July 29, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/29/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. With Koichi Wakata’s departure on STS-127, the crew now has a new Flight Engineer 2 – Tim Kopra (USA).

Crew sleep cycle: Wake 3:00am, sleep 5:30m EDT (back on nominal cycle starting tomorrow).

Yest kasaniye! At 7:12am EDT, Progress M-67 (34P) docked successfully to the SM (Service Module) Aft docking port, followed by docking probe retraction and hook closure at approximately 7:21am under manual TORU control by CDR Padalka. [At completion of the fly-around, a discrepancy was noted between the predicted range & range rate compared to the Progress KURS measurement of range & range rate. Additionally, at the completion of the fly-around, 34P was 90 deg out of the expected orientation (i.e., vehicle was aligned on the SM port side instead of the SM aft). TsUP-Moscow directed Gennady Padalka to assume manual control with the TORU Tele-operator Control System. After re-orienting to the SM aft axis, the CDR docked the vehicle within the normal docking parameters. Further investigation of these discrepancies will be analyzed by the Russian specialists. CDR Padalka and FE-3 Romanenko performed standard leak checks, opened hatches and installed docking clamps. After the installation of the clamps and deactivation of 34P, Padalka and Romanenko began Progress unloading.]

For monitoring the 34P rendezvous & docking, FE-1 Barratt 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. The A31p was later deactivated again and the video system disassembled and stowed.]

Before the docking, Mike Barratt also –
  • Powered down the amateur/ham radio equipment in the SM to prevent RF interference with the arriving cargo ship,
  • Conducted the periodic status & screen check on the payload CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus), located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2),
  • Inspected and cleaned the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) in the US Lab, and
  • Began replenishing the Icepacs in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) by inserting seven +4C Icepac belts into MELFI. [The Icepacs that were removed as part of 2J/A packing. Ten additional activities spaced at least 24 hours apart will be planned over the next two weeks, each time inserting two Icepac belts.]

CDR Padalka performed a checkout test on the MPEG-2 encoder.

FE-2 Kopra retrieved Wakata’s IELK (Individual Equipment Liner Kit, #1280055) from the DC-1 Docking Compartment and moved it to the Lab (loc. LAB1O3) for later return on 17A.

The FE-2 also started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 18th, 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.]

Gennady Padalka completed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process was terminated at ~5:15pm EDT before crew sleep, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 7/9-7/10). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

FE-2 Kopra, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 De Winne each completed 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 their 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.]

Mike Barratt took the periodic CHeCS Emergency Health Maintenance System Contingency Drill Training, which gives crewmembers the opportunity to work as a team in resolving a simulated medical emergency onboard ISS. [The training refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment use, and procedures.]

Barratt worked on the EHS TOCA (Environmental Health System/Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) by completing the standard changeout of its WWB (Waste Water Bag).

Mike also performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA, after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-7 (Station Support Computer 7) 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.]

Bob & Frank had several hours for unpacking cargo delivered on STS-127/2J/A.

Kopra worked on the CGSE (Common Gas Supply Equipment), setting up for gas supply start (Argon) and later starting it.

De Winne supported the JAXA PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) by installing a new canister into the PCRF and setting up PCRF cabling.

FE-1, FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~9:25am EDT, Kopra at ~12:40pm, Thirsk at ~2:40pm, De Winne at ~6:30am.

Bob conducted the monthly FDS PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules. [The 30-min IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), QDMAs (Quick-Don Mask Assemblies) and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware. QDMA harness inspection was not required today.]

The FE-3 performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow.

Gennady completed 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).

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR).

Later, 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).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/31/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC; ~10:45am)
08/23/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A launch – MPLM (P), LMC (~2:24am EDT)
09/10/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:00pm 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)
10/08/09 -- 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