Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 9 November 2009

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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 5 of Increment 21.

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he had installed 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). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-4 Thirsk supported once again the weekly U.S. Bisphosphonates biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting 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 are being 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.]

FE-1 Suraev, FE-3 Romanenko & FE-5 Williams began the day with the periodic before-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement using the IM mass measurement device. Meanwhile, CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott & FE-4 Thirsk did only MO-8. Suraev set up the IM and later stowed it away again. [MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" for MO-8 measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmembers mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.].

Romanenko had about 2 hrs for his sixth session with the Russian behavioral assessment MBI-20 TIPOLOGIA, setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [FE-1 Max Suraev assisted him in donning the electrode cap, preparing/wiping the head for the electrodes, applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit and taking photographs. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lscher test, adaptive biological control training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person’s psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

Then, Suraev broke out & set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his second, 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 crewmembers 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.]

FE-5 Williams began his second Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment, assisted by FE-4 Thirsk as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) in preparing the Actiwatches, electrode sites, attaching the harness and donning the Cardiopres. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. Today, wearing electrodes, the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) for recording ECG (Electrocardiogram) for 48 hours, the ESA Cardiopres to continuously monitor blood pressure for 24 hours, and two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) for monitoring activity levels over 48 hours, Jeff started the ambulatory monitoring part of the ICV assessment. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices are 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 is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. 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.]

CDR De Winne set up the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware and performed his second session of the VO2Max assessment. Later, Frank downloaded experiment data, then tore down and put away the hardware. [The experiment VO2Max uses the PPFS, CEVIS cycle, PFS gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol comprises 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 250-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cooldown period follows at the 25% load. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

In support of the currently ongoing ICS (Inter-Satellite Communication System) checkout by JAXA/SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) in Tsukuba, Thirsk made patch cable connections for the HRMS (High Rate Data Management System) to return test data for Checkout 2 test data. Then, ICS checkout was successfully completed this morning.

Afterwards, FE-4 downloaded data collected by the EHS C-SPE (Environmental Health System / Colorimetric Solid-Phase Extraction) payload of PWD & SVO-ZV samples from the CWQMK (Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring Kit). [Downloaded were results of an Iodine standard, followed by the Silver standard and analysis.]

FE-3 performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated tonight at ~4:15pm EST before crew bedtime, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 10/19-10/20). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMPs regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

Suraev deactivated the GA (Gas Analyzer) in the Soyuz TMA-16/20S spacecraft, docked at the SM aft port, while Romanenko did the same with the GA in the Soyuz 19S at the FGB nadir port.

For the subsequent Russian GFI-1 Relaksatsiya session, which required some station attitude maneuvering by RS (Russian Segment) thrusters, FE-4 Thirsk closed the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and US Lab. [The shutters had to remain closed until two orbits after returning to US Momentum Management control.]

Maxim installed the GFI-1 Relaksatsiya (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #13 with the battery charged yesterday and after the spectral calibration with the Moon on 11/2, then launched the experiment with a session observing the Earth ionosphere. Roman assisted by adjusting SPM (Spectrometer) modes & settings and taking documentary photography. Afterwards, the experiment was closed out and the equipment torn down for stowage. [Using the GFI-1 UFK Fialka ultraviolet camera, SPM spectrometer and VKJ camcorder, controlled from Laptop3, the experiment usually deals with observing and recording hyperspectral observations of the Earth atmosphere and surface. Relaxation, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Bob worked on the RaDI-N (Radiation Dosimetry inside ISS) assembly (which measures neutron flux), initializing all eight SBDs (Space Bubble Detectors) by entering the data with the reader, and deploying them, with ground support standing by as required. [FE-3 Romanenko assisted with setting up & deploying the SBDs since they are also part of the Russian RBO-3-2 Matryoshka payload.]

Maxim collected & downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian Pille-MKS (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has 13 sensors (#7 is lost) placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). Todays readings were taken from all 13 dosimeters, and dose data were logged and reported to TsUP-Moscow.

FE-1 & FE-3 also went on a search for two missing ID-3MKS personal radiation dosimeters, one body-worn by SFP Guy Lalibert, the other by CDR Gennady Padalka.

Nicole Stott continued the outfitting of the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack) with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module), with Bob Thirsk assisting for some time. Complete installation of LMM will take several sessions. [Todays first steps included translating out the FIR Optics Bench with the LMM Spindle Bracket (which is the main structural platform for LMM), followed by installation of the CVB (Constrained Vapor Bubble) control box, LMM SBA (Spindle Bracket Assembly) & TSH (Triaxial Sensor Head) & LMM control box, then translating the Optics Bench back into the rack. CVB is LMMs first science experiment.]

Nicole also broke out and set up the NUTRITION with Repository hardware for her third onboard session, starting tomorrow morning with her blood draw. Frank De Winne will assist with the phlebotomy from an arm vein. [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.]

Bob undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it from SM Panel 450 to Node-2 (NOD2P3 & P4).

The FE-4 also conducted the regular daily support of the MDS (Mice Drawer System) facility by checking its potable water supply and performing a visual inspection of cages 1, 2 & 5 with their live occupants.

In support of OGS WDS (Oxygen Generation System / Water Delivery System) activation, the CDR reconfigured power supply from the Lab UOP (Utility Outlet Panel).

De Winne completed the periodic replacement of the EDV container at the WRS (Water Recovery System)

Later, FE-5 Williams worked on the WRS, gathering the equipment required, then assembling, connecting & activating an FTP (Fluid Transfer Pump) to transfer stored water to supplement the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) Waste Water Tank.

Jeff also conducted the periodic manual filling of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) flush water tank (EDV-SV), during which the WHC was unavailable for use.

In the Kibo JPM, FE-4 Thirsk serviced the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) Crystal experiment, re-homogenizing Sample 6 and changing the flash batteries (four AAs). [The EarthKAM software will take more frequent photographs now in order to further document the frozen phase separation that has been observed.]

The CDR started another automatic sampling run (the 43rd) 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. Bob later stopped the 5-hr run. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Todays 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 (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott & FE-5 Williams conducted a joint review of the upcoming ULF3 EVAs (Extravehicular Activities). [Three EVAs are planned during the ULF3 mission on FDs 4, 6 & 8. Nicole and Butch Wilmore will be supporting the EVA Prep and Post responsibilities. Spacewalk tasks are –

  • EVA 1 (Forman/Satcher): Transfer SASA (S-Band Antenna Support Assembly) from PLB to Z1, lubricate POA & JEM RMS, install NH3 BRKT, install, Route SGANT (Space-to-Ground Antenna) cable, troubleshoot S01/4 cable.
  • EVA 2 (Forman/Bresnik): Install GATOR (Grappling Adaptor To On-Orbit Railing), deploy S3 Nadir PAS (Payload Attachment System), relocate FPMU (Floating Potential Measurement Unit), install WETA (Wireless Video System External Transceiver Assembly).
  • EVA 3 (Satcher/Bresnik): Transfer HPGT (High Pressure Gas Tank) from ELC2 to ISS Airlock, install MISSE 7 (Materials International Space Station Experiment 7) on ELC2, deploy S3 Zenith Inboard PAS.]

Frank performed the periodic evacuation of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration. [The pneumatic cylinder of the ARED continues to exhibit a small leak, and an onboard repair cannot be conducted at this time. The crew continues exercising with the current configuration, with frequent cylinder evacuations.]

The FE-3 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).

Roman also 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 crew was given the Go for nominal use of the new T2/COLBERT treadmill. [Belt speed during runs should be kept between 3 & 10mph, and target load should not exceed 75% of the runners body weight. The handrail must be installed during exercise and removed when T2 is not in use.]

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), T2 treadmill (CDR, FE-2), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Later, Bob transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

Progress M-MRM2 Status: At the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz-U launch vehicle with the Progress M-MRM2 Poisk spacecraft was rolled out from the Integration Building to the launch pad and erected L-2d activities have started.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:39am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.7 km
Apogee height – 345.8 km
Perigee height – 337.5 km
Period — 91.37 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0006128
Solar Beta Angle — 27.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 103 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 62884

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2, Poisk, on Soyuz-U @ 9:22am EST)
11/12/09 — 5R/MRM2 Poisk docking (SM zenith) @ 10:43am EST
11/16/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) – 2:28pm EST
11/18/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 dock – 11:56am
11/25/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 undock – 4:57am
11/27/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 land/KSC – 9:47am
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 —> two-member crew
12/21/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch — O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 — Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 Tranquility + Cupola
02/05/10 — Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
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
05/29/10 — Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 — 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)
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, PLM)
09/18/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 — STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) 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.