NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 May 2008

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2008


All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Hint: watch tonight's "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, at 11:30pm EDT! (see below)

Before breakfast, CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko and FE-2 Reisman began their workday with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement (second for CDR & FE-1, third for FE-2. [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.]

The FE-1 serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated tonight at ~5:15pm EDT. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. Filter bed 1 was regenerated yesterday. In order to assist in atmosphere scrubbing after the Freon-218 spill from the SKV-2 air conditioner on 4/29, the BMP's regeneration cycle was moded to 5 days instead of the regular 20 days.]

Kononenko set up the equipment for his first session with the Russian experiment MBI-18 DYKHANIE ("respiration", "breathing"), then conducted the session, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, followed later by the CDR who also undertook the experiment for the first time. The crewmembers took photographs of each other working the hardware, then closed down the payload 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.]

FE-2 Reisman performed maintenance on the OCA Router laptop, replacing its HDD (hard disk drive) with a spare HDD, reloaded it and configured it successfully for operations.

Volkov completed the periodic maintenance of the Russian telephone/telegraph subsystem (STTS) by switching it from its backup string to nominal mode on the primary string. [The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM (Service Module), FGB, DC1 Docking Compartment and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM's outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support.]

As part of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Oleg replaced the four dust filters (PF1-4) in the SM and cleaned the fan grilles of the LIV Video Complex hardware and its voltage converter, while Volkov later used vacuum cleaner and soft brush to clean the detachable VT7 fan screens 1, 2 & 3 of the three SOTR (Thermal Control System) gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) In the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok).

After starting the POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers/Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) application, Garrett Reisman took the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) through its planned maneuver sequence. [The sequence involved first grappling the SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) "Dextre" to allow ground controllers to derigidize the SPDM LEE (Latching End Effector) to relax the tension in its snare cables. Afterwards, Dextre was released and the SSRMS was reconfigured for the first planned operations during Flight 1J, including moving its wrist joint in a position to protect the SSRMS LEE video camera against contamination from thruster plumes during the upcoming Progress 29P docking.]

CDR Volkov continued the current FGB outfitting with new stowage enclosures delivered by the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle), built in Russia to provide more efficient stowage spaces behind FGB panels and improve airflow/circulation. [Today's outfitting involved one more container transferred in pieces from ATV stowage and its installation in the FGB zone (panel 312).]

For the annual sensor verification and cleaning of the European MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) rack, FE-2 Reisman first activated the A31p MLC (MSG Laptop Computer), then worked his way through the individual certification steps. The checkout went well. [Steps included MSG activation and warm-up, checkout of the MSG's temperature sensors without & with MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) cooling, checkout of the two delta-pressure sensors by on/off switching of the three AHU (Air Handling Unit) fans which provide negative pressure inside the WV (Work Volume) to prevent escape in case of a leak, system inspections, WV cleaning, returning MSG back to delta-P Sensor 1 mode, switching it to Standby, and finally deactivating and reconfiguring the A31p.]

In preparation of upcoming LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) experiments, the FE-2 transferred data from the LOCAD reader #002 to storage and installed updated software with new calibration curves (for processing new Glucan LAL cartridges) on both readers (#002 & 003). [LOCAD uses small, thumb-sized "microfluidic" cartridges that are read by the experiment reader. The cartridges contain dried extract of horseshoe crab blood cells and colorless dye. In the presence of the bacteria, the dried extract reacts strongly to turn the dye a green color. Therefore, the more green dye, the more microorganisms there are in the original sample. The handheld device tests this new analysis technology by sampling for the presence of gram negative bacteria in the sample in about 15 minutes. Lab-on-a-Chip technology has an ever-expanding range of applications in the biotech industry. Chips are available (or in development) which can also detect yeast, mold, and gram positive bacteria, identify environmental contaminants, and perform quick health diagnostics in medical clinics. The technology has been used to swab the MERs (Mars Exploration Rovers) for planetary protection. With expanded testing on ISS, this compact technology has broad potential applications in space exploration--from monitoring environmental conditions to monitoring crew health on long-duration flights.]

Kononenko conducted the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

As part of the ECLSS servicing, Oleg also performed the periodic check of the function of the IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment (RS) hatchways. [The inspection includes the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)-ATV, PrK-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, FGB PGO-FGB GA, FGB GA-Node-1.]

Working off the Russian "time permitting" task list, Volkov completed 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).

Also on the discretionary task list for the two cosmonauts remains the software upgrade of the "Sigma" BNO (Ballistic & Navigation Support Program) application on two Russian laptops, RSK1 & RSK2 (in DOS), patching it with a newly uplinked update to get the application running again (which computes real-time position of the ISS over the ground).

Garrett conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) audit as part of on-going WDS (Water Delivery System) assessment of onboard water supplies. [Updated "cue cards" based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week. The current cue card (17-0002C) lists 38 CWCs (~1515.1 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (772.7 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene), potable water (647.2 L), condensate water (89.4 L), waste/EMU dump and other (5.8 L). Of the 38 containers, 15 CWCs with technical water (620.5 L) and 4 CWCs with potable water (176.3 L) must be cleared for Wautersia bacteria by MCC-H before they can be used.]

Additionally, Reisman completed the periodic checkup on active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. [The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA is now back up again and running in support of the on-going Freon-218 scrubbing from the cabin air, collecting data every six seconds and downlinking the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.]

Garrett conducted the periodic (every two weeks) inspection of the RED (Resistive Exercise Device) canister bolts for re-tightening if required.

The crew is conducting their regular 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR), RED resistive exerciser (FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). [The RED, as an anaerobic muscle exerciser, allows a variety of routines: squat, heel raises, bent-over rowing, abdominal crunches, deadlift, bench presses, upright rowing, etc. For Sergey & Oleg, who are using RED three times a week, each session features four different routines which vary from day to day to target different muscle groups.]

Afterwards, Garrett will download the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as 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).

At ~10:50am EDT, Garrett Reisman participated in a live interactive PAO TV interview with Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report". [Stephen Colbert is the host and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated series "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. The "Colbert Report" has garnered huge ratings and critical success as one of the top shows on television. This interview was live-to-tape to be aired on Comedy Central tonight at 11:30pm EDT.]

At ~10:55am EDT, Sergey & Oleg linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues and equipment locations. [Topics of discussion today included type and ID number of a found computer cable, identification of two bags reported as stowed in FGB enclosures, current location of discarded mufflers, etc.]

At ~4:30pm, the crew is scheduled to downlink congratulatory PAO TV messages of greetings to three major Russian events: (1) the Seventh Delphian Youth Games of Russia "Our Future is in the Family"; (2) a conference dedicated to the 90th Anniversary of the Russian Children's Extra-Curricular Education System; and (3) a Gala Assembly in Moscow's Kremlin Palace dedicated to the 90th Anniversary of Russia's Border Security Forces. [(1) The 7th Delphian Games, 5/16-21 in Novosibirsk, are dedicated this year to the Year of the Family, celebrated in Russia in 2008 per Presidential decree. After reading their message, the crew will unstow the Delphian Games flag, sign & date it, stamp it with the ISS insignia and stow it for return on Soyuz. (2) The 90th anniversary of Pre-School Extra-Curricular Education in Russia will be celebrated on 5/13 in the city of Ulyanovsk. (3) The gala for the Border Troops will be held on 5/28 at the Kremlin: "...We, the ISS crew, have a chance of a lifetime to observe the planet from space. And from here, from Earth orbit, we can appreciate a really huge expanse of Russia, which extends for thousands of kilometers from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The ISS is where one truly realizes the actual length of Russian border and how difficult it is to protect it. We know that you doing your job like true professionals, that we can trust you..."]

At ~6:20pm, FE-2 Reisman will have a private CDE (Crew Discretionary Event) phone conference via S-band.

Condensate Processing Issue: The Russian attempt to put the two air conditioner condensate evacuation pumps NOK-1 & NOK-2 into service for processing US condensate through the SM's SRVK (Condensate Processing Unit) failed on 5/6, and specialists at RSC-Energia are suspecting that the separator portion of the BRPK (Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit) may be failing due to end of life. Troubleshooting to restore functionality of the condensate processing system continues.

Condensate Water Management: With US condensate being produced but not processed for Elektron as required, Houston flight controllers have proposed a water dump on 5/18 or 5/19 to get rid of the surplus. The overboard venting would necessitate a temporary change in ISS attitude. Moscow agrees in principle to the attitude maneuver but is suggesting, as an alternate plan, to store the condensate in clean ATV tanks until the SRVK functionality has been restored. The proposal is under joint study.

COL FSL Update: The crew was thanked by COL-CC (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Control Center) for the repair of the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory), which was successfully activated and performed nominally before being turned off again. Thanks were also extended for Garrett Reisman's support of the activation of the ERNObox, a special computer package with a new type of microchips, to be tested in the space environment, which also provides limited acceleration and temperature measurements. Data are on the ground and under investigation.

FGB KURS Testing Update: Two sets of KURS-P electronics on the FGB were tested on 5/6 for the AR&D (Automated Rendezvous & Docking) of Progress 29P on 5/16. Results were nominal, and the FGB is ready for the docking.

CDRA Activity Update: The US Carbon Dioxide Removal System has been active since yesterday to assist in the scrubbing of the cabin atmosphere after the 4/29 Freon-218 (Khladon) spill from the SKV-2 air conditioner. CDRA operation is planned for 5 days at 100,000 RPM (which will also help in the on-going CDRA dP trending). After the conclusion of CDRA ops, data of the active ESA ANITA instrument are expected to provide verification of the Freon levels in the cabin.

CBM Checkout: A checkout of the Node-2 CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) in preparation for the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) "Kibo" on 1J was successfully completed yesterday.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were East Haruj Megafans, Africa (weather was predicted be clear over this inland delta, caused by migration of stream channels over a depositional surface over 8000 years ago when the region had a wetter climate. These inland deltas ["megafans"] may represent an analog for features of similar appearance on Mars. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along track, were requested to capture the intricate network of ancient stream channels, visible as sinuous features on the land surface), S. Mozambique, Africa (some popcorn cumulus may have been present over this target area. The site includes is a basin targeted for petroleum extraction - this will cause significant changes to the existing ecosystems and surface processes in the area. Overlapping nadir frames, taken along track, were requested to capture the current state of land cover and land use in the target area), and Pilcomayo River dynamics, N Argentina (the Pilcomayo River rises in the Andes foothills, and then flows over 2,000 km southeast across central South America. Looking to the right of track for the river; context views along the river course were requested to record current channel configuration and adjacent vegetation and land use patterns).

CEO photography can be studied at this "Gateway" website: (as of 3/1/08, this database contained 757,605 views of the Earth from space, with 314,000 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:49am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 341.3 km
Apogee height -- 345.8 km
Perigee height -- 336.7 km
Period -- 91.36 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006742
Solar Beta Angle -- 12.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 95 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 54226

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
05/14/08 -- Progress M-64/29P launch (4:23pm EDT)
05/16/08 -- Progress M-64/29P docking/FGB nadir (5:38pm)
05/31/08 -- STS-124/Discovery/1J launch - JEM PM "Kibo", racks, RMS (5:01pm EDT)
06/02/08 -- STS-124/Discovery/1J docking
07/10/08 -- Russian EVA-20 (7/10-11)
??/??/08 -- STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
09/05/08 -- ATV1 undocking
09/09/08 -- Progress M-64/29P undocking (from DC1)
09/10/08 -- Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 -- Progress M-65/30P docking
10/01/08 -- NASA 50 Years
10/11/08 -- Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft port)
10/12/08 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (SM aft port)
10/16/08 -- STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 launch - MPLM Leonardo, LMC
10/18/08 -- STS-126/Discovery/ULF2 docking
10/23/08 -- Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (FGB nadir)
11/03/08 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S relocation (from SM aft to FGB nadir)
11/20/08 -- ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 -- Progress M-66/31P launch
11/28/08 -- Progress M-66/31P docking
12/04/08 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A launch - S6 truss segment
12/06/08 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
12/15/08 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
2QTR CY09 -- STS-127/2J/A launch - JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
3QTR CY09 -- STS-128/17A/Atlantis - MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/??/09 -- Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 18S-2 docking)
3QTR CY09 -- STS-129/ULF3/Discovery - ELC1, ELC2
4QTR CY09 -- STS-130/20A/Endeavour - Node-3 + Cupola
1QTR CY10 -- STS-131/19A/Atlantis - MPLM(P)
1QTR CY10 -- STS-132/ULF4/Discovery - ICC-VLD, MRM1 (contingency)
2QTR CY10 -- STS-133/ULF5/Endeavour - ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

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