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ESA ISS Science & System - Operations Status Report # 62
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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Columbus

26 February 2010

This is ISS status report #62 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 STS-130/20A mission concluded successfully with the landing of Space Shuttle Endeavour on 21 February, having added the European-built Node 3 and the Cupola to the International Space Station.

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
On 23 February a pressure check Bioloab BioGloveBox was successfully performed from ground with support of ISS Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi. On 25 February Noguchi fixed the leaking Quick Disconnect on Rotor B by removing a small plastic protrusion from the Quick Disconnect. Life Support Module leak-tightness tests were then started from ground with the Reference Experiment Container and WAICO-2 Experiment Container, in preparation for the WAICO-2 Experiment. The tests were successfully completed.

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 subsequent experiment, Triplelux-A, is scheduled to follow during Expedition 25/26)

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
No activities were carried out with the European Drawer Rack in the two weeks up until 26 February. 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 2009.

Fluid Science Laboratory and FASES/Geoflow-2 experiments
No activities were carried out with the Fluid Science Laboratory in the two weeks up until 26 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
No activities were carried out with the European Physiology Modules in the two weeks up until 26 February. 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.

DOSIS
The Dose Distribution inside the ISS (DOSIS) experiment is progressing well, with the instrument constantly acquiring data. 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.

Flywheel Exercise Device
No further activities were carried out using the Flywheel Exercise Device in the two weeks up until 26 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
On 26 February ISS Commander Jeff Williams performed a new session of ESA’s Thermolab experiment in conjunction with the NASA’s Maximum Volume Oxygen (VO2 Max) experiment. 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 condition in the areas of respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic physiology.

Pulmonary Function System (in Human Research Facility 2) and CARD Experiment
No further activities were carried out with the Pulmonary Function System, nor were further runs of the CARD experiment performed in the two weeks up until 26 February. 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 26 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
On 21 February ISS Commander Jeff Williams opened the gas valves and replaced the Experiment Containers on Rotors A and B. The European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) was activated in support of operations of NASA’s Tropi-2 experiment, but had to be shut down (along with EXPRESS rack 3 in which it is located) due to a Command and Control computer failure.

The EMCS was activated the following day for the TROPI–2 experiment. Venting of the EMCS chamber for TROPI-2 started the same day. TROPI-2 sample hydration was performed on 23 February, and TROPI-2 run 1 continued with images being downlinked on 24 February. Run1 continued on 25 February.

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. Before or after a further NASA experiment, SeedGrowth, ESA’s Gravi-2 experiment is planned to follow towards the end of 2010.

Microgravity Science Glovebox
On 15 February ISS Flight Engineer Noguchi successfully completed the setup of the Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument (SODI) installing the DSC (‘Diffusion and Soret Coefficient Measurements for Improvement of Oil Recovery’) Cell Array#1 and the first Flash Disk. The Microgravity Science Glovebox was activated for the SODI/DSC experiment on 22 February, however no telemetry was received possibly due to a faulty cable connection. The following day Noguchi checked power and connectors. Nothing wrong was reported, however no telemetry was received. On 26 February the connectors were demated, and photos were taken.

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.

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

SOLAR
It was exactly two years since the installation of Solar Facilty on the external surface of ESA’s Columbus laboratory on 15 February, marking two years of successful operations. SOLAR is currently in Survival Mode after the last Sun Observation Window finished on 20 February. The platform was ‘safed’ on 18 February for the reboost of the ISS by Shuttle Endeavour. The same day the Columbus Data Management System experienced an anomaly that led to a loss of telemetry and commanding capability for SOLAR and caused the loss of science acquisition for its instruments. Additional problems the following day left the platform in non-nominal mode for Shuttle 20A undocking. No motion of the platform was shown from the video monitoring during the undocking. Following the recovery of the Columbus Data Management System on 20 February SOLAR could be recovered and safed for the progress 36P reboost. A total of 27 orbits science acquisition were lost due to the impact of the Columbus Data Management System anomaly.

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 four processed Sample Cartridge Assemblies, CETSOL#2, CETSOL#3, MICAST#4 and MICAST#6, which were processed in ESA’s Material Science Laboratory were returned to Earth 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

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 (including PADLES type from JAXA) which will be tentatively uploaded on the next Progress flight (37P in April). JAXA has prepared the technical accommodation of Matroshka in the KIBO laboratory and now the final implementation steps and bi-/trilateral agreements with JAXA and Russia are in progress for a joint experiment run until HTV-2 arrives in 2011. 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

Expose-R
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
ISS Commander Jeff Williams and ISS Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer continued their week-long session of the NASA SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, using the Actiwatch devices from which to log data to the Human Research Facility 1 laptop.

Human Research Facility 2
No activities were carried out with the Human Research Facility 2 in the two weeks up until 26 February.

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 on top of the regular conferences of the ISS Crew with the Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

Node 3 and Cupola Assembly Mission (STS-130 Mission)

  • Node-3 Ingress and Outfitting
    Following Node 3’s relocation to the port-side of Node 1 on 12 February and relevant leak checks, ISS Commander Jeff Williams and STS-130 Mission Specialist Steve Robinson opened the Node-3 hatch on 13 February, carried out outfitting of the Node 3 vestibule and prepared for relocation of racks to the new European-built ISS module. Pressure release valves were capped; and data, fluid and ventilation lines installed. Hereafter the Atmosphere Revitalization System Rack was moved to Node 3 from the Japanese laboratory and the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) was installed in Node 3. Purges and leak checks on Node 3’s oxygen and nitrogen systems were also carried out. Node 3 was ungrappled by the Station’s principal robotic arm on 13 February and relocated to a base point on the US laboratory in preparation for Cupola relocation. Additional Node 3 outfitting activities continued during the remainder of the STS-130 mission. This included removing cargo launched inside Node 3 rack locations, removing about 600 launch restraint bolts from Node 3 closeout panels, installation of additional Node 3 ventilation and thermal control lines. The Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) racks and the waste and Hygiene Compartment were installed in Node 3 on 18 February.

     

  • Spacewalk 2 (Behnken, Patrick) – Node 3 External Outfitting
    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 2 was carried out by Bob Behnken and Nicholas Patrick starting at 03:20 CET on 14 February. During the 5 hr 54 minutes EVA the astronauts carried out Node 3 external outfitting. The major task was to connect up the ammonia lines to Node 3. These are an integral part of ISS thermal control systems. Following attachment Behnken opened one of the two ammonia loops, to allow ammonia to flow to Node 3. Hereafter associated thermal covers were installed over connectors. Other external outfitting tasks included installation of handrails and ISS non-propulsive air venting devices, removing the locking pins from the Earth-facing docking mechanism of Node 3 and opening of the so-called petals to allow for berthing of the Cupola at this docking port. A small amount of crystallized ammonia was released while mating the ammonia lines, though a visual inspection of Patrick’s suit and a decontamination test for ammonia showed no detectable ammonia contamination.

     

  • Cupola Relocation and Outfitting
    On 14 February the Cupola Observation Module was depressurized by Virts and Hire. The following day the European-built module was grappled and manoeuvred by the ISS robotic arm from the Node 3 end cone to the earth-facing port of Node 3. After relocation the Cupola was repressurized prior to hatch opening and entering the new European-built robotic control tower and observation module. During these procedures the Cupola was ungrappled and Pressurized Mating Adaptor 3 (PMA-3), on the upper (zenith) docking port of Node 2, was grappled in preparation for relocating it to the endcone of Node 3. Following relocation Cupola outfitting/activation activities included connecting electrical, data, water and thermal lines, and installation of the Audio Terminal Unit and Utility Outlet Panels. The Cupola’s window shutters were opened for the first time on 17 February following release of the launch bolts during spacewalk 3. The Cupola’s Internal Thermal Control System was filled on the same day. On 18 February the robotic workstation was relocated to the Cupola from the US laboratory.

     

  • Pressurized Mating Adaptor 3 (PMA-3) Relocation
    On 16 February Patrick and Behnken relocated Pressurized Mating Adaptor 3 (PMA-3) from the upper (zenith) docking port of Node 2 to the endcone of Node 3 using the Station’s principal robotic arm

     

  • Spacewalk 3 (Behnken, Patrick) – Node 3/Cupola External Outfitting/Activities
    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 3 was carried out by Bob Behnken and Nicholas Patrick starting at 03:15 CET on 17 February. During the 5 hr 48 minutes EVA the astronauts opened the second ammonia loop to Node 3 and removed Node 3’s temporary heater cable 3; connected thermal and data cables to Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 (PMA-3); removed thermal insulation covering Cupola and the launch bolts securing Cupola’s window shutters; installed handrails and worksite interface fixtures on Node-3; routed a video cable; closing the Centreline Berthing Camera System flap on the port where PMA-3 had been located; and installed a gap spanner from External Stowage Platform 2 to the US Destiny laboratory.

     

  • Shuttle Undocking/Landing
    On 19 February following the usual crew farewells, the Shuttle crew entered Space Shuttle Endeavour. The Shuttle crew consisted of Shuttle Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts, and Mission Specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson, Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken, all representing NASA. Hereafter ventilation ducting was removed and the hatches were closed. After hatch closure the standard one-hour leak check was carried out. At 01:54 CET the following day Endeavour undocked from the ISS, thereafter performing a Station fly-around for carrying out documentary image taking (photo and video). A final separation burn was then performed.

    After undocking temporary ventilation was removed from Node 2 and Pressurized Mating Adaptor 2 was depressurised, where the Shuttle had been docked, to prevent condensation. Communications systems were restored to their post-undocking configuration and emergency breathing apparatus was relocated to the Columbus laboratory from the US Airlock as it was no longer needed to support the Shuttle mission EVAs. STS-130 Shuttle Endeavour landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 22 February at 04:22 CET (22:22 local time on 21 February).

Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI)
Samples from the European-built MELFI freezer were packed in the Shuttle’s General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) on 15 February by Jeff Williams and Bob Behnken for return on STS-130. Additional biomedical samples were packed in a Double Coldbag along with two Ice Bricks from MELFI on 19 February for return.

Progress M-04/36P launch, docking and post-docking activities
On 15 February water was transferred to the ISS from a tank of the Russian Progress M-03M/35P spacecraft, which is docked at the earth-facing docking port of the Pirs Airlock/Docking Compartment. Urine from the ISS was pumped back into empty storage tanks of the Progress spacecraft.

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. On 17 February Soichi Noguchi replaced the Recycle Filter Tank Assembly in the Water Recovery System. The following day the Regenerative ECLSS racks and the Waste and Hygiene Compartment were relocated from the US laboratory to the newly installed Node 3. 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
    Following relocation and a shutdown period to assess an issue with the Mostly Liquid Separator, the Water Processing Assembly is powered and operating in Node 3, with condensate being collected in its Waste Water tank.

     

  • Urine Processor Assembly
    The Urine Processor Assembly located in Water Recovery System Rack 2 was powered down in order to undertake troubleshooting following relocation to Node 3 to find a suspected urine leak. The Urine Processor Assembly is now up and running.

ISS Reboost
The ISS was reboosted to a higher orbiting altitude twice in the two-week period until 26 February. The first reboost on 18 February lasting 33 minutes was carried out by STS-130 Shuttle Endeavour and increased ISS altitude by 2.28 km. The second reboost on 21 February lasting 26 minutes used Service Module propulsion and increased ISS altitude by 6.5 km. The reboosts were undertaken in connection with phasing for Soyuz 20S landing, Soyuz 22S launch, and STS 131/19A launch.

Command and Control Computer Failure
A failure of the Command and Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer and its backup occurred on 21 February on board the ISS. An erroneous command from the Columbus Control Centre caused incorrect parameters to be sent to the Command and Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer causing a cascading crash.

Orthostatic hemodynamic endurance tests
On 24 and 25 February Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov respectively carried out orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test sessions using the TVIS treadmill whilst wearing the Russian ‘Chibis’ lower body negative pressure suit. The Chibis suit, which provides stress that simulates gravity to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system, helps to evaluate how the Russian crewmember would cope with exposure to gravity on return to Earth.

US Airlock activities
Following conclusion of the STS-130 mission activities in the US airlock include yearly maintenance on water tanks for an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), scrubbing the cooling loops of four EMUs for particulate matter, and regeneration of EMU carbon dioxide removal canisters.

Other Activities
Other activities that have taken place in the two-week period include: repair of the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber (replacing a vacuum valve); changing out replaceable parts of the Service Module’s toilet; Commander Williams carrying out a fitness check of his shock absorbing seat in the Soyuz TMA-16/20S spacecraft; updating software for the Russian “Poisk” Module; and replacing a broken dashpot on the advanced resistive exercise device.

(*)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.

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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