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12-02-2009
December 02, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/02/09

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

Exp-22 Flight Engineer Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim 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 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, Maxim performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated tonight at ~3:35pm EST before crew bedtime, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. (Last time done: 11/9-11/10). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

CDR Williams started the day with another Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift.]

With ground support, Jeff powered on the SAMS-II ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System/Interface Control Unit) in Drawer 2 of ER1 (EXPRESS 1) for taking structural vibrations readings. [SAMS is a distributed acceleration measurement system consisting of an ICU in ER1, and sensors in several payload racks including ER4, ER2, ER3, MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) Rack and CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack).

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), the CDR then performed the regular check and photography of the new Sample 7 of the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) Crystal experiment.

Williams also initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr automatic sampling run, the 51st, with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-4 (Station Support Computer 4) laptop. [The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). Today’s data will again to be compared with VOA and GSC (Grab Sample Container) measurements. This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

As an outcome of the recent condensate water (KAV) sample analysis from the SRVK-2M condensate processor upstream of the FGS gas-liquid mixture filter, Maxim Suraev today removed the processor’s BKO multifiltration unit and replaced it with a spare, discarding the old unit and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System). [BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Jeff took down the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab & Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation), used for video coverage of the STS-129/Atlantis and Soyuz TMA-15 departures.

Next, Williams performed the periodic status & screen check on the running payload CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus), located in the ER-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2). [CGBA-5 is currently activated for DTN (Delay Tolerant Network) activities that are acting as a test bed for NASA HQ-sponsored communications research. DTN software transmits messages between ISS and Mission Control Centers, and most of its operations run from the ground. The DTN software sends CGBA-5 payload data to the ground, and automatic acknowledgement messages are generated by the ground to be passed back to the payload.]

In the US Airlock “Quest”, Jeff initiated the 85-day maintenance cycle on the first two EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries, #2083 & #2084, in BCM3 (Battery Charger Module 3) & BCM4 of the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly). The 16-Volt discharge takes ~13 hrs. [The periodic battery maintenance consists of fully discharging and then recharging the storage units to prolong their useful life. After end of the maintenance cycle, Jeff will restore the SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop, which is used in DOS mode for the automated discharge procedure, to nominal ops. In the early ISS years, these battery discharges/recharges had to be done manually.]

In the Lab, Williams supported the ground-commanded 5-hr deactivation of the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) by disconnecting the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) jumper from the LAB1D6 rack after the shutdown.

Suraev conducted his fifth 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.]

Afterwards, Maxim prepared for another session of the Russian science payload Rusalka (“Mermaid”) by taking the AIP-01 battery from the experiment’s kit and initiating its charging. A Rusalka solar observation run is on his schedule tomorrow. [Rusalka operations involve calibration and tests of research equipment relating to the Sun and the Earth's limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted). To be tested are the procedure for remote determination of Methane (CH4) & Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere (in the First Phase), measurement of CH4 & CO2 content in the atmosphere and reception of data on NI2 and NI4 content over the territories subjected to natural and technogenic effects, reception of sufficient data on seasonal dependencies of tropospheric parameters being studied (in the Second Phase). Equipment used: Rusalka monoblock, Nikon D2X(s) digital photo camera; AF VR Nikkor ED 80-400f/4.5-5.6D lens with ultraviolet filter, bracket for attachment to the window, and Rusalka-Accessories set. Support hardware: Device TIUS DKShG/PNSK, Laptop RSK1, and Software Package loading disk.]

The CDR filled out another 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 ~4:20pm EST, just before sleep time, Suraev will set up the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his fourth experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

Jeff Williams completed the monthly inspection of the COLBERT treadmill system (T2), checking out its components.

The two crewmembers performed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR), T2 advanced treadmill (CDR, FE), and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE).

Afterwards, Jeff 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).

At ~3:35am EST, the Flight Engineer downlinked a PAO TV message of greetings to the faculty and students of Moscow State Forest University (MSFU) on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of its founding. [“We, Expedition 22 crew to the International Space Station, are sending you our greetings. Your university is quite unique. It was the first in our country to combine fundamental training in forestry and space industry. This is a very symbolic event: half a century ago your university served as a foundation for our legendary school of electronics and computer science to be opened on the initiative of Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, the founding father of Practical Cosmonautics. Today thousands of MSFU alumni are productively employed in space-rocket industry and other fields. Valery Victorovich Ryumin, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR, RSC Energia’s Deputy General Designer and MSFU alumnus has brought your university to international fame. This is in a tradition of the hero of the day: to be at the cutting edge of science and technology, to constantly improve the educational process, to adapt the curriculum to modern-day challenges. On this memorable day on behalf of the entire Cosmonaut Corps, we are wishing happy anniversary to you and everybody whose career was launched by the Moscow State Forest University. Happy anniversary, dear friends!”]

At ~11:10am, the CDR powered up the SM (Service Module)'s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at ~11:15am conducted a ham radio session with students at Midvalley Elementary, Midvale, Utah. [Midvalley Elementary is a 52-year old school, part of the new Canyons School District, serving about 540 students from kindergarten through sixth to grade. It also houses four classes of Head Start students and the area office. Midvalley is located in a stable middle class community in Midvale City where parents have a high interest in school. The mission of the Midvalley staff is to recognize the uniqueness of each child, to nurture self-esteem; to provide a sound academic learning environment; and to foster appropriate social skills and promote responsible citizenship.]

Conjunction Event: Another conjunction with space debris (Object 34586, piece of KOSMOS 2251 satellite) took place this morning. TCA (Time of Closest Approach) at 3:16am EST. The notification came too late to initiate DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) planning; however, tracking data showed that the debris stayed safely away from the “Red” threshold box.

Ooops Correction from yesterday: The GCTC airplane that flew the 19S crew from Kazakhstan to Star City’s Chkalovsky airfield is a Tupolev Tu-154, not a Tu-157. [Thanks, Joe Engle!].

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:19am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 341.0 km
Apogee height – 346.0 km
Perigee height – 336.1 km
Period -- 91.36 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- -51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007388
Solar Beta Angle -- -72.3 deg (magnitude increasing, peaking tomorrow)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.76
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 105 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 63248

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/07/09 -- Progress M-MRM2 (Poisk) PAO (Propulsion/Service Module) jettison – 7:16pm
12/21/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch -- O. Kotov/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
12/23/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S (FGB nadir)
01/14/10 -- Russian EVA-24
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