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December 16, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/16/10

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

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, his second day of the upcoming 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 terminated the overnight (10-hr) charging of the Piren battery for the Russian KPT-2 equipment which the two flight engineers used yesterday in the RS (Russian Segment).

CDR Kelly retrieved the EWIS (External Wireless Instrumentation System) antenna from its stowage in the JPL (JEM Pressurized Logistics Element) and installed it in the US Lab on top of the DDCU-1 (DC-to-DC-Converter Unit) rack at loc. P3, connected to the EWIS internal antenna data cable (W5449). [Once a final location in the Lab is determined based on functionality, permanent routing of the cable behind closeouts or in Lab standoff can be developed. Also, the entire W5449 cable is expected to be replaced with a new cable in the future to provide new functionality for an External Wireless Communication system for external payloads.]

Afterwards, Scott again set up & checked out the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) equipment in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) after yesterday’s dry-run, welcomed the students on the ground to the Zero Robotics competition (~9:00am EST) and then spent the next 2 hrs going through the test procedures and downlinking & taping the live action via HD video with the G1 camcorder. The satellites were then deactivated, the battery packs checked & removed, the beacons powered off, laptops power & data cables disconnected, and the equipment stowed. Kelly also relocated the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop from the JPM back to the Lab. [The Zero Robotics game is part of the “HelioSPHERES” 2010 ISS Competition conducted by 10 highschool student groups. Inspired by the problem of assembling a large solar power station in Earth orbit, the competition has three phases: Searching for a (virtual) solar panel that is lost in the test volume, flying to the panel & docking to it by aligning its Velcro face in a specific orientation, and returning with the panel to a (virtual) station and docking. Today, Scott ran the student-written code to control the satellites, with schools around the nation tuned in to watch the action live. SPHERES was originally developed to demonstrate the basics of formation flight and autonomous docking, using beacons as reference for the satellites, to fly formation with or dock to the beacon. A number of programs define various incremental tests including attitude control (performing a series of rotations), attitude-only tracking, attitude and range tracking, docking with handheld and mounted beacons, etc. The payload consists of up to three self-contained 8-inch dia. free-floating satellites which perform the various algorithms (control sequences), commanded and observed by the crew members which provide feedback to shape algorithm development. Each satellite has 12 thrusters and a tank with CO2 for propellant. The first tests, in May 2006, used only one satellite (plus two beacons – one mounted and one hand-held); a second satellite arrived on ULF1.1, the third on 12A.1. Formation flight and autonomous docking are important enabling technologies for distributed architectures.]

Kelly also filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Alex completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU (assenizatsionnoye ustroystvo) 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.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s rendezvous & docking of Soyuz TMA-20/25S, Oleg Skripochka turned off the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) to prevent RF interference with the KURS autopilot operation.

Scott 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. [The current 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.]

In the Kibo JPM, the CDR continued his support of the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) payload, re-running Sample 2 operations with new procedures which use the NIKON D2Xs camera (which requires manual image copying to an SSC laptop instead of automated ops.

At ~1:40pm, the three crewmembers were scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director or ISS at JSC/MCC-Houston.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were Brazzaville, Kinshasa, Congo (ISS had a nadir-viewing pass over this capital city. There was likely scattered cloud cover in the area. Brazzaville is located on the Congo River, directly across from Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Overlapping mapping frames of the Brazzaville-Kinshasa metropolitan areas were requested), Canberra, Australia (clear weather conditions were expected during this nadir-viewing overpass of Canberra. Overlapping frames of the metropolitan and surrounding rural area were requested to provide context for higher resolution imagery), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (this nadir-viewing overpass provided an opportunity for contextual photography of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. Overlapping frames taken with the 180mm lens provide useful context for existing high resolution imagery).

Soyuz 25S Flight: TMA-20/25S is performing nominally during its chase after the station, and its crew is reportedly feeling fine. Docking is scheduled tomorrow afternoon at ~3:12pm EST. [TMA-20 is one of the older Soyuz versions, without the digital technology used in the new TMA-M generation (like 24S), which Russian experts have called “a Leap into the 21st Century”. The analog motion, power & temperature control systems have been replaced in TMA-M with digital subsystems. A new onboard computer has taken the place of the 30-year old analog computer, and telemetry/comm equipment was also upgraded. All together 36 outdated systems were eliminated and replaced with 19 modern units. The work-over results in less power consumption and faster manufacturing flows.]
  • Flight Day 2 (12/16):
After the crew went to sleep last night at ~9:53pm EST, today’s schedule calls for the following sequence of activities: Crew wake-up at 6:36am, post-sleep activities; prepare BO workstation; uplink data for DV3 burn; crew tests RUO-2 & RUD-2 rotational and translational hand controllers; crew establishes DV3 attitude with hand controllers; execute DV3 burn (~2:49pm) using the SKD engine; Soyuz goes back to ISK “barbecue” attitude; crew swaps LiOH CO2 filters in BO (~3:49pm); crew sleep (8:45pm).
  • Flight Day 3 (12/17) :
Crew wake-up at ~6:26am; post-sleep activities; DV4; KURS-A heaters activated; data for automated rendezvous uplinked; crew dons Sokol pressure suits; SOA deactivated in BO and activated in SA; crew ingresses SA, closes BO-SA hatch and dons harnesses for docking; DV5 burn; automated rendezvous & docking at MRM1 Rassvet via KURS-P in ISS & KURS-A in Soyuz; docking (~3:12pm); pressure equalized between Soyuz and ISS; crew transfer to ISS.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:59am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.4 km
Apogee height – 354.8 km
Perigee height – 343.9 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008036
Solar Beta Angle -- 24.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 119 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,216.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/17/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S docking (MRM1) (~3:12pm)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/20/10 -- SPDM (Robotics) Test
12/22/10 -- ISS Reboost
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