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February 26, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 02/25/10

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

At wake-up, FE-1 Suraev 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-1 again inspects the filters tonight before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Also at wakeup, FE-6 Kotov terminated his third experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [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.]

Tonight, shortly before sleep time, Max Suraev will set up the MBI-12 Sonokard payload for his own (11th) 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.

Before breakfast and exercise, FE-5 Noguchi broke out and set up the equipment for the blood analysis part of the U.S. PHS (Periodic Health Status) with Blood Labs exam, using the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), his first clinical blood analysis. FE-6 Creamer assisted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The task today included an electronic function test and control analysis of the blood lab equipment which he then stowed. The results were recorded in the CHeCS IFEP (Crew Health Care System / In-Flight Examination Program) application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).]

FE-6 Creamer started another round of the NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K protocol with the 24-hr urine collections and diet logging. [Under Pro K, the crewmember measures and logs the pH value of a urine sample, to be collected the same time of day every day for 5 days. The crewmember also prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken.]

The FE-1 terminated battery charging for the BAR KELVIN KPT-2 payload and started the process on the battery of the TTM-2 experiment. [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.]

Afterwards, Suraev supported ground specialists in bringing the KTsP1 (Central Post Computer 1), TsVM (Central Computer), TVM (Terminal Computer) and the KTsP2 back to nominal state from the COL-CC (Columbus Control Center)-caused C&C MDM (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) transitions on 2/21. [TsVM is currently restored on one string only; the return to all 3 strings will be attempted next week, as will the recovery of the 2nd string of the MRM2 computer.]

Maxim also completed the periodic status check of the new set of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand) and taking photography of the setup for subsequent downlink via OCA. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-15 greenhouse from Moscow’s IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Working in the Soyuz TMA-17/21S spacecraft, Kotov disassembled the KURS-A hardware in the 21S Orbital Module and removed it, to be recycled on a later flight.

It was Oleg’s turn today to start getting physically ready for his return to gravity on 3/8 with Soyuz 20S, by completing 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 Suraev acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Kotov was supported in his 55-min session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 1:07pm on DO1. There will be more acclimatization 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.]

After completing the first two parts yesterday, the CDR took up the third part (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by recording post-sleep data of the crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, later deploying the dosimeters statically (Part 4), one at the SM (Service Module) Central Post, one in Node-2 and the third in an empty rack bay in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), away from air flow, taking photographs of the locations. Tonight, a crewmember will record the data taken by the three static dosimeters during the day (Part 5). [Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

Jeff Williams undertook his second session with the JAXA experiment BIORHYTHMS (Biological Rhythms), for which he donned the electrodes of the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) for ECG (Electrocardiogram) recording, then started the data take for the next 24 hrs.

With the UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) up and running under ground control, Williams completed another manual fill of its WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) in the morning, from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container). Another filling is scheduled for later today using the same EDV-U, with additional processing cycles initiated by the ground.

To monitor onboard drinking water quality, Jeff conducted another one of the frequent sample collections from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), first performing a 300 mL purge (to clean the sampler), then drawing a 1L sample for return on the ne3xt Shuttle flight, Mission 19A.

Later, the CDR performed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week. [The current card (22-0003M) lists 101 CWCs (2,430.3 L total) for the five types of water now identified on board: 1. technical water (21 CWCs with 801.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 107.5 L in 5 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 559.6 L in 13 bags still requiring sample analysis, 2. potable water (9 CWCs with 366.7 L, of which 1 bag with 23.0 L contains Wautersia, 1 bag with 43.6 L requires sample analysis & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use, 3. iodinated water (63 CWCs with 1110.5 L), 4. condensate water (1 bag with 28.1 L [known leaker], 1 empty CWC, 4 bags with 101.4 L) and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (2 CWCs with 22.3 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

After donning his Sokol flight suit, Jeff Williams conducted another fit check of his Kazbek couch in the Soyuz TMA-16/20S spacecraft, one of the three contoured shock absorbing seats in the Descent Module. [For the fit check, crew members remove their cabin suits and don Sokol KV-2 suit and comm caps, get into in their seats and assess the degree of comfort and uniform body support provided by the seat liner. Using a ruler, they then measure the gap between the top of the head and the top edge of the structure facing the head crown. The results are reported to TsUP. Kazbek-UM couches are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing. Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and noncocked. In cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown. The fit check assures that the crewmembers, whose bodies gain in length during longer-term stay in zero-G, will still be adequately protected by the seat liners for their touchdown in Kazakhstan, either emergency or regular return.]

With the vacuum cleaner powered from a COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) standard utility panel, Noguchi worked on a leaky QD (Quick Disconnect) of the BLB (Biolab) Rotor EC (Experiment Container) B6, in a second attempt to repair a leak problem at this position. Later, the vacuum cleaner was disconnected and stowed.

In support of the JAXA experiment MAXI, Soichi installed the MAC (Media Access Control) Address Converter Unit in the Kibo JPM plus a LAN (Local Area Network) breakout cable between the PEHG-J (Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway-Japan) and the Ethernet line, for filtering MAXI data transmissions. [The MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-Ray Image) payload is mounted external to the Kibo module on the EFU (Exposed Facility Unit).]

Also in the JPM, Noguchi conducted hermeticity tests on the newly installed CGSE (Common Gas Supply Equipment) valve unit, using the CGSE Upper GBU (Gas Bottle Unit) with CO2 for leak checking.

In the A/L (Airlock), Timothy Creamer performed yearly maintenance on the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) 3009 water tanks, with one-half dump and fill.

Next, Creamer set up EMUs 3005 & 3006 with their SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals) in the A/L and started the standard one-hour scrubbing process on the spacesuits’ cooling water loops, filtering ionic and particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter), followed by reconfiguring the cooling loops and starting the ~2hr biocide filtering. Suits 3010 &3018 were scrubbed later, before TJ terminated the process, disassembled the EMU water processing kit and stowed the equipment, assisted by Williams. [Loop scrubbing, incl. iodination of the LCVGs (Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garments) for biocidal maintenance is done to eliminate any biomass and particulate matter that may have accumulated in the loops.]

Also in the A/L, TJ terminated regeneration on METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters #0005 & #0007, used for CO2 absorption during the 20A EVAs, and initiated the process on canisters #0013 & ##0011 in the ”bake-out” oven.

Jeff Williams unstowed and set up the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware in the Lab and powered it up for a new software load, making sure that it did not violate the swaying space of the close-by CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation). [The PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system and other subsystems are used for the VO2Max experiment.]

Afterwards, the CDR configured the photo/TV equipment and the hardware for a session with the BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment, then worked through the protocol. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity, investigating the relative contributions of internal & external cues to self-orientation during and after micro-G exposure. BISE data collection must be performed at least one hour after any exercise. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration micro-G conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to micro-G and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

Jeff also conducted a new session (his fourth) with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

After performing an unscheduled R&R (removal & replacement) of the broken right X-axis dashpot (damper) of the ARED advanced resistive exercise device yesterday, downlinking photographs of the repair for analysis and performing an unmanned ACO (Activation & Checkout) afterwards, CDR Williams & FE-6 Creamer today worked out on the ARED for a manned checkout. [There is one more spare ARED dashpot aboard. Four replacements will be flown on ULF4 but probably none on 19A. ARED dashpot/dampers are failing at about the same rate, and it is not clear at this point why.]

After using the T2/COLBERT treadmill for an exercise session, Soichi removed the device’s safety wire and tie wraps to re-align (center) the T2 with its snubber pins within the snubber cups (to isolate T2 dynamics from station structure), then re-applied wire and wraps around the X-axis jam nuts and thumbwheels. [Analysis of downlinked photographs had shown that the T2 was off center.]

The FE-5 also initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run (72nd) 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.]

Max Suraev spend more time on transferring and stowing excessed equipment and trash to Progress 35P, to be jettisoned on 4/27.

At ~3:33am EST, TJ powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 3:38am conducted a ham radio session with students at Doncaster Primary School, Doncaster, Victoria, Australia.

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

Regenerative ECLSS Status Update (2/25/10):
  • WPA (Water Processing Assembly) and UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) are up and running.
  • Urine will be collected in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment)-internal EDV-U, then pumped into the UPA for processing (this method is necessary due to the T-valve malfunction and the operational constraint for WSTA (Wastewater Stowage Tank Assembly) quantity being less than 2% when changing the urine input at the WRS-2 RIP (Water Recovery System 2 / Rack Interface Panel),
  • Over the next few days, extra urine will be processed to empty one or more EDV-Us (accomplishing this will involve rotating EDV-U between WHC for collection and UPA for processing).
  • Specialists anticipate a surplus of potable water and a need to offload potable water into empty CWC-Is (Iodinated Contingency Water Containers), to build the water reserve.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Cape Tres Montes, Chile (HMS Beagle Site: Cape Tres Montes was as far south in South America as the Beagle would travel. In his letters Darwin notes the numerous forested islands and mountains. Looking slightly left of track, mapping pass along the cape), SW Glaciers of S. Patagonian Glacier Field (for this particular target site researchers are interested in the smaller glaciers ranging from HPS10 south to Amalia. Documenting the individual glacier origin to the terminus), Suva, Fiji (Suva is the capital and largest city of Fiji. It is located on the southern coast of Viti Levu. As of 2007, the population of this city was 85,691. Looking left of track), and 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. Detailed views of the volcano were requested).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:51am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.1 km
Apogee height – 354.0 km
Perigee height – 344.2 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007264
Solar Beta Angle -- 40.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 81 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,588

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
03/14/10 -- Daylight Saving Time begins (EDT)
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 – 12:04:34am EDT
04/04/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S docking – ~1:28am
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)
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)
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.