Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 May 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Last 2 days with crew of 3.

Soyuz TMA-15 (19S) launched flawlessly this morning on time at 6:34:53am EDT carrying ISS-20 CDR Roman Romanenko plus ISS-20 Flight Engineers Frank DeWinne (Belgium/ESA) and Robert Thirsk (Canada/CSA). [Separations from second & third stage were nominal. Orbit was attained at L+ 8:45 min at an altitude of 202 km (perigee ~189.6 km/apogee ~230.1 km, downrange ~530 km, velocity ~7.50 km/s, orbit period 88.8 min). Antennas and solar arrays deployed nominally at orbit insertion. 19S has a two-day rendezvous profile, aiming for docking on Friday, 5/29, at 8:36am EDT (4:36pm Moscow time) at the FGB nadir port. See Flight Plan, below. At orbit insertion, Soyuz unfolded two solar arrays, four Kurs antennas, one TORU/Rassvet-M antenna and one telemetry antenna. Later, the crew activated antenna heaters, set the maneuver mode, turned on the RKO orbit radio tracking system, started leak checks, etc. Two orbit adjustment burns of ~5 min duration each were executed this morning, DV1 (~30.72 m/s) at 10:16am, DV2 (14.01 m/s) at 11:05am, both with the SKD main engine. After the two-day “chase”, supported by several more midcourse burns, 19S will dock at the FGB nadir port on 5/29 at ~8:36am EDT (4:36pm Moscow time).]

Koichi Wakata continued his third session 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. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Koichi 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.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, CDR Padalka, FE-1 Barratt & FE-2 Wakata completed a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, the CDR closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the “PHS/Without Blood Labs” exam. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Padalka set up and checked out initial status & ops parameters of the “Istochnik-M” (source, spring) telemetry reception & recording system (SPR TMI) system in the SM (Service Module), which enables the ISS to receive telemetry from Soyuz spacecraft. [Activities included installing a new HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for the system in the RSE1 laptop, making connections to the power supplies and antenna switching units and checking nominal and simulator-mode telemetry receiving & recording parameters. The equipment, including the Istochnik TM station, power amplifiers, power supply, USB software sticks and cables, will capture Soyuz data through the amateur (ham) radio antenna, and transfer it to a laptop display where the crew will be able to immediately tell if a good separation of modules occurred during Soyuz descent operations].

FE-1 Mike Barratt broke out the equipment for the CCIS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS) experiment and underwent Day 1 of his second on-orbit CCISS session. [Steps involved setting up and donning the Holter Monitor 2 (#1004), donning the CBPD (Continuous Blood Pressure Device) plus two Actiwatches on his “dominant” wrist (not identical with the SLEEP Actiwatch on the other wrist), performing the Baro Study, doffing the CBPD, and starting the 24-hr passive heart rate data collection. Data are recorded on a PCMCIA memory card, with the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack laptop for control. Data download and equipment stowage is scheduled tomorrow after the 24-hr period. FE-2 Wakata assisted as Operator, placing electrodes and donning the CBPD, and took documentary photography. CCISS studies the effects of long-duration spaceflight on crewmembers’ heart functions and their blood vessels that supply the brain (= “cerebrovascular”). Learning more about the changes in cardiovascular & cerebrovascular systems in zero-G could lead to specific countermeasures that might better protect future space travelers and their ability to meet the challenge of return to an upright position on Earth. For the Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are being recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food (water is acceptable) allowed two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.]

The CDR continued preparations for the Orlan EVA (#22) on 6/5 and the suited training exercise on 6/3. After configuring the DC1 “Pirs” STTS communications link to support his presence, Padalka —

* Tested the proper function of the hatch pressure equalization valves (PEV; Russian: KVD) from the POV panels in the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) and DC1,
* Retrieved the BNP portable air repress bottle #3 (without aerator) from Soyuz TM-14 and installed it the SM RO (Work Compartment), and
* Transferred BNP #10 from FGB stowage to the Soyuz instead.

In the US Airlock, FE-1 Barratt and FE-2 Wakata prepared for the STS-127/2JA spacewalks by —

* Resizing two of the three EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units), i.e., #3005 for Tim Kopra and #3006 for Mike Barratt, while #3011 will be reconfigured with components during STS-127,
* Terminating helmet light and PGT (Pistol Grip Tool) batteries recharge in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), and
* Initiating recharge of REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) batteries #1006 & #1009 from the PSA (Power Supply Assembly).

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Wakata prepared for the arrival of the JEM External Facility by activating & checking out the external EFBM (External Facility Berthing Mechanism) after connecting & attaching the BCDU (Berthing Mechanism Control & Display Unit) to the WS (Work Station) Rack.

Mike Barratt meanwhile worked in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), setting up and activating the EPM LPT (European Physiology Module Laptop), including verifying its correct time setting.

Afterwards, Mike performed the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. AEDs are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend events or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs and any other location where people may congregate.]

Mike & Koichi reviewed uplinked procedures for recovering a failed RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) of the WRS (Water Recovery System) and then conducted a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss the IFM (Inflight Maintenance). [The RFTA #003 did not fill nominally during the 15A fill with pre-treated urine. The suspected root cause is a filter in line behind the “in-coming” QD (Quick Disconnect) on the RFTA for nominal fills. To remove the blocking and allow full usage of the RFTA (a consumable that is replaced after some use), the IFM will modify the “out-going” QD to enable an attempt to fill from the reverse direction as a checkout. A Flight Rule waiver is in place to allow modifying the QD without dexterity-hindering protective gloves when there is no possibility of contact with the Tox Level 2 liquid.]

In the Lab, Koichi started another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the fourth, with the new 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 hardware.]

Gennady set up and started the SSTV (Slow Scan TV) equipment for Day 2 of conducting the MAI-75 experiment as part of OBR-3 (Obrazovanie-3, Education 3) ops, essentially a ham radio set-up with Kenwood VS-N1 (Visual Communicator) gear for downlinking photographic images to ground stations, including one at MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute). The experiment is running three back-to-back SSTV Ham sessions over yesterday & today. [The payload is named after the renowned MAI whose reputation is based on the large number of famous aviators and rocket scientists that received their academic education here. Among the alumni are Academicians and Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Over 100 General and Chief Designers earned their degree at MAI, with famous rocket scientists like Makeyev, Mishin, Nadiradze and Yangel. MAI also fostered 20 Pilot-Cosmonauts, almost 100 famous test pilots, Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia. The amateur radio (ham) equipment aboard the ISS for downlinking SSTV imagery is an MAI product.]

Mike performed the periodic status check on the payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

The FE-1 also supported ground-commanded operation of the AgCam (Agricultural Camera) experiment by opening the protective Lab science window shutters. Troubleshooting of the AgCam over the last weekend has been successful, and operations of the experiment commenced again. [The AgCam is a multi-spectral camera for use on the ISS as a payload of the WORF (Window Observational Research Facility). Primary AgCam system components include an Imaging System Assembly, a Base Mount Pointing Assembly, a Power/Data Controller, associated cabling and support items, and a NASA-supplied A31p laptop and power supply. It will take frequent images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth, principally of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Images will be delivered within 2 days directly to requesting farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land for which they are responsible. Images will also be shared with educators for classroom use. The Agricultural Camera was built and is operated primarily by students and faculty at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.]

For a second radiation reading in two days, CDR Padalka collected and downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has ten sensors placed at various locations in the Russian segment (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). Today’s readings were taken from four dosimeters (A0301, A0303, A0309, A0310).

Padalka 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.]

Working off the discretionary “time permitting” task list, Gennady also conducted 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 CDR performed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand) and taking the periodic documentary photography. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

The FE-2 conducted the periodic deployment of four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Padalka completed the periodic collection of air samples, including checking for Freon, in the SM & FGB using the AK-1M adsorber, recording date, time & location. Kits and pouches were then stowed for return to Earth.

Koichi collected air samples at the center of the Lab, SM and COL with US GSCs (Grab Sample Containers) #1101, #1106 & #1107, sequenced with the AK-1M samples for post-flight comparison.

Later today, the FE-1 will perform the regular controlled shut-down of the EHS VOA, with the ground power-cycling its RPC-3 (Remote Power Controller 3), part of RPCM (RPC Module) LAD42B_A.

On the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack in the Lab, the FE-2 demated the QD (Quick Disconnect) of the ITCS MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) return jumper from the rack UIP (Utility Interface Panel) in order to increase available MTL coolant flow for payload use.

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 CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-2), ARED (CDR, FE-1, FE2) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1). [The TVIS is back on hold after its usage yesterday with three of four stabilizers installed caused concern on the ground that the current configuration may cause issues with the three functioning TVIS stabilizers, corner bracket wire ropes and/or the ISS structure. A new plan of action will be worked out. Today, all TVIS sessions have been changed to CEVIS.]

Later, 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 ~4:30pm EDT, Gennady is to conduct another data collection for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (Interactions) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

CDR Padalka had another run with the GFI-8 “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program on his discretionary “time permitting” task list, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take 800mm-lens telephotos for subsequent downlinking on the BSR-TM payload data channel,

Soyuz TMA-15/19S Flight Plan Overview:
· Flight Day 1:
Launch to Orbit, ~9 min in duration; auto deployment of solar arrays & antennas; pressurization of prop tanks and filling of Soyuz manifolds; docking probe extended; leak check by crew of BO & SA modules; KURS self tests; test of BDUS angular rate sensors; attitude established (OSK/LVLH); crew opens BO-SA hatch, ingresses BO and doffs Sokol suits; test of RUO rotational hand controller; Soyuz put in ISK (sun spinning/«barbecue») mode; data for DV1 & DV2 burns uplinked; SOA air purification system activated in BO and deactivated in SA; DV1 burn; DV2 burn; Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew clean & dry Sokols; crew sleep.
· Flight Day 2:
Post-sleep activities; BO workstation prepared; data for DV3 burn uplinked; crew tests RUO-2 & RUD-2 rotational and translational hand controllers; DV3 attitude established by crew; DV3 burn executed (~7:59am); Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew swaps CO2 filters in BO; crew sleep.
· Flight Day 3:
Post-sleep activities; DV4 (~6:36am); KURS-A heaters activated (~7:00am); data for automated rendezvous uplinked; crew dons Sokols; SOA deactivated in BO and activated in SA; crew ingresses SA, closes BO-SA hatch and dons harnesses for docking; DV5 burn (~7:20:34am) automated rendezvous & docking at FGB nadir port via KURS-P in ISS & KURS-A in Soyuz; docking; pressure equalized between Soyuz and ISS; crew transfers.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Vredefort Impact Crater, South Africa (ISS had a nadir pass over the northwestern corner of this large impact structure. Overlapping, nadir-viewing frames of the exposed crater walls were requested), Bigach Impact Crater, Kazakhstan (ISS had a nadir pass over this 8 km in diameter impact structure located the west of Lake Zhaysang. The crater is visible on the landscape as a rough ring of disturbed rock surrounding an almost flat interior. Nadir viewing, overlapping frames taken along track were requested), Falmouth, England (Beagle Site. The port of Falmouth is located on the southernmost spur of the island of Great Britain. ISS had a nadir overpass for collection of overlapping frames of the city. Conditions were expected to be partly cloudy over the Great Britain coastline), Portsmouth, Devon, England (Beagle Site. Portsmouth is located further east along the southern coastline of Great Britain from the previous target of Falmouth. The city is located to the northeast of the nearby island of Portsea. Nadir viewing, overlapping frames taken along track were requested), and Sky Islands, Northern Mexico (weather conditions were predicted to be clear over the southern mountain ranges of Arizona located to the right of track. Sky islands are isolated patches of woodland located on the upper slopes of mountain ranges located in semiarid to arid environments — the crew was to concentrate their focus on the upper slopes of the mountain ranges. Vegetation comprising these sky islands may change over time due to warming climates in the region).

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, 8:40am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 349.9 km
Apogee height — 356.5 km
Perigee height — 343.4 km
Period — 91.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009717
Solar Beta Angle — 6.6 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 80 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60269

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir, ~8:36am)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/03/09 — Orlan Suited Dry-Run (training)
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 (7:12am)
06/29/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (12:18am EDT, KSC)
07/17/09 — Progress M-02M/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 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 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/XX/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A — Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A — MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
03/05/10 — Progress 38P launch
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 — ICC-VLD, MRM-1 — tentative
04/30/10 — Progress 39P launch
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress 40P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 — ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
07/30/10 — Progress 41P launch
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/30/10 — Progress 42P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 — Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA — on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.