Thursday, June 18, 2009

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 June 2009

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

Bob Thirsk & Frank DeWinne began the second day of their second session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, after the 8-hr overnight fast. [This was an all-day session of urine sample collections for both several times until termination tomorrow after 24 hrs. DeWinne also assisted the FE-4 in his blood draw. Frank’s phlebotomy (blood sample collection) from an arm vein is scheduled tomorrow. 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.]

CDR Padalka performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated tonight at ~3:30pm EDT before crew sleep, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 5/30-5/31). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

FE-3 Romanenko & Padalka had another 3+ hrs set aside for the extensive outfitting of the SM (Service Module) with instruments & cabling for the onboard systems control of the Russian MRM-2 (Mini Research Module 2), to be arriving later this year on a Soyuz-U vehicle for docking at the SM.

Afterwards, Romanenko supported the reactivation of the Elektron oxygen generator at 24 amps by the ground by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had been turned off to preserve lifetime during the operation of the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) and represses from Progress storage. The Elektron has to be turned off when the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control system mode are deactivated for avionics outfitting work.]

Bob Thirsk conducted Day 2 of the two-day ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, accompanied by CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on Return from the ISS). Mike Barratt 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) to perform the CCIS Baro Study, wearing 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.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 DeWinne configured the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM and its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph) and then started data recording as Subject for his second on-board session, with the FE-4 acting as Operator. The ECG is being recorded for 24 hrs.

FE-2 Wakata conducted another IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), with FE-1 Barratt afterwards checking VIS function and performance. [Yesterday, Mike reported that one of two springs on the ARED VIS (Vibration Isolation System) was not attached. The function of the spring is to return the VIS to a neutral position. The ARED was declared temporarily No Go. Today’s IFM was to remove the ARED VIS x-axis cover and reattach the spring.]

Bob & Frank performed the periodic checkout and inspection of the HMS CMRS (Health Maintenance System/Crew Medical Restraint System), stowed in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack, followed by a checkout of the RSAP (Respiratory Support Pack, #002). [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO who is also provided with restraints around the device. The device can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and can also restrain two CMOs during their delivery of medical care.]

Roman worked on the Russian RSE1 laptop, installing a new software load (Vers. 1.3) on its main HD (Hard Drive).

Afterwards, FE-3 performed the regular inspection of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for presence of coolant fluid. [On 5/19, the CDR had replaced a pump unit of the 4SPN1 replaceable pump panel at this location.]

FE-2 Wakata reconfigured FSS (Fluid Servicing System) after yesterday’s aborted IFM, stowing the gear in a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) in the Lab. [The refill of ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) loops in the Lab, JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) with fresh coolant was deferred to next week, including the reconfiguring of 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).]

Mike Barratt had 2 hrs reserved for conducting an inventory/audit of UIP (User Interface Panel) ports of the Ethernet ISL (Integrated Station Local Area Network), consisting of verification & updating uplinked ground reference materials for ISL plug-in items &locations.

Frank DeWinne performed the weekly “T+2d” inflight microbiology analyses for the potable water samples collected on 6/16 for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and the SRV-K Warm tap. [In-flight sample analysis was performed with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit/Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative). Downlinked results: “Temperature in Incubation bag: 78; MCD: 0 spots; Coliform Detection Bag: Yellow.”]

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 grilles of interior panels (201, 301, 401) plus the mesh screen of its central ventilation fan TsV1, and replacing the filters of the FS1 & FS2 dust collectors. Changes were logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Bob Thirsk set up, checked out and conducted his first test with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #5, 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.]

After activating the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop, Koichi Wakata conducted an abbreviated session with the ESA experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease), a repeat of the blood pressure monitoring not completed during his run on 5/20-5/21. [The CARD protocol includes a 24 hrs urine collection, a 24 hrs blood pressure monitoring, a blood draw (in the morning of Day 2), and five cardiac output measurements performed with the HRF-2 PFS (Pulmonary Function System) via re-breathing technique. On 5/20, most of the CARD activities were performed. An anomaly with the CDL (CARDIOLAB) blood pressure Holter was encountered and the instrument could not be programmed for the blood pressure monitoring overnight. On 5/21, blood draw, urine collection and two PFS sessions have been completed nominally. Unfortunately, the Holter anomaly forced ESA to call off the continuation of the blood pressure monitoring in conjunction with the remaining two PFS sessions on 5/21.]

Gennady Padalka took the periodic readings with the Russian AOK GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system and calibrated the unit. Afterwards, the CDR used the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to look for Vinyl Chloride, Ethanol, and Ethylene Oxide. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.]

The FE-3 serviced the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), replacing the spherical “Phantom“ in the DC1 with a new unit equipped with 16 Bubble dosimeters for recording radiation traces, initializing the detectors and making the first readings after activating the LULIN-5 electronics box. [The deployment location of the detectors was photo-documented with the NIKON D2X camera and also reported to TsUP via log sheet via OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Mike, Bob & Frank had another 2 hrs between them for more E19/E20 handover activities.

FE-1 Barratt had ~90 min allotted for recording a video tour of the ISS with the camcorder for crew ground training, highlighting all hatches, all rack bays & radial ports showing the current stowage configuration, the FGB deck panels, areas around the hatches, etc.

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

Gennady unstowed and set up the equipment for the periodic Russian PZE-MO-10 "Hematokrit" testing which is scheduled for the post-sleep use by all crewmembers tomorrow. [MO-10 measures the hematocrit (red blood cell mass) value of the blood (it is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell mass {normal range: 30-45%} tends to go down over time).]

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

At ~2:15am, Gennady conducted a ham radio session with participants of the Slavic Commonwealth Youth Rally, being held 6/15-21 in Sochi (Dagomys), with 500 representatives from different countries.

At ~4:15am, Barratt, Wakata, Romanenko, Thirsk & DeWinne joined in a tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

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)

TVM R&R Update: Yesterday’s replacement of the TVM-1 lane of the three-lane TVM Terminal Computer in the SM with a new unit (#R115) was successful. The TVM was restarted today and is running nominally.

ERNObox Update: Yesterday’s troubleshooting and recovery of the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) ERNObox payload by DeWinne and the ground were successful. The system is running nominally – for the first time with the new software.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Munich, Germany (Munich is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. Originally founded by monks, today this city is the third largest in Germany. Due to the relative lack of topography and contrast, CEO has few images of German cities in its database. Overlapping images were requested), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (The British Petroleum Structure is the first Impact Crater ISS crossed today. It is small and it is a very challenging target. The crater is 2 km in diameter [similar in diameter to Meteor Crater in Arizona] and its age has been dated at less than 120 million years. The crater should have been close to right of track. Mapping pass was requested), Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (Oasis Impact Crater is larger than B.P [18 km in diameter] and probably a little easier to recognize. The age has been dated as less than 120 million years. Mapping pass along the orbit track was requested), and All Saints Bay, Salvador, Brazil (H.M.S. Beagle Site: All Saints Bay is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean and provides a protected harbor for the city of Salvador. The city of Salvador is located on the tip of the peninsula. On February 28, 1832 the Beagle anchored in All Saints Bay. Charles Darwin spent a few days exploring the tropical rain forests).

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, 8:27am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 348.0 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height -- 342.1 km
Period -- 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008789
Solar Beta Angle -- -10.0 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) -- 60616


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