Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 July 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
July 6, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6  July 2011

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

CDR Borisenko & FE-1 Samokutyayev both started the day with their 3rd MBI-24 “SPRUT-2” (“Squid-2”) onboard test, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity, along with PZEh-MO-8 body mass measurement using the IM device. [Supported by the RSE-Med A31p laptop with new software (Vers. 1.6) in the SM, the test uses the Profilaktika kit, with data recorded on PCMCIA memory cards, along with the crewmember’s body mass values and earlier recorded MO-10 Hematocrit value, but skipping “fat fold” measurements. Experiment requisites are the Sprut securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs), and RSS-Med for control and data storage. The “Pinguin” suit or Braslet-M cuffs, if worn, have to be taken off first. Electrode measurements are recorded at complete rest and relaxed body position. The actual recording takes 3-5 minutes, during which the patient has to remain at complete rest.]

With the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) working nominally, FE-3 Garan today re-integrated it with the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) which had failed last Saturday (7/2). [For the UPA integration, Ron accessed the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System 2), closed the MV1 (Manual Valve 1) temporarily and closed out the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) access panel. The pre-treated urine T-valve was then set to “WHC” by rotating a plunger, and the WHC was connected (integrated) with the UPA. The WHC failure on 7/2 was a leak of pre-treat/urine on the WHC pump separator. The crew cleaned up ~0.5 liters and replaced the pump separator with the onboard spare. This system experienced a similar leak on the previous pump separator in January 2011. Following the replacement, the WHC was put back in operation and configured for internal EDV-U container. Today’s work reconfigured it with the UPA/WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly). Later, Ron opened the MV1 handle and closed out WRS-2 for RFTA activity.]

Afterwards, Garan completed the IFM (Inflight Maintenance) work on the Lab MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer) removal & replacement by installing the ER1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) drawer, which had posed a problem on 7/1, and reconnecting its utilities. [The old MSA (Mass Spectrometer Assembly) was removed on 7/1. For the R&R, Ron first had to remove the Lab MCA Drawer for which the D6 rack had to be rotated down (away from the wall). To gain access to the MSA, the VGA (Verification Gas Assembly) also had to be taken out temporarily. The failed spectrometer was then prepacked for return; the new MSA and the VGA were installed successfully yesterday.]

FE-4 Volkov set up and activated the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, using it today to study how the direction of micro-accelerations, relative position and temperature gradient are affecting the sensor. Tomorrow, the experiment will be repeated in the DC1. [During the day, Sergei performed stepwise sequential rotation of the sensor, in -45 deg increments, around its vertical Z-axis, with the X- & Y-axes of sensitivity of the micro-acceleration sensor made a full turn of 360 deg. The measurement time at each position sensor was to be at least 30 minutes. The procedure was photo-documented.]

Later, Volkov replaced 3 Russian IPK-1M personal protection gas masks (#001, #011, #130) in the FGB with new Progress-delivered IPK units (#002, #003, #004).

FE-6 Fossum unstowed the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure during Spaceflight) Actiwatch used by Cady Coleman and downloaded its accumulated data to the PC1 laptop in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory). [The also scheduled initialization of a new Actiwatch for first use was deferred.]

FE-5 Furukawa had another 3 hrs set aside for continuing prepacking and staging ULF7 RTG (Return to Ground) cargo. He was joined later by Mike who had ~50 min set aside for prepacking and at ~1:20pm conducted a debrief tagup with ground specialists. [Out of the 8 hrs for ULF7 prepacking, only 4h 10m now remain to be done.]

In preparation for the new MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator) hardware arriving on ULF7, Satoshi worked on ER1 to remove the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) and AQM (Air Quality Monitor) from the rack front, swap locker D2 at loc O2, including contents, with vent closeout panels from D1 and reattach PPFS and AQM to rack front. [This activity was deferred on 6/28 because of the Conjunction Alert.]

Afterwards, Satoshi conducted his next session with the CsPINs 2 (Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber 2) experiment. [After the 24 hrs incubation of 2 CsPINs Chamber A sample units in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) 1G IU (Incubator Unit) started yesterday, the samples were today incubated for 2 hrs in the Micro-G IU, then fixated (while being documented with macro-photography with flash) in KTFs (Kennedy Fixation Tubes) with AAE (Acetic Acid Ethanol) from MELFI 2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2) at +2 degC and returned to the freezer. Background: CsPINs studies the phenomenon of tropism, i.e., the growth or turning movement of a biological organism, usually a plant, in response to an environmental stimulus. Specifically focusing on gravity, the new JAXA experiment investigates how plants sense gravity as an environmental signal and use it for governing their morphology and growth orientation. CsPINs plays an important role in the regulation of gravity-dependent redistribution of auxin (a class of plant hormones) and thereby controls gravimorphogenesis (peg formation) in cucumber (Cucmis sativus L.) seedlings. Gravitropism also interferes with hydrotropism in cucumber roots, in which the dynamism of these facilitators may also play a role. Cucumber (Cucmis sativus) seedlings are used to analyze the effect of gravity on the expressions of CsPINs and unravel their contributions to peg formation. Hydrotropism is differentiated from gravitropism in roots, and the expressions of CsPINs are compared to determine the interacting mechanism between the two tropisms.]

CDR Borisenko performed his 4th session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop for the 2h 20m activity. [Sergei Volkov assisted Andrey in donning the electrode cap, preparing his head for the electrodes, and applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Luescher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Luescher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person’s psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

The CDR also conducted a hardware test on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, checking the operation of the greenhouse in Cultivation mode (no water feed to the root modules & no seed planting), using the RSK2 T61p laptop instead of the RSE-Med laptop, supported by ground specialist tagup. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Borisenko & Samokutyayev each completed another data collection session for the psychological program MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”), accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. It was Andrey’s 6th, Sasha’s 7th onboard session with MBI-16. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

FE-1 prepared the high-speed RSPI Radio Data Transmission System for downlinking accumulated Uragan payload data from the RSS2 laptop.

Sasha also completed the regular transfer of US condensate water from CWCs #1079 (or #1072) to the RS (Russian Segment) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, then filling the designated KOV EDV container. [Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Continuing the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, Sergei Volkov cleaned “Group B” fan screens in the SM after taking documentary photography.

In the A/L (Airlock), Mike Fossum continued preparations for the ULF7 spacewalk on FD5 (Flight Day 5) by configuring EVA tools & equipment, retrieving necessary items from PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) and verifying tool configurations with uplinked instructions.

Next, FE-6 checked EMU PWR (Extra Vehicular Mobility Unit / Payload Water Reservoir) #1015 for potential air bubbles which required “degassing”. [The traditional method for degassing a water container in microgravity is to use one’s body for creating rotational acceleration (centrifugal force, ~15 RPM) while holding the container by the bungees or straps on its cover. This separates the liquid from the gas, and the latter can then be extracted.]

Later, Ron Garan & Mike Fossum got together for a 2-hr review of uplinked EVA timeline & procedures for their ULF7 spacewalk. A tagup with EVA specialists on the ground was conducted at ~12:00pm.

Fossum also prepared a rack bay (loc. A4) in the PMM for receiving a ZSR (Zero-G Storage Rack) to be delivered on ULF7 by removing a double-knee brace.

Ron Garan performed regular maintenance calibration on the sensors of the two CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1045 & #1046.

In the A/L, FE-3 terminated Round 2 of EVA battery recharging in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) on the new batch of 4 EHIP (EVA Helmet Interchangeable Portable) light batteries and 2 REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) batteries (#1007, #1009).

Afterwards, Ron initiated charging on the EMU LLB (Long Life Battery) Li-Ion batteries.

At ~1:35pm EDT, Garan conducted another VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today with the VHF sites at DRY/Dryden (1:41:10pm-1:44:28pm) and WHI/White Sands (1:40:04pm-1:47:43pm), for a voice check 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).]

FE-1 Samokutyayev 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).

Aleksandr also 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.]

At ~3:15pm, Furukawa, Volkov & Fossum convened to conduct a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss their last RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) photo/TV operations before ULF7 docking. [The RPM allows the photographic bottom-side mapping of the Shuttle Orbiter at the arrival of STS-135/Atlantis/ULF7, to be launched 7/8. 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 Atlantis on its last flight, 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, Doug Hurley.]

Before sleeptime, Borisenko will initiate overnight (10-hr) charging of the KPT-2 Piren battery for the Piren-V Pyro-endoscope, part of the Russian BAR science instruments suite, for another session.

Before “Presleep” period tonight, Garan powers on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts the data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, MPC will be turned off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

FE-3, FE-5 & FE-6 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Satoshi at ~10:00am, Mike at ~1:30pm, Ron at ~1:50pm EDT.

At ~5:00am EDT, Andrey, Sasha & Sergei supported a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking greetings to TsUP for participants of a Conference of the International Youth Science School “Space Research: Theory and Practice” at N. E. Bauman MGTU University, Moscow. [From 6/2-7/13, 2011, N. E. Bauman MGTU International Space Center, with the support of the Federal Space Agency Roskosmos, is conducting the program International Space Research School: “Space Research: Theory and Practice”, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Y. A. Gagarin’s flight to space. Apart from presentations and discussions on various aspects of cosmonautics, the School curriculum will introduce school participants to operations of Russia’s space centers. Undergraduate and graduate students from N. E. Bauman MGTU, universities of Australia, Great Britain, France, Belgium, India, Switzerland, Sweden, Lithuania, Mexico, Greece, USA, and Italy are participating in the studies in International Science School. Today, 6/6, the participants of this School were at Moscow Mission Control Center (TsUP) to participate in the PAO event session with Russian crew members on the ISS.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-4), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-4).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Aral Sea (the crew was to document the present status of this declining water body, which now only exists in several sub-basins. Looking left and right from this nadir pass), San Marino, San Marino (looking left for the city. The Republic itself is land-locked and is located about 20 miles southwest of the Italian coastal city of Rimini. Best visual cues are Rimini’s small but prominent bay and a light-toned river which reaches the sea at this point. The capital city of this microstate–the Most Serene Republic of San Marino–has a population of about 4,500), Hudson Bay ice, Canada (Dynamic event. Looking left beyond a stationary cloud band for ice in Hudson Bay. Ice may be persisting longer into summer than it did about a decade ago), and Mount Rainier, WA (looking left of track for this large stratovolcano located south of the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. Overlapping mapping frames of glaciers on the volcano summit and flanks are of particular interest).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, ~7:43am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 388.3 km
Apogee height - 395.5 km
Perigee height - 381.0 km
Period -- 92.32 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010716
Solar Beta Angle -- -12.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.60
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 33 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 72,392

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
07/08/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) - 11:27am
07/10/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) ~11:06am
         07/12/11 -- EVA (Garan & Fossum)  ~8:50am, 6h30m
07/18/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis undock ULF7 (MPLM) - 1:51pm
07/20/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis landing KSC  ~6:57am
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)
09/08/11 - Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch - D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin 
09/24/11 - 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.