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November 22, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/22/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 9 (last week) of Increment 25.

>>>Today 47 years ago (1963), President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX, six days after visiting Cape Canaveral for a 2-hr tour of the developing Apollo launch facilities.<<<

At day’s begin, FE-2 Skripochka conducted the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19/09 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [Oleg will again inspect the filters before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Wheelock, FE-6 Walker & FE-3 Kelly began a new week-long activity with the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), 8th for Wheels & Shannon, 3rd for Scott, transferring data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure during a SLEEP session, crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him/her as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition, using 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.]

After wakeup, FE-6 Walker closed out her last (FD180) NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K 24-hr urine collections (~1:25am EST) and subsequently performed her last generic blood draws, with FE-3 Kelly assisting with the phlebotomy as operator, then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [The operational products for Blood & Urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads have been revised, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they should verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

Also at wake-up, the three US crewmembers performed another session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is done 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 (therefore, for the next sleep shift sequence RST is scheduled twice daily from 11/1 through 5 days after the STS-133 crew lands). The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

After breakfast, FE-3 Kelly started his 6th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. His commensurate overnight fast started last night. [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.]

FE-2 Skripochka completed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated later tonight (~4:15pm EST) before sleeptime, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days. (Last time done: 11/1-11/2).]

In the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Kaleri collected the periodic KAV condensate water samples from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor (water recovery system) upstream of the FGS gas/liquid mixture filter/separator in an empty drink bag, a periodic check on the performance of the FGS, then removed sampler & separator and disposed of flush water as per instructions.

FE-2 Skripochka completed his 2nd session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [Kaleri was available to assist in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes, applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit and taking documentary photography. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

With the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Lab and Cupola windows closed early by CDR Wheelock, Fyodor Yurchikhin & Shannon Walker prepared for Soyuz 23S undocking next Thursday evening by spending an hour in the TMA-19 Descent Module (SA) supporting a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz MCS (Motion Control System SUD, Mode 2/“Docked”) which included pressurization of the KDU (Combined Propulsion System) Section 2 and Tank 2, a test of the pilot’s translational hand controller (RUD), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters (3:55am-4:17am). DPO lateral thrusters were not fired. [For the RST (rasstjkovkoy/undocking) test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 3:50am. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 2 during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) pass. Attitude control was returned to the USOS (U.S. Segment) at 4:45am.]

For their return to Earth on 23S, CDR Wheelock, FE-5 Yurchikhin & FE-6 Walker tried on their Kentavr suits for a fit check, followed by the standard Kentavr-PMC (Personal Medical Conference). [The “Centaur” garment (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Chibis" lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

Later, Fyodor, Wheels & Shannon spent three hours in the 23S Descent Module to conduct the Soyuz descent drill, a standard training exercise for every crew returning on this spacecraft. Results of the exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display on the Neptun-ME console), were subsequently reported to ground control at TsUP/Moscow. [The session includes a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console. The training uses a Descent Simulator application (Trenasher Spusk =descent trainer”) on the RSK1 laptop. During the actual descent, Yurchikhin, as Soyuz CDR, will occupy the middle couch, with Wheelock in the left & Walker in the right Kazbek couch. Pending the final State Commission decision at about 3.5h before undocking, 23S return is expected on 11/25 (next Friday, Eastern; 11/26 local).]

Yurchikhin also completed his 2nd preliminary orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test run with the Russian Chibis suit in preparation for his return to gravity, conducting the ODNT exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) on the TVIS treadmill. Alex Kaleri assisted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Fyodor was supported in his one-hour session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 5:31am. [The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmember’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. The preparatory training consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

As part of crew handover activities, Wheels & Scott worked in the U.S. A/L (Airlock) on a checkout of the EVA SAFER (Extravehicular Activity / Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue) units for the two ULF5 spacewalks, to be performed by Kopra and Drew.

Later, Doug initiated recharge on the second batch of EMU batteries in the A/L (Battery Stowage Assembly).

Also in the A/L, Scott Kelly worked on EMUs #3009 & #3011, setting them up with their SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals) and initiating the standard one-hour scrubbing process on the spacesuits’ and Airlock’s cooling water loops, filtering ionic and particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter), then reconfiguring the cooling loops and starting the ~2hr biocide (iodination) filtering. [Loop scrubbing, incl. iodination of the LCVGs (Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garments) for biocidal maintenance is done to eliminate any biomass and particulate matter that may have accumulated in the loops.]

In the new Soyuz TMA-01M/24S (#701) spacecraft, docked at the MRM2 “Poisk” at FGB nadir, Alex turned on the GA gas analyzer in the SA/Descent Module, a periodic atmosphere checkup.

FE-1 later performed the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s sediment trap insert (VU) in the SM. [The Russian SRVK-2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water.]

FE-3 Kelly began another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer); deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 3rd session with the new GC/DMS unit #1002, after the previous instrument (#1004) was used for approximately 40 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-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],

Scott also performed the weekly checkup on the running payload SPHINX (SPaceflight of Huvec: an Integrated eXperiment) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and reported on KUBIK-6 incubator status & temperature. [Located in the EDR (European Drawer Rack), SPHINX studies how HUVEC (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells) modify their behavior in microgravity, which could provide better knowledge of endothelial function and be useful for clinical applications. Endothelial cells make up a thin layer lining the interior surface of blood vessels and forming an interface between the circulating blood in the hollow space (“lumen”) of the vessel and the rest of the vessel wall. They line the entire circulatory system, from the heart to the smallest capillary, and reduce turbulence of the flow of blood, allowing the fluid to be pumped farther.]

FE-2 conducted the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors/meters in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways, skipping Soyuz hatches. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PrK–Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Then, Oleg worked in the Progress 40P (#408), docked at DC-1 Nadir, locating and unloading new DS-7A smoke detectors (SDs), then updating the IMS (Inventory Management System) on location change.

Skripochka also did the daily IMS 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).

Additionally, Oleg completed 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.]

Going by uplinked transfer instructions, Scott Kelly prepacked US cargo for loading on Soyuz 23S for its undocking on 11/25. [Return cargo goes in the Descent Module (SA), and other discarded stuff in the BO Orbital Module (BO), to be separated and jettisoned during reentry.]

At ~12:50pm EST, Kelly & Kaleri tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the ground-analyzed 400 & 800mm-lens photo/video training imagery that resulted from their latest RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) drills on 11/17 & 11/18 (FE-3) and 11/20 & 11/21 (FE-1). [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-133/Discovery/ULF5) not earlier than 12/3. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Alex spent ~2h in the aft section of the SM, inspecting and cleaning the MGK cover sealing mechanism of the hatch between the SM AO (Assembly Compartment) & Progress 39P. [After removing the protective covers with its fasteners, Sasha performed a visual and photographic inspection of the MGK mechanism, its internal gear and the entire MGK. With new filters installed in the vacuum cleaner, the system was then cleaned and the MGK drive cover re-installed nominally.]

Next, Kaleri prepared RS radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2) components for return to Earth, first removing two SPD differential pressure assemblies from the DC-1 (Docking Compartment) and transferring them to Soyuz 23S, then also dismantling the spherical “Phantom” and packing up its 32 detectors and 20 cases for transfer to 23S. [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Yurchikhin made preparations for a microbial air sampling session scheduled tomorrow with the MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, initiating charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP) and readying the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container (at -22 degC) for the samples. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Doug, Shannon & Fyodor again had an hour each set aside for personal crew departure preparations; these are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

CDR, FE-3 & FE-6 had their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Wheels at ~6:45am, Shannon at ~7:00am, Scott at ~1:20pm EST.

At ~8:35am EST, Shannon Walker supported a PAO TV event, being interviewed by the “Star Talk Radio” Program, New York, NY, hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the NY Hayden Planetarium.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-5/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-2). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:26am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 350.3 km
Apogee height – 355.0 km
Perigee height – 345.5 km
Period -- 91.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007077
Solar Beta Angle -- -70.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 75 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 68,838.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/25/10 -- ISS Reboost – 12:04am EST
11/25/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing ~8:22pm/11:46pm EST (End of Increment 25)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/03/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launch (2:52am EST) – NET (not earlier than)
12/05/10 -- STS-133/Discovery docking (FD3)
12/13/10 -- STS-133/Discovery landing (KSC: 10:03pm, Orbit 171, nominal)
12/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli (2:09pm)
12/17/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S docking (MRM1) (~3:09pm)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
01/20/11 -- HTV2 launch
01/24/11 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/27/11 -- HTV2 berthing (Node-2 nadir)
01/28/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking (DC1)
02/xx/11 -- Russian EVA-28
02/15/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” launch
02/19/11 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
02/24/11 -- HTV2 unberthing (Node-2 nadir)
02/26/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” docking (SM aft)
02/27/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) launch
03/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) docking
03/11/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) undock
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/20/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R.Garan/A.Samokutayev
03/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
04/26/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC1)
05/xx/11 -- Russian EVA-29
05/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/27S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/04/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” undock (SM aft)
06/21/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P docking (SM aft)
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-23/28S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/25/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
03/05/12 -- Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-23/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-24/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-26/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-26/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/09/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-27/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O. Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/25/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-26/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-28/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-28/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-27/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/34S launch.
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------