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March 12, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/12/10

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

At wake-up, FE-4 Kotov performed 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.]

CDR Williams conducted his fourth and last session with the NUTRITION w/Repository experiment’s blood draw. TJ Creamer stood by to assist with the phlebotomy from an arm vein as required. Later, Williams set up the equipment for his & Noguchi’s 24-hour urine collections of the NUTRITION protocol which begin tomorrow. Jeff also broke out the hardware for the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment for himself & Soichi on 3/14 (Sunday). [After the phlebotomy, Jeff’s blood samples were first allowed to coagulate in the Repository for 20-30 minutes, then spun in the HRF RC (Human Research Facility/Refrigerated Centrifuge) and finally placed in MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). No thruster activity was allowed during the blood drawing. The RC was later powered off after a temperature reset to limit wear on the compressor, and cleaned. 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-1 Suraev had 2h50m for undertaking his 6th onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, with Kotov acting as Operator. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, and Max reported to TsUP-Moscow 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.]

After activating the KTsP2 (Central Post Computer-2/CPC2) in the SM (Service Module) and later shutting down the KTsP1 laptop, FE-4 Kotov reconfigured the RS (Russian Segment) cable network for the new BRI Smart Switch Router computer and ASP Network Connection Adapter, installed last month. [Activities focused on replacement of 9 old cables (for MPEG, BSMM, CPC1, CPC2, USOS Ch.1, etc) with new BRI Ethernet cables.]

Afterwards, Kotov and TsUP-Moscow had several hours for carefully orchestrated tests of the new setup, which restored the computer network to nominal configuration on the new BRI basis (first with re-activated RS2 & KTsP2 laptops and deactivated RS1 & KTsP1 at the Central Post, then reversed), checking comm between network users and the functionality of some network users with the new BRI. [Tests included BRI, ASP & ABP/WAP (Wireless Access Point), SRK (Radiation Monitoring System) & BVS (Computer System) interaction, Ethernet connectors, intermodule connections, video signal transmission via the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) “streaming video” packet system, etc. In support of the Russian BRI activation, MCC-Houston overnight reconfigured SSCs (Station Support Computers) 1, 2 & 3, making them temporarily unable to access the onboard OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network).]

Later in the day, TsUP-Moscow reactivated the Elektron O2 generator by ground commanding, with Oleg monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had been turned off while the cabin atmosphere was being refreshed with pressurized O2 from Progress 35P storage.]

For the Russian BTKh-11 Biodegradatsiya ("Biodegradation”) experiment, Oleg collected the periodic bio samples from specific equipment and structures in the SM behind panels 139 & 407 for subsequent stowage in the Soyuz TMA-16 Descent Module for microbial analysis on Earth. [The activities were documented with the Nikon D2X digital camera with SB 28DX flash attachment for downlink via OCA.]

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), completing the “Post Experiment 2” phase. [After detaching MEUs (Measurement Experiment Units) A & B from the CBEF Micro-G IU (Incubator Unit), Soichi retrieved Bag Cartridge A from MEU A & Cartridge B from MEU B, and removed the sample bags from both cartridges for individual photography and subsequent insertion in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).]

After yesterday’s successful deployment of the JAXA RMS SFA (Robotic Manipulator System / Small Fine Arm) and checkout of the SSE TF (SFA Stowage Equipment / Tool Fixture) grapple, Soichi Noguchi & Timothy Creamer today successfully finished up establishing full RMS operability with the installation of the SFA on the SSE and its ungrappling from the RMS MA (Main Arm) . [After activation of the temporarily relocated A31p laptop to monitor external ops, Soichi maneuvered the MA to the Berth Point at SSE, then steered the RMS via the SLT (System Laptop Terminal) to capture and structurally secure the SFA onto the SSE. After the subsequent grapple of the SSE TF, two electrical connectors were mated by rotating the Torque Drive, followed by ground-commanded activation of the SFA keep-alive heaters via the JEF (JEM Exposed Facility, “porch") and deactivation of the SFA via the MA. The Extendable Electrical Connector (SPEE) was then disconnected, the SFA detached (ungrappled) and the MA maneuvered back to Stowed Position. Russian thrusters were again disabled for the SFA ops from 4:57am-7:05am. Later, TJ relocated the A31p to its nominal location in the Lab.]

After activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), Jeff performed round 4 of the ongoing troubleshooting of the SODI (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument), today re-installing the SODI and IVIDIL (Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids) hardware, followed by a ground-commanded functional checkout by the PD (Payload Developer) to verify that the hardware is in working order. If the test is successful, Jeff was to swap out the IVIDIL equipment for the DSC (Diffusion Soret Coefficient) hardware later in the afternoon.

The CDR also conducted troubleshooting on the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts), taking documentary photography for ground inspection and checking cable connections, then supported POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) in ground commanding dosimetry operations.

For EVA-3 during the 19A-docked period, the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System) will be used to retrieve the ATA (Ammonia Tank Assembly) from the S1 truss segment on the POA (Payload ORU Attachment). FE-5 Noguchi today reviewed this task and the pertinent setup for the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) computer application. [Used mostly during Robotics/SSRMS operations, DOUG is a software program on the MSS RWS (Mobile Service System Robotics Workstation) laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the up-to-date external station & robot arm configuration on a laptop for study of external ops.]

Soichi also had 1.5 hrs set aside for prepacking equipment for return to Earth on 15A.

Maxim continued packing and stowing return equipment cargo aboard the Soyuz 20S Descent Module.

After ground-conducted checkout of the CUCU (COTS UHF Communication Unit) and CCP (Crew Command Panel) in the Lab ER-6 (EXPRESS RACK 6), FE-6 Creamer powered down the CUCU. [These activities are part of the preparations for the next scheduled grappled Free Flyer vehicle, the SpaceX “Dragon”, currently expected to arrive at the ISS later this year.]

In the Lab AR2 (Avionics Rack 2), Creamer then reconfigured a US/RS laptop Ethernet cable (W0209), disconnecting it from the Lab ISL UIP (Integrated Station LAN / Utility Interface Panel) and connecting it instead on an unused port (A J2) of the Lab ISL Router.

Later, TJ inspected and installed a food warmer for the galley in ER-6.

CDR Williams re-installed the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR which he had removed yesterday to allow PaRIS activation for ground-commanded FCF ops in micro-G.

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.]

Jeff 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.]

Suraev & Williams 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.]

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-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6)

At ~7:15am EST, 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 ~7:45am, 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 ~9:00am, all crewmembers convened for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~1:20pm, Jeff Williams had his weekly teleconference with stowage experts at MCC-H.

At ~3:00pm, 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).]

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The updated card (22-0003O) lists 95 CWCs (2,390.9 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 (58 CWCs with 1089.1 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.]

METOX (Metal Oxide) Regenerator Update: Investigations are continuing. Prime causes for the failures (insufficient canister temperature for regenerative “baking out” CO2) are considered to be lower-than-expected supply voltage to the unit, insufficient air flow around or within the unit, or a failure internal to the regenerator itself. Currently recommended forward action, requiring the least amount of crew time, would determine RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) output voltage along with sampling the A/L (Airlock) atmosphere for CO2 during various regenerator and secondary A/L heater cycles, with video recording and cursory visual inspection of seals by the crew.

COL DMS Update: The Columbus Data Management System, out of service for some time, has now been completely recovered. All redundancies have been restored since 3/10, and the systems are in a good configuration.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Dhaka, Bangladesh (the capital city of Bangladesh is located near the center of the country in the just north of the Ganges River Delta. This densely populated metropolitan area has a population of over 13 million. This just off-nadir pass was in mid-afternoon with clear weather expected. As ISS tracked northeastward over eastern India, the crew was to look just right of track to the east of the Ganges River for context views of the urban area as a whole), East Haruj Megafans, Libya (this mid-afternoon pass was over the southeastern-most portion of this target area in clear weather, in southern Libya to the north of the Tibesti Mountains. After tracking over the western part of the mountains, looking left of track for the very dark patch of the Waw an Namus volcano. Then, looking to the subtle features to the south and east, trying for a contextual mapping of this area), Cape Tres Montes, Chile (HMS Beagle Site: Cape Tres Montes was as far south in South America as the Beagle would travel. In his letters Darwin’s notes the numerous forested islands and mountains. The cape is situated on the southern coast of the rugged, forested Taitao Peninsula on the Gulf of Penas, just west of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. ISS approached the coast from the SW at mid-morning in fair weather. Looking nadir for this target), Megafan SW Algeria (good analogs to Martian features lie to the right of track on this clear, mid-afternoon pass over the western reaches of the Sahara Desert of southwestern Algeria. Under clear skies in mid-afternoon light trying for a contextual mapping pass looking right, just southeast of the linear dune features of the Erg Chech), Tunis, Tunisia (the Tunisian capital city of over 1.2 million is located on the country’s NE coast. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass and fair weather. As the crew approached the Mediterranean coast from the SW, they were to look nadir for this target), and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (ISS had a nadir pass at midday in fair weather over this target located just off the Venezuelan coast. This capital city of more than 50,000 is located on the Gulf of Paria coast of northwestern Trinidad).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:28am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 347.9 km
Apogee height – 353.1 km
Perigee height – 342.6 km
Period -- 91.49 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007796
Solar Beta Angle -- 10.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 105 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,823

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, (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.