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November 17, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/17/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Crew sleep cycle: Wake 3:00am, sleep 8:00pm EDT.

FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which he had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR De Winne, FE-2 Stott, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 Williams continued the current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), donning their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, all six crewmembers took a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, FE-3 Romanenko closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

In the newly arrived MRM2 “Poisk” module, Suraev activated the MPI Multipurpose Control Panel.

FE-2 Stott did Day 2 of her third ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session. Upon reaching the midpoint, Nicole ended the Cardiopres/BP (blood pressure) data collection, changed out the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF Card and AA Battery, and began the next 24-hour data collection, using the T2/COLBERT treadmill in a short-duration run at high & low speeds to meet the ICV heart rate requirement. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices were worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres was doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery were changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

Stott & Thirsk performed the periodic collection of water samples from the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System Low Temperature Loop) and MTL (Moderate TL) in the Node-2 and from the MTL in the Lab, JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) after installing the ITCS Sampling Adapter in the latter, all for return to the ground on the Shuttle.

Samples were also taken by Thirsk from WRM (Water Recovery & Management) condensate.

The FE-4 later completed the weekly offloading of the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) from WRS (Water Recovery System) Rack 1 into a CWC-I (Collapsible Water Container-Iodine) with the common H2O transfer hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

For tomorrow’s scheduled installation of the new CSI-03 (CGBA Science Insert 03) assembly in the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) payload, Bob Thirsk reviewed OBT (Onboard Training) material to familiarize himself with the payload and the CSI-03 installation procedure.

In the Kibo JPM, Nicole activated the JEMRMS (Robotic Manipulator System) with its control system and monitors, then maneuvered the MA (Main Arm) to the designated Lube Park Position, verified that the EE snare was open and deactivated the system. [This prepositioned the RMS in the position required for EV2 Bobby Satcher to reach it on the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) during EVA-1 to be lubricated. Lubrication of the POA (Payload ORU Attachment) is also scheduled.]

The FE-2 also conducted the regular daily support of the MDS (Mice Drawer System) facility by performing a visual inspection of cages 1, 2 & 5 with their live occupants.

After temporarily moving the ARED exercise device in Node-1 on its platform into stowage position at the Node’s “ceiling” to create working room, FE-5 Williams had several hours for removing Node-1 close-out panels as “get-ahead” preparation for the Alcove hardware modifications required for Node-3 “Tranquility”. Afterwards, ARED was restored in its nominal operational position.

Nicole meanwhile removed wall panels in the US A/L (Airlock) as a get-ahead the pre-breathe O2 setup for the EVA “Campouts”, starting with the first one on FD3 (tomorrow, 11/18).

Frank De Winne undertook a series of preparatory steps for the arrival of STS-129/Atlantis and six additional crewmembers tomorrow, including –
  • Configuring THC IMC (Temperature & Humidity Control / Inter Modular Ventilation) diffusers in the Lab to optimize air mixing with CO2,
  • Installing the Node-2 air duct for increased Shuttle ventilation,
  • Pressurizing & leak checking PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) for Atlantis docking, leaving VAJ/ISA (Vacuum Access Jumper / Internal Sampling Adapter) connected for PMA 2 leak check after docking,
  • Relocating the PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus, #1019) with attached QDM (Quick-Don Mask) from COL to the A/L, to remain there for the ULF3 EVAs. It will remain in Airlock for the ULF 3 docked mission and returned on FD10 [thus, during ULF3 there will be four PBAs in the A/L, but only one in Columbus],
  • Connecting the LTL supply line to the LAB1D6 RIP (Rack Interface Panel) to provide cooling for CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) operation,
  • Relocating the IWIS RSU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System / Remote Sensor Unit) from its place to take data of the T2 ACOs (Activation & Checkouts) to the JPM in support of ULF-3 data takes, and
  • Placing two BPSMUs (Battery Powered Speaker Microphone Units), one at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation), the other at the Node-2 port hatch for Kibo RMS operations.

Bob Thirsk relocated the Ku-band power supply from its temporary location in the JPM, where it supported the last BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) sample run (utilizing EarthKAM application) back to its original location in the US Lab. FE-4 also moved the SSC-6 (Station Support Computer 6) from JPM back to Node-1 and reconfigured the UOP.

Throughout the day, the FE-4 also handled the recharge of five batteries for the NIKON D2X cameras required for the RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) photography tomorrow. [Batteries must be charged for at least three hours. These Batteries will be used for the D2X camera configuration in preparation for the RPM documentation, to be conducted by . The fourth and fifth batteries will be reserved as backup battery for the actual RPM.]

Later, in preparation for tomorrow’s arrival of Atlantis, Nicole, Jeff & Frank conducted a one-hour review of the RPM procedures, and Jeff configured the D2Xs for the job. [The RPM flip-over is used by the crew for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle next month. Nicole will be using the 400mm lens, Jeff the 800mm. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Atlantis, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Maxim Suraev had another photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, to obtain data on color field patterns and current cloud cover conditions over dynamic ocean areas in the Atlantic.

Near the end of his workday, Suraev also conducted his fourth data collection for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

Roman Romanenko had an hour set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to his return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-15/19S on 12/1. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

CDR, FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Frank at ~5:35am, Nicole at ~9:45am, Bob at ~1:00pm, Jeff at ~3:15pm EST.

The crew performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-3/2x), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5), and T2 treadmill (FE-4, FE-5).

Afterwards, Stott transferred the exercise data files to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

WPA Failure: Towards the end of yesterday's WPA (Water Processor Assembly) process cycle, WPA failed (transitioned to “Warm Shutdown”) due to low water level in the MLS (Mostly Liquid Separator). Engineers met today to review the data and assess further water processing. For now, the crew was advised to continue the current potable water usage split, i.e., all six crewmembers using the RS (Russian Segment) for their ambient water and a 3/3 split for hot water.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Muscat, Oman (the capital of Oman has a population of just over 1 million. It is a major port city on the Gulf of Oman, southeast of the Straits of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. As ISS approached the coast from the SW in clear weather, the crew was to look carefully just left of nadir for this low-contrast target in early afternoon sun), Bosumtwi Impact Crater, Ghana (this well-marked impact crater is located about 150 km west of the south end of Lake Volta in south central Ghana. It is a very young impact [just over a million years old], about 10.5 km in diameter, and almost completely filled by a lake. There are very few images of this crater area in the CEO database because it is usually cloud and/or haze covered. On this fair-weather, midday pass, as ISS approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to find Lake Volta and to look slightly left of nadir for a circular lake just SE of the urban area of Kumasi), Buenos Aires, Argentina (the sprawling Argentine capital city has a population of about 13 million and is located in northeastern Argentina on the turbid Rio de la Plata estuary and the Parana River delta. ISS had a nadir pass in clear weather as it approached from the SW in late morning lighting. Trying for views that include all the visible urban area), Dakar, Senegal (the capital city of Senegal has a population estimated at just over 1 million and dominates the promontory known as Cape Verde, Africa’s westernmost point. ISS had a nadir pass in clear weather near midday for this target which the crew approached from the SW over the Cape Verde Islands. Trying for a complete mapping of the urban area of the city), Caracas, Venezuela (the Venezuelan capital of just over 3 million people is located inland from the coast behind a forested mountain range. ISS had a midday pass with fair weather expected as it approached from the SW. Looking nadir for detailed mapping views of the city), and Tegucigalpa, Honduras (the Honduran capital has a population of just over 1 million is situated in the mountains of the southwestern part of the country. It is also located about 60 miles inland from the Gulf of Fonseca on the Pacific Ocean. ISS had a nadir pass at midday for this target as it approached from the SW with partly cloudy weather. Trying for detailed views of the city).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 3:19am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 340.5 km
Apogee height – 344.6 km
Perigee height – 336.5 km
Period -- 91.35 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006023
Solar Beta Angle -- -4.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 116 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 63008

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/18/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 dock – 11:53am
11/25/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 undock – 4:57am
11/27/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 land/KSC – 9:47am
12/01/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock
12/01-12/23 ---> two-member crew
12/21/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch -- O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/20/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S relocation (from SM aft to MRM-2)
02/03/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P launch
02/04/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility” + Cupola
02/05/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P docking
03/18/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
03/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 -- Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM)
09/18/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) docking
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PLM) undock
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/26/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch
12/15/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
02/08/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch
xx/xx/11 – Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton