Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 June 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – off-duty day for CDR Gennady Padalka (Russia), FE-1 Michael Barratt (USA), FE-2 Koichi Wakata (Japan), FE-3 Roman Romanenko (Russia), FE-4 Robert Thirsk (Canada), FE-5 Frank DeWinne (Belgium).

The six-member crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning, including COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the house cleaning, Padalka & Romanenko conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3), and SM (VPkhO, VPrK, FS5, FS6 & FS9), plus dust filter replacement in the FGB.

Later, FE-3 Romanenko performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow.

At ~9:05am EDT, the crew conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

For Gennady, it was time again for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone located in Soyuz TMA-14/18S & TMA-15/19S, a monthly routine job and his fourth time. [After retrieving them from their location in the spacecraft Descent Modules (BO), Gennady initiated the recharge of the lithium-ion batteries, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion at ~1:00pm EDT, the phones were returned inside their SSSP Iridium kits and stowed back in the BO’s operational data files (ODF) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an “undershoot” ballistic reentry, as happened during the 15S return). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule’s GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put onboard Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

Padalka also set up the equipment for an upcoming N2 (nitrogen) repressurization of the cabin air from Progress 33P storage (SrPK tank 2) to adjust total cabin pressure.

The crew completed 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), IRED interim resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). [The slight offset between actual loads and commanded loads on the CEVIS has been corrected. FE-4 Thirsk completed a coefficients calibration on the CEVIS control panel which adjusted the readings. Data from FE-4’s CEVIS exercise session will serve as a checkout to determine if the calibration coefficient update corrected the workload offset.]

Later, Mike Barratt transferred 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).

At ~5:28am, Frank DeWitt powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~5:33am conducted a ham radio session with students at Karel de Grote-Hogeschool (Charles the Great Highschool), Dept IWT, in Hoboken, Belgium.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty — Week 3)

3-D SPACE: “Bob, the crew note you left on your 3D-SPACE session of 6/18 was passed on to the science team. Thanks for the note.”

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): No report.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

ALTEA DOSI (NASA/ASI): Standing by.

BCAT-4/5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4/5): “Mike, great job with the recent images! The angles seem to have been adjusted to capture the macroscopic crystal structure and there are some colors in the Bragg reflections. It looks as though there is more crystal throughout both cells, as opposed to the earlier pictures which seemed to reveal one band near the sample label. These samples represent the polydisperse and monodisperse colloidal glasses. Cell 10 (the ‘seeded’ glass) still does not show evidence of crystallization. Furthermore, these three crystal samples are testing properties predicted for hard sphere systems made of very concentrated collections of colloids suspended in an index matching fluid (the index matching allows us to see through them, instead of having them appear milky white as they would if the light scattered multiple times before it reached us). Each hard sphere particle is a good model for an atom, but it is much bigger (about the size of the wavelength of visible light), so it can be probed with light and the evolution of these particles, when they are initially mixed (randomized) with a mixing magnet, is slow enough that you may ultimately record this with a series of photographs. As these systems of particles evolve in microgravity, they move from being an initially randomized collection of particles to an ordered crystalline structure that diffracts white light into colors. This happens because the temperature allows them all to push on their neighbors and this results in a structure (lattice) that provides more room for each particle to rattle about. This increase in the individual freedom of all of the particles (when forming an ordered structure) results in a higher state of entropy for the entire structure (the 2nd law of thermodynamics). Thus order naturally arises out of disorder when gravitational jamming is removed, as seen in your pictures. This experiment and the creation of these particles is the result of many years of hard work and refinement by the scientists at NYU (Chaikin and Hollingsworth) and the fact that these systems (which were initially randomized in microgravity) are now crystallizing on the ISS is providing us with the bricks of knowledge needed to lay the foundations for when (and how) it is that order naturally arises out of disorder. This work also forms the basis for colloidal engineering and self-assembly with self-replication (adding DNA as a site selective glue in BCAT-6 or 7), allowing the formation of structures like nanopumps, which don’t move much fluid in small quantities, but when you know how to easily create billions of them through self-replication, the impact becomes significant.” BCAT-5 to be launched on 2J/A.

BIOLAB (ESA): Microscope target test successfully completed on 6/19.

Biological Rhythms (JAXA): No report.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): “Thanks Bob and Frank, for this BISE session that was challenging to perform in a very ‘busy’ environment. The York team will receive and evaluate the data. Have a great week-end!

BISPHOSPHONATES: “Koichi, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 6/29. Bob thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 6/29.”

CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): “Koichi, the team has much appreciated that you performed the overnight Blood Pressure (BP) measurements with the CARD Holter from 6/18 to 06/19 to complete the data set of the initial session. Also the parallel measurement with the BP-ECG on 6/18 will allow to cross-calibrate with the EPM CARDIOLAB Holter.”

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CBEF (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility): No report.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): No report.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Complete.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack): See MDCA/Flex.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

Commercial 2 (JAXA): Completed.

Commercial 3 (JAXA): Completed.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Planned.

EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): The rack is continuously active in support of the PCDF (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility) experiment. EDR is providing power / data and temperature control (via cooling loop) to PCDF.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): “Mike, thank you for your support in helping us troubleshooting the blinking LED. We are currently working on the ground to troubleshoot ENOSE.”

EPM (European Physiology Module): EPM was activated to support CARD experiment on 6/18 and was activated again on 6/19 to transfer the overnight measurements. On 6/25, the EPM power assembly was stowed with a visual inspection of the cable.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): “WEIGHT versus MASS-Demo was very successful and included excellent talking points and demonstrations. EPO is extremely happy with the outcome. Thank you very much for your creativity.”.

EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): Self video shooting for 10 science missions completed by Koichi. MPC downlink was also completed.”

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): Ongoing.

EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): Complete.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): Planned.

EPO Try Zero-G (JAXA): “No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Spiral Top (JAXA): No report.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): DEBIE-2 continues to regularly generate empty science packets, and as a work-around the instrument script includes a daily power cycle command, which is skipped from ground if the science packets remain nominal. A new script was started on 6/24. For DOSTEL and EXPOSE on-going science acquisition is proceeding nominally. Unsuccessful attempts to operate EVC due to High Rate Data and over-current problems. For FIPEX, a new EOP script was started on 6/24 and will continue running till 6/28. MEDET commanding was performed successfully on 6/23 to re-set the accumulation time of the spectrometer to the initial value to allow comparison between the beginning and the end of the mission. After IMMT approval on 6/25, also Experiment 2 and Long Duration Test of the PLEGPAY instrument will be able to be re-activated from next week onwards.

FACET (JAXA): No report.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): MMA measurements in support of PCDF were collected on 6/19 and 6/20. FSL laptop check-out and optical target removal activities performed on 6/22. FSL Optical check-out activities were completed on 6/23. “Thanks Frank for performing the Optical Target 4 installation from the task list on 6/24.”

GEOFLOW: No report.

HDTV System (JAXA): To be launched by HTV1.

Holter ECG (JAXA): Complete.

HQPC (JAXA): To be launched by 34P.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “Frank thanks for your patience and perseverance in performing the Cardiopres download. We did receive the two files that were transferred to the HRF PC and they provided some valuable insight into the problem. CADMOS is working on a plan for getting the rest of the data. Bob, we are confident that your data is intact on the Cardiopres. If we can’t get the data down before your next session, there should be enough room to complete that session without erasing the memory, so no worries! Meanwhile, we are looking forward to your second echo session next week!”

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): Complete.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Completed.

Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.

MAXI (JAXA): Ongoing.

MDCA/Flex: “This week, 3 attempts were made to ignite and burn the fuel droplets deployed in the CIR test chamber. The last attempt resulted in a successful ignition of the fuel droplet. Thank you for your assistance with the FCF alignment guides!”

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): “We successfully completed all micro-G data collection. Please see distributed file from JEM PAYLOADS ’090626_BJOP_Inc19_20 Micro G Data Collection Step 2 Results in the JEM.ppt’.”

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): One run performed on the last day of Increment 18.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.


PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 3; Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): Continuing radiation dose accumulation.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): On 6/20 and 6/21, PCDF spontaneous reboots occurred during the on-going EP2 Cycle 3. On 6/21 the radial motor of the camera did not react as expected to a home positioning command in the script. The script was put on-hold and no imagery was acquired until 6/23. Since then a new script is used that allows MZI images with the camera in the current acceptable position. It was preferred by the science team to delay further troubleshooting activities to allow continuing the current cycle. The imagery acquired shows that during the period during which no imagery could be obtained good crystals with associated depletion zones have formed in this reactor. On the one hand this is good news as it shows nucleation as would be expected and might lead to good crystals for analysis after return, on the other hand the crystals growth process could not be observed. The current cycle is extended to allow the observed crystals to develop further.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.


RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SEDA-AP (JAXA): Exposed Payload,- to be launched by 2JA.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Mike, you are scheduled to complete another week of sleep logging next week. Bob, you are scheduled to complete another week of sleep logging next week. Frank, you are scheduled to complete another week of sleep logging next week.”

SMILES (JAXA): Exposed Payload, to be launched by HTV1.

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): The current Suon visibility window (#17) has started on 6/13. SOLAR science acquisition is proceeding nominally. The current Sun observation window is planned to end by 6/25.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): No report.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): “Mike, the test setup and hardware checkout were a success leading into this test session – we’re excited to know that all the hardware is functioning properly. Great job with the trouble shooting efforts during the beacon placement and satellite comm. The close up pictures you took were a great help. We appreciate the extra time you put into the test session. MIT will be receiving the data from the satellite runs shortly and are expecting to get good science from it. With the beacons being left in place and your new familiarity with the SPHERES ecosystem, we are excited about the potential gains to be made in the upcoming test session(s)!! Thank you very much for our first opportunity to perform SPHERES in eight months!”

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): “SPICE completed science operations on 6/23 having exhausted all fuel bottles. In all, approximately 174 test points were completed with great success. Initial difficulties with the flow in the duct were corrected by an innovative cleaning procedure, developed by the crew. With the system restored, we were able to achieve the desired test conditions and were able to expand our data set of smoke points and lifted flame conditions. Thanks to all for the support!”

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): VLE-1 completed.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 6/23, the ground has received a total of 15,232 of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to confirm your acquisition of views of the following targets: Lahore, Pakistan – under evaluation for completeness; Jakarta, Indonesia – good coverage, but a few more clouds than we’d like; Sofia, Bulgaria – complete, but a bit soft, we will request this one again; Northern Isle of France (Mauritius) – excellent imagery – requirements complete; Cairo, Egypt – partial coverage. You continue to acquire a high volume of fascinating imagery on your own time. Very nice! Your breathtaking oblique view of Mount Fuji on the island of Honshu, Japan will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. This snow-capped view nicely illustrates the visual features of a classic strato-volcano. Kudos to the crew!”]

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Aswan Airport, Egypt (Crew Site: The Aswan International Airport, also known as Daraw Airport, should have been visible to the right of orbit track), Vredefort Impact Crater, South Africa (this large impact located in northern South Africa is about 300km in diameter and over 2 billion years old, making it one of the oldest know terrestrial impact craters. ISS approached the impact crater from the northwest. Looking near nadir and using the short lens settings for a context view of the arching ridge features marking the rim of the impact), Pernambuco, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Fierce weather forced the HMS Beagle to shelter along the coast at Pernambuco. While there Darwin examined rocks for elevation, studied Mangroves and investigated marine invertebrates at various depths on the sandbar. The Beagle departed on August 17, 1836. Looking right along orbit track for the coast), Maracaibo, Venezuela (Crew Site: Maracaibo is the second largest city in Venezuela. The estimated population is 3,200,000 million people [2007]. The city is located on the shores of Lake Maracaibo where it narrows, and eventually leads to the Gulf of Venezuela. The city should have been directly under the orbit track), and Johnston Island reef, central Pacific (looking slightly right of track for Johnston Island and adjacent reefs. Detailed imagery will add to the existing time series of information on the island-reef system, specifically documenting the change to shorelines and reef exposed structures).

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!):
06/30/09 — Progress 33P undocking
07/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/11/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (7:39am EDT)
07/12/09 — Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (based on solar constraints)
07/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking (if launched nominally 7/11)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/25/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking
07/27/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC, ~12:16pm EDT)
07/29/09 — Progress 34P docking (would be able to dock as early as July 27 depending on STS-127)
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
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 MRM-2 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/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
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — 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.