Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 October 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 October 2009

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

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the new aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams continued their current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), wearing their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes 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.]

Williams also had Day 9 of the sleep shift sequence for the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS). [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following the sleep shift.]

After yesterday’s harvest of plants grown in the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") micro-G growth payload, FE-1 Suraev today set up a new root module (#A20) in the Lada-16 greenhouse with fresh Mizuna seeds, as well as PCMCIA memory card, accessories etc. for another long-term run, then filled the water canister and checked out the hardware. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

Later, the FE-1 configured the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment hardware, transferred yesterday from the FGB to the SM (Service Module), activated & tested the hardware, then copied BUSD (Control & Data Gathering Unit) archive data to a USB-Flash, adjusted the BUSD clock and closed down the experiment. FE-3 Romanenko took documentary photography. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises. The second IZGIB session ran from 10/15-10/19/08, the third on 2/12 – 2/14/09.]

Romanenko performed IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the SM’s thermal control loop 1 (KOB-1), removing the 3SPN1 pump assembly and replacing it with a new spare, followed by tests of the installation and tagup with ground specialists. [There are four pump panels on the two KOB loops, each pump panel with two operating pumps (ENAs).]

Roman also completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Skipping the Soyuz hatch to DC1, inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

FE-4 Thirsk continued his support of the experiment BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). [The work consisted of unstowing the SGSM (Slow Growth Sample Module), homogenizing Sample 6 for long-term crystal observation, and photographing the sample using a DCS 760 digital camera & the EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer). The sample is now being photographed automatically with electronic flash every hour for 21 days, and the pictures are downlinked via OCA during nominal OCA downlink sessions.]

Checking up on IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) performance in the JPM after the BCAT-5 installation, Frank took airflow measurements with the electronic Velocicalc instrument for the starboard forward IMV outlet, starboard aft inlet and overhead aft inlet.

Also in the Kibo module, Nicole conducted the daily visual inspection of the MDS (Mice Drawer System) facility in the ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) and its occupants.

Roman relocated a spare IMV fan from FGB stowage to another bag in the SM and conducted a content audit of this Russian IMV components bag.

Bob Thirsk set up all PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware and then performed his first session of the VO2Max assessment. Later, he cleaned & reconfigured portions of the equipment and secured all hardware out of the “traffic” path but leaving it unstowed to cut down on Nicole’s setup time tomorrow. [The experiment VO2Max uses the PPFS, CEVIS cycle, PFS gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol comprises 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 250-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cooldown period follows at the 25% load. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

For measuring structural dynamics during the upcoming checkout of the new FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device), Thirsk relocated the IWIS RSU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System Remote Sensor Unit) to the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), and CDR De Winne removed the SAMS SE (Space Acceleration Measurement System / Sensor Enclosure) from the TCQ (Temporary Crew Quarters) for mounting it temporarily on the forward foot of the FWED. [The ESA FWED, developed by OHB System/Bremen, is a non-gravity dependent resistance exercise device that acts to countermeasure muscle degradation, bone loss, and impairment of muscle function in astronauts, which develop in response to long-duration space flight. It is a strength training system that uses a rotating flywheel that replaces weight plates and other means of resistance training devices that rely on gravity. This device uses the "Yo Yo Principle" which provides resistance by spinning flywheels with a cord being wound and unwound around the axle of a fixed wheel. The compact lightweight resistive FWED is a multi-exercise device which allows for back, trunk and upper and lower limb exercises. While performing the exercises, continuous measurements of cord tension and flywheel speed are recorded using a laptop (MPPL)-based program. Calculations of work, force and power are performed. Other measurements such as joint angle and EMG (electromyography, a test that assesses the health of the muscles and the nerves controlling the muscles) can also be simultaneously recorded. FWED will be operated in the center aisle of the COL and stowed in a rack when not in use. Its expected lifetime is 10 years.]

Maxim Suraev & Roman Romanenko worked jointly on the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 (carbon dioxide) removal system’s spare AVK emergency vacuum valves, in the spare parts kit, which Suraev went looking for yesterday. [The AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh‘s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).]

The FE-3 continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems in the SM, today cleaning “Group B” fan screens VT2 & VTK2 plus the grille of the SKV2 air conditioner’s heat exchanger (GZhT).

CDR De Winne took his first periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 (“Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest”) on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System). CMO assistance was rendered by Romanenko. [Equipment used were VPG/Temporal Pulsogram and ECG/Electrocardiogram Data Output Devices (USI). The test was during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) overflight window (11:59am) via VHF for data downlink from the VPG and Gamma-1M ECG for about 5-6 minutes.]

FE-2 Stott & FE-5 Williams again had ~3 hrs for HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) cargo operations, loading discarded equipment & trash on the Japanese cargo ship, scheduled to depart on Friday (10/30) for destructive reentry. A 15-min debrief with ground specialists wrapped up the activity.

At ~2:15pm EDT, Frank, Bob, Jeff & Nicole conducted a 30-min teleconference via S/G2 with ground specialists to discuss ULF3 prepacking, based on an uplinked prepack list.

In the JAXA, Nicole again supported the SPACE SEED experiment in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility), today power-cycling (rebooting) the ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal) after first stopping PEU operation via the ELT (and later restarting it).

In the US Airlock (A/L), the FE-2 terminated the regeneration (“bakeout”) process of METOX (Metal Oxide) canister 0021, restoring it for use as CO2 absorber on the next spacewalk during the STS-129/ULF3 docked period.

Also in the A/L, Jeff Williams “degassed” four PWRs (Payload Water Reservoirs, #1007, #1023, #1026, #1027), i.e., manually removed gas bubbles (by centrifugation) to minimize the amount of air introduced into the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) feedwater tanks, then consolidated #1023 & #1025 by shifting water (~9 lbs) from #1023 to #1025.

To improve the safety of making connections on the SM’s PPS-26 power outlet panel for Russian laptops (RSE-Med, RSE2/Zveno, RSS2, RSK2, RSK1, SSC-left, SSC-right) and their associated cabling, Maxim used tape and a highlighter to clearly label eight PPS-26 outlets with function labels.

In the COL, Frank De Winne worked on the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack, removing the USND (ultrasound) display & keyboard (to “deconflict” with the FWED), swapping out the HRF-1 laptop’s UltraBay adapter, loading the laptop with new software from DVD, and also putting new software on the RIC (Rack Interface Controller) to update the internal rack software. Afterwards, Frank verified RIC cards load and software functionality.

Jeff & Nicole replaced 9-volt batteries in their respective CQs (Crew Quarters) in Node-2.

Thirsk & Stott each conducted a new session (Bob’s 7th, Nicole’s 3rd) with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory – Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

The FE-1 did 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).

Maxim 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.]

Continuing the earlier troubleshooting of the COLBERT/T2 treadmill’s data transfer problem, Nicole was to look for stored T2 data on the associated SSC-5 laptop and execute a batch file to retrieved archived data from inside the T2 rack if it existed.

CDR, FE-1 & FE-3 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Max at ~12:00pm, Frank at ~12:20pm, Roman at ~12:50pm EDT.

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Later, Nicole transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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 ~5:25am EDT Frank powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 5:30am conducted a ham radio session with students at the Copernicus Science Center, Warsaw, Poland. [The new Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw will comprise hundreds of interactive exhibits where children, young people and adults can conduct experiments demonstrating how the world around us works. The Center set up a competition for children up to age 16. Participants have proposed a name for asteroid no. 66,189 and wrote a story about the name. The winning name will become the asteroid’s official name and its author will receive a professional telescope. 20 finalists and the winner were invited to a radio contact with the ISS, to inform astronauts about the new name of the asteroid no. 66,189.]

At ~10:40am, Jeff Williams downlinked two deferred (to-be-replayed) PAO TV messages, one for CBS Sports for the Army-Navy game on 12/12, the other for Veterans Day (11/11) to honor servicemen and women around the world.

UPA “Leak” Update: The leading theory for the UPA issue is blockage between the DA (Distillation Assembly) and the FCPA (Fluid Control Pump Assembly). It is believed that the “lost” liquid is in the DA. Before any troubleshooting, the crew will R&R the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) on 10/29 as planned. After that, it will be attempted to “dry down” (unflood) the DA, then determine the location of the blockage using a yet-to-be-developed procedure. Replacing the RFTA should prevent precipitates from remaining in the UPA lines if the DA can be successfully flushed out.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Kerguelen Island, S. Indian Ocean (there probably were scattered clouds over Kerguelen as it is seldom cloud-free. This glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far south Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles southeast of the island of Madagascar. Of primary interest is photography for monitoring of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island. Mapping pass along orbit track was requested), and S. Amazonian Fans, Brazil (weather should have been clear enough for this pass over southeastern Amazonia. A megafan river [Aripuana] has left relict channels over a wide swath of country south of the Madeira River. The channels can be seen because their poor sandy soils produce a discontinuous rainforest cover. The channels appear from space as sinuous, light-toned lines. Only one image of the fans exists in the handheld database).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:49am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 343.1 km
Apogee height – 347.5 km
Perigee height – 338.8 km
Period — 91.40 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000641
Solar Beta Angle — 21.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 142 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62679

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
10/28/09 — Ares I-X Flight Test (8:00am EDT)
10/29/09 — HTV1 hatch closing
10/30/09 — HTV1 unberthing (12:05pm EDT)
11/01/09 — Daylight Time ends/Standard Time begins
11/04/09 — HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) launch on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
NET 11/16/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) 2:28pm EST — not earlier than
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 —> two-member crew
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.