Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 3, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 February 2009
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

CDR Fincke cleaned up after yesterday’s new session of the experiment InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions), first activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), then removing and stowing the experiment hardware and video equipment, and later powering the MSG down again. [InSPACE, conducted in 2006 by Jeff Williams on Increment 13 and in 2007 by Peggy Whitson on Increment 16, obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The dispersed particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields of different strength (amps) and frequency (Hertz) from run to run. For the new runs, Mike has used CA2-002, VA-007 (Vial Assembly 7), connected a fiber optics cable with its light guide tool to the CA, and inserted video tapes.]

FE-1 Lonchakov had ~5 hrs of major maintenance time reserved for removing and replacing PTsB Central Processor Subsystem (Monoblock TA968MA) components of the BITS2-12 (Onboard Telemetry Measurement System) in the SM (Service Module). [BITS is the primary telemetry downlink path for both FGB and SM parameters, designed to collect, record and transmit measurement data to the ground concerning the operation of all RS onboard systems, science hardware, and data concerning the crew’s health status. BITS also processes and relays to the ground the digital data arrays formed by various science hardware and the BVS (Onboard Computer System). The PTsB TA968MA is the primary device that forms the BITS operating modes.]

In JAXA’s Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-2 Magnus supported SSIPC/Tsukuba (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)’s first operation with the RadGene experiment. Incubation in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) will then proceed for the next 7 days without crew intervention. [Supportive steps included removing MEUs (Measurement Experiment Units) from the CBEF Micro-G Incubator, preparing RadGene and LOH samples from MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS), installing CBHs (Culture Bag Holders) in the MEUs, returning the MEUs into the CBEF Micro-G Incubator and closing out the payload in the SAIBO. 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, is frozen on Earth in plastic bags. After the launch in the freezer, the cells are kept frozen in MELFI, then defrosted and cultivated using CBEF at 37 degC for 7 days, then frozen again up to recovery. After recovery, cells are analyzed for radiation effects with microgravity with DNA array assay and LOH mutation assay.]

Sandy Magnus also continued her support of the ongoing commissioning of the FCF CIR (Fluids & Combustion Facility/Combustion Integrated Rack). [Ground-commanded work today focused on the begin of the 8-hr motor and fuel reservoir calibration, which Magnus supported by turning off the CIR power switch, opening the upper FCF doors, open N2 bottle valves on CIRE Manifolds #1 & #2 and turning the rack on for ground commanding. Motor & fuel reservoir calibration activities will be completed tomorrow.]

The CDR & FE-2 conducted a 2-hr review of 15A EVA tasks and EVA Consumables projections, followed by a 30 min teleconference with ground specialists to discuss particulars.
[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 Nadir/3B Zenith SABB, remove SSU/ECU cover;
  • EVA-2 (FD7): P6 Battery Prep, P3 Nadir UCCAS; S3 Outboard/Zenith PAS, AFPR Retrieval, etc.
  • EVA-3 (FD9): SPDM Cover Assembly, CETA Cart Relocation, LEE B Repair, S1 Tasks, S01A_D RPCM R&R, P11A_D RPCM R&R, etc.;
  • EVA-4 (FD11): Radiator Imaging, JEM GPS Antenna B Install, Z1 Patch Panel, S3 Task setup, CP1 WETA, S3 Outboard Nadir/Inboard Zenith PAS, etc.

Get-aheads include: S6 MMOD Shield Bolt Torque Release, Nadir/Inboard PAS Deploy, Return Adj Tether to Port Z1 TB, Grounding Sleeve Install, SSPTS Node-1 FWD, SSPTS Lab FWD, SSPTS PMA-2 Port, SSPTS PMA-2 Starboard, MBS Cables, Channel 1/4 CR 8018 Cable, JEM RMS Grounding Tabs.]

Later, Fincke spent ~20 min in the US Airlock to start preparations of its E/L (Equipment Lock) section and equipment for the 15A spacewalks.

The FE-1 completed the periodic data collection on the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, copying data from its built-in control computer to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [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 payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-2 Magnus “scavenged” two locking bolts from the AVM (Anti Vibration Mount) bracket of the ECLSS IRFA (Intermodular Ventilation Return Fan) which she had removed on 1/8. She then installed the bolts on the CWSA (Condensate Water Separator Assembly) and removed & replaced the DM (Desiccant Module).

Starting a new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian segment) ventilation systems, Mike Fincke performed a 1h15m inspection and cleaning of Group A ventilator fans and grilles in the SM.

The FE-1 performed 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.]

Yuri also 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).

Sandy performed 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).

The crewmembers had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~7:55am, Yuri at ~9:25am, Sandy at ~11:00am EST.

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

At ~12:35pm EST, the station residents conducted an interactive PAO/Educational TV exchange with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ, via the G1 video camcorder with MPC (Multipurpose Converter) and IPU (Image Processing Unit).

ISS Reboost Update: The IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) agreed this morning to a Russian proposal to postpone the reboosts that were planned for tomorrow (2/4) and Saturday (2/7). Additional reboost may not be necessary if the Soyuz launch is delayed by one day (landing would be delayed by 2 days & Soyuz docked operations increased by 1 day). May need a reboost in the March timeframe. In the meantime, SM jets (not ME engines) will be used in the case of a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) if necessary.

PWD Microbial Growth Update: According to the recent microbial counts, the 1-L iodinated flushes on the Potable Water Dispenser have not significantly reduced the microbial content on the ambient water line. Thus both of the 1-L and 500 mL flushes will be discontinued until further notice. However, test samples will continue on a regular basis. The PWD hot water can still be used for non-oral hygiene activities. [Currently, the under-dispensing behavior is believed to be attributed to air contained in the water. Investigations are still on-going to verify if this is the true cause of under-dispensing and to determine the source of the microbial growth and some potential options to remediate growth.]

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:00am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.7 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 351.3 km
Period — 91.68 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008105
Solar Beta Angle — -44.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 40 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58492

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)
03/26/09 — 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.