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April 28, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/28/10

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

  • At Baikonur/Kazakhstan, the new cargo ship Progress M-05M/37P was launched successfully today at 1:15pm EDT on a Soyuz-U rocket. Ascent was nominal, and all spacecraft systems are without issues. Docking to the ISS at the DC-1 (Docking Compartment) is planned for Saturday (5/1) at ~2:35pm. 37P carries 2395 kg (5280 lbs) of cargo, specifically: 870 kg (1,918 lbs) propellants, 50 kg (110 lbs) oxygen & air, 100 kg (220 lbs) water and 1375 kg (3,031 lbs) spare parts & experiment hardware.

Before breakfast & first exercise, CDR Kotov, FE-1 Skvortsov, FE-3 Kornienko & FE-5 Noguchi took a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, Kotov closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).

At wake-up, FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson continued her FD30 (Flight Day 30) session of the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) medical protocol, her second on board, performing the urine pH spot test (not sampling). [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.]

Later in the day, FE-2 set up the Nutrition/Repository/Pro K equipment for her Generic HRF (Human Research Facility) 24-hr urine collections. [Based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV (International Procedures Viewer) capabilities, the generic blood & urine procedures were 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.]

Alexander Skvortsov started off with his first 60-min session of the ETD (Eye Tracking Device) test which investigates the coordination of eye and head movements in zero-G and takes place in the DC-1's center sphere. [After a calibration with the calibrating unit, the experiment uses a head-mounted device (golovnj blok) to investigate horizontal eye and head movement coordination, measured Listing's plane, and determined the orientation of the vestibulo-ocular coordinate system, using five target marks on the horizontal plane. Each step required another prior calibration run, using visual target cues or the calibration unit.]

Afterwards, Skvortsov performed troubleshooting on the Vozdukh CO2 removal system, switching its two vacuum valves (i.e., swapping BKV1 & BKV2). [Vozdukh is exhibiting “uncommanded” shutdowns every 2 days or so. Today’s switch should either fix the problem or help isolate it by providing better insight.]

FE-6 Creamer began the day by servicing the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), removing the internal EDV-U urine collection container and replacing it with a fresh one.

Oleg Kotov activated the MPI Multifunction Indicator Panel of the Russian MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2) “Poisk” in support of the on-going software step-up to vers. 8.04.

The CDR then completed Part 3 of the Russian BVS computer system 8.04 software upgrade. [Steps included checking out the command & data chain of the 8.04-equipped RS2 laptop and KTsP2 (Central Post Computer 2), TsVM (Central Computer) and TVM (Terminal Computer), upgrading KPTs1 and its RS1 laptop plus the RS3 laptop to 8.04, and checking out RS1 & RS3 with their comm links to the SM computers. TsUP/Moscow has reported that the 8.04 upgrade has proceeded nominally thus far.]

Caldwell-Dyson & Creamer had time reserved for more US trash gathering, to be disposed of on Progress M-04M/36P (undock: 5/10).

After powering on the High Definition TV gear (G1 camcorder, MPC/Multipurpose Converter, IPU/Image Processing Unit) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for covering her subsequent activities, Tracy serviced the powered-off SDRM (SpaceDRUMS/Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix) hardware (with all five pellets in a carousel having been processed) by changing out the pellet carousel and debris trap as a diagnostic check of the carousel alignment. SDRM was then powered on and turned off again ~4 hrs later. [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.]

For capturing SDRM data, Tracy then activated the SNFM4 (Serial Network Flow Monitor 4) for LAN-2 (Local Area Network 2) using the ELC5 (EXPRESS Rack 5 Laptop Computer) during the data downlink.

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Noguchi continued setting up the BLB WAICO-2 (Biolab / Waving & Coiling of Arabidopsis at Different Gravity Levels 2) payload for operation, today transferring all 8 ECs (Experiment Containers) into the BLB TCU1 (Temperature Control Unit 1) incubator (at 4 degC) after second sterilization. [The ECs are in two sets: Set 1 consists of ECs 1-4, Set 2 contains ECs 5-8.]

FE-5 also started another sampling run (the 90th) 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.]

Servicing the two CQs (Crew Quarters) at Node-2 Starboard & Port, Noguchi replaced all 9V batteries with fresh ones.

Mikhail Kornienko performed periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), recording data from detectors in the Bubble-dosimeter reader and rearranging some dosimeters. [Eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (A09-A16) are positioned at their exposure locations around the RS. An additional eight detectors were placed by Misha at the spherical “Phantom” unit in the DC1 Docking Compartment. The deployment locations of the detectors and their measurements reported to TsUP via log sheet over OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Kornienko also replaced the shells of the Russian RSK2 & RSE2 laptops with new ones, both A31p type, installed the HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) of the old units, checked them out, then turned them off and applied Russian letter keyboard overlays.

Skvortsov worked ~2.5 hrs in the SM on swapping the 800A battery #1 of its PSS (Power Supply System, Russian: SES/sistema elektrosnabzheniya) with a spare AB unit, followed by a functional checkout, with ground specialist on standby for tagup support. [This restores the full complement of eight 800A batteries in the SM.]

Afterwards, Sasha supported TsUP-Moscow in reactivating the Elektron O2 generator by throwing a switch and monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [Measurements were taken twice, 3-4 minutes apart, with the temperature probe of the Elektronika MultiMeter. If BD temperature exceeded 50 degC, Elektron had to be turned off. The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

On the MSL (Materials Science Laboratory), Caldwell-Dyson performed sample exchange #9, removing the used SCA (Sample Cartridge Assembly) and replacing it with a new sample (CETSOL #6). [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.]

Timothy checked out the VWSs (Video Streaming Workstations) set up in Node-1 & Node-2, to be tested by the ground for their ability to “stream” MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) video in preparation for the ULF-4 flight and to make sure that new cable drag-through rules are met. [The three VWSs (VSW1, VSW2, VSW3) have been updated for streaming in US-format (NTSC) video. ULF-4 plans to utilize all three at the same time on FD-5 during MRM-1 “Rassvet” installation. One, VSW1 in Node-1, will convert Russian-format video to NTSC, which then will be routed to the RWS (Robotic Workstation) monitor, and RWS displays will be used as an overlay. The other two VWSs, in Node-2, will accept analog video from the Shuttle Orbiter and create two MPEG2 video streams that will be on hardwired SSC (Station Support Computer) Clients in the Cupola, thus reducing the need for drag-through video cables. Note: In today’s test, VSW3 proved to be not functional and required replacement of the laptop shell.]

FE-6 Creamer serviced the EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students, EK) system in Node-2, changing the lens of its Kodak DSC 760 digital still camera from 50mm to the 180mm. [Website: http://www.earthkam.ucsd.edu .]

In preparation for the ULF-4 spacewalks, TJ terminated the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) recharge on the first batch of EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries in the US Airlock, and initiated the process on the second set.

Timothy & Tracy had ~1 hr reserved for jointly reviewing the uplinked ULF-4 EVA task list & timeline, and then, at ~11:05am EDT, conducted a 30-min teleconference with ground specialists to discuss the EVAs.

Later, FE-6 performed an inspection of the hatch seals at Node-2/Aft, Lab/Aft & Node-1/Port which had not been checked out by FE-5 Noguchi during his periodic hatch seal inspection on 4/21 because of the subsequent T2/COLBERT relocation activities.

TJ also conducted the visual T+2 Day microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the “Week 7” water samples collected by Tracy on 4/26 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Hot and Ambient lines from each port in a small waste water bag, using the MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) and CDBs (Coliform Detection Bags).

Afterwards, Creamer performed an inventory/audit of PPE (Personnel Protective Equipment) in the Regenerative ECLSS Toxicity-2 Kit, scavenging unused Povidone wipes lest they be returned with old material on 21S. [These wipes have other uses on ISS, and an accurate count of them and other items in the Regen ECLSS Tox-2 PPE Kit is needed to determine if more will need to be launched.]

In the Lab, Noguchi worked on the new VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor) in ER2 (EXPRESS Rack 2), completing gas supply insertion and system activation. [Steps included turning VCAM off, removing its acoustic blanket, opening the access Door to insert the VCAM Gas Supply ORU, then closing the door, re-attaching the blanket, and powering the instrument on again, for continuous operations. The JPL-developed VCAM identifies gases that are present in minute quantities in the ISS breathing air that could be harmful to crew health. If successful, instruments like VCAM could accompany crewmembers during long-duration exploration missions. Similar to the earlier employed VOA (Volatile Organic Analyzer), VCAM can provide a means for monitoring the air within enclosed environments, using a miniature preconcentrator, GC (gas chromatograph), and mass spectrometer for unbiased detection of a large number of organic species. VCAM's software can identify whether the chemicals are on a targeted list of hazardous compounds and their concentration. A VCAM calibration gas is used periodically to check how the instrument’s components are actually performing. The raw data, calibration data, and analysis results are all sent to the ground for further assessment to validate the instrument’s detection, identification, and quantification results.]

Soichi also supported the ground with the T2/COLBERT treadmill installation problem. [Activities included calibrating the T2 display touch screen, reinstalling stabilizers & spacer bars, measuring the rack’s top sway space and taking more documentary photographs of the clearances for ground inspection. Background: T2 has not been cleared for use yet since there is not enough sway clearance at the bottom and top of the rack.]

Kornienko 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.]

In the SM Zvezda module, Misha performed the periodic downloading of accumulated log files from the Russian BSMM (Payload Matching Unit/computer) to the US OCA for downlink,

Kornienko also 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 bracket-mounted spectrometer/camera 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.]

Creamer performed the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), checking out the rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

The CDR 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).

Later, Oleg Kotov took the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on administration of intravenous (IV) fluid infusion. [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.]

At ~4:25am EDT, Noguchi conducted his regular tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

At ~8:35am, Soichi supported an Educational PAO TV event with officials, teachers & students at Chigasaki City Hall, Chigasaki, Kanagawa-Prefecture, Japan.

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).

Progress 35P Update: Yesterday at 2:07pm EDT, Progress M-03M/35P performed a nominal deorbit burn and re-entered the atmosphere for destruction over the Pacific Ocean. The unmanned cargo ship had completed all maneuver burns in support of the “Radar” experiment nominally.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Buenos Aires, Argentina (looking right for this major capital city, which lies on the far side of the River Plate estuary as seen from orbit, and trying to acquire the margins of the built-up zone), and Montevideo, Uruguay (general views were requested. Looking right for this capital city, which lies on the near side of the River Plate estuary as seen from orbit.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:02am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 349.1 km
Apogee height – 355.6 km
Perigee height – 342.6 km
Period -- 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009716
Solar Beta Angle -- 65.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 70 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,565

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
05/01/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P docking (~2:35pm)
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.