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December 13, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/13/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 3 of Increment 26.

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 undertook his 9th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. His required ~10h 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.]

Kelly also started another week-long activity with the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Scott’s 4th session, transferring data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure during a SLEEP session, US 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.]

Kaleri 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: 11/22-11/23).]

Afterwards, FE-1 unstowed the Russian A31p laptops RS2 & RS3 and upgraded their displays with new software from CD. The media carrier was then stowed for more activity tomorrow.

Oleg Skripochka meanwhile performed the periodic/long-term inspection of the SM RO (Service Module Working Compartment)’s pressure shell and ring, looking for any moisture, deposits, mold, corrosion and pitting behind panels 130, 131, 134, 135, 138, 139 and also underneath the TVIS treadmill (where deposit was discovered in the past) and the cold plates (where SNT and STR lines are installed). Last time done: 8/16/10. [The inspection of the hull surface, which is coated with a primer and dark-green enamel, is done using cleaning napkins to wipe the area in question if required and reporting results to the ground. The hull inspection looks for changed color and cavities; if cavities are found, they are to be measured for depth (with chewing gum) after cleaning. Digital photographs of the shell before and after the removal of deposits were to be made for documentation.]

Later, Skripochka continued the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, repressed on 11/8 with nitrogen (N2) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2), by conducting the usual pressure check and recharging it with N2 from BPA-1M Nitrogen Purge Unit as required to verify the unit’s hermeticity. [Objective of the monthly checkout of the spare BZh, which has been in stowage since March 2007, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

Kelly also started 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 first session with the newly replaced GC/DMS unit #1004, after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 7 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop (due to a software glitch, the software needs to be opened, closed, and then reopened in order to ensure good communication between GC/DMS and SSC-12). 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.]

Other activities completed by CDR Scott Kelly in the course of the day were –
  • Moving the CEVIS exercise machine in the US Lab to prevent user interference with the WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack [The ergometer was moved by two seat track holes in the “up” direction, followed by closeout photography showing the new locations of the four isolators and an overall view],
  • Servicing the ARED advanced resistive exerciser by conducting its periodic maintenance & visual inspection, including evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration, checking out the rails & rollers and greasing the Y- and Z-axes rails & rollers, also
  • Performing repair on the ARED by tying a knot in its exercise rope to reduce excess slack and prevent the splice from entering the exit pulleys,
  • Supporting JAXA ground-commanded HTV PROX (H-II Transfer Vehicle Proximity Operations) equipment checkout activities in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) [by setting up the video camcorder for live coverage of Monitor 3 overlays, then activating & monitoring the HCP (Hardware Command Panel) in test mode for its selfcheck and subsequent downlink of BSP-A (Baseband Signal Processor string A) and TRX-A function performance & command in real time to the ground HTV simulator at TNSC GS (Tanegashima Space Center Ground Station/Japan)],
  • Conducting regular service on the JAXA MI IPU (Marangoni Inside / Image Processing Unit) in Kibo by removing & replacing 5 HDs (Hard Disks) of the VRU (Video Recording Unit),- #1076, #1077, #1078, #1079, #1080 [the replaced VRU disks (#1071, #1072, #1073, #1074, #1075) were put in a Ziploc bag for return to SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba)],
  • Cleaning up the failed MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2) by wiping down its dewars internally to dry them (to prevent microbial growth when the rack has warmed up to ambient temperature), then re-inserting the trays with ice bricks (+4 degC) in Dewars 3 & 4 back in MELFI-2,
  • Performing the periodic manual filling of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV flush water tank in Node-3 (which took about 31 min), [as always, WHC was unavailable during this time],
  • Conducting the regular battery change & re-calibration of the two hand-held CSA-O2 (CSA-Oxygen) instruments #1041 and #1045, the 11th calibration after their delivery on Mission 20A (done last: 11/17); this was followed by the routine maintenance on the prime & backup CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units by replacing their batteries with a new one, then zero-calibrating the instruments [CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Following zero calibration, the prime unit (#1058) was re-deployed at the SM Central Post], and
  • Adjusting the OGS (Oxygen Generation System) sample adapter, setting its metering valve to near-minimum flow in preparation for the upcoming OGS “Bleed & Feed” activity [Currently, OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) operation is restricted due to low pH value in the recirculation loop water. The upcoming corrective activity should mitigate the low water pH by bleeding water out of the recirculation loop and replacing it with water from the potable bus.]

FE-2 Oleg Skripochka unstowed a specific medical equipment cable from the Medlocker and marked it with a bar code label to prevent its loss in future activities.

Oleg then 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.]

Later, FE-2 set up the pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41), replaced the usual A-R transfer hose with a T2PrU air line, emptied the BV1 Rodnik water storage tank of Progress 40P (#408), docked at DC1 Nadir, into two EDV containers, and started the standard bladder compression & leak check of BV1, to get it ready for urine transfer. Flush water was to be transferred to an EDV or caught in a towel. Rodnik BV2 bladder compression on 40P 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.]

Activities completed by FE-1 Alex Kaleri included –
  • A health check of the Neptune-ME crew console (PKSA) in the Soyuz TMA-01M/24S (#701) spacecraft’s SA Descent Module [connecting the RS1 laptop and checking comm between it and the console, the InPU (Integrated Control Panel) and the SPS processor board],
  • The regular inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness),
  • 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],
  • The periodic cleaning of the screen of the BVN air heater fan assembly in the Orbital Module (BO) of the Soyuz 24S, docked at the MRM2 Poisk port,
  • Regular service on the Russian LIV/106/01 video complex system in the SM by cleaning its UN941 voltage converter’s vent grille with the vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment,
  • Scan-checking on the periodic refresh of the IUS AntiVirus program in the Russian VKS network laptops RSS1, RSS2 & RSK1 which are loaded automatically from the ground (RSS2 once a week on Friday, RSS1 & RSK1 from a special software program on RSS2), and updating the Norton AV database on the auxiliary (non-networked) machines RSK2, RSE1 & RSE-med,
  • Conducting an audit/inventory of SSVP (Docking & Internal Transfer System) accessories, including consolidating their kits [located at various locations in Soyuz 24S, FGB, SM, DC1, MRM2, and MRM1],
  • The regular weekly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) [which 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], and
  • 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).

As a special, late-added task, Skripochka performed troubleshooting on the Vozdukh CO2 removal system which stopped operating last Saturday (12/11) due to the air pump system. It failed again yesterday when ground controllers tried to restart it. Oleg today worked with the ground to conduct functionality tests on the pump in an attempt to get it back to operation.

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), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

At ~11:05am EST, Scott Kelly had his standard PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:00am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.7 km
Apogee height – 354.9 km
Perigee height – 344.4 km
Period -- 91.53 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007788
Solar Beta Angle -- 17.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 79 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,168.

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