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April 29, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/29/11

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

Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate the Progress 42P docking this morning (as well as the anticipated, but scrubbed ULF6 Shuttle mission), crew wake/sleep cycle changed today, featuring a 3h30m slip to the right (i.e., 5:30am-11:00pm).

Yest kasaniya! At 10:28am EDT this morning, Progress M-10M/42P (#410) docked successfully to the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port under precise automatic Kurs control. [Kurs antenna retraction was nominal. Kasaniya (contact) was followed by a final DPO post-contact thrusting burn, docking probe retraction and Sborka (hook closure, ~10:38am) after motion damp-out while the ISS was in free drift for 20 min (10:29am-10:49am). At “hooks closed” signal, the SM returned to active attitude control, maneuvering the ISS to LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal Torque Equilibrium Attitude). Control authority returned to US Momentum Management at ~12:00pm. Next were the standard 1-hr leak checking, opening of the hatches (~2:50pm) and installation of the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling, followed by the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler, powering down the spacecraft and installing the ventilation/heating air duct, taking photographs of the internal docking surfaces for subsequent downlinking, and dismantling the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1.]

Upon wake-up, Andrey Borisenko 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). Andrey inspects the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Cady Coleman powered down the new amateur/ham radio equipment in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to prevent RF interference during the approach & docking..

Preparatory of the arrival of time-critical biotechnology payloads on Progress 42P, CDR Kondratyev activated thermostatic (temperature-controlled) containers in the SM (Service Module), MRM2 Poisk module and DC1 Docking Compartment. [In the SM, KRIOGEM-03 was set to +4 degC, In MRM2 TBU-V (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat V) to +29 degC, in DC-1 TBU to +37 degC.]

FE-6 Coleman & FE-3 Garan turned on & configured the FGB-based A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop for the Ku-band video “scheme” for covering the Progress docking. [The A31p handles the TV conversion of the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera to US NTSC mode & Ku-band via the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM, for downlinking “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band.]

Automated approach & docking was monitored from the SM by Kondratyev & Samokutyayev on the TORU manual teleoperated rendezvous & docking system in case automated control is aborted.

After the cargo ship’s docking, Dmitri & Alex shut off the TORU, and reconfigure the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops. [The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC-1 and USOS, and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support].

The crewmembers then conducted the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and the DC1 port vestibule.

Afterwards, CDR Kondratyev & FE-1 Samokutyayev opened the hatches (~2:50am) and installed the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling.

Afterwards, Kondratyev powered down the spacecraft and installed the ventilation/heating air duct;

FE-1 then performed the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler.

Sasha also downloaded the structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer of the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet of the docking to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104].

FE-3 Borisenko meanwhile took two photos of the internal part of the DC1 nadir port’s SSVP-StM docking cone to obtain digital imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left by the head of the 42P active docking probe on the internal surface of the passive drogue (docking cone) ring, a standard practice after Russian dockings. Andrey subsequently downlinked the pictures via OCA assets. [These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, Andrey used the Nikon D2X digital still camera to take the pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

Dmitri & Andrey dismantled the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1. [The StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress' cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC-1.]

Kondratyev then attached the regular two handles (ruchek) on the hatch door.

After the docking, Ron & Cady tore down and removed the MPEG-2 “scheme” streaming video downlink setup, then deactivated the conversion A31p laptop in the FGB.

FE-1 Samokutyayev performed periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor’s sediment trap insert (VU) in the SM. [The VU insert was replaced with a spare on 3/30. The Russian SRVK-2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water.]

Later today, Dmitri, Alex & Andrey will transfer a number of Russian high priority biotechnology payloads to the ISS and set them up in the RS (Russian Segment), with Dima taking documentary photography of each:

  • BTKh-6/ARIL (to the TBU-V thermostat-controlled incubator at +29 degC)
  • BTKh-7/OChB (to TBU-V thermostat-controlled incubator at +29 degC)
  • BTKh-14/BIOEMULSIYA (in Bioreactor #6 into KRIOGEM-03M at +4 degC)
  • BTKh-26/KASKAD (Cascade) (to KRIOGEM-03M at +4 degC)
  • BTKh-40/BIF (to DC1, in thermostatic container at +37degC)
  • BTKh-10/KONYUGATSIYA (Rekomb-K into KRIOGEM-03M at +4 degC)
  • BIO-1/POLIGENE and
  • BTKh-39/ASEPTIK (to MRM2, into TBU-V at +37degC).

Other priority payloads to be transferred from the cargo ship to the ISS, with moves logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database, include Symbolics material, the Vozdukh kit, consumables for the SOLO-PCBA-004 analyzer, 21 local radiation dosimeters, 21 grab sample containers and several research supply kits.

FE-3 Ron Garan will receive the SOLO PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) measurement pouches (1 & 2) from Borisenko and stow them into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).

Samokutyayev conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [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.]

Alex also took on 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).

Ron Garan filled out his 3rd 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.]

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.]

At ~5:55am, Cady powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) for a ham radio session, at 6:00am, with students at Ecole Primaire de Larochette, Larochette (Fiels), Luxembourg. [The new ham radio equipment in the COL is still in checkout and has not been cleared for use yet.]

At ~7:30am EDT, Dmitri, Alex, Andrey, Ron, Paolo & Cady held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~7:45am, CDR, FE-1 & FE-2 linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~11:45am, Paolo used the SM amateur station for a ham radio pass with students at Scuola Secondaria I Grado "M. Maccioni" Nuoro, Italy., then deactivated the station.

At ~12:15pm, the six crewmembers conducted their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

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

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Mbabane, Swaziland (looking left for this small capital city [~95,000], which lies in a wooded highland), Moroni, Comoros, Indian Ocean (looking left, on the far shore for this small capital city [population~60,000]. The archipelago nation of Comoros is the third smallest in Africa, with a population of ~800,000), Etosha Pan floods (Dynamic event. Left of track: sunglint opportunity to capture widespread floods covering the extremely flat country either side of the international boundary. Right of track: Etosha Pan, the low point of the basin, is progressively filling. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the floods in these two areas, on both sides of the border), and Sierra el Tigre land use, N. Mexico (looking at nadir and left to shoot a mapping strip of images of the Sierra del Tigre “sky island”. Sky islands are high altitude, cool mountain ranges with higher rainfall, termed islands because they are surrounded by low hot deserts. The sky islands, of which there are many, are a major natural resource for many products. Land use mapping—of forest health [color] and especially uncontrolled logging—is of interest to scientists from several disciplines).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:30am EDT [= epoch])

Mean altitude – 346.6 km
Apogee height – 348.3 km
Perigee height – 344.9 km
Period -- 91.47 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002479
Solar Beta Angle -- 21.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 71,323
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):

--------------Six-crew operations-------------
TBD -- STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS)
TBD -- STS-134/Endeavour docking
TBD -- STS-134/Endeavour undocking
TBD -- STS-134/Endeavour landing (KSC)
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-------------