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March 09, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/09/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Birthday of Yuri Gagarin, first human in space – 9 March 1934 (died 27 March 1968 during a training flight near Chkalovsky Air Base).

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.]

FE-5 Noguchi relocated an A31p laptop, serving as video monitor, from the US Lab to Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and configured it to support subsequent Robotics activities until 3/12, to be returned to the Lab on completion.

Afterwards, Noguchi & FE-6 Creamer continued preparations for transferring the Japanese Robotics SFA (Small Fine Arm) through the Kibo AL (airlock) for its subsequent installation on the external SSE (SFA Stowage Equipment) on the JEF (JEM Exposed Facility) “porch”. [After first conducting a review of the applicable DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics), Soichi & TJ maneuvered the RMS MA (Robotic Manipulator System Main Arm) to the Unloaded Hover Position at the AL in order to set up the video cameras on the MA’s EE (End Effector) and ELBOW for viewing tomorrow’s AL operations. Afterwards, Noguchi checked the EE’s capture/release mechanisms and SPEE (Extendable Electrical Connector). Russian thrusters were disabled for the SFA ops from 6:55am-7:35am.]

Later, Soichi hooked up the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation) for video coverage of his & Timothy’s subsequent SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations. Afterwards, TJ disconnected the DCP cable again.

Creamer & Noguchi then activated the SSRMS and “walked” it inchworm-fashion off the Lab PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture), where it was based in the 20A undock position, by grappling the MBS (Mobile Base System) PDGF1, releasing the Lab PDGF and “parking” the robot arm in preparation for ground activities in support of the upcoming Mission 19A. [Ground-controlled activities will later relocate the “Dextre” SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) and walk SSRMS off to the Node-2 PDGF.]

Russian Flight Engineer Suraev completed the periodic service of downloading data files from the BU (Control Unit) of the running BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment in the SM (Service Module) for archiving on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinking NIKON D2X photographs of the growing plants in the LADA greenhouse. [The archiving can take up to 5 hrs. Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-16 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), currently planted with Mizuna seeds. Mizuna (Brassica rapa nipposinica) is a tasty variety of Japanese mustard greens, also known as California Peppergrass, eaten as a salad.]

The five-member crew joined in conducting the periodic 2-hr crew safety handover review, a memory-jogger for resident Expedition crews of topics to be covered with the next Expedition crew. [Items covered by the checklist include (1) emergency actions, equipment and individual crew roles & responsibilities for the four hazard areas (depressurization, fire, ammonia release, non-ammonia toxic release), (2) visiting vehicles docking/undocking, (3) evacuation vehicles, (4) crew life support system status, (5) computers, (6) communications, (7) medical equipment & provisions, (8) stowage, and (9) current hardware status.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), CDR Williams completed the blood collection part of the ESA cardiological experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease), drawing his blood in two sample tubes which he then centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge). [After the second centrifugation, the two tubes were placed into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS) at -80 degC. The RC was then reconfigured and powered off. 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.]

Also in COL, Jeff serviced the TROPI2 (Tropism in Plants) experiment, marking the completion of the second and final run of the experiment. [The seedlings are reported to have germinated, grown and developed well, and payload operators on the ground have received numerous excellent data images. Jeff’s activities included setting up the camera gear for the ground to receive real-time video of the MWA (Maintenance Work Area), stopping the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) rotors and the experiment process following its ~150 hour run, removing the samples from the ECs (Experiment Containers) for quick insertion into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) in their Cold Stowage Bags, and replacing the ECs on the EMCS centrifuges A & B with different ECs.]

FE-6 Creamer performed routine maintenance on the COL VCR1 (Video Cassette Recorder 1), cleaning the video heads with a cleaning tape.

Maxim Suraev completed his third orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session (of five) 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 (Crew Medical Officer), Max was supported in his 55-min session by ground specialist tagup in a telemetry pass via VHF at 7:04am EST on DO15. [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 and the REG SHKO Rheoencephalogram Biomed Cap. 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.]

The FE-1 also continued the current round of Russian ventilation systems maintenance, today cleaning the Group A ventilation fans in the SM, while FE-4 Kotov cleaned the TsV1 circulation fan mesh screen in the FGB.

Using the Elektronika MMTs-01 Multimeter, jumpers and a magnifying glass, Oleg worked on the BFK A11 Command Generator of the SM ODU Propulsion System in the SM food ration locker (panel 245), troubleshooting the failure of valves (KZBO1 & EGKG2) to close when so commanded.

Williams dismantled the video equipment in the Airlock from yesterday’s monitoring the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters, and returned the camera to Node-1 for nominal operations. [Results of yesterday’s attempt to regenerate METOX canisters #15 & #16 in the bake-out oven were negative. As annunciated by repeated error messages, the oven did not reach the heater temperatures required for the process. The two cans were not regenerated, and specialists are reviewing the data in order to determine an appropriate forward plan.]

Suraev conducted his 10th 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.]

Performing routine service on the EHS TOCA (Environmental Health System Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), Creamer replaced the WWB (Waste Water Bag) with a new one (#1016).

Using an electric pump, the FE-6 later completed another fill of the UPA WSTA (Urine Processor Assembly Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container).

TJ also performed the routine maintenance of the four CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, changed out the battery in the prime unit and zero-calibrated all instruments for use.

In the SM, Kotov 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.]

Maxim & Oleg spent ~30 min with the traditional Russian preparation of commemorative (“symbolic”) items of their residency aboard. [The items consist of 60 envelopes which the Expedition 22 crewmembers signed according to an enclosed template, then stamped using a current date stamp of the Russian Post. The items were packed in the Soyuz 20S Descent Module for return. History: The very first “postmaster in space”, stamping envelopes, was Soviet cosmonaut Dr. Georgi Grechko on Salyut 6 in 1977, who also made the first Orlan spacewalk.]

Williams & Suraev again 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.]

TJ serviced the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

FE-6 also performed the monthly inspection of the T2/COLBERT treadmill system and its components, checking pin alignment, rack centering and the snubber jam nut witness marks. [Witness marks (12 total) are applied to the X-, Y- & Z-axis jam nuts on each (of four) snubber arm. Their inspection serves to determine to what degree and which jam nuts are backing off.]

CDR, FE-1 & FE-4 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Max at ~9:20am, Oleg at ~9:35am, Jeff at ~12:30pm EST.

At ~2:23am EST, Soichi powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 2:28am conducted a ham radio session with students at Ikaruga Elementary School, Taishi Town, Hyogo, Japan.

Shortly before sleep time, Oleg will set up the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his 4th 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. Maxim will take documentary photography of the activity.

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

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Rangoon, Myanmar (ISS had a nadir pass at mid-afternoon with fair weather expected for the Myanmar capital, located inland in the southern part of the country. As the crew tracked northeastward over the Irrawaddy River delta, they were to look for this target at the head of an estuary formed by two large rivers), Victoria, Seychelles (the Seychelles archipelago lied downtrack from Madagascar today. As the crew tracked northeastward in mid-afternoon and fair weather they were to look just left of track for the tiny capital city of the Republic of Seychelles. Victoria is located on the northeastern side of Mahe Island, the largest island of the archipelago), Djibouti, Djibouti (in mid-afternoon light, ISS had a clear weather pass to the SE of the capital city of the Republic of Djibouti. As the crew approached the coast from the SW, they were to look left of track. The city of Djibouti is situated on a small peninsula that divides the Gulf of Aden from the Gulf of Tadjoura. Overlapping mapping frames of the urban area and surrounding peninsula are desired), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS Beagle Site: In July, 1836 the HMS Beagle visited this rugged, remote island in the Equatorial Atlantic. As ISS approached from the SW, with no visual cues, the crew was to look carefully just right of track, for this small target. It was mid-afternoon and with few clouds), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (ISS had a fine nadir view in mid-afternoon as the station tracked northeastward over the capital city of landlocked Burkina-Faso. Researchers recommended to start photography early in the approach, as the city does not contrast greatly with the surrounding landscape), Praia, Cape Verde (this capital city lies just left of track as ISS approached the area of the Cape Verde Islands from the SW. Clear weather in mid-afternoon light was expected today. Looking for Praia on the SE coast of the large island of Sao Tiago), and La Paz, Bolivia (this should have been a fine fair weather pass in early afternoon light over the Bolivian capital city. As ISS tracked northeastward, just to the south of Lake Titicaca, the crew was to look nadir for context views of this target).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:49am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.1 km
Apogee height – 353.3 km
Perigee height – 342.9 km
Period -- 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.00077
Solar Beta Angle -- 22.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 70 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,776

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, (M. Suraev/J. Williams)- End of Inc. 22
--------------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
05/10/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/12/10 -- Soyuz 21S relocation (FGB Nadir to SM Aft)
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 “Rassvet”
06/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing (End of Increment 23)
--------------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-----------------
06/28/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/07/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
07/23/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko)
07/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/29/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
09/02/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
09/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
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
10/27/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
11/26/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
12/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/15/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
12/26/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
12/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S undock/landing (End of Encrement 26)
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S docking
04/27/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/28/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/30/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
05/17/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
05/31/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
06/21/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P docking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/30/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/25/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
11/27/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.