Skvortsov sets up the MBI-12 Sonokard payload for himself, starting his 11th sleep experiment session.

Before breakfast & first exercise, Skvortsov, Kornienko & Yurchikhin took a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, Kornienko closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

First thing in the morning, FE-6 Walker conducted another session with the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson completed her first blood draw and processing for the Vascular Blood Collection protocol, then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS), after recording the blood tube bar codes.

Later, after configuring the Lab video camcorder for live monitoring of her activities on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), Caldwell-Dyson accessed the MDCA (Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus) and made necessary hardware replacements to enable resumption of science operations. [Tracy set up the MDCA CIA (Chamber Insert Assembly) on the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) surface and replaced the needles and fiber arm inside the CIA. The latter was then re-installed in the combustion chamber. Afterwards, the MDCA front-end cap and lower/upper doors were closed. CIR/MDCA can now resume science operations. The replacements were necessary because the MDCA fiber arm was dirty from combustion by-products, and the needles had FOD (Foreign Object Debris) stuck to needle #2 that inhibited successful fuel deployment from that needle. Since the MDCA needles are paired, both needed to be replaced even if only one has failed.]

FE-3 Kornienko conducted his 10th data collection for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), after JAXA confirmed the full success of Doug Wheelock’s recent work to return the FSL VMU (Fluids Science Laboratory / Video Management Unit) hardware to pre-upgrade conditions, Wheelock inserted a blank DLT (Digital Line Tape) in the VMU recorder and began activities on the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility).

Working on the FPEF MI (Marangoni Inside) payload for about 5 hrs, Doug conducted the first steps of several days of MI Cassette exchange activities which are necessary for upcoming Marangoni experimentation scheduled in October. [Steps today included setting up the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) with its I/Fs (Interfaces) A & B to receive MI & MI Core, removing MI from the FPEF, adjusting the FPEF 3D Camera 2 to be in focus (Cameras 1 & 3 are already in focus), separating the MI Core & MI Cassette from the MI Body and cleaning up the MI Core inside from the cassette insertion hole. Background: In microgravity, fluids react differently to stresses when compared to the same stresses on Earth. Understanding the responses to the stressors allows for improved fluid flow models to be designed. Mass transfer on or in a liquid due to surface tension differences is called the Marangoni Effect (which, for example, stabilizes a soap film). The Marangoni convection experiments in the FPEF examine fluid tension flow in micro-G: first, a liquid bridge of silicone oil is formed into a pair of disks. Then, using temperature differences imposed on the disks, convection is induced causing the silicone oil to move and transition through different types of flows because of its fluid instability: successively from laminar to oscillatory, chaos, and turbulence flows as the driving force increases. The flow and temperature fields are observed in each stage and the transition conditions and processes are investigated.]

Wheelock also did the periodic status check & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) payload in the Lab.

Caldwell-Dyson started another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 17th session with the new GC/DMS unit (#1004), after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 100 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

CDR Skvortsov set up pumping equipment and initiated water transfer from the BV2 Rodnik storage tank of Progress M-05M/37P to the SM, filling EDV (KOV) containers and EDV-SVs. 37P is docked at the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

With the Russian Elektron oxygen (O2) generator currently turned off to use stored O2 from Progress M-06M/38P (docked at SM aft), Skvortsov safed the Elektron by conducting the standard N2 (nitrogen) purging (to prevent potential mixing of H2 & O).

The CDR also performed the periodic documentary close-up photography of one of the two SKK materials exposure payloads mounted on the outside of the station,- SKK-2 on the “Pirs” DC-1 from SM window #6, then transferred the digital images to the RSK-1 laptop for downlink to the ground via OCA. [The other SKK, #9 on the SM hull, was not photographed.]

Later, Alex Skvortsov & Mikhail Kornienko joined up to conduct an inventory/audit of Rodnik kits behind panel 231A in the SM RO Working Compartment. [Contents of the Rodnik kits include EDV adapters, receiving device, EDV fill indicator, hoses, Kolos-5D adapter, pressure adapter, vacuum gauge hose, PST mating adapter, etc.]

After her 3rd (FD75) ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Echo Scan session yesterday, FE-6 Walker made preparations for her next ICV experiment session, Ambulatory Monitoring, scheduled to start on 8/27 (Friday). [For preparation, Shannon charged four 12V Makita power tool batteries. Tomorrow, she will install Li (lithium) batteries in two ICV Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) and use the HRF PC1 laptop and Reader to initialize the Actiwatches and format two HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF memory cards.]

Continuing her support of POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville) in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) on the SAME (Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment) payload, Shannon activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and started up the next (10th) run of the SAME (Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment). [Steps included powering up the MLC (MSG Laptop Computer), opening the VES (Vacuum Exhaust System) & GN2 (gaseous nitrogen) valves in the MSG work volume, then turning on the experiment’s 120V power. After a ~4hr run, FE-6 performed the scheduled shutdown of the MSG and experiment.]

Today was water sampling & processing time aboard the station, completed by Shannon Walker who –

  • Conducted the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) in Node-3, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged];
  • Collected “Week 24” water samples in the SM (Service Module) for in-flight and ground analysis, taking them from the SRV-K Hot and SVO-ZV taps [Collected were two 750 mL chemical postflight samples for return to Earth and one 20 mL sample for in-flight silver detection (SDTO/Station Development Test Objective) using EHS C-SPE (Environmental Health System / Colorimetric Solid-Phase Extraction) analysis],
  • Took water samples from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser)’s Hot “leg” for microbial in-flight processing, TOCA analysis and post-flight analysis [Collected were one 125 mL microbial in-flight sample, one TOCA 250 mL in-flight sample, and one 1000 mL post-flight archival sample]; and
  • Processed the inflight SM & PWD water samples with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit / Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative). [The activity must be conducted within 6 hrs after water collection from the PWD line. The visual T+2 Day microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the potable water samples will be performed on 8/27.]

In preparation of her upcoming two-day CARD experiment (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) run, starting tomorrow, Shannon Walker replaced the batteries in the CDL HLTA BP (Cardiolab Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) instrument. [Astronauts experience lowered blood volume and pressure during space missions due to relaxation of the cardiovascular system in microgravity which may be a result from decreased fluid and sodium in the body. CARD examines the relationship between salt intake and the cardiovascular system when exposed to the microgravity environment and explores whether blood pressure & volume can be restored to the same levels that were measured during groundbased measurements by adding additional salt to the crew’s food. Results from this may lead to new health safety measures for astronauts to protect them on long duration missions. The CARD experiment runs over two days: CARD Day 1 and CARD Day 2. It requires 24-hr blood pressure monitoring, which is done using the ESA “CDL Holter Arterial BP” equipment. CARD Day 2, after the first rebreathing session in the morning, features a blood draw. The CARD experiment includes 3 double rebreathing sessions on Day 1, and 2 double rebreathing sessions on Day 2. The rebreathing sessions are separated by 4 (+/-1) hours if possible, and each rebreathing session includes 2 rebreathings with 5 minutes in between, with manual activation of the CDL Holter Arterial BP between these 2 rebreathings. CARD is not using the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) of VO2max, but a stationary PFS in COL (however, the two equipments are based on the same type of photoacoustic analyzers).

Wheels & Shannon performed another onboard session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and going through the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. It was Wheels’ 2nd, Shannon’s 3rd time. [WinSCAT is a monthly 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. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory – Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

To support the periodic microbial assessment by the ground of RS (Russian Segment) shell structures, FE-5 Yurchikhin spent ~4.5 hrs going through the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) collecting wipe samples from about 24 different equipment & surface locations on the FGB shell structure. [If stains, mildew, or dirt were found on cargo, equipment or structural elements, Fyodor was to take pictures and downlink them via OCA.]

Alex conducted the routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, first replacing the batteries on all of them, then zero-calibrating the instruments. [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. Following zero calibration, the prime unit was re-deployed at the SM Central Post].

Afterwards, the CDR completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways SM PrK (Service Module Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PrK–Progress, DC1–Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Later, Sasha had ~1 hr reserved for shooting more “Chronicle” newsreel footage using the SONY HVR-Z7 #2 high-definition camcorder as part of the ongoing effort to create a photo & video imagery database on the flight of ISS-24 (“Flight Chronicles”). [Footage subjects generally include conducting experiments, current activities at the station, repair activities behind panels, exercise, cosmonauts looking out the window at the Earth, Earth surface, station interior, cosmonaut in zero gravity, leisure, life on orbit, personal hygiene, meals, station exterior, comm. passes with the ground, ham radio passes, station cleaning, spacesuits, space hardware, MRM1, MRM2, DC1, FGB, Soyuz & Progress, intermodular passageways, meeting a new crew, crewmember in space, medical experiments, handover activities, crew return preparations, farewell ceremonies, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

Alex conducted 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.]

Kornienko did the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance by 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).

Misha also had another 1.5 hrs to transfer & stow discarded cargo and trash on Progress 38P, with moves being logged in the IMS.

With all remaining propellants in Progress 38P transferred, TsUP/Moscow today (~10:50am-12:38pm EDT) performed the standard vacuum purging of the Progress fuel (ZUG) and oxidizer (ZUO) lines, venting prop residuals in the plumbing between Progress & SM into space, with prior attitude control handover to the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at 10:35am and return to USOS at ~1:10pm). All events were nominal.

Earlier, FE-4 had closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Kibo & Cupola science windows. Also, to protect the T2 treadmill during the line purging/venting, the orange-colored snubber alignment guides (4) were installed by Wheels before the US-to-RS handover and removed again by Tracy after the RS-to-US handover.

At ~10:35am, Alex, Mikhail & Fyodor supported a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking the repeat of a message of greetings & congratulations to the Workers of Russia’s nuclear industry which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. The earlier downlink, on 8/18, was not properly received due to a misconfiguration. (“Dear nuclear industry workers, happy 65th birthday to the nuclear industry! … Today, Rosatom and Roskosmos are developing a new mega-watt class engine capable of delivering our space vehicles to any planet of the solar system.”).

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-5). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but is regularly being done after the last T2 session of the day.]

TVIS Update: The treadmill is currently NoGo due to some off-nominal noise during operation, and one of the slats appears to be partially buckled. A troubleshooting procedure was developed and uplinked for comment, to be implemented by Skvortsov & Yurchikhin tomorrow. The procedure includes involves removal of the raised belt slat along with the two slats surrounding it and replacement of all three with spares if they are damaged. Afterwards, both a manned and unmanned ACO (Activation & Checkout) run with video/audio capture complete the procedure.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Aurora: E Asia and Alaska (Dynamic event. Auroral activity is predicted. Looking left at the top of this night pass, for ~12 minutes. Further opportunities on alternate passes were uplinked also) and Woollya Cove, Chile (HMS Beagle site. Looking right of track on the far side of Tierra del Fuego as seen from track. The target was the waterway between major islands on the south side of the Beagle Channel, which borders the south coast of Tierra del Fuego. Four natives of Tierra del Fuego were brought to England by Captain Fitzroy of the Beagle to learn English. One in particular later acted as an interpreter on a return voyage).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:11am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 355.3 km
Apogee height – 360.5 km
Perigee height – 350.1 km
Period — 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007705
Solar Beta Angle — 61.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 65 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,437.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations—————–
08/31/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock – 7:27am EDT
09/06/10 — Progress M-06M/38P deorbit – ~8:25am EDT
09/08/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch – 7:11am EDT
09/10/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking – ~8:40am EDT\
09/xx/10 — ISS reboost
09/24/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24; CDR-25 – Wheelock)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/08/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/10/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
11/01/10 — STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) ~4:33pm EDT“target”
11/10/10 — Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 — Russian EVA-27
11/26/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
————–Three-crew operations————-
12/10/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/12/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
12/15/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
12/xx/10 — Russian EVA-28
12/26/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
12/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/26/11 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) ~4:19pm EDT“target”
03/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
04/26/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
05/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/21/11 — Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 — Progress M-11M/43P docking
08/30/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-22/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-24/28S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/20/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/21/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/23/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock.

SpaceRef staff editor.