NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 January 2009


All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>Today is NASA Astronaut Shannon Lucid’s birthday. Dr. Lucid has flown on five Shuttle missions, most famously on the fifth when she spent 188 days in space, from 3/22 to 9/26, 1996, including 179 days aboard the Russian space station Mir. As a result of her time aboard Mir, she held the record for the most hours in orbit by a non-Russian and most hours in orbit by a woman worldwide until 6/16, 2007, when her record for longest duration spaceflight by a woman was exceeded by Sunita Williams aboard the ISS. Shannon Lucid was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in December 1996, the tenth person and first woman to be given that honor. Congratulations, Shannon!<<<

FE-1 Lonchakov continued his support of the new Russian student-developed payload OBR-1-2/”Fizika-Faza”, taking photography of the experiment. [OBRAZOVANIE (Education) is a suite of three educational demonstrations of physics in micro-G, viz., OBR-1-1/”Fizika-LT” (Motion), OBR-1-2/”Fizika-Faza” (Phase) and OBR-1-3/”Fizika-Otolit”.]

Lonchakov also removed the IPK-1M gas masks of the personal fire protection gear in the SM (Service Module, 3 units) and DC1 (Docking Compartment, 1 unit) and replaced them with fresh units.

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), CDR Fincke replaced the BLB INC (Biolab Incubator) biological isolation filter & cold spot sponge/seal; afterwards he removed Rotor B WAICO #1 ECs (Waving & Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels/Experiment Containers) and installed RECS (Reference ECs).

As part of regular preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, the FE-1 replaced the four dust filters (PF1-4) in the SM and 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).

Servicing the new WRS (Water Recovery System), FE-2 Magnus –

  • Collected the periodic samples from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Ambient tap,
  • Analyzed in-flight samples with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit/Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative), and
  • Performed data recording and, for conserving water, the usual water reclamation from the sample bags via an absorbing towel (to be dried by airing) and concluded the activities.

[Coliform bacteria are the commonly-used bacterial indicator of sanitary quality of foods and water. They are defined as rod-shaped Gram-negative non-spore forming organisms that ferment Lactose with the production of acid and gas when incubated at 35-37 degC. Coliforms are abundant in the feces of warm-blooded animals, but can also be found in the aquatic environment, in soil and on vegetation. In most instances, coliforms themselves are not the cause of sickness, but they are easy to culture and their presence is used to indicate that other pathogenic organisms of fecal origin may be present.]

Afterwards, Sandra Magnus performed 20 min IFM (inflight maintenance) on the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), first removing the TOCA unit from the WRS2 (Water Recovery System 2) rack, then installing four handrail extenders on the EDV attachment brackets and finally re-installing the TOCA.

Later, Mike Fincke completed the visual “T+2 Day” microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the “Week 12” potable water samples collected by Sandy on 1/12 from the WRS (Water Recovery System) and processed on board with the MCDs and CDBs.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Magnus performed troubleshooting on the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) by disconnecting and reconnecting cables and checking operations with the MLT (MMA Laptop Terminal). [MMA activities had been aborted by a communication error between MLT and NCU (Network Control Unit). A sequence of steps for the connections checkout today was uplinked for the FE-2.]

In preparation for a planned overnight Kibo JPM/JLP (JEM Pressurized Logistics Segment) vestibule depressurization and leak check, Fincke relocated the PEPS PBA (Portable Emergency Provisions/Portable Breathing Apparatus) and PFE (Portable Fire Extinguishers) from the JLP Endcone to the JPM. Later the CDR completed JPM/JLP IMV (Inter/Intra Modular Ventilation) valve closing and jumper removal, followed by closing of hatches between JPM & JLP for overnight. [SSIPC/Tsukuba (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) shut down the IMV and the SDs (Smoke Detectors in the JLP prior to the leak check. Upon SSIPC call, the crew was to become “prime” for smoke detection in the JLP. They were also reminded not to leave any items they may need tonight in the JLP.]

Yuri Lonchakov prepared the hardware for tomorrow’s planned installation & testing of a new internal communications WAP (Wireless Access Point; Russian: ABP) in the SM. [Equipment unpacked from the DC1 includes the WAP, power & data cables and an Ethernet cable. Preparations included unstowing a third antenna and mounting it at the side of the WAP.]

Mike & Yuri inventoried the Russian medical cabinet and checked out a number of GAMMA-1M Rheoplethysmographic Unit data (USI VAP-KKG) output devices for venous and arterial pulsogram-kinetocardiogram data, Temporal Pulsogram data (USI VPG), Rheoplethysmographic data (USI RPG-1), Electrocardiogram data (EKG USI), Rheoencephalogram data (USI REG-1), and others. [The checkout used the MTsM-01 MultiMeter and was documented photographically, with telemetry transmission to the ground, without the usual Chibis pneumo-vacuum suit.]

Sandy had 40 min reserved for working on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation), installing a CEVIS Rack Attachment Bracket (CRAB).

Fincke retrieved and stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies deployed by Magnus on 1/12 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and Service Module (SM, at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Sandra Magnus conducted the periodic status check on the running payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2). [ENose monitors the station’s interior for harmful chemicals such as ammonia, mercury, methanol and formaldehyde, running continuously and autonomously. It is the first instrument aboard ISS which can detect and quantify chemical leaks or spills as they happen. If successful, ENose might be used in future space missions as part of an automated system to monitor and control astronauts' in-space environments. The shoebox-sized ENose contains an array of 32 sensors that can identify and quantify several organic and inorganic chemicals, including organic solvents and marker chemicals that signal the start of electrical fires. The sensors are polymer films that change their electrical conductivity in response to different chemicals, where the pattern of the sensor array's response depends on the particular chemical types present in the air. The instrument can analyze volatile aerosols and vapors, help monitor cleanup of chemical spills or leaks, and enable more intensive chemical analysis by collecting raw data and streaming it to a computer at JPL's ENose laboratory. The instrument, weighing less than nine pounds and requiring only 20 watts of power, has a wide range of chemical sensitivity, from fractional parts per million to 10,000 parts per million. Its data-analysis software can identify and quantify the release of chemicals within 40 minutes of detection. While ENose will look for 10 chemical types in this six-month experiment, it can be “trained” to detect many others.]

The FE-1 completed the routine daily servicing of the SM’s SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]

Lonchakov also performed the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The station residents conducted their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), IRED/Interim Resistive Exercise Device (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

At ~1:05pm EST, Fincke & Magnus participated in a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss installation, activation and operation of the new ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.

The CDR broke out and set up the equipment for tomorrow’s scheduled U.S. PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/Blood Labs exam, a clinical evaluation of Magnus as subject, with Mike Fincke assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for the blood sampling part. [Today’s task included an electronic function test and control analysis of the blood lab equipment, viz., the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), which was then temporarily stowed.]

ISS Reboost: Today’s planned reboost using the SM main engines was successfully performed at 1:06pm EST, with a burn duration of 2 min 22.4 s. Total delta-V achieved was 3.05 m/s (3.05 m/s planned). Mean altitude increase was 5.36 km (2.89 nmi). Science windows in JPM and Lab were closed for the thruster firings. The reboost is the first of two reboosts used to set up phasing for the STS-119/15A and 32P launches.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Antarctic Ice Pack, southern Indian Ocean (looking to the right of track towards Antarctica for openings in the cloud cover - ice rafts and icebergs may have been visible. Imagery of ice in the southern oceans is useful for tracking large icebergs that present potential danger to ships. The data is also useful for studies of ice breakup processes), Heard Island, southern Indian Ocean (weather continues to be mostly clear over Heard Island. Looking to the right of track for this small, snow covered island with its high central volcanic peak), and Chaiten Volcan, Chile (low clouds were predicted in the vicinity of Chaiten Volcano during this nadir overpass. The summit peak of the volcano is of particular interest for photography, as a new lava dome continues to build following the May 2008 eruption).

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, 7:37am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 352.5 km
Apogee height -- 356.8 km
Perigee height -- 348.1 km
Period -- 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006466
Solar Beta Angle -- 29.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 71 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 58178

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
02/09/09 -- Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 -- Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 -- Progress 32P docking
02/12/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
02/14/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A docking
02/24/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking
02/26/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (nominal)
03/25/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 -- Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/12/09 -- STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/15/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch - JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 -- Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
Six-person crew on ISS
08/06/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC, last crew rotation
08/XX/09 -- Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 - ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 -- STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/08/10 -- STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4
12/XX/11-- Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.

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