Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
March 1, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 February 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – rest day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus.

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning. ["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 FE’s sleep station 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, Lonchakov conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3) and SM (VPkhO, VPrK, FS5, FS6 & FS9).

Yuri 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, 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.]

In JAXA’s Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-2 Magnus supported SSIPC/Tsukuba (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)’s with the RadGene payload by terminating the experiment’s first operation after seven days of incubation in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) without crew intervention. [Today’s supportive steps included removing four sets of MEUs (Measurement Experiment Units) from the CBEF Micro-G Incubator, mixing the culture medium and reagent in the CBs (Culture Bags), then stowing the CBs in their holders in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) after cell fixture treatment for storage. Afterwards, RadGene and LOH post-incubation ops were closed out in the SAIBO Rack. RadGene is a two-part investigation addressing genetic alterations in immature immune cells: The first part, LOH, uses lymphoblastoid (immature immune) cells to detect potential changes on the chromosome after exposure to cosmic radiation. The second, RadGene, looks for changes in gene expression of p53 (a tumor suppressive protein) after cosmic radiation exposure. Future crewmembers will benefit from the data obtained in this investigation by understanding the effects of radiation on human cells, which can lead to the development of new countermeasures. The data is also applicable in the medical field in the areas of immunology and cancer research. A cell line from the human lymphoblastoid family of TK6 which can be grown as a suspension culture, was frozen on Earth in plastic bags. After the launch in the freezer, the cells were kept frozen in MELFI, then defrosted and cultivated using CBEF at 37 degC for 7 days, then frozen again today up to recovery. After recovery, cells will be analyzed for radiation effects with microgravity with DNA array assay and LOH mutation assay.]

Afterwards, Sandra Magnus stopped the JEM CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment) carbon dioxide gas supply by closing supply valves on the upper CO2 GBU (Gas Bottle Units) and upper/lower CO2 VUs (Valve Units), then photo documented the final valve configuration.

For their VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, the CDR & FE-2 had another EPO (Educational Payload Operations) session on their schedule, today dealing with a demonstration of science research aboard the station be discussing CEO (Crew Earth Observations) activities, the Expedition Earth and Beyond program, and Earth geography.

For the next Russian Orlan spacewalk, EVA 21A, FE-1 Lonchakov had two hours set aside for cleaning out the “Pirs” DC-1 (Docking Compartment 1) and PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) as well as starting the extensive process of collecting & configuring the equipment required for the EVA, going by an uplinked 9-page list of instructions, while tracking moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System). [EVA-21A is currently scheduled for 3/11, with hatch open at ~12:50pm, to last an estimated 5h 30m.]

CDR Fincke had 10 min set aside to fill out his surgeon-provided BRASLET-Anketa (bracelet questionnaire) for his session on 2/26 with BRASLET (Validation of On-Orbit Methodology for the Assessment of Cardiac Function and Changes in the Circulating Volume Using Ultrasound and BRASLET-M Occlusion Cuffs).

At ~8:45am EST, 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.

At ~2:45pm, the FE-2 has her weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

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 TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Working off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” suggestions list, the FE-1 conducted another session for Russia’s Environmental Safety Agency (EKON), making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen — Week 18)

3-D SPACE: Planned: 15A/FE-2.

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

BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): Planned.

BIO-4: Complete.

BIOLAB (BLB): “We are currently investigating the outcome of Rotor B Bellow test that was performed on 2/25.”

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Sandy, we are currently re-planning your CCISS session due to the shuttle slipping.”

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.

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

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

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

DomeGene (JAXA): Planned.

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

EDR (European Drawer Rack): Planned.

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

ENose (Electronic Nose): ENose is operating normally.

EPM (European Physiology Module): Underway.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): DOSTEL, MEDET, EXPOSE and FIPEX are acquiring science. The DEBIE-2 team has recreated the problem of the empty science packets with the ground model. This is under investigation. EVC has been commanded on 2/26. MEDET is performing a campaign of increased micro-calorimeter data acquisition frequency.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): Planned.

GEOFLOW: Aborted. GEOFLOW EC (Experiment Container) will be returned on 15A for investigation on its anomaly.”

HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): On 2/24 G1 camcorder and IPU checkouts were successfully completed. We finally could see the G1 image at Tsukuba via IPU in real-time. Thank you Sandy for your excellent job and we enjoyed “Ultraman”. It will be really “Returned Ultraman”.”


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.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

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

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

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

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

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

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

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


PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.

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

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

RadGene & LOH (JAXA): “Experiments are going on nominally, and CO2 gas supply is good enough for the experiment.”

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

SAMPLE: Complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Mike, thanks for downloading and initializing yours and Sandy’s Actiwatches. Your data continues to look great. You still have one monthly download, one week of sleep logging, and doffing the Actiwatch on station as your remaining activities. During your next download session, you will be changing the battery in your Actiwatch and getting an Actiwatch ready for Mike Barratt. Extra sleep logging is above and beyond and greatly appreciated by the PI. Sandy thanks for completing your Sleep logging requirement. With Mike downloading and initializing your Actiwatch, your only remaining activity is doffing the Actiwatch on the Shuttle with the other crewmembers.”

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Sun visibility window started on 2/23.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): “Big thanks for completing the SOLO science protocol and providing the team with additional body mass measurements.”

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): “Mike and Sandy – your continued efficiency, enthusiasm and flexibility has resulted in completion of all planned nominal test points thus far plus nearly as many bonus test points in the same crew time.”

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 2/24, the ground has received a total of 21,575 of ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “Kudos to the crew as you continue to complete your increment’s requirements for even more of our targets! Photos with times corresponding to our CEO target times are reviewed first and this week includes: Mount Vesuvius – 24 frames – target acquired – excellent images – seasonal requirements met for this increment, checked off the list; Florida Coastal Everglades – 96 frames in three sessions – seasonal requirements met for this increment, checked off the list; Foelsche Impact Crater, NT, Australia – 35 frames – target not acquired; Bosumtwi Impact Crater, Ghana – 8 frames – target not acquired; Volcan Colima, Mexico – 42 frames – partial coverage of target – under review; and Villarrica Volcano, Chile – 36 frames – target acquired – spectacular session of context photos of a number of Chilean Volcanoes including our previously unphotographed Chaiten (post-eruption) target – we can use these to help specify for detailed views in the future – Kudos again! This weekend your early January view of MacMurdo and Howe Islands in the Kerguelen Archipelago of the southern Indian Ocean will be published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website. In this requested image of one of our CEO targets a fortuitous set of circumstances with winds and sun glint allowed detection of adjacent giant kelp beds in your image. Thanks for your diligence in acquiring useful imagery of this challenging target area.”

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), Kerguelen, south Indian Ocean (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), Chaiten Volcano, Chile (ISS had a nadir pass over this recently reactivated volcano in southern Chile. Prior to its eruption in May 2008, the volcano had been quiet for more than 9000 years; it has caused significant damage to the town of Chaiten located to the SW. Looking under track for the volcano; photography of the summit lava domes is of particular interest. Steam and ash plumes may also be visible. This week (2/24) while the crew successfully captured amazing imagery of Villarica volcano they also able to capture Chaiten with the 180 mm lens. This time CEO researchers were asking for a tighter view with the 400 mm lens), and Mauna Loa, Hawaii (Mauna Loa is among Earth’s most active volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since the first well-documented historical eruption of 1843. Its most recent eruption was in 1984. "Mauna Loa" means "Long Mountain," an appropriate name since the visible part of the volcano stretches for about 120 km from the southern tip of the island to the coastline near Hilo).

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, 7:32am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 355.5 km
Apogee height — 361.9 km
Perigee height — 349.0 km
Period — 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009605
Solar Beta Angle — 7.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 89 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58885

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
03/06/09 — Flight Readiness Review for STS-119/Discovery/15A launch
03/08/09 — US Daylight Time begins at 2:00am
03/11/09 — Russian EVA 21A (tentative; hatch open ~12:50pm EDT)
03/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment (tentative target date)
03/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking (tentative)
03/25/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking (tentative)
03/28/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (tentative)
03/26/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/28/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/07/09 — 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.