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February 28, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 02/28/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – crew day off. Ahead: Week 14 of Increment 22.

At wake-up (1:00am EST), FE-1 Suraev did the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim 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.]

FE-6 Creamer had Day 2 of the Pro K controlled diet session and diet logging, which closes out tonight at 6:00pm EST. [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.]

Additionally, Creamer started on his FD60 (Flight Day 60) Nutrition/Repository/Pro K generic urine collections, ending tomorrow after a 24-hour run. Samples are being secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).

Later, TJ also set up the hardware for the associated generic blood collection protocol tomorrow.

After breakfast, CDR Williams & FE-5 Noguchi supported the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

With the UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) up and running, CDR Williams completed another manual fill of its WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) in the morning, from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container).

Max Suraev completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module), including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. [This includes 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].

In preparation of his upcoming two-day CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) experiment run, starting tomorrow, Jeff Williams replaced the batteries in the CDL HLTA BP (Cardiolab Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) instrument. [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.]

Afterwards, TJ Creamer spent some time reviewing the new TROPI2 (Analysis of a Novel Sensory Mechanism in Root Phototropism) experiment, scheduled to start tomorrow. [Tropi is a plant growth experiment to investigate how plant roots from Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) respond to varying levels of light and gravity. Plant growth under various gravity conditions (0g to 1.0g), achieved using a rotating centrifuge, will be analyzed to determine which genes are responsible for successful plant growth in microgravity. This experiment will help gain insight into how plants grow in space to help create sustainable life support systems for long term space travel. Dry Arabidopsis thaliana seeds stored in small seed cassettes inside the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) are remaining dry and at ambient temperature until hydrated by an automated system of the EMCS. At specified times during the experiment, the plants will be stimulated by different light spectrums and by different gravity gradients. The only work required by the crew is to replace video tapes, harvest the plants when they are grown and store the harvested plants in the MELFI.]

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), Maxim at ~5:35am, Oleg at ~7:15am, TJ at ~11:25am, Soichi at ~2:35pm.

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (FE-1/2x, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive device (CDR, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6).

At ~6:35am EST, Max & Oleg used the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) for a live ham radio session with students and professors at the Khabarovsk Institute of Information & Communications, the DOSAAF (Voluntary Army, Air Force, and Navy Auxiliary), city government, and media representatives. About 50 students were in attendance.

At ~9:00am, the two Russian Flight Engineers downlinked a PAO TV message of appreciation for the new full-feature animation film “Bjelka and Strelka – Star Dogs” of the National Film Center studio, , dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the spaceflight of Bjelka and Strelka. [The two little dogs Bjelka (“Whitey”) and Strelka (“Arrow”) spent one day in orbit on August 19, 1960, on Sputnik 5, along with a grey rabbit, 42 mice, 2 rats, flies and a number of plants and fungi. They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive. Strelka went on to have six puppies with a male dog named Pushok who participated in many ground-based space experiments, but never made it into space. One of the pups, Pushinka ("Fluffy"), was presented to President John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline by Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. A Cold War romance bloomed between Pushinka and a Kennedy dog named Charlie, resulting in the birth of four pups that JFK jokingly referred to as pupniks. Two of their pups, Butterfly and Streaker, were given away to children in the Midwest. The other two puppies, White Tips and Blackie, stayed at the Kennedy home on Squaw Island but were eventually given away to family friends. Pushinka's descendants are still living today. The mounted dogs Bjelka and Strelka are today on exhibit at the grand Cosmonautics Museum in Moscow.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:25am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.8 km
Apogee height – 353.8 km
Perigee height – 343.9 km
Period -- 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007344
Solar Beta Angle -- 43.7 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 88 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,636

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 (M. Suraev/J. Williams)
--------------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.