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Science & Exploration

ESA ISS Science & System - Operations Status Report # 103 Increment 28/29

23/09/2011 296 views 0 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Columbus

This is ISS status report #103 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 Astronaut and ISS Utilisation Department in cooperation with ESA’s Columbus and Payload Operations Management and Mission Science teams from the Astronaut and ISS Utilisation Department.

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 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:

NB: ISS research activities have been at a reduced level in the two-week reporting period awaiting the launch of the next Soyuz. This will restore the ISS to the full crew complement of six for a few days with the arrival of three ISS Expedition 29/30 crew members on 16 November as following a few days of handover the three Expedition 28/29 crew members will return to Earth. However in the period between 20-26 December the Expedition 30/31 crew with ESA astronaut A. Kujpers will also be launched.

European science and research facilities inside the Columbus Laboratory

Biolab and associated experiments
No activities were carried out using the Biolab facility in the two week period up until 23 September. Biolab is a multi-user facility designed to support biological experiments on micro-organisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants and small invertebrates.

Due to the still ongoing functional recovery activities for the Biolab facility the TripleLux experiments’ execution has been deferred due to the Biolab microscope failure. The microscope which is needed for the TripleLux experiments was returned to ground with STS-134 and will be returned to the ISS to resume the utilisation of a fully functional Biolab after repair. The objective of the TripleLux experiments is to further understand the cellular mechanisms underlying the aggravation of radiation responses, and the impairment of immune function under spaceflight conditions.

European Drawer Rack and associated payloads
No activities were carried out using the European Drawer Rack facility in the two week period up until 23 September. The European Drawer Rack is a multi-user experiment facility which will host the Facility for Adsorption and Surface Tension (FASTER) and the Electro-Magnetic Levitator payload from 2012 onwards. FASTER is a Capillarity Pressure Tensiometer developed for the study of the links between emulsion stability and physico-chemical characteristics of droplet interfaces. The Electro-Magnetic Levitator (EML) will investigate thermophysical properties of metal alloys under weightlessness, supporting both basic and namely industrial research and development needs.

A KUBIK incubator is currently scheduled to process ESA’s ROALD-2 experiment before the end of 2011 with launch of the samples on Soyuz 29S (André Kujpers’ flight). This will expand on the initial ROALD experiment from 2008 and will determine the role of a certain lipid in the regulation of immune processes and in the cell cycle under weightless conditions. Subsequently the KUBIK incubator in the European Drawer Rack will also be used to process NASA’s NIH Ageing experiment which is currently planned for the second half of 2012.

Fluid Science Laboratory and Geoflow-2 / FASES experiments
Following the hard disk swap that occurred in the previous two-week reporting period as part of troubleshooting steps for the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL), the rack’s Video Management Unit was successfully activated on 12 September for undertaking testing activities. Following a file transfer to the FSL Mass Memory Unit ISS Commander Mike Fossum assisted ground-commanded activities by gently shaking the Facility Core Element of the Fluid Science Laboratory in order to generate a signal for its Microgravity Vibration Isolation Subsystem and for the Space Acceleration Measurement System. Following these activities a Geoflow experiment protocol was undertaken.

The following day a telemetry loss occurred during data downlink activities. This was overcome by choosing a different downlink rate though the source of the original problem has been identified as a software issue. Even though a number of data drop outs occurred, by 16 September 105 Gb of data had been downlinked.

On 20 September a non-rotation run was started for the Geoflow-2 experiment though this was halted due to a data acquisition problem in the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Subsystem. Additional attempts to undertake a non-rotation experiment run were carried out on 22 September but these were also not successful due to a problem with the Video Management Unit which is being analysed

These activities follow on from extensive activities for the Geoflow-2 experiment, which has been undergoing experiment processing in the FSL since 21 March. All mandatory experiment runs have now been completed for Geoflow-2 except for the high-rotation runs. Additional experiment parameter runs using a different optical diagnostic mode have also been carried out on top of the mandatory runs. After FSL recovery a couple of weeks of experiment operations are still envisaged. The main experiment parameters of GeoFlow-2 are the core rotation speed, electrical field, temperature gradients and liquid viscosity variation of the spherical experiment cell with the experiment fluid.

Geoflow-2 (which follows on from the initial Geoflow experiment with new scientific objectives and a different experiment configuration) is investigating the flow of an incompressible viscous fluid held between two concentric spheres rotating about a common axis as a representation of a planet. This is of importance for astrophysical and geophysical problems such as global scale flow in the atmosphere, the oceans, and in the liquid nucleus of planets. For Geoflow-2 the incompressible fluid is nonanol which varies in viscosity with temperature (unlike silicon oil) to provide a different aspect of research with more of a simulation to Earth’s geophysical conditions.

The subsequently planned Fluid Science Laboratory experiment “Fundamental and Applied Studies of Emulsion Stability” (FASES) has been thoroughly prepared via a full scientific verification programme of the emulsions’ composition and the optical diagnostics’ adjustment. The execution of the FASES experiment will require the upgrade of the FSL Video Management Unit which is part of current activities on orbit or otherwise following return to Earth by the SpaceX demo flight 3 before the end of 2011. The latter option would occur after the execution of the full GeoFlow-2 experiment. The flight of the FASES Experiment Container will be rescheduled to a later launch in 2012. This experiment will be studying emulsion properties with advanced optical diagnostics. Results of the FASES experiment hold significance for oil extraction processes, and in the chemical and food industries.

European Physiology Modules (EPM) facility and associated experiments
No activities were carried out using the European Physiology Modules facility in the two week period up until 23 September. The European Physiology Modules facility is equipped with different Science Modules to investigate the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. Experiment results from the investigations using the European Physiology Modules will contribute to an increased understanding of terrestrial problems such as the ageing process, osteoporosis, balance disorders, and muscle atrophy.

Pulmonary Function System (in Human Research Facility 2)
No activities were carried out using the Pulmonary Function System in the two weeks until 23 September. The Pulmonary Function System is accommodated in NASA’s Human Research Facility 2, which was relocated from the US Destiny laboratory to the Columbus laboratory in October 2008. The Pulmonary Function System is an ESA/NASA collaboration in 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 (EMCS)
No activities were carried out using the European Modular Cultivation System in the two week period until 23 September after the successful processing of NASA’s Plant Signalling experiment. The next ESA experiment to take place in the facility is the Gravi-2 experiment which builds on the initial Gravi experiment in determining the gravity threshold response in plant (lentil) roots.

EXPRESS Rack 3 (in which the European Modular Cultivation System is located) was activated along with its Space Acceleration Measurement System on 12 September in order to support testing of the Fluid Science Laboratory (see above). The European Modular Cultivation System, 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 is being operated jointly with NASA under a bilateral barter agreement which was renewed after the initial 2 years time frame.

Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES)
No activities were carried out using the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) in the two week period until 23 September. MARES is capable of assessing the strength of isolated human muscle groups around joints to provide a better understanding of the effects of weightlessness on the muscular system of ISS astronauts.

Following completion of an electrical checkout of the rack and activation of MARES (i.e. with no detailed functional testing), MARES will be placed in its on-orbit stowage configuration. In the future this will be tentatively followed up by functional testing of MARES in two parts: the first part without a crew member using the system, the second functional testing with a crew member in the loop using the system. These two commissioning parts will include testing of hardware and software as well as testing downlink capabilities. The first part will take place in the near future.

MARES consists of an adjustable chair with a system of pads and levers that fit to each astronaut and cover different movements, a main box containing the facility motor and control electronics to which the chair is connected by an articulated arm, as well as dedicated experiment software. The system is considerably more advanced than equivalent ground-based devices and a vast improvement on current muscle research facilities on the ISS.

European science and research facilities outside the Columbus laboratory in open space

A new Sun Visibility Window for the SOLAR facility to acquire scientific data opened on 22 September. Sun visibility windows for SOLAR are open for the facility to acquire scientific data when the ISS is in the correct orbital profile with relation to the Sun. The SOLAR payload facility has been studying the Sun’s irradiation with unprecedented accuracy across most of its spectral range currently for around 3 ½ years on-orbit. This has so far produced excellent scientific data during a series of Sun observation cycles. Following the conclusion of the detailed technical feasibility study for on-orbit lifetime extension the science team will be able to continue gathering further science data in a period of increasing solar activity up to 2013 and possibly beyond.

Vessel Identification System (Vessel ID)
Successful data acquisition is ongoing for the Vessel Identification System (commonly known as the Automatic Identification System, AIS), using its Norwegian receiver, and telemetry is still being successfully received by the Norwegian User Support and Operation Centre (N-USOC) in Trondheim via ESA’s Columbus Control Centre in Germany. The Vessel Identification System has acquired an extensive amount of data since its installation in Columbus.

The Vessel Identification System consists of two different on-board receivers (NORAIS and LuxAIS), which were scheduled to be alternated every three months or so, and the ERNO-Box, which is used as a data relay for the Vessel Identification System, whose antenna was installed on the outside of Columbus during an EVA on 21 November 2009. A new LuxAIS receiver is currently scheduled to be transported to the ISS on Soyuz 29S towards the end of 2011. The Vessel Identification System is testing the means to track global maritime traffic from space by picking up signals from standard AIS transponders carried by all international ships over 300 tonnes, cargo vessels over 500 tonnes and all types of passenger carriers. Meanwhile various service entities have been asking to get access to the VIS data which is continuously acquired on Columbus.

European science inside the US Destiny Laboratory

Materials Science Laboratory (MSL) in the First Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR)
The primary Payload Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer for the Material Science Research Rack, in which ESA’s Materials Science Laboratory is the primary payload, failed on 21 September. As such the sample cartridge exchange for the Batch 2 experiments (CETSOL/MICAST and SETA) has been temporarily deferred. The backup payload computer was hereafter configured as primary payload computer and the primary payload computer was configured as the backup payload computer after it was checked out successfully and analysis highlighted (and resolved) where the initial failure had occurred. The first Batch 2 samples were delivered to the ISS on STS-135/ULF-7 Shuttle Atlantis in July.

The first twelve CETSOL/MICAST experiment samples that were processed in the Low Gradient Furnace (which was replaced with the Solidification and Quenching Furnace earlier in January) have already undergone analysis by the relevant science teams on ground. The science team has already presented very promising preliminary scientific results stemming from analysis of this initial set of material samples. This constitutes an excellent basis for further materials research with international collaboration. The final MICAST sample from the first batch (belonging to NASA) which completed processing in the Solidification and Quenching Furnace of the Materials Science Laboratory in January is currently undergoing post-flight analysis. ESA’s Material Science Laboratory is the primary research facility located in NASA’s Materials Science Research Rack-1, which was launched on STS-128/17A and is installed in the US Laboratory on the ISS.

CETSOL (Columnar-to-Equiaxed Transition in Solidification Processing) and MICAST (Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive and Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions) are two complementary material science projects. The goal of MICAST is to study the formation of microstructures during casting of technical alloys. In space, buoyancy convection is eliminated and the dendritic solidification of the alloys can be quantitatively studied under purely diffusive conditions. The objective of CETSOL is then to study the transition from columnar growth to equiaxed growth that occurs when crystals start to nucleate in the melt and grow independently. The SETA (Solidification along a Eutectic path in Ternary Alloys) experiment is looking into a specific type of eutectic growth in alloys of aluminium manganese and silicon. Results of all these experiments will help to optimise industrial casting processes.

Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) and associated experiments
The Avionics Air Assembly fan filter of the ESA-developed Microgravity Science Glovebox was cleaned and reinstalled on 12 September by ISS Flight Engineer Ron Garan. The following day ISS Commander Mike Fossum installed the hardware for DLR’s Capillary Channel Flow experiment inside the Glovebox. Capillary Channel Flow is a versatile experiment for studying a critical variety of inertial-capillary dominated flows important for innovations in the containment, storage, and handling of large liquid inventories (fuels, cryogens, and water) aboard spacecraft. On 14 September the MSG was again activated for undertaking research activities for the Capillary Channel Flow experiment.

SODI-Colloid 2 will be the next ESA experiment to begin processing in the MSG in October. On completion this will be followed almost directly with processing of the SODI-DSC experiment which will be the third and final Selectable Optical Diagnostic Instrument (SODI) experiment processed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox starting in November and running for about 7 weeks.

Colloid 2 follows on from the SODI-Colloid experiment which took place in the Microgravity Science Glovebox in September/October 2010 and is still undergoing detailed evaluation by the science team following return of the flash disks to Earth on STS-133 Shuttle Discovery, which landed in March. The Colloid experiment covers the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions. The focus is on materials that have a special interest in photonics, with emphasis on nano-structured, periodic dielectric materials, known as photonic crystals, which possess appealing properties and make them promising candidates for new types of optical components. Colloid is the second in the series of three SODI experiments.

The DSC (‘Diffusion and Soret Coefficient Measurements for Improvement of Oil Recovery’) experiment followed the implementation of the partially re-defined liquid mixtures in conjunction with the new ELIPS project DCMIX. The experiment is supporting research to determine diffusion coefficients in different petroleum field samples and refine petroleum reservoir models to help lead to more efficient extraction of oil resources.

The Microgravity Science Glovebox was developed by ESA within the Early Utilisation 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.

Portable Pulmonary Function System (PPFS)
On 19 September a session of ESA’s Thermolab experiment in conjunction with NASA’s Maximum Volume Oxygen (VO2 Max) experiment was performed by ISS Commander Mike Fossum. Due to a locked up display on the CEVIS exercise device, a replacement experiment run will be planned in the near future. The Thermolab experiment uses the ESA-developed Portable Pulmonary Function System to investigate thermoregulatory and cardiovascular adaptations during rest and exercise in the course of long-term exposure to weightlessness. The Maximum Volume Oxygen (VO2 Max) is aimed at measuring oxygen uptake and cardiac output in particular, during various degrees of exercise. The Portable Pulmonary Function System is an autonomous multi-user facility supporting a broad range of human physiological research experiments under weightless conditions in the areas of respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic physiology.

ALTEA-Shield Experiment
Data acquisition for the ALTEA-Shield experiment has been continuing in its new location in the two week period until 23 September with the minimum 20-day acquisition period having been reached on 12 August (preferred duration is 30 days or more). There have currently been 46 cumulative days of science acquisition at this current location until 23 September. The ALTEA-Shield experiment aims at obtaining a better understanding of the light flash phenomenon, and more generally the interaction between cosmic rays and brain function, as well as testing the effectiveness of different types of shielding material. The experiment continues to undertake a 3-dimensional survey of the radiation environment in the US laboratory which is followed soon by the corresponding measurements of different shielding materials with the ALTEA detectors on the ISS.

European science inside the Russian ISS Segment

GTS-2 (Global Transmission Service)
The Global Transmission Service was deactivated on 31 May 2009 though following negotiations with Russian representatives the instrument has been successfully reactivated and functionally tested for continuation as a cooperative joint European-Russian experiment on the 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; and measurement of disturbing effects such as Doppler shifts, multi-path reflections, shadowing and elevation impacts.

Non-European science and research facilities inside the Columbus Laboratory

Human Research Facility 1 and 2
No activities were carried out using NASA’s Human Research Facilities 1 and 2 in the two week period until 23 September. The two NASA Human Research Facilities support different areas of physiology research.

ISS general system information and activities *

Columbus laboratory and Columbus Control Centre
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 on top of the regular conferences of the ISS Crew with the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Highlights of the past two weeks include:


  • Emergency Communications Proficiency Check
    On 20 September the Columbus Control Centre took part in an emergency communications proficiency check together with ISS Expedition 29 Commander and NASA astronaut Mike Fossum and the control centres in Houston, Huntsville Alabama, Moscow and Tsukuba, Japan. This involved the VHF site at Wallops Station, Virginia.


  • Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter
    On 13 September the Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter, one of the principal radiation measurement devices on the ISS, was relocated from the Columbus laboratory to the Russian Service Module.

Activities in the European-built Node 3


  • Exercise Equipment
    The yearly maintenance inspection of the T2 COLBERT treadmill in the European-built Node 3 was carried out by Mike Fossum on 23 September. This was concluded with an unmanned Speed Characterization Activation and Checkout test of the treadmill performed by ISS Flight Engineer and JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. These activities were carried out in addition to the regular use, inspection and servicing of the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) and T2/COLBERT treadmill.
  • Node 3 Computer Maintenance
    After removing the enclosure of the Waste and Hygiene Compartment in Node 3 Mike Fossum replaced a suspect circuit in the multiplexer/demultiplexer computer in Node 3 Avionics Rack 1. Hereafter the Waste and Hygiene Compartment enclosure was reinstalled.
  • Regenerative ECLSS and Additional Environmental Control Racks
    The two Water Recovery System racks, together with the Oxygen Generation System rack, form the Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) which is necessary in support of a six-person ISS Crew to help reduce upload mass. Other environmental control racks in Node 3 include an Atmosphere Revitalisation Rack and a Waste and Hygiene Compartment. Highlights of the two-week period until 23 September include:
    • Oxygen Generation System:
      On 12 September prior to the Node 3 computer maintenance, Mike Fossum supported ground-commanded deactivation of the Oxygen Generation System by performing hydrogen purging, on the rack. Following the maintenance Fossum reconnected Oxygen Generation System quick disconnects.
    • Water Recovery System, Rack 2:
      After rotating down Water Recovery System Rack 2 in Node 3 on 23 September Mike Fossum replaced its failed Fluids Control and Pump Assembly.

Soyuz TMA-21/26S and Expedition Crew Preparations, Undocking and Landing


  • Orthostatic hemodynamic endurance tests
    between 10-14 September ISS Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko and ISS Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev (both representing Roscosmos) carried out their final orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test sessions using the TVIS treadmill and VELO ergometer whilst wearing Russian ‘Chibis’ lower body negative pressure suits. The Chibis suit, which provides stress that simulates gravity to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system, helps to evaluate how the Soyuz crewmember would cope with exposure to gravity on return to Earth.
  • Soyuz 26S Descent Drill
    A standard Soyuz descent drill was carried out by Borisenko, Samokutyaev and NASA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Ron Garan on 13 September. The descent drill, which took place in the Descent Module of the Soyuz 26S spacecraft is for the review of Soyuz descent procedures including emergency procedures and manual undocking. The training sessions used a descent simulator application on a Russian laptop together with a descent hand controller.
  • Soyuz TMA-21/26S Return Preparation
    Borisenko and Samokutyaev supported a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz 26S Motion Control System on 13 September including testing the pilot’s translational hand controller and the braking thrusters. The following day Samokutyaev removed temperature and lighting equipment from the Soyuz Orbital module for reuse after Soyuz undocking, and checked out communications from Soyuz 26S to the ground. Cargo was stowed for return (in the Soyuz Descent Module) and disposal (in the Soyuz Orbital Module) in the days running up to undocking. This included a number of science payloads and samples for return. On 15 September communications were configured for undocking,
  • Change of Command
    The official Russian change of command document was signed between Expedition 28 and 29 commanders (Borisenko and Fossum) on 14 September. This was followed later by the official change of command ceremony. However as with all Expeditions, Expedition 29 will officially begin following undocking of the departing Expedition Commander.
  • Soyuz TMA-21/26S, Expedition 28 Undocking and Landing
    On 15 September clamps were removed between the Soyuz TMA-21 and the Poisk Module to which it is docked. Following Soyuz activation and the crew farewell, the returning crew (Borisenko, Samokutyaev and Garan) entered Soyuz 26S, the hatches between the Soyuz and the Poisk Module were closed and relevant leak checks were carried out. Undocking of Soyuz TMA-21 occurred at just after 02:38 (CEST) on 16 September followed by a 15 sec separation burn three minutes later. At 05:05 (CEST) the Soyuz spacecraft performed its deorbit thruster burn lasting 4 min 20 sec. This caused a deceleration of 115m/sec. 28 minutes later the spacecraft went through module separation, with atmospheric reentry occurring at 05:36 (CEST). The parachute was deployed 9 minutes later with landing at 06:00 CEST (10:00 local time) in central Kazakhstan. Borisenko, Samokutyaev and Garan had spent 164 days in space. From here the crew was flown to Karaganda in Kazakhstan by helicopter. Borisenko and Samokutyaev were flown on to Star City in Moscow, while Garan was flown directly to Houston. Undocking of Soyuz TMA-21 marked the end of Expedition 28 and the start of Expedition 29, which currently consists of ISS Commander Mike Fossum (NASA) and ISS Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov (Roscosmos) and Satoshi Furukawa (JAXA). Prior to undocking procedures the ISS was first handed over from US to Russian attitude control and then to free drift prior to clamp removal. After undocking ISS attitude control was again handed back to US systems.

Expedition 29 Crew Return Preparations
On 19 September, the members of the ISS Expedition 29 Crew (Volkov, Fossum and Furukawa) donned their Sokol spacesuits and carried out a fit-check of the Kazbek shock absorbing seats in the Descent Module of the Soyuz TMA-02M/27S crew return vehicle in preparation for their return.

Minus-Eighty degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI)
There are three European-built MELFI freezers on the ISS: MELFI-1 and MELFI-2 in the Japanese laboratory and MELFI-3 in the US laboratory. During the reporting period blood and saliva samples were placed in the MELFI units for NASA’s Integrated Immune protocol for Ron Garan, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa.

Progress 42P Activities
During the two week period until 23 September the ISS atmosphere has been refreshed with oxygen from Progress 42P tanks. ISS propellants were also transferred from Progress 42P to the Russian Zarya Module by ground commanding. The propellants (unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide) were transferred to Zarya’s high-pressure fuel and oxidizer tanks.

US Airlock
Ron Garan performed troubleshooting on one of the US Extravehicular Mobility Units to determine if a Rechargeable EVA Battery or the suit’s Wireless Video System, which failed during the Russian EVA on 3 August, have faulty connectors.

MERLIN Refrigerators
The Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator 2 (MERLIN-2) in EXPRESS Rack 6 in the US laboratory was left open for drying out on 19 September after internal items (food, tray assembly, dessicant packs) were removed. (The food was transferred to MERLIN-1). The following day Mike Fossum set up and installed MERLIN-3 in EXPRESS Rack 1 in the US laboratory after installing application software on the EXPRESS Rack’s laptop.

Onboard Diagnostic Kit
ISS Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa carried out another test with the new Onboard Diagnostic Kit on 19/20 September using the electroencephalograph equipment for monitoring his brainwaves during sleep. These tests are evaluating the equipment to be used as a medical diagnostic system on the ISS in the future.

Russian Segment Electrical Power System
On 21 September ISS Flight Engineer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Volkov performed maintenance on the Service Module Power Supply System in the Russian Segment of the ISS by replacing a current control unit of one of the eight 800A batteries.

Other Activities
Other activities that have taken place on the ISS in the two-week period until 23 September include: a manual control test of a Service Module Caution and Warning Panel; a newly introduced periodic isolator inspection for the Cycle Ergometer Vibration Isolation System; configuring a Node 2 crew quarters for its next crew member; a noise check on the ventilation in the Japanese laboratory; setting up two new T61p laptops in the Russian Service Module as part of the Local Area Network; replacing an A31p laptop for a T61p laptop in EXPRESS Rack 4 in the Japanese laboratory; relocating Portable Emergency Provisions in the Russian segment of the ISS; installing a new T61p laptop in the US laboratory for the Joint Station Local Area Network; checking out a new wireless barcode reader for identifying/locating items; and an emergency depressurisation training session by the three Expedition 29 crew members.

(*)These activities are highlights of the past two weeks 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.

Martin Zell
ESA Head of ISS Utilisation Department

Rosita Suenson
ESA Human Spaceflight Programme Communication Officer

Weekly reports compiled by ESA's ISS Utilisation Department.

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