Text Size

March 24, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/24/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Yesterday, March 23, was Wernher von Braun’s birthday. Born 1912, he would have turned 98. He is buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, VA.

At wake-up, CDR Oleg Kotov performed the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim 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 inspected the filters before bedtime this morning, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Also at wake-up, Kotov terminated his 5th 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.]

FE-6 Creamer continued the new week-long session of experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), TJ’s third, transferring data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor his/her sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmember wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him/her as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition, using 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.]

Kotov prepared the DZZ-13 equipment for a run of the Russian RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) science experiment, then conducted another sun-glint observation session, using the hand-held spectrometer (without use of the TIUS three-stage rate sensor) from SM window #9, later downlinking data from the RSE1 laptop and removing the hardware. [RUSALKA ops involve calibration and tests of research equipment relating to the Sun and the Earth's limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted). To be tested are the procedure for remote determination of Methane (CH4) & Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere (in the First Phase), measurement of CH4 & CO2 content in the atmosphere and reception of data on NI2 and NI4 content over the territories subjected to natural and technogenic effects, reception of sufficient data on seasonal dependencies of tropospheric parameters being studied (in the Second Phase). Equipment used: Rusalka monoblock, Nikon D2X(s) digital photo camera; AF VR Nikkor ED 80-400f/4.5-5.6D lens with ultraviolet filter, bracket for attachment to the window, and Rusalka-Accessories set. Support hardware: Device TIUS /DKShG/PNSK, Laptop RSK1, and Software Package loading disk.]

Later, Oleg completed a periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-5 Noguchi serviced the CGSE Common Gas Supply Equipment), starting the CO2 gas supply from the upper CO2 GBU (Gas Bottle Unit).

Noguchi also initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run (the 80th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer). [Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

In the US Lab, FE-5 cleared and prepared two rack bays (D3, P4) and one rack bay (A1) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for receiving new racks arriving in the MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) with STS-131/19A.

Also in preparation for 19A, Noguchi installed the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) at the Node-2 nadir hatch for the docking of the MPLM “Leonardo”, then checked out the video system by routing CBCS to the RWS (Robotic Workstation) and the ground. [After checkout, the CBCS was powered down and its hatch drag-through cable connections demated. CBCS will remain installed and in this configuration until MPLM install.]

Later, the FE-5 undertook another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it from Node-2 Port CQ (Crew Quarters) to SM Panel 327. [The CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) outlet #5 on SM Panel 450 is being utilized for supplying power.]

For 19A arrival, Soichi performed an audit/inspection of IMV jumper O-rings in the 19A Vestibule Outfitting kit, to verify that the necessary jumper O-rings to support 19A are available.

Noguchi performed an inspection on the Lab window and on the two JPM windows, with video & still photography and a lamp, checking for damage or other changes. [Required once every Increment.]

The FE-5 also had another hour reserved for more 15A/MPLM cargo gathering and pre-packing.

CDR Kotov took his first periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 (“Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest”) on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser. [Equipment used were VPG/Temporal Pulsogram and ECG/Electrocardiogram Data Output Devices (USI). The test was during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) overflight window (6:14am EDT) via VHF for data downlink from the VPG and Gamma-1M ECG for about 5-6 minutes.]

Oleg & Timothy undertook the standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) onboard skill training, Oleg’s first, TJ’s third, using D2X digital still cameras with 400 (Oleg) & 800mm (TJ) lenses to take test imagery of an Orbiter tile diagram in the cabin. Afterwards, TJ downlinked the obtained photographs for ground analysis. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-131/Discovery/19A) next month. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Later, the CDR set up the hardware of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9 for another experiment run, charging the battery for the SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder, then recording the planned GFI-1 activities, supported by ground specialist tagup. The gear was then closed out and removed. [Using the GFI-1 UFKFialka” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from window #9, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

Creamer had ~3 hrs reserved for a major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) task on the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly)’s bed #2 (202), creating a small power and data bypass for its heater. The installed jumpers will allow CDRA to operate with 2 of 3 temperature sensors for Bed 202. [Temperature sensor B of CDRA Bed 202 in the ARS (Atmosphere Revitalization Systems) Rack #2 located at LAB1D6 has shown some “out-of-family” temperature data. TJ’s task was to omit the failing temp sensor B from CDRA Bed 202, using the ISS Pin Kit. A similar bypass (but on temp sensor A) was performed in February 2008 by Peggy Whitson on CDRA Bed 202 (R Rack #1).]

In the US A/L (Airlock), Creamer initiated recharging EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) for the 19A spacewalks.

Working on the ABRS (Advanced Biological Research System) in the Lab, the FE-6 shut down the facility by deactivating the unit and removing the spent ORU air filters.

Later, TJ conducted the periodic status checks and necessary maintenance of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) payload.

In a short (15 min) task in the Lab, the FE-5 removed the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) urine jumper routed through the LAB1PD standoff from loc. P2 to P4 to prepare for the future transfer of racks into the P2 & P4 locations.

The Japanese Flight Engineer also conducted a new session with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. It was his 4th time. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

In the SM, the Russian Commander 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.]

The CDR also performed 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).

Later, Oleg downlinked high-definition video footage shot in the last few days for the Russian TVTs television channel for their “News From Weightlessness” series on his voluntary task list.

TJ Creamer removed the internal contents of the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) Galley fridge to prepare for a 24-hour bake out, which prevents moisture from getting into the sensors. [During yesterday’s inspection, FE-6 discovered traces of internal condensation moisture in the unit. MERLIN, the Galley fridge, is used for cold storage of crew food and drink.]

The CDR finished shooting video of Lake Baikal for Roskosmos TV studio which is working on a feature on the Baikal Lake and its importance as natural heritage called ‘Planet Baikal’. The footage was downlinked. The feature will be broadcast in Vesti channel’s weekly program Kosmonavtika. [Lake Baikal Lake contains 20% of the world’s water reserves; it is a beautiful and a mysterious lake. The producers want to highlight the grandeur of this natural gem and raise awareness about its pollution problems. The metaphor used throughout the feature is one of a planet, an element of the Universe and a cosmonaut talking about Baikal while on orbit is thought to be a perfect choice to convey it.]

Today it was Timothy’s turn to don the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation (first time for him), then activated the harness for his exercise run on the T2 treadmill. [Afterwards, FE-6 downloaded the harness data and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).]

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6).

At ~4:00am EDT, Soichi Noguchi conducted his regular tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

At 5:30am, Progress M-04/36P performed a single-burn reboost of the ISS with its 8 DPO (Approach & Attitude Control) thrusters. ISS attitude control authority was handed over to the RS MCS (Russian Segment Motion Control System) at 4:00am and returned to US momentum management at 6:29am.

WPA Update: Due to the Water Processor Assembly failure Monday night and the low water quantity available to PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), the crew was advised to use the Russian SRVK condensate processor for water beginning this morning. They will be informed when WPA has been recovered.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Porto-Novo, Benin (the capital city of the West African nation of Benin has a population of about a quarter of a million and is located near the coast in the south of the country. A recent dust storm has scoured the clouds from the region, but the atmosphere may still be somewhat turbid on this mid-morning nadir pass. As the ISS approached the coast of the Gulf of Benin from the SW, the crew may have first spotted the mega-city of Lagos [near the coast], Porto-Novo lies about 50 miles to the west of Lagos and just east of Lake Nokoue), East Haruj Megafans, Libya (this mid-morning pass was over the northwestern-most portion of this target area in clear weather. These features are in southern Libya to the north of the Tibesti Mountains. After tracking over the western part of the mountains, looking nadir for the very dark patch of the Waw an Namus volcano. Then, looking just right of track for the subtle features to the S and E. Trying for a contextual mapping of this area), Banjul, The Gambia (this capital city is located on the estuary of the Gambia River as it reaches the Atlantic. The nadir pass was in late morning with lingering dust in the air. As the ISS approached from the SW, the crew was to look for this city of almost 400,000 on the SW side of the estuary. The older part of the city is on a small island with the modern part on the mainland), Bern, Switzerland (the Swiss federal capital lies in the rolling plateau region north of the Alps and northeast of Lake Geneva. ISS had a midday pass approaching from the SW in fair weather. Looking nadir for this small city of about 125,000 in the valley of the Aare River), Roseau, Dominica (ISS had a mid-morning, nadir pass over this target with partly cloudy conditions expected as it approached from the SW. The island of Dominica lies near the center of archipelago of the Lesser Antilles. The small capital city of the island nation is located on the SW coast), and Volcan Colima, Mexico (ISS had a fine, mid-morning pass in clear weather over this massive, 3,850-meter strato-volcano complex in southwestern Mexico. CEO has collected numerous photos of this target, but cloud-free, long-lens views of the twin-peaked summit area have eluded crews to date. Looking nadir for this target).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:46am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 346.3 km
Apogee height – 351.4 km
Perigee height – 341.3 km
Period -- 91.46 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007555
Solar Beta Angle -- -39.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 65 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,013

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------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
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
04/05/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – launch 6:21:21am
04/07/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – docking 3:46am
04/16/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – undocking 4:01am
04/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – land/KSC 8:35am
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.