Status Report

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 Apr 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 24, 2004
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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 Apr 2004

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Day 4 of joint Exp.8/Exp.9 operations.

With wake-up at midnight (EDT) and sleeptime at 3:30pm, both crews had another long day with a demanding schedule, after receiving kudos on their outstanding job yesterday on four PAO events and the Lab Window procedure, despite a timeline equally as strenuous as today’s.

Handover activities between Exp. 8 & Exp. 9 continued to go well.  There were 30 min. allotted on today’s schedule for general handover, performed by Michael Fincke and the Expedition 8 crew, in addition to numerous joint walk-throughs on specific tasks (“functional” handover). [So far this mission, Fincke has been scheduled for 7 hrs of functional handover and more than 10 hrs of dedicated handover time.  Likewise, Mike Foale has been scheduled for over 12 hrs of functional handover and nearly 5 hrs of dedicated handover time.]

VC6 FE-1 André Kuipers’ schedule on his FD6 began with the termination, closeout and data download (on the EGE2 laptop) of the first session of the CIRCA experiment with its daily monitoring of blood pressure (BP) and pulse rate in micro-G.  Later, André worked his way methodically through the “Delta” experiments ETD, ARGES, Seeds in Space, MOP, MUSCLE, and MEDIET. [Blood pressure data transfers from the CIRCA/BMI to the EGE2 failed, and engineers suspect a connector cable as cause.  Troubleshooting is underway.  Also, the CIRCA payload annunciated an alert during crew sleep last night, i.e., the payload was not receiving sufficient power from the U.S. “Makita” battery.  The crew tried four other “Makitas” without success.  The experiment was then transitioned to ISS power in the SM for the remainder of the session, and it is now terminated.]

The VC6 experiment SUIT in the afternoon was deferred, to allow more time for ARGES operations. 

During today’s experiment with the ARISS ham radio equipment in the SM, Kuipers chatted with the 8-12 year old winners of the “Zeg het ISS” school competition set up by ESA in the Netherlands and Belgium, which were gathered at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Holland.

CDR/SO Michael Foale took Gennady Padalka and Mike Fincke through a familiarization session with the MSS (Mobile Service System). [They first conducted a standard review of the DOUG application, then operated the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) during a two-hour period, with both Padalka and Fincke getting hands-on experience with procedures.  The robotarm ops consisted of a single joint maneuver, followed by a joint OCAS (operator commanded auto-sequence) maneuver, followed by another single joint maneuver to move the arm to an MBS PDGF3 (mobile base system/power & data grapple fixture #3) pre-grapple position and to perform a grapple and release of the PDGF.  The SSRMS was then backed off from the PDGF-3 and stowed at the pre-grapple position.  The planned camera familiarization step was deleted to compensate for a late start; it will be accomplished as part of normal stage operations with the MSS.  Robotic ops were completed essentially in the time allotted.  Afterwards the VDS video system was deconfigured and the UOP-DCP (utility outlet panel-to-display & control panel) bypass power cable at the Lab RWS disconnected.]

FE Alexander Kaleri ingressed the 7S/Soyuz-213 to turn on its gas analyzer (GA) to obtain a reading of the air composition in the spacecraft.  The GA was then powered off again.

CDR-9 Padalka performed the same activity in the new crew return vehicle 8S/Soyuz-214.

Sasha Kaleri conducted another 55-min. training session in the “Chibis” ODNT suit as part of his preparations for returning into gravity.  Mike Foale provided assistance.  [The below-the-waist reduced-pressure device ODNT (US: LBNP) provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for reestablishing the body’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after the six-month stay in zero-G.] 

The new station CDR, Gennady Padalka, had half an hour reserved on his schedule for general familiarization with his new abode in the sky. [ISS familiarization & acclimatization is a standard daily rule for a new crew for the first two weeks after starting station residency.]

Another functional handover task for today was a new startup by Sasha and Gennady of the Molniya-SM/LSO payload, set up at SM window #3.  The procedure required activating the hardware including its associated EGE-1 laptop, performing test measurements for three night orbits and configuring it for unattended use, starting today and ending 4/26.  Copying of data onto disk for return is scheduled for 4/27. [Objective of Molniya-SM, similar to the French LSO experiment, is to record storm phenomena and other related events in the Earth’s equatorial regions.  The experiment requires orbital-sighting predictions using an up-to-date NORAD tracking TLE (two-line element) provided by NASA.  Objective of LSO is to study rare optical phenomena occurring in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, so-called “sprites” (i.e., puzzling glow phenomena observed above thunderstorm clouds).]

Kaleri completed another sensor reading of the “Pille-MKS” radiation dosimeter, with its ten sensors placed at various locations in the RS (Russian segment, port cabin window, starboard cabin window, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.).  Pille dosage values will be returned to the ground.

Using the SSC4 (station support computer #4) laptop in the Airlock (A/L), Foale and Fincke initiated another maintenance charge/discharge cycle on two EMU/spacesuit batteries (#2029 & #2030) in the A/L’s BSA (battery stowage assembly). [The charging takes about 24 hrs and will be followed by discharge.  The entire procedure is automated.  Helmet light and PGT (pistol grip tool) batteries are not involved.  The EMU battery maintenance is performed every 50 days, consisting of fully charging and then discharging the batteries to prolong their useful life.]

Padalka worked on the Russian BIO-8 “Plazmida” experiment’s Rekomb-K hardware, changing the thermostat setting in the Kriogem-03M refrigerator to +37 degC temperature (from +4 degC set on 4/22).

Sasha attended to the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh environmental control & life support systems in the SM and prepared the daily “delta” file for updating the IMS (inventory management system) database.

The Expedition 8 crew performed their regular daily physical exercise program on TVIS treadmill and RED exerciser.

The crew reported that the Lab overhead starboard (OS) lamp housing assembly (LHA) #4 has failed. [This LHA is directly over the EXPRESS 5 payload rack, next to the Lab OS LHA #3, which the crew has previously reported failed.] 

Update on Lab Window:  The Lab window inter-pane volume (“Volume B”) was successfully evacuated yesterday as planned, but small leaks other than from the original U-flexhose ports were detected.  The Expedition 9 crew will evacuate the window volume again after a protective cover for the new flexhose U-jumper has been delivered on Progress 14P. [Before the evacuation, pressure for the interstitial volume was 709 Torr (mmHg); after the procedure, it was measured at 2.4 Torr.  In addition to the evacuation, the crew conducted inspections of the window with the Ultrasonic Leak Detector (ULD), locating four areas where small increases in sound were detected.  These tiny leaks, which allow cabin air to reenter the evacuated space, were marked with gray tape for further troubleshooting.  At about 7 hrs after the window evacuation, the inter-pane pressure had increased to ~12.3 Torr, and a 1:55am EDT this morning it was at 28.5 Torr.  The crew was given a Go to resume the previously allowed window viewing ops (1.5 cumulative hrs max per day) with the additional restriction that the shutter must remain closed for 8 hrs prior to the first pressure reading each day, taken as part of the morning DPC (Daily Planning Conference) for the next 4 weeks.] 

Update on 2-CMG Operation:  (1) Analyses were performed at MCC-H from yesterday evening until early this morning to assess CMG momentum impacts resulting from today’s robotics activities, in particular CMG desaturations during the planned SSRMS motion.  Final results predicted a momentum of less than 80% (of the amount requiring desat) during SSRMS activity.  In actuality it peaked at only 57% during the robotics ops; also, no automatic handover to the Russian Segment was required, and the U.S. MCS (motion control system) maintained 2-CMG attitude control throughout the day.  (2) Tomorrow’s crew schedule has been updated to include sizing two EMU suits for the Increment 9 crewmembers and performing a communications check on one of the suits.  These activities are “get-aheads” for EMU EVA to replace the CMG-2’s RPCM (remote power controller module) S02B-D, which will be performed at some point during Increment 9 Stage Operations.

7S/Soyuz TMA-3 (Expedition 8 + 1) flight plan:

  • Hatch Closing — 4/29, 1:34pm EDT (Moscow: 4/29, 9:34pm; Astana: 4/30, 12:34am)
  • Undocking — 4/29, 4:52pm EDT (Moscow: 4/30, 12:52am; Astana: 4/30, 3:52am)
  • Deorbit Burn — 4/29, 7:21pm EDT (Moscow: 4/30, 3:21am; Astana: 4/30, 6:21am)
  • Landing — 4/29, 8:12pm EDT (Moscow: 4/30, 4:12am; Astana: 4/30, 7:12am.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eight — 23rd):

GASMAP: To the Increment 9 Crew: “Your first GASMAP activity is just around the corner. We look forward to working with you.”

Human Research Facility/Workstation (HRF WS): Continuing.

Advanced Ultrasound (ADUM): No more activities scheduled for this Increment.

Hand Posture Analyzer (HPA:  Nothing new.

In-Space Soldering Investigation (ISSE): Nothing new.

Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation (PFMI): Nothing new.
Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS):   SAMS was able to capture the Soyuz 8S docking event.  The SAMS team sent a warm welcome to the Inc. 9 crew and a fond farewell to the Inc. 8 crew.
Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System (MAMS): MAMS captured the recent docking and undocking activities.  The ground team enjoyed working with the Inc. 8 crew and looks forward to working with Expedition 9.

Protein Crystal Growth-Single Locker Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES):  Nominal.

Protein Crystal Growth Monitoring by Digital Holographic Microscope (PromISS): Nothing new.

Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE):  Planned.

Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3 (BCAT-3): Nothing new.

Renal Stone (RS): Thanks were uplinked to Foale and Kaleri for their successful work with the Renal Stone experiment this past weekend.  The data they provided via IMS was “excellent”.  Also, the pictures taken on 4/19 were “just what the Experiment team was looking for”.

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SHERES): No more activities scheduled for this Increment.

Foot/Ground Reaction Forces during Space Flight (FOOT): Nothing new.

Materials ISS Experiment (MISSE):  In progress. Deployed outside on the U.S. Airlock. Nominal and collecting data.

Cellular Biotechnology Support Systems-Fluid Dynamics Investigation (CBOSS-FDI): Nothing new.

Yeast Group Activation Packs (Yeast GAP): Nothing new.

Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM):  Nothing new.

Earth Science Toward Exploration Research (ESTER):  No more activities scheduled for this increment.

Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2 (CSLM-2):  Planned.

Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA): Nothing new.

Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG):  Four runs are remaining; they will be performed on Increment 9.

Educational Payload Operations (EPO): The educational demonstrations performed on this increment are being edited for release and distribution to schools around the country.

Crew Earth Observations (CEO):  While no imagery was selected this week for publication, the early CEO iceberg imagery, particularly the one with meltponding on the surface was of great interest to the NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center).  The Principal Investigator was particularly excited that this phenomenon was noticed and documented by the crew of the ISS, and he hopes to be able to thank them personally.  Observers have noted a number of fine city views in recent CEO imagery and a very nice sequence of the Ganges River Delta.  This is the final weekly status report to the Expedition 8 crew.  They have acquired a large amount of imagery for investigators, who are looking forward to the opportunity to review it with the crew in the near future.

SpaceRef staff editor.