November 12, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/12/09

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

Yest kasaniye! At 10:44am EST, the special-purpose cargo spacecraft Progress M-MRM2 docked successfully to the SM (Service Module) zenith (i.e., on top) port under automatic KURS control, followed by a final DPO post-contact thrusting burn, docking probe retraction and hook closure (“sborka”) after motion damp-out while the ISS was in free drift for ~20 min. The Progress delivered the new Russian MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2, Russian: MIM2) Poisk (“Search”). Attitude control handover to the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) was at 8:25am. Russian thrusters were disable temporarily during clamps install and leak check. At “hooks closed” signal, the SM returned to active attitude control, maneuvering the ISS to LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal Torque Equilibrium Attitude) at ~10:01am. Control authority returned to US Momentum Management at 11:58am. Congrats, Moscow!

For monitoring Progress M-MRM2 rendezvous & docking, FE-1 Maxim Suraev & FE-3 Roman Romanenko activated the FGB-based A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop for the TV conversion to NTSC and Ku-band of the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera via the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM, in order to downlink “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band.

Before the docking, the two Russian flight engineers prepared the SM zenith vestibule and port for the linkup and configured the STTS communication system for the rendezvous & docking.

CDR De Winne closed the protective shutters of the Lab & JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science windows and powered down the amateur/ham radio equipment to prevent RF interference with Progress M-MRM2.

After the cargo ship’s successful docking, Suraev & Romanenko –
  • Shut off the TORU teleoperated rendezvous & docking system, used on manual standby, and reconfiguring the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops [the "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC-1 and USOS, and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support];
  • Configured common power for MRM2 from the SM, and
  • Conducted the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and the SM zenith port vestibule.

FE-4 Thirsk & CDR De Winne deactivated the VDS (Video Distribution System) and dismantled the MPEG-2 TV/Ku-band transmission “scheme”, turning off the A31p laptop and disconnecting the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab & Cupola RWS for video coverage of the MRM2 arrival with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras.

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.]

Afterwards, Suraev checked the Russian TEKh-15/ DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment hardware in the SM for its readiness to monitor the arrival & docking of the MRM2 spacecraft. Later in the day, DAKON-M IZGIB was turned off again. [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.]

FE-5 Williams had another two sessions with the sleep shift sequence for the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS). [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following the sleep shift.]

CDR De Winne undertook his first session (of two planned) with the JAXA experiment “Biological Rhythms”, for which he donned the electrodes of the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) for ECG (Electrocardiogram) recording, then started the data take for the next 24 hrs. FE-4 Thirsk acted as operator, setting set up the DWH and performing the data recording.

Jeff Williams set up all PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware, powered it up and then performed his first session of the VO2Max assessment. Later, he cleaned & moved all hardware back into stowage. [The experiment VO2Max uses the PPFS, CEVIS cycle, PFS 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.]

Maxim Suraev conducted a 3-hr audit & inventory of Russian ODF (Operations Data Files) procedures cue cards, going by an uplinked listing with 52 entries. [For each RODF, FE-1 verified number of copies, last update, Revision number, physical condition, actual physical location, and any data deviation.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-2 Stott closed out the SPACE SEED experiment in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) after yesterday’s Harvest 2 of the long-duration plants. [Activities included sowing & trashing apparatus & materials used for Harvest 2, deactivating & removing the ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal), removing the CBEF Dehumidifier, and replacing the temperature sensor in the CBEF 1G IU (Incubator Unit). Background: Plants grown inside the CBEF PEUs fell in two cultivation classes: short-term (~32 days) and long-term (~63 days), starting shortly after 17A launch. Harvest 1, of the short-term samples, was successfully performed on 10/13, of the long-term period yesterday. The samples were placed in designated KFTs containing Formaldehyde, Formalin Acetic Acid Ethanol, and Glutaraldehyde Paraformaldehyde, plus two KFTs designated RNALater. Depending on the fixation medium, the tubes were then stored inside MELFI dewars at +2 degC & -95 degC. Long-term cultivation seedlings will be harvested in ~31 days. The KFTs will be returned on Shuttle mission 19A next year.]

De Winne, Stott & Thirsk undertook the periodic US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam, assisting each other in turn as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Bob later logged the data and stowed the equipment. A subjective evaluation was part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC laptop.]

Maxim did 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).

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.]

FE-4 Thirsk conducted his fifth ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, accompanied by the CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on Return from the ISS) Baro study. Jeff Williams was operator, assisting with equipment donning and some picture taking. [Bob donned the two Actiwatches and the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) for ECG (Electrocardiogram) for the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring mode, then put on the ESA Cardiopres (CDPB). The latter is a portable instrument to monitor and store finger arterial blood pressure, a full 12-derivations ECG, and chest circumference changes, all measured continuously for up to 24 hours or longer under ambulatory conditions, using air pressure to inflate finger cuffs for measuring blood pressure, ECG cables, plus two respiratory belts for recording thoracic and abdominal chest circumference changes. The Makita power tool batteries were again charged during the day.]

In the Lab, the FE-5 had an hour reserved for inspecting the food warmer at the ER6 (EXPRESS Rack 6), installed there by Mike Fincke on 1/13/09.

In the US Airlock, Williams initiated charging another EMU battery in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly).

Nicole had time set aside for performing Part 2 of Stbd CQ (Crew Quarters) airflow troubleshooting in Node-2, today covering the Stbd CQ exhaust airflow sensor to create a false failure signal to determine, which leg (intact or exhaust) contains the actual failed sensor. [On 10/23, the Sleep Station 2 Single Fan Failure caution annunciated without clearing as it had in previous occurrences. A troubleshooting plan was developed, being executed in two parts.]

Bob 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 (21-0028E) lists 77 CWCs (~1,734.3 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (64 CWCs with 1,350.1 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 158.8 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.]

FE-4 also accessed the WRS2 (Water Recovery System 2) for the periodic backfill of the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) with the QD depress hose, a 5-min task.

Nicole, Bob, Jeff & Frank filled out the regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC. [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.]

De Winne performed the weekly “T+2d” inflight microbiology analyses for the potable water samples collected on 11/10 in the SM for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and the SRV-K Warm tap. [In-flight sample analysis was performed with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit/Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).]

CDR & FE-2 again had an hour each set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth on Atlantis/ULF3. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

At the MSG WV (Microgravity Science Glovebox / Work Volume), De Winne supported the ground-commanded ESA experiment SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids), exchanging the cell array and flash disk.

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

At ~11:55am, Nicole, Jeff & Frank tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the ground-analyzed 400 & 800mm-lens photo/video training imagery that resulted from their latest RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) drill on 11/5. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-127/Endeavour/2JA) on 6/15. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Nicole Stott donned the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation, then activated the new harness for another individual exercise run on the T2/COLBERT treadmill. [Afterwards, she downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).]

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5) and T2 treadmill (CDR, FE-2).

Later, Jeff 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).

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.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:56am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.1 km
Apogee height – 345.5 km
Perigee height – 336.7 km
Period -- 91.36 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006508
Solar Beta Angle -- 17.5 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 139 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 62932

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.