October 29, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/29/09

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 new aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he 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.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams continued their current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), wearing their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes 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.]

FE-3 Romanenko worked in the SM (Service Module) with the Russian KPT-12 BAR experiment, taking background environment parameters behind various panels, using the AU-1 Ultrasound Analyzer, UT2-03 Leak Indicator and Iva-6A Thermal Hygrometer, while the crew exercised on the TVIS treadmill, located in the SM. Afterwards, data were downloaded to the RSE1 laptop, log tables filled out for OCA downlink and the equipment restowed. [The Iva-6A probe took air & dew point temperatures behind panels 134 & 135. The AU-1 was used in areas close to the pressure shell and behind panels 137,138 & 130. Objective of the Russian KPT-12/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 thermoanemometer/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.]

FE-1 Suraev started the new version of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM, planting new seeds (Mizuna, “First Vegetation”) in the root module, connecting the assembly to the RBS-20 power outlet and activating the hardware (BU/Control Unit, computer), set up in “growth mode”. Romanenko documented the setup with the digital still camera. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

Afterwards, Maxim Suraev performed a 4-hr maintenance job on the #2 loop (KOB-2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, using a manual pump, hose adapters and a pressure gauge (VK-316M) to drain coolant and check pressures at various valve settings. After the tests, which included an air flow and leak test, the loop’s initial status was restored. [Purpose: to determine the volume of free air in KOB-2 and check the leak tightness of the KOB-2 accumulator bellows; also: to perform preventive maintenance on the SOTR loops’ solenoid valves. Note: The R&R of the KOB-1 loop 3SPN1 pump assembly on 10/27 by Romanenko was not fully successful since one of the two ENA micropumps on the new pump assembly malfunctioned during ground-controlled testing. TsUP/Energia is investigating. There are four pump panels on the two KOB loops, each pump panel with two operating pumps (ENAs).]

Suraev, Stott, Romanenko & Thirsk completed the regular monthly session (his first) of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh their CMO acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on eye treatment for Maxim & Roman, and on administration of intravenous (IV) fluid infusion for Nicole & Bob. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) 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 training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

FE-5 Williams worked in the US A/L (Airlock), preparing A/L & EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) cooling loops for the STS-129/ULF3 spacewalks. [Jeff started out by configuring EMUs #3006 & 3011 with their SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals) and batteries, then initiated the standard battery-driven one-hour scrubbing process on the spacesuit’s cooling water loops, filtering ionic and particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter), followed by removing the batteries, reconfiguring the cooling loops and starting the ~2hr biocide filtering. Scrubbing termination, disassembly of the EMU water processing kit and stowing the equipment wrapped up the activities. Loop scrubbing, incl. iodination of the LCVG (Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garment) for biocidal maintenance is done to eliminate any biomass and particulate matter that may have accumulated in the loops.]

Using the MMTs-01 “Elektronika” Multimeter, FE-3 Romanenko conducted electric continuity tests between onboard cabling and the external IPI-100 monoblock of the Russian IMPULSE space experiment mounted on the outside of the SM (large diameter). [The GFI-12 IMPULSE experiment, along with the GFI-11/OBSTANOVKA payload, is designed to use ionosphere probes and a pulsed plasma source to make scientific measurements of ionosphere parameters and plasma-wave characteristics.]

FE-4 Thirsk conducted the standard sensor calibration and check on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1046 & #1063.

Bob also performed regular maintenance on the four CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units #1057, #1060, #1053, #1055, equipping each with a new battery and calibrating them for correct Zero setting.

Continuing periodic checking up on IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) performance, Nicole Stott took airflow measurements with the electronic Velocicalc instrument in Node-1 for the starboard aft IMV outlet and the airflow between the US Lab and Node-2.

Nicole also conducted the regular support of the MDS (Mice Drawer System) facility by replacing the exhausted food bar envelopes (FEVs) for the three remaining live mice, in cages 1, 2, and 5, with new ones and placing the old FEVs in a containment bag for stowage. [MDS Muffler Update: After yesterday’s removal of the MDS Muffler and acoustics measurements before & after the removal, the decision was made, on crew recommendation, to leave the mufflers permanently off. According to ASI (Italian Space Agency) and the MDS PI, this will reduce the excessive humidity in the cages and improve the occupants’ health. Yesterday’s onboard acoustics measurements indicated a worst case of (only) 1.9 db noise level increase at 1,000 Hz when MDS muffler was removed.]

FE-3 Romanenko took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, spending an hour on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h.]

After CDR De Winne had configured the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) to integrate the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) until RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) fill began, FE-5 Williams accessed the WRS2 (Water Recovery System 2) for the periodic changeout of the RFTA and its backfill with the QD (Quick Disconnect) depress hose, which was then stowed and the RFTA activity closed out. [New RFTA: #010.]

In preparation for the DTF (dedicated thruster firing) in support of the HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) release tomorrow, Williams relocated the IWIS RSU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System / Remote Sensor Unit) to the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and also installed the IWIS accelerometer in Kibo.

Following a software reload, Jeff then rebooted the NCU (Network Communications Unit) of the EWIS (External Wireless Integrated System).

After the recent troubleshooting of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter), De Winne stowed the backup TEPC, keeping the detector cable for connecting to the prime TEPC and its subsequent activation.

In preparation for tomorrow’s HTV unberthing, De Winne relocated the PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop from the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to the US Lab RWS (Robotic Work Station) and configured their power supply, to have three PCS A31ps in the Lab for the unberth ops.

FE-4 Thirsk hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Cupola RWS for video coverage of the HTV departure with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras. [The Lab RWS DCP cable was already connected.]

FE-2 Stott completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency 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 current card (21-0028B) lists 79 CWCs (~1,791.7 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (66 CWCs with 1,407.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 215.4 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria & 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 2. potable water (8 CWCs with 323.1 L, of which 23.0 L (1 bag) are off-limit due to Wautersia) and 128.3 L (3 bags) good for contingency use, 3. condensate water (3 CWCs, empty), 4. waste/EMU dump and other (2 CWCs with 61.1 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.]

Maxim Suraev prepared for another session of the new Russian science hardware RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) by initiating recharge of its battery. [RUSALKA ops involves 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.]

At ~1:45pm EDT, Maxim supported the ground-commanded activation of the Elektron oxygen generator at 24 amps 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 for preceding maintenance work since the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control system mode, required for Elektron operation, had been deactivated for this activity.]

The FE-3 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 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.]

Bob Thirsk did the regular checkup on the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) experiment setup in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), inspecting the homogenized Sample 6 for crystals and taking photographs. [This activity is performed daily during BCAT-5 operations to check for crystals, but it is not required after crystals have been found. The sample is being photographed using a DCS 760 digital camera & the EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer). Sample pictures are taken automatically with electronic flash every hour for 21 days, and the pictures are downlinked via OCA during nominal OCA downlink sessions.]

The crew completed all final steps in preparation of tomorrow’s unberthing of the loaded Japanese HTV. In particular, steps were –
  • Grappling of the HTV with the SSRMS at ~9:30am by Bob & Jeff,
  • Installing a CBM CPA (Common Berthing Module Controller Panel Assembly) at the Node-2 nadir port (required for MCC-Houston to perform CBM Demate preparations during crew sleep), by Nicole & Bob, an approximately ~2.5 hrs job,
  • Setting up the HTV HCP (Hardware Control Panel) with power/data cables from the Kibo JPM and checking it out by Frank, followed by his
  • Uninstalling & removing salvaged equipment parts from the HTV for reuse, specifically two LHAs (Lamp Housing Assemblies) & BBAs (Baseplate Ballast Assemblies) from HTVPLC (HTV Pressurized Logistics Carrier) Bay 1, two LHAs & BBAs from PLC Bay2, and an R&MA (Restraint & Mobility Aid), PFE (Portable Fire Extinguisher) & PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) from the PLC.

HTV hatch closure at the Node-2 nadir port was at 1:30pm, performed by De Winne & Stott. Next came configuring the Node-2-to-HTV vestibule for demate by disconnecting ARS (Atmosphere Revitalization System) and IMV airducts, 1553A & 1553B data cables plus one of the HTV power jumpers. Frank & Nicole then partially installed the PCBM (Passive Common Berthing System) thermal cover. [Transfers were completed yesterday, with a total of 199 items from ISS to HTV1 and total mass of 727.7 kg – which is within range of analysis performed at Tsukuba.]

Jeff Williams broke out and set up the NUTRITION with Repository hardware for his second onboard session, starting tomorrow morning with his blood draw. Bob Thirsk will assist with the phlebotomy from an arm vein. [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.]

Nicole & Bob filled out their regular weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) 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.]

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), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-3).

Later, Thirsk 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).

At ~9:15am EDT, Nicole held an teleconference by phone with ground specialists to discuss IMS/stowage progress and issues.

At ~12:15pm, the FE-4 had his periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~4:00pm, the FE-2 is scheduled for her weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

Conjunction Update: Further data points of the flight path of Object 33755 (Russian COSMOS 2421 debris) have moved the two successive conjunctions of the ISS out of harm’s way, and a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) will not be necessary. However, to clear the HTV’s post-release trajectory, tomorrow’s HTV release will be delayed by one orbit, i.e., at 1:00pm instead of 12:05pm EDT.

OGA Problem: The US OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) is exhibiting the same problem as two months ago with a rise in delta pressure across the water pump ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit). Changing out the ORU at end of August resolved problems for some time, but the OGA is now experiencing similar problem with similar rise rate, only it is occurring earlier in the life cycle. The plan is to again replace the water ORU and install clean filters next Monday (11/2). [The OGA was operated at 100% until two days ago then shut down. The same problem had also occurred back in June this year.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Ice Berg B17b, Southeastern Indian Ocean (CEO has received requests from the Center for Remote Sensing, Brigham Young University, for imagery from the ISS of selected icebergs. Iceberg B17b is actually farther south than the circle on the orbit track map and is located at 57.12 degrees South and 38.0 degrees West. Some breaks in the clouds were expected that could have given the crew the opportunity to identify and photograph this ice berg), SW Glaciers of S. Patagonian Glaciers Field (this is the second day in a row that the weather has allowed taking ISS/CEO imagery of the southern Patagonian glaciers. For this particular target site the interest was on the smaller glaciers ranging from HPS10 south to Amalia. Documenting the individual glacier origin to the terminus), and Cape Tres Montes, Chile (HMS Beagle Site: Cape Tres Montes was as far south in South America as the Beagle would travel. In his letters Darwin's notes the numerous forested islands and mountains. Looking left of track, mapping pass along the cape).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:34am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 342.9 km
Apogee height – 347.0 km
Perigee height – 338.8 km
Period -- 91.39 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006138
Solar Beta Angle -- 27.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 132 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 62711

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
10/30/09 -- HTV1 unberthing (1:30pm EDT) -- new time
11/01/09 -- Daylight Time ends/Standard Time begins
11/04/09 -- HTV1 reentry (destructive)
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) launch on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
NET 11/16/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) 2:28pm EST -- not earlier than
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 + 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