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March 05, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/05/10

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 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.]

CDR Williams & FE-6 Creamer continued their current week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), 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.]

FE-4 Kotov had 2h50m reserved for undertaking his 3rd onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, with Suraev acting as Operator and taking photographs. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, and Oleg reported to TsUP on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

Williams performed the periodic USOS (US Orbital Segment) hatch seal inspection. [This is regularly performed with a vacuum cleaner/brush plus other tools on the hatches at Node-1 Forward, Aft & Starboard, Node 2 (Aft, Starboard & Port), A/L (Airlock) IV (intravehicular) hatch, Lab Aft & Forward, Airlock IV (intravehicular hatch), COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory, Port), JPM (JEM Pressurized Module, Starboard & Zenith), and JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment, Nadir).]

Between inspections, Jeff took time to service the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), swapping the deployed AQM (Air Quality Monitor, #1001) with the prime AQM (#1002). [AQM #1001 was packed in bubble wrap, clothing or towels for padding, then stowed.]

The CDR concluded his 5th ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, doffing the two Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) about 24 hrs after the end of yesterday’s “midpoint” activity. Later, he downloaded the data from all devices to the HRF (Human Research Function) PC1 laptop. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink.]

Afterwards, Williams followed up with the associated ICV Resting Echo session, his 5th and last, assisted by FE-6 Creamer as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) in operating the ICV Echo scans. [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Jeff underwent the ultrasound scan for the Resting Echo mode of ICV, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. The ultrasound echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan includes an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise.]

Maxim Suraev completed his 2nd (of 5) orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis suit in preparation for his return to gravity on 3/18 with Soyuz 20S (along with Jeff Williams), 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 Oleg Kotov acting as CMO, Max was supported in his one-hour session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 7:07am EST. [The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Suraev’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 -20, -25, -30, and -35 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.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Noguchi serviced the running NANOSKELETON (Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity) experiment in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility). [After detaching MEU (Measurement Experiment Unit) A from the CBEF Micro-G IU (Incubator Unit), necessary at no more than 60-78 hrs after Experiment 1 start on 3/2, Soichi set up the D2Xs digital camera, gathered items for the Post-Experiment 1 phase and removed the sample bags from MEU A for individual photography and subsequent insertion in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).]

Later, the Japanese Flight Engineer spent several hours on –
  • Replacing the solid waste receptacle in the USA WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment),
  • Swapping the HDD (Hard Disk Drive, #1093) of the JPM’s SLT (System Laptop Terminal) with an A31p 60-GB HDD (#1301) plus activation & checkout, as required for the SFA (Small Fine Arm) relocation scheduled next week,
  • Completing another manual fill of the UPA WSTA (Urine Processor Assembly Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly), from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container),
  • Conducting the visual T+2 Day microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the “Week 21” potable water samples collected by Timothy Creamer on 3/3 from the WRS (Water Recovery System) and processed on board with the MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) and CDBs (Coliform Detection Bags),
  • Working on the FSL (Fluids Science Laboratory) to upgrade the VMU (Video Management Unit) by installing two new HDDs and a new tape recorder (with SDLT/Digital Line Tape) to increase storage capacity from 30 to 300 GB, and
  • Conducting a teleconference with SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba at ~8:50am EST to discuss the JEMRMS (Robotic Manipulator System) SFA activity next week.

Noguchi also 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.

In the A/L, FE-6 Creamer initiated the 85-day maintenance cycle on the first EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery, #2088, in BCM3 (Battery Charger Module 3) of the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly). The 16-Volt discharge takes ~13 hrs. [The periodic battery maintenance consists of fully discharging and then recharging the storage units to prolong their useful life. After end of the maintenance cycle, Jeff will restore the SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop, which is used in DOS mode for the automated discharge procedure, to nominal ops. In the early ISS years, these battery discharges/recharges had to be done manually.]

TJ also conducted an audit/inventory of previously used Russian WHC EDV-U urine containers for offloading and future disposal, specifically looking for the missing EDV-Us #911 & #940.

Creamer used the MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) kit to obtain the periodic microbiology (bacterial & fungal) air samples from two specific sampling locations in the SM (Service Module), Node-1, Lab, JPM and Node-3. FE-6 also used the SSK (Surface Sample Kit) to collect/incubate microbiology surface samples in the Lab. [After a 5-day incubation period, the air & surface samples will be subjected to visual analysis & data recording with the surface slides and Petri dishes of the MAS & SSK.]

More surface samples were collected by Oleg Kotov in the SM for the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT experiment, from surfaces of the pressurized shell with possible atmospheric condensate, i.e., behind panels 125, 131, 135, 330, 331, 336, in the window #3 & #5 area, from the feedthrough plate surface in the PkhO end cone area, and in the library section, including from some books. [Samples were collected in tubes, and the sampling locations were photographed with the NIKON D2X with flash.]

FE-1 Suraev prepared for troubleshooting of the STTS intermodular communication channel between the FGB and Soyuz TMA17/21S scheduled for 3/8. [Activities involved unstowing the necessary equipment & tools plus clearing work space by uninstalling & removing a cargo container in Zone 30B behind FGB panel #421, installed there on 5/6/08 after its delivery on the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle). The troubleshooting concerns a hard-line communications problem encountered between the two Soyuz spacecraft during the Depress Emergency OBT (Onboard Training) on 3/3.]

In the SM, Suraev did the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [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.]

Max also completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

FE-4 initiated (later terminated) another refresh of the ISS cabin atmosphere with pressurized O2 (oxygen) from Progress 36P storage for about an hour.

FE-1 had another ~2h25m set aside for prepacking and stowing cargo for return and for disposal on Soyuz 20S. [Return cargo is being stowed in the Descent Module, trash & excessed equipment in the Orbital Module, which will be jettisoned for incineration during the reentry of the spacecraft. Cargo to be disposed includes 4 solid waste containers, a vacuum pump control unit, a VK-316M absolute pressure gauge, cables and the no longer needed docking mechanism of the MRM2 “Poisk” module.]

Jeff & Maxim had an hour each reserved for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return to Earth on 3/18. [It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

At ~3:05am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~6:25am, Oleg & Maxim linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~9:50am, in a special Flight Director teleconference, Jeff & Soichi participated in an ARB (Acceptance Review Board) meeting that formally accepted the US-part of the ISS from the contractor Boeing Aerospace.

At ~10:35am, Williams, Creamer & Noguchi supported a PAO TV event comprising two interviews, one with MSNBC (David Shuster), the other with the Wall Street Journal Digital Network (Simon Constable, Robert L. Hotz).

At ~3:10pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

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-1, FE-4).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Kerguelen Islands, S. Indian Ocean (this glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far south Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles southeast of the island of Madagascar. Of primary interest is photography for monitoring of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island. As ISS approached from the W, the crew found this target near-nadir, at midday under partly cloudy skies), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS Beagle Site: In July, 1836 the HMS Beagle visited this rugged, remote island in the Equatorial Atlantic. As the crew approached from the SW, with no visual cues, they were to look carefully at nadir for this small target. It was mid-afternoon and with few clouds), Chiloe Island, southern Chile (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at this island on June 12, 1834, but after gathering provisions and surveying the west coast, departed the following day. Darwin hated the place because it never stopped raining! Looking for this large, rugged and forested island as ISS approached the southern coast of Chile from the SW. It was near midday with partly cloudy conditions expected for this nadir pass. The Patagonian Ice Fields are located much further south. Trying for context views of the island as a whole), and St. Paul Rocks islets, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle briefly visited this isolated, equatorial Atlantic site in early February of 1832. This tiny group of islets and rocks is also known as the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago. The islands are of particular interest to geologists as they expose rocks associated with the Earth's mantle above sea level. Looking just right of track for the islands as ISS approached the area from the SW. With late-afternoon light and few clouds the crew should have been able to photograph all of them in a mapping pass).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:19am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.4 km
Apogee height – 353.5 km
Perigee height – 343.3 km
Period -- 91.51 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.00076
Solar Beta Angle -- 36.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 98 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,714

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
03/12/10 -- Dedicated Thruster Firing for TMA-16/20S
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.