June 05, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/05/09

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

Today’s sleep cycle shift restoration:
  • Wake last night – 6:10pm; sleep today – 1:25pm EDT;
  • Wake tomorrow – 2:00am EDT.

The Russian Orlan EVA-22 spacewalk by CDR Gennady Padalka & FE-1 Michael Barratt concluded at 8:46am EDT, after a duration of 4h 54m. All planned EVA tasks were successfully completed. [Hatch opening for egress was at 3:52am, 1:07h behind time due to high CO2 readings in the Orlan-MK suits (which TsUP/Moscow then determined to be an instrumentation problem). Completed activities were (a) installation of two KURS antennas on the SM (Service Module), (b) connecting KURS antenna cabling, and (c) verification & photography of the antenna installations. The activities prepared the SM for the arrival of the MRM-2 (Mini-Research Module 2), scheduled for launch in November on a Proton rocket.]

After return and ingress from the EVA at 8:46am, Gennady & Mike, assisted by Roman –
  • Repressurized the DC1 airlock from BNP portable repress tank #7, also from SM cabin air if tank supply runs out,
  • Opened hatches & reentered the SM,
  • Conducted their second MO-9 “Urolux” biochemical urine test,
  • Reset STTS communications in the DC1,
  • Re-installed air ducts between DC1 & SM,
  • Restored systems configurations in the DC1 & other RS modules to pre-EVA conditions,
  • Returned the backup BNP portable oxygen repress tank #15 from the DC1 to the Soyuz 19S BO (Orbital Module),
  • Re-opened the Lab science window shutters to enable AgCam (Agricultural Camera) ops, and
  • Took down & stowed the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable used for SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator) video viewing of the EVA.

While the spacewalk went on, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne in turn conducted their first sessions with the experiment BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment), complete with videocam coverage, investigating the relative contributions of internal and external cues to self-orientation during and after zero-G exposure. After setting up the camcorder for recording the activity, configuring the “Neurospat” hardware and activating the BISE software on its A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop, Bob & Frank each then had ~20-25min for completing the experiment protocol. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration microgravity conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to microgravity 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.]

FE-4 completed the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and also evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Afterwards, Thirsk unpacked the equipment required for the planned UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) software upload, part 2, scheduled for 6/8 (Monday), temporarily stowing the required PCMCIA microdrive near the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5).

Meanwhile, DeWinne conducted the monthly FDS PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules. [The IMS (Inventory Management System)-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), QDMAs (Quick-Don Mask Assemblies) and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware. As Frank reported, PBA #1015 in Node-1 & PBA #1028 in the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment) are both showing O2 pressure on the margin between ”red” and “green”.]

FE-5 also completed routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) prime unit (#1045), replacing its battery with a fresh spare, and performing zero-calibration on all four CSA-CP units, taking & downlinking readings before and after the zeroing. [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger.]

Bob finished the lengthy IFM (Inflight Maintenance) of the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) #003 that was recovered on 5/28, today removing the temporarily installed RFTA #002 and reinstalling the restored unit #003. [Afterwards Thirsk packed #002 in a stowage bag for return on STS-127/2JA, taking instead the new RFTA #005 from the bag, to be kept onboard for future use.]

FE-2 Wakata had six hours set aside for continuing the IFM on the TVIS treadmill, today opening up the cover of the already uninstalled forward right & aft right stabilizers and conducting a thorough visual inspection of their interiors for loose or damage components, along with a video recording and commentary during the inspection process. [After TVIS engineers on the ground complete their analysis of the downlinked photos and video, they will determine if an ACO (Activation & Checkout) to get the treadmill back up and running can be safely performed without risking irreparable damage to the hardware.]

FE-5 DeWinne used the electronic Velocicalc instrument to take the periodic THC IMV (Temperature & Humidity Control/Intermodule Ventilation) air flow measurements of relative humidity (dew point, wet bulb temp), temperature and air velocity (flow rate) from the Lab Fwd Stbd & Node-1 Stbd Aft IMV outlet diffusers as well as from the Lab Fwd Port Inlet IMV grille. [There is no direct measurement of airflow except as reflected by, and calculated (with Velocicalc) from, differences in atmosphere partial pressures measured at selected points between the RS and USOS. ppCO2 is a good yardstick since for example an increasing ppCO2 in the Lab not reflected in the SM would indicate that Vozdukh is not receiving the air from the Lab at an efficient rate. Periodic air flow degradation checks support establishing a most effective fan cleaning schedule.]

FE-4 & FE-5 filled out their first regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Koichi Wakata continued his support of an ongoing micro-G assessment by tapping a portside seat track several times with his fist to provide intentional excitation to the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) and SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System). [With the crew size doubled, TCQ (Temporary Crew Quarters) for Bob Thirsk were installed in the JPM at loc. JPM1F3, using CWC-I (Collapsible Water Container-Iodine) bags as radiation protection. Since JAXA has plans to conduct micro-G sensitive science (such as the Marangoni Experiment) during crew sleep later in this Increment, micro-G data gathering is being conducted, using MMA & SAMS simultaneously, to assess the impact on these experiments of crew motions.]

Bob & Frank set up the NUTRITION w/Repository gear for their first sessions, Thirsk readying the equipment for the blood draws (Bob’s on 6/6, Frank’s without Repository on 6/7) and DeWinne preparing the hardware for the 24-hr urine collections beginning on 6/6. [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.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), DeWinne wrapped up the 6/3 session with the EPM NES (European Physiology Module NeuroSpat) experiment by transferring and saving the experiment data on the ESA multipurpose laptop for downlink, and then stowing the gear.

Thirsk set up the video equipment with G1 camcorder in Node-1 to cover the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) in its view for recording his subsequent 1-hr workout on the machine. Afterwards, he dismantled and stowed the hardware. [The video was downlinked live and recorded on the VTR (Video Tape Recorder) for later playback.]

The four crewmembers not involved in the EVA-22 completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), and ARED (FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5).

Later, Thirsk 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).

FE-3 Romanenko conducted 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).

FE-4 Thirsk spent another 70 min on gathering, prepacking & staging cargo itemized in an uplinked list for return on Endeavour (2J/A) in June.

Bob & Frank each had an hour to themselves for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Delhi, India (while clouds were not predicted to be in the area, there is usually a heavy aerosol concentration that makes imagery somewhat problematic. Looking directly nadir and documenting city boundaries), 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 a little left of track and documenting land use and city boundaries), Sevastopol, Ukraine (Sevastopol is a port city in the Ukraine, located on the Black Sea. Looking slightly right of track for this famous naval city), and Port of Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Island (this is one of the CEO Beagle sites. Looking slightly left of track).

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov (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, 8:00am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 349.2 km
Apogee height – 355.5 km
Perigee height -- 342.8 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009413
Solar Beta Angle -- -24.4 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 77 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 60411

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
06/10/09 -- Russian EVA-23
06/13/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch - JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD (7:12am)
06/29/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (12:18am EDT, KSC)
07/17/09 – Progress M-02M/33P undock & deorbit
07/20/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1)
07/24/09 -- Progress 34P launch
07/26/09 -- Progress 34P docking (SM aft)
08/06/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC
09/01/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/08/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 – Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 -- Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Proton -- tentative
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 - ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 -- Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 -- Progress 37P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 -- Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 -- Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM
08/11/10 -- Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-134/Discovery/ULF6 – ELC3, AMS
09/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 -- Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 -- ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton