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12-20-2009
December 20, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/20/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – crew rest day. Ahead: Week 4 of Increment 22.

Flight Engineer Suraev began the day with 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 completed 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. A total of 121 RST runs are assigned to Jeff for the duration of his orbital stay.]

The CDR also supported the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

The FE took care of the periodic dump of log file directories to the ground, today from the Russian RS2 laptop to a USB stick and from there to OCA for downlink to TsUP, for a checkout of the TVM Terminal Computer and the MPI Multifunction Indicator Panel of the MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2).

Suraev also performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP. [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.]

Williams completed the daily status check of the APEX-Cambium hardware, looking for health and color of the plants. Because the Cambium plants were removed from the ABRS (Advanced Biological Research System) and thus ground-based monitoring, a daily status check & weekly photo session are necessary. [When completed, the APEX-Cambium payload in conjunction with the NASA-sponsored TAGES (Transgenic Arabidopsis Gene Expression System) will determine the role of gravity in Cambium wood cell development (providing the pulp & paper and construction industries insight into the fundamental mechanisms of wood cell formation) and demonstrate non-destructive reporter gene technology & investigate spaceflight plant stress. APEX-Cambium provides NASA & the ISS community a permanent controlled environment capability to support growth of various organisms (i.e. whole plants).]

At ~11:30am EST, Maxim downlinked PAO TV messages of greetings to two Russian events: (1) for Power Engineers Day on 12/22 [“…power energy is a vascular system of the entire country. Your hard but noble labor produces, first of all, warmth and light for every family, every city, or small village of our vast Motherland. It is best seen from here, from the orbit. We can affirm that without your participation not a single flight to space or human breakthrough in space would have been possible. Wishing you to stay in good health, new achievements for the sake of peace, harmony, happiness, and well being.”]; and (2) for the annual New Year performance for children at Moscow City Hall, taking place from 12/24 through 1/10. [This year’s performance has aliens kidnap Father Frost and fly away with him to another planet. Children and the Snow Maid are setting forth for a search and the rescue of Father Frost and appeal to ISS7 for help. “Hello, hello, this is Maxim Suraev, Expedition 22 ISS cosmonaut.” “Maxim, hello, this is the Snow Maiden.” “Snow Maiden, Children, Happy New Year! Our planet Earth looks notably more beautiful during these New Year holidays.” “Maxim, I have an issue to discuss with you. Please, tell me, are you planning to launch any vehicle any time soon?” “Next launch is scheduled for spring.” “No, spring is too late. Thank you. We’ll think of something. Happy New Year!” “And Happy New Year to you too! And to all Muscovites. And to all people on Earth.”]

The crew 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), Maxim at ~5:35am, Jeff at ~1:00pm EST.

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

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

CSL Update: Jeff’s work with the Crew Support LAN (Local Areas Network) on T61p platforms yesterday ran into a snag. “Ghost image” files were downlinked from the transport hard drive and from the CSL Boot CD. It will probably take several days to determine where the problem may lie, i.e., until after 21S docking. In the meantime, SSC-8 (station Support Computer 8) is in a good configuration and can be used by the crew as needed without changes

JAXA SLT Update: Yesterday, SLT1 (System Laptop Terminal 1) experienced a communication failure. With SLT2 currently being used as stand-alone for its troubleshooting, the SLT1 failure currently prevents all crew procedures that require SLT usage. Ground team is working on troubleshoot plan.

Soyuz TMA-17/21S is on schedule for this afternoon’s launch at 4:52pm EST, with Expedition 22 NASA Flight Engineer Timothy J. Creamer (U.S.), Soyuz Commander (& Exp-23 CDR) Oleg Kotov (Russia) and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi (Japan).

21S Flight Plan Overview:
· Flight Day 1:
4:52pm EST: Launch to Orbit, ~9 min in duration; auto deployment of solar arrays & antennas; pressurization of prop tanks and filling of Soyuz manifolds; docking probe extended; leak check by crew of BO & SA modules; KURS self tests; test of BDUS angular rate sensors (2); attitude established (OSK/=LVLH); crew opens BO-SA hatch, ingresses BO and doffs Sokol suits; test of RUO rotational hand controller; Soyuz put in ISK (sun spinning/«barbecue») mode; data for DV1 & DV2 burns uplinked; SOA air purification system activated in BO and deactivated in SA; DV1 burn (8:37:08pm); DV2 burn (9:16pm); Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew clean & dry Sokols; crew sleep.
· Flight Day 2 (12/21):
Post-sleep activities; BO workstation prepared; data for DV3 burn uplinked; crew tests RUO-2 & RUD-2 rotational and translational hand controllers; DV3 attitude established by crew with hand controllers; DV3 burn executed (~5:31pm); Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew swaps CO2 filters in BO; crew sleep.
· Flight Day 3 (12/22) :
Post-sleep activities; DV4 (~3:52pm); KURS-A heaters activated (~4:17pm); data for automated rendezvous uplinked; crew dons Sokols; SOA deactivated in BO and activated in SA; crew ingresses SA, closes BO-SA hatch and dons harnesses for docking; DV5 burn (~4:37pm); automated rendezvous & docking at FGB nadir port via KURS-P in ISS & KURS-A in Soyuz; docking (5:54:30pm); pressure equalized between Soyuz and ISS; crew transfers.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:44am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 339.5 km
Apogee height – 344.8 km
Perigee height – 334.2 km
Period -- 91.32 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007875
Solar Beta Angle -- -1.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 30 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,532

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 -- 5:54:30pm (flight duration: 2d 1h 03min)
--------------Five-crew operations-------------
01/05/10 -- PMA-3 relocation
01/12/10 -- ESP-3 relocation
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