May 31, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/31/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Memorial Day. Underway: Week 11 of Increment 23.

Crew Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate tomorrow evening’s Soyuz TMA-17/21S undocking (8:04 pm EDT), crew workday was extended today by 2 hrs, to be followed by commensurate sleeptime extension: Sleep 7:30pm EDT, Wake 9:30am.

At wake-up, FE-3 Kornienko performed 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). [FE-3 again inspected the filters before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Kornienko also conducted a quick temperature check on the KRIOGEM-03 temperature-controlled cooler unit in the DC1, for yesterday’s & today’s MO-21 sampling.

FE-1 Skvortsov did the daily morning check on the TBU Universal Bioengineering Thermostat container and reported its current internal temperature to TsUP-Moscow.

FE-6 Creamer closed out his FD180 (Flight Day 180) session of the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) medical protocol, his 5th (and last) on board run, at ~10:50am EDT.

For the next 24 hrs, FE-6 is collecting his FD180 NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K urine samples for deposit in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [Under Pro K, the crewmember measures and logs the pH value of a urine sample, to be collected the same time of day every day for 5 days. The crewmember also prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken.]

Timothy also collected his first dry saliva samples of the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE, storing the sample at ambient temperature. Collections consist of five one-minute activities spread over the day. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned on the Shuttle so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

FE-5 Noguchi set up hardware for tomorrow’s scheduled blood draw on Creamer. [Since it is TJ’s departure day, the INTEGREATED IMMUNE blood draw will be combined with the NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K blood draw, and today’s setup utilized both payload hardware kits.]

For his return on Soyuz 21S tomorrow, CDR Kotov underwent Part 2 of his fifth & final training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisted by FE-3 Kornienko as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). The pre-return-to-gravity activity was then closed out. [The 1.5-hour assessment, a repetition of yesterday’s Part 1, supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. HR (Heart Rate) & BP (Blood Pressure) readings were reported to the ground specialist. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Romanenko’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -35, and -40 mmHg for five min. each, then -25, -30, and -40 mmHg (Torr) for 5 min. each plus 30mmHg for 5 min. while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Afterwards, the CDR used the standard ECOSFERA equipment, to conduct microbial air sampling runs for the MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment, with the POTOK Air Purification System temporarily powered down, taking Kit 2 samples from cabin surfaces along with samples from crewmembers for sanitation and disease studies. The Petri dishes with the samples were then stowed in the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container and subsequently packed for return in Soyuz 21S. Part 1 of MO-21 samplings was done yesterday. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger and power supply unit, provides samples to help determine microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Later, Oleg worked in the 21S BO/Orbital Module, dismantling and removing the electronic LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit for stowage and re-use (now no longer required since BO will be jettisoned during 21S reentry).

In the Soyuz TMA-18/22S crew return vehicle, docked at the MRM2 at FGB nadir, FE-1 Skvortsov turned on the GA gas analyzer in the SA/Descent Module, a periodic atmosphere checkup.

Alexander also serviced the SM (Service Module), condensate water processor (SRV-K2M) system, replacing the BKV water conditioning unit’s purification column (BKBKV) with a new spare. The old unit was pre-packed for disposal. [The SRV-K2M, with its BKO multifiltration unit, removes dissolved mineral and organic impurities from the condensate. Downstream from it, the condensate water is treated in the BKV water conditioning unit with salts for taste and silver ions for preservation, before it flows to the KPV potable water container.]

For FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson, it was sample retrieval time the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) on the new JAXA experiment Ferulate (Regulation by Gravity of Ferulate Formation in Cell Walls of Rice Seedlings). [Exacting activity steps included retrieving rice seedling sample holders from MEUs (Measurement Experiment Units) detached from CBEF IUs (Cell Biology Experiment Facility Incubator Units) for Micro-G & 1G, inserting the ferulate samples in MELFI-2, and attaching the MEUs again in CBEF IU-Micro-G and -1G units. Ferulates are compounds of ferulic acid, an organic substance which is an abundant phenolic phytochemical found in plant cell walls. The salt sodium ferulate is a drug used in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of cardiovascular & cerebrovascular diseases and to prevent thrombosis. The ISS experiment Ferulate tests the hypothesis that microgravity decreases the mechanical strength of cell walls of rice plants by modifying the levels of abscisic acid. The polysaccharide composition of the cell wall in gramineous plants, such as rice, maize, wheat, and barley, is distinguished from that in dicotyledons, such as Arabidopsis, pea, and mung bean, which have been used in many space experiments.]

Later, Tracy Caldwell-Dyson –
· Completed another deployment of 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],
  • Collected air samples with the GSC (Grab Sample Container) in the SM, Lab & Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), using two regular samplers and two new mini-GSCs,
  • Set up the video equipment in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to cover subsequent CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2) activities and configured the CSLM hardware, with TJ taking photographs [steps included readying the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) by installing ECU (Electronics Control Unit), first SPU (Sample Processing Unit) hardware & SAMS (Space Acceleration Measurement System) hardware in the MSG work volume, then connecting power & data cables from CSLM-2 to MSG, finally deactivating the MSG],
  • Completed the monthly maintenance of the T2 advanced treadmill, checking its components, pin alignment, rack centering and the snubber jam nut witness marks [witness marks (12 total) are applied to the X-, Y- & Z-axis jam nuts on each (of four) snubber arm; their inspection serves to determine to what degree and which jam nuts are backing off], and
  • Had a teleconference scheduled with ground specialists at ~3:10pm to discuss her inventory/audit of onboard Water & CWQM (Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring) kits.

FE-6 Creamer’s tasks today included –
  • Relocating 4 PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) units from CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) in Node-1 to their permanent locations,
  • Doing the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), checking out the rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration,
  • Cleaning cabin Smoke Detector B in the Kibo JPM, using an IVA connector cleaner tool and N2 cartridge, and
  • Cycling the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) gas mass flow controller (to prevent stiction), plus later transferring sample data after the mass flow controller activation.

FE-3 Kornienko performed the regular weekly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting 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.

Kornienko also conducted the periodic update of the IUS AntiVirus program in the Russian VKS auxiliary (non-network) laptops RSS1, RSK1, RSK2, RSE1, which are not loaded from the ground, from a new uplinked program copy of Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, first scanning the latter, then transferring the database by flash-card to the other computers and scanning them one by one. [Only the RSS2 laptop is automatically updated (once a week on Fridays from MCC-Houston).]

FE5 Noguchi performed preventive maintenance on Node-1 IMV (Intermodule Ventilation), cleaning the aft port fan inlet.

Afterwards, FE-5 started another sampling run (the 99th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-12 laptop. 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.]

Later, Soichi worked in the Kibo JPM performing checkouts on the JRMS (JEM Robotic Maneuvering System). [Steps included deploying a T61p laptop as RLT3 (Robotic Laptop 3), using it to activate the BUC (Backup Controller) and verifying normal BUC indicators, then deploying a second T61p as RLT2 and checking it out with the BUC as before. Both laptops were then turned off.]

Soichi also supplemented the WPA WWT (Water Processor Assembly / Waste Water Tank) with stored water from an EDV container (#922), emptying it.

TJ & Soichi again had ~60 min set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment personal cleanup & packing preparatory to their return. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

Skvortsov & Kornienko worked ~2 hrs on more transferring, unpacking & stowing cargo delivered on the Russian MRM1 Rassvet module,

Oleg Kotov had another 2 hrs reserved for loading return cargo on Soyuz TMA-17.

CDR & FE-6 underwent their pre-descent PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, TJ at ~10:10am, Oleg at ~1:10pm, EDT.

With ISS command now being transferred from Oleg Kotov to Alexander Skvortsov for Increment 24, beginning this week, the two Russian cosmonauts, at ~1:00pm EDT, signed two copies of the formal Russian handover protocol document certifying RS (Russian Segment) handover/acceptance, including the contents of Progress 37P (#405), currently docked at DC1 nadir. [The first copy remains on ISS, the second copy will be returned to the ground on Soyuz TMA-17. “We, the Undersigned, have executed this Protocol to the effect that Kotov Oleg Valerievich, a crew member in charge of ISS RS E22/23, handed over and, Skvortsov Alexander Alexandrovich, a crew member in charge of ISS RS E23/24, accepted the ISS RS, including:- operation specifics, - onboard systems and hardware anomaly report,- Progress 405 items (per IMS data).”]

The traditional “Change of Command” ceremony is scheduled later today, at ~5:00pm EDT, with all crewmembers, officially marking the transfer of the baton from Increment 23 to Increment 24. [The official “count” for I-24 begins on Monday, 6/7 (GMT 158).]

The crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2, FE-5), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6) and VELO bike ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-3).

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:40am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 344.5 km
Apogee height – 350.7 km
Perigee height – 338.3 km
Period -- 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009243
Solar Beta Angle -- -27.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 323 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,084

21S Descent Timeline Overview:
If everything proceeds nominally, the return to Earth of the TMA-17 spacecraft tomorrow, 6/1,
will proceed along the following approximate event sequence (all times EDT):
  • ISS attitude control handover to RS --- 6:35pm;
  • ISS to free drift for undocking --- 8:00pm;
  • Undock command --- 8:01pm;
  • Separation springs action/physical sep (delta-V ~0.12 m/sec) --- 8:04pm;
  • Separation burn #1 (15 sec, ~0.53 m/sec) --- 8:07pm;
  • ISS maneuvers to Relaxation experiment attitude --- 10:15pm;
  • ISS maneuvers to duty attitude – 10:41pm;
  • ISS attitude control handover to US --- 11:30pm;
  • Deorbit Burn start (delta-V 115.2 m/sec) --- 10:34:40pm;
  • Deorbit Burn complete --- 10:39:01pm;
  • Tri-Module separation (140 km alt) --- 10:58:36pm;
  • Atmospheric entry (100 km alt, with ~170 m/sec) --- 11:01:43pm;
  • Entry Guidance start (80.8 km alt) --- 11:03:17 pm;
  • Max G-load (36.2 km alt) --- 11:07:43pm;
  • Parachute deploy command (10.8 km alt) --- 11:09:45pm;
  • 21S Landing (DO1) --- 11:24:04pm EDT; 6:24:04am Moscow DMT; 9:24:04am local Kazakhstan; (loc. 47deg 21min N, 69deg 35min E)
[Note: Kazakhstan time = GMT+6h; = EDT+10h. Moscow DMT = EDT+7h.]

What the Soyuz TMA-17 crew will experience during their reentry/descent on Tuesday evening:
  • For the reentry, Kotov, Noguchi & Creamer will wear the Russian Kentavr anti-G suit under their Sokol suits. [The Kentavr garment is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]
  • Before descent:
    Special attention will be paid to the need for careful donning of the medical belt with sensors and securing tight contact between sensors and body.
    During preparation for descent, before atmosphere reentry, crewmembers settle down comfortably in the Kazbek couches, fasten the belts, securing tight contact between body and the seat liner in the couch.
  • During de-orbit:
    Dust particles starting to sink in the Descent Module (SA) cabin is the first indication of atmosphere reentry and beginning of G-load effect. From that time on, special attention is required as the loads increase rapidly.
    Under G-load effect during atmosphere reentry the crew expects the following experience:
    Sensation of G-load pressure on the body, burden in the body, labored breathing and speech. These are normal sensations, and the advice is to "take them coolly". In case of the feeling of a lump in the throat, this is no cause to "be nervous". This is frequent and should not be fought. Best is to "try not to swallow and talk at this moment". Crew should check vision and, if any disturbances occur, create additional tension of abdominal pressure and leg muscles (strain +abdomen by pulling in), in addition to the Kentavr anti-G suit.
    During deployment of pilot parachute (0.62 & 4.5 square meters), drogue chute (16 sq.m.) and main (518 sq.m.) chutes the impact accelerations will be perceived as a "strong snatch". No reason to become concerned about this but one should be prepared that during the parachutes deployment and change ("rehook") of prime parachute to symmetrical suspension, swinging and spinning motion of the SA occurs, which involves vestibular (middle ear) irritations.
  • It is important to tighten restrain system to fasten pelvis and pectoral arch.
    Vestibular irritation can occur in the form of different referred sensations such as vertigo, hyperhidrosis, postural illusions, general discomfort and nausea. To prevent vestibular irritation the crew should "limit head movement and eyes movement", as well as fix their sight on motionless objects.
  • Just before the landing (softened by six small rocket engines behind the heat shield):
    Crew will be prepared for the vehicle impact with the ground, with their bodies fixed along the surface of the seat liner in advance. "Special attention should be paid to arm fixation to avoid the elbow and hand squat" (instruction). Landing speed: ~9.9 m/sec.
  • After landing:
    Crew should not get up quickly from their seats to leave the SA. They were advised to stay in the couch for several minutes and only then stand up. In doing that, they should limit head and eyes movement and avoid excessive motions, proceeding slowly. Their body should not take up earth gravity in the upright position too quickly.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/01/10 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing (8:04pm/11:24pm EDT) (End of Increment 23)
-------------- Three-crew operations -------------
06/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/17/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/28/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S relocation (SM Aft to MRM1 @ FGB nadir)
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/08/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
07/23/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko)
09/07/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM)
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery undock
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/12/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
11/xx/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
11/10/10 -- Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 – Russian EVA-27
11/26/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/12/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/15/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
12/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-28
12/26/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
12/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
04/26/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
05/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/31/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/21/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P docking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-22/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-24/28S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/21/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/23/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
01/xx/12 -- ATV-3 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA) U/R