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May 16, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/16/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – Atlantis Docking Day. FD3 (Flight Day 3) of STS-132/ULF-4. Crew sleep cycle shifting (see below). Ahead: Week 9 of Increment 23.

ISS Crew Wake – 2:50am EDT
ISS Crew Sleep – 6:50pm

o STS-132/Atlantis docked smoothly at the ISS PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter-2) port on time at 10:28am EDT this morning, with all hooks closed by 10:43am, rigidizing the Shuttle-ISS linkup. After successful completion of the RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) at ~9:20am, Atlantis arrived at +V-Bar (310 ft straight in front of ISS) a few minutes later. The station now hosts twelve occupants, as Mission ULF-4 is underway. [The combined crew is comprised of ISS-CDR Oleg Kotov (Russia), FE-1 Alexander Skvortsov (Russia), FE-2 Tracy Caldwell-Dyson (USA), FE-3 Mikhail Kornienko (Russia), FE-5 Soichi Noguchi (Japan), FE-6 Timothy Creamer (USA), STS-CDR Ken Ham (Prime Loadmaster), PLT Tony Antonelli, MS-1 Garrett Reisman (EV1), MS-2 Mike Good (EV-3), MS-3 Steve Bowen (EV2), MS-4 Piers Sellers (all USA).]

After the docking, the station was reoriented by the small vernier thrusters of the Shuttle (ORB mode) to minimize the risk of micrometeoroid/debris impacts upon the Shuttle, with the Atlantis’ belly turned opposite to the flight direction (-XVV = -x-axis in velocity vector, +z-axis in local vertical). [Earlier, at 8:30am, the ISS maneuvered to docking attitude after attitude control authority was handed over from USOS (US Segment) to RS MCS (Russian Segment Motion Control System) at ~8:25am. Control returned from Shuttle ORB to US Momentum Management at 11:58am.]

Before the docking, CDR Kotov performed final STTS communications configuration checks for the docking. Upon docking, Oleg switched USOS/RS (US Segment/Russian Segment) comm systems to their mated-flight mode.

Other pre-docking preparations by the ISS crew included:
  • FE-1 Skvortsov activating the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment hardware in the SM (Service Module) for taking structural dynamics data during the Atlantis docking activities, later downlinking the dynamics measurements to the ground and closing out the data take;
  • FE-5 Noguchi closing the external shutters of the Lab, JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) & Cupola windows as protection against Shuttle thruster plume contamination;
  • FE-6 Creamer, CDR Kotov & FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson readying their RPM photo equipment, including camera battery checks, for Orbiter TPS (Thermal Protection System) documentation [Tracy was a last-minute addition to the photographers, to take images of the Orbiter upper surface RCC WLE (Reinforced Carbon-Carbon Wing Leading Edge) from SM window #7 due to the Shuttle LDRI (Laser Dynamic Range Imager) sensor being inadvertently snagged by a cable],
  • TJ powering up all six PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops (SM, Lab RWS/Robotic Workstation, Cup RWS, Airlock, JPM/JEM Pressurized Module, COL/Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and swapping out tapes in the VDS VTR (Video Distribution Subsystem/Video Tape Recorder) as required;
  • Noguchi configuring & later activating the camera timers upon Orbiter RPM initiation and handling the camcorder (the timers indicate beginning & end of the bottom-side photography window), plus
  • Configuring proper headset connection for supporting the RPM activity (which resulted in several hundred pictures of the Orbiter bottom TPS/Thermal Protection System).

During the RPM photo session (9:05am-9:20am), Oleg & Tracy wielded 400mm-lens D2X cameras, Timothy the 800mm-lens D2X for documenting the tile acreage & bottom-side door seals). [The RPM was used by the crew for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the two “shooters”, had only ~90 seconds (out of the total 9 min of imaging) for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Atlantis, which TJ prepared for downlinking after completion of the “shoot” at ~9:25am via OCA from a hard-wired (not wireless) SSC (Station Support Computer) for launch damage assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting was very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

Shortly before the docking, Noguchi configured the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) for the automatic “PMA-2 Arrival” mode, an operational sequence used to monitor Orbiter arrival at the PMA-2. [At “Capture Confirmed”, ISS attitude was immediately set to free drift for about 30 min. to allow dampening out relative motions of ISS and Endeavour (with the ODS (Orbiter Docking System) dampers/shock absorbers) plus re-align the docking ring, then maneuvered to “Mated TEA” (Torque Equilibrium Attitude) at ~4:11am to account for the new overall configuration with Atlantis docked, which regained attitude control until handover to ISS momentum management.]

After leak checks of the ODS vestibule for about an hour, ISS/STS hatches were opened at 12:18pm.

After hatch opening, before installation of the ventilation airduct between station and Atlantis, Kornienko performed the standard collection of air samples with the Russian AK-1M sampler in the Orbiter.

After the traditional welcome ceremony (~12:20pm), the new arrivals received the mandatory 30-min Safety briefing by CDR Kotov.

As part of post-docking activities, Tracy Caldwell-Dyson configured the C&T (Command & Tracking) video set-up in Node-2, installing the video cap which enables pass-through reception of video from the Atlantis with the Orbiter docked in support of SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) ops.

STS-CDR Ken Ham transferred new ULF-4 SODF (Station Operations Data Files) with emergency procedures, including books, new pages, videos and cue cards to the ISS.

At wake-up (2:50am), CDR Kotov had 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.]

After breakfast, FE-5 Noguchi supported the weekly (every Sunday’s) U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

Upon wake-up, Noguchi, Creamer & Caldwell-Dyson 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.]

Oleg, Alexander & Mikhail had several hours reserved for the traditional Russian preparation of commemorative (“symbolic”) items of their residency aboard, to be returned on the Soyuz 21S vehicle. [The Simvolika items consist of a flag of MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute) for applying a text congratulating MAI to its 80th Anniversary, signings and sealing with the ISS flag, 50 envelopes which the Expedition 23 crewmembers signed according to an enclosed template, then stamped using a current date stamp of the Russian Post, and a flag of the Artek International Children Center for signatures. Flashback: The very first “postmaster in space”, stamping envelopes, was Soviet cosmonaut Dr. Georgi Grechko on Salyut 6 in 1977, who also made the first Orlan spacewalk.]

Kotov, Skvortsov & Kornienko also had another ~90 min set aside for more newsreel shooting using the using the SONY HVR-Z7 #2 high-definition camcorder as part of the ongoing effort to create a photo & video imagery database on the flight of ISS-23/24 (“Flight Chronicles”). [Footage subjects are to be focused on include life on the station, personal hygiene, food intake, playing with water, enjoying weightlessness, exercise, moving about, station interior, Earth surface, space clothing, cosmonaut at work, station cleaning, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

Earlier, FE-3 continued the current round of preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, cleaning the V3 fan screen in the “Poisk” MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2), followed by the VD1 & VD2 air ducts in the MRM2.

During hatch opening, FE-3 Kornienko supported TsUP 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.]

Immediately after hatch opening, before installation of the ventilation airduct between station and Atlantis, Misha performed the standard collection of air samples with the Russian AK-1M sampler in the Orbiter.

Caldwell-Dyson reviewed Robotics operations and set up the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) application for the subsequent SSRMS operations.

Creamer installed the crew restraints at the Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation) for the subsequent ICC cargo carrier transfer activities by Tracy Caldwell-Dyson & Piers Sellers. Afterwards, Soichi removed the restraints again (releasing two levers).

After CDR Ham & PLT Antonelli had moved the Shuttle RMS (Remote Manipulator System) out of the way and into a position to observe activities with its video cameras, Tracy & Piers used the SSRMS to grapple the >8000 lbs ICC VLD (Integrated Cargo Carrier - Vertical Light Deployable) in the Atlantis cargo bay and transferred it to the POA (Payload ORU Accommodation) on the MSS MT (Mobile Service System Mobil Transporter). Completed: ~5:10pm. [At 5:37pm-7:37pm the MT will be moved from WS-4 (Worksite 4) to WS-6). CMG desaturation requests of the MCS (Motion Control System) will be inhibited during this period.]

Afterwards, Tracy deactivated the VSWs (Video Streaming Workstations) and SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops which were used for the video “scheme” of converting the RS video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band of via MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM, for downlinking “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. The system will be brought up again on FD5 for the MRM1 berthing. [Tested by the crew on 5/11, the streaming video data path runs from VWS-2 & VWS-3 in Node-2 to SSCs 17 & 18 in the Cupola.]

Kotov conducted 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 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).

Later, the CDR completed the periodic (currently daily) checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1. This checkup is especially important when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a larger crew on board, currently twelve persons.]

Immediately upon hatch opening, Soichi Noguchi transferred new high-priority JAXA experiments to the Kibo JPM, unpacking the DCB (Double Coldbag) they came in and inserting Ferulate, Microbe and Fish Scale Multi Plate samples into MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2).

The JAXA Fish Scale Small Cell Experiment Holder was installed by Soichi in CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) on the Saibo Rack for incubating its two samples for four days. The samples will then also be stowed in MELFI-2 after incubation, waiting for return on ULF4. [Fish Scales investigates osteoclastic & osteoblastic responses in micro-G using goldfish scales, i.e., the regeneration of scales collected from anesthetized goldfish in space and comparing results with ground controls. In mammals, bone is formed and maintained by continuous remodeling through bone resorption by resorptive cells called osteoclasts, and subsequent new bone formation by formative cells called osteoblasts. The experiment investigates these bone metabolism processes in space.]

Noguchi also started another sampling run (the 94th) 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.]

Later, FE-5 transferred the SSC-20 T61p laptop (#1007) from Node-2, where it had been connected to Ethernet until 5/11, to Atlantis, to be used as wireless SSC during ULF-4.

TJ Creamer worked with Ken Ham to set up the jumper equipment for transferring O2 (oxygen) from the Atlantis to ISS PBA (Prebreathe Assembly) ports in support of EVA mask-prebreathing (denitrogenation) by the spacewalkers Reisman & Bowen.

At ~6:45pm, before his sleeptime, Sasha Skvortsov will initiate charging the battery of the KPT-2 BAR Piren-B Pyroendoscope instrument (a videoendoscope with pyrosensor).

After Tracy had prepared the A/L EL (Airlock Equipment Lock) for tonight’s Campout, she and Soichi Noguchi joined the Shuttle crew at ~3:15pm for an in-depth one-hour review of procedures for the EVA-1 spacewalk, with egress scheduled tomorrow morning at ~8:14am.

At ~6:50pm, Reisman (EV1) & Bowen (EV2) will begin their “campout” (nachalo desaturatsiy = desaturation start) in the A/L with hatch closure and depressurization of the CL (Crewlock) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi, followed by mask prebreathe (~5:45pm-6:50pm) and sleep from 7:20pm-3:20am. A hygiene break, with temporary repress to 14.7psi and depress back to 10.2psi, is scheduled for 4:00am-5:10am. [Sleep for the ISS crew begins at 6:50pm.]

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

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

Conjunction Update: The ISS DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) was cancelled last night when further tracking data showed a stable, safe distance of the conjunction (about one hour after docking).

STS-132/Atlantis/ULF-4 Flight Plan Notes:
  • Atlantis’ 12-day mission delivers the Russian-built MRM-1 (Mini Research Module-1) that will provide additional storage space and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz & Progress spacecraft. MRM-1, also known as Rassvet (“Dawn” in Russian), will be permanently attached to the nadir port of the station’s FGB module. MRM-1 will carry important hardware on its exterior including a radiator, airlock and a European robotic arm. Atlantis also will deliver additional station hardware stored inside a cargo carrier. Three spacewalks (by Reisman, Bowen & Good) are planned to stage spare components outside the station, including six spare batteries, a Ku-band antenna and spare parts for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm. Shuttle mission STS-132 is the final scheduled flight for Atlantis.
  • Undocking: 5/23, 11:12am
  • Landing: 5/26, 8:36am.
· Atlantis, on its last flight, is crewed by
o CDR – Ken Ham (Prime Loadmaster)
    • PLT – Tony Antonelli
    • MS1 – Garrett Reisman (EV1)
o MS2 – Mike Good (EV3)
    • MS3 – Steve Bowen (EV2)
    • MS4 – Piers Sellers
  • MRM-1 Main Activities:
    • FD5 (5/18): MRM-1 Docking (performed by STS crew)
      1. SRMS unberth MRM-1 from PLB
      2. SRMS handoff MRM-1 to SSRMS
      3. SSRMS will berth to FGB Nadir
      4. RS laptop deployed in USOS for docking ops
    • FD7 (5/20): MRM-1 Hatch Open/Leak Check
      1. Initial ingress to scrub air
      2. Hatch will be left “ajar”
      3. Final, full ingress to occur TBD date post flight
  • Other Main Activities:
    • FD3 (5/16): Dock and ICC Unberth; Campout
o FD4 (5/17): EVA1 (5/17, 8:14am)
o FD5 (5/18): MRM-1 Docking to FGB Nadir and Focused Inspection; Campout
    • FD6 (5/19): EVA 2 (5/19, 7:44am)
    • FD7 (5/20): STS Water Dump and MRM-1 Hatch Open (5/20, 6:34am); Campout
    • FD8 (5/21): EVA 3 (5/21, 7:14am)
    • FD9 (5/22): ICC Berthing in PLB and Reboost
    • FD10 (5/23): Undock
  • Focused inspection is nominally planned for FD5, though due to limited time availability this activity may be scheduled on its own flight day, if required. On the evening of FD3, the Debris Assessment Team will start reviewing the RPM imagery.
  • Late inspection will be completed in its entirety the day following Shuttle undock, on FD11.
  • EVA Summary:
  • Three EVAs are planned during the mission.
  • General tasks for each EVA are:
    • EVA 1 (Reisman & Bowen): SGANT & SGANT Boom Install, EOTP Install
Ground-controlled MT translate & SSRMS walkoff to MBS PDGF3 will occur during crew sleep on Flight Night 3 in preparation for EVA1
    • EVA 2: (Bowen & Good) P6 Battery R&R (3)
Ground-controlled walkoff MBS PDGF3 & MT translate will occur during crew sleep on Flight Night 5 in preparation for EVA2
    • EVA 3: Reisman & Good) P6 Battery R&R (3), PDGF Retrieval (time permitting).

Sleep cycle shifting: Crew sleep/wake cycle will be shifted starting this morning.
Current schedule for ISS crew (EDT):


ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:39am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 347.3 km
Apogee height – 353.9 km
Perigee height – 340.8 km
Period -- 91.48 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009774
Solar Beta Angle -- -0.6 deg (magnitude bottoming out)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 47 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,847

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
05/23/10 – STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 undocking (~11:12am)
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 -------------
06/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/17/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/22/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S relocation (SM Aft to MRM1)
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.