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November 19, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/19/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Flight Day 4 of STS-129/ULF3. --- Happy Birthday, Nicole!

Crew sleep cycle: Wake 4:30am; Sleep 7:30pm EST.

Mission ULF3’s EVA-1 was completed successfully by EV1 Mike Forman & EV2 Bobby Satcher in 6h 37m, accomplishing all objectives plus one get-ahead. Beginning this morning at 9:24am EST, the spacewalk ended at 5:01pm. [EV1 & EV2 began their “campout” yesterday evening in the U.S. Airlock (A/L) with hatch closure and depressurization of the Crewlock (CL) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi, followed by mask prebreathe. This morning, following the usual hygiene break/with mask prebreathe for Forman & Satcher after spending the “night” on 10.2 psi, the A/L hatch was closed again by Nicole Stott for EVA preps in 10.2 psi, followed by EMU purge (~7:45am) and prebreathe in the EMUs (8:00am-8:50am). Afterwards, with CL depressurization and EV1/EV2 switching to suit power, EVA-1 began at 9:24am. The excursion lasted 6h 37).]

During EVA-1, Forman & Satcher –
  • Transferred SASA (S-Band Antenna Support Assembly) from PLB (Payload Bay) to the Z1 truss for installation,
  • Lubricated POA (Payload ORU Attachment) & JEM RMS (Robotic Manipulator System),
  • Installed NH3 BRKT (Ammonia Bracket) on Node-1 handrail,
  • Installed Node-1-to-FGB LAN (Local Area Network) cable/MMOD Shield,
  • Routed & installed the SGANT (Space-to-Ground Antenna) cable (TSA to Z1), and
  • Performed troubleshooting on the S01/4 avionics cable, and
  • Deployed the S3 truss nadir outboard PAS (Payload Attach System) as a get-ahead, originally scheduled for EVA-2,
  • Cleaned up & ingressed.

Frank De Winne activated the JEMRMS (Robotic Maneuvering System), verified maneuver inhibits and supported its LEE (Latching End Effector) snares lubrication by EV2 Satcher. Later, the RMS was deactivated and stowed.

Post-ingress activities by Forman, Satcher & Stott included the usual post-EVA tasks like photographing EMU gloves for inspection, recharging EMUs with water, downloading & downlinking D2XS EVA & glove photographs, recharging REBA batteries, etc.

Before the spacewalk went underway, 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.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams continued the current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), donning 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 terminated his 12th experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

Suraev 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.]

Working with Roman, Maxim then disassembled the KURS-A hardware in the MRM2 module and removed it, to be recycled on a later flight.

Also in the new Poisk docking/airlock compartment, Romanenko installed the VD2 ventilation airduct assembly, which comes with a heater and fan (to be installed tomorrow).

Both Russian flight engineers then began with cargo transfers from MRM2 and consecutive IMS (Inventory Management System) updates

FE-2 Stott provided pre- and post-EVA support to Forman & Satcher, including refilling the EMU spacesuit water tanks.

Later, Nicole configured & verified C&T (Command & Tracking) video set up, ensuring installation of the video cap in Node-2 to enable reception of video from the Atlantis with the Orbiter docked, in preparation of SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations with ELC1 & ELC2.

Pre-EVA support was also provided by FE-4 Thirsk, who prepared the EVA cameras with their freshly charged batteries, powered down the ham/amateur radio equipment in the SM to prevent RF interference during approach & docking, and closed the protective shutters of the Lap and JPM science windows.

After the spacewalkers’ ingress, the FE-4 took the usual photos of their spacesuit gloves and downloaded them for ground inspection.

Bob Thirsk unpacked the ULF3-delivered CSA/NASA APEX (Advanced Plant EXperiments on-orbit)-Cambium replant kit and the TAGES (Transgenic Gene Expression System) science spares kit, both in DCBs (double-cold bags), and inserted both into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer on ISS). [When completed, the APEX-Cambium) payload in conjunction with the NASA-sponsored TAGES will determine the role of gravity in Cambium wood cell development (providing the pulp & paper and construction industries insight into the fundamental mechanisms of wood cell formation) and demonstrate non-destructive reporter gene technology & investigate spaceflight plant stress. APEX-Cambium will provide NASA & the ISS community a permanent controlled environment capability to support growth of various organisms (i.e. whole plants). Also, as a result of the TAGES experiment GFP (Green Florescent Protein) imager development, ISS partners will benefit from a modern biological analysis capability that can provide real time non-destructive gene expression data which can ultimately optimize ISS microgravity biological experimentation and greatly reduce required specimen downmass.]

Afterwards, Thirsk packed up the broken Ares dashpot for return on the Atlantis.

Bob also unpacked the newly delivered HMS IMAK (Health Maintenance System IMAKs (ISS Medical Accessory Kits) and stowed the items, intended both for HMS resupply and crewmembers personal medical items. Bob also unpacked fresh resupplies for the onboard medical kits.

Later, FE-4 activated & checked four newly-delivered CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, changed out the batteries in both CSA-CP sampling pumps and the four new units (#1052, #1042, #1056, #1049), verified that their sensors are not contaminated and zero-calibrated them for use on ISS.

Working in the JPM on the JAXA CERISE payload, FE-5 Williams prepared samples and the MEAS (Measurement Experiment Unit A), then attaching MEAS to the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility Micro-G IU (Incubator Unit) and later to the 1G IU.

Thirsk supplemented the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) Waste Water Tank with stored water from a CWC (Collapsible Water Container, #1005) with the common H2O transfer hose and condensate pump (which took about 36 min).

After temporarily moving the ARED exercise device in Node-1 on its platform into stowage position at the Node’s “ceiling” to create working room, FE-5 Williams & CDR De Winne had several hours for outfitting Node-1, removing close-out panels as “get-ahead” preparation for the Alcove hardware modifications required for Node-3 “Tranquility”. Afterwards, ARED was restored in its nominal operational position.

FE-4 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.

FE-1 completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Skipping the Soyuz hatches to FGB & SM aft , inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Suraev also 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).

Afterwards, Maxim 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.]

With Nicole not requiring the Soyuz TMA-16/20S as a crew return vehicle anymore, Suraev replaced the ASU toilet female funnel with the male counterpart in 20S.

Bob Thirsk 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. This was the last replacement of fresh food prior to the return of the MDS on STS-129.

At ~7:20pm EST, just before sleep time, Suraev will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his 3rd experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

Frank De Winne, Bob Thirsk & Roman Romanenko had an hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-15/19S on 12/1. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

De Winne broke out and set up the NUTRITION with Repository hardware for his second onboard session, starting tomorrow morning with her blood draw. 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.]

At ~6:30pm, Nicole had 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).

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

Afterwards, Jeff 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).

WPA Status Update: WPA (Water Processor Assembly) was reactivated and processed approximately 15 lb of water. System response has not been nominal, with lower than expected pressures continuing. Ground engineers are loading new overrides to allow operation at a reduced flowrate (10 lbs/hr).

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 2:29am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 340.3 km
Apogee height – 344.4 km
Perigee height – 336.2 km
Period -- 91.34 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006114
Solar Beta Angle -- -13.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 75 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 63039

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
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