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December 29, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/29/10

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

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.]

FE-5 Nespoli continued his controlled diet for his first (FD15) Pro K session. His diet menu is being recorded on his diet log today and tomorrow (during the next session, FD30, he’s free to eat what he wants but must log it). [For Pro K, there are five in-flight sampling sessions scheduled (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180), 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.]

Beginning this morning and continuing for the next 24 hrs, Nespoli is also collecting his FD15 NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K urine samples for deposit in MELFI. Later in the day, Paolo set up the blood draw equipment, to be used tomorrow for his first phlebotomy. [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.]

Using the equipment he set up yesterday, CDR Kelly acted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for Nespoli’s first session with the periodic 30-min US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam. Afterwards, Paolo assumed the CMO job to assist FE-6 Coleman with her first PHS w/o Blood Labs session. FE-5 then logged the data and stowed the equipment. A subjective evaluation was part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop.]

Coleman performed the periodic status check on the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) Galley fridge, looking for any internal condensation moisture which would require replacing desiccants. [MERLIN, the Galley fridge, is used for cold storage of crew food and drink. If Cady found moisture, a change-out of the desiccant will be scheduled.]

In support of ER6 (EXPRESS Rack 6) troubleshooting by the ground, FE-6 checked out four “Quatech” card connections on the ER6 ELC (Express Rack Laptop Computer), copied log files to a jump drive and transferred them to an SSC (Station Support Computer) for OCA downlink. [After a remote software load by ground controllers yesterday, the ELC failed to reboot, resulting in a loss of the rack’s health and status data to the ground. Ground teams decided to leave ER6 running overnight, since it contains the crew galley and still has functional smoke detection capabilities.]

Scott Kelly completed 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.]

Afterwards, the CDR collected the periodic water samples from the EHS PWD (Environmental Health Systems / Potable Water Dispenser) Ambient & Hot ports for subsequent analysis. [Collected were one 50mL sample in a small waste water bag & one 125mL sample for in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis using MCD (microbial capture device) and CDB (coliform detection bag) from the U.S. WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing after no more than 6 hours of the collection. Ambient sampling also included 1000mL for post-flight analysis on the ground, 250mL for TOCA analysis. From the PWD Hot port, 50mL were collected for post-flight and 125mL for in-flight microbiology analysis. This includes processing of water samples in the MWAK (microbial water analysis kit) for inflight coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) detection. Results of the on-board processing will be available after a two-day incubation period (T+2d), in case of the MWAK after 4-6 days of incubation.]

Sample collections by the CDR today also involved “Exp-26 Week 14” specimen of potable water in the SM (Service Module) for chemical & microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV & SRV-Hot taps, the latter after preliminary heating of the water (three heating cycles) and flushing. [Collected were two 750 mL micro postflight samples for chemical post-flight analysis from both taps, to be returned on ULF5, one 150mL sample from SVO-ZV & one 50mL sample from SRV-K Hot, both for in-flight microbial analysis. The samples were stored later by Cady Coleman who also reclaimed the flush water for technical use.]

FE-1 Alex Kaleri configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his 3rd, 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.]

Afterwards, Kaleri worked about an hour in the MRM2 Poisk module, installing and connecting a BSK-2V power-switching unit (blok silovoiy kommutatsii) behind panel 202 on Plane III.

Alex also conducted another active session for the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), then downlinked video footage obtained with two SONY HVR-Z1J camcorders, in two parts sequenced to RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes (~9:30am & 11:00am 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.]

FE-5 Nespoli installed the 4 PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab loc. S3 to protect the rack from external loading events such as dockings & reboosts.

Having set up the high-speed high-resolution video camera for the CCF (Capillary Channel Flow) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) on 12/27, Kelly today returned to the MSG to adjust the camera as per request from the PI (Payload Investigator). [Ground monitoring had shown the Optical Diagnostics Unit to be slightly askew, impacting science. Scott corrected this today. 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.]

Later, Scott had ~2.5 hrs set aside to perform IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) on the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack), with Paolo assisting by physically restraining the FIR while it was in a free-floating condition as Scott worked on it. [The overdue R&R (removal & replacement) of a damaged snubber at the lower left of the FIR required a realignment of FIR snubber & snubber cups to support ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) pushrod operation. Paolo’s rack restraint was necessary to prevent damage to the pushrods. Activities also included verification of pushrod locking sleeves being in the unlocked position.]

With a newly-build EDV-U container in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), FE-6 Coleman reconnected the WHC from backflow back to feeding the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly), then reported the flush counter, a periodic activity.

Cady also did the periodic (~weekly) inspection & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) and CGBA-5 payloads in their ERs (EXPRESS Racks).

Paolo completed Part 2 of the periodic noise level measurements survey in the ISS interior for Week 14, using the SLM (Sound Level Meter) equipment. Data download to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) was a subsequent activity. [A total of 60 acoustic measurements were obtained in Parts 1 & 2, specifically at 9 locations in the Lab, with WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) turned off, 10 in the JPM, 7 in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), 10 in Node-2, 8 in Node-3, 4 in Node-1, and 12 in SM. The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) data dump or via OCA. No exercise was allowed during the SLM survey, to avoid corrupting the acoustic measurements.]

Alex completed 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).

Afterwards, the CDR conducted the periodic transfer of condensate water to an RS EDV container for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & hydrogen, filling the designated KOV (condensate water) EDV container from 2 CWCs (Contingency Water Containers, #1050, #1069). When filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The ~40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the Elektron’s BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. If bubbles are detected in the EDV, they are separated (by centrifugation) into another EDV. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

FE-2 Skripochka 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 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.]

Dmitri Kondratyev & Oleg Skripochka joined up for another 3h30m period of preparations for the next Russian spacewalk, EVA-27, on 1/21. [The equipment, which includes various external covers, a cable reel & kit, the SVPI high-speed data transmission system and numerous tools, were gathered and staged in the DC-1 Docking Compartment. Dima & Oleg also reviewed in detail the translation path they are to take from the FGB to the MRM1 Rassvet module for the TV camera installation.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Cady Coleman readied the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware including MBS (Mixing Bag System), and then conducted her first session with the VO2max assessment, integrated with Thermolab. After downloading the data to a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop, Cady powered down, cleaned up and fully stowed all equipment (her next session being 30 days away). [The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Working in “his” Soyuz TMA-20/25S, Kondratyev continued troubleshooting activities on the GA/gas analyzer in the SA/Descent Module, conducting continuity checks on 11 electric circuit contacts, using the Elektronika MMTs-01 MultiMeter to measure resistance & DC voltage levels. [The troubleshooting is to determine why the SA has been blowing power line fuses.]

Later, Dima set up the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) hardware at SM window #9 for another sun-glint observation session, using the hand-held spectrometer (without use of the TIUS three-stage rate sensor), synchronized with the coaxially mounted NIKON D2X camera for taking snapshots, and later downloaded the data to laptop RS1 for subsequent downlink via OCA. [RUSALKA is a micro spectrometer for collecting detailed information on observed spectral radiance in the near IR (Infrared) waveband for measurement of greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth atmosphere.]

Oleg had another 1h40m for stowing disposal cargo in Progress M-08M/40P, scheduled for undocking on 1/24.

Sasha 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.]

FE-1 also undertook the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors/meters in the various RS hatchways, skipping the Soyuz hatch. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PrK–Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Before sleeptime, Skripochka broke out and set up the equipment for a session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis, to be taken tomorrow by himself, Kondratyev & Kaleri. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Paolo & Cady 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.

FE-1 & FE-2 conducted their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), both at ~11:25am EST.

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, FE4,FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, 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.]

Dmitri’s workout on the ARED was captured on video and downlinked for subsequent biomechanical evaluation of the crewmember and hardware status at MCC-H.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were Beijing region and Korean peninsula at night (looking right for oblique regional views of cities of the North China plain, the largest population concentration on Earth. Then also right for cities of the Korean Peninsula), Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, West Africa (near nadir pass over this capital city of 400,000. The major Geba River estuary is the visual cue, with the city located on the north shore), Central Asia to Southwest China night pass (nadir pass over Bishek, capital city of Kyrgyzstan, neighboring towns. Then on the same pass ~3 mins later, the isolated cities of China’s mountainous Southwest Yunnan province, especially Kunming should have stood out left of track), and Iraq–Persian Gulf at night (seven-minute night pass: looking mainly right for Mesopotamian cities, especially Baghdad. Then the string of bright lights of gulf coast cities [especially Dubai] and neighboring emirates. Then looking left for the Omani coastal towns).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 3:43am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 352.4 km
Apogee height – 356.0 km
Perigee height – 348.8 km
Period -- 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0005354
Solar Beta Angle -- 7.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 93 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,417.

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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