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March 31, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/31/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>Today in 1970, Explorer 1, America’s first Earth satellite, re-entered the atmosphere, 12 years after its launch on January 31, 1958.<<<

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 & FE-5 Noguchi 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.]

After breakfast, Oleg Kotov concluded his first session of the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps MO-2 protocol. [After the ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed system, Oleg doffed the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over the past 24 hours, recording data on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results were then downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application.]

CDR Kotov conducted a connectivity test (using time synchronization) between the RS (Russian Segment) Remote Laptop (#1118) in the US Lab (loc. P5) and the KTsP2 Central Post Computer 2 of the RS BVS computer system in the SM, controlled from its RS2 laptop.

Afterwards, Oleg worked ~2.5 hrs in the FGB, swapping the 800A battery #1 of its PSS (Power Supply System, Russian: SES/sistema elektrosnabzheniya) behind panel 103 with a spare AB unit, followed by a functional checkout, with ground specialist on standby for tagup support.

FE-5 Noguchi initiated (later terminated) another 5-hr sampling run (the 82nd) 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.]

Today was water sampling time again aboard the station, and Soichi Noguchi –
  • Conducted the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sampling, using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) in Node-3, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to an SSC (Station Support Computer) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged. TOCA was relocated to Node-3 on 3/1 and successfully tested.]
  • Collected “Exp-23 Week 3” water samples in the SM (Service Module) for in-flight and ground analysis, taking them from the SRV-K Hot and SVO-ZV taps. [Collected were two 500 mL microbial postflight samples for return on Soyuz 21S and one 20 mL sample for in-flight silver detection (SDTO/Station Development Test Objective) using EHS C-SPE (Environmental Health System / Colorimetric Solid-Phase Extraction) analysis.]
  • Drew water samples for in-flight & post-flight analysis from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) from the ambient “leg” – after flushing long enough to compensate for the long period of stagnation,
  • Offloaded the WPA WWT (Waste Water Tank) contents into two CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine, #1008, #1016) from Process Line B and took samples for analysis, and
  • Afterwards processed the inflight SM and PWD water samples with the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit / Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative). [The activity must be conducted within 6 hrs after water collection from the PWD line. The visual T+2 Day microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the “Week 3” potable water samples will be performed on 4/2.]

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

FE-6 Creamer was scheduled to download the accumulated data from his and Jeff Williams’ Mini Mitter “Actiwatch” for the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), followed by initializing the devices, but Jeff’s Actiwatch failed to synchronize with its reader. Troubleshooting is underway. [The HRF (Human research Facility) will have to run longer than planned, but this is not an issue.]

In the US Airlock, Creamer terminated the recharge of EMU battery #1006 in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly). [REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) 1006 did not receive a nominal charge during last week’s battery charging event (3/24). The second attempt, started on 3/29, was intended to acquire more technical data to allow specialists to evaluate the charging anomaly.]

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, Timothy worked on the DECLIC payload (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization) in ER-4 (EXPRESS Rack 4), removing the RHDD (Removable Hard Disk Drive) and HTI (High Temperature Insert) from the experiment locker (carefully disconnecting the water hose to prevent spilling). [The French (CNES)/NASA-sponsored DECLIC, taking up two lockers, is a multi-user facility to investigate low & high temperature critical fluids behavior, chemical reactivity in supercritical water, directional solidification of transparent alloys, and more generally transparent media under micro-gravity environment. DECLIC uses the standard infrastructure offered by the ER-4 rack. Typical experiments for DECLIC include fluids (CO2, SF6) close to their near ambient critical point engineered in a dedicated insert (ALI), directional solidification of transparent materials (succinonitrile alloy) engineered in the dedicated DSI insert, high temperature, and high pressure critical fluids (H2O, NH3, etc.) engineered in the dedicated HTI insert. DECLIC is designed for remote science control, commonly called "Telescience". Operation capabilities offer scientists the possibility to remotely visualize and modify their selected experiment conditions in the ISS from User Home Base through the CADMOS User Support & Operation Centre.]

On the MSL (Materials Science Laboratory), Creamer performed sample exchange #7, removing the MICAST-1 sample and replacing it with a new sample, CETSOL #5. [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 had another 1h10m set aside for more cargo gathering & prepacking for return on the 19A MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) “Leonardo”.

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.]

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).

Soichi serviced the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

The crew conducted a joint 1-hr review/OBT (Onboard Training) session for familiarizing themselves with the uplinked Flight Plan/Timeline for Mission 19A (see below), followed by a 30-min teleconference with ground specialists.

In preparation for another run with the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9, Oleg set up the, charging the battery for the SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder. [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.]

For his exercise session on the T2 treadmill, Soichi once more donned the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation (third time for him), then activated the harness. [Afterwards, FE-5 downloaded the harness data (including achieved “body weight”) and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective).]

The crew performed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR).

At ~4:10am EDT, 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 ~8:10am, assisted by Soichi in the filming, Oleg Kotov conducted a POAO TV session on the subject of Lake Baikal, currently a focus of attention for Roskosmos’ Vesti TV channel..

BCC Checkout: Yesterday’s test run of using MSFC/Huntsville as a full-range BCC (Backup Control Center) was successful, verifying all services necessary to take over from MCC-Houston in case of an outage due to causes such as tornado damage. The TDRS (Tracking & Data Relay Satellite) forward link was “swung” from MCC-H to the BCC in Huntsville, with a brief voice check on S-band from the BCC Capcom. Nominal command and telemetry functions, including RCT (Russian Contingency Telemetry), were verified from BCC-HOSC (Huntsville Operations Support Center), POIC (Huntsville Payload Operations & Integration Center), SSIPC-Tsukuba, ESA/Oberpfaffenhofen, and TsUP-Moscow. Some minor issues were encountered, mainly with software, and are being addressed.

STS-131/Discovery Flight Plan Overview:
  • Launch, Docking, Undocking & Landing data see below;
  • STS-131/19A/Discovery is crewed by CDR Alan Poindexter, PLT James Dutton, MS1 Rick Mastracchio, MS2 Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, MS3 Stephanie Wilson, MS4 Naoko Yamazaki, MS5 Clayton Anderson;
  • With the Soyuz 22S crew of FE-1 Alexander Skvortsov, FE-2 Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, FE-3 Mikhail Kornienko arriving on 4/4, there will then be 13 persons aboard the ISS;
  • Wake/Sleep schedule on ISS (EDT):
FD1 10:00pm 11:30am
FD2 8:00pm 11:06am
FD3 7:36pm 11:51am
FD4 8:21pm 12:21pm
FD5 8:51pm 12:51pm
FD6 9:21pm 12:51pm
FD7 9:21pm 1:21pm
FD8 9:51pm 1:51pm
FD9 10:21pm 2:51pm
FD10 11:21pm 3:51pm
FD11 12:21am 3:51pm
FD12 12:21am 3:21pm

  • Focused Inspection is nominally planned for FD6. On the evening of FD3, the Debris Assessment Team will start reviewing the RPM imagery. If an area associated with the starboard wing is found to be of concern, MPLM installation will be delayed from FD4 to FD5, with Focused Inspection on FD4. Late inspection will be completed in its entirety after the Shuttle undocks on FD12.
  • Three EVAs are planned during the mission (FD5, FD7, FD9). They will be conducted by Rick Mastracchio & Clay Anderson. TJ Creamer & Tracy Caldwell will support the EVA Prep & Post responsibilities as IV (Intravehicular) crewmembers.
  • General tasks for each EVA:
  • EVA 1: Transfer full ATA (Ammonia Tank Assembly) from Shuttle PLB to POA using SSRMS, JEM MPAC/SEED External Payload Retrieval, S0 RGA R&R, P6 Battery Work (SSRMS ground-controlled walkoff from Node-2 PDGF to MBS will occur during crew sleep on Flight Night 6 in preparation for EVA 2);
  • EVA 2: Remove empty ATA from S1 and install on CETA Cart, Transfer full ATA from POA to S1, Transfer empty ATA from CETA Cart to POA, A/L MMOD Shield Retrieve, P1 Radiator Beam work (SSRMS ground-controlled walkoff from MBS to Node-2 PDGF will occur during crew sleep on Flight Night 7 in preparation for EVA 3; SPDM “Dextre” ground-controlled reconfig will occur on FD8 during crew wake to prep for EVA 3);
  • EVA 3: Transfer empty ATA from POA to Shuttle PLB, Adjustable Grapple Bar (AGB) Stow, Fixed Grapple Bar (FGB) Remove/Stow, LWAPA Retrieval, SPDM Camera & Light R&R, S1 Radiator Beam work. (SPDM Stow will occur on Flight Night 9 during crew sleep..

  • Crew Handovers: ~14 hrs of functional handover is planned for the docked timeframe.

  • MPLM “Leonardo”:
  • MPLM will be installed at Node-2 Nadir on FD4. Ingress is planned on FD4 just prior to Evening Prep Work.
  • COL VCA1 (Columbus Video Camera Assembly) will be used to provide MPLM camera views during 19A. Starting on FD4, the camera will be relocated from COL to NOD2 Zenith each morning and returned to COL each evening to capture MPLM operations during the day and avoid drag through issues during crew sleep.
  • The S0 RGA and the MPAC/SEED Cover will be launched in the MPLM. Both are needed for EVA1 (FD5).
  • MPLM transfers are not scheduled to start until FD5. It will be necessary to clear a certain amount from MPLM rack-fronts before rack transfers can begin.
  • A total of 7 racks (including MELFI-3, CQ-2, MARES, WORF & ER7) will be transferred from MPLM to ISS (JPM, JLP, Node-2, COL, Lab). 3 racks will be transferred from ISS (Node-3) to MPLM for return. Rack transfers will be on FD5 & FD6.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Urumqi, China (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with fair weather expected. Approach was from the NW. This desert agricultural region is rapidly transitioning to the focus of China’s petroleum and natural gas exploration. The city itself is located at the southern edge of the Junggar Basin near a pass between the Erenhaberg and Bogda Ranges. There is still much snow in the area, especially in the mountains. Looking just left of track for context views of this remote urban area), Tehran, Iran (the Iranian capital with a population nearing 9 million is located in the northern part of the country about 70 miles south of the coast of the Caspian Sea. ISS had an excellent nadir pass in clear weather at mid-afternoon. As it tracked southeastward over the Alborz Range of northern Iran, the crew was to look nadir for this sprawling urban area), Athens, Greece (the capital of Greece is an ancient city that dominates the south coast of the region known as Attica in the southeastern part of the mainland. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in fair weather over this sprawling urban area of more than 3 million. As the crew approached the coast from the NW, they were to look nadir for this target), East Haruj Megafans, Libya (mid-afternoon transit over this target area was in clear weather. These features are in southern Libya to the north of the Tibesti Mountains. As ISS tracked southeastward over western Libya, the crew was to look nadir for the very dark patch of the Waw an Namus volcano and immediately begin a detailed, nadir mapping strip for about thirty seconds over this target area), and Lynchburg, TN (this target is located in Tennessee River Valley about midway between Huntsville, Alabama and Nashville, Tennessee. On this mid-afternoon pass in clear weather it lied just left of track. Lynchburg [population 6,000] is less than 5 miles NW of the Tims Ford Lake reservoir and roughly centered in the triangle formed by the larger Tennessee cities of Shelbyville, Tullahoma, and Fayetteville).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:50am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 347.1km
Apogee height – 351.5 km
Perigee height – 342.8 km
Period -- 91.48 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006504
Solar Beta Angle -- -46.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 114 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,124

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.