NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 5 October 2009

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, October 5, 2009

image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. The ISS crew today saluted TsUP/MCC-Moscow on its 45th Anniversary (and Sputnik-1 was launched yesterday 52 years ago). Underway: Week 19 of Increment 20.

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Barratt, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk, FE-5 De Winne & FE-5-21 Williams began a new week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Jeff’s first, logging data from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [To monitor the crewmembers’ 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.]

Also right after wakeup, Barratt, Stott, Thirsk, De Winne & Williams completed their second liquid saliva collection of the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE, storing the samples at ambient temperature. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned on the Shuttle so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

FE-3 Romanenko started his day with the periodic status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM (Service Module). [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

Before breakfast, FE-5 De Winne began Part 1 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, to be carried by three crewmembers (FE-3, FE-4, FE-5) for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). (Last time done: 8/18-8/19). [Tonight, after about 15 hours of measurements, dosimeter data will be downloaded and the hardware power-cycled for another data take starting tonight after 8.5-hr. sleep. At that point, the crew will deploy the dosimeters statically in the station for the duration of the day, record measurements tomorrow noon and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), the FE-1 reconnected the PWS2 (Portable Workstation 2) 16VDC power cable to the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop, then configured the laptop and activated it.

Afterwards, Mike Barratt began Day 1 of his two-day activity with the ESA experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease). [For the session, Mike first set up the PFS (Pulmonary Function System) with PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module) and GDS(Gas Delivery System), donned & activated the HLTA BP (Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) instrument, to run for the next 24-hrs, then calibrated the PAM for the subsequent rebreathing exercises with mixing bag, and started urine collections. The CARD protocol included a 24h urine collection on Day 1, a 24h blood pressure monitoring with the HLTA, a blood draw (in the morning of Day 2), and five cardiac output measurements performed with the HRF-2 PFS via re-breathing technique (three double re-breathing sessions with the 4L Re-breathing Bag on Day 1 and two on Day2).]

In support of the ground-commanded experiment SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids), Barratt set up and connected the Ethernet cables to the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) to allow today’s first science, and then activated the MSG. [SODI check-out was performed on 10/1.]

FE-2 Stott, assisted by FE-1-21 Williams, had several hours blocked out for the hard work of removing & replacing the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) braking band, which required the cycle’s removal from the frame and opening the left side panel to allow the R&R of the braking band. [As the crew was informed, certain parts of the procedure could be particularly difficult. The need for the replacement is due to the fact that ground engineers have seen a drift between the commanded workload and the actual workload. The actual workload gradually increases during the lower workload settings of the protocol, which can prevent adequate cooldown. The anomaly was seen earlier in the year and was corrected in May with a thorough braking band cleaning, but has returned rather quickly.]

Later, Stott & De Winne readied the equipment for Nicole’s second ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, scheduled tomorrow. [For preparation, Nicole initialized two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) and formatted two HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF memory cards, while Frank charged four Makita power tool batteries.]

The three Russian crewmembers – Padalka, Romanenko & Suraev – set up and conducted multi-element VHF & S-band STTS onboard communications checkouts between the three Soyuz vehicles (TMA-14/18S, TMA-15/19S, TMA-16/20S) and the SM (Service Module).

In the SM, Romanenko performed the periodic preventive maintenance on the ventilation system by changing out the cartridge of the PF1-4 dust filter.

Padalka & Suraev conducted the periodic health check of the KhSA Cooler/Dehumidifier Assembly’s V1 fan in the Soyuz 18S spacecraft’s DM (Descent Module) by turning the V2 fan off and the V1 fan on, then checking air flow. [On 6/25, a planned replacement of the apparently faulty fan in the Soyuz 18S DM with a new unit proved to be not necessary after Padalka configured a jumper bypass which successfully recovered functionality of the air conditioner fan. Today’s activity was to check up on the fix.]

The CDR & FE-1-21 also performed the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s VU sediment trap insert. [The Russian SRV-K2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water].

Afterwards, Gennady reconfigured an A31p laptop (#1157) by equipping it with the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) of the Russian RS1 laptop (#1145), supported by ground specialist tagup.

Working with the new Russian science payloads, Padalka retrieved the Rekomb-K container and Bioreactor #2, containing ARIL, from the Kriogem-03 freezer and relocated them to the TBU incubator, set at +4 degC.

Suraev afterwards reset the Kriogem-03 from +4 degC to -22 degC and inserted Icepacks and Icebelts, to be used later for return stowage.

Gennady & Maxim performed the regular monthly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), inspecting the condition of harnesses, belt slats, corner bracket ropes, IRBAs (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assemblies) and gyroscope wire ropes for any damage or defects, lubricating as required plus recording time & date values.

Padalka & Suraev had ~2h10m reserved for E20/E21 handover activities.

Barratt & Williams also spent ~1:10h together on more handover activities.

FE-1-21 familiarized himself with the onboard physical exercise procedures and the use of the TVI treadmill.

Mike Barratt & Jeff Williams continued the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) refitting work started yesterday, connecting a Russian EDV-U container to the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) for the first-time processing of RS (Russian Segment) urine by the UPA in the Lab. [The new setup allows the crew to connect Russian EDV-U’s to the UPA without having to manage the safety constraints associated with disconnecting the WHC from the UPA every time, providing more flexibility in the crew’s ability to process urine from both USA and RS sources. Toward that objective, tomorrow, Mike & Jeff will install the PTU (Pre-Treated Urine)-T valve hose readied by Jeff yesterday. The plan is to transfer pre-treated urine from Russian EDV-U’s into the UPA each morning for about 5 minutes.]

Bob Thirsk conducted the periodic manual filling of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) flush water tank (EDV-SV), today cutting the process short after a partial fill (which rendered the WHC unavailable during this time). [If the tank fill caused the red WHC “Pretreat Bad Qual” LED to be illuminated on the ASU control panel, Mike was to clear it.]

Jeff Williams configured the hardware for his first session with the BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment, then worked through the protocol, with Canadian flight engineer Thirsk participating for taking photographs. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity, investigating the relative contributions of internal & external cues to self-orientation during and after micro-G exposure.. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration micro-G conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to micro-G and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-4 Thirsk prepared the FPEF MS (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility/Marangoni Surface) equipment for another ground-controlled run of the Marangoni convection experiment, by removing the FPEF MS from the Ryutai Rack, setting it up on the MWA (Maintenance Work Area), changing its configuration to non-operation mode and removing the core. [In microgravity, fluids react differently to stresses when compared to the same stresses on Earth. Understanding the responses to the stressors allows for improved fluid flow models to be designed. Mass transfer on or in a liquid due to surface tension differences is called the Marangoni Effect (which, for example, stabilizes a soap film). The Marangoni convection experiment in the FPEF examines fluid tension flow in micro-G: first, a liquid bridge of silicone oil is formed into a pair of disks. Then, using temperature differences imposed on the disks, convection is induced causing the silicone oil to move and transition through different types of flows because of its fluid instability: successively from laminar to oscillatory, chaos, and turbulence flows as the driving force increases. The flow and temperature fields are observed in each stage and the transition conditions and processes are investigated.]

Frank De Winne & Bob Thirsk had ~1:30h set aside for continuing cargo transfers from the HST (H-II Transfer Vehicle) to the ISS and trash in the reverse direction, followed by a 15-min debriefing/bookkeeping tagup with ground specialists.

Continuing the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) commissioning in the COL, De Winne configured the FSL mechanically to install the Optical Target for Optical Checkout #5.

Frank also conducted another session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), his 5th, 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.]

Afterwards, Frank performed the periodic inspection of the THC CCAA (Temperature & Humidity Control / Common Cabin Air Assembly) in the U.S. Airlock, testing the “wetability” of the Heat Exchanger Sluper bars.

In addition, FE-5 started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run (the 35th) with the 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 will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware. Yesterday, the AQM suffered a temporary “crash” in the middle of the run but was subsequently restored with a reboot (power-cycle). There is a possible loss of some scientific data.]

Frank had ~30 min set aside to review, for familiarization, MSRR-1 (Materials Science Research Rack 1) commissioning procedures. [MSRR-1 was installed in the “Destiny” Lab by De Winne & Fuglesang for basic materials research in the micro-G environment. MSRR-1 can accommodate and support diverse EMs (Experiment Modules) so that many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials.]

Afterwards, the FE-5 prepared the ESA EPO-3 (Education Program Operation 3) demo for tomorrow’s scheduled Livelink event at ~8:00am EDT, for Frank & Bob “performing” for ~350 10-12 year old children in Brussels, Belgium. [With Bob acting as camera operator, Frank will demonstrate micro-G, water behavior (polarization, buoyancy, solubility), followed by a Q&A session.]

FE-3 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).

Roman 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.]

At ~4:26am EDT, all crewmembers joined in downlinking a message of congratulation to TsUP/MCC-Moscow on its 45th Anniversary.

At ~10:10am, Mike Barratt, Nicole Stott & Jeff Williams supported two TV PAO interviews (~9 min each) with ABC News (Gina Sunseri) & WTVT-TV, Tampa, FL (Warren Ely).

SFP Guy Laliberte and the three Russian crewmembers had two hours set aside for scheduled commemorative (Russian: “symbolic”) activities, a standard tradition for visiting guests and departing expedition crewmembers. [The crew members stamped & signed photographs, stamped & signed letter envelopes (including 50 for the 50th Anniversary of Luna-2) and postcards, unstowed a Youth Year flag as backdrop for recording greetings, unpacked an Icon of The Mother of God (“The Sign Icon”) for video & still photography, then signing & stamping the flag with the ISS logo and current date, and finally stowing the kits in the Soyuz TMA-14 Descent Module.]

FE-1-21 & FE-5-21 took their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Maxim at ~5:30am, Jeff at ~3:20pm EDT.

FE-1, FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Frank at ~10:30am, Bob at ~1:45pm, Nicole at ~2:15pm, Mike at ~5:00pm EDT.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3).

Later, Barratt transferred the exercise data files 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).

Before her TVIS session, Nicole Stott again instrumented her treadmill harness with data collection transducers in support of an SDTO (Station Development Test Objective), then activated the hardware for the exercise run. Afterwards, Nicole downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO.

Red Nose in Orbit Update: Guy and Cirque du Soleil are planning a 2-hour live broadcast on Friday, 10/9, while he is on ISS. It will string together live broadcasts from sites around the world. NASA and Cirque du Soleil have signed a unique MOU for this Soyuz visiting crew. NASA will participate in this broadcast event, supporting video recording on orbit, and helping get the NASA messages about ISS and Exploration integrated into the event and the attendant publicity. It may possibly be picked up by broadcast TV. Information about the webcast is available through this link:

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) 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, 8:33am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 345.7 km
Apogee height – 351.3 km
Perigee height -- 340.2 km
Period -- 91.45 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008254
Solar Beta Angle -- -56.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 52 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 62333

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
10/10/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock (9:05pm)
10/11/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S land (~00:30am; Kazakhstan: ~10:30am)
10/14/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth (under review)
10/15/09 -- Progress M-03/35P launch
10/17/09 -- Progress M-03/35P docking (DC-1)
10/27/09 -- Ares I-X Flight Test
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2)
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/21/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch -- O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/??/10 -- Soyuz 20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 – Progress M-04/36P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/05/10 – Progress M-04/36P docking
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/28/10 -- Progress 37P launch
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 -- Progress 38P launch
07/27/10 -- Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/31/10 -- Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/27/10 -- Progress 41P launch
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/21/10 -- ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
02/09/11 -- Progress 42P launch
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 -- Progress 43P launch
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

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