Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 August 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. All quiet (before the storm): Waiting for STS-128/Discovery.

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.

FE-3 Romanenko terminated his sixth experiment session, started last night, 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.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, all six crewmembers took a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program’s medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, the FE-3 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).]

To check out the HMS CMRS (Health Maintenance System / Crew Medical Restraint System), FE-1 Barratt & FE-2 Kopra performed a chest compression test, i.e., compression of a (simulated) human chest using the CMRS, consistent with delivery of CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) on a human chest. [Purpose: to measure the deflection in the CMRS during compressions and to inspect the seat tracks after the crew had previously reported that the CMRS had excessive motion during a CPR training session. For the activity, the CMRS was unfolded and deployed, with its legs locked and attached with two STIs (Seat Track Interfaces). The human chest was simulated with five towels rolled together and covered with a sixth towel. Kopra used the G1 camcorder to record the CPR being performed by Barratt.]

For the Russian BAR/EXPERT experiment, FE-3 Romanenko terminated the charging of the KPT-2 Kelvin-Video battery pack and initiated the process on the TTM battery. Afterwards, he and CDR Padalka performed another extended session with the EXPERT hardware 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 138, 131, 228, 230 212 and 217. Afterwards, data were downloaded to the RSE1 laptop, log tables filled out for OCA downlink, the equipment restowed and batteries 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 thermal hygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer (TTM-2), a leak detector (UT2-03) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU-1) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Yesterday’s troubleshooting of the failed BRP-M Water Dispensing & Heating Unit by CDR Padalka to see whether the unit could be repaired on orbit, showed that the failure was caused by a shortened relay. Since this cannot be repaired, the unit was placed in Progress 34P for disposal. [The failed BRP-M had started smoking on 7/10 and was subsequently replaced with a spare.]

Afterwards, Romanenko conducted another 30-min. session with the new ocean observations program, DZZ-13 “Seiner”, to obtain data on color field patterns and current cloud cover conditions over the Northern Atlantic from the current geographic location of ISS (5:10am EDT) to the south of the Azores to the coastal area of Angola. [The experiment uses visual observation, videography (HDV camcorder, PAL mode) and selective photography (NIKON D2X with AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 mm lens) of color-contrast images and large discontinuities in cloud fields along the flight path, controlled from the RSK-1 laptop. Roman’s photography had to be accompanied by a continuous non-stop video recording of underlying terrain using the HDV camera securely fixed above SM Window #8 precisely in nadir using the LIV adapter.]

Barratt performed CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) maintenance on the prime unit (#1053). [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Mike changed out the battery on the prime unit (#1053), then zero-calibrated the instruments (to eliminate drift in the combustion sensors). Following zero calibration, the prime unit was redeployed at the SM (Service Module) Central Post.]

FE-5 De Winne completed the periodic (once monthly) reboot of all active US PCS (Portable Computer System) and COL PWS (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Portable Workstation) laptops and recorded the battery state-of-charge for each active PC. [SM: 72%, LAB: 68%, CUP: 48%, JEM: 73.]

Working on the U.S. WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), De Winne changed out the urine receptacle plus hose and its filter insert with new units.

Gennady used the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to check for Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde and Ammonia in the SM. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ammonia (NH3), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.],

Mike Barratt, Tim Kopra & Bob Thirsk filled out their 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.]

FE-4 Thirsk conducted the regular weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices), SLD cables and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values. [Particular attention was requested on inspecting, marking & recording any visible SLD damages.]

Bob also had ~30 min set aside to perform some repair work on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), removing, straightening and re-installing its bent left-hand Rope Guide. Both left & right Rope Guides were then photodocumented.

Padalka 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).

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

Afterwards, Timothy 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 ~4:50am, Gennady linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~4:35am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~7:05am the crew recorded a 90-minute multi-crew discussion/chat in HD video on Living and Working on the ISS as an international partnership, probably the most important “breakthrough” in spaceflight since the “invention” of civilian spaceflight by JFK and the Saturn/Apollo pioneers. [The ISS has its first expedition fully staffed with 6 crewmembers, and these crewmembers represent each of the 5 partner agencies participating in the ISS program – Roskosmos, NASA, CSA, ESA, and JAXA. Living and working together in space, as well as interacting with ground crews worldwide, provides some interesting challenges and unique stories. This could be the only time in the history of the ISS we will be able to capture the perspectives of crews from so many nations at the same time.]

At ~8:35am, Padalka, Barratt, Kopra, Romanenko, Thirsk & DeWinne joined in a tagup with the ESA staff at Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

At ~9:55am, all crewmembers convened for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~3:10pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (looking right for this small 2 km-diameter structure, located roughly between the line of track and the prominent group of center pivot agricultural circles [Kufra Oasis]. Another cue is the curved river bed just beyond the target. This low sun-angle opportunity is ideal for revealing hard-to-see features like extra concentric rings and fracture patterns), Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (looking right for this 18 km-diameter structure, also located roughly between the line of track and the prominent center pivot circles of Kufra), Megafans, SW Algeria (looking right. A mapping swath parallel with track for 60 secs at approx 30-45 degrees off nadir was requested. Low sun angles are ideal for revealing the subtle topography of these river-made features. The zone where fan sediments have inundated neighboring dark hills is a good analog for Mars landscapes of river channels and sediments filling inter-crater spaces), Houston, Texas (early morning possibility before significant cloud build-up. Looking just left of track between cloud masses), and Clear Lake, TX (early morning possibility before significant cloud build-up. Looking just left of track between cloud masses).

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, 8:18am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.0 km
Apogee height – 354.1 km
Perigee height — 341.8 km
Period — 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009179
Solar Beta Angle — 35.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 43 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 61734

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/28/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (11:59pm EDT)
09/10/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A landing (KSC; ~7:02pm EDT)
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.