NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 May 2009

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2009

image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Memorial Day in the USA. Underway: Week 8 of Increment 19 (last 4 days with crew of 3).

FE-2 Koichi Wakata began his third session of sleep logging for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [To monitor the crewmember's sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Koichi wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and uses 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.]

Wakata also started the day with the extended "Bisphosphonates" biomedical countermeasures experiment for which he again ingested 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 will be 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.]

Before breakfast and exercise, the FE-2 underwent the periodic PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/Blood Labs examination, using the U.S. PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer). The second part of PHS, Subjective Clinical Evaluation, was performed later in the day. Dr. Barratt assisted with the blood draw for Koichi as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. [The PHS exam, with PCBA analysis and clinical evaluation, is guided by special software (IFEP, In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC laptop. While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, the blood's hematocrit is particularly measured by the Russian MO-10 protocol.]

CDR Padalka collected and downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian "Pille-MKS" (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has ten sensors placed at various locations in the Russian segment (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). Today's readings were taken from four dosimeters (A0301, A0303, A0309, A0310). A second reading will be taken on Wednesday (5/27).

In preparation for the upcoming Orlan EVAs (Extravehicular Activities), Padalka & Barratt performed a 1-hr session each with the Russian MedOps procedure MO-6 (Hand-Cycle Ergometry) in the SM (Service Module), assisting each other in turn and supported by ground specialist tagup. [Because cosmonauts in early Russian programs have shown noticeable decrease in arm muscle tone, TsUP/IBMP (MCC-Moscow/Institute of Biomedical Problems) physical fitness experts have groundruled the handgrip/arm tolerance test analysis (hand ergometry) as a standard pre-Orlan EVA requirement. For MO-6, the subject dons the ECG (electrocardiogram) biomed harness, attaches three skin electrodes and plugs the harness into the PKO medical exam panel on the cycle ergometer. The other crewmember assists. The exercise itself starts after 10 seconds of complete rest, by manually rotating the cycle's pedals, set at 150 W, backwards until "complete exhaustion".]

Additional standard preparations by Padalka & Barratt for the Orlan suited dry-run (6/3) and EVA-22 today consisted of --

* Configuring STTS communications for "Pirs" DC1 (Docking Compartment) occupancy,
* Setting up EVA equipment in DC1 & PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment),
* Activating & inspecting Orlan-MK spacesuits #5 (CDR, red stripe) & #6 (FE-1, blue stripe),
* Checking out the DC1 & PkhO BSS (Orlan Interface Units),
* Configuring the Orlan & BSS cooling loops and performing their degassing (i.e., liquid/gas separation) in DC1,
* Completing degassing of the BSS systems in the PkhO,
* Installing the BRTA telemetry unit & BK-3 oxygen tank on the Orlan-MK #6 backpack,
* Mounting the nominal (Russian) helmet light on Orlan-MK #6,
* Checking out & readying replaceable components (OTA, Russian: SMEN) and auxiliary gear for their particular Orlan suits, and
* Restoring DC1 STTS communications to their nominal settings.

In support of the upcoming STS-127/2JA mission spacewalks, FE-2 Wakata initiated recharge on EVA helmet light batteries in the US Airlock.

Koichi also performed the periodic WRS (Water Recovery System) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-7 (Station Support Computer 7) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged for calldown. [The current procedure is a work-around for TOCA's failed catalyst.]

Barratt undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it from the Lab (loc. LAB1S4_A2) to the SM near Panel 410 (close to TORU control panel), then taking documentary photography, downloaded to SSC-8.

In the Lab, Mike started another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the fourth, with the new 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. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today's data were again to be compared against VOA measurements.]

Padalka inspected the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for presence of coolant. [On 5/19, he had replaced a pump unit of the 4SPN1 replaceable pump panel at this location.]

In preparation for the upcoming crew size increase, Koichi Wakata converted the TeSS (Temporary Sleep Station) from a hygiene station to sleep station, removing the hygiene liner, stowing its filters in Ziploc bags and reinstalling the blanket.

Afterwards, the FE-2 constructed TCQ (Temporary Crew Quarters) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) at loc. JPM1F3. [The CQ Rack 3 for the FE-4 does not arrive until Flight 17A. In the interim between 19S and 17A, the TCQ in Kibo will be used. The TCQ utilizes CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine) bags, soft dummy panels on a standoff frame and Velcro straps as restraints.]

In the Lab, Koichi installed protective covers on WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) control panels and nearby electronics for use during WHC hygiene operations.

Gennady loaded new software for the Zveno-B ("Link-B") modems on the RSE2 A31p laptop. [The software supports communications between the RSE2 and the Zveno in TsUP-Moscow in active state when booting & operating the laptop. The link runs over the SM REGUL comm system, enabling data to be uplinked/downlinked and commands to be uplinked directly. Regul provides for two-way voice communication, digital command/program information as well as telemetry transmission via RGS (Russian Groundsites). It also has the capability to receive and transmit range, radial velocity, and time-referenced information. It is the nominal uplink path for all Russian commands and is the only subsystem that operates using the Command Radio Link (KRL). Operating at a low data rate, it is equivalent to the U.S. S-band system. There is no Russian equivalent of the U.S. high data rate Ku-band system, based on the TDRS satellites.]

Padalka 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 FE-2 took care of 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).

Koichi also assisted SSIPC/Tsukuba (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) Flight Controllers in more troubleshooting of the failed CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) Micro-G Incubator temperature controller fan in the JPM's Saibo Rack, first removing the MELFI desiccant/dehumidifier bags from the micro-G & 1G sections, then rotating the fan to another position for it to start. [On 2/28, the fan was found to be not working, depriving the system of essential temperature control (neither too cold nor too hot). The fan is a three-phase motor which mechanically stops at 12 different positions by magnet force of the fan motor, and the potential cause of the anomaly is breaking of one of the magnetic stoppage coils.]

At ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Gennady will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his fifth 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.]

Wakata set up the video equipment with G1 camcorder (clamped to handrail in PMA-1) for filming the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) during subsequent crew exercise activities. The video was to be downlinked live and also recorded on the VTR for later playback. Afterwards, the equipment was torn down again.

The crew 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-2), ARED (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1). [CEVIS is currently unusable.]

Later, Koichi transferred the exercise data file to the MEC for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

CDR Padalka had another run with the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program on his discretionary "time permitting" task list, using the NIKON D2X digital camera to take 800mm-lens telephotos for subsequent downlinking on the BSR-TM payload data channel,

Soyuz TMA-15/19S Update: At Baikonur, preparations continue for the launch of the Soyuz TMA-15/19S to the ISS. Today, the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle with the TMA-15 spacecraft was rolled out from the Assembly-Test Facility to the launch site and erected on the launch pad. L-2 day operations are underway. The launch of the Soyuz-FG is planned 5/27 at 6:34:49 am EDT.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today (except for coordinates of major cities).

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 EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 350.1 km
Apogee height -- 356.7 km
Perigee height -- 343.6 km
Period -- 91.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009737
Solar Beta Angle -- 20.0 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 89 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 60237

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
05/27/09 -- Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch (6:34am EDT)
05/29/09 -- Soyuz TMA-15/19S docking (FGB nadir, ~8:36am)
Six-person crew on ISS
06/03/09 -- Orlan Suited Dry-Run (training)
06/05/09 -- Russian EVA-22
06/10/09 -- Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch - JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD (7:26am)
07/17/09 -- Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 -- Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 -- Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A -- MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch -- tentative
09/07/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/08/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 -- Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Proton -- tentative
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 - ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 -- Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 -- Progress 37P launch
02/XX/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A -- Node-3 + Cupola -- tentative
02/11/10 -- STS-131/Atlantis/19A -- MPLM(P), LMC -- tentative
03/05/10 -- Progress 38P launch
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/08/10 -- STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 -- ICC-VLD, MRM-1 -- tentative
04/30/10 -- Progress 39P launch
05/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 -- Progress 40P launch
07/29/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 -- ELC3, ELC4 -- tentative
07/30/10 -- Progress 41P launch
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/30/10 -- Progress 42P launch
11/??/10 -- ATV2 -- Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA -- on Proton

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