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February 24, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 02/24/10

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

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 also 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.]

FE-1 Suraev continued the integration of the Russian MRM2 “Poisk” module in the ISS by installing new BVS software (Vers. 03.02) on the Central Post Computers 1 & 2 (KTsP1 & KTsP2) from a DVD starting out on the RS2 laptop, then deploying the new TVU (Terminal Computing Device) file structure (“image”, 08.03) from the RS1 laptop.

In the “Quest” A/L (Airlock) oven, FE-6 Creamer started the “bake-out” regeneration process on two of the METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters (#0005, #0007) used for CO2 absorption during the 20A EVAs.

Afterwards, Creamer replaced the battery in the new active CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) prime unit (#1042) with a new battery (#1162).

Working on the UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) in Node-3, CDR Williams performed a manual fill of its WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) from an EDV-U urine container, using the EDV transfer hose instead of the PTU-T (Pre-Treat Urine-Tee)-valve transfer hose. [The activity, with the Russian Kompressor-M and protective goggles, gloves and dust mask, took about 30 min. For a status update on the Regen ECLSS systems, see below.]

Williams completed the periodic status checks and necessary maintenance of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and CGBA-6.

Jeff Williams & Soichi Noguchi spent some time in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) going through a communication checkout of the JAXA ICS (Inter-Orbit Communication System), using a headset for S/G (Space-to-Ground channel) exchange with SSIPC in Tokyo, MCC-Houston and COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen at 9:11am-9:37am EST.

With Maxim Suraev covering activities with the photo/TV equipment, Oleg Kotov conducted another session with the Russian BTKh-39 bioscience experiment ASEPTIC in the MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2), first sterilizing the new Glavboks-C, then collecting surface and air samples.

To get physically ready for his return to gravity on 3/8 with Soyuz 20S, Maxim Suraev completed his first preparatory orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis suit, conducting the MedOps MO-4 exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) on the TVIS treadmill. With Kotov acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Maxim was supported in his 55-min session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 12:42pm on DO16. There will be more runs. [The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Romanenko’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. Data output includes blood pressure readings. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by one cycle of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -25, -30, -35 and -40 mmHg for five min. each, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Maxim also conducted his 9th data collection 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. [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.]

For an upcoming new run of the BAR KELVIN experiment, set up in the FGB, the FE-1 started charging the battery for the KPT-2 TTM-2 payload, terminating the activity later in the day and performing a functional checkout, then stowing the equipment. [Objective of the Russian BAR-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). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/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.]

Still before breakfast, FE-5 Noguchi began Part 1 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, carried by Williams (#1004) & Suraev (#1005) for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). (Last time done: 1/18-1/19). [Tonight, after about 15 hours of measurements, TJ Creamer will download the dosimeter data and power-cycle the hardware for another data take starting tomorrow after 8.5-hr. sleep. At that point, the crew will deploy the dosimeters statically in the station for the duration of the day, record measurements tomorrow noon and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Noguchi began troubleshooting the failed JEM’s MPC (Multi Protocol Converter), as usual first checking cable connectivity between the MPC, G1 Camcorder and the G1 Camcorder combination cable & Firewire (4pin/4pin) cable. [The troubleshooting was monitored on the ground by downlinked video image via HRDL (High Rate Data Link). Background: There have been several recent interruptions during video downlink using G1 Camcorder & MPC in JEM. Although the video downlink capability seems to be currently restored, actions are needed because there is a risk of video interruption if this problem recurs during a PAO event. After some analysis, SSIPC believes that the video downlink failures are likely caused by the data connectors and/or data cable between MPC and G1 Camcorder.]

Kotov & Suraev spent another joint 3 hrs transferring & stowing excessed equipment & trash on Progress M-03M/35P, to be jettisoned on 4/27.

At ~10:00am EST, Jeff, TJ & Soichi conducted a 25-min teleconference with the ground via S/G2 audio, discussing the upcoming work of prepacking equipment for the STS-131/Discovery/19A mission. The review was supported by an uplinked preliminary prepack list and messages.

The FE-4 completed a periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

It’s Soichi’s turn tonight to undergo the PanOptic eye test which requires application of eye drops (Tropicamide [Mydriacyl]) causing eye dilation for subsequent ophthalmic examination performed by Creamer as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) with an ophthalmoscope. [The procedure, guided by special software on the T61p RoBOT laptop (#1026), captures still & video images of the eye, including the posterior poles, macula & optic disc with the optic nerve, for downlink and expert analysis.]

Shortly before sleep time, Oleg will set up the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his third experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

At ~7:10am, the Japanese Flight Engineer supported a JAXA PAO TV event in HD (High Definition), being interviewed for about 20 min by members of the “SMAPXSMAP Space Special” TV show on Fuji Television in Tokyo, Japan.

At ~1:34pm, Maxim Suraev downlinked another segment of his “News from Zero Gravity” program for the Russian TV Channel TVTs, via USOS assets (S-band). [Using the Sony HVR-Z1J #3 camcorder in NTSC (US standard) format, the footage highlights special events of the recent past and general “Life aboard ISS” scenes for the public.]

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

Regenerative ECLSS Status Update (2/24/10):
  • WPA (Water Processing Assembly) is powered & operating in Node-3, with condensate being collected in its WW (Waste Water) tank. When WW filling reaches 65%, WPA processing begins automatically.
  • UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) is currently down pending resolution of the ongoing troubleshooting/search for the “missing” urine (~1 L).
  • When UPA operations are recovered, UPA processing will occur automatically when its WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) reaches 60% filling.
  • If UPA is not recovered, WPA processing will proceed, and some condensate pumping from CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) from CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) may be required (~1-2 times per week).
  • If WPA goes down, WDS (Water Delivery System) can be set up in Node-3 or Lab (preferably in the latter where WPA can interface directly with the Potable bus and feed WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) and OGS (Oxygen Generator System) simultaneously. All potable water would be provided by CWC-Is (Iodinated CWCs).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Storm Bay, Tasmania (H.M.S. Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle anchored at Sullivan's Cove on February 5, 1836. The Beagle stayed for 10 days and during that time Darwin was able to make 5 trips to study the local geology. Looking slightly left of track), Kerguelen Islands, S. Indian Ocean (chance of seeing these islands before heavier clouds moves in. Looking left for images of glacier tongues. Images of these islands are needed as a data point on glacier change since very few mid latitude glaciers exist in the southern hemisphere. The long thin valleys radiating from the permanent ice cap ["Cook Glacier"] were eroded by moving ice, showing that glaciers have reached down to sea level in the recent geological past [i.e. during the ice ages of the last 1.7 million years]), Chaiten Volcano, S. Chile (the volcano, which erupted in May 2008 for the first time in 9000 years, lies just north and east of the city of Chaiten. 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), Matavai Bay, Tahiti (HMS Beagle site. Looking slightly right towards the north coast of Tahiti, the largest island, near the present capital city, Papeete. In Darwin's words: " …we landed to enjoy all the delights of the first impressions produced by a new country … - Crowds of men, women & children were collected on the memorable point Venus ready to receive us…" [this was the site where Captain Cook in HMS Endeavour observed the transit of Venus on 3 June1769]. Darwin climbed a narrow river gorge heading towards the central peak of the island, remarking "These precipices must have been some thousand feet high; the whole formed a mountain gorge far more magnificent than anything I had ever beheld."), and N. Glaciers of S. Patagonian Glacier Field (ISS had an orbit pass over the northern glaciers of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Looking right of track. Images of the glaciers and fjords were requested to track changes in ice extent.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:34am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.2 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height – 344.5 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007003
Solar Beta Angle -- 37.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,573

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.