Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 May 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Last day with a station crew of 3.

Soyuz TMA-15/19S, with Exp-20 crewmembers CDR Roman Romanenko, FE Frank DeWinne (Belgium/ESA) and FE Robert Thirsk (Canada/CSA), continues to catch up with the ISS for the docking tomorrow morning at ~8:36am EDT at the FGB nadir port. [FD2 activities, started early this morning with Soyuz crew wakeup at ~12:30am EDT on Orbit 13, include systems & crew health status reports to TsUP, preparation of the Soyuz Habitation Module (BO) workspace, building attitude for and executing the DV3 burn (~7:59am), placing Soyuz back in its sun-spinning “barbecue” mode (ISK), and swapping CO2 absorption cartridges (LiOH) in the BO. Afterwards, the crewmembers put on their Sokol suits and PKO biomed harnesses, transferred to the BO, activated its air purification system (SOA) and closed the hatch to the Descent Module (SA). After activation of the active Kurs-A system on Soyuz and of the passive Kurs-P on the Service Module (SM), with a short Kurs-A/P test and several additional adjustment burns during automated rendezvous, station fly-around to align with the FGB nadir port axis will begin tomorrow morning at ~8:11am at ~400m range, followed by station keeping at ~160m (~8:20am) and docking at the FGB at ~8:36am. Romanenko, DeWinne & Thirsk will join the Exp-19 crew, doubling station occupancy to six persons. FE-2 Koichi Wakata will be replaced by U.S. Astronaut Timothy Kopra, arriving in June on STS-127/2JA.]

Wakata-san continued his third session of sleep logging for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Koichi wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and uses 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.]

Former flight surgeon Mike Barratt completed Day 2 activities of his CCIS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS) session, downloading the data from his two Actiwatches and the Holter 2 recorder. [For the last 24 hrs, ending at ~5:30am EDT, Barratt wore the Holter Monitor 2 (#1004) with electrodes for the passive heart rate data collection part of CCIS, plus two Actiwatches on his “dominant” wrist (not identical with the SLEEP Actiwatch on the other wrist). Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card, with the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack laptop for control. CCISS studies the effects of long-duration spaceflight on crewmembers’ heart functions and their blood vessels that supply the brain (= “cerebrovascular”). Learning more about the changes in cardiovascular & cerebrovascular systems in zero-G could lead to specific countermeasures that might better protect future space travelers and their ability to meet the challenge of return to an upright position on Earth. For the Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are being recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food (water is acceptable) allowed two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.]

Working jointly the first steps of the intricate IFM (Inflight Maintenance) of the failed RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) of the WRS (Water Recovery System), the crew today removed the QD (Quick Disconnect) key from the (nominally) “out-going” QD of the RFTA, thus enabling it to replace the original “”in-going” QD #002 for an attempt to fill the assembly. The remainder of the RFTA recovery is scheduled for the next two weeks. [The RFTA (#003) did not fill nominally during the 15A fill with pre-treated urine. The suspected root cause is a filter in line behind the “in-coming” QD on the RFTA for nominal fills. To remove the blocking and allow full usage of the RFTA (a consumable that is replaced after some use), the IFM was to modify the “out-going” QD to turn it from “out-going” to “in-going”. A Flight Rule waiver was in place to allow today’s modification of the QD without dexterity-hindering protective gloves when there is no possibility of contact with the Tox Level 2 liquid.]

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, the FE-2 activated the ELT (Experiment Laptop) after verifying proper Ethernet cable connection, then tested the data communication with the IPU (Image Processing Unit) by “pinging”.

Afterwards, Wakata continued the checkout of the JEM MRDL (Medium Rate Data Link) with Part 2, which used new software, transferred by SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) by ground commanding, to transmit test data from the ELT to SSIPC via the USOS (US Segment) and POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville). [Payloads (such as MAXI) on the JEM Exposed Facility, to be delivered on STS-127, will downlink data through the MDRL from the JEM-LAN (Local Area Network) to SSIPC via the US-LAN. MRDL Checkout Part 1 failed last March and required a software update, which was successfully tested during a repeat of Part 1 on 5/21. However, MAXI data cannot be downlinked through the existing updated version but must use an alternate path, which today’s Part 2 was to check out.]

Also in the JPM, Wakata installed a SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System) sensor (F02), mounting it at the JPM1F3 location near the new TCQ (Temporary Crew Quarters) and connecting it to the SAMS RTS (Remote Triaxial Sensor) drawer in the ER-4 (EXPRESS 4 Rack) in the JPM. [After the installation, the video of the sensor will be used by the ground team to properly translate the sensor coordinates into station coordinates for ground processing.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s Soyuz docking, Mike Barratt worked with Gennady Padalka to configure & test the TV downlink from the RS (Russian Segment) over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-/band in “streaming video” packets. [The setup involves the designated A31p laptop at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation) for converting analog-to-digital video, the video connection from the SONY HVR-Z1J digital high-definition camcorder and the ZVK LIV Experimental Video Complex in the SM over the MPEG-2 encoder. After the test, with the RSCE PingMaster application, Barratt deactivated the A31p again. The KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder uses the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptop (for converting analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC). The video hardware connection is checked with a network ping test. The digital video transmission is carried over JSL(Joint Station LAN)/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to TsUP-Moscow, plus transfer of the USOS analog video of the RS ISS video downlink via Streambox 2 to NISN (i.e., the Moscow Ostankino communication hub).]

After Mike set up video coverage of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) worksite, the crew continued troubleshooting the critical exercise device, for which ground analysis of yesterday’s downlinked audio/video data has diagnosed the extra noise as the TVIS stabilizers being “overdriven” (i.e., impacting top and bottom of the stabilizers with their throw masses). [Today, the stabilizers were deactivated, followed by a nominal checkout session by Gennady. The resulting downlinked video, audio and PCMCIA card data will be evaluated by the ground before the crew is given a GO for normal exercise.]

For updating the JSL (Joint Station LAN) Password Document, Koichi printed out NINJA (Network Information for JSL Administration) material and replaced an older version of the message in the POC (Portable Onboard Computers) Book with the new message, then restowed the procedures book at LAB1P6.

The CDR performed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Barratt & Wakata completed the regular monthly session (their first) of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh their CMO (Crew Medical Officer)’s acuity in a number of critical health areas. The proficiency drills today focused on nosebleed treatment. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

Koichi completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (19-0025J) lists 45 CWCs (~1,344.8 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (31 CWCs with 927.7 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 283.2 L currently off-limits because used as CWC-I from WPA, 468.5 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria & 176.2 L in 4 clean bags, 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 349.6 L, of which 221.3 L (5 bags) are currently off-limit pending ground analysis results), 3. condensate water (3 CWCs, all empty), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (3 CWCs with 67.5 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

The crew had an hour set aside for reviewing the EVA logistics & tasks for the STS-127-2J/A spacewalks and then linked up with STS-127/Endeavour crewmembers in a teleconference to EVA details.

In the US Airlock, Wakata terminated the recharge, initiated yesterday, of REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) batteries #1006 & #1009 from the PSA (Power Supply Assembly).

After setting up the pumping equipment (compressor #41, power cable, hose & pressure adapters) for pumping urine from the SM to Progress M-02M/33P, Gennady initiated the compression of the bladder of the empty Progress Rodnik BV2 tank while monitoring air flow before the third pump shutdown to check for leak tightness (hermeticity). Compression telemetry was recorded by the ground, and the pumping equipment remained assembled afterwards. [Urine transfer to the BV1 tank was conducted on 5/20. Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers. With empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls which requires double compressor restart.]

Padalka performed another inspection of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for presence of coolant. [On 5/19, the CDR had replaced a pump unit of the 4SPN1 replaceable pump panel at this location.]

Gennady 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 CDR also conducted 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).

At ~1:30pm EDT, Barratt & Padalka tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the ground-analyzed 400 & 800mm-lens photo/video training imagery that resulted from their latest RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) drill on 5/26. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-127/Endeavour/2JA) on 6/15. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

At 1:45pm, the FE-1 conducted the periodic VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today at the Wallops Station VHF site (1:47:36pm-1:54:32pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM/Munich and JCOM/Tsukuba in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

The FE-2 filled out his regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), his eleventh. [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 (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1), TVIS (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE2) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-2). [The TVIS is being evaluated today and is not yet cleared for normal usage. On the CEVIS, Mike & Koichi were congratulated on their successful resolution of the workload anomaly. The actual loads remain slightly lower than the commanded loads, but this is expected. A manual correction of the pertinent calibration coefficient via the control panel touch screen will be done at a later time when the new value has been determined.]

Later, Wakata transferred the exercise data file 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 ~4:05am EDT, the crew joined in a tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

At ~3:30am, 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 ~10:00am, Gennady, Mike & Koichi convened for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

CDR Padalka had another run with the GFI-8 “Uragan” (hurricane) earth-imaging program on his discretionary “time permitting” task list, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take 800mm-lens telephotos for subsequent downlinking on the BSR-TM payload data channel,

GIVUS/ORT Incident Update: Last Tuesday (5/26) night at ~9:51pm EDT, the Russian GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the Russian SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System failed, and the RS (Russian Segment) switched to using U.S. RGA-2 (Rate Gyro Assembly 2) for providing raw data. After TsUP then activated the ORT medium accuracy rate meter as hot backup, it also failed about 80 minutes later. This proved to be a nominal response to a sub-threshold reading of CMG (control moment gyro) rates, i.e., a “zero-rate” reading of the CMGs not exhibiting much of a rate change for ~5 min. TsUP inhibited the “zero rate” control software and restarted the ORT in hot backup mode (until it was turned off about 10 hrs later). With one of its four gyros out (cause TBD), GIVUS continues to operate nominally on three lanes as primary RS source for attitude rates. With GIVUS running nominally, RGA-2 was deactivated after ~8 hrs of operation to preserve its limited lifetime. With one channel out, GIVUS can still provide three-axis rate information on three gyros. USOS is providing its own rate and attitude data, using the RS data for comparison. TsUP/Moscow this morning: “We have observed similar situations in past and are currently pursuing root cause determination.”

Soyuz TMA-15/19S Flight Plan Overview:
· Flight Day 1:
Launch to Orbit, ~9 min in duration; auto deployment of solar arrays & antennas; pressurization of prop tanks and filling of Soyuz manifolds; docking probe extended; leak check by crew of BO & SA modules; KURS self tests; test of BDUS angular rate sensors; attitude established (OSK/LVLH); crew opens BO-SA hatch, ingresses BO and doffs Sokol suits; test of RUO rotational hand controller; Soyuz put in ISK (sun spinning/«barbecue») mode; data for DV1 & DV2 burns uplinked; SOA air purification system activated in BO and deactivated in SA; DV1 burn; DV2 burn; Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew clean & dry Sokols; crew sleep.
· Flight Day 2:
Post-sleep activities; BO workstation prepared; data for DV3 burn uplinked; crew tests RUO-2 & RUD-2 rotational and translational hand controllers; DV3 attitude established by crew; DV3 burn executed (~7:59am); Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew swaps CO2 filters in BO; crew sleep.
· Flight Day 3:
Post-sleep activities; DV4 (~6:36am); KURS-A heaters activated (~7:00am); data for automated rendezvous uplinked; crew dons Sokols; SOA deactivated in BO and activated in SA; crew ingresses SA, closes BO-SA hatch and dons harnesses for docking; DV5 burn (~7:20:34am) automated rendezvous & docking at FGB nadir port via KURS-P in ISS & KURS-A in Soyuz; docking; pressure equalized between Soyuz and ISS; crew transfers.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Betsiboka River Delta, Madagascar (ISS had a nadir pass over this delta; some minor cloud cover may have been present. The delta is easily recognized on the landscape due to its load of red sediments. Overlapping, nadir viewing frames of the delta were requested), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (weather was predicted to be clear over the Toshka Lakes. Nadir viewing imagery along the lake shorelines was requested for comparison with previous images to assess change in water levels), Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan (light cloud cover was predicted over the Cosmodrome at the time of the overpass. ISS passed directly over the target. Recommended were overlapping, nadir-viewing frames as the station approached, passed over, and departed the target area to ensure capturing imagery of the target), Istanbul, Turkey (light cloud cover may be present over Istanbul at the time of your overpass. This famous megacity is the only one situated on two continents [Europe and Asia]. Overlapping nadir-viewing frames, taken along track, were requested as ISS passed over the metropolitan area), and Merida, Mexico [Yucatan Peninsula], (some light cloud cover may have been present at the time of the overpass. Looking to the left of track for this capital city of the state of Yucatan. General context photography was requested for use with higher resolution imagery).

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, 8:19am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 349.9 km
Apogee height — 356.4 km
Perigee height — 343.4 km
Period — 91.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009654
Solar Beta Angle — 2.3 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 63 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60285

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir, ~8:36am)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/03/09 — Orlan Suited Dry-Run (training)
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD (7:12am)
06/29/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (12:18am EDT, KSC)
07/17/09 — Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A — MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch — tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
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 Proton — tentative
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/XX/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A — Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A — MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
03/05/10 — Progress 38P launch
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 — ICC-VLD, MRM-1 — tentative
04/30/10 — Progress 39P launch
05/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress 40P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 — ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
07/30/10 — Progress 41P launch
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/30/10 — Progress 42P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 — Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA — on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.