Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 October 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
October 6, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 October 2008

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 25 of Increment 17.

FE-2 Chamitoff had the fourth day of his first SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session, which runs in two blocks of six days each. Today, Greg began with measurements and sampling of body mass (with SLAMMD/Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), and urine, to continue for two more days. [Background: For the SOLO experiment, Chamitoff follows a special high-salt diet, for which prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Blood and urine samples are stowed in the MELFI. SOLO, an ESA/German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment. SLAMMD, performed first on Expedition 12 in December 2005, provides an accurate means of determining the on-orbit mass of humans spanning the range from the 5th percentile Japanese female and the 95th percentile American male. The procedure, in accordance with Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, finds the mass by dividing force, generated by two springs inside the SLAMMD drawer, by acceleration measured with a precise optical instrument that detects the position versus time trajectory of the SLAMMD guide arm and a micro controller which collects the raw data and provides the precise timing. The final computation is done via portable laptop computer with SLAMMD unique software. To calculate their mass, crewmembers wrap their legs around a leg support assembly, align the stomach against a belly pad and either rest the head or chin on a head rest. For calibration, an 18-lbs. mass is used at different lengths from the pivot point, to simulate different mass values. Crew mass range is from 90 to 240 lbs.]

CDR Volkov & FE-1 Kononenko tried on their KENTAVR suits for a fit check, supported by tagup with specialists (S-band). [The Kentavr (“Centaur”) garment (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Chibis" lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

Sergey & Oleg also started their first session of the Russian MedOps MO-2 protocol which calls for 24-hour recording of their ECGs (electrocardiograms). [For the ECG recording, Sergey & Oleg donned the five-electrode Holter harness that read their dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over 24 hours and record data on the Kardioregistrator 90205 unit. The crewmembers assisted each other in the harness donning (and will also do so in tomorrow’s doffing).]

The CDR set up the equipment for transferring TEKh-20 PK-3+ (Plasma Crystal-3+) experiment digital video data to the Russian BSPN Payload Server. After the transfer, the Telescience hardware was torn down for stowage. [When operating, the PK-3+ experiment studies dust plasma crystallization processes in a vacuum chamber at specified settings of HF (high frequency) discharge power, chamber pressure, and a varied number of particles,followed by observing the melting of the structures formed earlier.]

FE-2 Chamitoff checked out the U.S. SLM (Sound Level Meter) instrument and then used it to conduct the periodic noise level measurements program in the station interior for a 2-hr acoustic survey, including transfer of the recorded data to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [A total of 48 acoustic measurements were obtained, specifically at 13 locations in the Lab, four locations in Node-1, 11 locations in the SM, three locations in the DC1 (Docking Compartment), seven locations in the FGB and eight locations in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). The survey also includes two crew preference locations taken at their perceived loudest locations in the station. The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) data dump or via OCA.]

After setting up the Rodnik “plumbing” gear with pump, adapters and hoses, Malenchenko transferred accumulated urine from three EDV-U containers (#824, #827, #789) to the BV1 water tank. BV1 was then flushed with 5 liters of dis9infectant solution, followed by disassembly and stowage of the equipment. The first urine transfer to 30P took place on 9/24. [Each of the two spherical Rodnik tanks consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane.]

Gregory powered down PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), JPM and US Lab (Cupola A31p). [Infrequently used laptops are turned off to preserve lifetime.]

FE-1 Kononenko set up and ran a hardware test on the control unit laptop of the BIO-5/Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") Lada-13 greenhouse to check its hard drive for possible virus infection.

FE-2 Chamitoff performed another standard sensor calibration on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1043 & #1059, delivered on 1J, using a new calibration adapter (#1001), brought up by 30P.

Later, Greg conducted microbiological sampling, taking surface samples with the SSK (Surface Sample Kit) for the visual microbial (bacterial & fungal) “T+5 Day” analysis. SSK samples were not taken last month due to crew time constraints. [The sampling analysis is performed once per month for the first three months, and once every three months thereafter. Bacterial and fungal air samples are taken at two locations in each module. The colony growth on the sampling slides is analyzed after five days of incubation in four Petri dishes. For onboard visual analysis of media slides from SSK (Surface Sampling Kit), MCDs (microbial capture devices) from WMK (Water Monitoring Kit), coliform detection bags from MWAK (Microbial Water Analysis Kit), and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) Petri dishes, the crew has a procedure for visual inspection of samples for bacterial and fungal colony growths after appropriate incubation periods.]

Oleg conducted another run of the Russian DZZ-2 "Diatomeya" ocean observation program, using the NIKON-F5 DCS digital still camera to shoot color contrast formations and wind-induced wave anomalies (foam bands, smooth-out sections) in sea water at specified times. [The current DZZ-2 sessions are in support of a multi-discipline scientific expedition of the Institute of Oceanic Studies under the Russian Academy of Science, chief developer of the Diatomeya space experiment, which will be operating in the first ten days of October in the NE part of the Black Sea. Water areas with the most pronounced hydro-physical and hydro-biological characteristics are selected to be measured from the sea vessel. In good weather these water areas can be easily observed from space in colored and bright fields.]

The CDR and FE-2 had time reserved for unpacking US cargo delivered by Progress 30P.

Volkov and Kononenko also had about two hours set aside for pre-packing return cargo to be loaded on Soyuz TMA-12/16S, based on a detailed 15-page loading list with schematics (“maps”) as stowage guides for the extremely limited stowage space in the Soyuz Descent Module (SA).

Sergey 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Oleg later performed 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 CDR downloaded the accumulated structural dynamics data from Saturday’s (10/4) Progress thruster reboost of the ISS from the IWIS RSUs (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System/Remote Sensor Units).

The two cosmonauts again had a one-hour period each to themselves for the regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth later this month. [It is usual for Russian crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

The crew completed their regular 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/2.5h, FE-1/2.5h), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Later, the CDR transfers the exercise data file to the MEC laptop for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~4:30am EDT, Volkov & Kononenko tagged up with ground specialists at TsUP/Moscow via S-band to discuss their preparations for their return on 16S and expected events & experiences during their ride in the Soyuz Descent Capsule to touchdown in Kazakhstan on 10/24.

At ~12:45pm, Greg Chamitoff supported two PAO TV interviews of ~10 min each, one with the “Gil Gross” syndicated radio show on KGO Radio (Gil Gross), San Francisco, CA, the other with SPACE.COM (Tariq Malik).

At ~2:10pm, the FE-2 is also scheduled for a CDE (Crew Discretionary Event) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

As generally every day now, today starting at 9:00am and running until 3:00pm, the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) is running intermittently for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. This configuration for the daily ops does not require connecting & disconnecting the ITCS cooling loop. [A forward plan is in work for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking. CDRA remains “yellow” on the ISS critical systems list.]

Vozdukh Malfunctions: The Vozdukh CO2 removal system has exhibited several temporary failures in the last few days, “more frequently than usual”, according to RSC-Energia. Analysis is underway.

Conjunction Advisory: Another conjunction with a piece of orbital debris is being closely monitored, for a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) on Wednesday morning (10/8), possibly requiring a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver). Decision point for conducting the DAM is tomorrow morning.

Marangoni Experiment: Today’s Marangoni experiment in the JAXA JPM, requiring a “quiet” environment, will be performed between 5:30pm and 2:00am EDT, remotely controlled from Tsukuba/Japan.

Week 24/25 Scheduled Main Activities:

  • Tue. (10/7): SOLO; MO-2; ITCS RFCA reconfig.; PEP R7 transition.
  • Wed. (10/8): SOLO; MO-2; 16S Return stowage; CMS analyz.; Diatomeya; Water sampling; ZSR Rack prep.; MBI-12 prep./init.
  • Thu. (10/9): MBI-12 dwnld.; ODNT OBT; IP-1 mnt.; ZSR-LAB1)5 relocate; ZSR NOD2D5 relocate; WRM CWC audit;
  • Fri. (10/10): Progress thruster/SUDN; MO-8; MBI-12 dwld.; FFQ; ITCS MFCV adjust; RS Video MPEG config.; Water T+2 anal.; SOLO #2; CDMK check.
  • Sat. (10/11): Station cleaning; PFCs; Ham radio call; SOLO #2.
  • Sun. (10/12): SOLO #2; PFC; VRU disk exchange.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 6:51am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 353.0 km
Apogee height — 355.8 km
Perigee height — 350.2 km
Period — 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0004156
Solar Beta Angle — -23.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 48 hours — 20 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 56603

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
10/10/08 — Progress 30P thruster test
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch (~3:03am EDT; Fincke, Lonchakov, Garriott)
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port, ~4:51am)
10/24/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir) & landing (local time!)
11/02/08 — Progress 30P reboost; Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends
11/16/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC (~7:02pm EST) – U/R
11/18/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking – U/R
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/25/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking & deorbit
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/30/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
12/01/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 landing (~1:25pm EST est.)
02/09/09 — Progress M-66/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 — Progress M-67/32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress M-67/32P docking
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
02/14/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
02/24/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
02/26/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (nominal)
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 M-67/32P undocking & deorbit
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking)
07/30/09 — STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
10/15/09 — STS-129/Discovery/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P)
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.