August 30, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/30/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday --- Flight Day 2/3 (FD2/3) of STS-128/17A. Ahead: Week 14 of Increment 20.

STS-128/Discovery docked smoothly at the ISS PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter-2) port at 8:54pm EDT, ten minutes ahead timeline, in darkness (orbital sunset ~8:34pm/sunrise ~9:05pm), after successfully completing the RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) in daylight (8:03pm-8:13pm EDT) and arriving at +V-Bar (310 ft straight in front of ISS) at few minutes later. The station now hosts thirteen occupants as Mission 17A is underway. [The combined crew is comprised of ISS-CDR Gennady Padalka (Russia), FE-1 Mike Barratt (USA), FE-2 Timothy Kopra, FE-3 Roman Romanenko (Russia), FE-4 Bob Thirsk (Canada), FE-5 Frank DeWinne (Belgium), STS-CDR Fredrick W. “Rick” Sturckow, Pilot Kevin A. Ford, Mission Specialists Patrick G. Forrester, Jose M. Hernandez, John D. “Danny” Olivas, Christer Fuglesang (ESA/Sweden) & Nicole Passonno Stott who replaces Tim Kopra as FE-2, as the latter returns on Discovery.]

Flight Day 2:

FD2 again was a relatively short workday for the ISS crew, with wakeup last evening at 6:30pm EDT and back to sleep this morning at 5:00am.

Upon wakeup last night, crewmembers Barratt, Kopra, Thirsk & De Winne continued their current support of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session.

FE-1 Barratt started preparations for the Shuttle docking by performing a joint procedures review of the RPM operations with CDR Padalka & FE-4 Thirsk.

Thirsk recharged five D2X camera batteries during the day for at least three hours. [Three batteries to be used for configuring the cameras in preparation for the RPM documentation, the fourth & fifth kept as backups for the actual RPM.]

Afterwards, Barratt configured the D2X digital cameras with batteries installed (to keep Time/Date setting accurate), while Thirsk set up the BPSMU (Battery Powered Speaker Microphone Unit) at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation) using pre-routed cables, and the second BPSMU near the Node-2 forward hatch for placement in the Discovery ODS after docking.

FE-2 Tim Kopra set up the THC IMV (Temperature & Humidity Control/Intermodule Ventilation) in the USOS (US Segment), configuring diffusers in the Lab to optimize air mixing for CO2 removal and installing a temporary (additional) air duct in Node-2 for increased Shuttle ventilation.

The FE-4 hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station) for video coverage of the Shuttle approach with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras.

In preparation for the docking, Mike Barratt supported the ground in pressurizing & leak-checking the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) for ingress, hatch opening and stowage after the Shuttle’s arrival. [PMA-2, at the ISS bow, serves as the docking port for Discovery].

Bob Thirsk temporarily relocated two PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) units from the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to the U.S. Airlock, stowing them behind the ORCA (Oxygen Recharge Compressor Assembly) for the 17A EVAs.

Frank De Winne collected water samples from WRM (Water Recovery & Management) condensate and JPM ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System / Low Temperature Loop) for return to Earth on the Shuttle.

In preparation for the 17A spacewalks, Bob Thirsk worked in the US Airlock (A/L) removing panels at OA2 as a get-ahead for O2 transfer setup on FD3.

FE-2 Tim Kopra had Day 1 of another session with the CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS) experiment, using the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1. [Tim set up the hardware, then began his 24-hr. on-orbit session with the CCISS experiment (with Bob Thirsk acting as operator and photographer) by donning the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) and the CBPD (Continuous Blood Pressure Device), performing the Baro Study, and starting the 24-hr passive heart rate data collection. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card, with the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack laptop for control. CCISS studies the effects of long-duration spaceflight on crewmembers' heart functions and their blood vessels that supply the brain (= “cerebrovascular”). Learning more about the changes in cardiovascular & cerebrovascular systems in zero-G could lead to specific countermeasures that might better protect future space travelers. For the Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are being recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food (water is acceptable) allowed two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.]

FD 2 midday meal (“lunch”) was timelined at 11:16pm-12:16am.

In the JAXA “Kibo” JPM, De Winne collected 12 area radiation dosimeters and stowed them for return on 17A.

The crew performed an abbreviated (1-hr) physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-4), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3), and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-5).

Afterwards, 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).

After beginning their sleeptime at ~5:00am this morning, the crew woke up to FD3 (Flight Day 3) today at 1:30pm EDT.

Flight Day 3:

Upon wakeup, Barratt, Kopra, Thirsk & De Winne continued their current support of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session.

Frank De Winne 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.]

Frank also took surface samples in the JPM using MDS (Microbial Detection Sheets) spread out at specific sampling locations (Saibo Rack wall, Node-2/JEM hatch handrail, JPM OA1 diffuser) with cover film open. After taking documentary photography, the sampling sheets were packed for return.

The CDR did the daily IMS (Inventory Management Sytstem) 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).

Padalka also performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module), including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. Today’s servicing included the weekly Check-up on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for reporting to TsUP-Moscow. [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.]

FD3 midday meal (“lunch”) for the ISS crew was set for tonight at ~6:55pm-7:55pm.

As part of final preparations for STS-128/Discovery arrival, FE-4 Thirsk verified closure of the Lab & Kibo JPM science window shutters as protection against thruster plumes. [The window shutters must remain closed when Shuttle is within 3000 ft/915m of the ISS. They may be opened for no more than 15 minutes for photo documentation if the Shuttle is in Freedrift.]

Other pre-docking preparations were:
  • Barratt & Padalka readying their RPM photo equipment, including camera battery checks, for Orbiter TPS (Thermal Protection System) documentation,
  • Kopra checking the proper hook-up of the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station) for video coverage of the Shuttle’s approach & docking with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras, then also
  • Preparing his photo/video equipment for documenting approach & docking activities, and
  • Powering up the PCS (Portable Computer System) CUP RWS & Airlock A31p laptops and swapping out tapes in the VDS VTR (Video Distribution Subsystem/Video Tape Recorder);
  • Thirsk configuring & later activating the camera timers upon Orbiter RPM initiation and handling the camcorder (the timers indicated beginning & end of the bottom-side photography window),
  • The CDR performing final STTS communications configuration checks for the docking; then
  • Configuring proper headset connection for supporting the RPM activity (which resulted in several hundred pictures of the Orbiter bottom TPS), and
  • Verifying powerdown of the amateur radio equipment in the SM to prevent RF interference during the proximity & docking ops.

During the RPM photography session (8:05pm-8:20pm), Gennady wielded the 400mm-lens D2X camera (replacing the earlier DCS-760), Mike the 800mm-lens D2X for documenting the tile acreage & bottom-side door seals). [The RPM was used by the crew for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, Mike & Gennady, the “shooters”, had only ~90 seconds (out of the total 9 min of imaging) for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Endeavour, which Mike prepared for downlinked after completion of the “shoot” at ~4:20pm for launch damage assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting was very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

During the Shuttle approach & docking preparations, Roman Romanenko used the Russian video camcorder for filming another “Life aboard ISS” video intended for public airing by the Russian Vesti 24 TV news channel in their “Kosmos” segment.

At ~8:30pm, Mike Barratt downlinked the RPM imagery from three SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops.

Shortly before the docking, the crew configured the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) for the automatic “PMA-2 Arrival” mode, an operational sequence used to monitor Orbiter arrival at the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2). [Handover of attitude control authority to the Russian MCS took place at 7:18pm. At “Capture Confirmed” (8:54pm), ISS attitude was immediately set to Freedrift for about 25 min. to allow dampening out relative motions of ISS with the ODS (Orbiter Docking System) dampers/shock absorbers, then maneuvered to “Mated TEA” (Torque Equilibrium Attitude) to account for the new overall configuration with Discovery-docked. Control authority will be returned to US CMG (Control Moment Gyro) momentum management at 10:37pm.]

The docking was followed by leak checks of the ODS (Orbiter Docking System) vestibule for about half an hour.

CDR Padalka & FE-1 Barratt then switched the USOS/RS (US/Russian Segment) comm systems, including the internal hardline audio connections, to their “mated-flight” mode.

After a final checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors and their ventilation performance in the various RS hatchways by Romanenko, ISS/STS hatches will be opened at approximately 11:00pm, followed by the traditional Crew Welcome Ceremony and the mandatory 25-min. Safety Briefing for the new arrivals at ~11:10pm. [The station now has 13 inhabitants again.]

Upon hatch opening, before installation of the ventilation airduct between ISS and Discovery, the FE-3 will perform the standard collection of air samples with the Russian AK-1M sampler in the SM, FGB, Lab, and then also in the Orbiter.

Next, FE-2-20 Nicole Stott & CDR Padalka will transfer Stott’s IELK (Individual Equipment Liner Kit) seat liner from the Shuttle to the Soyuz TMA-14/18S crew return vehicle where Padalka installs it for the new FE-2 (~1:44am). Tim Kopra’s IELK seat liner will be pulled out and stowed in the Shuttle for return to Earth. [A crewmember is not considered transferred until his/her IELK, AMP (ambulatory medical pack) and ALSP (advanced life support pack) drug kit are transferred. After today's reconfiguration of the FE-2 IELKs, Timothy will have technically become a member of the Discovery crew aboard ISS, and Nicole a crewmember of the space station.]

Also in the Soyuz TMA-14, Gennady Padalka will –
  • Conduct the standard leak check on Stott’s Sokol in-cabin spacesuit (in case it is required for her return on the Soyuz), and
  • Modify the Soyuz ASU toilet for her use.

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

Afterwards, Bob 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).

Crew sleep aboard the ISS will commence at 5:00am tomorrow morning, aboard the Discovery at 5:30am.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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).

STS-128/Discovery - 17A Crew & Mission Timeline:
v CDR: Fredrick W. “Rick” Sturckow
v PLT: Kevin A. Ford
v MSs: Patrick G. Forrester; Jose M. Hernandez; John D. “Danny” Olivas; Christer Fuglesang
v ISS FE-2s: Nicole Passonno Stott (UP); Timothy L. Kopra (DOWN)
· FD04 (8/31) -- Unberth, install & ingress MPLM;; prepare for EVA1; campout (Olivas & Stott)
· FD05 (9/01) -- EVA1; remove ATA, retrieve EUTEF & MISSE 6; transfer racks
· FD06 (9/02) -- Focused TPS inspection with OBSS on SRMS; payload/cargo transfers; prepare for EVA2; campout (Olivas & Fuglesang)
· FD07 (9/03) -- EVA2; install new ATA; prep old ATA for return; cargo transfers
· FD08 (9/04) -- Off duty; prepare for EVA3; campout (Olivas & Fuglesang)
· FD09 (9/05) -- EVA3; deploy S3 PAS, R&R RGA 2, connect PMA-3 heater cables, R&R S0 RPCM, route Node-3 cabling
· FD10 (9/06) -- Crew off duty; final cargo transfers; initiate O2 transfer
· FD11 (9/07) -- Egress & uninstall MPLM; berth MPLM in PLB, terminate O2 transfer, close hatches
· FD12 (9/08) -- Undock from ISS (~3:27pm EDT); perform flyaround; dump H2O; late inspection
· FD13 (9/09) -- Cabin stow; Orbiter FCS checkout; RCS hot fire; H2O dump
· FD14 (9/10) -- Nominal deorbit (6:05pm); landing (~7:08pm KSC).

ISS Crew Sleep Shifting: To synchronize the ISS crew’s timeline with STS-128/17A arrival and docked activities, the station’s wake/sleep cycle is undergoing a number of shifts starting on 8/29. For the next few days, the schedule is as follows:

Sleep: 5:00a – 1:30p
Sleep: 4:30a – 1:00p
Sleep: 4:00a – 12:30p
Sleep: 4:00a – 12:30p
Sleep: 3:30a – 12:00p
Sleep: 3:30a – 12:00p
Sleep: 3:00a – 11:30a
Sleep: 3:00a – 11:30a
Sleep: 2:30a – 11:00a
Sleep: 2:30a – 11:00a

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
09/08/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A undocking – ~3:27pm
09/10/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A deorbit burn – ~6:05pm
09/10/09 -- STS-128/Discovery/17A landing (KSC; ~7:08pm)
09/10/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch (~1:04pm 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)
10/11/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/14/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
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) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
08/11/10 -- Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or 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