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December 28, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/28/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 5 of Increment 22.

FE-4 Oleg Kotov started the day with the regular daily checkup of the aerosol filters at the Elektron O2 generator. [The filters were installed by FE-1 Suraev 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.]

CDR Williams & FE-6 Creamer began another week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), TJ’s first, donning their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Williams also completed another Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol, today joined by TJ Creamer & Soichi Noguchi who will be participating in the RST program. [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.]

Before breakfast & exercise, Maxim Suraev & Jeff Williams each completed a 10-min session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), which measures the red cell count of the blood, with one of them acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer, Russian: “Examiner”). It was the first session for Max, the second for Jeff. [The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit's minicentrifuge, and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time. After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).]

Afterwards, the FE-1 worked in the SM (Service Module) on the ASU toilet facility, performing the monthly 30-min. maintenance/servicing of the facility by changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.

FE-4 Kotov upgraded the Russian RSE-med A31p laptop with new software for the BIMS experiment program, Orlan-MK spacesuit BRTA-2 telemetry firmware and Symantec AntiVirus upgrade, supported by ground specialists tagup via S-Band.

Later, Oleg conducted a session with the Russian science payload BIMS (MBI-22) which included otoscopic, nasal, dental and dermatological exams for evaluating the skin and mucous membranes for any changes over long-duration space missions, based on video and digital photography to capture areas of skin, gums, nasal passages and the ear canal. [BIMS objective is to conduct several experimental sessions in the RS (Russian Segment) for filming skin portions and mucous membranes of crewmembers. It is part of a comprehensive research into using telemedical technologies for getting information from distant space crews for medical support of human space missions and information for life science flight studies. The BIMS experiment uses image capturing (video & still photo), an otoscope (or auriscope - the familiar medical device for visualizing the outer & middle ear, nose and upper throat area), the RSE-med laptop and PCMCIA memory cards, with data files downlink via BSR-TM to study small skin sites, conduct otorhinolaryngologic examinations (external acoustic meatus, eardrums, nasal passages), and do stomatologic (i.e., medical study of mouth and its diseases) examination of gums and teeth.]

The CDR initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run (the 56th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer). Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-12 laptop. [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.]

Later, Jeff performed the regular sensor calibration and check on the CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1046 & #1063.

Williams also conducted another periodic manual filling of the U.S. WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) flush water tank (EDV-SV), during which the WHC was unavailable for use.

With the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control mode temporarily deactivated and the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber switched to automatic mode, FE-1 Suraev worked several hours on the SUBA/Onboard Equipment Control System, supported by ground specialist tagup, –
  • setting up and powering up the BSMM (Payload Matching Unit/computer) for operation,
  • copying data files of the EXPOSE science experiment stored on it (without deleting them), then
  • disconnecting the computer and
  • replacing it with a new BSMM, followed by
  • reconnecting telemetry cabling, and close-out.

BITS2-12 and VD-SU were later reactivated and Vozdukh switched back to manual mode (Mode 5).

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.]

Maxim also completed the periodic update of the AntiVirus program in four Russian VKS auxiliary laptops (RSS2, RSK1, RSK2, RSE1), which are not loaded from the ground, from a new uplinked program copy of Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, first scanning the latter, then transferring the database by flash drive to the other computers and scanning them one by one.

Starting a new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of ventilation systems, Oleg worked in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), cleaning the grilles of interior panels (201, 301, 401) plus the mesh screen of its central ventilation fan TsV1.

FE-5 Noguchi conducted the periodic offloading of condensate from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier’s condensate tank into a CWC (Collapsible Water Container, #1062) slated for processing.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Soichi worked on the Dewey’s Forest science payload, retrieving its PUs (Plant Units) from MELFI1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), watering the PUs and installing them into the PU Case, located under a GLA (General Luminaire Assembly). [Since Dewey’s Forest requires continuous light for growth, the crew was asked to keep the GLA on a much as possible. Dewey’s Forest, one of the Japanese educational payloads, is intended to show how gravity controls the laws of nature and influences our ways of thinking. The project is “a catalyst to rediscover our relationship with plants on the ground and the age-old history of our gardens.”]

Afterwards, the FE-5 inserted two -32 degC ice bricks into MELFI1, Dewar 1 (Tray A, Tray Section 1).

The new crewmembers undertook standard orientation reviews of the onboard CMS (Crew Medical Systems) exercise procedures and hardware to prepare them for their upcoming physical exercise sessions. [TJ Creamer & Soichi Noguchi completed an overview of the exercise requirements. TJ then familiarized himself with the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) and transferred the automated CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) protocol on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) to his CEVIS PCMCIA memory card. Soichi Noguchi reviewed CEVIS and ARED procedures, and Oleg Kotov checked out the ARED which had not been available during his earlier tenure two years ago.]

Oleg also performed the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Suraev performed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

Kotov 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.]

Jeff & TJ spent another ~3.5 hrs on regular handover/familiarization activities, in which Soichi participated for about an hour.

Kotov, Creamer & Noguchi each had an hour to themselves for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Working from the discretionary task list, Maxim performed the regular status check on the running BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM.

The voluntary US “job jar” task list for TJ, Jeff & Soichi for today showed the periodic replacement of the EDV-U urine container in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment).

FE-4, FE-5 & FE-6 had their (currently frequent) PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Soichi at ~11:10am, TJ at ~11:40am, Oleg at ~1:10pm EST.

Williams, Suraev & Kotov worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-4), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-4). It was the first exercise session for Kotov. Creamer & Noguchi also performed their first exercise, for one hour each on the ARED.

Later, 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 ~4:30am, all crewmembers joined in a major PAO TV comm session with VIP guests assembled at TsUP-Moscow, hosting Russia’s Father Frost. [By old tradition, the wizard arrived from Veliky Ustug (Vologda Region) to congratulate the ISS crew and assembled space community personnel with the upcoming New Year and Orthodox Christmas. Participants included Roskosmos Head Anatoly Nikolaevich Perminov, Father Frost of All Russia, Grigory Novitsky (winner of a competition for the best greeting to the ISS crew from Smolensk), space industry leaders, government representatives of the Vologda Region, two singers, Cosmonaut Alexander Alexandrovich Skvortsov and the families of Suraev & Kotov. The five-member ISS crew extended their New Year greetings to all people of planet Earth.]

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:22am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 338.8 km
Apogee height – 344.1 km
Perigee height – 333.5 km
Period -- 91.31 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007894
Solar Beta Angle -- 25.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 57 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,658

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
01/05/10 -- PMA-3 relocation
01/11-12/10 -- ESP-3 relocation
01/14/10 -- Russian EVA-24
01/21/10 -- 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
03/18/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
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
04/04/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
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)
05/10/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/31/10 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
06/14/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
07/xx/10 -- US EVA-15
07/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-25
06/28/10 -- 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