NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 20 July 2009


image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 8 of Increment 20. Today 40 years ago Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. Congratulations - Neil, Buzz & Mike!

Crew sleep cycle: Wake 6:33am, sleep 9:33pm EDT (ISS).

Mission 2J/A’s EVA-2 was successfully completed. Having begun at 11:27am EDT, the spacewalk, performed by MS4 Dave Wolf & MS2 Tom Marshburn, ended at 6:20pm, for a total duration of 6h 53m. [EV1 & EV2 began their “campout” (nachalo desaturatsiy = desaturation start) last night at ~8:58pm in the U.S. Airlock (A/L) with hatch closure and depressurization of the Crewlock (CL) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi, followed by mask prebreathe at ~9:00pm-10:05pm. This morning, following the usual hygiene break/with mask prebreathe for Wolf & Marshburn at ~7:13am-8:23am after spending the night on 10.2 psi, the A/L hatch was closed again by Barratt for EVA preps in 10.2 psi, followed by EMU purge (~9:55am) and prebreathe (~10:10am) in the EMUs. Afterwards, with CL depressurization (~11:00am) and EV1/EV2 switching to suit power, EVA-1 began at 11:27am. The excursion lasted 6h 53m.]

Accomplished EVA-2 objectives:

  • Transferred a spare SGANT (Space-to-Ground Antenna) to the ISS ESP-3 (External Stowage Platform-3),
  • Transferred a spare PM (Pump Module) to ESP-3,
  • Transferred a spare LDU (Linear Drive Unit) to ESP-3,
  • Relocated a fixed grapple bar to the P1 ATA (Ammonia Tank Assembly) in preparation for its replacement on STS-128/ISS 17A,
  • Get-ahead task: installed 2 of 4 remaining grounding sleeves on the SSPTS (Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System),
  • Cleanup & ingress.

Due to time constraints, installation of the Forward JEF VE (JEM Exposed Facility Vision Equipment) was not attempted and will be deferred to a future EVA.

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Barratt, FE-2-20 Kopra, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne began a new session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their 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, 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.]

For FE-2 Wakata & FE-4 Thirsk, the day began with the extended “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for which Koichi & Bob 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.]

Bob Thirsk set up the NUTRITION w/Repository gear for his second session, readying the equipment for the blood draw and the hardware for the 24-hr urine collections. Frank DeWinne assisted with the blood draw. [The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

Tim Kopra had an hour to himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Roman Romanenko undertook the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular assessment during graded physical load on the VELO cycle ergometer, assisted by Gennady Padalka as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The assessment uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. Measurements were telemetered down via VHF to RGS (Russian Groundsite) during a comm window at 12:42pm EDT. For the graded-load exercise, the subject works the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each. Data output involves a kinetocardiogram, rheoplethysmogram, rheoencephalogram and a temporal pulsogram.]

The toilet in the ISS WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) is again operational. This morning, the crew changed out a number of parts that were flooded with pre-treat solution yesterday when a dose pump failed ON. The crew is Go for nominal use of the WHC.

Wakata, Thirsk & DeWinne each performed checkout exercise sessions today on the newly repaired ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device). Video will be analyzed by the ground.

Frank also replaced a faulty fan & fan motor in the GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator). No noise was heard from the new fan.

Tim conducted a session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), his first, by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

DeWinne completed the visual (plus photographic) microbial analysis of air and surface swab samples collected last week (7/15) by Thirsk in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) with SSK (Surface Sampler Kit) on slides and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) in Petri dishes at the T+5d incubation point (collection day counts as Day 1).

Kopra took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. It was his first O-OHA test. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Bob Thirsk offloaded the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) into one of the new CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine, #2028) with the common H2O Transfer Hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

Romanenko conducted the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)–PrK–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, FGB GA–Node-1.]

Padalka did 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).

FE-3 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.]

FE-5 uninstalled & removed the ERNOBox from the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for return to the ground on the Shuttle. [The ERNO (Entwicklungsring Nord) box contains various radiation devices, including LEON-2 CPU (Central Processing Unit) developed by ATMEL/France and ESA, new memory devices, large SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)-based FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays), and MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) sensors. The radiation-hardened LEON-2 microprocessor chip is the first implementation of a LEON CPU-core in silicon, with SPARC compliance. SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture), invented by Sun Microsystems Inc., is an open set of technical specifications that any person or company can license and use to develop microprocessors and other semiconductor devices based on published industry standards.]

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-1, FE-4), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-5), IRED/ARED resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3). [The interim RED is being used in lieu of the ARED (Advanced RED) until the latter has had its damaged VIS (Vibration Isolation System) dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

Later, Thirsk transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including 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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/24/09 -- Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking;
07/28/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing
07/27/09 -- Progress 34P docking (if STS-127 departs nominally; can slip to 7/29)
07/31/09 -- PMA-3 relocation
08/18/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/10/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:00pm EDT)
09/16/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth w/SSRMS
09/29/09 -- Progress 34P undock
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 Soyuz-U
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
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 -- Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 -- Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM
08/11/10 -- Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-134/Discovery/ULF6 – ELC3, AMS
09/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 -- Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 -- ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton


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