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12-21-2009
December 21, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/21/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 4 of Increment 22. Happy Winter Begin!

Flight Engineer Suraev started 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.]

After powering off the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and deactivating VD-SU control mode (on TsUP-Moscow go-ahead), Suraev replaced the BRPK-2 Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor of the Russian SVO water supply system with a new unit. The old BRPK-2 was discarded after its (relatively new) separator was removed as a future spare. [BITS and VD-SU were later turned on again.]

The Russian Elektron O2 generator was then reactivated by ground commanding, with Suraev monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had to be turned off while BITS & VD-SU were off.]

In support of the ongoing troubleshooting on the JAXA SLT1 (System Laptop Terminal 1) which suffered a communication failure on 12/19, Jeff checked the SLT display for error messages and verified proper connection of its 1553 PC card adapter cable. Later, the CDR power-cycled the laptop (off/on) and also powered on the SLT2 for another file system check. [On 6/30, SLT2 experienced a communications loss with the JCP (JEM Control Processor) and has since not activated properly. SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)’s troubleshooting is being performed with a stand-alone SLT2 and consists essentially of checking/verifying correct activation of four different Operating Systems on the laptop (SLT, MKAM, BDAS & Windows XP.]

Performing regular service on the science payload APEX-Cambium, Williams set up the video system for recording the operations, took situational photos and harvested Run 1 Cambium plants, then chemically preserved them for post flight analysis. [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).]

Maksim Suraev took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, spending an hour on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember rests for 5 min., then works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s arrival of Soyuz TMA-17/21S, the CDR printed out new procedural messages to update the onboard ODS EMER-1 books. [There are 6 ODS EMER-1 (Operational Data System Emergency 1) books with immediate response procedures, for the SM (Service Module), Soyuz (2), Lab, FGB & Node-2, plus 3 EMER-2 books with follow-up procedures, in SM, Lab & FGB.]

Jeff also initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run, the 54th, 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 laptop. [Today’s run was a Clean Run, instead of the usual automatic run. The current GC/DMS is the backup unit which has not run for over a year. A Clean Run initiates 3 hours of heating & cooling cycles, to ensure that all of the internal components are cleaned. Each cycle heats the box to a different temperature and cools it back down. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). 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.]

Williams performed the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and also evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

The CDR also confirmed (via OSTPV crew note) the presence of an adequate number of wire ties in their proper Node-1 location. [Wire ties (6 each of length 8in & 14 in) will be required for securing the T2 treadmill thumbwheel and Y-axis jam nut in an upcoming activity.]

FE Suraev had 4 hrs set aside to perform the periodic Russian SPOPT Fire Detection & Suppression System maintenance, today in the FGB, by carefully dismantling its IDZ-2 smoke detectors, cleaning their ionizing needles and then reinstalling the sensors. [Part of the job is to inspect surrounding areas behind panels and to clean those surfaces with microbial growth wipes.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s Soyuz TMA-17 rendezvous & docking, Jeff worked with Maxim to set up and then test the TV downlink from the 21S and SM over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in “streaming video” packets. After the test, conducted with the RSCE “PingMaster” application, Jeff deactivated the A31p again. [The setup involves the designated A31p laptop at the Lab RWS for converting analog-to-digital video, the video connection from the SONY HVR-Z1J digital high-definition camcorder and the ZVK LIV Experimental Video Complex in the SM over the MPEG-2 encoder. The KL-211 MPEG-2 Encoder uses the RSS1 A31p laptop (for monitoring the digital video) and a U.S. SSC (Station Support Computer) A31p laptop (for converting analog TV from Russian PAL mode to U.S. NTSC). The video hardware connection is checked with a network ping test. The digital video transmission is carried over JSL(Joint Station LAN)/Ethernet plus OCA/Ku-Band to MCC-Houston and from there to Moscow via the ESA Gateway for COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen transmission to TsUP-Moscow, plus transfer of the USOS analog video of the RS ISS video downlink via Streambox 2 to NISN (i.e., the Moscow Ostankino communication hub).]

At ~1:20pm EST, Williams held the periodic science conference with payload specialists at POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center, Huntsville, AL), involving IPM (Increment Payload Manager) Keith Beckman, LIS (Lead Increment Scientist) Vic Cooley, and POM (Payload Operations Manager) Pat Patterson to discuss payload topics.

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

Later, Jeff 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).

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

Soyuz TMA-17/21S launched yesterday on time at 4:52pm EST, with Exp-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, 9:05am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 339.4 km
Apogee height – 344.8 km
Perigee height – 334.0 km
Period -- 91.32 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008025
Solar Beta Angle -- 2.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 131 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,548

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/22/09 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S docking at FGB nadir -- 5:54:30pm with O. Kotov (CDR-23)/S. Noguchi/T.J. Creamer
--------------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