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ESA ISS Science & System - Operations Status Report # 61
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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Columbus

12 February 2010

This is ISS status report #61 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 from the ISS Utilisation Department.

Highlights: The European-built Node 3 and Cupola Observation Module were launched on STS-130 Space Shuttle Endeavour from the Kennedy Space Center at 10:14 CET, 04:14 local time on 8 February on ISS assembly mission 20A carrying the European-built Node 3 and Cupola to the International Space Station.

The European Columbus Laboratory celebrated its second anniversary on orbit on 11 February. Columbus was attached to the International Space Station on 11 February 2008 at 22:44 CET, with the crew entering the European laboratory module for the first time the following day.

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 near-term experiments
ISS Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer performed the containment and tightness test of Biolab’s BioGloveBox on 30 January as a voluntary science activity, confirming the tightness of seals and gloves.

The second part of the Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots (WAICO) experiment, which was the first experiment to take place in Biolab, is now planned after the science samples of the experiment are launched in conditioned state on Shuttle flight 19A in early April. WAICO deals with the effect that gravity has on the spiralling motion (circumnutation) that occurs in Arabidopsis plant roots. It is suspected that this spiralling mechanism is an internal mechanism in the plant, independent of the influence of gravity.

The TripleLux-B experiment will be the next experiment after WAICO-2 to take place in the Biolab facility during Increment 23/24. The objective of this experiment is to further understand the cellular mechanisms underlying the aggravation of radiation responses, and the impairment of the immune functions under spaceflight conditions.

The ArtEMISS-A experiment will also tentatively be one of the following experiments to take place in the Biolab facility. This will be tentatively performed within a short-duration flight scenario for the up- and download part whjch is under detailed elaboration. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of spaceflight conditions, including weightlessness and radiation on the algae Arthrospira sp. The form, structure and physiology of the algae will be examined along with a genetic study of the organism. This data is important for determining the reliability of using Arthrospira sp. in spacecraft biological life support systems in such projects as MELISSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative).

European Drawer Rack
A Kubik Interface Drawer was launched to the ISS on the STS-130/20A assembly mission and a Kubik Incubator will now be installed inside the European Drawer Rack. A second Kubik Incubator may be kept outside of the European Drawer rack for combined use with the PADIAC experiment during ISS Increment 24. The European Drawer Rack is a multi-user experiment facility which had been continuously active and providing power, data and temperature control to the Protein Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility before the conclusion of 3½ months of successful experiment runs in July.

Fluid Science Laboratory and FASES/Geoflow-2 experiments
No activities were carried out with the Fluid Science Laboratory in the two weeks up until 12 February. The Flight Acceptance Review for the Fundamental and Applied Studies of Emulsion Stability (FASES) experiment has started and after the Experiment Sequence Test in the associated User Support and Operations Centre MARS in Naples, the launch of the Experiment Container is foreseen on Progress flight 39P in early September 2010. This experiment will be studying emulsion properties with advanced optical diagnostics. Results of the FASES experiment hold significance for oil extraction processes, chemical industry and in the food industry.

The hardware modifications for the implementation of the GeoFlow-2 experiment are in progress in order to launch it tentatively on ATV-2 at the end of 2010.

European Physiology Modules
The European Physiology Modules facility was activated on 2 February for data downlink for the DOSIS experiment. The facility is equipped with Science Modules to investigate the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. The experiment results will also contribute to an increased understanding of terrestrial problems such as the ageing process, osteoporosis, balance disorders, and muscle wastage. European Physiology Modules Holter batteries, were uploaded with Shuttle Flight STS-130/20A in connection with the CARD experiment (See Pulmonary Function System in Human Research Facility 2 and CARD Experiment).

The Dose Distribution inside the ISS (DOSIS) experiment is progressing well, with the instrument constantly acquiring data. A ground-commanded downlink was successfully performed on 2 February, covering the period from 7 January to 1 February.

The DOSIS experiment will determine the nature and distribution of the radiation field inside European Columbus laboratory using different active and passive detectors spread around the laboratory. This is the first time that 'area dosimetry' is being undertaken on Columbus to measure the spatial radiation gradients inside the module. DOSIS will continue to record the radiation environment in the Columbus laboratory.

No further runs of the PASSAGES experiment were carried out in the two weeks up until 12 February. PASSAGES is designed to test how astronauts interpret visual information in weightlessness: it aims at studying the effects of microgravity on the use of the ‘Eye-Height’ strategy for estimating allowed actions in an environment, and whether this could possibly decrease after a long exposure to weightlessness.

3D Space
Timothy Creamer performed his second session of the 3D SPACE experiment on 1 February. The 3D Space card and pouch are planned for return with Shuttle flight STS-130/20A.

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.

Flywheel Exercise Device
No further activities were carried out using the Flywheel Exercise Device in the two weeks up until 12 February. 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. Further assessments are underway with the European Astronaut Centre and NASA/NSBRI for future use of this novel ISS exercise device.

Portable Pulmonary Function System
No further activities were carried out with the Portable Pulmonary Function System in the two weeks up until 12 February. The Portable Pulmonary Function System is an autonomous multi-user facility supporting a broad range of human physiological research experiments under weightless condition in the areas of respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic physiology.

Pulmonary Function System (in Human Research Facility 2) and CARD Experiment
A Blood Sample Kit, ESA Urine Kit and Pulmonary Function System consumables were uploaded with Shuttle Flight STS-130/20A in connection with the CARD experiment. 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.

The Pulmonary Function System is accommodated in NASA Human Research Facility 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.

Wearable Augmented Reality (WEAR)
No further sessions of the WEAR experiments were carried out in the two weeks up until 12 February. WEAR is demonstrating the usability of augmented reality technology on the ISS. The system will be worn by astronauts and will assist them when performing onboard tasks. When carrying out these tasks WEAR will allow the astronaut to consult procedures and manuals hands-free, with relevant information for the assigned task being displayed on a partially see-through screen before the astronaut’s eyes. The astronaut will control the system via voice commands. The main objective of this experiment involves assessing the maturity, suitability and overall usefulness of the technologies used in WEAR: object recognition, speech recognition, barcode reading, augmented reality and integration of multiple data sources such as the ISS Inventory Management System. The assessment will be based in the improvement observed using WEAR on a standard Columbus maintenance procedure.

European Modular Cultivation System
European Modular Cultivation System Experiment Containers for NASA’s Tropi-2 experiment have been uploaded with Shuttle flight STS130/20A. Execution of Tropi-2 is tentatively planned in early 2010.

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 has been operated for two years under a bilateral barter agreement with NASA which is expected to be continued.

Genara-A 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 a further NASA experiment Seedgrowth ESA’s Gravi-2 experiment is planned to follow towards the end of 2010.

Microgravity Science Glovebox
The Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument (SODI) optical modules, image processing unit and the bottom plate were removed from the Microgravity Science Glovebox on 2 February in preparation for the Microgravity Science Glovebox annual recertification, which was successfully performed on 9 February. The SODI Image Processing and baseplates were successfully set up the same day. The following day the SODI optical modules were reinstalled, and SODI is now ready for the installation of the DSC (‘Diffusion and Soret Coefficient Measurements for Improvement of Oil Recovery’) Cell Array. The SODI/IVIDIL Flash Disks with the experiment data are planned for return on shuttle flight STS130/20A.

The DSC experiment was launched with Progress 36 on 3 February and arrived at the ISS on 5 February. It is the second of the triple SODI experiments, which also includes the Colloid experiment, which covers the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions. The Colloid experiment will be launched on Shuttle flight ULF-4 in early summer 2010.

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 ESA’s SODI experiment series.

FOAM-Casting (FOCUS)
The ‘FOam Casting and Utilisation in Space’ (FOCUS) experiment was transferred to Columbus on 5 February at ambient temperature of 23.1degC. ISS Commander Jeff Williams successfully performed the experiment, with a dynamic and two static sessions, on 7 February. The presence of foam was confirmed in all three cartridges. This experiment is studying foam formation and stability in weightlessness with a view to ultra-light and strong metallic foams in the future.

Erasmus Recording Binocular 2 (ERB-2)
ERB-2 is a high definition 3D video camera conceived by the Erasmus Centre of ESA’s Human Spaceflight Directorate. It was launched to the ISS on Progress 36P on 3 February and is currently due to be commissioned on 17 March. ERB-2 takes advantage of high-definition optics and advanced electronics to provide a vastly improved 3D video effect for mapping the Station.

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

The new Sun observation window started on 9 February. The platform is currently in Pointing Mode with the instrument acquiring science. The tracking windows on each orbit have been shorter than usual due to the attitude of the ISS. Safing and recovery manoeuvres were performed on 5 February for the docking of the Progress 36P vehicle, and the platform was put in safe mode for the docking of Shuttle Flight 20A on 10 February.

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. The SOLAR facility has so far produced excellent scientific data during a series of Sun observation cycles. The detailed technical feasibility study for on-orbit lifetime extension has been successfully concluded and the science team will be able to continue gathering further science data in a period of increasing solar activity up to the maximum level in 2013.

European science inside the US Destiny Laboratory

Material Science Laboratory in the Material Science Research Rack
The MICAST#6 Sample Cartridge Assembly was processed on 1 and 2 February. On 3 February Creamer replaced the MICAST#6 Sample Cartridge Assembly for the CETSOL#2 sample. Processing of CETSOL#2 started on 5 February. On 6 February Creamer replaced the CETSOL#2 Sample Cartridge Assembly with the MICAST #2 sample, and a Chamber leak test was successfully performed in preparation for the next experiment. The 4 processed Sample Cartridges Assemblies, CETSOL#2, CETSOL#3, MICAST#4 and MICAST#6 will be downloaded on Shuttle Flight STS-130/20A.

ESA’s Material Science Laboratory is the primary research facility located in NASA’s Materials Science Research Rack-1, which was launched together with a total of six sample cartridges for NASA and for ESA’s MICAST and CETSOL projects on STS-128/17A under a cooperation agreement with NASA and is now installed in the US Laboratory on the ISS.

CETSOL and MICAST are two complementary material science projects, which carry out research into the formation of microstructures during the solidification of metallic alloys. 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. Results of these experiments will help to optimise industrial casting processes.

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 which were uploaded on the Progress 35P flight, which docked to the Station on 18 October. JAXA have already confirmed the technical accommodation feasibility assessments conclusion and now concrete implementation steps and bi-/trilateral agreements with JAXA and Russia can be envisaged for another experiment run until mid 2010. Roscosmos concurs to the proposed trilateral agreement and also JAXA’s concurrence has been received. In the long-term Matroshka may again be accommodated 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 2009, is operating nominally and science acquisition is on-going. A tentative return of the sample trays is foreseen for autumn 2010 which allows a scientifically beneficial extension of the open space exposure period of 50%.

Expose-R hosts 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 2008. 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 are exposed to the harsh space environment (Solar UV, cosmic radiation, vacuum), 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 was performed in Expose-E, a twin facility which had been in operation on ESA’s EuTEF facility outside of Columbus since February 2008 until EuTEF’s return to Earth with the STS-128/17A Shuttle Flight in September.

Non-European science and research facilities inside the Columbus Laboratory

Human Research Facility 1
Data for the last session of the the NASA SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment were downloaded to the Human Research Facility laptop on 5 February. ISS Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Creamer started another week-long session of the SLEEP experiment on 8 February.

The Human Research Facility 1 was also activated in support of Commander Williams’ fourth session of the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment. Williams performed his session between 2 and 4 February. This included 24-hr blood pressure measurement using ESA’s Cardiopres device, 48-hr ECG measurement with a holter device and 48-hr activity measurement using an Actiwatch.

Human Research Facility 2
The Human Research Facility 2 was activated on 3 February to support blood operations related to the new Vascular Blood Collection protocol. On 8 February Creamer replaced the Gas Delivery System bottle.

ISS general system information and activities *

Columbus laboratory
The European Columbus Laboratory celebrated its second anniversary on orbit on 11 February. Columbus was attached to the International Space Station on 11 February 2008 at 22:44 CET, with the crew entering the module for the first time the following day.

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. Main points of interest are as follows:

Progress M-04/36P launch, docking and post-docking activities

  • Launch
The Progress M-04M spacecraft on ISS logistics flight 36P was successfully launched into orbit by a Soyuz-U rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 04:45 (CET) on 3 February. The Progress spacecraft transported about 2.4 tonnes of vital supplies to the ISS including water, food, gases, propellants, consumables and scientific equipment, which included ESA’s ERB-2 high-definition 3D video camera, the ‘FOam Casting and Utilisation in Space’ (FOCUS) experiment and the ‘Diffusion and Soret Coefficient Measurements for Improvement of Oil Recovery’ (DSC) experiment.


  • Docking preparations
    On 2 February, in preparation for docking of the Progress M-04M/36P spacecraft on 5 February, Roscosmos cosmonauts and ISS Flight Engineers Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov undertook a three-hour training session with the TORU manual docking system, which acts as a backup to the automatic Kurs docking system. The simulation session included, rendezvous, fly-around, final approach, docking and off-nominal situations such as video or communications loss. On 4 February ISS Flight Engineers Tim Creamer (NASA) and Soichi Noguchi (JAXA) tested the Russian Segment video downlink in preparation for the docking of the spacecraft.


  • Progress docking
    The Russian Progress M-04M spacecraft docked successfully with the aft port of the Service Module of the ISS on 5 February at 05:26 (CET) under control of the spacecraft’s automatic Kurs docking system. Retraction of the docking probe and hook closure was complete soon after. After hooks closure the ISS was put back on Russian Service Module attitude control from free drift and thereafter back to US attitude control systems. For the first time, four Russian vehicles (two Progress and two Soyuz) are docked at the ISS.


  • Post docking activities
    Following Progress 36P docking Suraev and Kotov performed the standard leak checks before opening the hatches and installing clamps to further stabilise the connection between the Progress and the ISS. After performing the standard air sampling inside Progress, the spacecraft was deactivated, ventilation ducting was installed into Progress and its docking mechanism was removed. High priority payloads and additional cargo were than transferred from the Progress to the ISS. On 8 February Suraev installed relevant temperature equipment in Progress.

STS-130 Node 3 and Cupola Mission


  • Pre-launch
The crew carried out a number of activities in preparation for the STS-130/20A mission, the main payloads of which are the European-built Node 3 and Cupola Observation Module for the ISS. This included the revision of R-bar Pitch Manoeuvre procedures, the preparation of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuits for the mission spacewalks, and the gathering of support tools required for Extra Vehicular Activities as well as for the installation and outfitting of the Node 3.


  • Launch
STS-130 Shuttle Endeavour launched successfully from Kennedy Space Center at 10:14 CET, 04:14 local time on 8 February on ISS mission 20A carrying the European-built Node 3 and Cupola to the International Space Station. Endeavour launched following a one-day delay due to bad weather conditions, carrying a six person crew, which includes Shuttle Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts, and Mission Specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson, Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken, all representing NASA.


  • Shuttle R-bar Pitch Manoeuvre
    On 10 February, during the R-bar Pitch Manoeuvre of Shuttle Endeavour prior to docking, Suraev and Williams took high resolution digital photos with 400mm and 800mm lenses. During the manoeuvre at a distance of about 180 m from the Station, the photographers had around 90 seconds to take images of all thermal protection tile areas and door seals on the Shuttle, which were downlinked for launch debris assessment.


  • Shuttle docking
    After successfully completing the R-Bar Pitch Manoeuvre, Space Shuttle Endeavour docked to Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 on 10 February at 18:57 CET. Before the docking, Suraev performed final communications configuration checks and configured the Russian Motion Control System for Shuttle arrival. The Station now hosts eleven occupants.


  • Post-docking procedures
    After the docking, the Station was reoriented in order to minimize the risk of debris impacts upon the Shuttle. Following relevant leak checks of the docking vestibule hatches were opened and the traditional crew welcome ceremony took place, followed by the safety briefing for the new arrivals. After hatch opening, ventilation ducting was installed between the ISS and the Shuttle.


  • Spacewalk 1 (Behnken, Patrick)
    The spacewalk was preceded by standard procedures including the overnight camp out of the EVA astronauts in the Airlock at a reduced pressure and pre-breathing pure oxygen to remove nitrogen from their bodies. Spacewalk 1 was carried out by Bob Behnken and Nicholas Patrick starting at 03:17 CET on 12 February. During the 6 hr 32 minutes EVA the astronauts prepared Node 3 “Tranquility” for unberthing. The spacewalking tasks included: opening flaps in order to use an alignment camera during berthing operations; removing the cover from Node 3’s Passive Common Berthing Mechanism, i.e. the port where Node 3 will be attached to the Station; and disconnecting the cables that provided power to the Node 3 heaters which were used during Shuttle’s journey to the ISS. While Node 3 was being moved into location by robotic arm the EVA astronauts carried out additional activities including removal of a replaceable tools platform from the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator or Dextre for stowage on the Station’s truss. This platform will act as a backup to an enhanced platform being installed during the STS-132 mission. Once finished the astronauts headed to the newly installed Node 3 and reconnected cables to provide initial power to Node 3 heaters, connected avionics cables to Node 3 and completed certain get-ahead tasks before finishing the spacewalk.

Node-3 Attachment
On 12 February, during the first mission EVA Kay Hire and Terry Virts, used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System to remove Node 3 from the Shuttle’s cargo bay and attach it to the berthing mechanism on Node 1’s port side. Afterwards, a Node 3 leak check on the Node 3 interhatch area was performed and heaters were activated.

Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI)
The European-built MELFI freezer was used in the last two weeks to store blood samples from Williams’ new Vascular Blood Collection protocol.

Regenerative ECLSS
During the past two weeks activities have been carried out with the two Water Recovery System racks and the Oxygen Generation System rack, which 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. The Water Recovery racks are made up principally of the Urine Processor Assembly for recovering water from urine and the Water Processor Assembly for turning Urine Processor Assembly distillate and other waste waters into potable drinking water.


  • Water Processor Assembly
    Attempts to recover the Water Processor Assembly continued in the last two weeks. On 1 February Creamer replaced the failed Pump/Separator Unit of the Water Process Assembly in Water Recovery System Rack 2. On 5 and 6 February attempts were made to clear the Potable Water Dispenser of air bubbles. On 11 February Williams successfully installed the Pump/Separator Filter


  • Urine Processor Assembly
    On 3 February Creamer exchanged a segment of hose, which connects the Distillation Assembly and the Fluids Control Pump Assembly of the Urine Processor Assembly located in Water Recovery System Rack 2 and installed a new Recycle Filter Tank Assembly. On 11 February Williams, installed the new Distillation Assembly and Fluids Control Pump Assembly and filled the waste water tank in order to start processing. Processing was successful.


  • Oxygen Generator System
    On 4 February Williams reconfigured the Water Delivery System of the Oxygen Generator System to feed the potable water line of the Potable Water Dispenser. Creamer then flushed and reconfigured the Water Delivery System in preparation of the water samples collection, which took place the next day.

Other Activities
Other activities that have taken place in the two-week period include: degassing water containers (thought to cause bubbles in the Potable Water Dispenser); prepacking return cargo for Shuttle Flight 20A; transferring equipment and trash to Progress M-03/35P for disposal; transferring cargo to the ISS from Progress M-04M/36P and from Space Shuttle Endeavour; replacing a water purification unit of the Elektron O2 generation system; investigating hard-line communications issues between Soyuz TMA-17/21S vehicle and the Zarya module; and replacing the Major Constituency Analyzer in the Atmosphere Revitalization rack with a spare.

(*)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

Markus Bauer
ESA Human Spaceflight Programme Communication Officer

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

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