Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 July 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
July 27, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 July 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.  FD (Flight Day) 14 of STS-127/2J/A.

Crew sleep cycle:  Wake 3:03am, sleep 6:30m EDT.

ISS and STS-127/Endeavour are flying in separate orbits again.

After final departure preparations on both sides of the hatches (closed at ~11:10am EDT), Endeavour undocked this noon at 1:26pm from PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2).  After separation, Endeavour completed the 360-deg station flyaround and obtained photo/video imagery of the ISS.  KSC landing is nominally expected on 7/31 (Friday) at ~10:45am EDT. [For undocking, the station was turned from -XVV through ~180 deg to +XVV ZLV (+x-axis in velocity vector, z-axis in local vertical, i.e., flying Shuttle in front again), put briefly on free drift for the undocking and then moded to 2J/A Stage attitude of +XVV TEA (Torque Equilibrium Attitude).]

Upon wakeup, Gennady Padalka terminated his eighth experiment session 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.]

Early this morning, CDR Padalka, FE-1 Barratt & FE-2 Wakata began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass measurement using the IM mass measurement device which Barratt then stowed away again. [MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.  For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.].

For the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function), Barratt, Thirsk, and De Winne collected liquid saliva and blood samples. [IMMUNE protocol requires the collection to occur first thing post-sleep, before eating, drinking and brushing teeth, and all samples are stored at ambient temperature. Along with NUTRITION (Nutritional Status Assessment), INTEGRATED IMMUNE samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects.]

FE-2 Kopra completed his first BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment.    [BISE is a CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored experiment. The purpose of this long duration experiment is to collect data to better understand how humans adapt to microgravity and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth.  This experiment involves comparisons of pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts.]

In preparation for Progress 34P docking tomorrow, CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko conducted a TORU teleoperator system training conference with ground specialists.   [The TORU teleoperator control system lets a SM (Service Module)-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the FE-1 would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM’s TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 8 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground.]

The CDR undertook his fourth session of the Russian behavioral assessment MBI-20 TIPOLOGIA, setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [The FE-3 assisted him in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes, applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit and taking photographs. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person’s psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

Padalka also conducted his seventh 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.]

In the U.S. Lab, Bob Thirsk started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 17th, 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.]

FE-3 Roman Romanenko collected SM and FGB air samples using the AK-1M sampler.

CDR Padalka dumped disinfectant from SM Rodnik Tank 2 (BV2) to an EDV-OR container, using a pump, hose and pressure adapter.  After the dump, the BV2 was compressed.

Bob Thirsk undertook the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the currently off-limits ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) guide rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and also evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

FE-2 Kopra, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 De Winne 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.]

The crew completed 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).

Later, Frank 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).

CDRA Update:  Last night, the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly was successfully restarted under LA3 MDM (Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer) control by patching the INT MDM.  Before the INT passes the Startup command on to the LA3 (which normally controls CDRA), it checks that all of CDRA’s RPCs (Remote Power Controllers) are closed.  CDRA is currently operating via software control with the secondary bed heaters and there is no apparent degradation in CO2 removal rates. MCC-Houston will continue to monitor operation and keep the crew up to date if anything changes.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/29/09 — Progress 34P docking (after on-orbit loiter; ~7:51am EDT)
07/31/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC; ~10:45am)
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/10/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:00pm 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)
10/08/09 — 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 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
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — 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.