Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 April 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
April 27, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 April 2009
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 April 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 4 of Increment 19.

FE-1 Barratt began his first week of sleep logging for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. This is similar to Barratt’s BCD (Baseline Data Collection) which was performed pre-flight for comparison. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dr. Mike wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and uses 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.]

For FE-2 Wakata, the day started with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Koichi today again ingested 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 will be 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.]

Also before breakfast, Barratt began Part 1 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, to be carried by all crewmembers for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). (Last time done: 3/5-3/6). [Tonight, after about 15 hours of measurements, dosimeter data will be downloaded and the hardware power-cycled for another data take starting tonight after 8.5-hr. sleep. At that point, the crew will deploy the dosimeters statically in the station for the duration of the day, record measurements tomorrow noon and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

Working in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Wakata audited and repacked SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) and PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) kits and also ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) equipment bags as first step to retaining unused/reusable items and singling out excessed equipment for trash disposal in Progress M-01M/32P.

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), the FE-2 power-cycled (rebooted) the MLT (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus Laptop Terminal) in preparation for subsequent activities.

Afterwards, Koichi set up the JAXA EPO (Educational Program Operation) experiment “Try Zero-G” and performed it, recording the activity with the Mini-DVD camera.

Working with the ground, FE-1 Barratt activated the SAMS-II ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System 2/Interim Control Unit) in ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) Drawer 1. Later in the day, Mike relocated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) SAMS sensor enclosure temporarily to ER3 which is ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System)-equipped (like ER2).

In the DC1 (Docking Compartment), Padalka continued the preparations for checkout and commissioning of the new Russian Orlan-MK #5 spacesuit which was delivered on the last Progress cargo ship. [Activities today involved testing medical parameter acquisition of the BETA-08 ECG (electrocardiograph) harnesses with the “Gamma-1M” med complex from the PKO med exam panel for vital signs & equipment monitoring, followed by leak checks on the Orlan backup bladder and spacesuit & DC1 BSS (Orlan Interface Unit), plus a test of the Orlan BSS valves.]

In the US Airlock (A/L), Mike Barratt spent ~20 min taking situational photography of various aspects of the EV1 & EV2 SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals), including SCU pouches, pouch attachments, maximum motion distance of tethered SCU pouches within the CL (Crewlock), attachment Velcro condition, routing of both SCUs within the CL, etc.

In the US Lab, Koichi turned off the PCS (Portable Computer System) A31p laptop and returned it with its 120VDC power supply (“Cobalt Brick”) and cabling to the COL (pos. SUP2), to serve as newly-loaded PCS for MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS). [The temporary relocation of the laptop to the Lab on 4/24 had the purpose to allow the ground to uplink and load new software on the PCS.]

In Node-1, Barratt had ~90 min reserved for restocking the ISS IVA (Intravehicular Activity) Toolbox with spare tools to replace broken or missing items.

Working on the hardware of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment installed yesterday at Service Module (SM) window #9, CDR Padalka launched the experiment and performed a measurement session. Afterwards, the experiment was closed out and the equipment torn down for stowage. [Using the GFI-1 UFK “Fialka” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and VKJ camcorder, controlled from Laptop 3, the activity dealt with observing and recording hyperspectral observations of the Earth atmosphere and surface. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

FE-1 Barratt assembled, configured and activated the U.S. EarthKAM (EK) hardware in Node-2 for a new session. [For focusing the camera, Mike had to see the ground, i.e., during orbit day. EK is using a DCS 760 electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens at the Node-2 window, powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) is an education program that enables thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from the unique perspective of space, integrating the excitement of ISS with middle-school education. The student requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OPS LAN.]

For another session with the BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment, the FE-1 set up the video and “Neurospat” equipment, then performed the protocol, controlled by the BISE software on its A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts will be presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies. On top of these images will be superimposed a letter that could be either a “p” or a “d” depending on its orientation. They will indicate which letter they see and the scientists will measure the transition points where the letters change from a “p” to a “d” and back again. The angle between those two are then taken as the perceptual Upright, and researchers can alter that perceptual Upright by changing body orientation or visual orientation. After Barratt’s runs, the study will be also conducted by Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert (Bob) Thirsk, the CDR of Increment 20/21. Launching in June 2009, this mission will mark a milestone of Canada’s Manned Space Program as Thirsk takes part in the first-ever long-duration mission and research flight to the ISS.]

Barratt configured the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) equipment and activated it for dosimetry data collection. [Using six particle detectors originally introduced on the space station Mir, ALTEA monitors and characterizes the ionizing charged radiation environment in which the crew is living.]

Later, Mike performed troubleshooting on the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) laptop, including rebooting it. [The CGBA-5 computer has been having difficulty booting its software. Today’s troubleshooting attempted to fix this problem and restore communication with the CGBA-5 payload. The activity required CGBA-5 to be in a powered down state to access the CF (compact flash) card location on the right side of the CGBA payload and swap the locations of the primary & secondary CF cards. Afterwards, the CGBA-5 payload was to be powered back on and the display screen observed during the booting process.]

The FE-1 also undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it from the JPM (loc. 1F2) to the Lab (loc. LAB1S4_A2), then taking documentary photography.

At ~12:10pm EDT, over RGS (Russian Groundsite), CDR Padalka conducted a routine comm test of the UKV-2 (VHF-2) radio channel from the SM.

Koichi Wakata had ~3 hrs. set aside for gathering excessed US equipment and trash for disposal on Progress 32P.

Mike Barratt completed the daily procedure of flushing the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line with ~50mL of water (into a towel/Ziploc bag). PWD water is currently cleared only for hygienic use. [While final analysis of the PWD sample results on the ground is still pending, experts recommend keeping water flowing in the line daily to help control microbial growth. The flushing will be done daily unless at least this amount has been dispensed for other activities during the day).]

Gennady performed 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.]

Later, the CDR also took care of 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 crew completed their regular daily 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) and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

Afterwards, Koichi downloaded the exercise data file 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).

Two task items remained on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job list for Gennady, viz. –

* Spread over the next few days, remove eight ventilation fans in the SM and replace them with new units delivered on Progress [fans to be R&R’d are designated VPF1, VPF2, VV2RO, VPO5, VPO6, VPO11, VAP1, and VSU], and
* Gathering trash for disposal on Progress 32P, to be undocked on 5/6.

Special Maneuver Strategy Proposed: Refueling the FGB tanks from Progress 32P is completed. Cabin air repress from 32P is on schedule for 4/29. Progress 32P will remain active through 5/4 for roll control (around ISS longitudinal axis). That results in a special strategy for DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuvers): 32P would be used for any DAMs between now and 5/4. From then until 5/14, Soyuz thrusters will be available for a required DAM. Recommendations for Flight Rules and OIP procedures will be provided by Moscow for joint IP (International Partner) review and approval on 4/28 & 4/29.

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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:09am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 351.8 km
Apogee height – 357.6 km
Perigee height — 346.0 km
Period — 91.58 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008621
Solar Beta Angle — 13.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 61 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 59797

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/06/09 — Progress M01M/32P undocking & deorbit
05/07/09 — Progress M-02M/33P launch (on Soyuz-U, 51st rocket of this type)
05/11/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/12/09 — Progress M-02M/33P docking
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
Six-person crew on ISS
07/17/09 — Progress 33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM2 w/new port)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 – Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Proton — tentative
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/??/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
06/??/10 – ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 – 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.

SpaceRef staff editor.