Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 December 2009

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

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

Crew wakeup: 4:30am. Station workday is shortened by 3.5 hrs to restitute the normal sleep cycle (4:30pm-1:00am) after last night’s delayed bedtime for the MRM2 PAO (Mini-Research Module 2 / Instrumentation/Propulsion Module) undocking.

At 7:16pm EST last night, the PAO module separated on schedule from the MRM2, docked at the SM (Service Module) zenith port, and moved away from the station to perform its deorbit burn at 11:48:30pm-11:59:08pm, followed by entry interface at 12:27am this morning and breakup/destruction over the Pacific (12:32am). [After its launch on 11/10, the Poisk (Search) module docked at the ISS on 11/12 on a modified Progress spacecraft. Its PAO Instrumentation/Propulsion Module is no longer needed. Poisk provides a fourth Russian docking port for visiting vehicles, an airlock for spacewalks in Orlan (Eagle) suits, and accommodations for scientific payloads. The first use of this docking port is planned for 1/20/10, when the Soyuz TMA-16/20S vehicle is being relocated from the SM aft port to the MRM2.]

FE Suraev began the day with the regular daily checkup of the aerosol filters at the Elektron O2 generator, installed by him on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [Photographs are to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Williams continued his current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes 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.]

Williams completed Day 2 of his third ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session. Upon reaching the midpoint, Jeff ended the Cardiopres/BP (blood pressure) data collection, changed out the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF Card and AA Battery, and began the next 24-hour data collection, using the T2/COLBERT treadmill in a short-duration run at high & low speeds to meet the ICV heart rate requirement. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices were worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate >=120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres was doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery were changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

The CDR also conducted the daily status check of the APEX (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit) hardware and took the weekly documentary photography of the Cambium plants (now no longer available via telemetry or video since the Cambium plants are removed from the ABRS (Advanced Biological Research System), necessitating henceforth a daily status check & weekly photo session). [Jeff’s report: “White roots clearly visible growing out of foam.” When completed, the APEX-Cambium payload in conjunction with the NASA-sponsored TAGES will determine the role of gravity in Cambium wood cell development (providing the pulp & paper and construction industries insight into the fundamental mechanisms of wood cell formation) and demonstrate non-destructive reporter gene technology & investigate spaceflight plant stress. APEX-Cambium provides NASA & the ISS community a permanent controlled environment capability to support growth of various organisms (i.e. whole plants).]

FE Suraev downlinked the structural dynamics measurement data taken by the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) instrumentation in the SM taken last night during the undocking operation and conferred with ground specialists via S-band. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations – (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

Later, the FE broke out & set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his third, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment, supported by ground specialist tagup, was then closed out and the test data downlinked via OCA. FE-3 took documentary photography. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

Jeff Williams had ~2.5 hrs for the periodic replacement of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment)’s urine hydraulic components and other parts, trashing the old items. Afterwards, Jeff performed activation, a visual leak check and closeout of the WHC. [Removed & replaced with fresh spares were the WHC Urine Valve Block, Urine Lines, Urine High Pressure Sensor, Urine Tank Full Pressure Sensor, Water Tank Full Pressure Sensor, WHC Air Filter, A1-8aT Air hose, Flexible Hose and T-Adapter..]

The CDR also performed the periodic WRS (Water Recovery System) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

In the SM, Maxim continued the periodic preventive maintenance on the ventilation system by changing out the cartridge of the PF1-4 dust filter.

Suraev also conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [This includes 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.]

In the MRM2, Maxim performed inspection and situational photography of the BVN Air Fan & Heater (behind panel 412) to assess the feasibility and ease of removing & re-installing the BOV-91 fan shutoff unit.

To provide cooling for the ground-commanded activation of the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), the CDR hooked up the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper connection to the LAB1D6 rack. [CDRA will be activated later today over a five-hour period (3:00pm-8:00pm EST) to support another SPHERES session, scheduled tomorrow.]

The crew had their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Maxim at ~11:30am, Jeff at ~12:05pm EST.

Jeff & Max performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE).

Later, Jeff transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Tripoli, Libya (this capital city [pop. 1.69 million] has been occupied since its founding in the 7th century BC. It lies on a gentle bulge in the Libyan coastline. Looking just left of nadir), Arkenu 1 & 2 circular structures, Libya (detailed images of these circular structures, until recently thought to be impact structures, were requested. Relatively low sun angles today provided added information on the present morphology), Megafans SW Algeria (the large fan-like spread of river sediment, 320 km long, in one of the remotest parts of the Sahara Desert, is almost featureless, except for diverging ancient stream channels. Due to lack of contrast, this feature has been difficult to image. Low sun angles today should provide better imagery of topography. The crew was asked to shoot overlapping images at nadir for 60 sec. Megafans are now known to be widespread on Earth. This new recognition of their scientific significance has led to megafans being recognized on Mars), St. Georges, Grenada (looking right for this capital city), and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (looking right for this capital city).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 4:26am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 340.7 km
Apogee height – 346.0 km
Perigee height – 335.4 km
Period — 91.35 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — -51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007866
Solar Beta Angle — -58.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 76 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 63340

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer – 3:51pm
12/22/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S docking @ FGB nadir — 4:58pm
01/14/10 — Russian EVA-24
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
02/07/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility”+Cupola (target date)
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC (~1:30pm EST)
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 — Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 — Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 (~2:00pm EST)
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 — Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 — Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 — Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 — Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) (~7:30am EST)
08/30/10 — Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 — Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 — Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) (~12:01pm EST)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) undock
09/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 — Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 — ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 — Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 — ATV2 docking
02/08/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.