NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 26 January 2009


All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 14 of Increment 18.

CDR Fincke & FE-2 Magnus started their day by downloading the accumulated data of the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of another week-long session with SLEEP. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list. It is the third session for Mike, the second for Sandra.]

FE-1 Lonchakov performed more functional and leak tests on two solenoid (electromagnetic) valves (EK9, EK10) on the PK3 (Pneumatic Control 3) panel 9416 of the SOTR/TCS (Thermal Control System) recharge loop in the PrK (SM Transfer Compartment). [These tests began last week (1/20).]

Performing the regular weekly ~60 min. service of the US WRS (Water Recovery System), Sandra 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.]

Mike Fincke supported JAXA’s SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) activities on the RYUTAI & SAITO racks in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by reconnecting the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) MLT (Laptop Terminal), turning off the DomeGene ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal), activating the MLT and setting the UDC (Utility DC/DC Converter) and MMA power switches to On (which enables SSIPC to power on/off RYUTAI & SAITO components).

Lonchakov continued his support of the Russian OBR educational payloads, today setting up and conducting the OBR-1-1/”Fizika-LT (Letauschaya Tarelka/Flying Disk) experiment, also called “UFO”, taking photography of the experiment. Fincke assisted in the demo of the flying LT. [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”.]

Later, Yuri also set up and activated the SSTV (Slow Scan TV) equipment for conducting the MAI-75 experiment as part of OBR-3 ops, essentially a ham radio set-up with Kenwood VS-N1 (Visual Communicator) gear for downlinking photographic images. After ~30 min of activity the hardware was turned off again. [The payload is named after the renowned Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) whose reputation is based on the large number of famous aviators and rocket scientists that received their academic education here. Among the alumni are Academicians and Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Over 100 General and Chief Designers earned their degree at MAI, with famous rocket scientists like Makeyev, Mishin, Nadiradze and Yangel. MAI also fostered 20 Pilot-Cosmonauts, almost 100 famous test pilots, Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia. The amateur radio (ham) equipment aboard the ISS for downlinking SSTV imagery is an MAI product.]

Mike Fincke checked out the US SLM (Sound Level Meter) instrument and then used it to conduct the periodic noise level measurements program in the station interior for a 2-hr acoustic survey, including transfer of the recorded data to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [A total of 45 acoustic measurements were obtained, specifically at 11 locations in the Lab, 12 locations in the SM, ten in the JPM , four in the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment), and eight locations in Node-2. The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) data dump or via OCA.]

Mike also used the SLM to check & verify proper functionality of the acoustic C&W (Caution & Warning) tones in the new CQs (Crew Quarters) and in the WHC-Kabin (Waste & Hygiene Compartment w/newly installed privacy-“Kabin”).

Pending TsUP-Moscow go-ahead, the FE-1 had an ISS cabin atmosphere refresh from Progress 31P oxygen tankage on his schedule.

On the RS (Russian segment)’s STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem, Lonchakov performed a routine health test of the VHF-1/-2 receivers, supported by ground specialist tagup. Later, Yuri completed the periodic switchover of the STTS to an alternate subset, today to the primary string after operating for some time on a backup string. [The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 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 (LINE-1,-2,-3), plus an intercom channel (VPU). Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support.]

The FE-1 also made preparations for an upcoming IFM (Inflight Maintenance), viz., the assembly of an air conditioner (cooler/dehumidifier) for the Soyuz TMA-13 Descent Module, by gathering & readying equipment and onboard tools from the Progress 31P and the RS.

The FE-2 completed the standard sensor calibration on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1043 & #1059, delivered on 1J, using a calibration adapter (#1001) brought up on Progress 30P.

Afterwards, Magnus had another 3 hrs set aside for more collecting & prepacking US trash for disposal on Progress 31P on 2/9.

Yuri Lonchakov collected the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants in the SM, 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 Formaldehyde (HCHO).

In the SM, Sandy Magnus performed the routine daily servicing of the 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.]

Working from his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Lonchakov conducted 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).

At ~4:20pm, just before sleep time, Yuri will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD (Sonocard) payload and start his seventh experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

The station residents 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), IRED interim resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

At ~5:35am EST, Mike set up the G1 video camcorder with MPC (Multipurpose Converter) and IPU (Image Processing Unit) and conducted, at ~9:15am, a PAO TV exchange in HD (High Definition) with KDKA Radio Morning News (Larry Richert) in Pittsburg, PA, Fincke’s hometown. Magnus later disassembled and stowed the MPC downlink equipment.

At ~1:20pm, Fincke & Magnus tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the ground-analyzed 400 & 800mm-lens photo/video training imagery that resulted from their latest RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) drill on 1/22. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-119/Discovery/15A) on 2/14. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Working from his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Yuri performed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

A discretionary task item on the “job jar” list for CDR Fincke continues to be filling out his fourth FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).

ARED Update: When preparing to exercise on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device this morning, the CDR encountered a problem with an ARED part not fully retracting and causing a scraping noise during some exercises, such as squads. No scrape marks were visible, but the ARED was put off limits until resolution, and the crew was told to use the IRED until then.

SPDM Update: CSA (Canadian Space Agency) ground controllers today placed the SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) back on the Lab PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture), then released the SPDM and maneuvered the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) to the start position for the proficiency operations scheduled for 1/28 (Wednesday) and the 15A pre-launch checkout. [The SPDM checkout operations have progressed nominally with no major issues. Dextre successfully demonstrated loaded SSRMS ground control capability (up to this point, all SSRMS ground control operations had been limited to unloaded SSRMS motion and walk-offs), performed range of motion checkout on all the SPDM joints, checked out OK on SPDM joint and FOR OCAS (frame of reference {i.e., x,y,z instead of joint angle values} operator commanded auto sequence) maneuvers. mode on both SPDM arms, checked out OK on SPDM LEE (Latching End Effector) capture and release functionality. performed thermal characterization of the SPDM arm1 and arm2 force/moment sensors, completed simulated ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) insertion and extraction maneuvers with both SPDM arms using different control algorithms, conducted simulated SSRMS safing maneuvers to maneuver the SPDM clear from a worksite after a failure, and performed SPDM video routing system checkout.]

CDRA Update: The US Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly is showing an increasing delta pressure trend across both absorbent beds. Although CDRA is considered healthy enough to support a CSCS (Contingency Shuttle Crew Support) case for Flight 15A, should that unlikely event arise, it will not be run continuously to conserve functionality. The Russian Vozdukh has been activated today to fill in. A decision to launch another absorbent bed on 15A will be made later this week.

Progress O2 Transfer Deferral: Oxidizer (Nitrogen Tetroxide/NTO) transfer from the Progress 31P was deferred last week by TsUP-Moscow when the compressor pump suffered a hard failure. Energia will reattempt the transfer tomorrow (1/27) using a backup compressor.

Reboost Oscillations: Joint assessment of the offnominal reboost on 1/14 is continuing. Moscow reported that the root cause of the observed strong structural oscillations was an error in parameter settings uploaded to the SM engine gimballing control system, which then caused a malfunction of a dynamic (frequency) control filter. Both the MCS (Motion Control System) and the filter itself are continuing to function properly. Corrective measures are underway.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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, 7:50am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 357.2 km
Apogee height -- 362.4 km
Perigee height -- 351.9 km
Period -- 91.68 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007768
Solar Beta Angle -- -7.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.70
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 52 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 58366

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 (7:32am EST)
02/14/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A docking (3:57am EST)
02/23/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A undocking (9:30pm EST)
02/26/09 -- STS-119/Discovery/15A landing (KSC, 1:50am EST)
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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