Text Size

March 01, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/01/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 14 of Increment 22.

At wake-up, 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 3 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 ended the 24-hr urine collections for his FD60 (Flight Day 60) Nutrition/Repository/Pro K protocol and undertook the associated generic blood collection protocol, with CDR Williams assisting with the phlebotomy as operator. TJ then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).

CDR Williams & FE-6 Creamer began another week-long session of experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), TJ’s second, donning their Actiwatches, from which to log data to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor the crewmembers’ sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers sometimes wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Later, Williams set up the HRF PC (Human Research Facility Portable Computer), replaced the Lithium batteries in the Actiwatches and performed data download and initialization of devices. [The hardware was then decabled & stowed, and the PC powered down.]

In preparation for his return to gravity on 3/18 with Jeff Williams, Maxim Suraev undertook the first (of five) training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisting by Oleg Kotov as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The 50-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground site (DO13, 7:03am-7:19am), uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT 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 several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -15, -20, -25, and -30 mmHg for five min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, 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.]

Oleg Kotov conducted another session with the Russian science payload BIMS (MBI-22) which includes otoscopic, nasal, dental and dermatological exams for evaluating the skin and mucous membranes for any changes over long-duration space missions, based on video and digital photography to capture areas of skin, gums, nasal passages and the ear canal. Suraev assisted by taking documentary pictures. [BIMS objective is to conduct several experimental sessions in the RS (Russian Segment) for filming skin portions and mucous membranes of crewmembers. It is part of a comprehensive research into using telemedical technologies for getting information from distant space crews for medical support of human space missions and information for life science flight studies. The BIMS experiment uses image capturing (video & still photo), an otoscope (or auriscope - the familiar medical device for visualizing the outer & middle ear, nose and upper throat area), the RSE-med laptop and PCMCIA memory cards, with data files downlink via BSR-TM to study small skin sites, conduct otorhinolaryngologic examinations (external acoustic meatus, eardrums, nasal passages), and do stomatologic (i.e., medical study of mouth and its diseases) examination of gums and teeth.]

Working in the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment), berthed at the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Noguchi cleaned out space in front of the A1 rack & the rack bay, relocating food supplies temporarily and moving IRED (Interim Resistive Exercise Device) hardware to Node-3 to prepare for the upcoming installation of a new ZSR (Zero-G Stowage Rack) in the A1 bay during Mission 19A.

Afterwards, Noguchi had ~1h20m reserved for prepacking return cargo for STS-131/19A.

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), after connecting the MPPL (Multi Purpose Payload Laptop) 16VDC power cable to the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop and activating the EPM, CDR Williams began Day 1 of his two-day CARD (Long Term Microgravity: Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) activity. [For the session, Williams first set up the PFS (Pulmonary Function System) with PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module) and GDS (Gas Delivery System), which requires a 45-minute warm up of the PFM/PAM prior to use for the CARD rebreathe exercises. Jeff then donned & activated the HLTA BP (Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) instrument, to run for the next 24-hrs, then calibrated the PAM for the subsequent rebreathing exercises with mixing bag, and started urine collections. The CARD protocol included a 24h urine collection on Day 1, a 24h blood pressure monitoring with the HLTA, a blood draw (in the morning of Day 2), and five cardiac output measurements performed with the HRF-2 PFS via re-breathing technique (three double re-breathing sessions with the 4L Re-breathing Bag on Day 1 and two on Day 2).]

After the first TROPI-2 (Analysis of a Novel Sensory Mechanism in Root Phototropism) experiment run ended today, FE-6 Creamer removed the ECs (Experiment Containers) from the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) and replaced them with new ECs for Run 2, which will run for 6 days. [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 and ECs, harvest the plants when they are grown and store the harvested plants in the MELFI.]

FE-4 Kotov conducted the periodic/long-term inspection of the SM RO (Working Compartment)’s pressure hull and ring, looking for any moisture, deposits, mold, corrosion and pitting behind panels 130, 131, 134, 135, 138, 139 and also underneath the TVIS treadmill (where deposit was discovered in the past) and the cold plates (where SNT and STR lines are installed). Last time done: 11/02/09. [The inspection of the hull surface, which is coated with a primer and dark-green enamel, is done using cleaning napkins to wipe the area in question if required and reporting results to the ground. The hull inspection looks for changed color and cavities; if cavities are found, they are to be measured for depth (with chewing gum) after cleaning. Digital photographs of the shell before and after the removal of deposits were to be made for documentation.]

Continuing the post-installation functionality checkout of the new BRI (SSR/Smart Switch Router) network in the SM (installed on 2/11), Kotov today mated new network (Ethernet) cables to the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops, transferred appropriate files and ran connection tests between BRI, ASP (Network Connection Adapter) and the laptops running the new SSR software (Vers. 2.1).

Later, with the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system temporarily turned off and VD-SU control mode disabled, Oleg replaced the PZUB-1M (ROM, read-only memory) data storage unit in the TA968MA box of the BITS’ backup central processor subsystem (PTsB) with a new ROM unit, PZUB-1T, from spares. [The dismantled PZUB-1M was stowed and the hardware changes logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System).]

The FE-4 also activated the gas analyzer in the Descent Module (SA) of the Soyuz TMA-17/21S crew return vehicle, docked at the FGB nadir port, a periodic checkup,

Completing a number of smaller engineering tasks, Soichi Noguchi –
  • Relocated, with Jeff briefly assisting, the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) to Node-3,
  • Performed the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (advanced resistive exercise device) rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration,
  • Initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run (73rd) 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], and
  • Conducted the monthly FDS PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules, including QDMAs (Quick-Don Mask Assemblies) [the 45-min IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), QDMAs and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware.]

Noguchi also set up the new Japanese experiment NANOSKELETON (Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity). [After first retrieving samples (Cartridge A with 22 sample bags) from MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1, Dewar 1, trays B, C) and installing the cartridge in MEU A (Measurement Experiment Unit A), Soichi attached MEU A to the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) Micro-G IU (Incubator Unit), to remain there for the next 12-18 hrs before its detachment. JAXA’s NANOSKELETON (a coined word for new-functional nano-materials) intends to clarify the effect of gravity on oil flotation, sedimentation and convection on crystals generated in micro-G. NANOSKELETON is one of the micro-G experiments conducted by JAXA for industrial application. In the experiment, the TiO2 (titanium oxide) “nanoskeleton” is synthesized with a mixture of CTAB surfactant solution and TiOSO4-H2SO4 solution under isothermal conditions (40 deg Celsius), to quantitatively investigate the effects of gravity during a chemical reaction process. The experiment uses oil (TMB) to enlarge the pore size of the honeycomb structure; therefore, this experiment will attempt to clarify the effects of gravity such as the flotation of oil and convective flow, by evaluating the retrieved samples. Experiment output on orbit consists of the temperature samples plus images.]

Jeff Williams meanwhile –
  • Handled the periodic (monthly) deployment of four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground [two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow],
  • Performed the quarterly inspection of the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill, checking the bungees and calibrating the load cell [also requested were more photos showing details of snubber pin alignment within the cup as well as more precise measurements for all previous T2 measurement requests],
  • Started METOX (Metal Oxide) canister regeneration after installing canisters #0015 & #0016 in the A/L (Airlock) “bakeout oven”,
  • Conducted the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) Rack [the AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. AEDs are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend events or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs and any other location where people may congregate],
  • Completed another manual fill of the UPA WSTA (Urine Processor Assembly Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly), from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container) [UPA continues to run nominally], and
  • Used GSCs (Grab Sample Containers) #1102, #1103 & #1083 for the periodic atmospheric sampling in the center of the SM, Lab, and JEM.

After letting pressurized O2 (oxygen) from Progress 36P storage refresh the ISS atmosphere for about an hour, Max Suraev also performed air sampling, employing the Russian AK-1M adsorber in the SM and FGB, as well as the IPD-CO Draeger tubes, on a cartridge belt with a pump, to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide). The samplers were stowed for subsequent return to Earth.

In the SM, after turning the TVIS circuit breaker off, Suraev performed troubleshooting on the exercise device with testing the final corner of the TVIS to isolate the cause of the failure of its VIS (Vibration Isolation System).

The FE-1 also completed the periodic update of the AntiVirus program in four Russian VKS auxiliary laptops (RSS2, RSK1, RSK2, RSE1), which are not loaded from the ground, from a new uplinked program copy of Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, first scanning the latter, then transferring the database by flash drive to the other computers and scanning them one by one.

Later, Max performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [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.]

In order to conduct a fine leak check on the vestibule between Node-1 and Node-3, TJ Creamer first removed the vestibule’s IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) air duct to clear the hatch, then depressurized the vestibule. Any increase in the residual internal pressure would then indicate a leak.

At ~3:00am EST, Soichi held a tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

At ~1:40pm, Max had about 20 min to downlink more of his and Oleg’s video commentary dedicated to the new full-feature cartoon “Bjelka and Strelka – Star Dogs” of the National Film Center studio, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the spaceflight of Bjelka and Strelka. [On August 19, 1960, the two little dogs Bjelka (“Whitey”) and Strelka (“Arrow”) spent one day in orbit 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 crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive device (CDR, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5, FE-6) and VELO bike ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (FE-4). Maxim’s MO-4 session substituted for an exercise workout.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:29am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.8 km
Apogee height – 353.78 km
Perigee height – 343.8 km
Period -- 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007314
Solar Beta Angle -- 43.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 78 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,651

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/4:03am; landing/7:25am, local: 5:25pm. (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.