June 11, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/11/09

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

Upon wakeup, Mike Barrat & Koichi Wakata continued their new recording rounds for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) logging data from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. It is the third for Mike, the fourth for Koichi. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Mike & Koichi wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

After setting up the video equipment for recording the subsequent activity, Frank DeWinne (Subject) & Bob Thirsk completed the PFE protocol, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) in the Lab. Bob, who underwent his PFE assessment two days ago (6/9), assisted the FE-5 as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Readings were taken with the BP/ECG (blood pressure/electrocardiograph) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Afterwards, the video gear was stowed again. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise. During previous PFE sessions, issues have been reported with the BP cuff ops. The BP/ECG requires good ECG data to operate and record an accurate BP reading. Correct placement of the microphone and securely donning the BP cuff will aid in this. The video coverage is required for biomechanical evaluation of the on-orbit crewmember, and evaluation of the on-orbit setup of equipment during data collection.]

Thirsk & DeWinne also undertook the first in-flight session of the ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Echo assessment, which they had reviewed on 6/9. FE-4 started out as Subject, wearing the electrodes, ECG cable & VOX for undergoing the ultrasound scan, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) cabin camera. FE-5 served as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. [The ultrasound echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS 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.]

Finishing up clean-up activities after yesterday’s EVA-23. Gennady Padalka & Mike Barratt –
  • Removed the backup BK-3 portable oxygen repressurization tank from the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) & returned it to the Soyuz 19S BO (Orbital Module),
  • Removed the Orlan BRTA radio/telemetry unit batteries,
  • Took post-EVA radiation readings of the “Pille-MKS” dosimeters carried by the spacewalkers in their Orlan suits,
  • Put the EVA medical kits back in storage,
  • Set up the first 825M3 Orlan battery for complete discharge/recharge,
  • Configured the Orlan-MK suits for drying out,
  • Switched the AFU (Antenna Feeder Unit) of the Orlan Tranzit-B communications system from the AMM antenna in SM PkhO to its antenna in the DC1,
  • Checked out the antenna change-over from Orlan-MK (first closing the DC1-to-SU hatch and afterwards opening it again), and
  • Conducted an EVA results debriefing conference with ground specialists on ~7:45am EDT.

Padalka also ran a status test on the BRI Smart Switch Router from the RSS1 laptop, verifying its ability to load software into the BRI. [BRI is part of the RS OpsLAN (Russian Segment/Operations Local Area Network), with connections to the three SSC(Station Support Computers) clients in the RS, the Ethernet tie-in with the US network, and a network printer in the RS (Russian Segment). On 6/3, the BRI failed to connect OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network) to the SSCs which prevented such info as radiograms, OCA messages and OSTPV (Onboard Short Term Plan Viewer) to be seen in the SM. TsUP & MCC-H set up alternate connectivity between RS and USOS (US Segment) via the WAP (Wireless Access Point; Russian: ABP) in the SM, which re-established good comm. Today’s test was part of BRI troubleshooting.]

FE-3 Romanenko meanwhile reconfigured the Progress M-02M/33P cargo ship, docked at the “Pirs” DC1 nadir port, from its EVA-required configuration to nominal docking mode, by –
  • Performing the standard one-hour leak check on the Progress-to-DC1 interface,
  • Opening the 33P-DC1 hatches (with CDR assist),
  • Installing the quick-release screw clamps which rigidize the docking joint (with RS thrusters inhibited during the closing-up activities), and
  • Deactivating the Progress (i.e., SUBA/Onboard Equipment Control System & SOTR/Thermal Control System).

Working in the U.S. Airlock, the FE-2 continued preparations for the upcoming STS-127/2JA spacewalks, today –
  • Terminating recharge of the EMU battery from the PSA (i.e., not from the suit),
  • Initiating recharge on the REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) from the PSA (Power Supply Assembly),
  • Starting recharge on helmet light batteries #1028, #1029, #1035.
  • Preparing the EVA grease gun (loading cartridge),
  • Configuring & stowing EVA tools.

Mike filled out his regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC, his tenth. [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.]

The FE-4 completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Collapsible Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The new card (20-0055B) lists 46 CWCs (~1,241.9 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (32 CWCs with 868.7 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 283.2 L to be used as reserve water, 409.3 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria & 176.2 L in 4 clean bags for contingency use, 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 305.7 L, of which 177.4 L (5 bags) are currently off-limit pending ground analysis results), the remainder good for contingency use, 3. condensate water (3 CWCs, all empty), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (3 CWCs with 67.5 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-1 Barratt configured the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM and its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph) and then started data recording for his second on-board session. The ECG is being recorded for 24 hrs.

Gennady performed 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). [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Following equipment breakout by DeWinne, he, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-3 Romanenko took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. It was Franks’, Bob’s & Roman’s first O-OHA test. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Roman Romanenko set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the 1h15m session, his first, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data stowed for return to the ground. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

Later, Romanenko 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 FE-3 also 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).

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. 128 days have gone by since the last desiccant change-out, and over 320 access events.]

Mike also performed the periodic status check on the payloads CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and ENose (Electronic Nose), both located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

Picking up an ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) IFM (Inflight Maintenance) task deferred from yesterday, FE-4 Thirsk removed the ARED’s old pulley rope and replaced it with a new Vectran cord, carefully splicing it through the pulley system with the assistance of Wakata. [It was a one-hour activity, plus an additional 30-min of assistance.]

In the FGB, Bob deactivated the PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop and removed it in preparation for its transfer to Endeavour/STS-127.

Frank performed the regular weekly maintenance on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs, SLD cables and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values. [Particular attention was requested on inspecting, marking & recording any visible SLD damages.]

At ~10:20am, Koichi had his periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Padalka & Barratt had their post-EVA PMCs via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Gennady at ~1:45pm EDT Mike at ~2:10pm.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3). [Good news on TVIS: The crew was given the Go to resume normal exercise runs on the treadmill. 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, Mike transferred the exercise data file 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).

Roman, 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.

At ~3:55am EDT, Barratt & Wakata 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.]

Also at ~3:55am, Padalka & Romanenko supported a Russian PAO TV interview with CCTV (Central Chinese Television), filming at TsUP-Moscow on the topic of Russia’s space exploration accomplishments for a special edition of their TV program “Focus on Russia”. [This program is dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese-Russian diplomatic relations (China and the USSR signed a friendship, unity & collaboration treaty on February 14, 1950). The interview is to become an important part of this edition.]

At ~4:20am, Mike Barratt powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~4:25am conducted a ham radio session with students at Tongfu Road No. 1 Primary School, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China. [Tongfu Zhong Road No.1 Primary School was established in 1920s and is located in Haizhu, Guangzhou. It covers an area of 7900 sq.m. and consists of two districts. “The school has a quiet and clean surrounding and green environment. It is qualified as one of the 1st grade schools and green schools in Guangdong, as well as the advanced education unit in Guangzhou. Here in the school, there is a team with good teaching virtue, cooperation, professional skills, and innovative spirits. The school is not only good in fundamental teaching but also active in various competitions including science competitions, sports competitions including swimming, table tennis, and chess, innovation, music, dancing, handwriting, art, environment protection, and radio communications. Students in this school are fully developed.”]

At ~4:25pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

With Wakata due to depart on STS-127, Koichi, Frank & Bob had ~ 2 hrs between them for handover activities.

STS-127/Endeavour Forecast on L-2: Weather forecast is unchanged from yesterday and still looks very favorable for launch: Probability of KSC weather prohibiting launch on Saturday (7:12am EDT): 10%.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Mt. Etna, Sicily (the massive volcanic edifice of Mt. Etna is the largest in Italy, and the most historically active. High resolution, near-nadir imagery of the volcano's summit and flanks was requested. Looking left of track along the northeastern coast of Sicily), Madrid, Spain (Crew Site: Madrid is the capital and largest city in Spain and is the fourth most populous urban area in Europe. The city should be slightly left of track. Overlapping images of the city were requested; on the second pass, Madrid should have been almost directly under the orbit track), Madeira Island, Portugal (HMS Beagle site: Madeira Island is part of a Portuguese Archipelago located off the coast of Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean. ISS CEO was able to capture this island back in May. Unfortunately, at that time clouds obscured much of the island. Today’s weather satellites hint that the clouds should be less visible this time. Looking slightly right of track on the ISS descending pass for the island. Capturing as much of the island as possible), Coast Mts., BC, Canada (the coast mountains are located in western British Columbia and are a continuation of the Cascade Range. These glaciers have been in a well-documented, heavy retreat for the past couple of decades even though they are located in a moist, marine environment, with heavy winter snowfalls and elevations ranging from 10,000 to 13,000 feet. Documenting extent of the glaciers), and Kennedy Space Center, Florida (Crew Site: Since this pass occurs in the afternoon local time it wasn’t sure whether there were cumulus clouds present. Kennedy was directly under the orbital 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, 8:42am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 348.5 km
Apogee height – 354.8 km
Perigee height -- 342.3 km
Period -- 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009278
Solar Beta Angle -- -27.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 60506

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
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)
08/07/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~8:49am EDT)
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 Soyuz-U
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