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April 20, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/20/10

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

STS-131/Discovery (ISS-19A) returned to Earth safely this morning on the second opportunity after two waive-offs yesterday, landing at KSC at 9:08pm EDT after a flight duration of 15d 2h 06min 47min 10sec, 237 orbits and over 6.2 million stat.mi. covered distance. Welcome back, Dex, Jim, Rick, Dottie, Steph, Naoko and Clay! [During its docked period of 10d 5h 2min, Discovery delivered about 7 tons of equipment & resupply, supported three EVAs to upgrade the ISS external cooling system, and returned ~2 t of cargo in the MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) Leonardo. It was the 131st Shuttle mission, the 38th of Discovery and the 33rd Shuttle/ISS assembly flight. Its landing was the 74th landing at the Cape.]

At wake-up, CDR Kotov performed the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the currently running Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19/09 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, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Also at wake-up, FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson continued her current medical protocol of Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), her first on board, performing the urine pH spot test (not sampling). Her controlled diet & diet logging activity ended last night at 6:30pm EDT. [Under Pro K, the crewmember measures and logs the pH value of a urine sample, to be collected the same time of day every day for 5 days. The crewmember also prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Tracy required considerably more time for the session than scheduled since her packed food, delivered on 19A, took time for sorting out (probably should have been pre-organized on the ground.]

Additionally, at ~4:00am, Tracy closed out the 24-hr urine collections for her FD15 (Flight Day 15) Nutrition/Repository/Pro K protocol and undertook the associated generic blood collection, with FE-6 Creamer assisting with the phlebotomy as operator. Tracy then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [The operational products for Blood & Urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads have been revised, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been 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.]

After Kotov set up the video camcorder for monitoring subsequent activities in the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Skvortsov & FE-3 Kornienko spent much of their workday on Day 2 of the extensive TVIS treadmill IFM (Inflight Maintenance), to restore the exercise machine to service. After the IFM, Misha was to remove the video setup and its hatch-dragthrough cable. [Today’s work steps consisted of removing the TVIS skirt and deck plates, inspecting the belt slats, side walls & interior of the chassis, and re-tensioning the tread belt. The closeout panels were then to be uninstalled and the TVIS removed from the “pit” for an inspection of the corner components and installation of a new flywheel case and forward right stabilizer. The forward left stabilizer was also to be removed, for initiating the time-consuming change-out of the springs inside the stabilizers.]

Still before breakfast, FE-5 Noguchi began Part 1 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit), carried by Caldwell-Dyson, Creamer and himself for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). (Last time done: 3/22-3/23). [Tomorrow, Soichi will download the dosimeter data and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

All six crewmembers took the periodic O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There has been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

For the period onboard sampling of the cabin atmosphere, CDR Kotov looked for –
  • CO (Carbon Monoxide) in the SM with the IPD Draeger tubes,
  • Freon in the SM with the AK-1M-F sampler, and
  • Air constituents with two AK-1M absorbers in SM and FGB

At the same time of Oleg’s AK-1M sampling, Tracy collected air samples with the GSC (Grab Sample Container) in the SM, Lab & Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), using GSCs #1070, #1077, #1096 and mini-GSC #2012.

Afterwards, Kotov gathered and prepared equipment for tomorrow’s scheduled replacement of the CO2 Differential Gas Analyzer of the Russian Vozdukh CO2 removal system.

The FE-2 completed another deployment of four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at bay P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow].

Working on the Russian Orlan-MK #5 spacesuit, the CDR applied a special polarization filter film on the spacesuit’s PO-5 display panel.

For TJ Creamer, it was time again for the US PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol as subject, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on BP (blood pressure) & ECG (electrocardiogram) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer in the US Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG instrument and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Soichi Noguchi acted as Operator/CMO. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

In the JAXA JPM, TJ later replaced old O3 (ozone) resistant gloves of the BGB (Biolab Glovebox) with new ones. [Sterilization not required.]

Moving then to the MyoLab payload, Creamer worked with SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba on attaching a clip on the CB (Clean Bench) microscope stage (for holding samples firmly under the microscope). [Two clips are required but only one was installed by TJ on 4/18.]

Afterwards, TJ & Soichi set up the MyoLab CB microscope with its viewing stage, performed sample fixation and then conducted sample observation. [Soichi did the fixations of two samples and a third one retrieved from the CBEF 1G IU (Cell Biology Experiment Facility 1G Incubator Unit), and TJ conducted the microscope observation on fixation sample 1. MyoLab experimentation concerns studies of a rat muscle gene modified cell line to determine the effects of microgravity.]

CDR Kotov set up the DZZ-13 equipment for another run of the Russian RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) science experiment, then conducted a 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.]

Oleg continued the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, recharged on 1/16 with nitrogen (N2) to 1.2 atm (1.2 kg/cm2), by conducting the usual pressure check and repressing it to verify the unit’s hermeticity. The slight overpressure prevents leakage into the unit. (Last time checked: 3/19). [Objective of the monthly checkout of the spare BZh, which has been in stowage since March 2007, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

Afterwards, the CDR conducted the periodic update of the IUS AntiVirus program in the Russian VKS auxiliary (non-network) laptops RSK1, RSK2, RSE1, RSE2, which are not loaded from the ground, from a new uplinked program copy of Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, first scanning the latter, then transferring the database by flash-card to the other computers and scanning them one by one. [Only the RSS2 laptop is automatically updated (once a week on Fridays from MCC-Houston).]

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).]

Caldwell-Dyson did another calibration on the two new hand-held CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen, #1041, #1045) instruments, the second after their delivery on 20A. [Readings: Pressure 1800 psi; O2 content of cabin air 22.6% for both.]

FE-2 also started another sampling run (the 87th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [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.]

Tracy unstowed and set up the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware in the Lab and powered it up for a new Portable PFS software load from the ground. The hardware remains assembled for tomorrow’s scheduled VO2max session, making sure that it does not violate the swaying space of the close-by CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation). [The VO2max experiment uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders, mixing bag system and other subsystems to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol comprises 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 250-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cooldown period follows at the 25% load. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Timothy continued MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS) preparation for Stage 19A science sample preservation, today readying MELFI-1 by retrieving and inserting 16 “ice bricks” (-32degC) in the freezer. [Two bricks went into two sections each of Dewar 1 Tray A, Tray B, Tray C, and Tray D.]

Kotov did the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [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.]

Oleg also completed 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).

FE-2 re-installed the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) which TJ had removed yesterday to allow PaRIS activation for ground-commanded FCF ops in micro-G.

Afterwards, Caldwell-Dyson & Creamer worked in the US Airlock, setting up two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorber canisters for regeneration (#0005, #0007), with special instructions to take photographs and check status of oven temperature indicators (due to the shut-off anomaly seen with the regenerator before 19A).

In Node-3, Creamer worked on the T2/COLBERT treadmill’s SSPCM (Solid State Power Control Module), reconfiguring its software to shut down the secondary power channel for the T2. As a result, T2 is now Go for powered operations. [T2 treadmill had been used only in unpowered mode, after its PAU (Power Avionics Unit) exhibited increased temperatures, traced to a short circuit in a DC-DC power converter on the secondary 120V power circuit of the treadmill motors. Loss of the secondary 120V power supply limits T2 speed to between 7 and 9.4 mph. This is not considered to be a major impact to exercise.]

Performing the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), Tracy also checked out the rails & rollers, greased the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

CDR, FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3 had their PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, , Tracy at ~11:40am, Oleg at ~1:35pm, Sasha at ~2:50pm, Misha at ~3:30pm EDT.

The crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2, FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-3, FE-5) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1, FE-3).

Shortly before sleep time, Kotov will set up the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his 7th 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.]

Russian Gas Mask Damage: During an inspection of Russian IPK oxygen masks the crew discovered that 5 of 13 IPKs onboard have failed hoses that connect to the canister, 3 in the SM, one in a Soyuz and one in MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2). The remaining 8 masks were redistributed throughout the RS, satisfying the current documented emergency procedures: there are now 3 in the SM, 3 in the FGB and one each in the two Soyuz ships. There are no IPKs in the MRM2 and DC1. A forward plan is in work.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Antananarivo, Madagascar (Antananarivo is situated in the center of the island length-wise, and 145 km [90 miles] away from the eastern coast. The city occupies a commanding position, being built on the summit and slope of a long and narrow rocky ridge, which extends north and south for about 4 km [~2 mi] and rising at its highest point to about 200 m [660 ft} above the extensive rice plain to the west, although. It is Madagascar's largest city. Looking slightly left to see the city), Porto Praya, Santiago, Cape Verde Island (HMS Beagle site. In the horseshoe of the Cape Verde Island chain, Santiago is the largest island with Porto Praya located at the southern tip. Darwin begins his Journal at this island. It is reported that he was "fascinated by his first sight of tropical vegetation and by the volcanic island's geology." The port will be slightly left of track, at the southern end of the island), Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico (looking slightly right of track for this large volcano located 70 km to the SE of Mexico City. Three major explosive eruptions have occurred in the very recent geologic past, producing pyroclastic flows and lahars [mud flows] that affected the basins surrounding the volcano. Mapping frames of the volcano and flanks were requested to capture current summit glacier extent and cone geomorphology. Gas and steam emissions can at times be observed emanating from the volcano), and Palmerston Island Reef, central S Pacific (this oddly shaped atoll is located in the tropical south Pacific over 2,500 miles south of the Hawaiian Islands. The lagoon is about seven miles across. As part of an international inventory and monitoring effort of the Earth coral reef resources, CEO team is seeking detailed, nadir views of the coral reef structures of this atoll system. ISS had a nadir pass with partly cloudy skies expected).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:02am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 344.5 km
Apogee height – 346.8 km
Perigee height – 342.3 km
Period -- 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0003391
Solar Beta Angle -- 38.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,439

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
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 TMA-17/21S 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)
0*7/23/10 -- 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.