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12-31-2009
December 31, 2009
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/31/09

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.
Happy New Year’s Eve!
(16 times for the Exp-22 crew of CDR Jeff Williams, FE-1 Maksim Suraev, FE-4 Oleg Kotov, FE-5 Soichi Noguchi & FE-6 T.J. Creamer while counting down to 2010!)

After wakeup (6:00am EST), the crew regularly has 1.5 hrs of Postsleep time for Station Morning Inspection, Morning Toilet & Breakfast.

Flight Engineer Suraev terminated his sixth 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 did 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.]

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.]

The CDR conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Collapsible Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The current card (22-0003D) lists 86 CWCs (~2,114.6 L total) for the five types of water now identified on board: 1. technical water (19 CWCs with 726.9 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 204.2 L in 7 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 388.5 L in 9 bags still requiring sample analysis, 2. potable water (9 CWCs with 366.7 L, of which 66.6 L in 2 bags require sample analysis & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use, 3. iodinated water (53 CWCs with 1000.8 L), 4. condensate water (3 empty CWCs), and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (1 CWC with 20.2 L, 1 empty CWC). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Williams & Creamer downloaded the ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) data from Jeff’s recent (12/9) Ambulatory Monitoring session, using a relatively new ICV procedure to download data from all devices directly to the HRF (Human Research Facility) PC1. [Jeff did the bulk of the download from the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) cards and Actiwatches, while TJ performed the concluding operations.]

Oleg Kotov had 2h 50m for undertaking his first onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, with Suraev acting as Operator. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, and Oleg reported to TsUP-Moscow on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

CDR, FE-4, FE-5 & FE-6 performed the mandatory 2.5-hr OBT (onboard training) Emergency Egress Equipment Readiness drill for the case of rapid cabin depressurization, with Russian & US specialists standing by at both control centers for crew questions or comments, followed by a 10-min debrief with ground specialists. [Background: Purpose of the drill is to (a) familiarize the station residents with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) perform a survey of each hatch for drag-through cables (and reporting results to MCC), (c) work through the RS (Russian Segment) hardware deactivation procedures, (c) practice crew emergency joint activities, and (d) identify crew comments and suggestions that arise during training regarding crew procedures and equipment. In the RS, the crew usually translates along the emergency egress paths to the SM (Service Module) aft port (where Soyuz 20S is currently docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the US Segment (USOS) the inspection usually focuses readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBA (portable breathing assembly) and PFE (portable fire extinguisher), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The checks also include Node-2, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). The exercise was topped off by a debrief with the ground via S-band. During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.]

The FE-1 serviced the running BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM, harvesting samples of the Mizun lettuce plants after deactivating the equipment and taking documentary photography. For downloading accumulated data from the BU Control Unit, the hardware was temporarily turned back on. The harvested samples were discarded. [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.]

Afterwards, Maxim conducted the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWC (#1008) to the RS for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & (waste) hydrogen, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. If bubbles are detected in the EDV, they are separated (by centrifugation) into another EDV. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

With Williams mentoring, Noguchi & Creamer again had time reserved for regular handover/familiarization activities, for about 2h45m for Soichi and ~1h45m for TJ.

In the SM, FE-1 Suraev conducted a quick check of the command & data link between the Russian RS1 laptop and the KTsP (Central Post Computers), TsVM (Central Computer) & TVM (Terminal Computer) systems, running a test routine and later turning RS1 off again after reporting to TsUP-Moscow.

Afterwards, Suraev had ~2 hrs set aside to conduct the periodic electrical plug-in audit in the RS, i.e. SM, FGB, DC1 (Docking Compartment), MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2), plus PPS-31 & PPS-26 panels in SM. [Using an uplinked tracking list, Max compared the onboard situation (panel locations, power outlet designations, users, operating mode, nominal current load) against listed plug-in data, updated the listing where necessary and prepared the file for downlink via OCA.]

Additional tasks for the FE-1 consisted of –
  • Conducting the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways [inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1],
  • Performing the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM [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] and
  • Completing 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).

All five crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-4).

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 again 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.

FE-1 & FE-4 had their year-end PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), both together at ~7:45am EST.

At ~3:00am, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:25am, the two Russian Flight Engineers had another audio/phone call from Energia, TsUP and IMBP (Institute of Medico-Biological Problems) management with New Year greetings.

At ~2:10pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Cape Town, South Africa (looking right for this capital city, which faces north towards Robben Island, the visual cue for the crew), Simon's Bay, Cape Point, S. Africa (H.M.S. Beagle site: Looking right, on the near side of the Cape Point peninsula. Landing in June 1836, Darwin immediately noted the famous Capensis flora of the tip of southern Africa, mentioning “the pleasure which the sight of an entirely new vegetation never fails to communicate…”), Montevideo, Uruguay (H.M.S. Beagle site: Looking right on the coast for this capital port city. When he landed in Montevideo in the cold winter of July 1832, Darwin noted that “some of the smallest birds are most brilliantly coloured; much more so than those in Brazil.”), Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand (H.M.S. Beagle site: Looking left on the far side of the great peninsula of New Zealand’s North Island. Darwin landed here in December 1835, after his stay in Tahiti. He noted appropriately that “The communication between the inhabitants of different parts of the Bay, is … almost entirely kept up by boats.”), and White Island Volcano, New Zealand (looking left for an almost circular island. The volcano continues the NE trend of the line of mainland volcanoes).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:52am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 338.7 km
Apogee height – 343.9 km
Perigee height – 333.4 km
Period -- 91.31 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007822
Solar Beta Angle -- 28.5 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.77
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 48 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 63,705

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