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December 16, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/16/09

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

Flight Engineer Suraev terminated his fifth experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [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.]

Suraev also performed the regular daily checkup of the aerosol filters at the Elektron O2 generator. [The filters were installed by him 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). Photographs are to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Commander Williams & Suraev had 4h 45m set aside for a major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) work on the TVIS treadmill in the SM (Service Module), focused mainly on replacing both Gyroscope Wire Ropes and installing two replacement blue bumpers. [Additional periodic maintenance tasks were vacuum-cleaning screens, checking witness marks on Clamp Rope Bracket fasteners, and installing a new E8 battery.]

The CDR supported ground-commanded activation of the US CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) by hooking up the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper connection to the LAB1D6 rack to provide cooling. [CDRA was activated over the usual five-hour period from 3:05am – 8:05am EST.]

The FE used the hand-held US CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1002) to take CO2 readings in the Lab at mid-module, Airlock and SM, recording time, CO2 percentage and CDM battery ticks, before restowing the CDM.

Williams serviced the APEX-C (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit-Cambium) payload, placing KFTs (Kennedy Fixation Tubes) into the MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2). [Stain KFTs went into Dewar 4, Tray A, Sections 3-4, RNALater KFTs into Dewar 2, Tray A, Sections 3-4.]

Jeff also reactivated dosimetry operations of the ALTEA-DOSI (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) payload. [The instrument was deactivated yesterday.]

Maxim completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [This includes 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.]

In the Lab, Jeff powered on the SAMS II ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System II / Interim Control Unit) in the ER1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) Drawer 1 in support of ground ops.

At ~8:05am Suraev & Williams conducted a scheduled familiarization conference with the crew of the next Soyuz mission, 21S, via S/G audio.

At ~1:25pm, the CDR had his periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Jeff & Maxim performed their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE).

The CDR later 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at this small archipelago of coral-only islands on April 1, 1836. He explored and documented the area for more than a week. ISS had an early afternoon pass in fair weather with the target slightly right of track. Using the long lens to acquire detailed images of these rarely-photographed islands), Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (ISS had a late morning pass in fair weather for this target. This remote impact site is located in far eastern Libya near the border with Egypt. It’s about 120 million years old and 18km in diameter. There are few strong visual cues in this area, so the crew was to try simply for a detailed mapping along the pass but just left of track), Port Louis, Mauritius (this capital city of about 130,000 is located on the NW coast of this volcanic island in the western Indian Ocean. ISS approach was from the NW with partly cloudy weather expected. Looking near nadir for detailed views with the city in a single frame), Nouakchott, Mauritania (the Mauritanian capital is located just inland from the Atlantic and has a rapidly growing population estimated at 2 million. Despite its size, the city is a low-contrast target and may be difficult to spot, particularly if the air is dusty, as is often the case. Looking for the city as ISS approached the coast from the NW. It should have been be just left of track, in late morning light, and under hopefully clear skies), Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis (the capital city of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is located on the south coast of the larger island of St. Kitts and has a population of less than 20,000. As ISS approached this island pair from the NW with fair weather, the crew was to look near nadir), and Bridgetown, Barbados (the island of Barbados lies about 100 miles east of the southern part of the West Indies archipelago. Its capital city of Bridgetown with a population near 200,000 is located on the southwestern coast of the island. ISS approached it from the NW with partly cloudy weather expected. As the station tracked across the island arch of the West Indies, the crew was to look near nadir for Barbados).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:44am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 340.0 km
Apogee height – 345.3 km
Perigee height – 334.7 km
Period -- 91.33 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007933
Solar Beta Angle -- -19.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 127 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,469

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/20/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch -- O. Kotov (CDR-23)/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer – 4:52pm
12/22/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S docking at FGB nadir -- 5:55pm (flight duration: 2d 1h 03min)
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
02/05/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P docking
02/07/10 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 “Tranquility”+Cupola (target date)
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 – Skvortsov (CDR-24)/ Caldwell/Kornienko
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)
05/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing
05/29/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-25
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
09/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing
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 – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-26
10/26/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
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