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March 11, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/11/10

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

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.]

Also at wake-up, FE-1 Suraev terminated his 12th 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.]

Suraev & Williams joined up in the Soyuz 20S spacecraft (docked at MRM2) for the standard 3-hrs Soyuz descent drill, regular procedure for each returning crew. The exercise, which does not involve any command activation, uses computer simulation (Trenasher Spusk) on the RSK1 laptop with a descent hand controller (RUS) in manual mode to set up reentry conditions and switch between modes. [The onboard training (OBT) session, supported by TsUP instructor tagup via VHF at ~4:50am EST, included a review of the pertinent RODF (Russian Operations Data Files), specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures such as manual undocking.]

After yesterday’s successful transfer of the JEM RMS SFA (Robotic Manipulator System / Small Fine Arm) through the Kibo AL (airlock), Noguchi & Creamer today continued establishing full RMS operability with the deployment of the SFA and a checkout (C/O) of the SSE TF (SFA Stowage Equipment / Tool Fixture) grapple. [After activating the temporarily relocated A31p laptop to monitor external ops, the deployment was done in the Single Joint Mode, followed by joint zeroing to determine where all the joint angles are at 0 deg. The subsequent Tool C/O involved the Finger/Latch and Torque Drive mechanisms. Afterwards, the RMS MA (Main Arm) was maneuvered via the Loaded Hover Position at SSE to the TF Grapple C/O Position and after the C/O (without & with FMA/Force Moment Accommodation) to Pre-Berth Position at SSE. Russian thrusters were again disabled for the SFA ops from 4:25am-1:05pm. More to come tomorrow.]

CDR Williams & FE-6 Creamer completed their scheduled INTEGRATED IMMUNE liquid saliva collection session, starting right after wake-up, using a “salivette” pouch from the kits to be returned to Earth on Soyuz 20S. Saliva samples are taken every other day for six days, and the samples are stored at ambient temperature. [Along with NUTRITION (Nutritional Status Assessment), INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

Later, the CDR broke out and set up the NUTRITION hardware for his blood draw, scheduled tomorrow. Creamer will assist with the phlebotomy from an arm vein. [The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by supercold MELFI dewars), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.]

FE-4 Kotov spent another 3 hrs in the MRM2 “Poisk” module to troubleshoot the failed V2 ventilation fan, using the Elektronika MMTs-01 Multimeter to check the BSK-2 Common Power Switching Timer (Blok silovoiy kommutatsii-2) and its associated extensive cable harnesses, measuring circuit resistances between contacts and swapping the BSK-2 with a unit from spares.

FE-6 Creamer set up, checked out and conducted his third test run with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #7, while free-floating, using the ESA MPPL (Multipurpose Laptop) with a prepared HDD (Hard Disk Drive), data storage on a PCMCIA memory card, and an electronic pen table connected to it. [3D Space, which involves distance, writing and illusion exercises, is designed to test the hypothesis that altered visual perception affects motor control. Afterwards, the FE-6 set up, checked out and conducted his second test run with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #7, while free-floating, using the ESA MPPL (Multipurpose Laptop) with a prepared HDD (Hard Disk Drive), data storage on a PCMCIA memory card, and an electronic pen table connected to it. [3D Space, which involves distance, writing and illusion exercises, is designed to test the hypothesis that altered visual perception affects motor control. To do this, the subject is asked to reproduce shapes or text on an electronic pen tablet (Wacom Intuos3 A4) which allows researchers to record and analyze the reactions both on earth and in space.]

Afterwards, FE-6 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 (22-0003N) lists 96 CWCs (2,412.3 L total) for the five types of water now identified on board: 1. technical water (20 CWCs with 781.3 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 87.5 L in 4 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 (59 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 24.3 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.]

FE-1 Suraev worked in the Soyuz TMA-16/20S spacecraft dismounting and deinstalling the spent 800A battery in its container (temporarily stowed in the right seat on 12/14), then loading it along with a discarded treadmill component in Progress M-03M/35P for disposal. [One Kazbek couch will remain unoccupied when 20S undocks and lands next week with Suraev & Williams, leaving Kotov, Noguchi & Creamer on the station (to be joined by Skvortsov, Caldwell & Kornienko on 4/4/10 on 22S).]

Kotov & Williams meanwhile packed & stowed excessed Russian & US equipment on 35P, including EDV liquid waste and KTO solid waste containers, no longer needed foam packing material, plant watering syringes, CBEF dehumidifiers, Holter electrodes, JEM camera equipment, old clothing items, etc.

Servicing the science payload APEX-Cambium (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit-Cambium), TJ removed a KFT (Kennedy Fixation Tube) with “RNALater” samples and placed it in MELFI 2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2), Dewar 2, Tray A, Section 3 [When completed, the APEX-Cambium payload will help in resolving two scientific questions: First, the CSA-sponsored Cambium experiment will determine the role of gravity in Cambium wood cell development (providing the pulp & paper and construction industries insight into the fundamental mechanisms of wood cell formation), and secondly, the NASA-sponsored TAGES will demonstrate non-destructive reporter gene technology & investigate spaceflight plant stress. APEX-Cambium provides NASA & the International ISS community a permanent controlled environment capability to support growth of various organisms (i.e. whole plants).]

On the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab, TJ later removed the alignment guides to allow activation of the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) by the ground for FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) operations requiring a microgravity environment.

At ~4:30pm, before sleeptime, FE-6 will be powering up the “Dragon” CUCU CCP (COTS UHF Communications Unit / Crew Command Panel) to allow its ground-controlled overnight checkout from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. [These activities continued preparations for the next scheduled grappled Free Flyer vehicle called Dragon, currently expected to arrive at the ISS later this year.]

Maxim & Jeff 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.]

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.]

Kotov 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).

With the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) continuing to run nominally, producing water from urine, Noguchi performed another fill of the UPA WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly), from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container), using an electric pump.

Soichi also filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

At ~7:05am EST, Noguchi fielded questions from a JAXA Educational TV event at Kiyose Community Center, Tokyo, Japan, with staff members of the Center and eight “Project K” students ages 13-16.

At ~3:00pm, CDR Williams is scheduled for his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

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

Soyuz 20S Thruster test: Tomorrow, Moscow will conduct the standard pre-undock propulsion system test on Soyuz TMA-16. The hot thruster firing is scheduled for 9:15am-9:28am EST.

WHC Update: After intense overnight work by Russian & NASA specialists at RSC-Energia and MCC-Houston, the US WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) toilet was successfully restored to nominal operation. Extensive trial & error troubleshooting finally established the root cause for the consistent “Check Separator” light and WHC stoppage: a dry separator (intentionally emptied as a safety measure, due to an initial glitch by either the urine receptacle, separator controller or ASU controller - TBD). After the crew went ahead and just filled the separator, WHC returned forthwith to full use.

MRM2 Fan Update: Root cause of the V2 fan failure in the MRM2 module has been determined to be the power switch feeding the panel. Switch replacement will be scheduled.

MRM2 TVM2 Update: Lane 2 of the MRM2’s Terminal Computer is down. Engineers are not sure what the issue is with this computer but will do a data downlink for more information.

Oxidizer Valve Update: The stuck-open Russian KZBO1 oxidizer valve, a crossfeed valve between the SM BO1 and BO2 tanks for the oxidizer (NTO/Nitrogen Tetroxide), which failed in the open position on 1/26, remains open. Root cause is an issue with the BOK, the valve Command Generator unit. There is no spare on board. Until the BOK is replaced to solve the problem, Moscow inhibits attitude control thrusters when transferring NTO to BO2 in the SM. Thruster inhibition is not required when fuel is transferred (UDMH/unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine).

METOX Regeneration Update: Failure investigation is underway at MCC-H. Specialists believe that the regeneration anomalies could be due to low voltage from shell heater cycling issues. Consideration is being given to manifesting more LiOH (Lithium Hydroxide) canisters on 19A and to alternate prebreathe options in case the METOX Regen hardware cannot be recovered in time for the three 19A EVAs.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Rangoon, Myanmar (ISS had a near-nadir pass at mid-afternoon with only scatted clouds expected for the Myanmar capital, located inland in the southern part of the country. As the crew tracked northeastward over Irrawaddy River delta, they were to look for this target at the head of an estuary formed by two large rivers), Djibouti, Djibouti (in mid-afternoon light, the crew had a clear weather pass to the near the capital city of the Republic of Djibouti. As ISS approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to look just left of track. The city of Djibouti is situated on a small peninsula that divides the Gulf of Aden from the Gulf of Tadjoura), 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), Villarrica Volcano, Chile (the crew had a near-nadir pass over this large, snow-capped volcano in northern part of Chile’s lakes region. As they crossed the coast from the SW in fair weather, they were to look for this conical volcanic peak. Overlapping frames of the volcano summit and flanks were requested to map snow cover and surface geomorphology), Iguazu Falls, Brazil (this extensive, spectacular set of falls is located on the Brazilian-Argentine border marked by the Iguazu River. This nadir pass was late in the morning with fair weather expected. As the station tracked northeastward over northeastern Argentina, the crew was to look for the Argentine city of Foz do Iguazu north of a dark forested area on the Parana River. The falls are about 10 miles SE of the city below a tight loop in the Iguazu River), and Porto Praya, Santiago, Cape Verde Islands (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived here in mid-January, 1832. Here he made detailed observations of local cuttlefish and their fascinating ability to change colors. ISS had a nadir pass in fair weather during the early afternoon over the southern part of the Cape Verde Islands. Trying for detailed views of Porto Praya [modern-day Praia] located on the southeastern coast of the large island of Sao Tiago).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:03am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.0 km
Apogee height – 353.2 km
Perigee height – 342.7 km
Period -- 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007858
Solar Beta Angle -- 14.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 84 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,807

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
03/12/10 -- Dedicated Thruster Firing for TMA-16/20S (9:15am-9:28am)
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.