ESA ISS Science & System - Operations Status Report
Increment 20

19 June 2009

This is ISS status report No. 44 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
A microscope target test was completed on 19 June. This Biolab instrumentation function will be needed for the TripleLux experiments. 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 future Shuttle flight. The Experiment Containers are already stowed on-orbit since November 2008.

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. Several science runs have been performed in the Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility, despite several spontaneous reboots of the facility. An issue with transfer of images to the ground is also currently under investigation. In addition to vibration measurements from the Fluid Science Laboratory, the Space Acceleration Measurement System, located in EXPRESS Rack 3 in Columbus was activated from 8 to 11 June, and again from 13 to 15 June for vibration measurements in support of Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility activities.

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: 3D Space, CARD and NeuroSpat experiments

  • 3D Space
    The European Physiology Modules was activated on 17 June to perform the first session of the 3D-space experiment for Frank De Winne and on 18 June to perform the first session of the experiment for Robert Thirsk. 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.

  • CARD Experiment
    The facility was activated on 18 June in support of the CARD experiment with Koichi Wakata. Overnight blood pressure measurements were started with the CARD Holter device and parallel measurement was performed with the Blood Pressure Electrocardiogram device from the US lab. CARDIOLAB Holter overnight measurements were completed and CARD data downlink activity was completed on 19 June.

    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.

  • Neurospat
    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.

Fluid Science Laboratory and Geoflow experiment
24-hour vibration measurements using Fluid Science Laboratory sensors were taken in support of Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility activities on 11/12 and 17/18 June and started again on 19 June. The measurements on 12 June were also taken during the crew conference in Columbus. 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 flight unit on ground has just started.

SOLO experiment
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. SOLO is carrying out research into salt retention in space and related human physiology effects. The SOLO experiment also uses capabilities of the European Physiology Modules Facility. The experiment will be continued with the next subjects in Increment 20.

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. 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 still an option is to perform a 2nd run of JAXA’s combined Cell Wall / Resist Wall experiment is being explored, which simultaneously serves 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
From 15 to 17 June Mike Barratt conducted successful runs of NASA’s Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment (SPICE) in the Microgravity Science Glovebox. SPICE determines the point at which gas-jet flames begin to emit soot in weightlessness. 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
On 6 and 7 June ISS Flight Engineers Bob Thirsk and Frank De Winne continued their first session of the NASA SLEEP experiment, which includes daily downloads of data from their Actiwatches (to monitor light exposure levels and astronaut’s sleep/wake patterns) to the laptop of NASA’s Human Research Facility 1 in Columbus as part of a 7-day-long session. On 8 June Flight Engineers Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata started their new rounds for the experiment (this is the third run for Barratt and the fourth for Wakata). The new sessions for Barratt and Wakata continued 13 June. At the end of the activity Barratt downloaded data for himself, Wakata, Thirsk and De Winne by attaching the Payload Computer 1 in Columbus to the Actiwatch Reader.

The facility was also activated on 11 and on 19 June in support of the NASA Integrated Cardiovascular Experiment.

Human Research Facility 2
The Human Research Facility 2 in Columbus was activated on 7 and 8 June and on 18 and 19 June in support of the US Nutrition experiment.

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 of ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang and returned to Earth on Shuttle flight 17A (scheduled for August) for detailed analysis and evaluation of the space samples.

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: attempts to reactivate it have been unsuccessful in the last couple of weeks.
  • EXPOSE-E: This series of exobiology experiments is continuing to acquire scientific data. On 13 May the valves and the lids of the Experimental Trays were closed in preparation for the ammonia venting. The valves were reopened on 9 June.
  • 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. The last science acquisition script ended on 14 June and a new script started on 17 June.
  • MEDET: The Materials Exposure and Degradation ExperimenT (MEDET) is continuing to acquire scientific data. 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 instrument currently does not acquire scientific data.
  • 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. The instrument was commanded into thermal stabilisation mode on 11June, in order to perform the Ball Bearing experiment on 12 June. The experiment was run for 1 hour, until the instrument went into non-nominal mode.

SOLAR
A new Sun observation window started on 13 June and the SOLACES and SOLSPEC instruments are acquiring scientific data. 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

Matroshka
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

Expose-R
The Expose-R facility, which was installed outside the Zvezda Service Module during the Russian-based spacewalk on 10 March, is functioning well. 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 *

Columbus laboratory
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:

  • ERNObox Payload
    On 17 June, ESA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Frank De Winne successfully resolved the problem with the ERNObox payload which was going directly into a Standby mode during boot-up rather than activating properly. The ERNO (Entwicklungsring Nord) box contains various radiation devices, including the LEON-2 Central Processing Unit developed by ATMEL/France and ESA, new memory devices, large Static Random Access Memory-based Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, and Micro-electromechanical Systems sensors.

  • Columbus Control Centre Teleconference
    Frank De Winne was joined by ISS Commander Gennady Padalka and ISS Flight Engineer Bob Thirsk on 12 June, and additionally by ISS Flight Engineers Koichi Wakata and Mike Barratt on 19 June, for the weekly teleconference with ESA staff at the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany.

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 replaced the pretreat tank in the US Waste and Hygiene Compartment; carried out cleaning activities on US segment ventilation ducting and on the Japanese Laboratory’s Cell Biology Experiment Facility and Clean Bench Facility; inspected/cleaned fire detection and suppression equipment in the US segment; relocated the Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter radiation measurement device to a new location within the Russian Service Module; re-installed the alignment guides on the Fluids and Combustion Facility in the US Laboratory; and carried out the weekly microbiology analyses of Russian water samples.

  • Experiment activities
    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 carrying out two sessions (6, 7 June and 18, 19 June) of NASA’s Nutrition experiment 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 three sessions (10, 16 and 19 June) of the Canadian Space Agency’s Bodies in the Space Environment with Bob Thirsk and Mike Barratt (one session). This experiment aims to better understand how humans first adapt to weightlessness and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to Earth. On 11 and 17 June Thirsk was assisted by De Winne as Crew Medical Officer in undertaking the Integrated Cardiovascular Echo assessment which aims to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. On 12 June Frank undertook a session of the WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows) experiment, which is used for testing cognitive abilities. From 18-19 June De Winne carried out 24-hr ECG measurement using a body-worn device as part of JAXA’s Biorhythm experiment again assisted by Bob Thirsk.

  • 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, a Periodic Health Status check, a session of the PFE protocol which checks up on blood pressure and electrocardiogram during programmed exercise, an On-Orbit Hearing Assessment, 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.

  • Other activities
    On 8 June Frank, Bob Thirsk and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata reviewed cargo transfer activites for the STS-127 flight and prepacked equipment for return on the Shuttle. The crew were also involved in handover activities during the past two weeks. On 18 June, the crew (except Gennady Padalka) were involved with a tag up with the Japanese Flight Control Team at the Tsukuba Space Centre.

Post Russian Spacewalk 22 activities
On 6 June Padalka and Barratt cleaned up after conclusion of the EVA-22 spacewalk and prepared the Orlan suits for the next spacewalk, which took place on 10 June. Activities included: removing equipment from the EVA suits such as batteries, lights and electrical cabling; clearing and stowing the equipment used for the EVA; discharging batteries; and setting the EVA suits for drying out. Padalka and Barratt, also downlinked photos from the spacewalk and collected the standard post-EVA radiation readings from the Orlan suit sensors.

Russian Spacewalk 23 preparations
Following clear up at the end of the last spacewalk Padalka and Barratt have been occupied with preparations for Russian EVA-23 which took place on 10 June. This included:

  • EVA suit preparations
    Equipment was prepared for use during the 10 June spacewalk. This included replaceable components of the Orlan spacesuits used for Russian EVAs such as oxygen tanks, batteries, CO2 removal canisters, cooling garments, and communications and medical monitoring equipment. The suits were also adjusted to fit the spacewalkers and leak checks were performed on the suits

  • Service Module transfer compartment preparation
    On 8 June the Transfer Compartment was prepared for the upcoming 10 June EVA, which would replace a flat hatch cover with a docking cone on a Service Module docking port. Relevant leak and pressure checks were performed on suits, oxygen tanks, and interface equipment and heat exchanger equipment was tested. Preparations continued the following day which included preparation of EVA tools, equipment and restraints.

  • Russian spacewalk 23
    ISS Commander and Roscosmos cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and NASA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Mike Barratt undertook Russian EVA-23 on 10 June. The spacewalk actually took place inside the station, inside the depressurised Service Module Transfer Compartment. The short spacewalk started at 08:55 (CEST) and finished successfully at 09:07 (CEST), lasting a total of only 12 minutes. Connected to umbilicals for the duration of the spacewalk, the two astronauts removed the flat hatch cover and replaced it with the standard conical docking cone. The docking cone is required for berthing of the Russian Mini Research Module 2, which is similar to the Pirs Docking Module and scheduled to arrive in November.

  • Post Russian spacewalk 23 activities
    After the spacewalk was finished, ISS Flight Engineer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Roman Romanenko assisted the spacewalking astronauts. The Service Module Transfer Compartment was repressurised, communications equipment was reconfigured and systems restored to pre-EVA conditions, air ducting was reinstalled and suits and relevant equipment were set for drying out. On 11 June post-EVA activities continued, reconfiguring and restowing equipment. This included opening the hatches from the Progress supply craft to Pirs onto which it is docked. It had been sealed off prior to the EVA activities starting. The hatches were opened following a standard 1-hour leak check and clamps were reinstalled to further stabilise the connection between the Progress and the ISS. The Progress was then deactivated.

US Airlock activities/EVA preparations
In connection with the future spacewalks as part of the STS-127 2J/A mission, ISS Flight Engineer and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata carried out preparatory work between 8 and 12 June in the US Quest Airlock. This included inspecting safety tethers, setting up the Extravehicular Mobility Units or EMUs and filtering their cooling loops, configuring tools to be used for the STS-127 EVAs, charging batteries. Wakata also continue with EVA tool configuration on 13 June together with Mike Barratt.

Treadmill with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (TVIS)
Following maintenance on 5 June, which showed sheared off heads on a nut plate and a broken spring of the forward right stabiliser of the treadmill, Koichi Wakata completed activation and checkout procedures on 10 June and no strange sounds or vibrations were noticed. On 11 and 13 June Frank De Winne undertook regular weekly maintenance on the treadmill and an inspection of the device.

Crew Health Care System (CheCS)
On 7 June Wakata mated umbilicals to the Crew Health Care System rack in the US Destiny laboratory to provide increased cooling. These were demated on 10 June. Wakata again remated the cooling umbilicals to the rack on 14 June. On 18 June ESA astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk undertook a periodic 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

Regenerative Environment Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS)
During the past two weeks activities were carried out with the new Water Recovery System, which forms part of the Regenerative ECLSS, which is needed due to the increase to a six-person ISS Crew. This included:

  • Urine Processing Assembly
    Frank De Winne and Bob Thirsk rotated the Urine Processor Assembly rack in the destiny Laboratory on 8 June and performed a software load from a Station laptop. The Urine Processor Assembly rack was then restored to its location.

  • Sampling
    Water samples were taken during the two-week period some for in-flight analysis and some for post-flight analysis. On 9 and 15 June De Winne carried out sample analysis using the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer. He also carried out additional microbiology analysis using a Water Microbiology Kit, and a Coliform Detection Bag for detection of bacterial levels.

  • Water Processor Assembly
    On 17 June, Bob Thirsk serviced the Water Processor Assembly, first offloading the water in the system and then flushing the system.

Air Quality Monitor
On 8 and 17 June, Frank De Winne 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. Bob Thirsk carried out a similar session on 15 June.

Robotics Operations
On 8 and 9 June ground engineers performed remote robotics operation, using the station’s principal robotic arm (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System). They used it to grapple and move the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator or Dextre, from a grapple fixture on the Station’s truss to an overnight park position and the following day onto a grapple fixture on the Destiny Laboratory. The robotic arm then grappled Node 2 and manoeuvred to the correct position for STS-127 docking. Wakata undertook a major review of STS-127 robotic activities on 10 June.

Oxygen Generator System
The U.S. Oxygen Generator System in Destiny has been experiencing pressure issues and engineers are working on procedures to clean the present filter prior to launch of a new filter and pump on the STS-127 Shuttle flight. A plan was in action to maximise oxygen production from the system prior to its shut down. This shut down occurred on 15 June as cabin pressure limits had been reached. On 12 June De Winne retrieved an expired hydrogen sensor from the system with the assistance of Bob Thirsk.

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device
On 11 June Bob Thirsk replaced a pulley rope on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device with a new Vectran cord with the assistance of Koichi Wakata. On 18 June Wakata reattached one of the springs of its Vibration Isolation System, which was reported to be detached, and Mike Barratt checked the functionality hereafter. Frank De Winne carried out periodic maintenance and inspection of the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device the following day.

Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS)
On 11 June Frank De Winne carried out an ARISS (Amateur Radio on the ISS) session with school pupils at the Vrije Basisschool Terbank-Egenhoven in Heverlee, Belgium using the amateur radio equipment in the Russian Service Module. The ARISS contacts are useful as an educational tool for introducing or promoting science-based subjects amongst school pupils and students of all ages.

Japanese Data Management System
In the Japanese Kibo laboratory on 13 June, Koichi Wakata replaced a failed component in the Data Management System rack, which was responsible for taking down one of the two main computers in the Japanese laboratory the day before.

Service Module Water Processor
Padalka and Romanenko replaced a water conditioning unit’s purification columns on 15 June. The water conditioning unit forms part of the Service Module’s condensate water processor, which turns condensate into drinking water. The following day Padalka flushed the new subsystem.

General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER)
Koichi Wakata inspected the GLACIER refrigerator for moisture on 17 June as part of troubleshooting activities. The refrigerator’s fan and cooler had been powered off on 15 June as it was exhibiting loud noise and vibration with an increase in fan speed.

Mini Research Module 2 preparations
Romanenko and Padalka carried out extensive outfitting of the Service Module with equipment for control of the Russian Mini Research Module 2, which is currently scheduled to be launched in November.

Shuttle launch delay
The launch of STS-127 Space Shuttle Endeavour is currently delayed until no earlier than 11 July as ground teams work on resolving the hydrogen leak issue in ground support equipment.

Contact:
Martin Zell
ESA Head of ISS Utilisation Department
martin.zell[@]esa.int

Markus Bauer
ESA Human Spaceflight Programme Communication Officer
markus.bauer[@]esa.int

Weekly reports compiled by ESA's Human Spaceflight Coordination Office.

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Last update: 30 June 2009

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