Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 29, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 January 2009

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

CDR Fincke & FE-2 Magnus started the day with their daily download of the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of another week-long session with SLEEP, their second. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers 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, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list. It is the third session for Mike, the second for Sandra.]

FE-1 Lonchakov spent most of his workday in the Soyuz TMA-13 Descent Module performing IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the KhSA air conditioner (cooler/dehumidifier), today replacing the failed BV1 fan unit with a new spare. [The preceding troubleshooting by Lonchakov showed that the fan itself, rather than its power source or electronics, was failed. Today, the FE-1 removed the BV1, verified operability of the new fan, then installed the unit and conducted another functional checkout. The Soyuz KhSA ventilation & cooling fan BV1 in the SA (Descent Module) had exhibited sporadic behavior since docking and was first checked by Yuri on 11/24/08 for unimpeded spinning. The backup fan continues to operate nominally.]

In the Lab, CDR Fincke assisted the ground’s remotely powering up the new GLACIER hardware by throwing an activation switch. [GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) units are ultra-cold freezers that will store samples as low as -185 degrees C. The GLACIER, designed and originally manufactured by the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), provides a double middeck locker-sized ER (EXPRESS Rack)-compatible freezer/refrigerator for a variety of experiments that require temperatures ranging from +4 degC (39 degF) to -185 degC (-301 degF). GLACIER is part of the Cold Stowage Fleet of hardware which includes the MELFI and the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator).]

Using the MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) kit, FE-2 Magnus took air samples (one bacterial, one fungal) in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), mid-module. [Of primary interest to the EHS (Environmental Health System) specialists are potential fungal spores in the FGB atmosphere.]

Magnus also completed the daily flushing of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), now from a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) instead of drink bags. [The PWD had been found, via several microbial analyses by Magnus, to have bacteria growing in the ambient water leg. Latest microbial results indicate that not enough iodine may get into the system to kill off any microbes, since the amount of 250 mL used lately did not take into account the filter and, as ground testing has shown, it takes about 24 hours for the iodine to convert to non-biocidal iodide when left stagnant in a filter like the one used in the PWD. The amount of iodinated flush water was increased on 1/27 to 1 L per flush for the next two days and to 0.5 L starting on Friday for the following 7 days. Outcome TBD.]

Afterwards, Sandy conducted the weekly “T+2d” inflight microbiology analyses for the samples collected on 1/26 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Ambient plus SVO-ZV and SRV-K Warm taps. [Sandy reported “yellow” for Coliform (= Negative), “half as many dots as last time” (= Positive) on the MCD (Microbial Capture Device) and a (nominal) incubation bag temperature of 78 degC. Photos were taken for downlink to Earth via SSC12.]

In the “Quest” A/L (Airlock), CDR Fincke worked on the new BCMs (Battery Charger Modules) installed last year, updating the timeout parameters for the -303 & -305 versions for charging REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) and HL (Helmet Light) batteries. [The new BCMs, delivered on STS-124, were modified by Mark Kelly and Ken Ham because of a flawed LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) circuit board with a resistor which could overheat and thereby defeat the LED (Light-Emitting Diode) backlight capability of the new units. The BCMs are used to charge EMU batteries.]

For today’s Robotics/SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) pre-launch checkout and proficiency training, Fincke & Magnus hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station) to allow video coverage, checked out the RWS, started up & configured the POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software and then went through the steps of pre-launch checkout and of positioning the arm for subsequent ops. [There were three objectives for today’s SSRMS session: (1) Checkout the Node-2 PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) in preparation for 15A, (2) Grappling of MBS (Mobile Base System) PDGF-1 to configure the SSRMS to the required base for 15A, and (3) Positioning the SSRMS to a suitable configuration for the MT (Mobile Transporter) translations to WS1 (Worksite 1), then WS6 (scheduled for 2/2). Activities included hand controller calibration, pre-motion TV survey, PDGF grapple, ground execution of a base change, PDGF release, two Joint OCAS (Operator Commanded Auto Sequence) maneuvers plus one single joint maneuver, MBS PDGF grapple and another ground-executed base change to MBS PDGF-1. DOUG is a software application that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the JEMRMS (JEM Robotic Manipulator System), showing its real-time location and configuration on a POC laptop during its operation.]

Sandra performed the periodic battery replacement in the prime CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) unit (#1045). [New battery # = 1263. The nominal configuration for the CSA-CPs is one powered in the SM, the remaining three unpowered. A powered unit’s battery lasts up to 18 days, an unpowered one’s up to 61 days. Prime CSA-CP battery changeout occurs every 2 weeks, backup unit every 8 weeks, and “zero” calibrations on all units every 4 weeks.]

Mike conducted the periodic status check on the running payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2). [ENose monitors the station’s interior for harmful chemicals such as ammonia, mercury, methanol and formaldehyde, running continuously and autonomously. It is the first instrument aboard ISS which can detect and quantify chemical leaks or spills as they happen. If successful, ENose might be used in future space missions as part of an automated system to monitor and control astronauts’ in-space environments. The shoebox-sized ENose contains an array of 32 sensors that can identify and quantify several organic and inorganic chemicals, including organic solvents and marker chemicals that signal the start of electrical fires. The sensors are polymer films that change their electrical conductivity in response to different chemicals, where the pattern of the sensor array’s response depends on the particular chemical types present in the air. The instrument can analyze volatile aerosols and vapors, help monitor cleanup of chemical spills or leaks, and enable more intensive chemical analysis by collecting raw data and streaming it to a computer at JPL’s ENose laboratory. The instrument, weighing less than nine pounds and requiring only 20 watts of power, has a wide range of chemical sensitivity, from fractional parts per million to 10,000 parts per million. Its data-analysis software can identify and quantify the release of chemicals within 40 minutes of detection. While ENose will look for 10 chemical types in this six-month experiment, it can be “trained” to detect many others.]

In the SM, Magnus performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Working from his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Lonchakov conducted the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Also on Yuri’s discretionary job list for today was the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

The FE-2 had another ~1hr for gathering and pre-packing equipment to be returned on STS-119/Discovery/15A.

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).

The crew had an hour reserved for reviewing the uplinked flight plan overview of STS-119/15A joint activities next month. Afterwards, they linked up with the ground to discuss the timeline. Some highlights follow:

  • STS-119/15A/Discovery will be crewed by CDR Lee “Bru” Archambault, PLT Tony Antonelli (IV-Suit, Rob1), MS1 Joe Acaba (EV3, Rob2), MS2 Steve Swanson (EV1), MS3 Ricky Arnold (EV2, Backup Load Master), MS4 John Phillips (M1, Load Master), & E18/19 FE-2 Koichi Wakata (M1);
  • Launch, Docking, Undocking & Landing data see below;
  • 15A will be unusual in that Progress 32P, launched 2/10, will be docking on 2/13, i.e., ~1 day before Shuttle docking;
  • ISS wake/sleep cycle will be moved back to 8:40pm on FD3 to prepare for the docked period. The shift has been developed with Progress 32P in mind, and the 15A FD3 shift to 8:40pm is a shift of 2 hrs earlier. Throughout the docked mission, the crew will shift a total of 3 hrs. earlier in increments of 30 min per day;
  • On FD4, the S6 truss will be unberthed with the SRMS, handed off to SSRMS and maneuvered to pre-install position;
  • There will be four EVAs, with Mission Specialists MS1, MS2, and MS3 taking turns (“rotating”):
    • EVA-1 (FD5): Attach S6 to S5, connect umbilicals, release SABB restraints, PVR cinches/winches, unstow 1B/3B SABB, remove SSU/ECU cover;
    • EVA-2 (FD7): P6 Battery Prep, P3 Nadir UCCAS;
    • EVA-3 (FD9): SPDM Assembly, CETA Cart Relocation, LEE B Repair, S1 tasks, S01A_D/P11A_A RPCM R&R;
    • EVA-4 (FD11): Radiator Imaging, JEM GPS Install, Z1 Patch Panel, S3 WETA, S3 Outboard Nadir/Inboard Zenith PAS.
  • P6 SAW deploy: FD8 (2/19) – crew observing (counting mast bays, viewing array);
  • Generic face-to-face handover time between Sandy & Koichi will be 13.5 hrs;
  • Discovery will be powered by the SSPTS (Station-Shuttle Power Transfer System) from post-docking to just before undocking;
  • Focused inspection of the Orbiter will be on FD6 (if not required, SAW deploy will move to FD6.]

CIR Update: After network tests of the new FCF CIR (Fluids & Combustion Facility/Combustion Integrated Rack) by POIC (Payload Operation & Integration Center), a new activity plan was developed. Starting 2/4, the motors & fuel reservoirs will be calibrated and the first combustion events performed. Combustion tests will then be conducted on two days the week of 2/9, to be continued after 15A.

32P Nitrogen Transfer: TsUP-Moscow prepared for tomorrow’s planned N2 transfer from Progress 32P to the three BNDG(O) tanks of the FGB by starting to pump down internal FGB tank pressure (to 14 kg/sq.m).

ASN-M Testing: TsUP also conducted a test of the ASN-M Satellite Navigation System which involved switching the NVM navigation computer #1 and the NPM navigation receiver module #2 to prime mode.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (ISS had a nadir pass between the Toshka Lakes and Lake Nasser. General context views of the Lakes [both to the left and right of track] were requested to capture the current seasonal state of the region), Luquillo Forest, Puerto Rico (ISS had a near-nadir pass over eastern Puerto Rico, affording a chance to take seasonal imagery of the Luquillo Forest Long Term Ecological Research [LTER] site, located to the left of track. The site is located in the Luquillo Mountains near the northeastern corner of the island – identifiable as large forested patch ringed by small towns and cities. Overlapping frames of the region were requested),andSanta Maria Volcano, Guatemala (weather was predicted to be clear over this large, active stratovolcano in Guatemala. The city of Quezaltenango is located nearby, and is threatened by the potential for collapse of the active Santiaguito lava dome complex that has been growing in a crater on the southwestern side of the volcano since 1922. Approximately 5000 people were killed when such a collapse occurred in 1929. Detailed imagery of the volcanic cone and lava dome complex is requested).

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, 7:10am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 357.0 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 351.8 km
Period — 91.68 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.000776
Solar Beta Angle — -16.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 81 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58397

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/09/09 — Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 — Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment (7:32am EST)
02/13/09 — Progress 32P docking (2:20am EST); [crew wake: 10:30pm on 2/12]
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking (3:57am EST)
02/23/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking (9:30pm EST)
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (KSC, 1:50am EST)
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 — 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.