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ESA ISS Science & System - Operations Status Report # 64
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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Columbus

26 March 2010

This is ISS status report #64 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 ISS Utilisation Department in cooperation with ESA’s Columbus and Payload Operations Management and Mission Science teams from the 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 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
Biolab is a facility designed to support biological experiments on micro-organisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants and small invertebrates. ISS Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer replaced expended silica gel bags in Biolab’s Temperature Controlled Units 1 and 2 on 25 March. These bags help keep humidity low in the two Temperature Controlled Units. Afterwards a health check was performed, indicating that the Temperature Controlled Units are working well and ready to support WAICO-2 cold storage activities.

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 and Kubik 6 Incubator
On 23 March Timothy Creamer reconfigured the Kubik 6 Incubator for its upcoming installation inside the Kubik Interface Drawer which will be housed within the European Drawer Rack. This included installation of the Kubik incubator’s centrifuge insert and electronics box. The Kubik incubators are transportable incubators which were designed in the frame of the ISS Soyuz missions for biology experiments processing.

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
ISS Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi installed a LAN adaptor on the Fluid Science Laboratory before carrying out a reduced functional test on 15 March. 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 and CARD Experiment
The European Physiology Modules facility was activated on 15 March for a session of the CARD experiment by ISS Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer. The experiment utilised the facility’s Cardiolab arterial blood pressure holter device for 24-hour blood pressure measurement. As part of the experiment procedures Creamer also started 24-hour urine collection and undertook five rebreathing sessions using the ESA/NASA Pulmonary Function System (See below), three on 15 March and two the following day. A blood draw was also taken on 16 March. The blood samples were centrifuged in Human Research Facility 2 before being placed in the European-built MELFI freezer. (See ‘Human Research Facility 2’ and ‘MELFI’ below)

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 European Physiology Modules facility is equipped with different science modules to investigate the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body, with experiment results contributing to an increased understanding of terrestrial problems such as the ageing process, osteoporosis, balance disorders, and muscle wastage.

Pulmonary Function System (in Human Research Facility 2)
On 15 and 16 March Timothy Creamer used the Pulmonary Function System to carry out a total of five rebreathing sessions for ESA’s CARD experiment (See ‘European Physiology Modules and CARD Experiment’ above). 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.

3D Space
No activities were carried out for the 3D SPACE experiment in the two weeks until 26 March. 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.

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.

Portable Pulmonary Function System
No activities were carried out using the Portable Pulmonary Function System in the two weeks up until 26 March. 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.

European Modular Cultivation System
No activities were carried out with the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) in the two weeks up until 26 March. 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 the next ESA experiment to be launched on STS-132 / ULF-4 and 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
No activities were carried out with the Microgravity Science Glovebox in the two weeks up until 26 March whilst ground teams currently try to resolve a telemetry problem for the DSC (‘Diffusion and Soret Coefficient Measurements for Improvement of Oil Recovery’) experiment, believed to be related to loose connections. DSC is one of the Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument (SODI) experiments that will take place inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox.

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 ‘Influence of Vibrations on Diffusion in Liquids’ (IVIDIL) experiment, which was successfully completed on 20 January, and the Colloid experiment, which covers the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions. The Colloid experiment will be tentatively launched on Shuttle flight ULF-4 in spring 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.

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

SOLAR
SOLAR was in Sun pointing mode and acquiring data until 20 March when the Sun observation window, which opened on 9 March, closed. Solar was not acquiring data for short periods during this period including when the facility was “safed” due to ISS manoeuvres on 14 March, and for Soyuz 20S undocking on 18 March. The facility was placed in survival mode at the end of the two week period awaiting a new Sun observation period.

The SOLAR payload facility has been studying the Sun’s irradiation with unprecedented accuracy across most of its spectral range currently for more than two years on-orbit. The SOLAR facility 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 the maximum level in 2013.

European science inside the US Destiny Laboratory

Material Science Laboratory in the Material Science Research Rack
Activities for the CETSOL and MICAST experiments were carried out in the Material Science Laboratory from 24-26 March. The MICAST#2 samples were processed during the night of 24-25 March. After solidification and cool down these samples were exchanged by Timothy Creamer for the CETSOL#1 samples on 25 March and again processed during the night. The CETSOL#1 samples were exchanged for the MICAST#1 samples around midday on 26 March.

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 deactivated on 31 May 2009 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 payload, which was installed outside the Zvezda Service Module during the Russian-based spacewalk on 10 March 2009, is again operating normally following an issue with a suspected failed radiation dosimeter for Expose-R, which occurred on 12 March 2010. The facility was successfully recovered following a reboot of the dosimeter in question. 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 2009.

Non-European science and research facilities inside the Columbus Laboratory

Human Research Facility 1
Data from NASA’s Integrated Cardiovascular experiment was downloaded to the Human Research Facility laptop on 16 March. This was downlinked the following day. This experiment is looking into Cardiac Atrophy and Diastolic Dysfunction During and After Long Duration Spaceflight. On 17 March Human Research Facility 1 was activated and body mass measurements were taken by ISS Commander Jeff Williams and ISS Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer using the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Creamer also started a week long session of NASA’s Sleep experiment on 22 March. Data from a sensor which monitors the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure was downloaded to the Human Research Facility’s laptop.

Human Research Facility 2
Human Research Facility 2 was activated on 15 and 16 March in support of ESA’s CARD experiment. (See ‘European Physiology Modules and CARD Experiment’ and ‘Pulmonary Function System (in Human Research Facility 2)’ above). The refrigerated centrifuge was also used on 16 March to centrifuge CARD blood samples. These were placed in the European-built MELFI freezer (See below)

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. Main points of interest are as follows:

 

  • Cabin Filters
    ISS Flight Engineer and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi replaced two Centralised Cabin Filters in the Columbus laboratory on 16 March and packed the old filters for return to earth.

     

  • Cargo Consolidation
    On 23 March Noguchi consolidated cargo in Columbus to free up space for stowing cargo delivered on Progress 36P.

Activities in the European-built Node 3

 

  • Exercise Equipment
    ISS Commander and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams disabled two damaged stop cables on the on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) on 13 March. This has led to a change in squat and heel raise exercise protocols, which will now start from a lower position to reduce loads. The other exercises can be carried out on the device as normal. Regular exercise and inspection of ARED was also carried out during the two-week period.

     

  • Regenerative ECLSS
    During the past two weeks activities have been carried out with the two Water Recovery System racks which, 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. The Water Processor Assembly went on stand by on 22 March due to a low temperature fault in its preheater, probably due to contact with cold water. An attempt to bring the Assembly’s catalytic reactor back up to temperature was unsuccessful. A leak is also suspected due to loss of contents from the Waste Water Tank though this could not be substantiated by the crew on 25 March. Further steps are under development on ground. Until the situation is resolved the crew will use the Russian SRVK condensate processor for water.

Crew Return Preparations

 

  • Orthostatic hemodynamic endurance tests
    On 13, 15 and 16 March Roscosmos cosmonaut and ISS Flight Engineer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Maxim Suraev carried out his fourth and fifth (two parts) training sessions of medical operation procedures for his upcoming return to earth. Suraev wore the Russian ‘Chibis’ lower body negative pressure suit whilst using the TVIS treadmill for the fourth session and using the VELO ergometer for both parts of the fifth session. The Chibis suit, which provides stress that simulates gravity to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system, helps to evaluate how the crewmembers will cope with exposure to gravity on return to Earth on 18 March.

     

  • Soyuz TMA-16/20S Descent Drill
    On 15 March Suraev and Williams carried out a simulation training of their return journey in the Soyuz 20S spacecraft, reviewing Soyuz descent procedures including emergency procedures and manual undocking. The training used a descent simulator application on a Russian laptop together with a descent hand controller. The training was carried out on a Russian laptop with a hand controller.

     

  • Soyuz TMA-16/20S Return Preparation
    Suraev and Williams supported a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz TMA-16 Motion Control System on 15 March including testing the pilot’s translational hand controller and the braking thrusters. The following day ISS Flight Engineer and Roscosmos Oleg Kotov stowed a number of Russian science payloads in the Soyuz descent module for return to earth. Over the following two days Suraev also removed temperature and lighting equipment from the Soyuz Orbital module for reuse after Soyuz undocking. On 17 March Suraev continued with return activities, removing the clamps between the Souz TMA-16 and the Poisk Module to which it is docked.

     

  • Soyuz TMA-16/20S, Expedition 22 Undocking and Landing
    Following Soyuz activation on the morning of 18 March, the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-16 and the Poisk Module were closed and relevant leak checks were carried out. In the Soyuz Suraev was in the central position, Williams on the left, with a payload strapped into the right hand position. Undocking occurred at just after 9 o’clock (CET) followed by a 15 sec separation burn three minutes later. At 11:33 (CET) the Soyuz spacecraft performed its deorbit thruster burn lasting 4 min 16sec. This caused a deceleration of 115m/sec. 20 minutes later the spacecraft went through module separation, with atmospheric reentry occurring at 12:00 (CET). The parachute was deployed 8 minutes later at an altitude of about 11 km with landing at 12:24 (CET) northeast of the town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan. Suraev and Williams had spent just over 169 days in space. From here the crew were flown to Star City in Moscow via Kustanai in Kazakhstan. Undocking of Soyuz TMA-16 marked the end of Expedition 22 and the start of Expedition 23.

Progress Return Preparations
On 14 March Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov prepared the Progress M-03M/35P cargo spacecraft for its closeout prior to undocking in April. This involved removing temperature sensor equipment for reuse, activating the Progress electronics, removing air ducting from the Pirs Docking Compartment, removing clamps between the Progress and Pirs to stabilise the docked connection, closing the Progress and Pirs hatches and carrying out relevant leak checks.

Solar Array Efficiency Tests
A Russian solar array efficiency test was carried out on 14 March. The following day a similar US test was carried out by the Mission Control Centre in Houston.

Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI)
Over the two weeks until 26 March, samples were placed in the European-built MELFI-1 freezer for ESA’s CARD experiment (blood), NASA’s Nutrition/Repository protocol (urine), and the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2, "Plants-2" experiment (Mizuna lettuce plants).

On 15, 17 and 19 March MELFI-2 was prepared by ISS Flight Engineer and NASA astronaut Timothy Creamer for receiving samples, by inserting 14, 4 and 4 ice-bricks respectively in Dewar 1 and Dewar 3 of the European-built freezer. Over the two weeks until 26 March samples were placed in the European-built MELFI-2 freezer for CSA’s APEX-Cambium (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit-Cambium) experiment

Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Preparations
ESA’s ATV Control Centre in Toulouse took part in an ATV-2 Interface Test together with the Mission Control Centres in Moscow and Houston during the night of 16/17 March in preparation for the launch of ESA’s ATV-2 logistics spacecraft to the ISS in November. On 19 March Oleg Kotov configured Navigation Receiver Module connections of the Russian ASN-M Satellite Navigation Equipment before carrying out a test on the equipment. This system is extremely important for the docking of the ATV. He supported a two-day test of the navigation system started from the ground on 21 March.

Colbert Treadmill
Soichi Noguchi carried out activities to re-centre the COLBERT treadmill in the European-built Node 2 on 19 March and hence bring it back to full functionality. The treadmill was used hereafter for undertaking standard exercise procedures.

European-built Cupola
On 21 March the newly-installed Cupola Module was used to assess the visibility of the Zarya Module’s Earth-facing interface ring with still and video images being taken through Cupola’s windows.

TVIS
The Treadmill with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (TVIS) is currently a no go for use due to failed Gyroscope Wire Ropes noticed during inspection on 22 March. These ropes will be replaced with spares on board.

Shuttle STS-131/19A Preparations
On 24 March in preparation for arrival of new racks on the STS-131 mission, Noguchi prepared three rack bays (two in the US laboratory and one in the Japanese laboratory). Noguchi also installed a Centerline Berthing Camera System at the Earth-facing hatch of Node 2 where the MPLM cargo container arriving on STS-131 will be berthed.

Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly
Timothy Creamer carried out maintenance on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly in the Atmosphere Revitalization Systems Rack 2 on 24 March. He installed bypass jumpers to allow the assembly to operate with two of three temperature sensors for one of the sorbent beds as one of the sensors is exhibiting incorrect data. After reinstalling a new set of these jumpers on 25 March the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly is again ready for use.

ISS Reboost
The Progress M-04/36P, docked to the aft port of the ISS Service Module, performed a reboost of the ISS on 24 March assisted by Progress M-03/35P docked at the Earth-facing port of the Pirs Docking compartment. The ISS gained 1.7 km in altitude during the reboost, which was carried out to help place the ISS in the correct orbital profile for the arrival of Soyuz 22S, 19A Shuttle, and Progress 37P.

Shuttle R-bar Pitch Manoeuvre Preparations
On 24 March ISS Commander Oleg Kotov and ISS Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer carried out another R-bar Pitch Manoeuvre training session. This involved photographing a Shuttle cutout inside the ISS with D2X digital still camera using 400 and 800 mm lenses. This exercise is in preparation for photographing the STS-131/19A Shuttle during its pitch manoeuvre during rendezvous and docking. During the manoeuvre at a distance of about 180 m from the Station, the photographers will only have around 90 seconds to take high-resolution digital photographs of all thermal protection tile areas and door seals on Shuttle Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment.

Soyuz 21S Descent Drill
On 25 March ISS Commander Oleg Kotov and ISS Flight Engineers Soichi Noguchi and Timothy Creamer carried out the standard Soyuz emergency descent drill in the Soyuz 21S spacecraft. This covered review of Soyuz descent procedures including emergency procedures and manual undocking. The training used a descent simulator application on a Russian laptop together with a descent hand controller.

Emergency Depressurisation Training
The three ISS crewmembers carried out an emergency practice session on 26 March as a familiarization with procedures and hardware in the event of a rapid cabin depressurization. The crew members were supported by US and Russian ground teams throughout.

Airlock Activities
In the US Airlock in the two weeks until 26 March, two EVA suits have had their cooling loops scrubbed of particulate matter; batteries have been recharged for the spacewalks during the STS-131/19A mission; EVA tools have been prepared and configured for the spacewalks and two propulsive Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) units have been checked out. The problem concerning regeneration of the metal oxide canisters that occurred in the previous two-week period has not reoccurred and is thought to have been due to the canisters not being properly seated on the regeneration unit. The metal oxide canisters are used for carbon dioxide removal during spacewalks and during campout in the airlock the evening prior to a spacewalk.

Other Activities
Other activities that have taken place in the two-week period include: replacing switching devices in an Orlan EVA suit; replacing a hard disk in the Image Processing Unit’s Video Recording Unit 3 in the Kibo laboratory; troubleshooting maintenance on the failed Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 6 payload; and re-calibrating two new hand-held Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen instruments.

(*)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

Rosita Suenson
ESA Human Spaceflight Programme Communication Officer
rosita.suenson[@]esa.int

Weekly reports compiled by ESA's ISS Utilisation Department.

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