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December 10, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/10/10

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

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 inspect the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Kelly spent several hours in ESA’s COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to replace the failed DMS PWS1 (Data Management System / Portable Work Station) A31p laptop with a spare unit. [After setting up & adjusting the VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) to cover the R&R activities for the ground, Kelly deactivated PWS1 and disconnected its power & data cables, then prepared a spare A31p, first removing its HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for stowage, then inserting the HDD from the failed COL-PWS1 instead. Scott also removed the failed laptop’s battery to stowage and modified the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) of the new PWS1 to comply with the current Cycle 12 software. The DMS PWS was finally rebooted.]

Later, Scott Kelly supported JAXA in uploading a file to the SSEDSU semiconductor memory unit in the JEMRMS (JEM Robotic Manipulator System) console by activating the JEMRMS RLT (Robotics Laptop). After the file was installed, RLT and RMS monitors were turned off again.

FE-1 Kaleri terminated the overnight (10-hr) charging of the Piren battery for the Russian KPT-2 equipment which the flight engineers used yesterday in the RS (Russian Segment).

Alex & Oleg continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, today working in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok). [Using a vacuum cleaner and soft brush, Oleg cleaned the detachable VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) plus the fixed GZhT4 grill, and Sasha replaced the PS1 & PS2 dust filter cartridges.]

In the Soyuz 24S spacecraft, Kaleri performed more troubleshooting on the SA Descent Module’s “Neptun-ME” console (PKSA) which failed during ascent, today downloading a log file from the InPU display unit to the RS1 laptop for subsequent ground analysis, supported by ground specialist tagup. [Preliminary results from the Russian specialists have indicated that the problem was hardware related.]

FE-2 Skripochka completed the periodic transfer of condensate water to an RS EDV container for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & hydrogen, filling the designated KOV (condensate water) EDV container from a CWC (Contingency Water Container). When 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 Elektron’s 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.]

The CDR meanwhile performed the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.]

Kelly then worked in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) in preparation for the arrival of the JAXA HTV-2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 2) next January, starting with the HTV HCP (Hardware Command Panel) and five HCP power & data cables. [New jumpers will be required to provide redundant power to the HTV when it is berthed to the Node-2 Zenith port. While the nominal berthing port for HTV is Node-2 Nadir, the Japanese space vehicle will have to be transferred to Node-2 Zenith in order to allow STS-133/Discovery docking to Node-2 Forward in February.]

For the upcoming relocation of the ROBoT (Robotics Onboard Trainer) activity from Node-1 to the Lab (loc. S5) for HTV-2 OBT (Onboard Training) activities, flight controllers uplinked several questions to Scott Kelly to downlink his assessment of the suitability of the S5 location for the planned drills. [ROBoT uses DOUG (Dynamic Operations Ubiquitous Graphics) software, a hand controller and two T61p laptops (one for graphics, one for the simulation) for on-orbit training of MSS (Mobile Service System) and SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations.]

Scott then worked on the rack at loc. S5, uninstalling & removing the brackets from the Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation) to stowage, to make room for the ROBoT relocation.

In the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab loc. S3, CDR Kelly installed the 3 PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) to protect the rack from external loading events such as dockings & reboosts.

Alex Kaleri set up pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41), replacing the usual A-R transfer hose with a T2PrU air line, and started the standard bladder compression & leak check of the BV2 Rodnik water storage tank of Progress 39P (#407), docked at SM Aft, to get it ready for urine transfer. Flush water was to be transferred to an EDV or caught in a towel. Rodnik bladder compression on Progress 40P (#408), docked at DC1 Nadir, was performed on 12/8. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

Alex also set up the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) hardware at SM (Service Module) window #9 for another sun-glint observation session, using the hand-held spectrometer (without use of the TIUS three-stage rate sensor), synchronized with the coaxially mounted NIKON D2X camera for taking snapshots, and later downloaded the data to laptop RS1 for subsequent downlink via OCA. [RUSALKA is a micro spectrometer for collecting detailed information on observed spectral radiance in the near IR (Infrared) waveband for measurement of greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth atmosphere.]

Skripochka & Kaleri had another 3.5 hrs between them for unloading Progress 40P (at DC-1 Nadir) and transferring cargo to the ISS for stowage, keeping track in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.

Oleg also completed the regular weekly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization). [This is primarily an inspection of the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices) in contingency configuration, SLD cables for fraying and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.]

Wearing light-weight cryo gloves for protection, Scott performed IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) in Kibo JPM, switching activities from the failed MELFI-2 facility in the US Lab to the newly activated MELFI-3. [After clearing out all MELFI-3 trays and stowing them, the CDR transferred the MELFI-2 trays into MELFI-3, Dewar by Dewar, to assist in quicker cooldown of the latter once it is activated. MELFI-2 was left without trays to speed its warm-up, reducing the condensation that would have formed on the trays. Background: On 12/8, MELFI-2 spontaneously went into Autostop mode, as it did the week before. As a short term backup for MELFI-1, JAXA has agreed to power up & operate Kibo’s MELFI-3 along with MELFI-1. Long term requirements for supporting MELFI-3 in the JPM along with MELFI-1 are being assessed and a decision will be forthcoming on the plan for leaving MELFI-3 activated. Meanwhile, ground specialists are analyzing the root cause of the MELFI-2 failure.]

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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

Scott Kelly completed another weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of the 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 for recording changes. [Today’s newly uplinked card (26-0045) lists 124 CWCs (2,715.2L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (28 CWCs with 1150.0 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 712.7 L in 17 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 300.1 L in 7 bags for flushing only with microbial filter, and 23.0 L in 1 bag for flushing only; 2. potable water (no CWCs); 3. iodinated water (85 CWCs with 1,538.7 L for reserve; 4. condensate water (6.3 L in 1 bag to be used only for OGA, plus 7 empty bags); and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (20.2 L in 1 CWC from hose/pump flush & 1 empty bag). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

A new job added to the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list is for Oleg Skripochka to perform the periodic inspection of RS windows to identify any deterioration of condition compared to the inspection results from previous expeditions (new caverns, scratches, spots or blurs affecting the glass transparency or further aggravation of older defects), in the SM (##1, 2, 5 ,13, 14, 26), DC1 (VL1/EV hatch 1, VL2/EV hatch 2) and MRM2 (VL1, VL2).

At ~3:15am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:30am, Oleg & Alex linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly RS IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~2:10pm, the three crewmembers had their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director for ISS at JSC/MCC-Houston.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Conjunction Alert: Flight controllers continue to monitor a conjunction with a piece of orbital debris, Object 25502 (an Atlas 2A Centaur rocket body) with TCA (Time of Closest Approach) on Saturday, 12/11, at 4:42pm EST, still classified as “medium concern” at this time. Observations continue. Decision date for DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver): today, ~5:12pm EST. DAM TIG (Time of Ignition): 2:24pm. Note: This is an especially critical time for a DAM/reboost due to rendezvous/docking constraints posed by HTV-2 and STS-133/Discovery.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were Yaounde, Cameroon (looking right, after crossing the Sanaga River. Visibility cues are the river and the city region itself which is a broadly deforested patch within the lush rainforest. Yaounde [Pop. 1.43 million] is the second largest city in the Cameroons after the port of Douala), and Central China–Korea night pass (looking right for ~2.5 mins towards the coastal cities of China; then left for ~2 mins for the Beijing and surrounding cities.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:28am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 350.0 km
Apogee height – 355.2 km
Perigee height – 344.7 km
Period -- 91.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007837
Solar Beta Angle -- 6.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 134 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,119.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
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-------------
12/20/10 -- SPDM (Robotics) Test
01/20/11 -- HTV2 launch
01/21/11 -- Russian EVA-27
01/24/11 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/27/11 -- HTV2 berthing (Node-2 zenith)
01/28/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking (DC1)
02/03/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launch – ~1:34am --- NET (no earlier than)
02/21/11 -- 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)
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-------------
04/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) launch – ~3:15am --- NET
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-------------

To send holiday greetings to the crew and get more information about the space station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station.