Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 June 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 2 of Increment 20,

FE-1 Barrat & FE-2 Wakata started new logging rounds for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. It is the third run for Mike, the fourth for Koichi. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Mike & Koichi 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.]

The FE-2 & FE-4 began the day with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Wakata & Thirsk (the latter joining the regimen) ingested an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens will be tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

Romanenko, Thirsk & DeWinne undertook the US PHS (Periodic Health Status) Without Blood Labs exam, taking turns both as subject and operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer) of the assessment. A subjective evaluation is part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC laptop.]

Romanenko conducted the routine task of shooting two photos of the docking cone of the passive docking assembly (ASP-B) of the FGB nadir port occupied by the Soyuz TMA-15/19S spacecraft, a standard practice after Russian dockings. These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. Roman afterwards downlinked the pictures via OCA assets. [The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, the FE-3 used the Nikon D1X digital still camera to take two pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

CDR Padalka & FE-1 Barratt prepared the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) to become a little airlock for the Russian Orlan EVA-23 on 6/10, an IVA (Intravehicular Activity) excursion into the PkhO to replace a flat hatch cover on the SM docking port with a conical cover for the arrival of the MRM-2 (Mini Research Module 2). Specifically, Gennady & Mike –

  • Configured the PkhO communications system for the subsequent Orlan comm checks & restored it afterwards,
  • Terminated the recharge of the 825M3 Orlan Battery Pack 1 started yesterday,
  • Set up EVA equipment in PkhO and prepared the Orlan-MK suits with replaceable components (e.g. LP-9 LiOH cans, filters, moisture collectors, recharged 825M3 batteries, etc.),
  • Performed leak checks & valve function tests on the Orlans & the BSS interface system,
  • Performed pressure checks on the BK-3 portable O2 tanks & BNP portable air repress bottles after replacing the BK-3s with fresh tanks following the suit checks,
  • Set up Orlan BRTK “Korona” comm configuration for both suits, then running voice checks & testing medical parameter acquisition of the BETA-08 ECG (electrocardiograph) harnesses with the “Gamma-1M” biomed complex from the PKO biomed exam panel for vital signs & equipment monitoring,
  • Tested the biomedical parameter telemetry to RGS (Russian Groundsite), including VHF/voice & biomedical electrode belt and *telemetry hookups via the BSS for vital signs & equipment monitoring, and
  • Tested the TOU thermoelectric cooling unit (heat exchanger) in the PkhO.

For the STS-127-2J/A spacewalks, Wakata worked in the U.S. Airlock checking safety tethers for damage or signs of strain relief and preparing them for making STP (Safety Tether Packs) for 2J/A, i.e., labeling them (color coding the hooks) & adding Velcro..

Also in the A/L, the FE-2 set up EMUs #3005 & #3006 with their SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals) and initiated the standard one-hour scrubbing process on the spacesuits’ cooling water loops, filtering ionic and particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter), then reconfigured the cooling loops and started the ~2hr biocide filtering. Scrubbing termination, disassembly of the EMU water processing kit and stowing the equipment followed. [Loop scrubbing, incl. iodination of the LCVGs (Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garments) for biocidal maintenance, is done to eliminate any biomass and particulate matter that may have accumulated in the loops.]

After rotating the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) rack in the Lab outward to provide access (which renders the CEVIS cycle temporarily unavailable), Frank DeWinne & Bob Thirsk configured an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop and used it for performing a software load for the UPA, afterwards verifying the load, reconfiguring the SSC for nominal use and restowing it. The UPA rack was then restored to its location.

FE-3 Romanenko had his first run with the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program on his regular schedule, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take 800mm-lens telephotos for subsequent downlinking on the Regul BSR-TM payload data channel. [Target areas for today were the Aral Sea (monitoring an ecological disaster occurring in the Aral region), the Issyk-Kul Lake, and the Tersky Range on the lake’s southern shore (several visually-representative photos were requested).]

In the U.S. Lab, FE-5 DeWinne started another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the sixth, with the new 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.]

Roman conducted a search for a battery container repair kit to verify its availability on the RS (Russian Segment) after its recent delivery. [The kit contains a set of components (bolt, nuts) for repairing the pressurization/ventilation system of one of the eight molybdenum 800A battery boxes (A106) in the SM. According to an earlier crew report, the bolts of the pressurization actuators of three 800A units onboard (A101, A102, A106) are missing. The delivered repair kit will be used for one of them.]

The FE-3 performed another periodic data collection of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM, using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today looking for Vinyl Chloride, Ethanol, and Ethylene Oxide. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.]

Roman also conducted a session of new ocean observations program, DZZ-13 “Seiner”, which provides informational support to fishing vessel research of fishing grounds in the waters off northwest Africa, from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde Islands. [The experiment uses visual observation, videography (HD camcorder, PAL mode) and selective photography (NIKON D2X) of color-contrast images and large discontinuities in cloud fields along the flight path.]

Later, 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.]

The FE-3 also 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).

At ~11:40am EDT, Barratt & Padalka tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the ground-analyzed 400 & 800mm-lens photo/video training imagery that resulted from their latest RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) drill on 6/1. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-127/Endeavour/2JA) on 6/15. 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 Discovery, 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.]

After jointly reviewing the uplinked STS-127-2J/A timeline, the crew is scheduled for a 30-min 2J/A overview & timeline tagup at ~2:10pm EDT.

Wakata, Thirsk & DeWinne reviewed the latest uplinked 2J/A Cargo Transfer “Choreography” and Pre-flight Transfer list. Later today, at 4:05pm, they will discuss specifics with the ground in a teleconference via S-band/audio & K-band/video.

Roman, Bob & Frank each had an hour to themselves for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Koichi again had an hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth around 6/29. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

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

Robotics Operations: Without crew involvement, ground engineers today performed Part 1 of a two-day robotics operation, remotely controlling the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System) to grapple the SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) Dextre, releasing it from the MBS PDGF2 (Mobile Service System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 2) and maneuvering it to an overnight park position. Tomorrow, the SSRMS will stow Dextre on the Lab PDGF, grapple Node-2, complete an inchworm-like “walk-off” and maneuver to 2J/A docking position.

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, 8:58am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 348.8 km
Apogee height – 355.0 km
Perigee height — 342.5 km
Period — 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009304
Solar Beta Angle — -28.3 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 115 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 60459

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD (7:12am)
06/29/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (12:18am EDT, KSC)
07/17/09 – Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 — Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
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 Proton — tentative
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.