August 18, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/18/09

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

Upon wakeup, FE-2 Timothy Kopra continued his current experiment activity of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of an extended session. [To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, crewmembers 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 completing the first part yesterday, Kopra started the next part (3rd of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by recording post-sleep data of the crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, later deploying the dosimeters statically (Part 4), one at the SM (Service Module) Central Post, one in Node-2 and the third in an empty rack bay in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), away from air flow, taking photographs of the locations. Tonight (~5:05pm EDT), Timothy will record the data taken by the three static dosimeters during the day (Part 5). [Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

FE-1 Barratt had Day 5 of his second SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) session (low salt diet), which entails a series of diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks.  Today, Mike collected samples of blood (with PCBA/Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) and urine. Blood samples were centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and stowed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) -- within 15 minutes after centrifugation and no longer than 45 minutes after being drawn. Urine samples were also placed in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Mike will have to eat special diet (Session 1: High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level and Session 2: Low salt diet). Solo Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. SOLO, an ESA/German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Blood samples are taken with the PCBA. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

FE-3 Romanenko had two hours set aside to replace Russian SM SPOPT (Fire Detection & Suppression System) protective devices, stowed in the FGB, that have reached their end-of-certified-life.    [The new packs, delivered on Progress 34P, include replaceable absorber cartridges, pre-filters, filters plus their holders, half-masks, and respirators.  The removed components were discarded in Progress 34P.]

For the upcoming session of the Russian TKhN-7 SVS (Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis) experiment, Romanenko went on a search for two video-audio cables for the HDV (High Definition Video) & DVCAM cameras and one adapter for the HDV cable. [SVS uses its own camera, “Telescience” hardware from PK-3 (Plasma Crystallization) and the onboard Klest TV system for researching self-propagating high-temperature fusion of samples in space.]

With the US OGS (Oxygen Generator System) currently down (see below), CDR Padalka & FE-3 Romanenko in the course of the day ignited three more end-of-certified-life SFOG (Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator) “candles” in the RS (Russian Segment).  [The SFOGs, used as oxygen source backup to the Elektron and OGS, generate O2 by decomposing cartridges of solid potassium perchlorate (KClO4) into potassium chloride (KCl) and O2 when heated at 450-500 degC. Each candle releases ~600 liters (1.74 lbs.) of O2, enough for one person per day.]

After getting ready for the OGS IFM (Inflight Maintenance) yesterday and setting up the video equipment for ground monitoring, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne accessed the OGS Rack to perform the troubleshooting of the failed OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly), removing & replacing the OGS pump ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) filter, located behind the water inlet QD (Quick Disconnect), then re-connecting the H2 sensor, followed by leak checking some time afterwards.    [The IFM was not successful.  After the OGA pump filter replacement, the pump delta pressure did not decrease.  The pressure was high at 21.8 psid, too close to the operational limit of 23 psid to be worth starting up.  More analyses are underway to determine a new plan.]

Kopra & DeWinne performed the periodic maintenance of the CEVIS cycle ergometer, lubricating its guide pins and making sure that the exercise machine can still be rotated out of the way to its stowed position.

Mike Barratt completed the first session of SWAB (Comprehensive Characterization of Microorganisms and Allergens in Spacecraft: Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization) water sampling ops from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser).  Bob Thirsk took documentary photography.    [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.]

The FE-1 undertook OBT (Onboard Training) of the EVA SAFER (Extravehicular Activity Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue) device by using a sophisticated new training program on the laptop.    [Mike’s report: “The scenarios will actually hurl you through the structure in strange and wonderful ways, but it did give good training with respect to hand controller input and flight strategies.”]

Next, Barratt went through a session with a new EVA ECWS (Emergency Caution & Warning System) training simulator, to refresh his knowledge on the enhanced C&W (Caution & Warning) system on the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit).    [The program is set up like an ECWS Class and makes use of the ISS EVA Systems Checklist and the Cuff Checklist.]

In the A/L (Airlock), Mike terminated the recharge of EMU batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) for STS-128/17A and initiated the process on the second set.

Dr. Barratt also completed the regular monthly session of the HMS (Health Maintenance System) training protocol, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer)’s acuity in a number of critical health areas. The proficiency drill today focused on ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). [The HMS hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The impact of not maintaining proficiency with the HMS hardware and procedures could lead to a substantial impact to ISS operations, potential evacuation of ISS, and loss of crew life.]

Tim Kopra had a special assignment to inspect suspect EVA waist tethers.    [Through downlink video and on-orbit pictures, three waist tethers for spacewalking were found to show their red safety indicator, which disqualifies them for use.  Kopra was to obtain additional information on the remaining tethers (condition of tack stitches) in order to either clear them for use or deem them unusable.]

The FE-2 also printed out an updated NINJA (Network Information for JSL Administration) access document for SSC Service Pack & E20/E21 to replace the previous document in the POC (Portable Onboard Computers) book.

Later, Kopra reloaded the RWS SSC (Robotic Workstation Station Support Computer) laptop with new software.

Kopra had an hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth on STS-128/17A. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

The FE-3 serviced the SM’s ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables, performing the periodic replacement of the toilet's urine receptacle (M-P) and filter insert (F-V), plus associated hoses and a sensor, and stowing the old units in 34P for disposal.

Roman continued the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems in the DC1 Docking Compartment, cleaning the PF1 & PF2 dust collectors in its air duct system and the protective mesh screens of the V1 & V2 ventilator fans.

The FE-3 also completed another radiation data monitoring & logging session for flow & dose power data with the RBO-3-2 MATRYOSHKA-R radiation payload, its Bubble dosimeters and LULIN-5 electronics box. [Data were downloaded, accumulated readings were recorded on a log sheet for subsequent downlink to TsUP/Moscow via OCA, and the memory storage card remains in the Bubble dosimeter Reader to the end of the expedition.].

For the new Russian science hardware RUSALKA (“Mermaid”), Romanenko took the battery from the experiment’s kit and initiated its charging.    [RUSALKA ops will involve calibration and tests of research equipment relating to the Sun and the Earth's limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted).  To be tested are the procedure for remote determination of Methane (CH4) & Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere (in the First Phase), measurement of CH4 & CO2 content in the atmosphere and reception of data on NI2 and NI4 content over the territories subjected to natural and technogenic effects, reception of sufficient data on seasonal dependencies of tropospheric parameters being studied (in the Second Phase).  Equipment used:  Rusalka monoblock, Nikon D2X(s) digital photo camera; AF VR Nikkor ED 80-400f/4.5-5.6D lens with ultraviolet filter, bracket for attachment to the window, and Rusalka-Accessories set.  Support hardware: Device TIUS DKShG/PNSK, Laptop RSK1, and Software Package loading disk.]

FE-4 Thirsk performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged for calldown. [The current procedure is a work-around for TOCA’s failed catalyst.]

Thirsk also offloaded the WPA from WRS (Water Recovery System) Rack 1 into a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) with the common H2O transfer hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

At 12:15pm, the FE-4 conducted the periodic (~monthly) VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today at the Dryden VHF site (1:28pm-1:34pm EDT) and White Sands (1:30pm-1:37pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM/Munich and JCOM/Tsukuba in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

Thirsk conducted the standard sensor calibration and check on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1046 & #1063.

FE-5 DeWinne worked in the Node-2 to prepare it for the arrival and installation of the new Treadmill 2 (C.O.L.B.E.R.T).    [The NOD2D4 Avionics Rack had to be configured to stay out of the sway space required for Treadmill 2 operations while in Node-2.]

DeWinne had another 1.5 hrs set aside for collecting & prepacking cargo for 17A.

The FE-3 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.]

Continuing his work in the SM on the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system’s prime central processor subsystem (PTsB) behind panels 313 & 314, Padalka today replaced the TA968MA box of its PZUB data storage unit with a new TA968MA from spares.

In preparation for another session of the BAR experiment, Gennady started charging the Kelvin-Video battery. [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/BAR-EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

The CDR & FE-3 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Gennady at ~8:10am, Roman at ~10:00am EDT.

At ~8:30am, the six crewmembers downlinked a non-interactive message to be incorporated by the music band U2 in their current North American Tour.    [This event was a follow-up to the event conducted with U2 back on 6/26/09 when the ISS crew downlinked greetings for U2’s European tour venues.   Per recent agreements between U2, the ISS crew and NASA, eaxch of the ISS crewmembers was requested to voice eight lines of U2’s new song ”Your Blue Room” that, along with a montage of space and ISS scenes that NASA is providing to U2 separately, will play during their U.S. tour dates.]

At ~1:50pm, DeWinne had a tagup with 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.]

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).

Afterwards, Frank 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).

Before sleeptime, Timothy Kopra set up the video camcorder in the A/L “Quest” for observing the SPS ELPS (Secondary Power System Emergency Light Power Supply) for an overnight ELPS capacity test.

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, 8:43am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 348.4 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height -- 342.9 km
Period -- 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008181
Solar Beta Angle -- -8.6 deg (magnitude decreasing out)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 35 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 61577

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
08/24/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~1:58am EDT)
09/10/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:04pm EDT)
09/16/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth w/SSRMS
09/29/09 -- Progress 34P undock
09/30/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/11/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
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) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 -- Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 -- Progress 41P launch
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton