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November 26, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/26/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Flight Day 11 of STS-129/ULF3. Rest day for the five-member crew aboard ISS. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Frank De Winne, Bob Thirsk & Jeff Williams performed their second INTEGRATED IMMUNE liquid saliva collection (after the first one on 11/24), starting right after wake-up. Saliva samples are taken every other day for six days, with the final one on the morning of the blood draw, and the samples are stored at ambient temperature. [Along with NUTRITION (Nutritional Status Assessment), INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

Maxim Suraev performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

Roman Romanenko did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Suraev 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-3 again inspects the filters tonight at bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Afterwards, Romanenko, De Winne & Thirsk spent two hours in the TMA-15/19S Descent Module (SA) to conduct the Soyuz descent drill, a standard training exercise for every crew returning on a Soyuz. The exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display), was supported by a tagup and discussions with ground instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band. [The session includes a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents & Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console and conditions of switching to manual mode. The training uses a Descent Simulator application on the RSK1 laptop. During the actual descent, Romanenko as Soyuz CDR will occupy the middle couch, with Thirsk in the right seat and De Winne in the Descent Module’s left Kazbek couch. Pending the final State Commission decision at about 3.5h before undocking, 19S undocking is expected for 11/30 (next Monday) at 10:53pm EST, with landing in Kazakhstan on 12/1 at ~2:16am (~1:16pm local Kazakhstan).]

CDR Jeff Williams completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week.

In the Lab, Williams afterwards removed the alignment guides from the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) activation by the ground for FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) operations requiring a microgravity environment.

The CDR also filled out the regular weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

At ~5:20am EST, De Winne had his periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

CDR & FE-4 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Bob at ~2:50pm, Jeff at ~4:20pm EST.

Using the amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) in the SM, Frank conducted three successive ham radio sessions with students at Dumbleyung Primary School, Dumbleyung, Western Australia, at 6:47am, at the Institut Don Bosco in Bruxelles, Belgium, at 7:46am, and at the Katholieke Centrumscholen Sint-Truiden (KCST) in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, at 9:21am.

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

Afterwards, Frank transferred the exercise data files to the MEC 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).

MRM2 False Alarms Update: Due to the MRM-2 false emergency events, MCC-Houston has developed and uploaded a software patch to the C&C MDM (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer) which prevents US software to respond to an MRM2 manual emergency event (fire, depress, toxic). Currently, if an MRM2 manual event is triggered, the US software will annunciate a “suppressed” emergency event, and no equipment safings will occur. TsUP-Moscow is planning some tests which may include re-activating the MRM2 C&W (Caution & Warning) Panel. During these tests, the US software configuration will remain as described above, so if the crew needs to annunciate a real manual emergency event, they will use the USOS C&W Panel, SM PSS (C&W) panel, or a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop. MRM2 troubleshooting is proceeding.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 10:48am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.6 km
Apogee height – 346.6 km
Perigee height – 336.6 km
Period -- 91.37 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007431
Solar Beta Angle -- -47.7 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 63155

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
11/27/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 land/KSC – 9:44am
11/30/09 – Soyuz TMA-15/19S undock – 10:53pm
12/01/09 -- Soyuz TMA-15/19S land – 2:16am (Kazakhstan: 1:16pm)
11/30-12/23 ---> 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 (~6:30am EST)
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 (~1:30pm EST)
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 (~2:00pm EST)
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) (~7:30am EST)
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, PMM) (~12:01pm EST)
09/18/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) docking
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) 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