July 02, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/02/09

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

Due to tonight’s Soyuz relocation event, the crew’s wake/sleep cycle has shifted, with wake-up delayed 7.5 hrs this morning and a late bedtime tonight, plus a short day tomorrow. For today, tomorrow and Saturday, the shifted times (EDT) are as follows:

· 7/2 --- Wake 9:30am – 2:25am (7/3)
· 7/3 --- Wake 12:25pm – 5:30pm
· 7/4 --- Wake 2:00am – 5:30pm (back on normal cycle)

Upon wakeup (~2:00am EDT), FE-1 Barratt, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne continued their current session of 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. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the 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.]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-4 Thirsk completed the third (of three) setups of the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) for the planned MS (Marangoni Surface) experiment. [FE-4 today connected cables between FPEF & MS as well as the FPEF payload bus cable and the video cables between IPU (Image Processing Unit) & FPEF, attached the experiment cover body and FPEF silicone hoses, and finally stowed the MWA IFM (Maintenance Work Area/Inflight Maintenance) tools. These activities were in preparation of the upcoming Marangoni experiment in July.]

FE-1 Barratt readied the CDM (Carbon Dioxide Monitor, #1002) and a backup battery (#1360) from the CDM kit, to be used by FE-2 Wakata during the Soyuz relocation for calling down the ppCO2 (Carbon Dioxide Partial Pressure) every hour.

In the US Airlock, Koichi terminated the maintenance discharge of the #2068 EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) and initiated the process on battery #2037, using BC3 (Battery Charger 3). This is the last of four batteries processed in the BSA BC3. [Each discharge takes approximately 23 hrs.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 DeWinne set up the EPM LPT (European Physiology Module Laptop Terminal) and activated it in support of ground ops, powered from PWS2 (Portable Workstation 2) gear. Later, the power cable was reconnected and nominal use of PWS2 restored.

The FE-5 then took care of the periodic deployment of four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Romanenko conducted the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment)–PrK–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, FGB PGO–FGB GA, FGB GA–Node-1.]

The FE-3 also completed the periodic transfer of US condensate water from CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) to the RS (Russian Segment) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Today was Bob Thirsk’s and Frank DeWinne’s turn to complete the regular monthly session (their first) with the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer)’s acuity in a number of critical health areas. [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.]

Later tonight, after the Soyuz 18S relocation, Romanenko, Thirsk & DeWinne will also undertake the standard one-hour medical contingency OBT (Onboard Training). [The drill provides crewmembers the opportunity to practice communication and coordination necessary to perform medical emergency procedures (such as for nose bleed or eye injury), determine hardware deployment locations and practice CPR delivery in zero-G.]

Thirsk filled out the regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), his fourth. [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 also 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 (20-0055E) lists 44 CWCs (~1,136.2 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (32 CWCs with 851.9 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 323.5 L to be used as reserve water, 352.2 L for flushing only due to Wautersia bacteria & 176.2 L in 4 clean bags for contingency use, 2. potable water (6 CWCs with 216.8 L, of which 45.8 L (1 bag) 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 U.S. Lab, Frank DeWinne started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 12th, with the new EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS hardware.]

Frank also installed updated software for the CDL PCBA (Cardiolab Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), to be used in upcoming session of the experiment SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity). [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. It was last performed by Mike Fincke earlier this year.]

Before the Soyuz hatch closure, Roman used the pump-operated Russian AK-1M adsorber to collect periodic air samples in the SM (Service Module) and FGB, recording salient data and restowing the samplers.

Frank also collected air samples, at the center of the SM and Lab, with U.S. GSCs (Grab Sample Containers) #1098 & #1100.

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).

In addition, 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.]

Later today, DeWinne will be working on the ELC-3 (EXPRESS Rack 3 Laptop Computer) to check and verify its configuration settings, two BIOS parameters and current MAC address. [This is a final closeout action from the AgCam (Agricultural Camera) laptop shell swap with ELC-3 on 5/23,]

Another late-night task for Frank will be the monthly routine maintenance of all four CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, replacing their batteries with a fresh spare, and performing zero-calibration on them, taking & downlinking readings before and after the zeroing. [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger.]

Continuing the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, FE-3 Romanenko today has the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) on his schedule, to clean the grilles of interior panels (201, 301, 401).

FE-5 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.]

The crewmembers not involved in the Soyuz relocation completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the TVIS (FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), RED resistive exercise device (FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3). [The interim RED is being used in lieu of the ARED (Advanced RED) until the latter has had its damaged VIS (Vibration Isolation System) dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

Later, Bob Thirsk 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).

Preparations for the Soyuz relocation by the crew started soon after wake-up. They included –
  • Closing the protective shutters of the Lab & JPM science windows,
  • Powering down the ham/amateur radio equipment to prevent RF interference with the spacecraft during prox ops,
  • Configuring & maintaining STTS communication channels from onboard the Soyuz,
  • Activating remaining Soyuz TMA-14 systems & performing a ground comm check from Soyuz via S-band,
  • Removing the rigidizing QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP),
  • Ingressing the spacecraft (~1:00pm EDT),
  • Closing the two hatches (~1:35pm),
  • Conducting the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC1 [During clamp de-installation and hatch closure, Russian thrusters are inhibited due to load constraints, from 1:10pm-2:50pm.]

For covering the spacecraft transposition, DeWinne activated the A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop in the FGB for the TV conversion to NTSC and Ku-band.

Romanenko then turned on the RS video system, which uses the SONY HDV camera for transmitting over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM to downlink via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in “streaming video” packets.

The activities will also be viewed by the U.S. external TV camera system.

Following a successful the leak check, the following events will occur –
  • Padalka, Barratt & Wakata perform the standard fit check of the Kazbek couches, i.e., the contoured shock absorbing seats in the Descent Module (SA) of the spacecraft,
  • ISS maneuvers to LVLH undocking attitude at 4:42pm, goes Free Drift at 5:25pm.
  • Orbital sunrise – 4:44pm
  • TMA-14 undock command -- 5:26pm; physical separation -- ~5:29pm.
  • Spacecraft (S/C) backs off SM aft end by about 25-30 m, performs stationkeeping.
  • At ~5:35pm, S/C translates toward the USOS, rotating its heading by 90 deg angle in yaw and flying sideways “under” the ISS until stopping at second stationkeep point 25-30 m in front of the DC-1 nadir hatch (~5:43pm).
  • Local sunset -- 5:47pm.
  • During stationkeep, S/C rolls (“indexes”) to align angularly with DC-1 docking mechanism; crew adapts visually to darkness (with floodlight), then starts Final Approach.
  • Final Approach begins ~5.50pm, ends with docking at ~5:54pm.
  • Soyuz/DC-1 docking hooks & latches close ~6:10pm (after possible structural dynamics have damped out).
  • After docking, there will again be a 1-hr. leak check, and
  • Hatch opening to DC-1: ~8:45pm, followed by QD clamps installation, rigidizing the interface, and “Pirs” ingress

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Valparaiso port city, Chile (HMS Beagle Site: ISS had a nadir, late morning pass over this target area located on the coast of central Chile. Charles Darwin arrived here in July of 1834 to begin his 1st Andes Expedition to explore the interior of central Chile. As the station approached the Chilean coast from the northwest, the crew was to look for this port city of over a quarter of a million, situated on a small north-facing bay, then stay ready for the next target in just 15 seconds), and Santiago, Chile (seconds after the encounter with Valparaiso on the coast, the crew should have spotted the Chilean capital city of nearly 6 million located in an interior valley adjacent to the base of the Andes With this nadir pass, long lens views of the urban margins were desirable, but may not have been possible on such short target turnaround unless two cameras are used).

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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/02/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1 nadir; 5:29pm – 5:54pm EDT)
07/11/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch - JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (7:39am EDT)
07/12/09 -- Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (based on solar constraints)
07/13/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking (if launched nominally 7/11)
07/24/09 -- Progress 34P launch
07/25/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking
07/27/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC, ~12:16pm EDT)
07/29/09 -- Progress 34P docking (would be able to dock as early as July 27 depending on STS-127)
08/18/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am 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
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton