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March 14, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/14/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.    Sunday – crew off-duty day. Ahead: Week 16 of Increment 22.

At wake-up, FE-1 Suraev performed 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.]

After breakfast, CDR Williams & FE-5 Noguchi supported the weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast.  Soichi’s Bisphosphonates 24-hr urine collection closed out today at ~3:15am EDT. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

Williams closed out his generic 24-hr urine collections (for the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol) at ~3:00am.  Each sample was scanned and ID’d before being stowed in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS).  It was Jeff’s final NUTRITION activity.      [Based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities, the generic blood & urine procedures were created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated.  Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement.  Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they should verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

Williams, Noguchi & FE-6 Creamer completed another Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol.  Soichi & TJ took photographs of the activity. [The RST is performed twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. Originally planned for a total of 121 RST runs, Jeff will actually have completed 108 runs by the time of his return.  The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS.  The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

To support the ground in continued troubleshooting of the failed METOX “bake-out” regenerator in the US Airlock, the CDR set up the NIKON D2Xs camera with external flash & Mini-Maglite (for focusing) and conducted macro (close-up) photography of METOX canister details (outlet port).

Jeff also took some time to consolidate the VO2max experiment kit, removing & discarding expired items and stocking it with new resupply items.

FE-4 Kotov had several hours set aside for preparing the Progress M-03M/35P cargo spacecraft for its undocking next month (early hatch closure was motivated by crew comments about unpleasant smells from the vehicle). To close up the uncrewed cargo ship, Oleg –
  • Dismantled & removed the electronic LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit from inside the ship for recycling,
  • Activated the spacecraft’s electronics and took out the ventilation/heating air duct to the DC-1 Docking Compartment,
  • Removed the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint,
  • Closed the two hatches between 35P & DC-1 (~6:45am);
  • Started the standard one-hour leak checking of the SU docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC1 (~6:55am), and
  • Downloaded the video which recorded the close-out activities, for review by ground specialists.

FE-6 Creamer had several tasks on his schedule today, including –
  • Removing the failed PC camera from the SSC16 (Station Support Computer 16) laptop,
  • Inserting fresh AA batteries in the HLTA BP (Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) instrument for the cardiological experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) scheduled tomorrow,
  • Performing the regular bi-monthly reboots of the OCA Router and FS SSC (File Server Station Support Computer) laptops, and
  • Updating the three EMER Warning books (Lab, SM, FGB) with a warning regarding longeron shadowing on the solar arrays.     [It is a catastrophic condition when longeron shadowing (self-shadowing or adjacent shadowing) occurs and a BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) has loss of communication or a BGA motor is off.]

Timothy also closed the protective shutters of the Lab & Kibo science windows as well as of the seven Cupola windows in preparation for Russian thruster firings in support of today’s periodic RS (Russian Segment) Solar Array Efficiency Test.    [ISS attitude control was handed over from US momentum management to RS MCS (Motion Control System) at 10:30am, to be returned to CMG control at 3:45pm.  US Solar Array Efficiency Test is scheduled tomorrow.]

Max Suraev completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module), including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. [This includes 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].

FE-1, FE-4, FE-5 & FE-6 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Maxim at ~6:30am, Oleg at ~8:45am, TJ at ~12:35pm, Soichi at ~1:50pm EDT.

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-4, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6).

Jobs listed for Suraev & Kotov for today on the Russian discretionary “as time permits” task list were –
  • Newsreel shooting for the photo- & video database (Flight Chronicle) of ISS Increment 22, using the SONY HVR-Z7 high-definition camcorder,
  • Activating the water pump for Root Module #22 of the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment for 10 minutes and doing the periodic status check of the payload,
  • Another run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D2X digital camera photography with 800mm telelens (targets: Krasnaya Polyana, general views of the Andes, and Darwin Island in the Galapagos archipelago),
  • A photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining data on oceanic water blooms, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop, and
  • A session for Russia's EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera.

ARED Anomaly Update:   As a workaround to the ARED anomaly (upper stop cables removed due to damage and racking mechanism disengaged), ground specialists have developed an exercise procedure that allows the crew to do the important Squats and Heel Raises from a lower start position (with decreased load to avoid injury).  All other exercises can be performed nominally.

20S Thruster Test:   The standard Soyuz pre-undocking thruster test is scheduled for tomorrow at ~5:47am EDT.

SSU Shunt Test:    Also tomorrow, beginning at 1:33pm EDT and running through three orbits for 20 min each (1:33pm-1:53pm; 3:05pm-3:25pm; 4:36pm-4:56pm), MCC-H will perform the periodic U.S. solar array efficiency test, which assesses the degradation of the photovoltaics over time. Before the test, at 1:00pm, the BGAs (Beta Gimbal Assemblies) will be moded to Autotrack (from fixed dual-angle, i.e., no auto biasing) to improve power generation during the test, and afterwards returned to dual angle, with "night glider" drag reduction feathering.    [For the test, the solar array output is shunted (switched) for ~10 min before and unshunted ~2 min after entering eclipse (Earth shadow) such that the circuit current of the SSUs (Sequential Shunt Units) can be recorded to determine solar array output capability. The amount of current (Ampères) shunted by the arrays will decrease slowly over time as they degrade in the orbital environment. The test is performed approximately twice a year, once during each equinox, at a Beta angle of 0 plus/minus 5 deg. to allow engineers to track the performance over time and compare degradation trends against the a priori (expected) curve (today’s Beta: ~1 deg).  The monitoring has started in Fall 2003 and runs for the life of the station.]

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:15am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 347.5 km
Apogee height – 352.8 km
Perigee height – 342.3 km
Period -- 91.49 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007746
Solar Beta Angle -- 1.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 129 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 64,855

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
03/15/10 -- Soyuz 20S Thruster Test (~5:47am EDT)
03/15/10 -- US Solar Array Efficiency Test (1:33pm etc.)
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 Increment 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.