Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 6, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 August 2009

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

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Bob Thirsk configured the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM with its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph) and then started data recording as Subject for his third on-board session, with FE-5 DeWinne acting as Operator and assistant to speed up Holter preparation ops. The ECG is being recorded for 24 hrs.

In the RS (Russian Segment), work continued on the SKV1 air conditioner which has been nonfunctional since early 2007 after replacement of the BTA heat exchanger assembly. Today, after disconnecting the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system, CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko removed the BTA and replaced it with a new spare. The Khladon-218 (Freon) coolant of the SKV1 was vented to space yesterday and the vent closed out afterwards. After the R&R, Padalka reconnected the BITS2-12. [If the R&R proves successful, the SM (Service Module) will have regained redundancy on air cooling.]

Afterwards, Romanenko supported the activation of the Elektron oxygen generator at 24 amps by the ground by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had been turned off for the SKV1 BTA R&R since the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control system mode were deactivated for this activity.]

FE-1 Mike Barratt spent several hours making preparations in Node-1 for tomorrow’s relocation of the PMA-3 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 3) to the Node-1 port, specifically –

  • Clearing out Node-1 stowage by temporarily relocating cargo,
  • Testing the Node-1 nadir hatch mechanism,
  • Unlatching the Node-1 port hatch, and
  • Using a flashlight to verify the Node-1 nadir window & external window cover are clear with no major scratches/damage and the PMA target assembly mirror is visible and clearly seen through the window, plus photo documenting any off-nominal observations [”Window cover and window look good, clean with no defects. Target assembly mirror clearly seen, appears clean and free of defects.”]

On the PMA-3, Barratt –

  • Set up the PCA (Pressure Control Assembly) for depressurizing the PMA,
  • Initiated the depressurization process,
  • Conducted pressure checks for leaks during the process, and
  • Terminated the ACS (Atmosphere Control & Supply) leak check.

In preparation for Node-3 arrival, the FE-1 removed the THC IMV (Temperature & Humidity Control Intermodule Ventilation Assembly) valve D in Node-1.

The 6-person crew conducted their first regular fire drill/OBT (on-board training), a mandatory periodic one-hour exercise (including subsequent 15-min ground debrief conference). The drill should be performed every 2.5 months but no later than one month prior to end of increment. [Primary goal of this Russian-led interactive exercise is to maintain crew skills in responding to a fire and to provide the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible. The drill is always conducted with the support of all MCCs (TsUP-Moscow, MCC-Houston, COL-CC, SSIPC/Tsukuba) in close coordination. It should be performed every 2.5 months, but not later than 1 month prior to end of Increment. OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) browse through RS laptop and the Signal-VM fire detection system displays as well as the automated software (algorithms) response to the fire event; (c) practice crew communication necessary to perform emergency FRPs; (d) ensure familiarization with support equipment (CSA-CP compound specific analyzer-combustion products, PBAs portable breathing assemblies, PFE/OSP-4 portable fire extinguishers, and IPK-1M gas masks to be used for fire suppression). These exercises do not actually use any fire equipment but simulate such actions with comm channels, PBAs, CSA-CP and laptop displays to the maximum extent possible. The Emergency Procedures OBT concluded with a 15-min. debrief with Russian/U.S. ground specialists at ~10:30am EDT via S-band.]

After turning on the Russian RS2 laptop, FE-3 Romanenko loaded new Version 8.03 software images of the TsVM Central & TVM Terminal Computer Systems from flash card via the RS2 laptop onto the KTsP1 Central Post Computer 1 (CPC-1). Afterwards, RS2 was turned off again.

Preparatory to the PMA-3 relocation tomorrow, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne reviewed updated POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) material for the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System).

Working with FE-2 Kopra, Thirsk then released the SSRMS from MBS PDGF-1 (Mobile Base System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 1) and maneuvered it the PMA-3 pre-grapple position.

The FE-5 hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station) for video coverage of the PMA-3 relocation with the SSRMS cameras.

Bob Thirsk continued replenishing the Icepacs in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) by inserting two more +4degC Icepac belts into MELFI. [The Icepacs were originally removed as part of 2J/A packing. Nine additional activities spaced at least 24 hours apart are being planned over the next two weeks, each time inserting two Icepac belts (to prevent temperature increase inside the MELFI.]

CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko each spent an hour on the TVIS treadmill for the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, using the TVIS in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmembers worked out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace.]

In the US A/L (Airlock), Tim Kopra terminated the regeneration process on two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters (#0019 & #0020) from the last EVAs and initiated it on two other used canisters (#0016 & 0021) in the “bakeout” oven.

Tim had another hour to himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Frank DeWinne filled out his 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.]

Bob Thirsk conducted a session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows) by logging in on the MEC laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. It was Bob’s 3rd session. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR’s, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory – Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

The FE-4 also completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Collapsible 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.

Following up on his VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) session on 8/2 with the LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1 surface sampling experiment, Mike Barratt took documentary photographs of the LOCAD incubation media slides.

Roman terminated the fresh water transfer from the Progress 34P cargo ship to the SM Rodnik BV2 tank which he started yesterday. [SM Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 each contain ~210 L of potable water.]

Frank DeWinne went around powering down all PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops not being used.

DeWinne & Thirsk undertook the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the 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.

Frank prepared a guide label for directing future crews to route ARED cable arm ropes under instead of over the rope guide, and subsequently replaced both ARED cable arm ropes.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), the FE-5 initiated a test of the JAXA PLT MRDL (Payload Laptop Terminal Medium Rate Data Link) by activating the software and MAC (Media Access Control) address exchanging soft start.

DeWinne also performed the weekly “T+2d” inflight microbiology analyses for the potable water samples collected on 8/4 for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and the SRV-K Warm tap. [In-flight sample analysis was performed with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit/Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).]

Mike & Tim worked in the A/L, resizing and preparing EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) spacesuits for STS-128/17A. [EMU 3005 was resized for the new FE-2 Stott, EMU 3011, planned for backup use only, was configured for loop scrub & EMU checkout.]

Roman did 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).

The FE-3 also 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 crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), ARED (FE-1, FE-2, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3).

Later, Mike transferred the exercise data files 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).

False Onboard Fire Alarm Events: Several FGB fire & smoke C&W (caution & warning) false alarms were annunciated yesterday. FGB signatures led to multiple systems shutdowns in the RS (Russian Segment) for approximately 30 minutes. This morning, systems were back to nominal; teams are analyzing the data. It is believed this was not related specifically to the new CCS (Command & Control System) R8 software upgrade but was indirectly caused due to the period of time with loss of sync between the RS and USOS MDMs I(Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computers). The FGB smoke detector capability currently has the auto response disabled for approximately the next 24 hours to allow specialists to evaluate the telemetry data and ensure that there are no additional anomalies. FGB smoke detectors are currently working in the telemetry mode and either the ground or crew can initiate the auto response. In addition, smoke detector capability is available in the SM and Node-1.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/07/09 — PMA-3 relocation to Node-1 Port (~7:35am EDT)
08/25/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~1:36am 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.