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April 06, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/06/10

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

Sleep cycle shifting: Crew wake/sleep cycle is shifting to accommodate STS-131/19A docking tomorrow morning (3:44am EDT) and the docked period.
  • Wake – 8:00pm (last night)
  • Sleep – 11:06am (today)
  • Wake – 7:36pm (tonight)

STS-131/Discovery (ISS-19A) is catching up to ISS for tomorrow’s rendezvous & docking (3:44:50am EDT). Sleeptime for the Shuttle crew began at 12:21pm, wakeup is tonight at 8:21pm, to begin Flight Day 3. Rendezvous operations start at 10:06pm. (For Ku-band issue, see below). [The Orbiter is carrying the seven-member crew of CDR Alan Poindexter, PLT James Dutton, MS1 Rick Mastracchio, MS2 Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, MS3 Stephanie Wilson, MS4 Naoko Yamazaki, MS5 Clayton Anderson. STS-131 is the 131st space shuttle flight in history, the 38th for Discovery, and the 33rd Shuttle flight to the ISS. Primary payloads for Discovery are the MPLM (Multi Purpose Logistics Module) Leonardo with ~17,000 lbs of cargo, the Sabatier water regeneration system, WORF/Window Observational Research Facility, MARES/Muscle Atrophy Resistive Exercise System, science experiments, supplies, etc. As a new record, there will be four women among the station crew. Educator-Astronaut Metcalf-Lindenburger will demonstrate Robotics. The mission includes three spacewalks, each about 6.5 hours in length, to be conducted on FD5, FD7 & FD9 by Rick Mastracchio & Clay Anderson. TJ Creamer & Tracy Caldwell-Dyson will support EVA prep & post responsibilities as IV (Intravehicular) crewmembers. Mission duration is 13 days. Discovery will undock on FD12 (Friday, 4/16, 3:55am) and land on FD14 (Sunday, 4/18, 8:29am, KSC).]

At wake-up (8:00 pm last night), CDR 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 (with Skvortsov for handover/familiarization), currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Working with FE-1 Skvortsov as part of the handover program, Kotov performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process was terminated later (~10:30am EDT) before sleeptime, followed tomorrow by regeneration of Bed #2. (Last time done: 3/15-3/16/10). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

FE-5 Noguchi & FE-6 Creamer completed another session with the 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. 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.]

CDR Kotov, FE-1 Skvortsov, FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson & FE-3 Kornienko performed the 1h 15m OBT (onboard training) Emergency Egress Equipment Readiness drill (Trenirovka po avarijnomu pokidaniyu MKS) 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, currently to the FGB nadir port & MRM2 (where Soyuz 21S & 22S, resp. are 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.]

The newcomers – Alexander, Tracy & Mikhail – conducted several physical exercise overview sessions to familiarize themselves with the use of the CMS (Countermeasure Systems) CEVIS cycle ergometer, TVIS & T2 treadmills and ARED exerciser, by observing experienced crewmembers at the start of the appropriate exercise sessions.

Caldwell-Dyson & Creamer worked together in the A/L (Airlock), preparing its EL (Equipment Lock) compartment for the 19A spacewalks. [Relocation of EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) components and personal items was not required, but the PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus) had to be put into place. For the 19A docked mission, specialists have developed a detailed “Musical Chairs” plan for moving PEP (Portable Emergency Provisions) like PFE (Portable Fire Extinguisher) and PBA fire safety devices around the station’s interior as required for quick access.]

Also in the A/L, FE-5 Noguchi started the charging of five batteries for the NIKON D2Xs cameras to be used for the RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) photography activity. [Batteries must be charged for at least three hours. Three batteries will be used for the D2Xs camera configuration and checkout in preparation for the RPM documentation. The 4th & 5th batteries will be reserved as backup for the actual RPM.]

Mikhail “Misha” Kornienko completed 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.]

Timothy configured the WRS UPA (Water Recovery System / Urine Processor Assembly) for use of the US WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) by routing pretreated urine hoses for feeding the UPA without T-valve required. As next step, WHC panels were arranged to accommodate the use of the UPA WSTA (Waste Storage Tank Assembly).

After yesterday’s installation of the WDS (Water Delivery System) in Node-3, it failed to release more than a small amount of water. Today, Soichi performed a purge of the Potable Water bus to eliminate any possible air bubbles in the system by trying to flow ~250mL of water from a fully degassed CWC-I (Collapsible Water Container-Iodine) through the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser)’s auxiliary needle outlet QD into a clear sample bag. The purge did not succeed, but ground teams have collected data for further actions.

The FE-5 also offloaded the Lab condensate tank (to neutral point), filling a CWC and collecting a 300 mL sample plus the 300 mL purge quantity for return on 19A.

In preparation for tomorrow’s Shuttle docking, TJ installed the 5-ft ISA/VAJ (Internal Sampling Adapter / Vacuum Access Jumper) and used it for pressurizing and leak-checking of PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2), Orbiter Discovery’s docking port, leaving the equipment connected for PMA-2 leak checking after docking.

Oleg, Soichi & Timothy conducted a 1-hr procedures review for the RPM, followed by TJ configuring the two cameras with 400mm & 800mm lenses for the RPM picture-taking in the SM (Service Module). [During the RPM, the crew will photograph the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle. 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 damage assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers, supported by the “timer”, and the Shuttle pilot.]

Also in support of 19A, TJ & Soichi –
  • Removed the 1OA2 panel in the A/L as a get-ahead for the Shuttle-fed O2 setup for EVA prebreathe on FD3,
  • Configured THC IMV (Temperature & Humidity Control /Intermodular Ventilation) diffusers in the Lab to optimize air mixing in the Lab for CO2 removal, with the additional station occupants on board,
  • Relocated two PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) bottles with attached QDM (Quick-Don Mask) to the A/L in preparation for the 19A EVAs, one from JPM (#1028), the other from COL (#1019), to remain in A/L for the docked duration,
  • Installed the Node-2 air duct for increased Shuttle ventilation, and
  • Readied two BPSMUs (Battery Powered Speaker Microphone Units, #5244, #5245) for use by the Shuttle crew during the docked phase with the Orbiter [using two A31p laptops in the Lab, one BMPSU was placed at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation), the other near the Node-2 Port hatch for MPLM operations. The long dual drag-through cables will be plugged in at a drag-through QD assembly at the PMA-2, with one half assigned to the station, the other to the Shuttle.]

Skvortsov, Kornienko & Caldwell-Dyson again had about an hour’s time to themselves for general adaptation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Shortly before sleep time, Kotov set up the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his sixth experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [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.]

The crew completed today’s physical workout regime on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5).

At ~9:06am, Tracy had another PMC (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~10:41pm last night, the three Russian crewmembers downlinked PAO TV messages of greetings to the participants of a celebration and holiday concert scheduled on Cosmonautics Day (April 12) at the Central Academic Theater of the Russian Army. [“The International Space Station crew is sending Cosmonautics Day greetings from near-Earth orbit. The flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut on the planet, is celebrated every year on April 12 in Russia and all over the world. Gagarin blazed the space trail for the entire mankind, a trail which was covered later by more than 500 representatives from 30 countries. The picture of Yuri Alexeyevich is always with us aboard the station, where long duration international expeditions have been working already for 10 years. This year the Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, where all Russian and international crews are trained to carry out a space duty, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Happy anniversary to all Center and rocket science industry employees who are making our job at near Earth orbit possible…”]

At ~6:42am, TJ powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 6:47am conducted a ham radio session with students at Scuola primaria De Gasperi in Noicattaro, Bari, Italy.

ATA Venting: In preparation for the replacement of the Ammonia (NH3) Tank Assembly on the S1 truss during EVA-2 with a fresh tank, ground controllers yesterday (~7:20am) closed valves to isolate the ATA from the TCS (Thermal Control System), and then opened the loop vent valve to space. The valve will remain open until EVA 1.

ARED Restoration: Yesterday, the crew replaced the damaged cables of the ARED upper stops. After review of the documentary photos, ground engineers have given their Go for the crew to resume all workout modes including bar exercises.

Shuttle Ku-band Failure: At about 8:15am after liftoff yesterday, the Discovery’s Ku-band EA-2 (Electronic Assembly #2) failed, rendering the Ku-band antenna inoperable for uplink or downlink. Workarounds are being developed. Orbiter TPS (Thermal Protection System) inspections are proceeding as planned, with onboard recording and constant visual monitoring by crewmembers, looking for possible areas of interest. After docking, ISS Ku-band assets will be used for TV downlink as well as uplinks of messages, timelines, transfer list, etc., until Ku-band can be restored.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:13am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 346.3 km
Apogee height – 350.2 km
Perigee height – 342.4 km
Period -- 91.46 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0005748
Solar Beta Angle -- -28.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 117 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,218

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
04/07/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM, LMC – docking 3:44am
  • 04/08 -- MPLM install on Node-2 (12:56am)
  • 04/09 -- EVA-1 (1:41am)
  • 04/11 -- EVA-2 (2:16am)
  • 04/13 -- EVA-3 (3:11am)
  • 04/15 -- MPLM install in PLB (9:56am)
04/16/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – undocking 3:55am
04/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – land/KSC 8:29am
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.