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April 26, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/26/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 6 of Increment 23.

FE-3 Kornienko 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.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson started her FD30 session of the medical protocol for Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict & Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), her second on board, today beginning diet monitoring and logging all food & drink consumed. The FD30 session will continue over the next four days. [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.]

FE-1 Skvortsov had 2h 50m reserved for undertaking his first onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, assisted by Oleg Kotov. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, data files were downloaded, and Alexander reported to TsUP on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

Skvortsov & Kornienko both went through the regular monthly session (their first) of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh their CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on Eye Treatment. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

Caldwell-Dyson powered up the SDRM (SpaceDRUMS/Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix) experiment hardware, turning it off again several hours later, after data downlink. [SpaceDRUMS suspends a solid or liquid sample using 20 acoustic beam emitters during combustion or heat-based synthesis. Materials can be produced in microgravity with an unparalleled quality of shape and composition. SpaceDRUMS will support scientific understanding of processes like combustion synthesis and self-propagating high temperature synthesis and also provide direct commercial benefits from materials processing. Advanced ceramics, polymer, and colloids can be processed in SpaceDRUMS.]

After configuring the Lab video camcorder for live monitoring of his activities on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), FE-6 Creamer set up an experiment run on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility), ground-assisted by POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center). [Steps included powering down the rack, opening the upper & lower rack doors and the front-end cap plus temporarily stowing the fuel supply bypass QD (quick disconnect). This was followed by removal of one fuel reservoir of the MDCA (Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus) and its replacement with a reservoir (#2002) containing Methanol, re-closing the facility, configuring valve positions and switching two CIR & EPCU control unit power switches to On for subsequent ground commanding via RPC (Remote Power Controller). Afterwards, Timothy closed the front-end cap and the lower/upper doors.]

In Node-2, Oleg Kotov & Mikhail Kornienko continued installation & outfitting of the overhead CQ (Crew Quarters) at rack bay O5, today activating, readying and checking out the CQ rack for the desired habitable volume configuration, including mating the CQ’s C&DH (Command & Data Handling) data cables. The completion of these activities allows Misha to sleep in the new CQ tonight for the first time.

Also in Node-2, Oleg & Misha rerouted the jumpers of Noguchi’s ad hoc CQ in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) from O5 to loc. D5 (i.e., the past location of the T2 treadmill and future location of Soichi’s CQ after its relocation from the Kibo JPM), followed by a checkout of the ad hoc CQ. [Rerouting the JPM CQ jumpers to D5 allowed hooking up the new CQ at O5 to its proper data connections. To make sure that C&W (Caution & Warning) alerts are triggered as expected after the cable rerouting, power to the ad hoc CQ was temporarily cut off.]

As Part 3 of MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) preparation for Stage 19A science sample preservation, TJ Creamer retrieved and inserted another 4 “ice bricks” (-32degC) in the freezer. [Two bricks went into two sections each of Dewar 3 Tray D].

In the Lab, Timothy also turned off the MELFI-1 PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop, a T61p, and relocated it with its power cabling & adapter “brick” to the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), connecting it to the SUP-2 (Standard Utility Panel) J1 power outlet.

Also in the Lab, TJ worked on ER2 (EXPRESS Rack 2) at loc. O1, loading new software for the GLACIER refrigerator onto the ELC-2 (ER2 Laptop Computer) from a CD (compact disk). [GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) units are ultra-cold freezers that store samples as low as -185 degC. The GLACIER, designed & originally manufactured by the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), provides a double middeck locker-sized EXPRESS Rack-compatible freezer/refrigerator for a variety of experiments that require temperatures ranging from +4 degC (39 degF) to -185 degC (-301 degF). GLACIER is part of the Cold Stowage Fleet of hardware which includes the MELFI and the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator).]

CDR Kotov performed a 90-min familiarization & checkout session with the PZE KARDIOMED (Cardiomed) equipment, checking its proper functioning, conducting some practice runs and verifying correct function from the quality of the unit’s physiological signals on the Russian RSE-Med laptop. [The KARDIOMED hardware, which includes the KARDIOMED-TsB, KARDIOMED-KP, KARDIOMED-PMO and KARDIOMED-KRM assemblies, a HOLTER monitor harness, a PLETISMOGRAF (Plethysmograph) instrument and a DOPPLER complex, was delivered on Progress 36P and installed by Oleg in the SM on 2/26. A Plethysmograph (sometimes called a “body box”) is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or the whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains).]

After the KARDIOMED familiarization session, Kotov underwent his first training run of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisted by Kornienko as CMO. [The 1.5-hour assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. HR (Heart Rate) & BP (Blood Pressure) readings were reported to the ground specialist. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Kotov’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -35, and -40 mmHg for five min. each, then -25, -30, and -40 mmHg (Torr) for 5 min. each plus 30mmHg for 5 min. while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Today was “Week 7” water sampling time aboard the station, completed by Tracy Caldwell-Dyson by –
  • Conducting the periodic WRS (Water Recovery System) 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.]
  • Collecting “Exp-23 Week 7” water samples in the SM (Service Module) for in-flight and ground analysis, taking them from the SRV-K Warm and SVO-ZV taps. [Tracy collected two 750 mL microbial postflight samples each for return on ULF-4 and one 20 mL sample each for in-flight silver detection (SDTO/Station Development Test Objective) using EHS C-SPE (Environmental Health System / Colorimetric Solid-Phase Extraction) analysis.]
  • Drawing water samples from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser (PWD)’s ambient “leg” for microbial in-flight processing, TOCA analysis & post-flight analysis.
  • Processing afterwards the inflight SM & 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 7” potable water samples will be performed on 4/28.]

Later, Tracy unstowed, configured and activated the U.S. EarthKAM (EK) hardware in Node-2 for a new session, powered by a Ku-band power supply unit relocated by her from the US Lab to Node-2 on 4/22. Last time done: 2/1/10. [For focusing the camera, Tracy had to see the ground, i.e., during orbit day. EK is using a DCS 760 electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens at the Node-2 window, powered by 16Vdc from a 28V DC adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) is an education program that enables thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from the unique perspective of space, integrating the excitement of ISS with middle-school education. The student requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop which then activates the camera (wireless) at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OPS LAN.]

In COL, Soichi Noguchi prepared the WAICO-2 (Waving & Coiling of Arabidopsis at Different Gravity Levels 2) experiment in the BLB (Biolab) for operation . [Activities involved inserting fresh tape for the daily recording of the experiment’s progress, then installing a batch of six WAICO triple containment syringes into the #WAICO AAS (Automatic Ambient Stowage) insert of the BLB’s TCU (Thermal Control Unit).]

In the US A/L (Airlock), the FE-5 conducted the standard one-hour scrubs of EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) #3005 & #3010 cooling loops with their SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals), filtering ionic & particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter), then reconfiguring the cooling loops and starting the ~2hr biocide filtering. [EMU #3005 was installed on the forward EDDA (EMU Don/Doff Assembly), #3010 on the aft EDDA. Loop scrubbing, incl. iodination of the LCVGs (Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garments) for biocidal maintenance, is done to eliminate any biomass and particulate matter that may have accumulated in the loops.]

While in the A/L, Noguchi also initiated BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) recharge on EMU batteries used in the last spacewalks.

Later, Soichi conducted the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. AEDs are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend events or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs and any other location where people may congregate.]

Early in the morning, FE-6 Creamer started another sampling run (the 89th) with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health System Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), and FE-5 deactivated 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.]

The CDR supported the ground in powering down the Elektron-VM O2 generator, safety-purging its BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen (N2) at 0.65 kg/cm2 via its KE3 and VN3 valves.

TJ prepared for a new run with the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) by downloading and initializing his & Tracy’s Actiwatches. [For the download, FE-6 set up the HRF (Human research Facility) PC-1 laptop in COL (loc. F4), powered from SUP, along with the Actiwatch Reader, later decabling the Reader, stowing the hardware and powering down the laptop. Data downlink will be done later.]

Mikhail Kornienko conducted a photography run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program of specific targets, today aiming the NIKON D3X digital camera (with SIGMA AF 300-800mm telelens) at Patagonia Southern Ice Field Glaciers and selecting one glacier of his choice for subsequent photography from different points on orbit.

FE-1 Skvortsov 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.].

Alexander 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).

In the SM, Skvortsov performed regular service on the Russian LIV/106/01 video complex system by cleaning its UN941 voltage converter’s vent grille with the vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment.

Afterwards, Sasha conducted the weekly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices) in contingency configuration, SLD cables for fraying and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.

Misha & Sasha completed another video recording session with the SONY HVR-Z7U camcorder for Roskosmos and TV Channel One for the regular “Vremia” (Time) program, as the second of a series of episodes about Russian cosmonauts working on-board the ISS RS (Russian Segment). [The first episode, filmed yesterday, is scheduled on “Vremia” on 5/1-5/4.]

FE-5 & FE-6 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Soichi at ~10:55am, TJ at ~11:15am EDT.

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

T2 Update: The T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill, installed by the crew over the weekend in Node-3, has not been cleared for use. Ground inspection of documentary photographs has shown that there is too little clearance at the top of the T2 rack and almost no clearance at the bottom, due to a GLA (General Luminaire Assembly) lighting fixture. For operation, at least ¾” of clearance is required on top and bottom of the rack. Further T2 activities, including the scheduled jam nut securing and ACO (Activation & Checkout) runs, have been put on hold until a forward plan has been developed.

Progress 37P Launch Preps: At Baikonur/Kazakhstan, preparations continue for the launch of Progress M-05M/37P cargo vehicle to the ISS, scheduled for 4/28 (1:15pm EDT). The Soyuz-U launch vehicle was rolled out from the Integration Building and installed on the launch pad. L-2 activities have been started. Progress M-05M will deliver 1,918 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen & air, 220 pounds of water and 3,031 pounds of spare parts & experiment hardware.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:20am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.2 km
Apogee height – 355.8 km
Perigee height – 342.7 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009742
Solar Beta Angle -- 62.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 84 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,533

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
04/28/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P launch (1:15pm EDT)
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/ULF4launch (~2:19pm EDT) – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 “Rassvet”
05/26/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 nominal landing (KSC ~8:36 am EDT)
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
06/17/10 -- 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
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 -- STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM)
09/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-26
10/27/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
TBD -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
11/26/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/12/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
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)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
04/27/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/28/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/30/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
05/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/31/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
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
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-22/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-24/28S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/30/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/11/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/25/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
11/27/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.