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December 27, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/27/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 5 of Increment 26.

FE-4 Dmitri Kondratyev 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). [Dima 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.]

Scott undertook his 11th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. Cady Coleman joined him in this experiment, her 2nd weekly pill ingestion. The required ~10h fast period started last night for both of them. [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.]

FE-5 Paolo Nespoli continued his controlled diet for his first (FD15) Pro K session. His diet menu is being recorded on his diet log over the next 3 days. [For Pro K, there will be five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day. The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings.]

FE-6 Cady Coleman concluded her first (FD15) NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K 24-hr urine collection period, with samples deposited in MELFI. Cady also began her first NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K generic blood collection, with CDR Kelly assisting with the phlebotomy as operator and FE-5 Nespoli taking documentary photography. FE-6 then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI. [The operational products for blood & urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads were revised some time ago, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they must verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

FE-4 Kondratyev configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his first, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

FE-1 Kaleri terminated the overnight (10-hr) charging of the Kelvin-Video battery for the Russian KPT-12 payload with its BAR science instruments suite, and then he conducted a one-hour test run with the BAR equipment to check out the performance of the remote IR (Infrared) Kelvin-Video thermometer. [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/BAR science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM (Service Module) panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Besides KPT-2 Piren-B, 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.]

Paolo Nespoli initiated 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 5th 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.]

Nespoli also performed routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) prime unit (#1058) by replacing its battery with a new one (#1461), then zero-calibrating the instrument. [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 was re-deployed at the SM Central Post.]

In the US Lab, Coleman serviced the VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor) by closing He (helium) valve #2, then shutting the access door again and re-attaching the acoustic blanket. [The JPL-developed VCAM identifies gases that are present in minute quantities in the ISS breathing air that could be harmful to crew health. If successful, instruments like VCAM could accompany crewmembers during long-duration exploration missions. Similar to the earlier employed VOA (Volatile Organic Analyzer), VCAM can provide a means for monitoring the air within enclosed environments, using a miniature preconcentrator, GC (gas chromatograph), and mass spectrometer for unbiased detection of a large number of organic species. VCAM's software can identify whether the chemicals are on a targeted list of hazardous compounds and their concentration. A VCAM calibration gas is used periodically to check how the instrument’s components are actually performing. The raw data, calibration data, and analysis results are all sent to the ground for further assessment to validate the instrument’s detection, identification, and quantification results.]

Kelly supported the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) payload in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by conducting the periodic camera setup status check on the running BCAT-5 with Sample 3. [The checkup includes image transfer, camera battery and camera/flash position. It is scheduled daily starting at Initiation+1 day during automated photography. Pictures are currently being taken automatically of Sample 3 for 144 hrs (6 days).]

All six crewmembers took the monthly O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There has been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Scott Kelly had ~30 min set aside to review OBT (Onboard Training) material for the new CCF (Capillary Channel Flow) experiment, uplinked from POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) in form of a PowerPoint presentation. [CCF was launched on Flight 19A.]

Afterwards, Scott performed visual inspection & activation of the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), set up the video camcorder for live viewing of his activities and then installed and configured the CCF hardware in the MSG, adjusting camera focus later in the day. [CCF is a versatile experiment for studying a critical variety of inertial-capillary dominated flows key to spacecraft systems that cannot be studied on the ground. CCF results will help innovate existing and inspire new applications in the portion of the aerospace community that is challenged by the containment, storage, and handling of large liquid inventories (fuels, cryogens, and water) aboard spacecraft. The results will be immediately useful for the design, testing, and instrumentation for verification and validation of liquid management systems of current orbiting, design stage, and advanced spacecraft envisioned for future lunar and Mars missions. They will also be used to improve life support system design, phase separation, and enhance current system reliability.]

Nespoli & Coleman checked out and familiarized themselves with the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System). [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who is also provided with restraints around the device. CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and can also restrain two CMOs at the same time during their delivery of medical care.]

Afterwards, Cady & Paolo also checked out & familiarized themselves with the HMS RSP (Health Maintenance System Respiratory Support Pack), using RSP #1004 for the purpose, then stowing it in a drawer in the Lab.

Nespoli later undertook his first session with 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. Kelly 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.]

For the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), Alex Kaleri conducted another active session, then downlinked video footage obtained with two SONY HVR-Z1J camcorders, in two parts sequenced to RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes (~9:56am & 11:28am EST). [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.]

Dmitri Kondratyev completed another photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining NIKON D3 photos with Nikkor 80-200 mm lens and the SONY HD video camcorder on cloud cover formations, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop,

Preparatory to her first vascular echography session in the COL, Cady Coleman had ~30 min for reviewing the VIS (Vessel Imaging) procedure. [Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) evaluates the changes in central and peripheral blood vessel wall properties (thickness and compliance) and cross sectional areas of long-duration ISS crewmembers during and after long-term exposure to microgravity. An LBNP (Lower Body Negative Pressure) program will be run in parallel to Vessel Imaging. Flow velocity changes in the aorta and the middle cerebral and femoral arteries will be used to quantify the cardiovascular response to fluid shift. Vessel Imaging aims to optimize the countermeasures used routinely during long-duration space missions.]

Alex scan-checked 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 updated the Norton AV database on the auxiliary (non-networked) machines RSK2, RSE1 & RSE-med.

Later, Sasha set up & readied the equipment for a session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), to be conducted tomorrow by Oleg, Dmitri, Paolo & himself.

Kaleri 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.]

An additional task for Alex in the SM was the routine weekly inspection of the SVO SRV-K2M (Condensate Water Processor) hoses from the MF-R Diaphragm Separator Filter to the BRPK Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit.

Kondratyev did 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).

Oleg & Dmitri again spent several hours on stowing discarded equipment and trash on Progress 40P for disposal (1/24).

Skripochka activated the Kenwood D700 ”Sputnik” amateur radio station in the SM and started the program for the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment. Before sleeptime, after a 7h20m run, Oleg will deactivate the hardware. [Objective of the experiment is the automatic retranslation of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions. This is the experiment’s 4th run, after Fyodor Yurchikhin conducted it for the third time on Exp-25 last October, preceded by FE Yuri Malenchenko on Exp-16 in November 2007 and Mikhail Tyurin on Exp-14 in November 2006.]

Scott Kelly continued to provide Inc-26 crew handover information to newly-arrived crewmembers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman, today for about 1hr.

The three newcomers, FE-4, FE-5 & FE-6, also 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.

Paolo 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.

FE-4 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.]

After his workout on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser, Scott performed the periodic inspection of the device’s exercise rope, checking the recently added rope knot for fraying or damage in the strands. [If damage was found, Scott was to photodocument it and notify MCC-H.]

At ~4:20am EST, all crewmembers joined in a major traditional PAO TV comm session with VIP guests assembled at TsUP-Moscow, hosting Russia’s Father Frost (Российский Дед Мороз). [By old tradition, the wizard arrived from Veliky Ustug (Vologda Region) to congratulate the ISS crew and assembled space community personnel with the upcoming New Year and Orthodox Christmas. Participants included Roskosmos Head Anatoly Nikolaevich Perminov, State Secretary & Roskosmos Deputy Head Vitaly Anatolievich Davydov, Father Frost of All Russia, TsNIIMASH General Director Gennady Gennadievich Raikunov, TsUP Head Victor Mikhailovich Ivanov, other space industry leaders, government representatives of the Vologda Region, cadets from the Vologda Regional Cadet Boarding School and their Director, Andrey Andreyevich Badin, and Cosmonaut Fyodor Nikolaevich Yurchikhin with his daughter Elena.]

Later, at ~5:55am, Kaleri, Skripochka & Kondratyev continued the exchange with Father Frost and the TsUP guests for another 20 min.

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-4 had their periodic exercise-oriented PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Oleg at ~5:30am, Alex at ~5:45am, Dmitri at ~6:15am.

At ~12:50pm, Coleman had her regular PMC.

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-2). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:20am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 352.6 km
Apogee height – 356.1 km
Perigee height – 349.0 km
Period -- 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0005315
Solar Beta Angle -- 15.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 70 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,388.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
01/13/11 -- ISS Reboost Pt. 2
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 – 1:37:36 am 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-------------

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