Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 May 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
May 4, 2011
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 May 2011

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

Upon wake-up, FE-2 Borisenko performed the regular daily check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator. [Maxim Suraev installed these filters on 10/19/09 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). Andrey inspects the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

In preparation for her upcoming ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) ambulatory monitoring operations, FE-6 Coleman set up and started charging of the first of four Makita power tool batteries. The others were charged successively in turn. [The session will be conducted by Cady later this week.]

While FE-3 Garan reviewed instructional material for his first session with the CFE (Capillary Flow Experiments) science suite, Coleman prepared the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) for CFE & assisted Ron in setting up the CFE hardware, including securing it on the MWA (work surface only) and positioning the HD camcorder for recording the subsequent activities.

Ron Garan then had about 2 hrs set aside for his first research session with the CFE ICF2 (Interior Corner Flow 2) Compressed Bubble experiment, the 6th CFE session aboard ISS, first activating the hardware including the HD (high definition) camcorder, in the MWA in the US Lab, then running the fluid test operations and later tearing the equipment down and putting it back in stowage with MWA and camcorder. [Certain bubble phenomenas observed in earlier runs require further testing to better determine what is happening. CFE has applications to the management of liquid fuels, cryogens, water-based solutions and thermal fluids in spacecraft systems. ICF is one of three CFE experiments, the others being Vane Gap (VG) and Contact Line (CL). Each of the CFE experiments is represented with two unique experimental units (1,2), all of which use similar fluid-injection hardware, have simple and similarly sized test chambers, and rely solely on video for highly quantitative data. Silicone oil is the fluid used for all the tests, with different viscosities depending on the unit. Differences between units are primarily fluid properties, wetting conditions, and test cell cross section.]

Afterwards, Ron turned on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) for downlinking the CFE ICF2 recording and deactivated it after about 3h5m.

Dmitri Kondratyev, Alex Samokutyayev & Andrey Borisenko joined up for an hour of working on the Russian experimental OBR-5 (Obrazovanie-5, Education 5) project VELIKOE NACHALO (“Great Beginning”), addressing uplinked questions and comments from the Russian public on matters concerning human space flight. [Goal of this experiment is to develop a method to promote the accomplishments of national piloted cosmonautics using digital IT (information technology), for which RSC Energia has created a “Planet Korolev” website ( ). The public inputs were/are the results of a questionnaire on this website. One interesting comment was the suggestion to create an Internet portal on which all still living participants of the first human space flight post their recollections. “This it is must to our descendants.”]

Cady Coleman performed maintenance in Node-3, cleaning the Fwd Stbd IMV (Forward Starboard Intermodular Ventilation) fan inlet. [The 2h20m activity involved closeout panel removal/replacement, removing FOD (Foreign Object/Debris) from inlet flow straightener, inlet & outlet silencer, and cleaning the midbay inlet grills.]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Cady afterwards worked on the VCU (Video Signal Converter Unit), checking out the unit’s interface cabling. [Interface Cable #1 connected the G1 camcorder with the VCU Interface Box, the #2 cable the latter with the J77 video output plug at the UIP (Utility Interface Panel, “Z-Panel”) of the ISPR (International Standard Payload Rack) at F5. The checkouts were conducted with the RLT 3 (Robotics Laptop Terminal 3) and its application software for cable #2, and by inspection of the video image from the G1 camcorder for cable #1. Afterwards, the equipment was deactivated torn down and closed out.]

In the US Lab, FE-3 Garan serviced the VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor) by replacing the empty gas supply ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) in the VCAM with a fresh gas supply module (#005), shutting the access door, re-attaching the acoustic blanket, opening Helium valve #1 two full turns and turning VCAM on again. [The JPL-developed VCAM identifies gases that are present in minute quantities in the ISS breathing air that could be harmful to crew health. If successful, instruments like VCAM could accompany crewmembers during long-duration exploration missions. Similar to the earlier employed VOA (Volatile Organic Analyzer), VCAM can provide a means for monitoring the air within enclosed environments, using a miniature preconcentrator, GC (gas chromatograph), and mass spectrometer for unbiased detection of a large number of organic species. VCAM’s software can identify whether the chemicals are on a targeted list of hazardous compounds and their concentration. A VCAM calibration gas is used periodically to check how the instrument’s components are actually performing. The raw data, calibration data, and analysis results are all sent to the ground for further assessment to validate the instrument’s detection, identification, and quantification results.]

In the Kibo JPM, Ron affixed Sharpie-marked direction labels at the forward & aft window shutter hand wheels to prevent over-rotating the shutter controls, which could cause hardware damage. [The old Sharpie-markings have disappeared (rubbed off).]

Andrey Borisenko conducted the routine verification of yesterday’s automatic refresh of the IUS AntiVirus program on the Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2. [Regularly on Mondays, automatic virus definition file updates are verified on the RSS2, RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 network laptops, while the non-networked laptops RSE-Med & RSE1 are manually updated. Antivirus scans are then started & monitored on RSS2 & RSE-Med. Results of the scans on RSS1, RSK1-T61p, RSK2 & RSE1 are verified on Tuesdays. Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday.]

Afterwards, Andrey reloaded the RSE-Med laptop, one of the Russian non-network computers, with Vers. 1.6 software to allow restoration of the Symantec-antivirus application. FE-3 then transferred the new virus definition file also to the network machines RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2.

Samokutyayev set up and ran another session with the Russian BTKh-43 KONSTANTA (#2) biotech payload with Cassettes 1-4, supported by ground specialist tagup. [BTKh-43, comprising the Recomb-K hybridizer bioreactor plus photo & video equipment with two SPR-1 portable lights, studies potential effects of spaceflight factors and their nature on the activity of a model enzyme relative to a specific substrate (bioreactors are specialized hardware for growing, cells, tissues, and microorganisms).]

Later, Sasha serviced the biotech BTKh-26 KASKAD (Cascade) payload, taking the bioreactor from the TBU-V (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat V) thermostatic container (+29degC) in the MRM1 module, mixing it in the KT container in the DC1 and placed it back in the TBU-V. [KASKAD investigates cell cultivation of microorganisms, animals and human in microgravity to obtain concentrated biomass (emulsion) with a high content of cells, providing the increased output of target BAS (bioactive substances). The BIOEMULSIYA science hardware includes a closed-type autonomous bioreactor in a bag, the KT thermostat (temperature-controlled)-body with BUP-06 actuator control unit in DC1 and the onboard KRIOGEM-03 cooler in the SM (Service Module).]

Working on the RSS2 laptop, Kondratyev cleared all data files of the high-speed RSPI Radio Data Transmission System from their storage folders.

Shortly before sleeptime, Borisenko is to transfer the Russian biotech BTKh-40/BIF payload from its TBU (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat) temperature-controlled container (+39 degC) in the DC1 to the KRIOGEM-03 cooler (+4 degC), deactivate the TBU and take documentary photography with the NIKON D2X w/flash.

Andrey conducted 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 filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

FE-3 also took care of 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).

Paolo Nespoli & Ron Garan spent several hours on more ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo operations. [Today’s activities mainly consisted of loading trash on ATV & packing it on rack bay P2, as well as starting to unpack items from rack bay S1, including trashing packing material. More cargo ops are scheduled tomorrow and on Friday.]

At ~2:15pm, Paolo conducted a tagup with MCC-Houston to debrief on today’s ATV cargo transfers.

Working on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser, Ron disengaged its flywheels to reduce the chance of damage. [Due to a technical issue seen on ARED ground units, there is a risk of hardware damage or crew injury if the flywheels are engaged. Without them, crew exercises may feel slightly different but remain fully effective.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR, FE-2).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Tashkent, Uzbekistan (the capital city of Uzbekistan is located on a broad, agricultural plain west of the Altai Mountains and just north of the Chirchik River. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in fair weather for this target with its approach from the SW. At this time, as the crew tracked northeastward up the valley of the Chirchik, they were to look near-nadir for this sprawling urban area of well over 2 million, trying for an update to this contextual view), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (this small, 2 km in diameter, impact structure is located in the Libyan Desert near the Egyptian border. The crew had a clear-weather, nadir-viewing pass over this low-contrast feature in midday light. Although the circular structure of the crater is distinctive amongst the nearby ridges and hills, they may not have been able to spot it. It was suggested to them to begin to take overlapping nadir-viewing mapping frames as they approached the target area – and continuing as they passed over – to obtain detailed imagery of the crater), and Sierra el Tigre (on this clear, early afternoon pass, as ISS tracked northeastward over northern Mexico, the crew was to begin looking for isolated mountain ranges marked by darker vegetation in contrast to the desert terrain of the Sonoran Desert. These features are known as “sky islands” because of their distinct flora/fauna and their isolation from similar areas. The Sierra el Tigre are a rugged, saucer-shaped, range of mountains situated in the northeastern part of the state of Sonora Mexico east of the valley containing the General Lazaro Cardenas Reservoir. CEO researchers are seeking a set of detailed, overlapped mapping views of this small target and its immediate surroundings).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
TBD — STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS) (not earlier than 5/10)
TBD — STS-134/Endeavour docking
TBD — STS-134/Endeavour undocking
TBD — STS-134/Endeavour landing (KSC)
05/23/11 – Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
————–Three-crew operations————-
06/07/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/09/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/xx/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” undock (SM aft)
06/21/11 — Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 — Progress M-11M/43P docking (SM aft)
06/28/11 — STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) ~3:30pm EDT NET
06/30/11 — STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) NET
07/27/11 – Russian EVA #29
08/29/11 — Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/25/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 — Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/05/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 — Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/18/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/02/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.