Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 October 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 3 of Increment 21.

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the new aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) and hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams started another week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), donning their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Thirsk also supported once again the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

FE-3 Romanenko wrapped up the current growth experiment on the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") payload in the SM (Service Module), downloading data files from the BU (Control Unit) for archiving on a PCMCIA memory card & return to earth, then collecting samples of the space-grown Mizuna salad plant, packing them and inserting them into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) for later return on the Shuttle. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

Suraev transferred the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment hardware from the FGB to the SM and prepared it for future operation by installing new software and copying/deleting old data. Romanenko took documentary photography. The experiment’s BUSD Control & Data Gathering Unit is temporarily located at panel 415, until tomorrow. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises. The second IZGIB session ran from 10/15-10/19/08, the third on 2/12 – 2/14/09.]

Afterwards, Maxim conducted the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s VU sediment trap insert. [The Russian SRV-K2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water].

FE-5 Williams performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Bob Thirsk configured the camcorder in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for taking documentary video, then set up the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) hardware and started the experiment which involves homogenization, the first crystal check of each session, crystal photography, and sample photography. [After unstowing the Slow Growth Sample Module and shooting individual photos of Samples 1-10 at least once (more at crew discretion), Bob homogenized Sample 6 and initiated the photography activity using a DCS 760 and the EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop. The sample will be automatically photographed with electronic flash every hour for 21 days. Photos are downlinked via OCA during nominal OCA downlink sessions. BCAT-5 is operating in the JPM because earlier this year (May) the crew deemed the US Lab too crowded for running it.]

After relocating items stowed on the ETC (European Transport Carrier) rack in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to clear space, then attaching Yellow Tags to three as-yet-uncertified Flywheel Vests and connecting the MPPL (Multipurpose Laptop) to the 120V DC power of the EPM (European Physiology Module), CDR De Winne unstowed and assembled the new ESA FEWD (Flywheel Exercise Device) at loc. D3. [The FWED, developed by OHB System/Bremen, is a non-gravity dependent resistance exercise device that acts to countermeasure muscle degradation, bone loss, and impairment of muscle function in astronauts, which develop in response to long-duration space flight. It is a strength training system that uses a rotating flywheel that replaces weight plates and other means of resistance training devices that rely on gravity. This device uses the "Yo Yo Principle" which provides resistance by spinning flywheels with a cord being wound and unwound around the axle of a fixed wheel. The compact lightweight resistive FWED is a multi-exercise device which allows for back, trunk and upper and lower limb exercises. While performing the exercises, continuous measurements of cord tension and flywheel speed are recorded using a laptop (MPPL)-based program. Calculations of work, force and power are performed. Other measurements such as joint angle and EMG (electromyography, a test that assesses the health of the muscles and the nerves controlling the muscles) can also be simultaneously recorded. FWED will be operated in the center aisle of the COL and stowed in a rack when not in use. Its expected lifetime is 10 years.]

De Winne also removed the SAMS SE (Space Acceleration Measurement System / Sensor Enclosure) from the TCQ (Temporary Crew Quarters) in Kibo and mounted it with its cabling temporarily on the forward foot of the FWED for taking vibration measurements.

Working in the US Airlock, FE-2 Stott initiated regeneration on METOX (Metal Oxide) canister #0021 in the “bake-out” oven, terminated the recharge on EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) and started the recharge process on REBA (Rechargeable EMU Battery Unit) #1008, all in preparation of STS-129/ULF3 spacewalks next month

Romanenko prepared excessed Russian cargo for disposal on the HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle), transferring two KTO solid waste containers, one empty but defect EDV-U urine container and one filled EDV-U.

Later, the FE-3 conducted the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWCs (Collapsible Water Containers, #1073, #1043) to the RS (Russian Segment) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

FE-1 Suraev continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, working in the SM to clean the “Group B” fan screens VT1 & VTK1 plus the grille of the SKV1 air conditioner’s heat exchanger (GZhT).

Romanenko meanwhile cleaned the ventilation screen of the Russian LIV TVS Television System’s voltage converter.

FE-5 Williams unstowed the ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) hardware and downloaded the accumulated data from his ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session last week, from two Actiwatches and two HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF memory cards to the HRF laptop.

Afterwards, Jeff put together a new KTO Solid Waste Container to be used in the US WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) when needed.

Both Williams & De Winne conducted a new session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), Jeff’s first, Frank’s sixth, logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [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.]

Jeff Williams completed the regular monthly session (his first) of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on eye treatment. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

After setting up the video equipment for training coverage, Frank De Winne & Nicole Stott worked with the ROBoT onboard trainer to simulate/rehearse HTV unberthing and separation later this week (10/30).

Also in preparation for HTV demate/unberthing next Friday, Bob Thirsk reviewed SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) robotics operations and the updated POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers / Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software material. [DOUG is a special application running on the MSS (Mobile Service System) RWS laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

After verifying the serial number of a specific LHA (Lamp Housing Assembly) in the Kibo JPM (“GLA7 0065”), Nicole gathered parts & tools from the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment) required for upcoming RFTA R&R (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly removal & replacement), Pretreat Tank R&R, and Urine Hose & Insert Filter R&R.

Nicole also started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 39th) 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 (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware. Yesterday, the AQM suffered a temporary “crash” in the middle of the run but was subsequently restored with a reboot (power-cycle). There is a possible loss of some scientific data.]

Suraev went looking for the current location of AVK emergency valve spares for the Vozdukh carbon dioxide scrubber (last time checked by Padalka & Romanenko on 6/29). [The AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh‘s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).]

Maxim also performed another 30-min session with the ocean observations program DZZ-13 “Seiner” to obtain data on color field patterns and current cloud cover conditions over the south-east Pacific covering the operations area of the “Atlantida” fishery research vessel. [The experiment uses visual observation, videography (HDV camcorder, PAL mode) and selective photography (NIKON D2X with AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 mm lens) of color-contrast images and large discontinuities in cloud fields along the flight path, controlled from the RSK-1 laptop. Max’s photography had to be accompanied by a continuous non-stop video recording of underlying terrain using the HDV camera securely fixed above SM Window #8 precisely in nadir using the LIV adapter.]

The FE-1 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.]

Jeff Williams & Nicole Stott reviewed RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) ops procedures, tagging up with ground specialists at ~10:15am EDT to discuss the results of their second (10/22) RPM photo drill. [The RPM flip-over is used by the crew for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle next month. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Atlantis, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Nicole performed the periodic evacuation of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration. [The pneumatic cylinder of the ARED continues to exhibit a small leak, and an onboard repair cannot be conducted at this time. The crew continues exercising with the current configuration, with frequent cylinder evacuations.]

As part of COLBERT/T2 treadmill ACO (Activation & Checkout), De Winne, Thirsk & Williams each conducted a long-duration run, followed by a passive (not motor-driven) running test. All tests were completed nominally.

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), T2 treadmill (CDR, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3).

Later, the CDR transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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 ~4:15am EDT, De Winne tagged up with the ESA staff at Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

UPA Leak: On 10/24 (Saturday), following the daily urine transfer from EDV-U to the US UPA, tank quantity began decreasing at an increased rate after one hour of operation. In addition, there was no transfer of fluid back to WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) during drydown. It appears that about 8-10 lbs of pre-treat urine are unaccounted for. UPA and WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) are currently “No Go” for use pending evaluation by ground engineers underway at this time. The crew has inspected exposed connections and areas internal & external to the UPA rack, with no visible fluids noted.

MDS Muffler: Later this week, the crew is scheduled to temporarily (for 24 hrs) remove the sound muffler from the front of the Mice Drawer System in ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) in the JPM to allow the ground to take humidity measurements of the mouse cages and determine the effect of the muffler’s presence on the higher-than-expected humidity levels (~70-80%) inside the MDS.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:43am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 343.3 km
Apogee height – 347.6 km
Perigee height – 338.9 km
Period — 91.40 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006469
Solar Beta Angle — 17.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 179 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62663

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
10/27/09 — Ares I-X Flight Test (8:00am EDT)
10/29/09 — HTV1 hatch closing
10/30/09 — HTV1 unberthing (12:05pm EDT)
11/01/09 — Daylight Time ends/Standard Time begins
11/04/09 — HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) launch on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
NET 11/16/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) 2:28pm EST — not earlier than
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 —> two-member crew
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.