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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 November 2009

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Sunday, November 8, 2009

image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – a full-rest day for the crew. Ahead: Week 5 of Increment 21.

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-5 Williams started the day with another Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following the sleep shift.]

Williams also supported once again the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting 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 are being 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.]

Continuing MSL (Microgravity Science Laboratory) commissioning activities, CDR De Winne took out the used SCA (Sample Cartridge Assembly) and replaced it with the next test sample (CETSOL #3). This was the second sample exchange. [The ESA/NASA multi-user MSL allows research with diverse EMs (Experiment Modules) so that many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied in micro-G to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials. MSRR (Materials Science Research Rack) experiments will be coordinated by international teams that share different parts of the samples. There are 25 investigators on three research teams participating in the first of these investigations.]

Supporting Payload Operations Integration Center/POIC in Huntsville, FE-2 Stott powered down the MSSR (Material Science Research Rack) laptop and gave the ground the Go for deactivation of the rack.

Turning then to the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the US Lab, Stott also removed the alignment guides from the rack to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) activation by the ground for operations requiring a microgravity environment.

With ground support, Jeff powered on the SAMS-II ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System/Interface Control Unit) in Drawer 2 for taking structural vibrations readings. [SAMS is a distributed acceleration measurement system consisting of an ICU in ER1, and sensors in several payload racks including ER4, ER2, ER3, MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) Rack and CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack).

Once again, FE-3 Romanenko initiated charging of a battery for the SONY DCR-TRV900E video recorder, to be used in a new run of the geophysical GFI-1 Relaksatsiya (relaxation) experiment tomorrow, after the spectral calibration with the Moon on 11/2.

Romanenko also completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module), including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. [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-1, FE-2, FE-3 & FE-4 have their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) on their schedules, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Maxim at ~4:50am, Roman at ~6:05am, Nicole at ~12:30pm, Bob at ~2:45pm EST.

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

Suggested work items on Maxim’s & Roman’s Russian discretionary task list for today were –

  • A photography run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D2X digital camera (with 800mm telelens) [Kerguelen glaciers, glaciers of Bouvet Island & South Georgia Islands, convergent photography of one of the glaciers in South Patagonian Ice Field, convergent photography of one of the glaciers in South Patagonian Ice Field],
  • A session for Russia's EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the Nikon D2X with the SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens,
  • More photography for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, to obtain data on color field patterns and current cloud cover conditions over dynamic ocean areas in the Atlantic [San Jorge Bay (Argentina) to West Africa, New Zealand to Chile], and
  • The periodic status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM where plants, currently Mizuna, are studied under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse.

On the US side, the voluntary “job jar” task list held another run for Bob Thirsk with the “Avatar EXPLORE” experiment using new uplinked GUI (Graphic User Interface) files and saving the resulting command data file for subsequent downlink to CSA. [Avatar EXPLORE is an interesting visionary CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-developed communications & robot autonomy application that allows Thirsk aboard the ISS to remotely interact with & control a robot rover on a Mars landscape – a simulated environment called the Mars Emulation Terrain at CSA-Hqs in St. Hubert, Quebec. Since file exchanges between ISS and the ground are conducted only a few times per day to simulate the low-bandwidth channel typical for planetary operations, all interactions must be conducted offline. For evaluating telemetry files received from the Rover and building a control command file, Thirsk uses an SSC laptop with an HTML-format GUI which allows him to interact with the Avatar software in more ways than just typing. A GUI offers graphical icons and visual indicators, as opposed to text-based interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation to fully represent the information and actions available to a user. Avatar’s Mars simulation and what is learned by it will help deep-space exploration.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

Progress M-MRM2 Status: At the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, preparations continue for the launch of the special-purpose cargo spacecraft-module Progress M-MRM2 on 11/10 (Tuesday), to deliver the new Russian module Poisk to the ISS.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:51am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.8 km
Apogee height – 345.9 km
Perigee height – 337.6 km
Period -- 91.37 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006194
Solar Beta Angle -- 30.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 91 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 62869

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2, “Poisk”, on Soyuz-U @ 9:22am EST)
11/12/09 -- 5R/MRM2 “Poisk” docking (SM zenith) @ 10:43am EST
11/16/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) – 2:28pm EST
11/18/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 dock – 11:56am
11/25/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 undock – 4:57am
11/27/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 land/KSC – 9:47am
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 ---> two-member crew
12/21/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch -- O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility” + Cupola
02/05/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 -- Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 -- ATV2 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA)
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/17/10 -- ATV2 docking
02/08/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/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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