Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 26, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 August 2009

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

Upon wakeup (~2:00am EDT), crewmembers Barratt, Kopra, Thirsk & De Winne continued their current round for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session.

CDR Padalka terminated his ninth experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by 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.]

Barratt did the final LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1 sampling session with Glucan cartridges, targeting yeast & molds on ISS surfaces, first setting up the equipment and then taking samples (IDs #17, #18, #19, #20) at four surface locations of his choice. [LOCAD uses small, thumb-sized “microfluidic” cartridges that are read by the experiment reader. The handheld device tests a new analysis technology by sampling for the presence of gram negative bacteria in the sample in about 15 minutes. Lab-on-a-Chip technology has an ever-expanding range of applications in the biotech industry. It has been used to swab the MERs (Mars Exploration Rovers) for planetary protection. With expanded testing on ISS, this compact technology has broad potential applications in space exploration–from monitoring environmental conditions to monitoring crew health. 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. Glucan is a carbohydrate that is a derivative from the cell wall of yeast, algae, fungi and oats, with the ability to enhance immune functions. Baker’s yeast, bran from oats and barley, seaweed, and mushrooms like shiitake are common sources of Glucan. Over the past few years, Beta Glucan has become a popular oat fiber supplement that people consume to boost their immune systems. Beta Glucan serves as a biological response stimulator to set off immune defenses to fight viral, bacterial, and fungal invaders. The exact manner in which the defense system kicks in depends upon the administration of the glucan; however, most often it is digestive through oral consumption.]

Kopra joined in the LOCAD Phase 1 sampling activity by doing the first session using Gram+ LAL (Limulus amebocyte lysate) cartridges. [Gram-positive bacteria are distinguished by having only one (inner) membrane layer (of plasma) in their cell wall, while Gram-negative organisms have an additional outer membrane (of lipopolysaccharide and protein).]

The CDR, FE-1 & FE-2 began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device, which Padalka then stowed away again. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

In the SM (Service Module), after temporarily turning off the smoke detector SD-7A no. 2 of the Signal VM system, Padalka worked on the Russian SKV1 air conditioner, replacing a casket seal and remating adapters plus BK compressor unit pipes to the BTA heat exchanger. [SD-7A no. 2 was then reactivated and SKV1 and the NOK1 condensate pump turned on.]

In the Soyuz 18S spacecraft, Gennady performed another health check of the KhSA Cooler/Dehumidifier Assembly’s V1 fan in the DM (Descent Module) by turning the V1 fan off and the V2 fan on, then checking air flow. [On 6/25, a planned replacement of the apparently faulty fan in the Soyuz 18S DM with a new unit proved to be not necessary after Padalka configured a jumper bypass which successfully recovered functionality of the air conditioner fan. Today’s activity was to check up on the fix.]

Padalka also completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways.

After setting up the camcorder for recording video, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 De Winne reviewed instructions and then conducted the EPO (Educational Program Operations) discussion & demo of “Centripetal Force & Acceleration”, on practical uses of centripetal force & acceleration onboard the ISS. Afterwards, Bob & Frank recorded a second EPO demo, “Eye in the Sky”, discussing the many phenomena uniquely observable from the ISS. The hardware was then restowed. [The demos were timed such that EPO ground personnel could provide real-time feedback during the demo.]

Bob Thirsk performed the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. AEDs are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend events or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs and any other location where people may congregate.]

FE-3 Romanenko continued the current inventory/audit of the CMO medical cabinet supplies.

Tim Kopra had another hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth on STS-128/17A. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

In the Lab, FE-5 De Winne performed the first steps of troubleshooting the HD (High Definition) downlink via the MPC (Multi-Purpose Converter) which has been unable to downlink HD video since 8/22. [Tests were to include using a second camcorder (from Node-2) to determine that the problem is not with the Lab camcorder, replacing the Lab camcorder with a new one that has not been used for HD downlinks since 8/21, swapping the Lab MPC with the backup MPC, etc.]

Also in the US Lab, the FE-5 removed the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow PaRIS activation for upcoming FCF operations requiring a microgravity environment.

Frank also started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 24th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS hardware.]

In preparation for another session of the BAR experiment, set up in the FGB, Gennady started charging the Kelvin-Video battery. [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/BAR-EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

In the FGB, the CDR took documentary photography of installations behind panels 210, 211 & 209 to help the ground in assessing the feasibility of replacing the ORUs (Orbital Replaceable Units) SRB (Power Distribution Unit, PDU), BSSh2 (Main Bus Assembly 2) and BF2 (Filter Unit 2).

Frank De Winne continued working with the ground in checking out the HB (Hot Backup) mode of the MSS (Mobile Servicing System). [Today’s activity focused on HB safing & emergency stop (E-Stop) checkout, simulated main string power failure plus transition to HB, HB WS (Workstation) to Backup via DCP (Display & Control Panel), simulated main CEU (Control Electronics Unit) power failure plus transition to HB WS, and Main safing & e-Stop Checkout.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Frank retrieved an HDD (Hard Disk Drive, #1) from the EPM MEEMM (European Physiology Module / Multi-Electrode Electroencephalogram Measurement Module) for prepacking for return and replaced it with another HDD (#10) from the NES (NeuroSpat) kit. [MEEMM is a subsection of the EPM facility, to be used for different types of non-invasive brain function investigations. It can also easily be reconfigured to support research in the field of muscle physiology. NeuroSpat, the first experiment to use the EPM, investigates the ways in which crew members’ three-dimensional visual & space perception is affected by long-duration stays in weightlessness.]

Gennady conducted his ninth 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.]

Gennady did 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).

Roman 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

The crew performed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR).

Afterwards, Thirsk transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~7:10am EDT, the crew had a 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).]

At ~3:15pm, Romanenko held his periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

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!):
08/28/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (12:22am EDT) – NET (not earlier than)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:04pm EDT)
09/16/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth w/SSRMS
09/29/09 — Progress 34P undock
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 — Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 — Progress 37P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.