ESA ISS Science & System - Operations Status Report
3 July 2009
This is ISS status report No. 45 from the European Space Agency outlining ESA’s science related activities that have taken place on the ISS during the past two weeks for different European experiments and experiment facilities. The report is compiled by ESA’s Human Spaceflight Coordination Office in cooperation with ESA’s Columbus and Payload Operations Management and Mission Science teams.
ISS Utilisation Programme
The principal focus of the European utilisation of the ISS is the Columbus laboratory, which was launched and permanently attached to the ISS in February 2008. In addition to the science taking place using the internal and external experiment facilities of the Columbus laboratory, ESA also has some further ongoing research taking place inside and outside the Russian Segment of the ISS and in the US Destiny laboratory. The current status of the European science package on the ISS is as follows:
European science and research facilities inside the Columbus Laboratory
Biolab and WAICO experiment
No activities were carried out with the Biolab facility in the last two weeks. The next run of the Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots (WAICO) experiment in Biolab will need to be deferred to a later stage when the science part of the experiment can be launched in conditioned state on a future Shuttle flight (potentially 19A in spring 2010). The Experiment Containers are already stowed on-orbit since November 2008. Meanwhile the YEAST and ArtEMISS-A experiments will be tentatively executed in Biolab.
European Drawer Rack including the Protein Crystallisation Diagnostics Facility
The European Drawer Rack is continuously active and providing power, data and temperature control to the Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility, and image recording continued during the last two weeks. Science acquisition has been successfully performed in the Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility, despite several spontaneous reboots of the facility between 19 and 21 June and a problem with the camera position going out of range on 21 June, which meant that no imagery could be acquired during the ongoing cycle. Image acquisition was continued on 23 June with the camera in a fixed position but with a change in camera height and angle. This showed that during imagery loss good crystals were obtained. The cycle was extended to allow the crystals to develop further: A new command sequence with a lower temperature setting (+19.5degC) was started on 27 June. The temperature decrease created extra growth without additional nucleation. Based on that, on 1 July it was decided to further extend this run, and temperature was further decreased to 19degC.
The overall Protein experiment series will last 3-4 months comprising 3 subsequent crystallisation cycles. The final set of organic protein macromolecules will be returned to Earth on the upcoming Shuttle flight 2J/A (STS-127) for detailed analysis in various European science labs. The European Drawer Rack is a multi-user experiment facility hosting currently the Protein Crystallisation Diagnostics Facility, which is an advanced ISS research payload for the investigation of problems of protein crystallisation in space.
European Physiology Modules
In addition to the experiments listed below, which utilise functions of the European Physiology Modules facility, on 29 June ISS Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata transferred accumulated ECG data from a European Physiology Modules Cardiolab Holter session on 18 June to a laptop and downlinked it to the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan.
On 30 June Mike Barratt successfully completed his third session of the 3D Space Experiment. This human physiology study investigates the effects of weightlessness on the mental representation of visual information during and after spaceflight. Accurate perception is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of tasks in space. The experiment has different elements including investigations of perception of depth and distance carried out using a virtual reality headset and standard psychophysics tests.
No activities were carried out with the CARD experiment in the last two weeks. The CARD experiment examines increased cardiac output and lowers blood pressure (caused by dilated arteries) in the face of increased activity in the sympathetic nervous system (which normally constricts arteries) in weightlessness.
No activities were carried out with the NeuroSpat experiment in the last two weeks. NeuroSpat investigates the ways in which crew members’ three-dimensional perception is affected by long-duration stays in weightlessness. NeuroSpat also serves as an experiment from the European Commission within the SURE project.
On 2 July Frank De Winne updated software for the Cardiolab’s Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer, to be used in an upcoming session of the Sodium Loading in Microgravity (SOLO) Experiment. SOLO is carrying out research into salt retention in space and related human physiology effects. The experiment will be continued with the next subjects in Increment 20. Experiment samples for the Sodium Loading in Microgravity (SOLO) experiment from ISS Commander Mike Fincke are stowed in the European-developed MELFI freezer awaiting return to Earth.
Integrated Cardiovascular Experiment
ESA astronaut Frank De Winne completed a session of NASA’s Integrated Cardiovascular experiment on 23 June, setting up the laptop of the European Physiology Modules Facility and copying data from Cardiolab blood pressure device across to the Human Research Facility laptop. On 29 June Frank De Winne assisted Bob Thirsk in undertaking a session the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment, which includes ultrasound and ECG measurements for determining cardiac condition in astronauts.
Fluid Science Laboratory and Geoflow experiment
Following laptop check-out activities performed by Frank De Winne on 22 June, various optical modes with different targets were tested over the following days. Geoflow scientific activities, which have already produced a significant amount of excellent scientific data for ongoing detailed analysis by the science team. Currently discussions about the new scope and implementation of the GeoFlow-2 experiment are in progress. A detailed technical inspection and checkout of the Geoflow flight unit on ground has just started.
24-hour vibration measurements using Fluid Science Laboratory sensors were also taken in support of Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility activities on 19/20 June. Downlink of vibration measurements was successfully completed on 1 July.
Flywheel Exercise Device
The Flywheel Exercise Device will be removed within the next few weeks from its on-orbit storage location in the European Transport Carrier rack of the Columbus Laboratory for deployment and first functional checkout tentatively during Increment 20. The Flywheel Exercise Device was launched to the ISS with Columbus in order to become an advanced exercise device for ISS astronauts and serving human physiology investigations in the area of advanced crew countermeasures.
Pulmonary Function System in Human Research Facility 2
No activities were carried out in the Pulmonary Function System in the last two weeks. The Pulmonary Function System is accommodated in NASA Human Research Facility number 2, which was relocated from the US Destiny laboratory to the Columbus laboratory on 1 October 2008. The Pulmonary Function System is an ESA/NASA collaboration in the field of respiratory physiology instrumentation, which analyses exhaled gas from astronauts' lungs to provide near-instant data on the state of crew health.
European Modular Cultivation System
No experiment activities were carried out in the European Modular Cultivation System in the last two weeks. This space biology facility, which was flown to the ISS in July 2006, is dedicated to biological experiments such as the effects of gravity on cells, roots and physiology of plants and simple animals. It was developed by ESA and has been operated for two years under a bilateral barter agreement with NASA which is expected to be continued. Currently an option is under detailed elaboration to perform a 2nd run of JAXA’s Cell Wall / Resist Wall experiment with combination with ESA’s Multigen-1 experiment objectives. This approach would simultaneously serve as a comprehensive checkout of European Modular Cultivation System functionality for the following experiments. This experiment is also of high interest for the European scientists involved in ESA’s Multigen plant physiology experiment series. Genara is tentatively the next ESA experiment to take place in the European Modular Cultivation System and will study plant (Arabidopsis) growth at molecular level in weightlessness. This will help to better understand gravitropism and to find plant systems that compensate for the negative impact on plant growth in space. After Genara, the execution of the next NASA experiment TROPI-2 is planned with ESA’s Gravi-2 experiment following after.
Microgravity Science Glovebox
The Microgravity Science Glovebox was activated by ISS Flight Engineer Mike Barratt from 22 to 24 June to support NASA’s Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment (SPICE). SPICE determines the point at which gas-jet flames begin to emit soot in weightlessness. On 30 June ESA astronaut Frank De Winne checked out NASA’s InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment in the Glovebox shaking the vials and looking for bubbles or any clumping of particles. InSPACE is looking into a a new class of "smart materials". The Microgravity Science Glovebox was developed by ESA within a barter agreement with NASA. The Glovebox provides the ability to perform a wide range of experiments in the fields of material science, biotechnology, fluid science, combustion science and crystal growth research, in a fully sealed and controlled environment. The Microgravity Science Glovebox has been continuously used for NASA experiments and will again play an important role for future ESA science for the execution of the triple SODI (IVIDIL, DSC, Colloid) experiment series 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 upload of the SODI-IVIDIL experiment is secured on the 17A Shuttle flight and the DSC / Colloid experiments will follow during subsequent Shuttle flights in the time frame until spring 2010.
Human Research Facility 1
NASA’s Human Research Facility 1 in Columbus was activated on 25 June in support of the BRASLET experiment, sponsored by NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, and again on 29 June in support of BRASLET, the NASA Integrated Cardiovascular Experiment (See European Physiology Modules) and mass measurements.
Human Research Facility 2
No experiment activities were carried out using the Human Research Facility 2 in the last two weeks.
European science and research facilities outside the Columbus laboratory in open space
European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF)
EuTEF is a fully automated, multi-user payload facility mounted on the outside of the Columbus laboratory carrying a suite of experiments that require exposure to the open space environment. The experiments cover a variety of disciplines including material science, physics, astrobiology, astronomy, and space technology. The EuTEF platform has been operated continuously with one experiment powered down having completed the first part of its science objectives. EuTEF will be retrieved from the external Columbus platform via an EVA during the STS-128/17A mission with ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang (scheduled for August) and returned to Earth for detailed analysis and evaluation of the space samples. The temperature of the platform is getting low due to the orbital profile of the ISS in relation to the Sun.
The status of each individual experiment is as follows:
- DEBIE-2 : The ‘DEBris In orbit Evaluator’ is designed to be a standard in-situ space debris and micrometeoroid monitoring instrument. It continues to successfully perform data acquisition. The instrument is being power cycled when required in order to avoid the occurrence of empty science packets after a certain amount of time.
- DOSTEL : The DOSimetric radiation TELescope is a small radiation telescope. It continues to gather scientific data on the radiation environment outside the ISS.
- EuTEMP : This multi-input thermometer measured EuTEF temperatures during transfer to the outside of Columbus from the Shuttle cargo bay. It is currently inactive due to completion of the first part of its science objectives.
- EVC : The Earth Viewing Camera is a fixed-pointed Earth-observation camera. The instrument is currently inactive.
- EXPOSE-E : This series of exobiology experiments is continuing to acquire scientific data.
- FIPEX : This sensor is helping to build up a picture of the atmospheric environment in low-Earth orbit by measuring atomic oxygen. Science acquisition has been ongoing during the last two weeks. A new science acquisition script started on 2 July.
- MEDET : The Materials Exposure and Degradation ExperimenT (MEDET) is continuing to acquire scientific data. On 23 June commanding was performed in order to reset the accumulation time of the spectrometer to its initial value, to allow comparison between the beginning and the end of the mission. Data from this experiment will help to evaluate the effects of open space on materials being considered for future use on spacecraft in low Earth orbit.
- PLEGPAY : The PLasma Electron Gun PAYload is the study of the interactions between spacecraft and the space environment in low earth orbit, with reference to electrostatic charging and discharging. The ISS Mission Management Team gave the go ahead to reactivate PLEGPLAY Experiment 2 and Long Duration Test on 25 June. Experiment 2 was successfully performed on 29 June, and data is currently being analysed. Langmuir Probe measurements were performed on 1 and 2 July and data is also currently being analysed. The PLEGPLAY Long Duration test was started on 3 July.
- TRIBOLAB : This series of experiments covers research in tribology, i.e. the research of friction in mechanisms and lubrication thereof under long-term open space conditions. Tribolab is currently not acquiring scientific data due to a shaft drive motor problem.
SOLAR’s latest Sun observation window, which started on 13 June, ended on 26 June and the platform is currently in survival mode with the instruments not acquiring scientific data until the next window opens on around 20 July. A software upgrade for the facility was performed on 1 July, as well as calibration of the SOLSPEC instrument. On 2 July SOLACES was put into safe in connection with relocation of one of the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the Station. The SOLAR payload facility studies the Sun’s irradiation with unprecedented accuracy across most of its spectral range during a 2-year timeframe on-orbit. A detailed feasibility study for on-orbit lifetime extension is ongoing on request of the science team to gather further science data in a period of higher solar activity. The SOLAR facility has so far produced excellent scientific data during a series of Sun observation cycles.
MISSE-6A and -6B
The US materials exposure experiment is receiving power from Columbus and the experiments are continuing as planned. The Materials on the ISS Experiment (MISSE) is a US multi-investigator experiment provided by NASA but located on the outside of the Columbus laboratory. The two large MISSE-6 trays will be returned to Earth in the frame of the 17A Shuttle flight in August 2009. The experiment will evaluate the effect of the space environment on a large variety of exposed materials.
European science inside the Russian ISS Segment
In its experimental set up the Matroshka experiments consist of a simulated human body (head and torso) called the Phantom equipped with several active and passive radiation dosimeters. The Phantom will be relocated to the Japanese Kibo laboratory and equipped with a set of new passive dosimeters. JAXA have already confirmed the technical accommodation feasibility assessments conclusion and now concrete implementation steps and bi-/tri-lateral agreements with JAXA and Russia can be envisaged for another experiment run until mid 2010. Roscosmos concurs to the proposed 3-lateral agreement and the final JAXA feedback is imminent. After that in the long-term Matroshka may be accommodated again on an external ISS platform to measure cosmic radiation levels in Low Earth Orbit which are of relevance for EVA activities.
GTS-2 (Global Transmission Service)
The Global Transmission Service was temporarily deactivated on 31 May though negotiations with Russian representatives are ongoing for reactivation of the instrument and continuation of the so-called test mode. GTS will be tentatively a cooperative European-Russian experiment on ISS. This experiment is intended to test the receiving conditions of a time and data signal for dedicated receivers on the ground. The time signal distributed by the GTS has special coding to allow the receiver to determine the local time anywhere on the Earth without user intervention. The main scientific objectives of the experiment are to verify under real space operation conditions: the performance and accuracy of a time signal transmitted to the Earth’s surface from low Earth orbit; the signal quality and data rates achieved on the ground; measurement of disturbing effects such as Doppler shifts, multi-path reflections, shadowing and elevation impacts.
Additional European science outside the ISS in open space
The Expose-R facility, which was installed outside the Zvezda Service Module during the Russian-based spacewalk on 10 March, is functioning well. On 24 June Flight Engineer Romanenko copied accumulated EXPOSE-R science data to a memory card on a Russian laptop. Expose-R is a suite of nine new astrobiology experiments (eight from ESA, one from IBMP, Moscow), some of which could help understand how life originated on Earth. This suite of experiments was transported to the International Space Station on Progress flight 31P, which docked with the ISS on 30 November. The experiments are accommodated in three special sample trays, which are loaded with a variety of biological samples including plant seeds and spores of bacteria, fungi and ferns, which will be exposed to the harsh space environment (Solar UV, cosmic radiation, vacuum), during the upcoming spacewalk, for about one and a half years.
The individual Expose-R experiments are as follows:
- AMINO : Photochemical processing of amino acids and other organic compounds in Earth orbit
- ENDO: Response of endolithic organisms to space conditions
- OSMO: Exposure of osmophilic microbes to the space environment
- SPORES: Spores in artificial meteorites
- PHOTO: Measurements of vacuum and solar radiation-induced DNA damages within spores
- SUBTIL: Mutational spectra of Bacillus subtilis spores and plasmid DNA exposed to high vacuum and solar UV radiation in the space environment.
- PUR: Responses of Phage T7, Phage DNA and polycrystalline uracil to the space environment.
- ORGANIC: Evolution of organic matter in space.
- IMBP: Exposure of resting stages of terrestrial organisms to space conditions.
Expose-R complements the exobiology science package that is performed in Expose-E, a twin facility which has been in operation on EuTEF outside of Columbus since February 2008 which will be returned to Earth for detailed analysis of samples’ alterations on Shuttle flight 17A in August 2009.
ISS general system information and activities *
In addition to the Columbus experiment facilities mentioned above, the Columbus systems have been working well. Some regular maintenance activities have been executed by the crew and the Flight Control Team. Main points of interest are as follows:
Columbus Thermal Control System
On 24 June JAXA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata connected the Fluid Servicer System to the Columbus Thermal Control System loop and refilled it with coolant. Wakata had carried out similar procedures in the US Destiny and Japanese Kibo laboratories.
Columbus Control Centre teleconference
ESA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Frank De Winne was joined by ISS Commander and Roscosmos cosmonaut Gennady Padalka on 25 June, and additionally by Canadian Space Agency astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Bob Thirsk on 1 July, for the weekly teleconference with ESA staff at the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany.
Intermodular Ventilation Valves
ESA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Frank De Winne worked in the Columbus laboratory on the Intermodular Ventilation Return Shut Off and Supply Shut Off valves placing new labels on the valves, which are located in port cone of Columbus.
Activities of ESA astronaut Frank De Winne
System and payload activities
During the last two weeks in addition to what is stated in the rest of the report, De Winne reconfigured the Temperature and Humidity Control Common Cabin Air Assembly and the Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop in Destiny from the port to the starboard side. This was done in order to dry out the heat exchanger of the deactivated side. De Winne also carried out maintenance on four station laptops and carried out the monthly laptop reboots in the US segment of the ISS. He performed an audit and inspection of fire fighting equipment; activated the ventilation system of the Clean Bench in the Japanese Kibo laboratory, and replaced batteries on all four units of another atmospheric monitor called the Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products, which provides a quick response in the event of fire. On 2 July De Winne inspected the Subject Loading and Positioning Devices on the Treadmill with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization.
In addition to the European science programme detailed above ESA astronaut Frank De Winne has carried out additional science activities in support of the science programmes of ESA’s ISS partners. This included the conclusion of session 2 of NASA’s Nutrition experiment on 20, 21 June together with Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk. This experiment, which is looking into human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight included blood and urine collection. Samples were stored in the European-developed MELFI freezer. Frank also conducted two sessions (22 and 26 June) of the Canadian Space Agency’s Bodies in the Space Environment with Bob Thirsk. This experiment aims to better understand how humans first adapt to weightlessness and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to Earth. From 29 June Frank De Winne, Bob Thirsk and NASA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Mike Barratt started the week long NASA SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment logging data from their Actiwatch devices to the Human Research Facility 1 laptop. This experiment monitors the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure.
Health status activities
The crew undertake health status checks on a regular basis. During the past two weeks De Winne has undertaken Body Mass Measurement; an acoustic measurement protocol, Russian biomedical urinalysis, and filled in Food Frequency Questionnaires to estimate nutritional intake for the astronauts and give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. In connection with health status Frank (and the rest of the crew) undertake regular Private Medical Conferences with the ground, and daily exercise routines on the ISS. Frank was involved in the last two weeks of downloading exercise data for the crew for downlinking to the ground.
Amateur Radio on the ISS
On 22 and 27 June Frank De Winne carried out live links with two Belgian schools using the amateur radio equipment in the Russian Service Module. The first contact was with students at the Berlaymont School in Waterloo, Belgium. The second contact was with students at Karel de Grote-Hogeschool, in Hoboken, Belgium. These types of live contacts are useful as an educational tool for introducing or promoting science-based subjects amongst school pupils and students of all ages.
During the last two weeks Frank and the crew had their regular Planning Conferences with Mission Control in Houston and Moscow, and the Japanese Flight Control Team at the Tsukuba Space Centre. Frank also deployed formaldehyde kits in Destiny to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde and deployed the hand-held, Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit for collecting air measurements in Destiny, the Service Module and Columbus. On 25 June De Winne took situational photography of a Crew Quarters in Node 2 and had several hours allotted for gathering trash together for stowage in Progress 33P before it undocked. De Winne was additionally involved in two Public Affairs exercises on 30 June and 1 July, conducted an inventory of crew provisions, and undertook a one-hour onboard medical contingency training.
On 29 June, De Winne and Wakata carried out a review of robotic operations for the following day. They were joined by Bob Thirsk the following day in taking the Station’s principal robotic arm through checkout procedures in preparation for grappling the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, which is scheduled for launch in September.
Progress 33P activities
Progress oxygen transfer
The remaining oxygen in the Progress tanks was used to refresh the ISS atmosphere between 24 and 28 June and deplete the oxygen supplies in the Progress tanks prior to undocking on 30 June. This ground–commanded activity was supported by ISS Commander Gennady Padalka and Roscosmos cosmonaut and ISS Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko.
Progress fuel transfer
On 25 June a ground commanded fuel transfer from the Progress 33P Refueling System to the Zarya Module’s fuel tanks was performed.
Progress 33P undocking preparations
On 26 June Padalka and Romanenko tested the Teleoperator Control System (TORU) for Progress Undocking. This system allows ISS crew control of the Progress spacecraft from the Russian Service Module should the automatic KURS systems on Progress fail. On 28 June the Progress Docking Mechanism was again installed by Padalka and Romanenko. The following day Padalka removed temperature sensor equipment and light fixtures from Progress for reuse. The Progress electronics were activated, ventilation ducting was removed as were the quick disconnect clamps between Progress 33P and the Pirs Docking Module to stabilize the connection to the ISS. The Progress/Pirs Docking Module hatches were closed at 19:45 CEST followed by the standard one-hour leak check of the interhatch area and the interface between the fuel/oxidizer transfer line.
Progress M-02M/33P successfully undocked from the Earth-facing (nadir) port of the Pirs Docking Module at 20:29 CEST on 30 June, clearing the port for relocation of the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft on 2 July. Progress 33P will remain in free flight until 12 July when it will perform a re-rendezvous test with the upper docking port of the Russian Service Module Transfer Compartment
Soyuz TMA-14 relocation preparations
On 1 July preparations took place for the relocation of the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft the following day from the aft port of the Service module to the Earth-facing (nadir) port of the Pirs Docking Module. Relocation is taking place to free up the aft docking port for the arrival of the Progress 34P logistics spacecraft at the end of July. Preparations included a computer-based simulation carried out by the astronauts/cosmonauts who would be the Soyuz crew during relocation (Padalka, Barratt and Wakata), a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz motion control system supported by Gennady Padalka, and a video downlink test from the Soyuz spacecraft and the Service Module.
Soyuz TMA-14 relocation
On the evening of 2/3 July the Soyuz TMA-14 was relocated from the aft port of the Service module to the Earth-facing (nadir) port of the Pirs Docking Module. After communication channels were configured on Soyuz the quick disconnect clamps were removed from between the Soyuz and the Service Module. Padalka, Barratt and Wakata then entered Soyuz TMA-14 and the two hatches were closed followed by depressurisation of the docking vestibule between the hatches. The standard one-hour leak check of the docking vestibule and the fuel/oxidizer transfer line Soyuz and ISS was performed and the ISS manoeuvred into its standard undocking profile (LVLH). Just after the ISS was commanded to go into free drift the Soyuz TMA-14 undocked at 23:29 CEST. It moved back about 25-30m from the docking port and manoeuvred to flying sideways, underneath and towards the front of the ISS. After again manoeuvring so that the Soyuz docking mechanism was facing away from the Earth, the spacecraft docked successfully with the Earth-facing (nadir) port of the Pirs Docking Module at 23:55 CEST with hook closure occurring 10 minutes later. After another one hour leak check, hatches were opened at 02:30 CEST on 3 July. Clamps were again installed between the Soyuz and Pirs to stabilise the connection.
Soyuz TMA-14 fan
Gennady Padalka restored functionality to the failed air conditioner fan in the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft after carrying out a jumper bypass configuration. The planned replacement of the apparently faulty fan is now not necessary.
Russian power supply
On 22 June in Zarya, Padalka and Romanenko replaced an electric current converter and its control unit for an 800A storage battery block with new units brought up on Progress 33P. The following day in the Zvezda Service Module Romanenko replaced a unit of eight 800A batteries.
Crew Health Care System (CheCS)
During the last two weeks ESA astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk mated umbilicals to the Crew Health Care System rack in the US Destiny laboratory to provide increased cooling and thereafter demated them to reduce cooling. On 22 June De Winne and Thirsk continued with a detailed check out of the Crew Medical Restraint System, which helps strap a crew member securely for administering medical assistance if necessary. Hereafter they performed a checkout of a Respiratory Support Pack. On 25 June De Winne carried out the monthly inspection of the Automated External Defibrillator in the CHeCS rack.
Air Quality Monitor
On 22 June and 2 July Mike Barratt and Frank De Winne respectively started sampling sessions with the new Air Quality Monitor. This device is being used for identifying volatile organic compounds in the ISS cabin atmosphere. This new technology is being evaluated over the next few months.
Oxygen Generator System
On 22 June Koichi Wakata replaced the Oxygen Generator Assembly in the Oxygen Generator System in the Destiny laboratory.
Interim Resistive Exercise Device
The Interim Resistive Exercise Device was installed in the European-built Node 2 on 26 June to serve as a contingency exercise device while the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device is temporarily out of commission due to a cracked device within its Vibration Isolation System that was discovered on 25 June.
Japanese Kibo laboratory laptop
Wakata replaced the System Laptop Terminal in the Kibo laboratory with a spare on 1 July.
(*)These activities are highlights of the past week and do not include the majority of standard periodic operational/maintenance activities on the ISS or additional research activities not mentioned previously. Information compiled with the assistance of NASA sources.
ESA Head of ISS Utilisation Department
ESA Human Spaceflight Programme Communication Officer
Weekly reports compiled by ESA's Human Spaceflight Coordination Office.
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Last update: 9 July 2009