Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 May 2009

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

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

FE-1 Barratt set up the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) hardware, checked it out and used it for BMM (Body Mass Measurement). This was his second time. Afterwards, the procedure was repeated on FE-2 Wakata, followed by temporary stowage of the hardware. [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.]

Following equipment setup by Barratt, he, CDR Padalka & FE-2 Wakata took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop application. It was Dr. Mike’s, Gennady’s & Koichi’s second O-OHA test. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Wakata set up & configured the video equipment, including tape change, for recording his continued IFM (Inflight Maintenance), Part 1, on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation Inflight Maintenance). The video coverage is to be used to determine what steps are required to repair the CEVIS workload discrepancy issue. [Based on downlinked data, specialists believe the workload anomaly is being caused by a mechanical component within CEVIS, but they have been unable to pinpoint the specific failed component. After completion of today’s troubleshooting activities, specialists will analyze the video and photos. Part 2 of the IFM will be scheduled in the near future to restore the CEVIS to full functionality.]

Padalka meanwhile collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM (Service Module), using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, today using preprogrammed microchips to measure for Ammonia (NH3) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).

The FE-1 conducted the monthly FDS PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules. [The IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), QDMAs (Quick-Don Mask Assemblies) and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware. QDMA harness inspection was not required today.]

Gennady Padalka set up the equipment for his second session with the Russian experiment MBI-18 DYKHANIE (“Respiration”) and undertook the session, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop and supported by ground specialist tagup. Gennady then closed down the hardware and stowed it. [Dykhanie-1 uses two body belts (PG-T/thoracic, PG-A/abdominal), a calibrator, resistor, mouthpiece, etc., to study fundamental physiological mechanisms of the external breathing function of crewmembers under long-duration orbital flight conditions. During the experiment, physiological measurements are taken and recorded with a pneumotachogram, a thoracic pneumogram, an abdominal pneumogram, and pressure data in the oral cavity. All experimentally derived plus salient environmental data along with personal data of the subject are recorded on PCMIA card for return to the ground at end of the Expedition. Objectives include determining the dynamics of the relationship between thoracic (pectoral) and abdominal breathing function reserves and their realization potential during spontaneous breathing, the coordinated spontaneous respiratory movements in terms of thoracic and abdominal components of volumetric, time & rate parameters of spontaneous respiratory cycle, identification of the features of humoral-reflex regulation of breathing by dynamics of ventilation sensitivity of thoracic and abdominal components to chemoreceptor stimuli, etc. Overall, the experiment is intended to provide a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of pulmonary respiration/gas exchange gravitational relations of cosmonauts.]

The FE-1 set up the hardware for another blood draw & urine collection session of the NUTRITION with Repository assessment, for both himself and the FE-2. [Koichi’s blood draw is scheduled on 5/9 (Saturday), Mike’s on 5/10 (Sunday). The 24h urine collections will begin on 5/9 for both of them.]

The CDR completed the periodic data collection on the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) experiment, copying data from its built-in control computer to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]

Mike & Koichi had time to once more review the POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software setup for today’s SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) activity, then maneuvered the robotarm to the CETA (Crew Equipment Translation Aid) cart and port SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) viewing position for a video survey. SARJ photogrammetry was scheduled for today in preparation for Flight 2J/A, as was S1 radiator ammonia venting by ground commanding. [Timing of the event has been moved for better ground based viewing (during darkness). 15 min post-start of the event there will be sunlight and the SSRMS camera will be used for subsequent particle viewing.]

Barratt performed the daily status check on the BCAT (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test) science payload, running by itself since 5/2. [The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.]

Wakata performed the monthly maintenance on the EHS CSA-CP (Environmental Health System – Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, changing out the batteries of all units and zero-calibrating them. [Exchange of the prime unit designation is no longer required and will not be performed.]

Afterwards, Koichi completed the regular service on the WPA (Water Processor Assembly), first offloading the WPA into one of the new CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine, #1009) with the common H2O Transfer Hose (which took about 18 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushing the system.

The FE-2 & FE-1 prepared their SSC (Station Support Computers) including the CPSD A31p and the OpsLAN laptops for the subsequent deployment of a new SSC Service Pack, by verifying that the A31p laptops are in the correct configuration for the SP deploy.

Mike performed the daily procedure of flushing the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) ambient line with ~50mL of water (into a towel/Ziploc bag).

Gennady 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 CDR also conducted 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).

Mike performed the regular weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs, SLD cables and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.

Koichi later conducted the periodic visual inspection of the ARED and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) rails & rollers, then evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR).

Afterwards, Barratt downloaded the exercise data file 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).

The FE-1 & FE-2 filled out their regular weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC, Mike’s sixth, Koichi’s eighth. [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

At ~4:05am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~5:00am, Gennady linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers. [Topics today included 3 hardware items reportedly stowed in the Progress ship.]

At ~2:10pm, Mike Barratt will have his weekly PFC (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio & Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

At ~3:25pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) Note: In recent days, ISS daylight-awake orbit tracks have shifted rapidly into the Southern Hemisphere which is now some six weeks into the fall season, and both day length and sun elevation are significantly lowering. This situation along with deteriorating seasonal weather greatly limits good view opportunities for targets. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the ISS orbit tracks nearly parallel with the terminator. The consequence is very low light right of track, low light near nadir, and adequate to good light left of track. Beginning today and for the next 5 to 7 days, there may be no targets with suitable illumination or weather.

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!):
05/06/09 — Progress M01M/32P undocking & deorbit
05/07/09 — Progress M-02M/33P launch (on Soyuz-U, 51st rocket of this type)
05/11/09 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/12/09 — Progress M-02M/33P docking
05/27/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
05/29/09 — Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/05/09 — Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 — Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
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 MRM2 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/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) 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/??/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola — tentative
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC — tentative
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 — tentative
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 — tentative
06/??/10 – ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 — Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 – 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.

SpaceRef staff editor.