Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 July 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
July 9, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 July 2009

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

Before breakfast and exercise, FE-2 Wakata underwent the periodic PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/Blood Labs examination, using the U.S. PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer). This was his second clinical blood analysis. Part 2 of PHS, Subjective Clinical Evaluation, was performed later in the day. FE-4 Thirsk assisted with the blood draw for Koichi as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. [The PHS exam, with PCBA analysis and clinical evaluation, is guided by special software (IFEP, In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC laptop. While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, the blood’s hematocrit is particularly measured by the Russian MO-10 protocol.]

FE-4 Thirsk concluded his ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring Midpoint session, taking off the Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) after recording for the last 24 hrs. Download of all data is planned for later this week.

FE-1 Barratt continued his four-day activity of performing the periodic flow rate adjustment of MFCVs (Manual Flow Control Valves) in the Lab. Today (Day 3) Mike cleared the access to the Lab Forward Endcone MFCV, requiring temporary removal of the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) hardware, rotation of the LAB1D1 Rack to get behind it and some JSL (Joint Station LAN)/Ethernet decabling. [Tomorrow, Mike will adjust the MFCV in the Lab Aft Endcone. Purpose of these valve adjustments is to optimize the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) flow throughout the USOS, i.e., to provide sufficient ITCS MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) flow to support Payload rack operations.]

CDR Padalka made preparations for a run of the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 Plus (PK-3+) experiment payload, the first of Expedition 20, by unstowing the hardware in the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment), installing it in the SM for operation and photographing the setup. The images were downlinked to TsUP/Moscow via OCA for inspection, and the CDR performed the initial leak check of the PK-3 Electronics Box before its evacuation. More work to come tomorrow. [The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside a vacuum work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

Continuing the work performed yesterday by Koichi Wakata in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 DeWinne relocated the NASA FSS (Fluid Servicer System) from the Kibo module to the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and connected its jumpers to the COL TCS (Thermal Control System) loop for refilling with coolant, after disconnecting the WPA2 (Water Pump Assembly 2). Afterwards, the FSS was torn down again. [Based on what was learned from the earlier FSS gas trap troubleshooting, the FE-5 primed the FSS by filling and circulating coolant through it and its jumpers before connecting it to the COL ITCS.]

Gennady Padalka worked in the DC1 Docking Compartment on troubleshooting the failed Orlan-MK spacesuit fan, focusing on the electrical system to isolate the fan switch problem. [Russian Orlan specialists feel that the CO2 problems are related to software.]

Mike Barratt & Frank DeWinne conducted a 2-hr high-level OBT (Onboard Training) review of the latest HTV (H-2 Transfer Vehicle) approach monitoring & robotics/capture procedures and cue card. An HTV crew conference is planned tomorrow to discuss details, followed by more preparatory training events in the future.

In the U.S. Lab, the FE-1 started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 14th, with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS hardware.]

All six crewmembers performed the mandatory two-hour OBT (onboard training) emergency egress drill for the case of rapid cabin depressurization, with Russian & US specialists standing by at both control centers for crew questions or comments, followed by a 20-min debrief with ground specialists. [Background: Purpose of the drill is to (a) familiarize the station residents with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) work through the Russian Segment (RS) hardware deactivation procedures, (c) practice crew emergency joint activities, and (d) identify crew comments and suggestions that arise during training regarding crew procedures and equipment. In the RS, the crew translated along the emergency egress paths to the nadir-facing ports of the DC1 and FGB (where Soyuz 18S & 19S, resp. are currently docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the US Segment (USOS) the inspection focused on fireports being unblocked in the Lab {21}, with other US modules to be checked by future crews), readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBA (portable breathing assembly) and PFE (portable fire extinguisher), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The checks also included Node-2, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). The exercise was topped off by a thorough debrief with the ground via S-band. During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.]

FE-3 Romanenko used the standard ECOSFERA equipment, set up yesterday, to conduct microbial air sampling runs for the MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment, with the POTOK Air Purification System temporarily powered down, taking samples from cabin surfaces along with samples from crewmembers for sanitation and disease studies. The sample tubes were then stowed in the KRIOGEM-03 refrigerator and subsequently packed for return in Soyuz TMA-14. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger and power supply unit, provides samples to help determine microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Romanenko also conducted his third data collection for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (Interactions) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [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.]

In the Kibo JPM, Bob Thirsk supported JAXA payload operations by starting the Ar (argon) gas from the CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment) supply’s upper Ar GBU (Gas Bottle Unit).

Bob also supported Part 1 of a troubleshooting effort on the TVIS treadmill, turning off a circuit breaker on the Motor Box and conducting an unmanned speed characterization test to assist in determining the cause of a power-sharing anomaly during unmanned operations which cropped up recently.

Koichi completed another one of the periodic inspections of the RED (Resistive Exercise Device) canister cords and accessories, currently done every two weeks.

The FE-2 also worked briefly on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) isolator kit, emptying it of failed 6-inch isolators and putting them aside for return to Earth, while trashing their Nomex covers.

Mike Barratt conducted the periodic status & screen check on the payloads CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

In the US A/L (Airlock), Wakata terminated the recharge of EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery #2068 from the PSA (Power Supply Assembly) utility outlet.

The FE-3 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 off the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Roman also 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).

In addition, Romanenko performed a 3-hr IMS-based audit/inventory of Russian KRP food containers in the RS (Russian Segment), assessing the number of unopened food rations (expired or close-to-expiration) for helping ground specialists to plan upcoming flight manifests.

Later, the FE-3 conducted routine preventive maintenance on the SM Rodnik water storage system, opening and closing the KN water & KV pressurization valves from the Rodnik panel. [The procedure of activating each valve twice is intended to keep the valves functional during long-term water storage.]

At ~6:00pm EDT, Mike Barratt & Koichi Wakata are scheduled for their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3/2.5). [The interim RED is being this week in lieu of the ARED until the latter has had its damaged VIS dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

Later, DeWinne transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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).

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today except for locations of polar mesospheric clouds (PMC), also known as noctilucent clouds. (In recent days ISS daylight-awake orbit tracks have shifted rapidly into the Southern Hemisphere where it is now a little more than two weeks after the Winter Solstice. Both day length and sun elevation are very low there. This situation along with winter weather patterns greatly limits good view opportunities for CEO targets. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the ISS orbit tracks nearly parallel to the terminator. The consequence is very low light right of track, low light near nadir, and adequate to good light left of track. This condition is expected to continue until 7/11.)

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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/11/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (7:39am EDT)
07/12/09 — Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (closest approach 10m; ~1:06pm) & separation
07/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking; ~3:25pm (if launched nominally 7/11)
07/13/09 — Progress 33P deorbit burn, entry interface (11:45am; 12:20pm)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/25/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking; ~7:33am
07/27/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC, ~12:26pm)
07/27/09 — Progress 34P docking (if STS-127 departs nominally; can slip to 7/29)
07/31/09 — PMA-3 relocation
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch
09/16/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth09/29/09 — 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.