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

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

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.]

Afterwards, Suraev downloaded data files from the BU (Control Unit) of the running BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM for archiving on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked pictures of the growing plants which he also thinned out for better growth. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

FE-2 Stott terminated Day 2 of her third session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, after 24 hours of urine collections & sample placing in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [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.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Nicole again supported the SPACE SEED experiment in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility), today performing the final Harvest 2 of the long-duration plants. [Activities included stopping PEU (Plant Experiment Unit) activity from the ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal), removing the PEU from CBEF and securing the harvested samples in KFTs (KSC Fixation Tubes) from MELFI and inserting the KFTs and Plant Chamber in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). The experiment cultivates Arabidopsis thaliana, which has a relatively short life cycle. The controlling mechanism of developmental processes in Arabidopsis has been physiologically and genetically studied with various mutants and transgenic plants on earth. The study of Arabidopsis in a micro-G environment is expected to provide information for improving the productivity of crops in space as well as providing insight into the role of gravity in regulating the life cycle of higher plants. Background: Plants inside the CBEF PEUs fall in two cultivation classes: short-term (~32 days) and long-term (~63 days), starting shortly after 17A launch. Harvest of the short-term samples was successfully performed on 10/13; the samples were placed in designated KFTs containing Formaldehyde, Formalin Acetic Acid Ethanol, and Glutaraldehyde Paraformaldehyde, plus two KFTs designated RNALater. Depending on the fixation medium, the tubes were then stored inside MELFI dewars at +2 degC & -95 degC. Long-term cultivation seedlings will be harvested in ~31 days. The KFTs will be returned on Shuttle mission 19A next year.]

Later, Nicole performed the periodic status & screen check on the running payload CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus), located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2).

FE-1 Suraev completed his first preliminary orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis suit, 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 acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Maxim was supported in his one-hour session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 7:06am – 7:29am EST. [The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Romanenko’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. Data output includes blood pressure readings.]

In the SM (Service Module), the FE-1 configured the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment hardware, activated & tested the hardware for functionality and closed down the experiment. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations - (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

FE-5 Williams hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab & Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation) for video coverage of tomorrow’s arrival of Progress R5/MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2) with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras.

In preparation for tomorrow’s MRM2 “Poisk” (=Search, Quest) arrival, Jeff Williams worked with Maxim Suraev to configure & test the TV downlink from the 5R/Progress and SM over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-/band in “streaming video” packets. [The setup involves the designated A31p laptop at the Lab RWS for converting analog-to-digital video, the video connection from the SONY HVR-Z1J digital high-definition camcorder and the ZVK LIV Experimental Video Complex in the SM over the MPEG-2 encoder. After the test, with the RSCE PingMaster application, Jeff deactivated the A31p again. The KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder uses the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptop (for converting analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC). The video hardware connection is checked with a network ping test. The digital video transmission is carried over JSL(Joint Station LAN)/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to TsUP-Moscow, plus transfer of the USOS analog video of the RS ISS video downlink via Streambox 2 to NISN (i.e., the Moscow Ostankino communication hub).]

Suraev had ~50 min set aside to gather and set up equipment and personal protection gear for the first ingress in the MRM2 module, including unstowing the necessary activation cables from behind SM panel 305.

Using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, Maxim Suraev also performed the standard check on the SM cabin air, today looking for Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Chloride and Hydrogen Cyanide. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, etc.]

Roman Romanenko set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his sixth, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment, supported by ground specialist tagup, was then closed out and the test data downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

The FE-4 started (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 44th, with the 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 (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

Jeff Williams concluded his second (FD30) ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, doffing the two Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) about 24 hrs after the end of yesterday’s “midpoint” activity. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Jeff later set up the CB (Clean Bench) in preparation for the upcoming Japanese CERISE experiment. [The CB, a subrack of the Saibo (“living cell”) Rack, provides a germ-free environment for life science and biotechnological experiments. It has a specially designed microscope that operates with bright-field, phase-contrast and fluorescence modes. RNA interference and protein phosphorylation in space environment using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (CERISE) is an experiment that addresses two scientific objectives. The first is to evaluate the effect of micro-G on RNA (ribonucleic acid) interference. The second is to study how the space environment affects the protein phosphorylation (addition of a phosphate molecule) and signal transduction in the muscle fibers of gene knock-downed Caenorhabditis elegans.]

CDR De Winne used the MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) kit to obtain the periodic microbiology (bacterial & fungal) air samples from two specific sampling locations in the SM, Node-1 and Lab. Frank also used the SSK (Surface Sample Kit) to collect/incubate microbiology surface samples. [After a 5-day incubation period, the air & surface samples will be subjected to visual analysis & data recording with the surface slides and Petri dishes of the MAS & SSK.]

In the SM, FE-3 Romanenko worked on the BTA Heat Exchanger/Evaporator of the Russian SKV1 air conditioner, installing heat insulation material.

Maxim 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).

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.]

In the Lab, Jeff Williams removed the alignment guides from the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) activation by the ground for FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) operations requiring a microgravity environment.

In Node-2, Nicole Stott spent some time with Part 1 of a troubleshooting plan for the starboard CQ (Crew Quarters), taking Velocicalc airflow readings near the Node-2 Stbd CQ intake & exhaust outlets to determine if the airflow is above the trip limit for the CQ airflow sensors. [On 10/23, the Sleep Station 2 Single Fan Failure caution annunciated without clearing as it had in previous occurrences. A troubleshooting plan was developed which will be executed in two parts. Part 2 will depend on the results of Part 1.]

In the US Lab, Bob Thirsk connected the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System / Low Temperature Loop) jumper, then reconfigured the THC IMV (Temperature & Humidity Control / Intermodule Ventilation) fans.

The FE-4 downloaded and saved the ECG (Electrocardiograph) data recorded for the last 24 hrs from his first session with the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM and its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph), started yesterday.

Bob also checked the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) Crystal experiment again, inspecting Sample 6 in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for crystals and reporting to JAXA that crystals are indeed visible.

Frank, Nicole & Bob had an hour each set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their upcoming return to Earth. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Bob at ~12:00pm, Nicole at ~12:40pm, Jeff at ~1:00pm EST.

For the sixth time, Bob Thirsk donned the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation, then activated the new harness for another individual exercise run on the T2/COLBERT treadmill. [Afterwards, he downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).]

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

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).

At ~5:40am EST, Romanenko & Suraev held a TORU (Teleoperator Control System) training teleconference with ground specialists to discuss tomorrow’s MRM2 arrival. [Flight Plan, see below.]

At ~9:05am, De Winne, Suraev, Stott, Thirsk & Williams reviewed the ULF3 timeline, then Frank, Nicole, Bob & Jeff participated in a conference with ground specialists to discuss the timeline. [Summary Flight Plan, see below.]

At ~9:35am, Romanenko & Suraev downlinked a PAO TV message of greetings, congratulating A. L. Martynovsky, Vice-President of RSC-Energia on his 70th Anniversary.

At ~2:10pm, the ISS crew discussed the upcoming ULF3/Atlantis mission with crewmembers of the STS-129/Atlantis flight in a 25-min audio/conference.

UPA Failure Update: The Urine Processor Assembly failed to spin up on the last two consecutive tries yesterday due to high current events on the DA (Distillation Assembly) drive motor. The DA is considered failed; however, ground teams are still assessing the data from yesterday’s startup attempt. Failure Investigation and Forward Plan will be scheduled later this week to discuss the plans for the DA.

Progress M-MRM2 Approach/Docking Timeline (11/12, am EST):
  • SM Solar Arrays feathering ~ 8:56:30
  • Kurs-A Activation (MRM2) 9:06:30
  • Kurs-P Activation (SM) 9:08:30
  • Assured Kurs acquisition 9:35:30
  • Kurs Test Disabled 10:06:00
  • SM GO for Final Approach 10:10:30
  • Begin Flyaround (at 400m) ~10:17:20
  • Begin stationkeeping ~10:26:30
  • Initialize final approach 10:34:30
  • Contact (capture) ~10:43:30
  • SM Kurs-P Deactivation on mechanical capture

STS-129/Atlantis Flight Plan Overview:
  • Launch, Docking, Undocking & Landing data see below;
  • STS-129/ULF3/Atlantis will be crewed by CDR Charlie “Scorch” Hobaugh, PLT Barry “Butch” Wilmore, MS1 Leland Melvin, MS2 Randy Bresnik, MS3 Mike Forman, MS4 Bobby Satcher, FE-2/MS5 Nicole Stott (down);
  • Nicole will officially be considered a Shuttle crewmember at hatch opening on FD3 - but will continue to live on ISS until the day before undocking, being scheduled (timelined) as an ISS crewmember.
  • ISS Crew Wake will shift forward (later) to 3:00am EST on FD 2 (11/17) and then to 4:30am on FDs 3&4. Undock will drive Crew Wake two-and-a-half hours earlier to 02:00am by FD9 (Hatch Close Day). This shift is accomplished by moving Crew Sleep 30 min earlier on FDs 4-8. Crew Wake is 2:00am again on FD 10 (Undock Day) with sleep at 4:30pm, completing the shift back to the nominal wake/sleep cycle.
  • Wake/Sleep schedule:
FD1 16-Nov 320 1:00 4:30
FD2 17-Nov 321 3:00 8:00
FD3 18-Nov 322 4:30 8:00
FD4 19-Nov 323 4:30 7:30
FD5 20-Nov 324 4:00 7:00
FD6 21-Nov 325 3:30 6:30
FD7 22-Nov 326 3:00 6:00
FD8 23-Nov 327 2:30 5:30
FD9 24-Nov 328 2:00 5:30
FD10 25-Nov 329 2:00 4:30

  • Focused inspection is nominally planned for FD5. On the evening of FD3, the Debris Assessment Team will start reviewing the RPM imagery. Late inspection will be completed in its entirety after the Shuttle undocks on FD10.
  • Three EVAs are planned during the mission on FD’s 4, 6, & 8. Nicole and Butch will support the EVA Prep & Post responsibilities.
  • General tasks for each EVA:
  • EVA 1 (Forman/Satcher): Transfer SASA (S-Band Antenna Support Assembly) from PLB to Z1, lubricate POA & JEM RMS, install NH3 BRKT, route & install SGANT (Space to Ground Antenna) cable, troubleshoot S01/4 cable.
  • EVA 2 (Forman/Bresnik): Install GATOR (Grapple Adaptor To On-Orbit Railing), deploy S3 Nadir PAS (Payload Attachment System), relocate FPMU (Floating Potential Measurement Unit, install WETA (Wireless Video System External Transceiver Assembly).
  • EVA 3 (Bresnik/Satcher): Transfer HPGT (High Pressure Gas Tank) from ELC2 to ISS Airlock, install MISSE 7 (Materials International Space Station Experiment 7 on ELC2, deploy S3 Zenith Inboard PAS.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Taal Volcano, Philippines (ISS had a fair weather pass in mid-afternoon over this active volcano located in the northern Philippines. As it approached the main island of Luzon from the SW, the crew should have encountered this feature immediately just right of nadir. Detailed views of this caldera with a lake situated within a larger lake), Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (the CEO staff is monitoring the extent of the tiny, remnant ice field near the summit of Africa’s highest peak located near the Tanzania-Kenya border. The crew had a mid-afternoon pass with partly cloudy conditions expected to remain well below the summit. Using the long lens for detail while looking just left of nadir during the approach from the SW), Buenos Aires, Argentina (the sprawling Argentine capital city has a population of about 13 million and is located in northeastern Argentina on the turbid Rio de la Plata estuary and the Parana River delta. ISS had a nadir pass in clear weather as it approached from the SW at midday. Trying for views that include all the visible urban area), Nouakchott, Mauritania (the Mauritanian capital is located just inland from the Atlantic and has a rapidly growing population estimated at 2 million. Despite its size, the city is a low-contrast target and may be difficult to spot, particularly if the air is dusty, as it often is. Looking for the city during the approach to the coast from the SW. It should have been be at nadir, in mid-afternoon light, and under hopefully clear skies), and Lake Poopo, Bolivia (Lake levels in Poopo are generally affected by El Niño episodes with water levels declining during ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) events. CEO imagery will also add to the existing time series imagery of the fluctuations of lake levels in Poopo. Review of the most recent imagery of Lake Poopo shows that the CEO staff would like to continue to ask for additional views of this target area. On this early afternoon pass the lake will be near under fair skies).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:49am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.2 km
Apogee height – 345.4 km
Perigee height – 337.1 km
Period -- 91.36 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006182
Solar Beta Angle -- 21.2 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 103 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 62915

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/12/09 -- 5R/MRM2 “Poisk” (“Search”, “Quest”) docking (SM Zenith) – ~10:44am EST
11/16/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 launch (ELC1, ELC2) – 2:28pm EST
11/18/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 dock – 11:56am
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