Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 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 performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:15pm EST. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (last time: 1/8-9).]

After doing Part 1 on 1/27, FE-2 Magnus conducted Part 2 of the new series of runs (#43 – #49) of the experiment InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), configuring the payload equipment and video camera at the MSG, activating the latter via its A31p laptop and performed the next three runs (#44, #45, #46) of seven. Part 3 is scheduled for Mike Fincke on 2/2. [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 certain strength and frequencies. For the new runs, the crew set up CA2-002, VA-007 (Vial Assembly 7), connected a fiber optics cable with its light guide tool to the CA, and inserted video tapes.]

Fincke & Lonchakov took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop application. It was Mike’s & Yuri’s third O-OHA test; Sandra Magnus had her third test on 1/9. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Working in the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), the FE-2 made preparations for the SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)-controlled DomeGene experiment by setting up the CB (Clean Bench), pulling out its operations chamber. [DomeGene deals with the culturing of two kinds of amphibian cultured cell lines: an A-6 cell line derived from a kidney and an A-8 cell line derived from a liver. They show different types of cell differentiation and morphogenesis. While they are growing in microgravity, researchers at SSIPC observe the shape and state of the cells, then examine the known and unknown gene expression by DNA array assay using fixed and frozen recovery samples.]

Also in the JPM, Magnus installed humidifiers in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) Incubator Units in preparation of JAXA’s RadGene experiment starting on 2/3. [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.]

The FE-1 performed the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways, including the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)–PrK–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, FGB GA–Node-1.

Using the BKGA/Gas Analyzer Calibration Assembly and IGZ/Analyzer Status Indicator (constituent meter), Lonchakov later calibrated and tested the IK0501 gas analyzer (GA) of the SM SOGS (Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System) in the SM (Service Module). [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed.]

In the Lab, CDR Fincke assisted the ground’s remotely starting the cooling cycle on its new GLACIER hardware by removing desiccant packs from the freezer. [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).]

In the Soyuz TMA-13/17S spacecraft, docked at the FGB nadir port, Lonchakov powered down the spacecraft’s gas analyzer (GA) which he activated a few days ago, a periodic procedure to monitor the atmosphere of the CRV (Crew Return Vehicle).

The CDR & FE-1 each had ~3 hrs set aside for transferring and loading discarded equipment & trash on the Progress M-01M/31P, to be jettisoned and deorbited on 2/9.

FE-2 Magnus performed the regular periodic US WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling. [After first setting up the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) by connecting its power cable to the UOP1 J3 outlet panel and hooking up its primed WPA (Water Processing Assembly) water sample hose to the WRS Rack 1, Sandy collected samples from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Hot needle outlet for subsequent inflight processing with the TOCA plus WMK (Water Microbiology Kit) with MCD (Microbial Capture Device) and CDB (Coliform Detection Bag). After the analyses, the usual water reclamation from the sample bags via an absorbing towel (to be dried by airing) and data recording (from TOCA USB drive into the SSC7 laptop) concluded the activities. WRS sampling & checkouts are being conducted for 90 days, i.e., every 4 days: WRS water hose (TOCA inflight analysis) & microbial bag sample (inflight bacterial visual enumeration plus archival for return on 15A), every 8 days: an archival water sample (return on 15A), and monthly: a TOCA bag sample from PWD (tested inflight).]

Sandy filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), her seventh, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). Mike Fincke’s fourth FFQ activity is still on his “job jar” task list. [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.]

In the SM, Lonchakov 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.]

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).

On the new ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) in Node-1, which is now being used for regular anaerobic exercising, Mike Fincke performed an inspection of the VIS (Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) system rails and rollers.

The CDR also deinstalled, removed and stowed the IRED (Interim RED), now no longer required from its temporary contingency location in Node-2.

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

Mike & Sandy spent ~15 min on a review of descriptive material for the Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa ("bracelet/questionnaire") test procedure, scheduled on 2/2. [At their choice, the crewmembers may evaluate a number of "bracelet" cuffs for their usefulness in suppressing the adverse effects of micro-G for the "newcomer" aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness, if there are such indications. The "bracelets" are compression cuffs attached to a belt and worn on the upper thighs over the coveralls, intended as countermeasures against the initial micro-G effects of blood filling (vascularity) in the upper torso (heaviness and blood pulsation in the head), facial puffiness, nasal stuffiness, painful eye movement, and vestibular disorders (dizziness, nausea, vomiting). They create artificial blood accumulation in the upper thirds of the thighs, causing some of the circulating blood volume to relocate from the upper body to the lower extremities, thereby (hopefully) correcting the adverse hemodynamic effect of micro-G and thus improving the crewmember’s working capability. The actual compression cuff in the Braslet units is a combination of alternating multi-layer tensile and non-tensile elements, whose distension by body movements creates elastic forces that produce the necessary pressure on the body surface. The questionnaire lists bracelet types, days worn, cuff tension used, wearing method (on body or over clothing), thigh cuff positioning, etc.]

At ~3:50am EST, 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 ~5:15am, Yuri had his periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~5:35am, Yuri & Mike linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~8:08am, Mike powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 8:13am conducted a ham radio exchange with students at Ecole & Collège Jean XXIII in Pamiers, France. The school, named after the 1960 Pope, with about 220 children in the primary school and 300 in the secondary school, is situated in Pamiers, in the department of the Ariège, at the foot of the Pyrenees in the south-west of France. Pamiers counts around 15,000 inhabitants: it’s the home town of the musician Gabriel FAURE. Questions to Mike Fincke were uplinked beforehand. [“Is it the first time you have been in space?”; “How was your trip from the Earth to the space station? How long did it take?”; “How many astronauts are there in the shuttle?”; “How long have you been an astronaut?”; “When you were a child, did you want to be an astronaut?”; “How long do you have to stay in space?”; “Do you have pets?”; “Does the Earth look beautiful from space?”]

At ~3:15pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

Working from his discretionary “time permitting” task list, the FE-1 conducted 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).]

WRM Update: An updated WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked yesterday for the crew’s reference, updated with the latest water audit. [The new card (18-0006K) lists 41 CWCs (~1,245.4 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (665.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 110.6 L currently off-limits, filled from WPA (Water Processor Assembly) pending sample analysis on the ground), potable water (530.4 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (0.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (49.7 L, including the new CWC-I with 3 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.]

WHC Dose Pump Update: Yesterday’s troubleshooting by Sandy of the Waste & Hygiene Compartment Dose Pump (also known as DKiV/Pre-Treat & Water Pump) in an attempt to clear the “Check Dose Pump” LED (light-emitting diode) indicator, was successful. Magnus flushed 300ml of water through the flush pump separator via the urine funnel with deiodinated water to dilute a high concentration of pre-treat concentration inside the Pump Separator with the dose pump activated. The action solved the problem: the LED indication went off.

DC-1 Vestibule Hatch Test Update: The functionality test of the DC-1 hatch by Yuri Lonchakov yesterday (because of the high negative pressure experienced during RS EVA-21) was successful. All hatch operations were nominal and performed as expected.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Betsiboka River Delta, Madagascar (the current morphology of this delta is the result of upstream deforestation following World War II. Forests were cleared as the population of Madagascar increased, releasing large amounts of sediment into the estuary. These sediments, reworked by river and tidal forces, have produced the current group of islands in the delta. Nadir views of the delta, taken along track, were requested for comparison with historical imagery), and Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (weather was predicted to be clear over the Toshka Lakes. General context imagery of the Lakes was requested to supplement other detailed imagery of the region).

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, 8:20am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 356.9 km
Apogee height — 362.2 km
Perigee height — 351.6 km
Period — 91.68 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007905
Solar Beta Angle — -26.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 55 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 58430

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/02/09 — IMMT Go/No-Go on 2/4 Reboost
02/04/09 — ISS Reboost (~2:50am EST), SM dual ME propulsion
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.