Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 August 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 8, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 August 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday — Crew rest day.

FE-2 Timothy Kopra began the first day of his FD30 session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, focusing today on the blood draw. Mike Barratt assisted in the phlebotomy from an arm vein. Tim also started his 24-hr urine collections. [After the phlebotomy, Tim’s samples were first allowed to coagulate in the Repository for 20-30 minutes, then spun in the HRF RC (Human Research Facility/Refrigerated Centrifuge) and finally placed in MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). No thruster activity was allowed during the blood drawing. The RC was later powered off after a temperature reset to limit wear on the compressor, and cleaned. The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

The six-member crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning, including COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo. ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the house cleaning, Padalka & Romanenko conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning on fan screens, Group A, in the FGB (TsV2), DC1 (V3), and SM (VPkhO, VPrK, FS5, FS6 & FS9), plus dust filter replacement in the FGB.

The CDR also conducted the regular maintenance of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air purification subsystems in the SM and FGB by cleaning the pre-filters with a vacuum cleaner with narrow nozzle attachment and later restarting POTOK in automatic mode.

At ~9:06am EDT, the crew conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

The crew spent their free time with several VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) activities of their choice:

  • Mike Barratt had ~1.5 hrs for taking special photographic shots with the D2X digital cameras for starting Photosynth mapping in the FGB, Lab, Node-1, Node-2, Airlock, Columbus, Kibo JPM and JLP. [Photosynth is a Microsoft-developed process to turn series of photos into 3-D panoramic vistas. Photosynth allows everyone (except Mac users) to create unique panoramas or "synths" using their own photos. Photosynth was already used by NASA last year for RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) photography of the Orbiter underside. It is being used to create a 3-D rendering of the ISS’s interior for training purposes, so astronauts familiarize themselves with their new home before they get there.]
  • Mike & Tim Kopra conducted another LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) Phase 1 surface swabbing session using only the LAL (Limulus amebocyte lysate) cartridges. [After today, there are only have eight sessions remaining to complete the planned science requirements.]
  • Barratt also supported the ground by readying the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) for ground commanding on RPC (Remote Power Controller), opening the Upper Rack Door, closing two bottle valves, opening four pressure relief valves, later going back into the rack to re-open the two bottle valves and closing the door. [Mike’s activities were critical for a successful calibration of the CIR FOMA (Combustion Integrated Rack Fuel/Oxidizer Management Assembly by the ground).]
  • Bob Thirsk, with Tim Kopra assisting, conducted (and video-recorded) an EPO (Educational Program Operation) demonstration on recycling.
  • Frank DeWinne performed another two runs of the InSPACE-2 experiment, activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and powering on the hardware, as well as the MSG video cameras and monitor. Next, the optical alignment of the cameras was verified and the MSG video recorders were configured. Then, Frank completed sessions #56 &#57, switching the magnetic field to “steady” mode, sweeping and focusing the field of view, and then removing & stowing video tapes from the MSG video recorders and inserting new blank tapes. Later, the hardware was deactivated, the A31p turned off, and the gear stowed. [The purpose of the InSPACE-2 experiment is to obtain data on fluids that change properties in response to magnetic fields. Observations of the microscopic structures will yield a better understanding of the interplay of magnetic, surface and repulsion forces between structures in magnetorheological (MR) fluids (fluids that change properties under the influence of an applied magnetic field). These runs are allowing researchers to better understand the kinetics of formation of chain-like aggregates over longer times (2+ hrs) than were achieved in the initial runs of InSPACE-2 during Increment 16.]

Mike Barratt started the first day of his first six-day SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session, which entails a series of diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Mike will have to eat special diet (Session 1: High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level and Session 2: Low salt diet). Solo Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. 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. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Blood samples are taken with the PCBA. 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.]

In the A/L (Airlock), Kopra terminated the regeneration process on two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters (#0005 & #0022) from the last EVAs.

Romanenko 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.]

Working in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), DeWinne rebooted all active PWS (Portable Workstation) laptops.

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

Later, Bob Thirsk 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).

WHC Pretreat Tank Troubleshooting: Yesterday, after an automatic refilling of the flush water tank of the Waste & Hygiene Compartment (the US toilet), the “Bad Pretreat” LED (Light Emitting Diode) indicator was illuminated. Mike Barratt performed troubleshooting steps to recover the WHC including verifying valve position and performing a functionality test. Later, after performing multiple flushes, the error was cleared and the crew was Go for nominal WHC use. Specialists believe the problem was air bubbles in the line that can happen after the automatic fill of the flush water tank.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty — Week 10)

3-D SPACE: “Thank you Tim (and Frank) for your efforts for searching for the tablet pens. We are very happy that you managed to complete the writing part of your 2nd session! Teams on ground are rushing to manifest new Tablet Pens on 17A.”

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): No report.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

ALTEA DOSI (NASA/ASI): Standing by.

BCAT-4/5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 4/5): No report.

BIOLAB (ESA): Microscope target test successfully completed on 6/19.

Biological Rhythms (JAXA, BIORHYTHMS): (Bob Thirsk) Session #2 (FD75 +/-7day) was actually on FD69. When the Crew member put the electrodes on his body, he found some noise on an ECG signal monitor on ch1. The Holter ECG team suspected that this may be EMI from a CMS-PFE (Med Ops) transmitter, which was on his body at the same time (because noise disappeared after removing the PFE). It will be reflected on future operation constraints. May be able to analyze data. Considered not to be a big Science impact for Biological Rhythms experiment so far. (DeWinne) Session #2 (FD75 +/-7day) — actually on FD 71– is now in progress.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report.

BISPHOSPHONATES: “Bob, thanks for completing your pill ingestion. Your next session is scheduled for 8/10.”

CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): No report.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CB (JAXA Clean Bench): No report.

CBEF (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility): No report.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Bob, your next ICV with CCISS session is planned for next week. Tim, thanks for completing your first CCISS session as voluntary science. The Actiwatch data looked good and the PI is analyzing CBPD and Holter data.”

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Complete.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack): See MDCA/Flex.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.

Commercial 2 (JAXA): Completed.

Commercial 3 (JAXA): Completed.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

DOSIS (ESA): First data downlink has been successfully performed on 7/31. It is confirmed that the active detectors are fully functional. The count rate shows the variation of the GCR (Galactic Cosmic Radiation) component by changing of the latitude of the station and the “spikes” are related to the crossing of the SAA (South Atlantic Anomaly). DOSIS will continue to continuously record the radiation environment in the Columbus Module.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Planned.

EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): The rack is continuously active in support of the Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility (PCDF) experiment. EDR is providing power/data and temperature control (via cooling loop) to PCDF.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.

EPM (European Physiology Module): PCBA S/W Upgrade was successfully completed on 7/2, in preparation for SOLO execution.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA): No report.

EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): No report.

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): Ongoing.

EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): No report.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): “Session #6 complete. Pictures were taken from DC-1, JEM aft window.
The last session is expected on 8/23.”

EPO Try Zero-G (JAXA): “No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Spiral Top (JAXA): No report.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): EuTEF platform and its instruments have been running nominally during this reporting period.– DEBIE-2: The instrument continues to regularly generate empty science packets, and as a work-around the instrument script includes a daily power cycle command, which is skipped from ground if the science packets remain nominal. — DOSTEL, EXPOSE, MEDET, FIPEX: On-going science acquisition;– EVC: no joy with the instrument during its last re-activation attempt: no earth images captured this week;– PLEGPAY: an extensive planning of EXP2 and Long Duration Test (LDT) runs are now being performed until return of the EuTEF platform with 17A; — TRIBOLAB: on 8/5 the instrument has been put in Thermal Stabilization (TSM) mode. Another attempt to restart the Ball-Bearing runs will be carried out on 8/6.

FACET (JAXA): No report.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): No report.

GEOFLOW: No report.

HDTV System (JAXA): To be launched by HTV1.

Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.

HQPC (JAXA): To be launched by 34P.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): :Heard from a PI (Principal Investigator) after the exercise echo: “I’m a happy man.” Way to go guys!! Bob, we saw your procedural notes and will work on implementing those for Nicole’s exercise echo. Meanwhile, enjoy that venti Starbucks! We’re looking forward to the continuation of your FD75 session with ambulatory monitoring next week.”

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.


InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): Runs #50 and #59 were completed by Frank DeWinne as part of Voluntary Science on 8/1. These runs are allowing the PI to better understand the kinetics of formation of chain-like aggregates over longer times (2+ hours) than were achieved in the initial runs of InSPACE-2 during Increment 16. Preliminary observations of the data indicate that the buckling instability (not seen in first run but observed in the second run) match the PI’s predictions.

IRIS (Image Reversal in Space): No report.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): No report.

MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): “Software was uploaded. We started the first experiment of MEIS2. Experiment is going very well. Ground operation only in this period. Hard drive exchange by Crew member is scheduled on Friday. W17: Experiment#1 (GMT 211) L/D=0.25; Experiment#2 (GMT 212) L/D=0.5 (micro G disturbance was observed but not an impact to the Science). W18: Experiment#3 (GMT 215) L/D=0.15 & 0.18; Experiment#3 (GMT 216) (continue); Experiment#4 (GMT 217) L/D=1.0; Experiment#5 (GMT 218).

MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): MAXI Commissioning: First activation complete.
MRDL (Medium Rate Data Line) checkout for MAXI complete.

MDCA/Flex: No report.

Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.

MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): MMA data downlink performed on 7/1. FSL Optical Target #4 check-out was completed by 7/1.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): No report.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.


PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 3; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): Plan to retrieve on 17A.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): The PCDF Process Unit (PCDF-PU) has been nominally returned with 2J/A. Experiment reactors have been de-assembled and shipped to Belgium. Science analysis will soon start on ground with X-Ray analysis of the crystals grown in microgravity.

PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): PCG samples were successfully transferred from Progress to KIBO, and installed in PCRF. One of the temperature sensors at the Cell tray #4 position did not work. After the crew member moved the position to #2 for trouble shooting, it worked perfectly. We greatly appreciated it. We have started the experiment as scheduled. Crystallization is continuing in the PCG/PCRF automatically until PCG retrieval by 18S.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.


RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SAMPLE: Complete.

SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): SEDA Commissioning: First activation complete. Mast deployment complete.

SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Complete.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Mike, Tim, Bob, Frank, next week, we are targeting another week of sleep logging. Mike/Tim, thanks for downloading the watches this week. Tim we are planning an activity for you to switch Actiwatches next week. After reviewing the data, a couple of days were lost while we were performing the troubleshooting. We want to change watches to prevent any additional loss.”

SMILES (JAXA): Exposed Payload, to be launched by HTV1.

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): The previous Sun observation window ended on 7/31, after nominal operations with the upgraded software, which improves the SOLAR platform capability during Sun tracking at the beginning and at the end of the Sun observation window. Ground operators have transferred the upgraded software to SOLAR primary partition. The next Sun observation window is planned to start on 8/14.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): PCBA software upgrade was successfully completed on 7/2, in preparation for SOLO execution.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): No report.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): No report.

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.


VLE (Video Lessons ESA): VLE-1 completed.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned (2J/A Stage). No report.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations): Through 8/4, the ground has received a total of 19,782 ISS CEO imagery for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to confirm your acquisition of views of the following targets: Rome, Italy – several good context views of the Eternal City; Teide Volcano, Canary Islands – excellent detail of the caldera – requirements complete; and Lake Poopo, Bolivia – good seasonal coverage for this regional climate indicator – refilling continues. After nineteen day hiatus during our support of STS-127, we resumed our daily target lists submissions this week and look forward to your response to our target requests. Meanwhile two of your fine images were published on NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this period with another to be published this weekend: Tambora Volcano, Indonesia (on 7/19); Pohang, South Korea (on 7/26); and Teide Volcano, Canary Islands (on 8/2). Thanks for these great photos and your continued efforts when no target recommendations were available. We are just beginning to review some of this new, unsolicited imagery.”

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
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.