Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 25, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 February 2009

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

After removing the KURS-P (K2-BKA0-01) equipment from the SM (Service Module) yesterday, FE-1 Lonchakov today worked several hours on installing a new K2-BKA-01 unit delivered in Progress M-66/32P in the SM, then reconnected it to the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system in VD-SU control system mode. [The older equipment will be re-installed in the FGB tomorrow. Prior to 31P docking, the FGB KURS unit was moved and installed into the SM after the unit there was found to be failed. This week’s activities will ensure the newest KURS unit is installed in the SM and used for the most vehicle traffic.]

As has become standard operating procedure after deactivation/reactivation of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry system and VD-SU monitoring mode, Yuri later performed a quick function verification of the relatively new SUBA Ethernet connection between the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) and the BRI Smart Switch Router in the SM. [The routine task uses the RSS1 laptop for a comm check with the RSC-E PingMaster application and for downloading BRI log files.]

FE-2 Magnus performed IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the port IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) valve RMOs (Remote Manual Overrides) on the Lab port and Node-2 port, adjusting the actuator handles for correct operating configuration. [The activity involved tightening the Lab aft RMO, relocating the hardstop fixture, re-labeling the Lab & Node-2 port aft RMOs proper Open and Closed positions and closing panels.]

In the Airlock, Magnus attempted to remove two PHA QDs (Prebreathe Hose Assembly/Quick Disconnects, 026, 027), one of which was leaky, and to replace them with new QDs, before purging the O2 system and performing a leak check. However, while attempting to remove a seal retaining ring, the FE-2 observed FOD (Foreign Object Debris), and the R&R was halted while ground teams investigate and forward actions are defined.

In Node-2, the FE-2 then worked on a ventilation outlet screen in the SCQ (Starboard Crew Quarters), removing a piece of FOD (Foreign Object Debris).

Continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, CDR Fincke cleaned the four “Group B” fan screens (VT1, VTK1, VV1RO & VV2RO) in the SM (Service Module).

Also for RS ventilation maintenance, FE-1 Lonchakov cleaned the VD1 & VD2 air ducts in the DC1 Docking Compartment.

In the US Airlock, Fincke had ~3 hrs set aside for a thorough EVA equipment bag audit and reconfiguration of the EVA stowage situation in preparation for the 15A spacewalks. [This lengthy audit is not complete and will be placed back on the task list for the crew to perform as time allows.]

On the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), the CDR then removed alignment guides to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) activation before FCF operations start.

Performing regular service on the MATRYOSHKA-R (RBO-3-2) radiation instrumentation in the SM (panel 326), FE-1 Lonchakov changed the position of the AST Spectrometer and kits containing passive dosimeters on Panel 326 (rotation around their axes), installed the ALC-961 PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card and activated the Spectrometer, making sure that the memory card is actually recording data. The setup was then photographed. [The Spectrometer was rotated 90° around its Y axis so that its ports now face along the SM’s X axis. RBO-3-2 is using the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (ALC/Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS) with its Spectrometer (AST) and ALC equipment, which is periodically moved around and now located again in the SM.]

In preparation for another ultrasound scanning session with the Braslet hardware tomorrow (2/26), Lonchakov reviewed Braslet material, including a video and review notes. [In preparation for the session, to be conducted by Mike Fincke as operator, Yuri as the subject has to abstain from caffeine 12 hrs prior to the scan session, heavy meals 4 hrs before and any food at all 2 hrs prior to the scan, plus no exercise 2 hours before and no liquids 30 mins before his scan, as well as no Braslet cuff use within 24 hours of the scan. The SDTO-17011 “Validation of On-Orbit Methodology for the Assessment of Cardiac Function and Changes in the Circulating Volume Using Ultrasound and Braslet-M Occlusion Cuffs (Braslet)” is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Russian FSA (Federal Space Agency), with the goal to establish a valid ultrasound methodology for assessing a number of aspects of central and peripheral hemodynamics and cardiovascular function, specifically in rapid changes in intravascular circulating volume. Braslet uses Braslet-M occlusion cuffs, i.e., the Russian-made operational countermeasure already pre-calibrated and available onboard for each ISS crewmember. Braslet employs multiple modes of ultrasound imaging and measurements, in combination with short-term application of Braslet-M occlusive cuffs and cardiopulmonary maneuvers (Valsalva, Mueller) to demonstrate and to evaluate the degree of changes in the circulating volume on orbit. This will be accomplished by performing echocardiographic examinations in multiple modes (including Tissue Doppler mode), ultrasound measurements of lower extremity venous and arterial vascular responses to Braslet-M device under nominal conditions and also during cardiopulmonary Mueller and Valsalva maneuvers. Identical measurements will be repeated without Braslet-M, with Braslet-M applied, and immediately after releasing the occlusion device.]

The FE-1 also collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM, using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today using preprogrammed microchips to measure for o-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10) and Hydrogen Chloride (HCl).

In addition, Lonchakov performed the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways, including the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)–PrK–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, FGB GA–Node-1.

Mike Fincke performed the periodic status check on the running payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

Sandra Magnus 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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

The FE-2 also took care of the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).

At ~2:27am EST, the CDR powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 2:32am held a ham radio session with students of Chatham Public School, Taree, NSW, Australia. [Chatham Public School is situated in Taree on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. It is 320kms north of Sydney and approximately 10kms off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Taree (population 20000) was once a prospering dairy farming town however now it is more diversified with dairying, timber, fishing, small industry and tourism. The Manning River runs through Taree and it is one of only three rivers in the world with a twin delta system. There are 307 students at Chatham Public School with ages ranging from 5 to 12 years. There are 37 Aboriginal students, most from the Biripi tribe, and they are descendants of the original owners of Australia before it was colonized in 1788 by the English. Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. “How long did it take you to train to become a qualified astronaut?”; “How do you exercise in space?”; “What type of food do you eat at the space station?”; “How long does it take to get back to Earth from the space station?”; “What is the best part about being an astronaut?”; “Has anyone ever become very sick up there and what happens if they do?”; “How many astronauts go into the space station each year and how many are at the space station at a time?”; “How hard is it to do things in space without any gravity?”; “What types of clothing do you wear up there?”; “How were you selected to go to the space station and were you nervous before you left Earth?”]

At ~2:50am, Fincke conducted a second ham radio exchange with students of 1 Circolo Didattico G. Marconi, Casamassima, Italy. [The II° Didactic Center "Marconi" in Casamassima di Bari (BA) includes one Primary School and two Nursery Schools. There are more than 800 pupils and a teaching staff composed by 70 teachers. Questions to Mike were uplinked beforehand. “How do you feel when you live without the force of gravity?”; “How do you behave in case of emergency?”; “What happens if there are some problems on board of the Shuttle in the launch phase?”; “Is it difficult to build the ISS in orbit?”; “What happens if a meteorite hits the ISS?”; “What training do you accomplish before a mission into Space?”; “Is it easy to pilot the Space Shuttle?”; ”What are the risks of a human mission to Mars in the future?”; “Are there any projects for future missions to the Moon?”; “Can you sleep without difficulty in these small spaces?”]

At ~8:50am, the CDR supported a third amateur radio exchange, chatting with students at Hampton Bays Middle School, Hampton Bays, New York. [The Hampton Bays School District serves a small community nestled on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean on Long Island, 125 miles from New York City. The students who asked questions have been picked from among those who participated in an essay contest. Their curriculum includes topics on the solar system and space exploration. “How do you dispose of garbage and human waste on the ISS?”; “How long is your assignment, and how long have you been on the Space Station so far?”; “What qualifications do you need to be on your mission?”; “Do you have trouble sleeping in zero gravity?”; “How is the temperature controlled on the ISS, and where do you get the energy for this?”; “How do you exercise to reduce muscle atrophy in space?”; “What is the most challenging part of your day in space?”; ”How do you know when it is night and day and when to sleep and get up?”; “What happens if a crew member becomes sick?”; “What is you greatest achievement as an astronaut?”]

At ~11:30am, the crew conducted a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss Exp18 stowage issues.

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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (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 (the crew should have been able to detect the smoke-dust-smog haze drifting out to sea from greater Mumbai. Conditions were good for acquiring images of this phenomenon: high atmospheric pressure, sea as backdrop, and look angle strongly oblique [which lengthens line of sight, making aerosol more apparent to the viewer]. Atmospheric layering-with layer colors expected to differ-is especially interesting to atmospheric chemists. It is very helpful to get some coastline, in at least some images), Mexico City Aerosol, Mexico (Mexico City is one of the world’s largest cities with a population of over 8 million [2008]. With phenomenal growth during the 20th century and continued growth in the 21st century, Mexico City has experienced extensive air pollution problems. Although the government has instituted measures to lower the lead, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone levels, the city still experiences many "hazy" days. Looking right [south and southwest] of track, towards land. The backdrop of the Sierra Madre Oriental should concentrate any smog plume. Overlapping images were requested), and Patagonian Glaciers, Chile (ISS orbit took the crew over the Northern Patagonian Ice Field located in Chile. The San Rafael Glacier is one of the major outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field in southern Chile and it calves into the Laguna San Rafael. The crew was successful in capturing the terminus of this glacier earlier in their increment. CEO researchers requested that they map this glacier with their imagery using the 400 mm lens to follow the glacier from its end [terminus] back to its source [ice field]).

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 morning, 7:44am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 355.7 km
Apogee height — 362.1 km
Perigee height — 349.3 km
Period — 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009446
Solar Beta Angle — -7.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 65m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58838

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
TBD — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — 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.