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12-29-2009
December 29, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/29/09

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

FE-1 Maksim Suraev 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 continued their week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), TJ’s first, logging overnight data from their Actiwatches 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.]

Before breakfast & exercise, FE-4 Kotov, FE-5 Noguchi & Creamer 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 all three. Williams & Suraev did theirs yesterday. [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).]

The two Russian Flight Engineers began a two-day activity on preparing and repairing Orlan spacesuit hardware, first collecting and readying the required equipment & tools, then conducting a thorough checkout of the CO2 (carbon dioxide) and delta-CO2 gas collection & return lines from the IK-0702M gas measurement unit to an Orlan suit (#6). [Afterwards, the IK-0702M lines were reconnected.]

As second Orlan activity today, Kotov upgraded the Transit-AM Controller B firmware of the BRTA-2 radio telemetry unit of Orlan-MK suit #6 and conducted a comprehensive checkout of the software after the reprogramming, which comprised all the Orlan ancillary equipment broken out earlier (e.g., BK-3M oxygen tank, LP-9 LiOH canister, GP-10 pressure glove, etc.). [Scheduled for tomorrow: Transit-AM firmware upgrade for Orlan-MK #4 & #5, and verification of proper IK-0702M line connection of Orlan #4.]

FE-1 Suraev also reconfigured the REGUL-Packet radiogram channel to work with REGUL-OS/string 1.

Working in the Poisk MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2), Maxim had ~2.5 hrs blocked out for troubleshooting the V2 ventilation fan which had shut down failed. [Troubleshooting steps, with the Elektronika MMTs-01 Multimeter, included temporary cross-connecting of fans V2 & V3, measuring voltages on the V2 power supply, checking connections, then restoring the original configuration. If V2 did not come up, the FE-1 was to disconnect it. There are two more fans for MRM2 ventilation, V1 & V3.]

Using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), Soichi Noguchi performed the periodic WRS (Water Recovery System) sample analysis, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to an SSC (Station Support Computer) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

After Noguchi relocated and set up the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) VCA1/Video Camera Assembly 1 to focus on the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) location, FE-6 Creamer went to work on the EMCS for the next 2.5 hrs, -
  • Replacing two screws, one each at EMCS main door locks 1 & 2 (the one on lock 2 was broken),
  • Installing the EMCS GRM (Gas Removal Module) FM003,
  • Replacing the water reservoirs on both EMCS rotors (swapping FM005 with FM001 on Rotor A, FM002 with FM010 on Rotor B),
  • Replacing three RBLSS (Rotor Based Life Support System) modules, one on Rotor A (swapping FM006 with FM002), two on Rotor B (replacing FM004 with FM003 and FM005 with FM008), and
  • Replacing six RBLSS filters on FM007 on Rotor A.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Soichi serviced MELFI1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), retrieving two -32 degC ice bricks and inserting them into the freezer’s Dewar 1 (Tray A, Section 2).

The FE-1 completed the periodic service of downloading data files from the BU (Control Unit) of the running BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM (Service Module) for archiving on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinking NIKON D2X photographs of the growing plants in the LADA greenhouse. [The archiving can take up to 5 hrs. Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

In the SM, FE-4 Kotov took current measurements on the running Elektron O2 generator behind panels 429 & 127, using the Fluke 105B Scopemeter on contacts of the BZh Liquid Unit.

Also in the Zvezda module, Suraev did the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Later, Maxim handled 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).

Jeff & Soichi spent another ~2h40m on regular handover/familiarization activities, in which TJ participated for about 1h40m.

The FE-5 & FE-6 completed the standard familiarization with the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill which cleared them for use of the exercise device.

Jeff Williams donned the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation (first time for him), then activated the harness for his exercise run on the T2 treadmill. [Afterwards, the CDR downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).]

Williams, Suraev & Kotov worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1), T2 advanced treadmill (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-4). It was the second exercise session for Kotov. Creamer & Noguchi also performed their second workouts for an hour each, TJ on the T2, Soichi on the CEVIS cycle ergometer.

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).

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.

CDR, FE-1 & FE-4 underwent their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Jeff at ~10:10am, Oleg at ~12:10pm, Max at ~2:10pm EST.

At ~9:00am, Jeff Williams & TJ Creamer (both U.S. Army officers) joined in a PAO TV event, downlinking messages of well-wishing, greetings and appreciation to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, via the American Forces Network, hosted by Air Force SSgt Todd Kabalan, with questions from soldiers.

At ~2:40pm, the five crewmembers are scheduled for a video conference with the MSG (Moscow Support Group) in Moscow.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Maputo, Mozambique (Maputo is the capital of Mozambique and is also the country's largest city. It is located on the west side of Maputo Bay, at the mouth of the Tembe River. The city should be have been almost directly under the orbit track), and Simon's Bay, Cape Point, S. Africa (HMS Beagle site. The most important aspect of this stop appears to have been Darwin's visit to the noted astronomer Sir John Herschel who lived near Cape Town. Darwin called this "the most memorable event which, for a long period, I have had the good fortune to enjoy." Both Darwin and Herschel had read the Lyell's famous Principles of Geology. Their discussion is not recorded, but they were thinking along similar lines: a few months earlier Herschel had written to Lyell praising the Principles as "a complete revolution in [its] subject, … altering entirely the point of view" in which scientists would think about geology; and as opening a way for bold speculation on "that mystery of mysteries, the replacement of extinct species by others.").

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:28am 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 -- 0.0007863
Solar Beta Angle -- 26.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 66 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,674

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
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