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March 26, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/26/10

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

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). [CDR 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.]

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.]

Soichi Noguchi & Timothy Creamer completed another Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [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 completed 108 runs by the time of his return last week. 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.]

The crew performed the mandatory 1h 20m OBT (onboard training) Depress Emergency drill for the case of rapid cabin depressurization, with Russian & US specialists standing by at both control centers for crew questions or comments, followed by a 10-min debrief with ground specialists. The crew practiced ISS depress response procedures, coordination between themselves during the depress, and coordination with Mission Control Centers during the depress as well as on emergency egress from the ISS. [Background: Purpose of the drill is to (a) familiarize the station residents with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) perform a survey of each hatch for drag-through cables (and reporting results to MCC), (c) work through the RS (Russian Segment) hardware deactivation procedures, (c) practice crew emergency joint activities, and (d) identify crew comments and suggestions that arise during training regarding crew procedures and equipment. In the RS, the crew usually translates along the emergency egress paths to the FGB nadir port (where Soyuz 21S is currently docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the US Segment (USOS) the inspection usually focuses on readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBA (portable breathing assembly) and PFE (portable fire extinguisher), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The checks also include Node-3, Node-2, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). The exercise was topped off by a debrief with the ground via S-band. During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.]

Working on the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) in the US A/L (Airlock), Noguchi terminated EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery recharging.

Later, FE-5 prepared three PGTs (Pistol Grip Tools) for the 19A spacewalks, installing batteries in the units (#1004 in PGT-6, #1006 in PGT-2, #1005 in PGT-1) and checking out the devices, leaving the batteries installed when finished.

Also for the EVAs, Soichi checked out two SAFER units (Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue), - #1005 & #1006.

Creamer supported the ground in trying to retrieve missing data files from an exercise workout on 3/21 on the T2 treadmill, that were transferred by FE-6 to an SSC (Station Support Computer) but not recovered by the ground.

TJ & Soichi filled out their weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) 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.]

Soichi performed routine service on the prime CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products, #1042), replacing its battery with a new one (#1175).

CDR Kotov unstowed the equipment of the Russian DZZ-13 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) science payload, set it up with its AIP-01 power supply and then conducted a test of the synchronization cable connecting it to the NIKON D2X digital camera. The setup was photo-recorded with a second NIKON, and the activity was supported by ground specialist tagup. [RUSALKA research relates to the Sun and the Earth's limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted), testing a 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.]

On the MSL (Materials Science Laboratory), Creamer performed sample exchange #6, removing yesterday’s CETSOL-1 sample from the SCA (Sample Cartridge Assembly) and replacing it with a new sample (MICAST-1). [The ESA/NASA MSRR-1 (Material Science Research Rack 1) provides a powerful multi-user MSL with diverse EMs (Experiment Modules) so that many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied in micro-G to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials. MSRR experiments are coordinated by international teams that share different parts of the samples. There are 25 investigators on three research teams participating in the first of these investigations. CETSOL (Columnar-to-Equiaxed Transition in Solidification Processing) and MICAST (Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive & Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions) are two complementary material science projects to carry out research into the formation of microstructures during the solidification of metallic alloys. The goal of MICAST is to study the formation of microstructures during casting of technical alloys. In space, buoyancy convection is eliminated and the dendritic solidification of the alloys can be quantitatively studied under purely diffusive conditions. The objective of CETSOL is then to study the transition from columnar growth to equiaxed growth that occurs when crystals start to nucleate in the melt and grow independently. Results of these experiments will help to optimize industrial casting processes.]

TJ also salvaged all foam windscreens from discarded acoustic dosimeters stowed in an SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) slated to be returned to Earth on the 19A MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module). [One windscreen will be used on a new dosimeter (#1012) that’s missing its screen; the others will be stowed in the new SMK as spares.]

In the SM (Service Module), Oleg dismantled & removed the hardware of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at window #9, closing out the activity and stowing the equipment. [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.]

The CDR also conducted 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.]

TJ Creamer worked an hour in the A/L, clearing out trash from the ULF3 EVAs and finishing up final tool configurations for the upcoming 19A spacewalks.

Working off his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Oleg Kotov had an another recording session with the SONY HVR-Z7U camcorder, shooting video of Lake Baikal. [Roskosmos TV studio is working on a feature on Lake Baikal and its importance as natural heritage, called ‘Planet Baikal’. The feature will be broadcast in Vesti channel’s weekly program Kosmonavtika. The 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. The feature item will be filmed and broadcast to Earth in real time later (April 6-9).]

Today it was Soichi’s turn again 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-5 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 ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-5, FE-6) and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6).

At ~4:25am EDT, 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 ~6:30am, Oleg 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 ~8:15am, the ISS crew held a 30-min teleconference with the three Soyuz TMA-18/22S crewmembers who will join them on 4/4 for Expedition 23, - Flight Engineers Alexander Alexandrovich Skvortsov, Dr. Tracy Caldwell Dyson & Mikhail Borisovich Kornienko.

At ~10:25am, 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 ~12:40pm, the crew conducted a PAO TV downlink of three separate messages on HD TV for taping on the ground and later replay: (1) individual recorded introductions by the crewmembers for NASA TV’s ISS Update (played at the beginning of the program); (2), greetings to the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show, a broadcast technology conference held April 12-15 in Las Vegas, and (3) congratulations by TJ Creamer to the Naval Postgraduate School for its100th Anniversary, with a ceremony sometime in late May in Monterey, California.

At ~2:10pm, FE-6 Creamer will hold his weekly IMS (Inventory Management System) stowage tagup with ground specialists.

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 (23-0003A) lists 94 CWCs (2,332.9 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. 432.1 L in 12 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 129.4 L in 3 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, 4 bags with 170.8 L are to be used with microbial filter & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use, 3. iodinated water (58 CWCs with 1089.1 L), 4. condensate water (3 bags with 71.5 L; 2 empty CWCs), 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.]

CDRA Update: Yesterday’s IFM (Inflight Maintenance) procedure on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly by FE-6 Creamer to bypass the “out-of-family” temperature sensor B and re-connect sensors A & C with Desiccant/Sorbent Bed 202 removed was successful. Both sensors are functioning nominally, and CDRA is good to go.

WRS Update: Yesterday the crew performed parts of a procedure attempting to locate the location of a suspected leak within the Water Recovery System. No water was found during the inspection behind UIPs (Utility Interface Panels) of the WRS1 & WRS2 racks, as well as internally in front and also behind the racks. Further troubleshooting activities originally scheduled for the crew for today were cancelled as ground teams are developing new troubleshooting steps.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Banjul, The Gambia (this capital city is located on the estuary of the Gambia River as it reaches the Atlantic. This ISS nadir pass was at mid-morning with lingering dust in the air. As the crew approached from the SW, they were 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), Chisinau, Moldova (ISS had a late morning pass over this target as the crew approached from the SW in fair weather. The Moldovan capital is located near the center of the country and inland about 120 miles from the northwestern coast of the Black Sea. Looking nadir for this urban area of nearly one million inhabitants), Warsaw, Poland (the Polish capital lied just left of track as the station passed eastward over the Northern European Plain at midday in fair weather. This city of 1.7 million is located in the east central part of the country and sits astride the Vistula River), Roseau, Dominica (ISS had a mid-morning, nadir pass over this target with fair weather expected as the crew 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), Managua, Nicaragua (on this early morning pass the station approached the coast of Nicaragua from the SW in fair weather. After crossing the coast the crew could see both the larger Lake Nicaragua to their right and the smaller Lake Managua to the NW. Looking near-nadir for this capital city of nearly 2 million located on the south shore of Lake Managua), 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 archives have numerous photos of this target, but cloud-free, long-lens views of the twin-peaked summit area have eluded crews to date. Looking just right of track for this target.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:37am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 347.7 km
Apogee height – 352.2 km
Perigee height – 343.3 km
Period -- 91.49 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006591
Solar Beta Angle -- -45.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 230 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,045

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 – ~1:26am
--------------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.