Thursday, June 18, 2009

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 June 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009
All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Upon wakeup, CDR Gennady Padalka terminated his fifth experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. FE-3 Romanenko’s second MBI-12 session is scheduled tomorrow. [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.]

CDR Padalka, FE-1 Barratt & FE-3 Romanenko began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. Fourth time for Gennady & Mike, second time for Roman. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

In the U.S. Lab, FE-5 DeWinne started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the ninth, 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 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 hardware.]

FE-4 Thirsk conducted the standard sensor calibration and check on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1043 & #1059, delivered on Flight 1J, then took readings in the Lab.

Yesterday’s session with the SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment) payload in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) by Mike Barratt resulted in good smoke point measurements and also good images of flames. Today, Mike proceeded with the experiment, repeating some ignitions and continuing in the experiment’s Text Matrix, performed in the MSG and controlled by its A31p with SPICE microdrives. [Afterwards the FE-1 closed out the session, exchanged video tape & microdrive and powered down the MSG. SPICE determines the point at which gas-jet flames (similar to a butane-lighter flame) begin to emit soot (dark carbonaceous particulate formed inside the flame) in microgravity. Studying a soot emitting flame is important in understanding the ability of fires to spread and in control of soot in practical combustion systems in space.]

Bob Thirsk conducted Day 1 of the two-day ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, accompanied by CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on Return from the ISS). Frank DeWinne assisted with equipment donning and some picture taking. [Bob donned the Actiwatches (two for ICV, one for CCISS) and the Holter Monitor 2 for ECG (Electrocardiogram). Tomorrow, Thirsk will perform the CCIS Baro Study and wear the ESA Cardiopres (CDPB). The latter is a portable instrument to monitor and store finger arterial blood pressure, a full 12-derivations ECG, and chest circumference changes, all measured continuously for up to 24 hours or longer under ambulatory conditions, using air pressure to inflate finger cuffs for measuring blood pressure, ECG cables, plus two respiratory belts for recording thoracic and abdominal chest circumference changes. For the CCIS Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food allowed (water is acceptable) two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.]

CDR Padalka had 1h 50m set aside for replacing the TVM-1 lane of the three-lane TVM Terminal Computer in the SM (Service Module) with a new unit (#R115) and restarting the TVM, supported by ground specialist tagup.

Starting a new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, the FE-3 worked in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), cleaning the mesh screen of its central ventilation fan TsV1 and the detachable VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4), plus the fixed GZhT4 grill.

Romanenko also performed troubleshooting on two failed Russian laptop computers, RS1 & RSS2, using the RSE1 laptop and AGAT monitor. [Objective: to check monitor backlighting failure, disk drive slot function and potential battery impact on laptop operation.]

DeWinne undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it in the SM from Panel 410 to Panel 327, then taking documentary photography, downloaded to SSC-13 (Station Support Computer 13). [The CHeCS power outlet 5 on Panel 450 is being used as plug-in.]

As a standard operating procedure after deactivation/reactivation of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry system and VD-SU monitoring mode, Romanenko performed a quick function verification of the SUBA Ethernet connection between the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) and the BRI Smart Switch Router in the SM. [The routine task uses the RSS1 laptop for a comm check with the RSC-E PingMaster application and for downloading BRI log files.]

Mike conducted the periodic status & screen check on the payloads CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

Padalka completed the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). The CDR also performed the frequent photos of the plants in the greenhouse, using the Nikon D2Х photo camera with F=17-55 mm lens for subsequent downlink via OCA. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from Moscow’s IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Barratt conducted the periodic status check on the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) Galley fridge, inspecting the desiccants and looking for any internal condensation moisture. [MERLIN is used for cold storage of crew food and drink. 134 days have gone by since the last desiccant change-out, and over 343 access events. If the unit still looks good, this check will be continued once a week for the next several weeks.]

Koichi Wakata used the FSS (Fluid Servicing System) to refill ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) loops in the Lab, JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) with fresh coolant, including reconfiguring the JPM TCA-L (Thermal Control Assembly for LTL) Gas Trap’s manual valves for turning the gas trap heaters on (and later off again). [This involved priming (filling) the FSS jumpers first, then charging the LTL & MTL PPA (Low Temperature Loop & Moderate Temperature Loop Pump Package Assembly) accumulators as well as the spare Gas Trap in the Lab. Next, the FSS was relocated to the JPM for similarly adding coolant to the JPM MTL & LTL loops and Gas Traps, then safing the FSS for overnight.]

Afterwards, Mike Barratt returned the temporarily removed stowage equipment to its original Lab locations.

Bob performed the regular service on the WPA (Water Processor Assembly), first offloading the WPA from WRS (Water Recovery System) Rack 1 into a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine, #1014) with the common H2O transfer hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushing the system.

In ESA’s COL, Frank DeWinne had an hour reserved for troubleshooting and recovering the ERNObox payload which could not be activated properly, going directly into a Standby mode during boot-up due to a mistake made during past software updates. [As a solution to this problem, Frank was to force the next boot-up to bypass faulty configuration data, after which the proper data would then be restored by the ground. 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.]

Afterwards, the FE-5 set up, checked out and conducted his first test with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #4, using the ESA Multipurpose Laptop with a prepared HDD (Hard Disk Drive), data storage on a PCMCIA memory card, and an electronic pen table connected to it. [3D Space, which involves distance, writing and illusion exercises, is designed to test the hypothesis that altered visual perception affects motor control. To do this, the subject is asked to reproduce shapes or text on an electronic pen pad (Wacom Intuos3 A4). The test person is asked to reproduce shapes or text on the pen tablet which allows researchers to record and analyze the reactions both on earth and in space.]

Bob Thirsk set up the NUTRITION w/Repository gear for his second session, readying the equipment for the blood draw and for the 24-hr urine collections beginning tomorrow, with Frank’s assistance. [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.]

Romanenko conducted periodic maintenance on the deactivated Russian IK0501 GA (Gas Analyzer) of the SOGS Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System by replacing its CO2 filter assembly (BF) with a new unit from FGB stowage (done last: 3/9), then reactivating the unit. The old filter was discarded and the IMS (Inventory Management System) updated.

The FE-3 did the daily IMS 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).

Padalka 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.]

CDR, FE-3 & FE-5 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Frank at ~4:25am, Gennady & Roman at ~9:10am EDT.

Gennady, Roman & Bob had another 3 hrs between them for more E19/E20 handover activities.

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 exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3). [On the CEVIS, the actual loads remain slightly lower than the commanded loads, but this was expected. A manual correction of the pertinent calibration coefficient via the control panel touch screen will be done at a later time when the new value has been determined.]

Later, Bob Thirsk transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for Roman & Gennady today suggested one job item - another run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D2X digital camera photography (with 800mm telelens)

GLACIER Anomaly: Wakata performed troubleshooting on the GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator), inspecting it for moisture. The ground was to power on the internal circulation fan for Koichi to monitor for noise. GLACIER had been powered off on 6/15 in response to exhibiting loud noise and vibration as the fan speed was increased. The crew removed the JAXA DomeGene samples from GLACIER and transferred them to the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISSI). GLACIER is scheduled to return on Flight 2JA. Specialists will review the data and determine a forward plan.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Jakarta, Indonesia (Capital City: Since this was a local mid afternoon pass the crew most likely saw partly cloudy conditions. Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. It has a greater population than any other city in Southeast Asia. It is located on the northwest coast of Java. Overlapping images were recommended. Jakarta should have been directly under track), and Cairo, Egypt (the population of Cairo is about 6.8 million people [2006]. Cairo's metropolitan area has about 17.8 million people. This target is located on the banks of the Nile River in northern Egypt, immediately south of where the Nile splits into its two branches. The grayness of the city contrasts nicely with the green of the Nile delta. Looking directly under track and documenting land use and city boundaries.)

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, 8:03am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 348.1 km
Apogee height – 354.0 km
Perigee height -- 342.1 km
Period -- 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008875
Solar Beta Angle -- -13.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 79 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 60600


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