Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 28, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 August 2009

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

STS-128/17A launch: Not earlier than tomorrow night, 8/28, ~11:59pm EDT.

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 Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session.

It was FE-3 Romanenko’s, FE-4 Thirsk’s & FE-5 De Winne’s turn today to undertake the periodic pre-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device, which Roman 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.]

Mike Barratt & Tim Kopra had ~4 hrs for conducting another session with the payload SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), for which Mike removed (later replaced) the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) “Kabin” enclosure, set up the work area in the Lab and two PD-100 camcorders for video capture, dimmed the GLAs (General Luminaire Assemblies) and used an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop to control the test satellites. [The SPHERES experiment is a test bed for the development and testing of formation flying and other multi-spacecraft control algorithms. Today’s session again used three satellites and five beacons on mounts, with three CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) tanks and six battery packs, to explores collision avoidance, formation flight, human supervisory control and communication fault detection. Group C tests will continue exploring reconfigurable estimation and autonomous assembly research from Test Sessions 16 and 17. Modern robust control techniques are combined with path planning and formation flight algorithms to improve the performance of the system. Per applicable Flight Rule, SPHERES operations have no CO2 output constraints if the CDRA (CO2 Removal Assembly) is operating in dual-bed or single-bed mode.]

After setting up the camcorder for recording video, Thirsk & De Winne reviewed instructions and then conducted two more EPO (Educational Program Operations) sessions, one a discussion & demo of “Surface Tension”, on water surface phenomena of surface tension and intermolecular forces onboard the ISS, the other an EPO demo of “Wave Motion”, discussing wave properties and explaining the importance of understanding wave motion. The hardware was then restowed. [The demos were timed such that EPO ground personnel could provide real-time feedback during the demo.]

Thirsk worked about an hour in the PMA1 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 1), collecting and trashing clothing no longer needed on orbit, to make room for new crew provisions arriving on 17A and HTV. [The trashing was supported by an uplinked IMS (Inventory Management System) list of clothing items for disposal.]

The FE-4 reconfigured the Lab THC CCAA (Temperature & Humidity Control / Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner, swapping it from its starboard channel (S6) to the alternate system on the portside (P6) of the Lab, then switching the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) accordingly, i.e., from starboard to port, by closing the LAB1S6 MFCV (Manual Flow Control Valve) and opening the LAB1P6 MFCV. [The CCAA is a network of ducting that draws in the air through filters, delivers it for conditioning, and returns it to the modules. The swap-over between the CCAA channels is generally done by the crew once a month, with ground support, to dry out the heat exchanger of the deactivated side. MCC-H commands the required systems configurations for the dryout via S-band.]

Bob took documentary photography of the newly installed Water ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) which restored the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) to nominal function on 8/21,

After terminating the recharge of the Kelvin-Video battery pack of the BAR/EXPERT experiment, CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko had another 3.5 hrs to take various environmental measurements in the SM (Service Module) in areas with pressurized shell temperatures close to dew temperature (possible condensation), particularly behind panels 307, 310, 331, 340, 428. Afterwards, data were downloaded to the RSE1 laptop, log tables filled out for OCA downlink, the equipment restowed and the TTM battery set up for recharge. [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/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 thermoanemometer/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 SM, the CDR performed the periodic checkout of the BRP-M (Modified Water Distribution & Heating Unit), flushing out its warm port valve (TEPL) several times with water from an EDV container and catching it in a second EDV. [The flush water was stowed for subsequent flushing the BK BKV water-conditioning unit purification column after its upcoming replacement.]

Padalka also completed the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWCs (Collapsible Water Containers, #1008/4L, #1050/42L) 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. [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.]

FE-4 Bob Thirsk did the weekly offloading of the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) from WRS (Water Recovery System) Rack 1 into a CWC-I (Collapsible Water Container-Iodine, #2006) with the common H2O transfer hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

The FE-4 als0o completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The current card (20-0055N) lists 64 CWCs (~1,643.3 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (50 CWCs with 1,213.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis & flushing, incl. 370.9 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria, 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 323.1 L, of which 171.8 L (4 bags) are currently off-limit pending ground analysis results and 1 CWC with 23 L contains Wautersia), 3. condensate water (3 CWCs, 34.1 L), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (3 CWCs with 72.6 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, Romanenko cleaned the four “Group B” fan screens (VT1, VTK1, VT2 & VVTK2) in the SM.

In the US Lab, FE-5 De Winne re-installed the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) which he had removed yesterday to allow PaRIS activation for ground-commanded ops in micro-G.

Working on the unpowered CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Frank uninstalled & removed a temperature & humidity sensor as first step in the scheduled installation of a fan in the CBEF IU (Incubator Unit).

Setting up the HTV HCP (H-II Transfer Vehicle / Hardware Command Panel) in the Kibo module for HTV1 arrival, De Winne assembled the HCP with three power/data cables which were carefully secured on the JPM1O2 standoff behind a soft dummy panel to prevent interference with upcoming 17A rack transfer activities.

Timothy Kopra closed the Lab science window, currently used for AgCam (Agricultural Camera), to protect against the ATA (Ammonia Tank Assembly) ammonia vent scheduled for FD2 of STS-128.

Tim also 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.]

FE-5 had ~55 mins reserved for more transfer & prepacking of return cargo for 17A, going by a new uplinked Prepack List.

Frank filled out his regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Afterwards, De Winne undertook the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System), guide rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and also evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

The CDR did the daily IMS 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).

Padalka also 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-1, FE-2), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3).

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 ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Roman Romanenko will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his sixth experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [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.]

More Kudos from POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center) to Crew: “Mike and Tim: Thanks to you both for completing the final two of 15 LOCAD surface sampling sessions for this Increment. You have collected a wealth of excellent and interesting data. Thanks so much for the fantastic job!”

MAXI Troubleshooting: JAXA SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba) is currently in the process of troubleshooting the MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-Ray Image) payload, mounted external to the Kibo module on the EFU (Exposed Facility Unit). The problem is with the MAXI MRDL (Medium Rate Data Line) data transfer which has stopped. LRDL/Low Rate Data Line traffic is nominal.

SKV-1/SKV-2 Update: The Russian SKV-1 air conditioner is now fully functional, after ~2 years of inactivity. Russian teams are troubleshooting SKV-2 and believe its problem could be a false low temperature indicator. Analysis continues.

SSRMS Readiness: Yesterday’s MSS/SSRMS (Mobile Service System/Space Station Remote Manipulator System) activities to complete final OCRs (On-orbit Checkout Requirements) for HB (Hot Backup) capability for HTV were all successful. SSRMS is ready for 17A and HTV.

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, 7:54am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.0 km
Apogee height – 354.1 km
Perigee height — 341.9 km
Period — 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009079
Solar Beta Angle — 31.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 37 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 61718

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/28/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (11:59pm 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.