Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 January 2009

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

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

Before morning inspection and breakfast, FE-1 Lonchakov terminated his sixth experiment session 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.]

CDR Fincke & FE-2 Magnus started the day with their daily download of the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of another week-long session with SLEEP, their second. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers 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, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list. It is the third session for Mike, the second for Sandra.]

In preparation of a new series of runs (#43 – #49) of the experiment InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), Mike Fincke & Sandra Magnus first conducted a 30-min. familiarization review of descriptive material for the experiment. Then, they set up the payload equipment and video camera at the MSG, activated the latter via its A31p laptop and performed the first run (#43). [InSPACE, conducted in 2006 by Jeff Williams on Increment 13 and in 2007 by Peggy Whitson on Increment 16, obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The dispersed particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields of certain strength and frequencies. For the new runs, the crew set up CA2-002, VA-007 (Vial Assembly 7), connected a fiber optics cable with its light guide tool to the CA, and inserted video tapes.]

FE-1 Lonchakov continued his checkout & repair IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the KhSA air conditioner (cooler/dehumidifier) in the Soyuz TMA-13 Descent Module, today preparing the worksite, setting up power connections and starting the testing. [This is a 3-day activity to test and potentially replace the Soyuz KhSA-SA ventilation & cooling fan V1 which has exhibited sporadic behavior since docking and was first checked by Yuri on 11/24/08 for unimpeded spinning. The backup fan continues to operate nominally.]

Ground specialists held a 30-min teleconference with Mike & Sandy to discuss the crew-reported ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) noise issue. [Over the weekend, the crew noticed noises during ARED cable rope exercise as well as during bar racking exercise, caused in the first case by detents used continuously instead of only before and after each exercise set due to insufficient cable length (although this is not an impact to hardware or a constraint to operations, the crew was reminded to try to keep the cable at sufficient length, but to continue using ARED for rope exercising). As for the racking noise, inspection of a documentary exercise video shot today should clarify a question of the left ARM (ARED Racking Mechanism) not fully retracting during bar exercises, thus potentially causing a scraping noise. No racking exercising until later. Also uplinked was a “fix” to protect protruding flywheel handle covers with a rolled up CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) insert and Velcro.]

In preparation for continued ARED use, Fincke & Magnus worked on establishing and verifying a vacuum condition in the machine’s cylinder flywheels and calibrating the ARED sensors. Later today, Sandy will swap the tape in the VDS VTR (Video Distribution Subsystem/Video Tape Recorder) which has documented the ARED exercising, for playback to the ground.

Sandy Magnus completed the daily flushing of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), now from a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) instead of drink bags. [The PWD had been found, via several microbial analyses by Magnus, to have bacteria growing in the ambient water leg. Latest microbial results indicate that not enough iodine may get into the system to kill off any microbes, since the amount of 250 mL used lately did not take into account the filter and, as ground testing has shown, it takes about 24 hours for the iodine to convert to non-biocidal iodide when left stagnant in a filter like the one used in the PWD. The amount of iodinated flush water was now increased to 1 L per flush for the next three days and to 0.5 L for the following 7 days. Outcome TBD.]

The FE-1 completed the periodic data collection on the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, copying data from its built-in control computer to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

Fincke & Magnus performed the regular one-hour POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software setup & review usually preceding onboard robotics activities, in preparation for tomorrow’s SSRMS (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System) proficiency operation. [There are three objectives for tomorrow’s SSRMS operations: (1) Checkout the Node-2 PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) in preparation for 15A, (2) Grappling of MBS (Mobile Base System) PDGF-1 to configure the SSRMS to the required base for 15A, and (3) Positioning the SSRMS to a suitable configuration for the MT (Mobile Transporter) translations to WS1 (Worksite 1), then WS6, which will occur on 2/2.]

Lonchakov conducted monthly maintenance on the deactivated Russian IK0501 GA (Gas Analyzer) of the SOGS Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System by replacing its CO2 filter assembly (BF) with a new unit from FGB stowage (done last: 12/17/08), then reactivating the unit. The old filter was discarded.

In the Lab, the FE-2 performed troubleshooting of the LED (light-emitting diode) of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) pre-treat & water pump, a Russia-supplied component also called “Dose Pump” (DKiV). [The activity had Sandy disconnect the WHC from the potable water bus, verifying proper connector configurations, actuating the DKiV and verifying actual fluid flow in the hoses, then reconnecting the WHC to the potable water bus.]

In the SM, Magnus performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Working from his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Lonchakov is to conduct 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 ~10:00am, Yuri Lonchakov set up an amateur (ham) radio session and talked to schoolchildren selected from all 53 schools in the Russian city of Tver (Kalinin). Also present were Cosmonaut S. Ye. Treshchev and the Governor of the Tver Region, Dmitry Vadimovich Zelenin. The students had prepared a list of questions. [“Can you see our city of Tver at the moment?”; “What areas on the Earth do you like the most to watch from space the most?”; “Tell us if anything has occurred during this flight that journalists and historians do not know about yet. For example, any off-nominal situations onboard or outboard?”; “Did you celebrate the New Year using Moscow or US time?”; “What does space give you that you can’t get on the ground?”]

At ~10:45am, Sandy set up the G1 video camcorder with MPC (Multipurpose Converter) and IPU (Image Processing Unit). At ~11:05am, she and Mike conducted a 20-min. PAO/Educational TV exchange of questions/answers in HD (High Definition) with Grade 1 through college level students at Northeast Nodaway Region Five School in Parnell, MO. Magnus later disassembled and stowed the MPC downlink equipment.

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 CEVUIS 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).

The crew also had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~9:15am, Yuri at ~9:30am, Sandy at ~10:30am EST.

A discretionary task item on the “job jar” list for CDR Fincke continues to be filling out his fourth FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).

CDRA Update: The US Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly has shown an increasing delta pressure trend across both absorbent beds. Although CDRA is considered healthy enough to support a CSCS (Contingency Shuttle Crew Support) case for Flight 15A, should that unlikely event arise, the 90-day on-orbit test was terminated (after 85 days of the test was completed). Vozdukh has been activated in the SM, and CDRA will return to the standard two half cycles per day.

PK3 Solenoid Valves Update: FE-1 Lonchakov’s checkout yesterday of two electromagnetic-operated valves (EK9, EK10) in the pressure venting lines of the SM internal thermal loops in the PrK (SM Transfer Compartment) was successful. [These valves would be used to vent coolant to space in the event that pressure in the lines needed to be decreased.]

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Lagos, Nigeria Aerosol (looking to the left of track for potential aerosol plumes originating from the Lagos metropolitan area. The shape, orientation, and color stratification of any visible plumes are of particular interest to atmospheric scientists. If possible, inclusion of geographic reference points [such as the shoreline] in the imagery would be helpful in fixing the location of plumes relative to the metropolitan area), South Tibesti Megafans, central Sahara Desert (weather was predicted to be clear over the central portion of the South Tibesti megafans. Looking for discontinuous, overlapping drainage channels – now dry – to the south and southwest of the Tibesti Mtns. Nadir-viewing, overlapping mapping frames of the Ke River megafan taken along track were requested), and Moorea Coral Reef, Tahiti (weather was predicted to clear over Tahiti – the location of the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] site. Detailed photography of the coral reefs ringing the island was requested to take advantage of the predicted weather conditions. This imagery will be useful in tracking changes to the reef extent and adjacent shoreline morphology).

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, 10:08am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 357.1 km
Apogee height — 362.3 km
Perigee height — 351.8 km
Period — 91.68 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007784
Solar Beta Angle — -12.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 57 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58384

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/09/09 — Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 — Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress 32P docking
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment (7:32am EST)
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking (3:57am EST)
02/23/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking (9:30pm EST)
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (KSC, 1:50am EST)
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 — 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.