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April 27, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/27/11

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

  • At Baikonur/Kazakhstan, the new cargo ship Progress M-10M/42P (#410) was launched this morning on time at 9:05apm EDT on a Soyuz-U rocket fueled with 392 tons of LO2, over 80 tons of kerosene, and nearly 70 tons of LN2, H2O2 and other elements.  Ascent was nominal, and all spacecraft systems were without issues.  All arrays and antennas deployed nominally (2 solar arrays, 5 KURS antennas, 1 Rassvet-M antenna for TORU, 1 SBI/M-BITS onboard measurement / telemetry system antenna). Docking to the ISS at the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port is planned for Friday, 4/29, at ~10:29am.

Upon wake-up, CDR Kondratyev performed the regular daily check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator. [Maxim Suraev installed these filters 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). Dmitri inspects the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-3 Garan, FE-5 Nespoli & FE-6 Coleman completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. It was the 6th for Ron, the 29th for Paolo & Cady. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

Coleman continued the current periodic acoustic measurement program, today setting up the dosimeters in the SM (Service Module) near the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber and in Node-3 on the midbay across from the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) and near a radial port (not on the hatch).     [The dosimeters should not be in any air flow, and the dosimeter microphones should not touch the wall.  For noise measurement of the Node-3 IMV (Intermodular Ventilation), the Node-3 fans will be cycled tonight during crew sleep.  Due to temperature considerations during the IMV Deck Stbd fan power-off, Nespoli is to close the Cupola shutters before sleep time.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Garan uninstalled the PEHG (Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway) and replaced it with the LEHX (Layer 2 Ethernet Hub & Multiplexer).

After the LEHX installation, Ron used a portable flow sensor to check the flow rate in the Kibo lab, adjusting it by means of the FAV (Flow Adjusting Valve).

Later in the day, Cady Coleman prepared the JPM LEHX and its HRDL (High Rate Data Line) for ground-commanded checkout.     [Steps involved connecting one of three LEHX high rate data cables from the DMS1 (Data Management System 1) Rack to HRMS (High Rate Multiplexer Switch), retracting the HRMS front door (no longer used) and installing instead a new soft cover on the HRMS.  The two remaining high rate data cables will be connected tomorrow.]

In preparation for upcoming sessions with the biotechnology experiment BTKh-39 ASEPTIK, to be delivered among others on Progress 42P, FE-1 Samokutyayev set up the thermostatic container/coolers TBU-V (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat) in DC1 & KRIOGEM-03 in SM.

Working with Sasha, FE-2 Borisenko readied the Glavboks-S (Glovebox) for BTKh-39, configuring it for air sample collection.

Afterwards, in preparation for another MAI-75 radio activity, Alex conducted a health check of the second VHF TM D700 amateur/ham radio station, using an old (A31p) and a new (T61p) RSK1 laptop with a test activation of the MAI-75 Imagery Transmission experiment, part of OBR-5 (Obrazovanie-5, Education 5) ops.

Kondratyev completed his 6th session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [For the session, Dima donned the electrode cap, prepared his head for the electrodes, and applied electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

The CDR also completed the regular (weekly) 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).

Andrey Borisenko continued the current 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, FE-3 replaced the dust filters of the TsV1,2 central circulation ventilators with fresh units and cleaned the detachable VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4), plus the fixed GZhT4 grill.]

Cady Coleman completed the visual T+2 Days (44 ± 4h) microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of SM & PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) water samples collected by her on 4/25 for the “Week 6” assessment, using the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit / Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).

Later, FE-6 installed and configured the HRF (Human Research Facility) Supply Kits “Purple” & “Green” and then took documentary photos of the setup.

Cady also worked ~45 min with the Velocicalc instrument to take IMV flow measurements in the ISS interior, e.g., from Lab to Node-2, Airlock to Node-1, Node-3 to Cupola, at the IMV outlets of Lab Aft Port, Node-1 Stbd Aft & Lab Fwd Port, and at the Lab Fwd Port inlet, etc.

Alex Samokutyayev set up the Russian TEKh-38 VETEROK (“Breeze”) science hardware and then used it to take air ion concentration measurements three times during the day at a number of locations in the MRM1 Rassvet module. Data were taken in two blocks of 1h 15m each with a break of ~2 hrs in between and entered on log sheets.      [Objective: to optimize atmospheric gas parameters in MRM1 by operating the Veterok air-cleaning fan for 1.5 hrs without generation of air ions, then for another 1.5 hrs with generation of air ions.  Veterok uses an air scrubber fan (VOV), air ion concentration meter (IKAR-1) and anemometer-thermometer (TAN-1) for measuring charged particles at various locations near the running VOV. The experiment studies the implementation of alternative methods for cleaning & revitalizing the atmosphere by pumping the air with an electrostatic fan through an electric filter and saturating the airflow with light air ions of positive and negative polarity, which may solve the problem of removing organic trace contaminants from the air, both in the entire station volume and in the space behind the panels. Measurements were taken with IKAR-1 and TAN-1 of particle field polarity (plus/minus), concentration, temperature & velocity and downloaded to the RSE-1 laptop.]

With STTS comm systems temporarily configured for crew presence in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, Borisenko conducted another active session for the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), supported by ground specialist tagup.  STTS was then reconfigured to nominal. [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: 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.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Nespoli completed Day 2 of the ESA cardiological experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease), closing out the 24-hr urine collection protocol, performing the fourth & fifth rebreathing sessions and completing the blood draw in two tubes which he then centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge). Afterwards, Paolo stowed the PFS (Pulmonary Function System), saved all the HLTA BP (Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) data on a PCMCIA memory card and reconnected the MPPL (Multi Purpose Payload Laptop) to its 120VDC outlet.   [After the second centrifugation, the two tubes were placed into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS) at -80 degC. CARD includes three double rebreathing sessions yesterday plus two double rebreathings today. Between these two rebreathings, the CDL HTA was activated to take BP measurements. CARD was performed for the first time by ESA crewmember Thomas Reiter in November 2006. Astronauts experience lowered blood volume and pressure during space missions due to relaxation of the cardiovascular system in microgravity which may be a result from decreased fluid and sodium in the body. CARD examines the relationship between salt intake and the cardiovascular system when exposed to the microgravity environment and explores whether blood pressure & volume can be restored to the same levels that were measured during groundbased measurements by adding additional salt to the crew’s food. Results from this may lead to new health safety measures for astronauts to protect them on long duration missions.]

In support of troubleshooting of the BXF (Boiling Experiment Facility) payload by ground control from POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center), FE-5 visually inspected & activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and later opened the BXF avionics box, first removing the right MSG blank glove ring assembly, then reinstalling it.   Later in the day, Cady powered down the MSG.

Paolo also had ~35 min set aside for an inventory/audit of IMV duct & cap O-rings in the MPLM VOK (Vestibule Outfitting Kit), to dispose of old units and count new IMV duct & cap O-rings to be used in future installations.

Dima Kondratyev conducted periodic routine maintenance in the SM’s ASU toilette facility, changing out replaceable parts with new components, such as a filter insert (F-V), the urine receptacle (MP), the pre-treat container (E-K) with its hose and the DKiV pre-treat & water dispenser. All old parts were trashed for disposal, and the IMS (Inventory Management System) was updated. [E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in the DKiV dispenser and used for toilet flushing.]

Dmitri, Sasha & Andrey each had ~30 min to review a top level summary of new biotechnology science experiments to be conducted using payloads arriving on 4/29 on Progress M-10M/42P.  These experiments are scheduled for the time between 42P docking and Soyuz 23 undocking.     [The research plan for this period includes BTKh-6/ARIL, BTKh-7/OChB, BTKh-10/KONYUGATSIYA, BTKh-26/KASKAD, BTKh-14/BIOEMULSJIA , BTKh-39/ASEPTIK, BTKh-40/BUF, BTKh-35/MEMBRANA, and BIO-1/POLIGEN.]

Borisenko & Kondratyev completed a data collection session each for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file.  It was the first for Andrey, the 12th for Dima.   [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

In the Kibo JPM laboratory, Ron Garan conducted Part 3 of the current new JAXA life science experiment CsPINs (Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber) by starting Run1-3.     [Steps included watering the CsPINs samples in four Chamber Bs (##801-804) (for cultivating hydrotropism), then installing them in four MEU B (Measurement Unit B) units and finally attaching these in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) 1G incubator.  At the end, the samples will be photographed, put in KFTs (Kennedy Fixation Tubes) for fixation and stowed in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) at +2 degC.   Background: CsPINs studies the phenomenon of tropism, i.e., the growth or turning movement of a biological organism, usually a plant, in response to an environmental stimulus. Specifically focusing on gravity, the new JAXA experiment investigates how plants sense gravity as an environmental signal and use it for governing their morphology and growth orientation. CsPINs plays an important role in the regulation of gravity-dependent redistribution of auxin (a class of plant hormones) and thereby controls gravimorphogenesis (peg formation) in cucumber (Cucmis sativus L.) seedlings. Gravitropism also interferes with hydrotropism in cucumber roots, in which the dynamism of these facilitators may also play a role. Cucumber seedlings are used to analyze the effect of gravity on the expressions of CsPINs and unravel their contributions to peg formation. Hydrotropism is differentiated from gravitropism in roots, and the expressions of CsPINs are compared to determine the interacting mechanism between the two tropisms.]

Ron also completed a session with the U.S. HMS VIS (Health Maintenance Systems / Visual Acuity) testing program, using an eye chart for both far & near visual acuity and filling out an eye questionnaire for downloading on a laptop for ground access.

Cady Coleman had another ~1h25m for remaining stowage relocations in preparation for ULF-6, cleaning out the Node-2 Fwd Endcone area by moving 5 CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) to selected locations in PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) & Node-3.

Preparatory to the arrival of Progress 42P on Friday, Dmitri & Cady set up the Ku-band video “scheme” for a communications test of converting the RS video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from FGB & SM, for downlinking “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. [For the test, Cady configured the SSC-1 (Station Support Computer 1) A31p laptop in the FGB and activated the VWS (Video Streaming Workstation) laptop for both the conversion and the “streaming” MPEG2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoding, with Dima running the video test from the RS.  The equipment, including the A31p, was then closed down.]

FE-6 conducted the regular (~weekly) inspection & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) and CGBA-5 payloads in their ERs (EXPRESS Racks).

Cady also performed the periodic check of the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) exercise machine’s four isolators.

Collecting air samples for return on 25S, Alex Samokutyayev used a Russian AK-1M absorber in the SM & FGB for air and IPD-CO Draeger tubes, on a cartridge belt with a pump, to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide). The samplers were stowed for subsequent return to Earth.

Sasha also conducted 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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

Dmitri took care of the daily IMS 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).

At ~12:00pm EDT, Ron Garan had his weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Later tonight before “Presleep” period, Ron will power on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and start the data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, MPC will be turned off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

TVIS Update:    TVIS/treadmill troubleshooting last Saturday (4/23) was not successful.  VIS (Vibration Isolation System) stabilizer has been cleared.   The crew found the broken wire rope which could have contributed to a gyro failure.  Teams are continuing to assess this.    [Bearings were changed out on TVIS early on during the two-crew timeframe but this signature does not seem to point to bearings.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (nadir pass.  Weather is as good as it gets for this tropical capital city on the Strait of Malacca.  The entire metro area is >60 km long, stretching inland from the port, to the city center which lies well inland), Namibia floods (Dynamic event.      Looking right for the mouth of the Kuiseb River — one of Namibia’s largest — whose floods are reaching the sea which is a once-in-decades event.  Visual cues are a mass of brown water entering the Atlantic Ocean and the unique sand spit at Walvis Bay.  The town of Walvis Bay lies on the delta), and Etosha Pan floods (Dynamic event.      Nadir views of the north shore of the dry lake, and the flooded rivers that drain into it we requested.  Looking left for views in sun glint.  This is a rare event for the semi-arid northern Namibia, where unusual rains have occurred for the last several weeks).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:39am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 346.9 km
Apogee height – 348.5 km
Perigee height – 345.4 km
Period -- 91.48 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002291
Solar Beta Angle -- 30.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 229 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 71,291

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
04/29/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC-1 nadir) ~10:29am
04/29/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS) ~3:47:49pm EDT
05/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour docking  ~1:31pm
05/11/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour undocking  ~6:23am
05/13/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour landing (KSC)  ~9:28am
05/23/11 – Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
06/07/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/09/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/xx/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)
06/28/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) ~3:30pm EDT NET
06/30/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) NET
07/27/11 – Russian EVA #29
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-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-03M/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-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
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)
02/29/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 -- Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/05/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/02/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------