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February 23, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 02/23/10

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

At wake-up, FE-4 Kotov did the regular daily “early-morning” check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Suraev had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-4 again inspects the filters tonight before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Oleg Kotov also performed 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 ~4:15pm EST before sleep time. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. [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: 1/11 &1/12).]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Noguchi serviced the Dewey’s Forest science payload, which requires periodic watering and cultivation of its PUs (Plant Units), including making sure that the PUs have equal exposure to light. [Dewey’s Forest, one of the Japanese educational payloads, is intended to show how gravity controls the laws of nature and influences our ways of thinking. The project is “a catalyst to rediscover our relationship with plants on the ground and the age-old history of our gardens.”]

CDR Williams disconnected and took down the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab RWS (Robotic Work Station) which allowed video coverage of the Endeavour undocking and departure with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) cameras.

FE-6 Creamer initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run (the 71st) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer). 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.]

After activating and visually inspecting the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), FE-5 Noguchi continued troubleshooting the SODI/DSC (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument / Diffusion Soret Coefficient) hardware in the MSG work volume by checking power and data cable connections of the IPU (Imaging Processing Unit) one by one. [DSC is part of the SODI triple experiment series of SODI (IVIDIL, DSC, Colloid) for advanced research in vibration effects on diffusion in liquids, diffusion measurements in petroleum reservoirs and the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions, respectively.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), which is not yet back in nominal operation after the cascading comm breakdown due to C&C MDM transitions, Noguchi worked on the ESA BLB (Biolab), inspecting BGB (Bioglovebox) seals and gloves as part of checking on the function of the delta-pressure sensor.

TJ Creamer continued looking for the “missing” amount of urine from the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) and pretreated urine system within the UPA rack, reconfiguring valves and hoses to locate any possible leakage.

In preparation for the subsequent PanOptic activities, Jeff Williams connected the T61p RoBOT laptop (#1026) with the PanOptic software to a UOP (Utility Outlet Panel) in the JPM and powered it on.

With the PanOptic gear set up by Jeff, immediately before their bedtime TJ & Maxim both will undergo an eye test with the PanOptic experiment which requires application of eye drops (Tropicamide [Mydriacyl]) causing eye dilation for subsequent ophthalmic examination performed by Williams as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) with an ophthalmoscope. [The procedure, guided by laptop software, captures still & video images of the eye, including the posterior poles, macula & optic disc with the optic nerve, for downlink and expert analysis.]

Soichi Noguchi set up the video equipment to cover his workout on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) for subsequent biomechanical evaluation by ground specialists and later tore it down and stowed it again.

Suraev 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

CDR, FE-5 & FE-6 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Soichi at ~5:10am, Jeff at ~9:40am, TJ at ~11:30am EST.

FE-1, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6 also had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Oleg and Maxim at ~8:00am, TJ at ~9:20am, Soichi at ~10:50am.

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-5), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive device (CDR, FE-1, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6) and VELO bike ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-4).

C&C MDM Event Update: An international team of experts is at work restoring full nominal operation to all affected systems in the USOS (US Segment) & RS (Russian Segment), plus conducting an in-depth investigation to assure no future repetition of the widespread shutdown. A detailed explanatory Flight Note is being prepared. Background: On Sunday (2/21), the ISS experienced a loss of S-band communications. The crew, temporarily on their own, took immediate and optimal action. When S-Band comm was restored, ground engineers discovered that the Primary C&C MDM (Command & Control Multiplexer De-Multiplexer computer) had transitioned through prime, backup and standby mode. This was followed by three more C&C MDM transitions (4 total). Ground teams isolated the problem to an erroneous command from COL-CC (Columbus Control Center, Oberpfaffenhofen). It caused the Columbus VTC (Vital Telemetry Telecommand Computer) to send improperly formatted data with wrong parameters to the C&C MDM which wrote them to incorrect memory addresses in CCS (Command & Control System), triggering a cascading crash. Russian systems were also affected. On Monday afternoon, ground controllers inhibited COL data, stopping the C&C MDM transitions and allowing ground controllers to reconfigure systems back to normal. Additional steps are underway at Oberpfaffenhofen to correct the telemetry formatting problem on the Columbus side. In Houston, specialists were able to replicate the problem in the SDIL (Software Development & Integration Lab), and multilateral CCS and COL software teams have developed steps to fix the problem. One concern that will receive particular attention, is the apparent sensitivity of the CCS to such upsets.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were La Paz, Bolivia (looking right: the city lies at the southern end of Lake Titicaca, the crew’s main visual cue. It has 2.3 million inhabitants), Santiago, Chile (looking left: this capital city of slightly more than 200,000 inhabitants appears as a gray mass at the foot of the Andes Mountains), and Chaiten Volcano, S. Chile (looking left: the volcano, which erupted in May 2008 for the first time in 9000 years, lies on the coast of the inner channel. The eruption caused the evacuation of the entire town of Chaiten. A mudflow from the volcano occupied the river bed, causing the river to cut a new course through the middle of the town. The town was subsequently abandoned).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:17am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.3 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height – 344.6 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006929
Solar Beta Angle -- 34.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 87 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,557

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
03/18/10 -- Soyuz TMA-16/20S undock/landing
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch – Skvortsov (CDR-24)/Caldwell/Kornienko
04/04/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S docking
04/05/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
04/27/10 -- Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 “Rassvet”
05/10/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/31/10 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
06/14/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
07/xx/10 -- US EVA-15
07/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-25
06/28/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/27/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
07/29/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
07/29/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) (~7:30am EST)
08/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
09/02/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
09/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) (~12:01pm EST)
09/18/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) docking
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) undock
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-26
10/26/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
11/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/15/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
02/08/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
02/09/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
02/11/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
xx/xx/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.