September 22, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/22/09

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

CDR Padalka, FE-1 Barratt & FE-3 Romanenko began their day before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement using the IM mass measurement device which Padalka then stowed away again. FE-4 Thirsk joined them for the MO-8 experiment. [MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.].

After FE-2 Stott set up the video equipment in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to cover the subsequent RMS (Robotic Manipulator System activities, she and FE-5 De Winne reviewed the POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) application. Nicole & Frank then maneuvered the Japanese robotarm to the Handover point where it will be receiving the EP (External Pallet) from the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System). [The EP will be extracted from the HTV with the SSRMS and handed over to the RMS for transfer to the Kibo EF (External Facility) “veranda”. DOUG is a frequently updated special application running on the MSS (Mobile Service System) RWS laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.]

Continuing from yesterday, Frank De Winne deactivated the COL PWS2 (Columbus Orbital Laboratory / Portable Workstation 2) laptop and disconnected it from the COL LAN (Local Area Network) to prevent interferences. Then began the transition from the MMU-2 (Mass Memory Unit) to the new C12 (Cycle 12) software, controlled from the ground.

FE-1 Barratt, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 De Winne spent several hours with the extensive dual-rack swap/install activity, to move the Lab’s ARS (Atmosphere Revitalization System) Rack to the Kibo JPM and install in the Lab in its place the newly-delivered ARS Rack for Node-3. [The new rack was launched complete, except for the MCA DCA (Major Constituent Analyzer / Data & Control Assembly), which will be taken from the Lab ARS rack and installed in the new rack. In order to check out the Node-3 Rack and verify proper subsystem functioning, especially the new CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), the swap/install job, spread over a few days, first has the crew transfer the new rack from JPM temporarily to COL (Columbus Orbital Facility). When its Lab installation space has been freed by removal of the Lab ARS Rack and its transfer to JPM, the new rack can then be moved to the Lab D6 position for installation and mating of its umbilicals. Due to the degraded performance of the Lab CDRA and the need to verify that the Node-3 CDRA works OK, the new ARS Rack will remain installed in the Lab until sometime after 20A. Meanwhile, efforts are underway to get upgraded CDRA beds on orbit for the “old” Lab ARS rack.]

After setting up the video gear for historical documentation, FE-2 Stott serviced the MDS (Mice Drawer System), first preparing the MDS PGB (Portable Glovebox), then removing the second expired mouse (#3) from its habitat for packing & placing in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Nicole then used the PGB for removing & replacing two exhausted waste filters (lateral left & right side) with two new filters. [Since MDS installation, two mice have died, one transgenic and one wild. Nothing abnormal was detected in either habitat for #6 or #3.]

FE-3 Romanenko continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, working in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) to clean the mesh screen of its central ventilation fan TsV1 and the detachable VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4), plus the fixed GZhT4 grill.

CDR Padalka completed his first orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis suit in preparation for his return to gravity on 10/11 with 14S, conducting the MedOps MO-4 exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) on the TVIS treadmill. With Romanenko, who completed MO-4 yesterday, acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Gennady was supported in his one-hour session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 6:45am EDT. [The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Padalka’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. Data output includes blood pressure readings.]

Supporting the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) experiment, Roman set up & initiated another observation session, using a hand-held spectrometer (without using TIUS three-stage rate sensor) from SM window #9 and taking advantage of sun glint on the surface at a specific time. [RUSALKA ops involve calibration and tests of research equipment relating to the Sun and the Earth's limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted). Being tested are the procedure for remote determination of Methane (CH4) & Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere (in the First Phase), measurement of CH4 & CO2 content in the atmosphere and reception of data on NI2 and NI4 content over the territories subjected to natural and technogenic effects, reception of sufficient data on seasonal dependencies of tropospheric parameters being studied (in the Second Phase). Equipment used: Rusalka monoblock, Nikon D2X(s) digital photo camera; AF VR Nikkor ED 80-400f/4.5-5.6D lens with ultraviolet filter, bracket for attachment to the window, and Rusalka-Accessories set. Support hardware: Device TIUS DKShG/PNSK, Laptop RSK1, and Software Package loading disk.]

In the SM (Service Module), Thirsk collected “Exp-20 Week 25” samples of potable water for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap.

Later (within 6 hrs), Bob performed in-flight sample analysis of the water using 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). [Collected were one 500 mL sample for return on Soyuz 18S from SVO-ZV and one 20 mL sample in the Silver Water Sample Bag from the Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring Kit for in-flight analysis. The flush water, collected in small waste water bags, was then reclaimed for technical use.]

Barratt performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged. Later, Mike changed out the TOCA buffer and performed the necessary calibration check.]

Thirsk reviewed procedures, hardware setup and training material for the new ESA SODI (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument) and IVIDIL (Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in. Liquids) payloads, prior to ops. [IVIDIL is part of the triple experiment series of SODI (IVIDIL, DSC, Colloid) for advanced research in vibration effects on diffusion in liquids, diffusion measurements in petroleum reservoirs and the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions, respectively. The DSC / Colloid experiment will follow during subsequent Shuttle flights.]

The CDR performed the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s sediment trap insert. [The Russian SRVK-2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water].

Padalka also completed a new series of surface samples collections for the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT experiment, taking samples from the SM pressurized shell behind panels 121, 125 131, 134, 135, 137, 138, 307, 310, 339, 340 and in the area of windows #3 & #5. [Samples were collected in tubes, and the sampling locations were photographed with the NIKON D2X with flash.]

The FE-1 spent another hour on unloading the HTV and transferring cargo to the ISS for unpacking and stowing, while trashing packing material.

Frank de Winne completed the daily SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) diet intake logging. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Frank will have to eat special diet (Session 1: Low salt diet; Session 2: High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level). Solo Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are being logged on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. 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. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Blood samples are taken with the PCBA. Background: The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

The FE-5 prepared the MELFI-1 for sample protection by inserting two new fresh Icepac belts into the freezer (Dewar 2, Tray C, Tray Section 1, Dewar 2, Tray C, Tray Section 2).

Frank also activated and checked out the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, currently in the SM (Panel 327), for the performance of the new hardware that arrived on 17A.

At ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Gennady Padalka will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD payload and start his tenth 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.]

CDR, FE-3 & FE-4 had their recurring PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Gennady at ~9:00am, Roman at ~10:15am, Bob at ~1:35pm EDT.

FE-1 & FE-4 also had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Mike at ~12:20pm, Bob at ~4:45pm.

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

Later, De Winne 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Delhi, India (a nadir-viewing pass over the megacity of Delhi. The urban area is likely to be obscured by smog until ISS was directly over it, so researchers recommended overlapping mapping frames during approach, pass over and departure of the target area. This technique also captured a rural-urban-rural transect across the metropolitan area), Arkenu 1 & 2 Impact Craters, Libya (looking slightly to the left of track for these paired impact structures for two dark mountains [Arkenu and Auenat] located to the NE as landmarks for the craters. Overlapping mapping frames, taken-along track, were requested), and Cairo, Egypt (weather was predicted to be clear over the Cairo metropolitan area – ISS had a near-nadir pass over the southeastern quarter. Looking to the left of track for the urban area. Overlapping frames, taken along track, were requested in order to map the existing pattern of land use and land cover).

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!):
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 (under review)
10/15/09 -- Progress 35P launch
10/27/09 -- Ares I-X Flight Test
11/10/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 -- 5R/MRM-2 docking (SM zenith)
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3- ELC1, ELC2 (may move up to 11/9)
11/23/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/07/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/09/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
12/24/09 -- Soyuz relocation (20S from SM aft to MRM2)
12/26/09 -- Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 -- Progress 37P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/05/10 -- Progress 38P launch
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/30/10 -- Progress 39P launch
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 -- Progress 40P launch
07/29/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
07/30/10 -- Progress 41P launch
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour (ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM) or STS-134/Discovery (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS)
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton