July 02, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/02/10

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

Crew sleep cycle remains shifted to the right: Wake – 7:00am (reg. 2:00am), Sleep – 10:30pm (reg. 5:30pm) EDT.

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 will inspect the filters again before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Skvortsov began the day by attending to the current experiment session with the Russian/German KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, activating the turbopump in the MRM2 “Poisk” module for keeping the vacuum chamber (EB) evacuated. The turbopump will be deactivated again before sleeptime, at ~10:25pm EDT. [Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

FE-6 Walker continued her early-morning session with the Pro K protocol, with controlled diet and diet logging after the urine pH spot test. [Under Pro K, the crewmember measures and logs the pH value of a urine sample, 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 during the day.]

FE-6 also conducted her first (FD15) Nutrition/Repository/Pro K generic urine collections which will continue for the next 24-hour run. Samples will be secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS), two in each 3x5 mesh bag.

Later, Shannon began her first Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment, assisted by FE-4 Wheelock as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) in preparing the Actiwatches, electrode sites, attaching the harness, donning the Cardiopres and taking documentary pictures. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. Today, wearing electrodes, the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) for recording ECG (Electrocardiogram) for 48 hours, the ESA Cardiopres to continuously monitor blood pressure for 24 hours, and two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) for monitoring activity levels over 48 hours, Shannon started the ambulatory monitoring part of the ICV assessment. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Wheelock cleaned the JAXA CB (Clean Bench) facility, wiping the DC (Disinfection Chamber) clean and checking out its relief valve. The CB was then returned to stowed configuration. [The Clean Bench consists of two compartments; the DC and the OC. Air circulated inside is kept clean by HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. Crewmembers operate the experiment materials with gloves from outside to prevent contamination from the ambient air.]

FE-5 Yurchikhin moved to the docking site of Soyuz 23S at the MRM1 Rassvet module to inspect & check out the indicator of the VD/PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) between MRM1 SU (Transfer Vestibule) & Soyuz BO (Orbital Module), toggling the C6 indicator light ~5 times, then tagging up with ground specialists.

In Node-3, Caldwell-Dyson was to work on the installation of the grounding strap at the ARS (Atmosphere Revitalization Systems) rack (loc. A4), deferred from an earlier date, that originally couldn’t be connected on the rack. [After rack rotation away from the shell wall, the hardware was to be repaired or replaced as required. Afterwards, the grounding strap was to be left disconnected pending the planned relocation of the ARS rack to the US Lab.]

Afterwards, Tracy set up video and equipment for another session of the experiment series called “Kids in Micro-G”. Assisted again by Doug with video & photo documentation, Tracy then conducted the second student experiment and later stowed the material. [The “Kids in Micro-G” suite of experiments was developed and written by 5th grade students to demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion both on ISS and in the classroom.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Shannon Walker performed the 4th onboard science session with the ESA PASSAGES experiment, after setting up the VCA1 video camera to cover the activities, operating the experiment from the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop. [After installing the experiment equipment (light shield, trackball) on the MPL (Multipurpose Laptop) in front of the EPM, Shannon conducted Session 1 of the science data collection as the subject, then stowed the equipment. For downlinking the data, FE-6 inserted the PASSAGES PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card into the EPM laptop and afterwards reconnected its power cable to its original EDR (European Drawer Rack) laptop. The PCMCIA was placed in the PASSAGES kit, which was then put back in the NeuroSpat kit. PASSAGES is designed to test how astronauts interpret visual information in weightlessness: it aims at studying the effects of micro-G on the use of the ‘Eye-Height’ strategy for estimating allowed actions in an environment, and whether this could possibly decrease after a long exposure to weightlessness.]

After the crew’s midday meal (~1:40pm-2:40pm), FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson was scheduled to service the US OGA (Oxygen Generation Assembly) in Node-3 by removing & replacing its H2 (hydrogen) sensor ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit). Later, on MCC-H Go, Tracy will complete connecting the sensor for OGS (Oxygen Generator System) activation.

When FE-6 has finished exercising on the CEVIS ergometer in the Lab, Caldwell-Dyson will disconnect & remove the cycle temporarily (to gain work space) and then continue the outfitting of the WORF (Window Operational Research Facility) rack at the science window, mating still disconnected umbilicals. Afterwards, the cycle will be re-installed.

Working on the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack) with its (currently) three lock-down alignment guides of the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System), Doug Wheelock will later undertake the installation of a 4th alignment guide. [The outfitting includes aligning the lower left ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) snubber & cup to allow installation of the new guide, adjusting the other three snubbers & cups, and torquing all four sets of knob jamnuts. With guides removed, the ground can switch PaRIS to ARIS for micro-G operation. When installed, the guides protect against possible dynamic disturbances, e.g., during undocking/redocking.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson once again will service the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), now for the new SPU (Sample Processing Unit) #3, installed yesterday. [Task steps included inspecting, activating & checking the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and closing the vacuum vent valve after the 3rd of 4 vacuum draws on the sample chamber. Vacuum vent #4 is to be started later in the day, to run overnight, after again letting the water line vent into the work volume for a while.]

Yurchikhin 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).

The CDR 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-6 filled out her 2nd weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

At ~8:55am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~9:30am, Sasha & Misha linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~9:45am, Fyodor conferred with medical personnel on his use of the Russian VELO ergometer bike.

A6t ~10:10am, Tracy, Doug & Shannon supported a PAO TV event featuring two interview sessions,- one with The Orange County Register (Pat Brennan), the other with Al Jazeera Television (Riz Khan).

At ~3:46pm, Wheelock is scheduled to power up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and to conduct at 3:51pm a ham radio session with children attending the Summer Camp “Astronauti nella Foresta” (Astronauts in Forest) in Fontespugna, Umbria, Italy.

At ~4:50pm, Wheels will hold her weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

At ~8:10pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

Fyodor, Shannon & Wheels again had an hour each set aside for crew onboard orientation and adaptation. [During the first two weeks after their arrival, a new ISS crew will have 1 hour a day to adjust to living in space.]

The crew is working out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2, FE-4) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3, FE-5).

Progress Docking Abort: Docking of Progress M-06M/38P was aborted about 20 minutes before its scheduled linkup with ISS at 12:58pm EDT due to loss of radio lock between KURS-P on the SM (Service Module) and KURS-A on Progress. The cargo drone passed by ISS at a safe distance and continues to be in its safe fly-by mode, circling Earth along with ISS every 92 minutes. Docking will not be re-attempted today. ISS systems are being reconfigured back to nominal stage operations configuration. Evaluations are underway for subsequent docking attempts.

T2 Treadmill Update: Final consensus at the third technical evaluation meeting on the T2 Unisolated Exercise investigation was that T2 is Go for the crew, with the constraint that inspections are required between exercise sessions.

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The updated card (24-0007D) lists 125 CWCs (2,933.8 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (27 CWCs with 1,127.6 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 712.7 L in 17 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 129.4 L in 3 bags still requiring sample analysis, 128.3 L in 3 bags for flushing only with microbial filter, and 23.0 L in 1 bag for flushing only; 2. potable water (5 CWCs with 215.4 L, of which 1 bag with 43.6 L requires sample analysis, 1 bag with 42.5 L are to be used with microbial filter & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use; 3. iodinated water (84 CWCs with 1,550.1 L for reserve; 4. condensate water (1 bag with 20.5 L to be used with microbial filter & 6 empty bags; and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (1 CWC with 20.2 L & 1 empty bag). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Epsilon Aurigae Eclipse Observation: ISS is participating in a significant astronomical observation program just getting underway, followed by thousands of amateur & professional astronomers: the Epsilon Aurigae Eclipse. A specific star in the Constellation Auriga (Charioteer) called Epsilon Aurigae undergoes an eclipse (being occulted) every 27.1 years. This has puzzled astronomers for nearly 200 years. The eclipse lasts nearly two years which, with the 27.1 year period, means the eclipsing body must be gigantic. There may be a temporary brightening at mid-eclipse. There have been no satisfactory explanations to date for this. Is it a giant cloud of gas with a doughnut-like hole, permitting the star to brighten during mid-eclipse? The Sun’s proximity to Epsilon Aurigae, as seen from the ground, prevents observations by ground-based astronomers during mid-eclipse, but astronauts on the ISS, having a different aspect angle, can observe and note changes in relative brightness, as suggested by the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) following a talk by NASA-Astronaut John Grunsfeld. The method used by the crew is to compare the brightness of Epsilon Aurigae weekly with three other nearby stars of known & unchanging brightness.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Moroni, Comoros (ISS had a fair weather pass for this target as it approached from the SW over the Mozambique Channel. This capital city is located on the western coastline of the island of Grande Comoros. Moroni has served as the capital since 1958. Looking slightly to the left of track for the Comoros archipelago and Moroni; overlapping mapping frames of the urban area were requested), Epsilon Aurigae & Comet McNaught (looking left of track, above the limb of the Earth, to observe the brightness of this star, as compared to other stars in the Auriga constellation, described above. Because of the current seasonal lighting conditions, during the northern portion of each of your orbits, the crew had about 25-minute windows today for viewing the star, with the uplinked times at the mid-way point for viewing during the one window), Asmara, Eritrea (Asmara is the capital city of Eritrea. ISS approach was in late afternoon sun from the SW with fair weather expected. The city is located on the northwestern edge of the Great Rift Valley and the Eritrean highlands. Looking near nadir and try for overlapping mapping frames of the city. Because it is such a low-contrast feature, it was suggested that the crew start mapping photography as it approached the target, continuing as it passed over it), N'Djamena, Chad (this capital city of about 1 million is located on the southwest border of the country at the confluence of the Chari and Logone rivers and about 75 miles southeast of Lake Chad. As ISS tracked northeastward to the south and east of Lake Chad in late afternoon with fair weather, the crew was to begin looking near nadir for this low-contrast target), and Bamako, Mali (this capital city of almost 2 million is located in the southwestern part of the country. Approach to this target was from the SW in late afternoon light with fair weather conditions for viewing. Bamako is situated astride the Niger River).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:24am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 352.6 km
Apogee height – 359.3 km
Perigee height – 345.9 km
Period -- 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009959
Solar Beta Angle -- 54.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 31 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,588

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
TBD -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko) – MRM1 outfitting
08/05/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
08/17/10 -- US EVA-16 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
09/07/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/08/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/10/10 -- 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
11/01/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) ~4:33pm EDT“target”
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
02/02/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) ~4:19pm EDT“target”
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-------------
10/20/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
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