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November 13, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/13/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

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-2 Stott set up all PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware, powered it up and then performed her second session with the VO2Max assessment. Later, she cleaned & removed all hardware back into stowage. [The experiment VO2Max uses the PPFS, CEVIS cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol comprises a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Later, Nicole swapped the calibration gas bottle used for VO2max with HRF2 GDS (Human Research Facility 2 Gas Delivery System) Tank 2 bottle back to the original configuration.

FE-4 Thirsk downloaded accumulated data files from the crew Sleep Actiwatches via the Actiwatch Reader to the HRF2 laptop.

In the SM (Service Module) FE-1 Suraev dismantled & stowed the Russian TEKh-15/ DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment hardware after downloading its measurements of the arrival & docking of the MRM2 spacecraft to a USB stick. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations - (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

With the Elektron O2 generator, BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system plus VD-SU control mode temporarily powered off by ground control, Suraev demated the cables at the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment) & SU/Zenith hatch where the newly arrived “Poisk” MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2) is docked.

Afterwards, BITS was powered up again, and the FE-1 supported ground-commanded Elektron reactivation 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.]

FE-3 Romanenko & FE-1 Suraev then spent several hours with activities to prepare the MRM2 (Russian: MIM2) module for access, including –
  • Configuring the STTS communications system for communicating from inside the MRM2,
  • Opening the PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) between MRM2 DS & PkhO SU tunnels,
  • Opening the hatches to “Poisk” (Explore),
  • Configuring the internal lighting of the new module,
  • Performing the usual air sampling with the IPD-NH3 Draeger tubes, testing for ammonia (NH3) and the AK-1M air sampler.
  • Starting the air scrubber system inside the MRM2,
  • Ending MRM2 ingress by conducting a second AK-1M atmospheric sampling,
  • Dismantling the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the MRM2 and the SM [the StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA-G) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the MRM2, while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC-1],
  • Taking two photos of the internal part of the SM zenith port’s SSVP-StM docking cone to obtain digital imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left by the head of the active docking probe on the internal surface of the passive drogue (docking cone) ring, and
  • Powering down the spacecraft and installing the ventilation/heating air duct to the PkhO.

[MRM2 is one of two identical new modules. Its twin, MRM1, will be launched next year on a Shuttle flight. The current DC1 Docking Compartment, at SM nadir, will then be jettisoned.]

Later, Maxim also used the AK-1M to sample the SM atmosphere for Carbon Monoxide and Formaldehyde, while Roman performed microbial surface sampling in the FGB by swabbing equipment and structures in the FGB.

FE-5 Williams disassembled, removed & stowed the AgCam (Agricultural Camera) hardware, after labeling the retrieved laptop HDD (hard disk drive) of the experiment. To protect the Lab window, Jeff installed the SPA (Scratch Pane Assembly) after AgCam removal. [The AgCam is a multi-spectral camera for taking images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth, principally of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States.]

FE-2 Stott & CDR De Winne started and configured the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) software application, then reviewed upcoming JEMRMS (Robotic Manipulator System) operations during Mission ULF3. [DOUG is a software program on the MSS (Mobile Service System) RWS laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

CDR De Winne terminated his first session of the JAXA “Biological Rhythms” experiment started yesterday, and FE-4 Thirsk, acting as operator, downloaded and saved Frank’s ECG (Electrocardiograph) data recorded for the last 24 hrs with its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph).

Bob Thirsk did Day 2 of his fifth ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session. Upon reaching the midpoint, Bob ended the Cardiopres/BP (blood pressure) data collection, changed out the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF Card and AA Battery, and began the next 24-hour data collection, using the CEVIS cycle ergometer to meet the ICV heart rate requirement. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices were worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres was doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery were changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

Nicole Stott set up the hardware for another BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment run, then she, Bob Thirsk & Frank De Winne each worked through the protocol and took photographs of the partners. [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. BISE data collection must be performed at least one hour after any exercise. 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.]

The CDR had 2.5 hrs reserved for conducting the periodic inspection & audit of PEPS (Portable Emergency Provisions) on board, checking PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers, PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus) and EHTKs (Extension Hose Tee Kits) and QDMA (Quick-Don Mask Assembly) harnesses. [PFEs: 2 in Node-1, 1 in A/L, 2 in Lab,1 in Node-2, 2 in JPM, 2 in COL, 1 in HTV. PBA O2 Bottles: 1 in Node-1, 2 in A/L, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in JPM, 2 in COL, 1 in HTV. QDMAs: 1 in Node-1, 5 in A/L, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in JPM, 2 in COL, 1 in HTV. EHTKs: 1 in Node-1, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2.]

De Winne performed another fine leak check on the PMA3/Node-1 hatch.

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Frank also supported remote payload operations by pushing on three relief valves on the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) to verify low resistance, i.e., internal pressure.

Jeff Williams conducted a session of SWAB (Comprehensive Characterization of Microorganisms and Allergens in Spacecraft: Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization) water evaluation ops, collecting two water samples, allowing the hot sample to cool prior to stowing. [SWAB uses advanced molecular techniques to comprehensively evaluate microbes on board the space station, including pathogens (organisms that may cause disease). This study will allow an assessment of the risk of microbes to the crew and the spacecraft. Surface & Air samples have been collected in previous Increments. Sampling will occur every 4 weeks (±1 week). Water samples are collected from the PWD Hot and Ambient lines.]

In the US Airlock, Jeff terminated EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery recharge in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), in preparation for STS-129/ULF3 spacewalks.

Bob conducted the regular daily MDS (Mice Drawer System) facility maintenance, checking its potable water supply and performing a visual inspection of cages 1, 2 & 5 with their live occupants.

FE-2 & FE-4 each had an hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

Maxim 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 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.]

Nicole prepared the camera equipment and opened the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM for tomorrow’s scheduled Moon photography for JAXA’s EPO (Education Programs Operation) “ISS Moon Score”, at precise pre-set times. [The purpose of this JAXA EPO is to create a musical score using Moon photos taken from the “Kibo” JEM and DC-1 windows at different times in the lunar cycle while the crew is floating naturally under microgravity environment. Five of the seven sessions required for each different Moon age were taken by Greg Chamitoff and Koichi Wakata, the remainder by Tim Kopra. At least 80 photos were necessary from DC-1 no. 2 window with the 400mm lens, and at least 80 photos of the Moon with atmospheric layer and/or JEF (JEM External Facility) are desirable from JEM window #F8 with the 200mm lens.]

At ~3:15am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:30am, DeWinne had his regular conference the ESA staff at Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

At ~4:55am, Maxim linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~11:04am, Frank De Winne powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 11:09am conducted a ham radio session with students at Scuola Istituto Salesiano "Sacro Cuore" Vomero, Napoli, Italy.

At ~11:31am, Bob Thirsk supported a ham radio pass with students at Marie-Rivier School, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

At ~2:45pm, all crewmembers convened for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~6:00pm, Bob also had a PFC (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop)

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

Later, Jeff 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 ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

UPA Update: The U.S. Urine Processor Assembly is now officially inoperable. Teams are working the issues of water management, urine management and stowage in order to accommodate for UPA inoperability. With UPA being down, the problem can be handled through ULF3 and with help from the Russian partners an alternate way is being developed through 20A. This is going to create an additional stowage problem on the ISS, and all partners will pitch in in order to find a way to accommodate the urine stowage requirements aboard the station. As per today’s IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) meeting the ISS is Go for STS-129/ULF3 launch on Monday.

STS-129/Atlantis Flight Plan Overview:
  • Launch, Docking, Undocking & Landing data see below;
  • STS-129/ULF3/Atlantis will be crewed by CDR Charlie “Scorch” Hobaugh, PLT Barry “Butch” Wilmore, MS1 Leland Melvin, MS2 Randy Bresnik, MS3 Mike Forman, MS4 Bobby Satcher, FE-2/MS5 Nicole Stott (down);
  • Nicole will officially be considered a Shuttle crewmember at hatch opening on FD3 - but will continue to live on ISS until the day before undocking, being scheduled (timelined) as an ISS crewmember.
  • ISS Crew Wake will shift forward (later) to 3:00am EST on FD 2 (11/17) and then to 4:30am on FDs 3&4. Undock will drive Crew Wake two-and-a-half hours earlier to 02:00am by FD9 (Hatch Close Day). This shift is accomplished by moving Crew Sleep 30 min earlier on FDs 4-8. Crew Wake is 2:00am again on FD 10 (Undock Day) with sleep at 4:30pm, completing the shift back to the nominal wake/sleep cycle.
  • Wake/Sleep schedule:
FD1 16-Nov 320 1:00 4:30
FD2 17-Nov 321 3:00 8:00
FD3 18-Nov 322 4:30 8:00
FD4 19-Nov 323 4:30 7:30
FD5 20-Nov 324 4:00 7:00
FD6 21-Nov 325 3:30 6:30
FD7 22-Nov 326 3:00 6:00
FD8 23-Nov 327 2:30 5:30
FD9 24-Nov 328 2:00 5:30
FD10 25-Nov 329 2:00 4:30

  • Focused inspection is nominally planned for FD5. On the evening of FD3, the Debris Assessment Team will start reviewing the RPM imagery. Late inspection will be completed in its entirety after the Shuttle undocks on FD10.
  • Three EVAs are planned during the mission on FD’s 4, 6, & 8. Nicole and Butch will support the EVA Prep & Post responsibilities.
  • General tasks for each EVA:
  • EVA 1 (Forman/Satcher): Transfer SASA (S-Band Antenna Support Assembly) from PLB to Z1, lubricate POA & JEM RMS, install NH3 BRKT, route & install SGANT (Space to Ground Antenna) cable, troubleshoot S01/4 cable.
  • EVA 2 (Forman/Bresnik): Install GATOR (Grapple Adaptor To On-Orbit Railing), deploy S3 Nadir PAS (Payload Attachment System), relocate FPMU (Floating Potential Measurement Unit, install WETA (Wireless Video System External Transceiver Assembly).
  • EVA 3 (Bresnik/Satcher): Transfer HPGT (High Pressure Gas Tank) from ELC2 to ISS Airlock, install MISSE 7 (Materials International Space Station Experiment 7 on ELC2, deploy S3 Zenith Inboard PAS.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Manila, Philippines (the Philippine capital of Manila has a metropolitan population of 19 million and is located on a large bay on the southwest coast of the main island of Luzon. The ISS nadir pass approached from the SW under fair skies in mid-afternoon light. Trying for context views of this sprawling megacity), Vientiane, Laos (the Laotian capital city is located on the north bank of the Mekong River forming the border with Thailand. The dry season is underway and fair weather is expected on this early afternoon pass. ISS approached the Mekong River valley and the target area from the SW. Looking just right of track for this city on a right-angle bend of the Mekong), Muscat, Oman (the capital of Oman has a population of just over 1 million. It is a major port city on the Gulf of Oman, southeast of the Straits of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. As ISS approach the coast from the SW in clear weather, looking carefully at nadir for this low-contrast target in mid-afternoon sun), Bosumtwi Impact Crater, Ghana (this well-marked impact crater is located about 150 km west of the south end of Lake Volta in south central Ghana. It is a very young impact [just over a million years old], about 10.5 km in diameter, and almost completely filled by a lake. There are very few images of this crater area in our database because it is usually cloud and/or haze covered. On this partly cloudy, early afternoon pass, as ISS approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to find Lake Volta and look nadir for a circular lake just SE of the urban area of Kumasi. Staying ready for the next target just over 2 minutes away), Niamey, Niger (the capital of Niger is located in the extreme southwestern part of the country on the Niger River and has a population approaching 1 million. As ISS approached the Niger River valley in early afternoon from the SW with fair weather, looking just left of track for this fairly compact city on the river in an agricultural area), St. Paul Rocks Islets, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle briefly visited this isolated, equatorial Atlantic site in early February of 1832. This tiny group of islets and rocks is also known as the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago. The islands are of particular interest to geologists as they expose rocks associated with the Earth's mantle above sea level. Looking to the left of track for the islands as ISS approached the area from the SW. With good light and few clouds the crew should have been able to photograph all of them in a mapping pass), and Lake Poopo, Bolivia (Lake levels in Poopo are generally affected by El Niño episodes with water levels declining during ENSO [El Niño Southern Oscillation] events. CEO imagery will also add to our time series imagery of the fluctuations of lake levels in Poopo. Reviewing of the most recent imagery of Lake Poopo will show that the CEO staff would like to continue to ask for additional views of this target area. On this early afternoon pass the lake will have been under clear skies. As ISS tracked northeastward, contextual views of the lake were requested).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 10:43am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 340.9 km
Apogee height – 345.4 km
Perigee height – 336.5 km
Period -- 91.35 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006622
Solar Beta Angle -- 13.5 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 135 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 62950

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
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 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
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