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December 21, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/21/10

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

>>>>Today 42 years ago (1968), NASA launched Apollo 8 to the Moon, the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit, the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body, and the first crewed voyage to return to planet Earth from another celestial body. Its crew, CDR Frank Borman, CMP James Lovell & LMP William Anders, became the first humans to directly see the far side of the Moon as well as the first humans to see planet Earth from deep space. The mission was accomplished with the 3rd (!) Saturn V. Apollo 8 circled the Moon ten times on Christmas and returned safely to Earth on 12/27/68.<<<<

FE-1 Kaleri 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). [Alex 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.]

FE-4 Kondratyev terminated his first experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/Sonokard, taking the recording device from his Sonokard sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-Med laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

Also at wake-up, CDR Kelly, FE-5 Nespoli & FE-6 Coleman continued their current session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol, first time for Paolo & Cady. [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. 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.]

Before breakfast, FE-5 Nespoli began another round of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol. In Part 1, Paolo distributed crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) to Kelly, Coleman & himself, then ~2hrs later, in Part 2, outfitted Kaleri & Skripochka with his and Cady’s dosimeter (with a microphone on the shirt collar) for the remainder of the 24 hrs data take. [Tomorrow, in Part 3, Paolo Nespoli will deploy the three dosimeters in the ISS for static measurements.]

FE-2 Skripochka had 3h 30m reserved for doing his 3rd onboard session of the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, assisted by Kaleri. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, data files were downloaded, and Oleg reported to TsUP-Moscow on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

Scott Kelly set up the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) with its software and performed BMM (Body Mass Measurement) activities for himself, without the control/calibration run. Afterwards, FE-5 Nespoli also used SLAMMD, followed by FE-6 Coleman. Scott then powered off, disassembled and stowed the equipment. [SLAMMD, performed first on Expedition 12 in December 2005, provides an accurate means of determining the on-orbit mass of humans spanning the range from the 5th percentile Japanese female to the 95th percentile American male. The procedure, in accordance with Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, finds the mass by dividing force, generated by two springs inside the SLAMMD drawer, by acceleration measured with a precise optical instrument that detects the position versus time trajectory of the SLAMMD guide arm and a micro controller which collects the raw data and provides the precise timing. The final computation is done via portable laptop computer with SLAMMD unique software. To calculate their mass, crewmembers wrap their legs around a leg support assembly, align the stomach against a belly pad and either rest the head or chin on a head rest. For calibration, an 18-lbs. mass is used at different lengths from the pivot point, to simulate different mass values. Crew mass range is from 90 to 240 lbs.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Scott Kelly & Cady Coleman conducted a 1-hr checkout of the JEM RMS (Robotic Maneuvering System), readied by Coleman yesterday, in preparation for the HTV2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 2) arrival on 1/27/11. [Before the checkout, Cady set up & powered up the RLT (Robotics Laptop Terminal), started & configured the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) application, then activated the CCP (Camera Control Panel), RMS Monitors and other RMS systems. The checkout involved the HC (Hand Controller) and Arm Bus, JOCAS (Joint Operator Commanded Auto Sequence), FOR (Frame of Reference {i.e., x,y,z instead of joint angle values} OCAS, and Pause/Proceed function, EE (End Effector) and VLU (Video Light Unit), plus manual operations for familiarization.]

In the SM (Service Module), Alex Kaleri continued the outfitting of the new RSPI Radio System for Information Transfer, today installing & connecting a large number of jumper cables behind panel 231A. [RSPI will enable the RS (Russian Segment) to downlink large data files using Russian communication assets, similar to the USOS OCA (Orbiter Communication Adapter) system. The external RSPI antenna will be mounted on the SM exterior during the Orlan EVA-27, currently scheduled on 1/21.]

Working on the BSPN Payload Server in SM, Alex installed new software to upgrade the BSPN’s HDD (Hard Disk Drive) backup partitions.

Coleman collected air samples with the GSC (Grab Sample Container) in the center of the SM, Lab and JPM, using three regular samplers.

At the same time, Skripochka also performed air sampling using two Russian AK-1M absorbers in the FGB & SM and the IPD-CO sampler to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide). The samplers were re-stowed for subsequent return to Earth.

Working in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Paolo & Cady conducted their first in-orbit session with the ESA experiment NeuroSpat (Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration), assisting each other in putting on the EEG (Electroencephalograph) cap and acquiring science data. Tomorrow, Paolo will download the data and stow the equipment. [NeuroSpat investigates the ways in which crew members’ three-dimensional perception is affected by long-duration stays in weightlessness.]

Scott deployed four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at bay P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Afterwards, the CDR performed the periodic camera setup status check on the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) with Sample 2. [The checkup includes image transfer, camera battery and camera/flash position. It is scheduled daily starting at Initiation+1 day during automated photography.]

Dmitri Kondratyev started his first session of the standard 24-hour ECG (Electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2 protocol. [After 24 hrs of ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed system, Dmitri will doff the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads and recorded on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results will then be downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. Later, the data will be downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

Afterwards, Dmitri made his way into the SA/Descent Module of the newly arrived Soyuz TMA-20/25S spacecraft, docked at MRM1 Rassvet, and dismantled the two "Klest" (KL-152) TV cameras and their light units for return to the ground on 24S for reuse, temporarily stowing them in the SM.

FE-4 also took photographs of the internal surfaces of the docking cone of the ASP-B passive docking assembly of the MRM1 port, a standard practice after Russian dockings. [These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. Dmitri subsequently downlinked the pictures via OCA assets. The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, Kondratyev used the Nikon D2X digital still camera to take two pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

Afterwards, Dmitri had ~1.5 hrs set aside for unloading & transferring cargo from 25S for subsequent stowage on ISS, guided by the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Scott meanwhile spent about an hour on unpacking US cargo delivered on Progress 40P, while Alex Kaleri later had about 2 hrs reserved, in two segments, to load discarded equipment and trash on 40P for disposal.

In the MRM1 Rassvet module, Skripochka searched for and mated a connector of the TVS television system behind panel 204.

Oleg also continued Russian laptop refreshing, today replacing the RSK2 A31p laptop with the new generation T61p Lenovo model, transferring SIGMA BNO Ballistics & Navigation data from the old machine, updating the antivirus software and performing a checkout of the laptop.

Kondratyev completed his first data collection for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

Cady performed 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 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.],

Scott conducted a 30-min IFM (Inflight Maintenance) in the U.S. Lab, installing a UOP (Utility Outlet Panel, #8) at the S5 location and checking it out.

Later, the CDR retrieved a fresh toilet pre-treat tank from stowage in the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment), to be used in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment). [The E-K tank contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in a dispenser (DKiV) and used for toilet flushing.]

Shortly before her sleep time, Candy supports ground-controlled payload operation by activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) for about 2 hrs.

For the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), Alex downlinked the video footage obtained yesterday with two SONY HVR-Z1J camcorders, in two parts, sequenced to RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes. [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.]

Sasha also 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.]

Dmitri 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).

Cady & Paolo joined up for one-hour handover session with Scott to familiarize themselves with USOS (US Segment) activities.

Exp-26 newcomers Coleman, Nespoli & Kondratyev again had their free time for general orientation (adaptation, station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

At ~10:25am EST, the six crewmembers assembled in the SM to take several group photos with the NIKON D2X (or D3) while displaying the flag of the IAA (International Association of Astronautics) and a package of 300 logos, delivered on Soyuz 25S. The pictures were to be downlinked via OCA, the flag and logos pre-packed for return on STS-133/Discovery next February. [The IAA is turning 60 years old in 2011. It is an international non-governmental non-profit science organization involved in space research and exploration for peaceful purposes and also rocket technology and space.]

Nespoli & Coleman reviewed protocol and use of the CEVIS ergometer, then observed Scott Kelly in his CEVIS workout to familiarize themselves with its use. [New crewmembers always receive training from experienced crew on the use of the exercise equipment - one session for each apparatus.]

The “old” crew and Oleg completed today’s physical workout regime, on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-4), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5 & FE-6 had their PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Paolo at ~9:25am, Dmitri at ~9:40am, Cady at ~10:50am, Alex at ~12:35pm, Oleg at ~1:20pm EST.

Robotics Test: More SSRMS/SPDM (Space Station Remote Manipulator System/Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) checkouts were conducted today, and the MT (Mobile Transporter) with the SSRMS was moved by ground control from WS5 (Worksite 5) to WS2 (2:05pm-5:05pm). For the MT translation, Russian thrusters were again temporarily disabled.

ISS Reboost: Tomorrow (12/22) a reboost maneuver is scheduled for the station using the DPA Rendezvous & Docking thrusters of Progress 39P, docked at SM aft. The purpose of the reboost is to shape the ISS orbit optimally for the HTV2 launch on 1/20/11, as well as to set up STS-133/ULF5 Flight Day (FD3) rendezvous opportunities for February. TIG (Time of Ignition): 11:28am EST; burn duration: 21 min 11 sec; expected delta-V: 2.40 m/s (7.87 ft/s); expected altitude gain: 4.28 km (2.31 nmi).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were opportunities to view this morning’s spectacular lunar eclipse from orbit.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:54am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.9 km
Apogee height – 354.5 km
Perigee height – 343.3 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008318
Solar Beta Angle -- 27.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 52 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,294.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/22/10 -- ISS Reboost (11:28am EST; 21min 11sec; delta-V 2.40 m/s)
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)
02/03/11 -- STS-133/Discovery launch – ~1:37am EST
02/04/11 -- STS-133/Discovery docking – ~9:43pm
02/11/11 -- STS-133/Discovery undock – 4:42pm
02/13/11 -- STS-133/Discovery land (KSC) – ~8:41pm
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