August 31, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/31/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. More catching up on Science!

Progress M-06M/38P successfully undocked from the SM (Service Module) Aft port on time at 7:21am EDT after hook opening command at 7:18am. 38P will free-fly for about one week on autonomous mission and is scheduled to re-enter destructively on 9/6 (deorbit ~8:06am). [Earlier, Wheelock closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Kibo & Cupola windows, until about 7:46am, while Walker turned off the amateur/ham radio equipment, later back on. Yurchikhin monitored the undocking with the NIKON D3 camera with a f80-200 mm lens through SM window 26, focusing in particular on the Progress docking mechanism (STA) to verify that there were no missing or damaged O-ring seals on the docking interface. Kornienko used the Progress undocking for a test of the external Klest (KL-154M) TV camera, recording footage on the SONY HVR-Z1 camcorder for playback and downlink tomorrow. Later, FE-3 switched the SM-to-Soyuz PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve, Russian: KVD) manually to its Closed position, a standard post-undocking procedure.]

In support of the JAXA experiment MYCO (Mycological Evaluation of Crew Exposure to ISS Ambient Air), body samples were collected first thing in the morning by Doug Wheelock from FE-2 Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, FE-6 Walker & himself and then inserted for preservation into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) at +2 degC. [MYCO evaluates the risk of microorganisms via inhalation and adhesion to the skin to determine which fungi act as allergens on the ISS. MYCO samples are collected from the nasal cavity, the pharynx and the skin of crew during preflight, in flight and postflight focusing particularly on fungi which act as strong allergens in our living environment. Before sample collection, crewmembers are not to eat or drink anything except water, nor wash their face, brush their teeth, or gargle after you wake up to avoid science loss.]

Caldwell-Dyson was also the subject of another periodic 30-min US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam, assisted by Walker as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Tracy later 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 laptop.]

CDR Skvortsov conducted the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~5:15pm EDT before sleep time. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday by Alex. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days. (Last time done: 8/9-8/10).]

Afterwards, Skvortsov configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his 5th, 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-5 Yurchikhin took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, spending an hour on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember rests for 5 min., then works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h].

FE-3 Kornienko terminated the overnight (10-hr) charging of the Kelvin-Video battery for the Russian KPT-2 payload with its BAR science instruments suite, and then initiated the process on the battery of the TTM-2 Anemometer-Thermometer, finishing it about 4.5 hrs later. [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Besides the new Piren-B video-endoscope with pyrosensor, 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.]

For protecting CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) and its PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) from external dynamic disturbances during the Progress undocking, Caldwell-Dyson had installed the lock-down alignment guides (4) on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) early in the morning.

Later, FE-2 supported the ground in swapping the THC CCAA (Temperature & Humidity Control / Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner in the U.S. Lab from port to starboard by closing off the P6 MFCV (Manual Flow Control Valve) and opening the S6 MFCV. This allowed the swapover from the CCAA port channel (P6) to the alternate system on starboard (S6). The ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System / Low Temperature Loop) was then switched accordingly, i.e., from port to starboard. Tracy also reapplied positioning marks on the MFCVs to refresh their readability. [The CCAA is a network of ducting that draws in the air through filters, delivers it for conditioning, and returns it to the modules. The swap-over between the CCAA channels is generally done by the ground once a month, with crew support, to dry out the heat exchanger of the deactivated side. MCC-H flight controllers command the required systems configurations for the dryout via S-band.]

FE-4 Wheelock set up and prepared the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), including MBS (Mixing Bag System), for his 3rd session with the VO2max assessment, integrated with Thermolab. After concluding without issues, Wheels downloaded the data, including Thermolab, to a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop, powered down, cleaned up and temporarily moved all hardware aside for subsequent crew operation. [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.]

Walker supported JAXA troubleshooting on the MI (Marangoni Inside) payload in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by looking for and identifying two MI cassettes in a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag). [The two cassettes are designated MI PTV20 & MI UVP10, plus serial numbers. During checkout for the MI experiment setup, SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba) observed two unexpected conditions via downlinked camera images: The silicon oil supply port of a MI cassette is not fully open, and the size of tracers (small particles) contained in the silicon oil is smaller than SSIPC expected.]

Afterwards, Shannon undertook her 2nd session with the JAXA experiment BIORHYTHMS (Biological Rhythms), for which she put on the electrodes of the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) for ECG (Electrocardiogram) recording, then started the data take for the next 24 hrs. [BIORHYTHMS is performed by Walker & Wheelock, with 3 data collection sessions for each of them. Body mass is measured with SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). Each session collects 24 hrs worth of ECG data. On Day 1, the Holter ECG harness is donned for recording. On Day 2, it is removed, and the ECG data are downloaded to the MLT (Microgravity Laptop terminal).]

In the Lab, FE-6 moved stowage goods from locations P6, O6 & D0 (including FS/File Server, MEC, Printer & SSC/Station Support Computer clients as needed) to temporary stowage to make room, then spent about two hours using the FSS (Fluid Systems Servicer) to refill ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) loops in the Lab with fresh coolant (water). [This involved priming (filling) the FSS jumpers & circulating coolant through them first, then charging the LTL & MTL PPA (Low Temperature Loop & Moderate Temperature Loop Pump Package Assembly) accumulators as well as the spare Gas Trap in the Lab.]

Yurchikhin started a new round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok). [Using a vacuum cleaner and soft brush, Fyodor cleaned the detachable VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) plus the fixed GZhT4 grill, and also replaced the PS1 & PS2 dust filter cartridges.]

For the long-term experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Caldwell-Dyson downloaded data from the three Actiwatches worn by herself, Shannon & Wheels to the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop, then initialized them, installed fresh lithium batteries as required, decabled and stowed the hardware, and powered off the PC.

In Node-3, the CDR & FE-2 cleared access to the WRS (Water Recovery System) by temporarily removing the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) Kabin, enabling Tracy to perform the periodic routine replacement of the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly). The old unit was stowed for return and the Tox-2 caps & plugs of the spare were stowed for re-use. FE-2 later closed out the R&R, helped Alex to re-install the Kabin and then reconfigured the WHC to feed the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) for processing. [RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine by the UPA as it turns it into water.]

Sasha Skvortsov continued the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, repressed on 8/10 with nitrogen (N2) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2), by conducting the usual pressure check and recharging it with N2 from BPA-1M Nitrogen Purge Unit as required to verify the unit’s hermeticity. [Objective of the monthly checkout of the spare BZh, which has been in stowage since March 2007, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

While overflying RGS-21 (Russian Ground Site 21) at ~8:45am EDT, Kornienko checked out the functionality of the RS (Russian Segment)’s UKV (=VHF) radio transmission. [RGS-21 Djusail (DJS) is located at 45.7N, 63.5E. The test was initiated yesterday by the CDR.]

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.]

Misha Kornienko did the daily IMS maintenance by 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).

With Skvortsov & Kornienko due to depart on Soyuz 22S (along with Caldwell-Dyson) in three weeks (9/24), Alex & Mikhail (of Exp-24) again spent about 2 hrs with Yurchikhin (of Exp-25) on handover activities, to get Fyodor up to date with RS tasks and issues.

After setting up the VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) in COL, Tracy took documentary photographs of the BLB HM (Biolab Handling Mechanism) arm for ground evaluation.

Later, Tracy performed the regular re-calibration of the two hand-held CSA-O2 (CSA-Oxygen) instruments #1041 and #1045, the 7th calibration after their delivery on Mission 20A. (Done last: 8/3).

Shannon Walker & Doug Wheelock updated their daily diet logs for their on-going first six-day SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) sessions, which entail diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Wheels & Shannon are eating special diets (for Wheels: Session 1 – Low salt diet; Session 2 – High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level; for Shannon: first High salt, then Low salt). SOLO Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are logged daily on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) on Days 4 & 6. Blood samples are taken on Day 5, centrifuged & inserted in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) and also measured with the PCBA. 24-hr urine collections will be performed on Day 5, with sample insertion in MELFI.]

Wheels assembled & configured his Glenn harness with its transducer instrumentation for his exercise on the T2/COLBERT treadmill today, his 2nd SDTO (Station Development Test Objective) session with the instrumented harness. [Recent data showed that several transducers were not providing usable data. In order to maximize data acquisition, ground specialists have identified six viable transducers plus two spares for Shannon’s & Doug’s use. These 8 transducers have been combined from both instrumentation kits and spares launched on Progress 38P. Doug has 3 exercise sessions on T2 between each data collection session, and there will be 4 collection sessions using each Harness (Glenn for T2, followed by the TVIS harness for TVIS).]

Fyodor set up the video system in Node-3 to capture his & Mikhail’s the exercise workout on the ARED for ground evaluation.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR/2x, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2, FE-4, FE-6). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but is regularly being done after the last T2 session of the day.]

CDR, FE-2, FE-3 & FE-5 were scheduled for their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Alex at ~10:50am, Tracy at ~11:10am, Mikhail at ~1:50pm, Fyodor at ~2:05pm EDT.

Structural Vibrations Issue: Over the weekend, ground controllers observed a small oscillation on the starboard truss in the down-linked images of ISS external camera views (S1LOOB/lower outboard video camera on S1 truss and JPM external aft camera). Ground engineers reviewed available accelerometer data yesterday, but no source of the vibrations has as yet been determined. Assessments are being held today to determine whether these vibrations are acceptable for the MT (Mobile Transporter) translation scheduled tomorrow from WS2 (Worksite 2) to WS4.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Melekeok, Palau (looking left for this young island nation with a population of ~21,000 and an area of 177 sq. mi. The island stands alone and is fringed with a light-toned coral reef. The capital, a village of a few hundred people, lies on the eastern shore. Palau is multicultural as shown in its many official languages: nationwide, the official languages are Palauan and English, but in two municipalities [out of sixteen in the country] the local language, along with Palauan, is official. Japanese is also spoken widely among older Palauans, and is an official language in another municipality. Tagalog, a language from the Philippines, is not official, but it is the fourth largest spoken language), Aurora Borealis: Alaska–Canada opportunity (Dynamic event. Looking left. Ground imaging of aurora is taking place in Canada at the same time. For low-light targets such as aurora the ground recommended using the Nikon D3s camera. As sunrise approached the northern latitudes, the night window for aurora imaging was reduced to ~6 minutes. Further aurora opportunities were uplinked also), La Paz, Bolivia (nadir pass. La Paz lies southeast of the prominent dark feature of Lake Titicaca, on the edge of the high plateau. The city’s airport is also prominent), and Hurricane Earl, western Atlantic (looking left for the eye of this major storm. Earl is projected to be near or at category 4 level by the time of the crew’s pass. Afternoon sun from the west should enhance any images).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:27am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 354.9 km
Apogee height – 360.2 km
Perigee height – 349.6 km
Period -- 91.64 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007827
Solar Beta Angle -- 39.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 46 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,531.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
09/06/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P deorbit – ~8:06am EDT
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch – 7:11am EDT
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking – ~8:40am EDT
09/xx/10 -- ISS reboost
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24; CDR-25 – Wheelock)
--------------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
02/26/11 -- 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-------------
05/30/11 -- 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.