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December 14, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/14/10

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

>>>>Today 48 years ago (1962), NASA’s Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft from Earth to fly by the planet Venus. Also today 38 years ago (1972), CDR Eugene Cernan & LMP Harrison Schmitt of Apollo 17 completed their third and final spacewalk at Taurus-Littrow; Gene thus became the last person to date to walk on the Moon.<<<<

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 continued his current 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.]

Also at wake-up, Kelly performed another session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol, today starting a sleep shift sequence. [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. 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.]

FE-1 Kaleri completed his 3rd 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. [Skripochka assisted 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 Kaleri taking documentary photography, Skripochka set up the Russian Tekh-38 VETEROK (“Breeze”) science hardware and then used it to take aero-ionic concentration measurements in MRM1 Rassvet, MRM2 Poisk and SM (Service Module), about 20 cm away from panels and near the transfer hatch of each module. [Veterok uses an air scrubber fan (VOV), air ion concentration meter (IKAR-1) and anemometer-thermometer (TAN-1) for measuring charged particles at various locations near the running VOV. The experiment studies the implementation of alternative methods for cleaning & revitalizing the atmosphere by pumping the air with an electrostatic fan through an electric filter and saturating the airflow with light air ions of positive and negative polarity, which may solve the problem of removing organic trace contaminants from the air, both in the entire station volume and in the space behind the panels. Measurements were taken with IKAR-1 and TAN-1 of particle field polarity (plus/minus), concentration, temperature & velocity and downloaded to the RSE-1 laptop.]

Alex Kaleri set up the new Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal) with its electromagnetic unit and replaceable container for another run and initiated operation. The hardware was later disassembled and stowed, and the video footage, obtained with two SONY HVR-Z1J camcorders, was downlinked. [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS (Russian Segment): condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

CDR Kelly removed the 4 alignment guides from CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.

Afterwards, the CDR conducted the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling in Node-3 using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Scott then undertook a session of the U.S. PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol as subject, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on BP (blood pressure) & ECG (electrocardiogram) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer in the US Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG equipment and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Oleg Skripochka assisted as Operator/CMO. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

Later, Scott completed his 3rd onboard session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and going through the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

FE-2 Skripochka monitored the ground-commanded activation/operation of the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator) by checking the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [Temperature is checked twice, about 3-4 minutes apart, with the MultiMeter with temperature probe. The standard manual check is required because the gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had to be turned off while the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system & VD-SU control mode were temporarily deactivated for the GFI]

After yesterday’s replacement of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system’s air pump system (VN), the FE-1 today re-connected the VN to the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system, and Skripochka later activated the system in Mode 5.

Kaleri undertook a session with the MedOps protocol MO-5, “Cardiovascular Evaluation during Graded Exercises” on the VELO cycle ergometer, a standard Russian fitness test, assisted by Skripochka as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The 50-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup via VHF and telemetry monitoring from RGS (Russian Ground Site, 12:36pm EST), uses the Gamma-1 ECG (electrocardiograph) equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. For the graded exercise, the subject works the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each. Data output involves a kinetocardiogram, rheoplethysmogram, rheoencephalogram and a temporal pulsogram.]

Scott Kelly supported JAXA in the final part of the ground-commanded HTV PROX (H-II Transfer Vehicle Proximity Operations) checkout activities in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), focused on the HCP (Hardware Command Panel). [Yesterday’s checkout, during which commands were sent from the HCP to the ground HTV simulator at TNSC GS (Tanegashima Space Center Ground Station/Japan), was successful, confirming a successful RF (Radio Frequency) link between the ISS and the ground. The crew will use the HTV PROX during HTV2 rendezvous operations scheduled for 1/27/2011.]

In support of troubleshooting the damaged SLC (Stray Light Cover) and video multipurpose arms at the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), Scott took situational photography of the hardware in question. [MSG team is developing procedures to repair SLC & Arms, but requires photographs detailing the current level of damage.]

The CDR then reviewed reference material for the next SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) test session, in preparation for tomorrow’s planned crew conference on the upcoming activity (“HelioSPHERES” competition).

Alex continued the software upgrading of Russian laptops, today on the Remote RS Laptop in the US Lab.

Using the standard pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41), Kaleri conducted a lengthy bladder leak check on the BV2 Rodnik water tank of Progress 39P (#401), docked at SM aft. [After the compressor had inflated the internal tank bladder for about 30 min, it was shut down, and the “in-going” KN2 valve was closed. The KV2 tank valve external to the inflated bladder was then opened to allow monitoring of any outgoing air flow. No air means no leak. 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.]

Oleg completed the quarterly maintenance inspection of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization), checking the exercise harnesses and SBS (Series Bungee System) bungees as well as the witness mark on the aft right stabilizer spring fastener (looking for potential dislocation).

Scott Kelly serviced 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. [This activity was scheduled yesterday but was deferred.]

Scott also finished locating & gathering the equipment needed for the upcoming OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) “bleed & feed” activity, including hoses, adapters, and bags. All required hardware was found. [Currently, OGA 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.]

Before sleeptime, Sasha Kaleri is to initiate overnight (10-hr) charging of the KPT-2 Piren battery for the Piren-V Pyro-endoscope, part of the Russian BAR science instruments suite (other BAR components being the ТТМ-2 Anemometer-Thermometer, the charger cable, and the video display unit). [Piren-V, a video-endoscope with pyrosensor, is part of the methods & means being used on ISS for detecting tiny leaks in ISS modules which could lead to cabin depressurization. Objective of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Besides Piren-V, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

FE-2 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.]

The CDR replaced old cue cards for the MSS (Mobile Service System) at the Cupola and Lab RWS (Robotic Workstations) with freshly printed copies of two new uplinked cue cards for upcoming Robotics operations (for “free-flyer capture” & “free-flyer release”).

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR/PFE), 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).

FE-1 & FE-2 were scheduled for their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Oleg at ~1:50pm, Alex at ~3:15pm EST.

At ~11:45am EST, CDR Scott Kelly supported a PAO TV event of two media interviews, one with CNN Radio (Jim Ribble), the other with KRIV-TV, Houston, TX (Tom Zizka).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were Yaounde, Cameroon (CEO archive has neither photography nor cloud-free satellite imagery of this target. However, rare combination of mid-morning timing and fair skies may have permitted views of this capital city of one and half million. As ISS tracked southwestward over the Sahel Region of central Africa, Scott was to begin a nadir mapping strip to try and capture this city located inland within a rolling forested area of the country), NW Glaciers of N. Patagonian Ice Field (ISS had a midday pass over this target area with fair weather expected. Approach for nadir views was from the west-northwest. The Northern Patagonian Ice Field is the smaller of two major ice fields in the Southern Andes Mountains. Trying for detailed views of the northwestern glaciers: San Quintin, San Raphael, Gualas, and Reicher), and SW Glaciers of S. Patagonian Ice Field (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass over this target area with partly cloudy weather expected. Approach for nadir views was from the west-southwest. The Southern Patagonian Ice Field is the larger of two major ice fields in the Southern Andes Mountains on the Chile-Argentina border. Trying for detailed views of the southwestern glaciers: Europa, Guilardi, Calvo, Asia, and Amalia).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:31am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude �C 349.6 km
Apogee height �C 354.9 km
Perigee height �C 344.3 km
Period -- 91.53 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007896
Solar Beta Angle -- 20.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours �C 100 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) �C 69,184.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S launch �C 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 �C ~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 �C 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 �C ELC3, AMS-02) launch �C ~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 �C 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 �C Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/28S launch �C D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 �C 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 �C 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 �C 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 �C 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 �C Soyuz TMA-26/31S launch �C S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 �C 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 �C K.Ford (CDR-34)/O. Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/25/12 �C 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 C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/xx/12 �C 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 �C Soyuz TMA-29/34S launch.
03/xx/12 �C 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