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May 27, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/27/10

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

At wake-up, FE-1 Skvortsov performed the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19/09 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-1 again inspected the filters before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Skvortsov also did the daily morning check on the TBU Universal Bioengineering Thermostat container and reported its current internal temperature to TsUP-Moscow.

After wake-up, FE-6 Creamer & FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson continued their new week-long session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), TJ’s 6th, Tracy’s 3rd, transferring data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor his/her sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmember wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him/her as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition, using the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, Kotov, Skvortsov, Kornienko & 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 by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

FE-6 Creamer collected his second liquid saliva sample of the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE, storing the sample at ambient temperature. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned on the Shuttle so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

FE-5 Noguchi started the 24-hour collections of his last Bisphosphonates program’s urine sampling program. [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.]

For their return to Earth next week (6/2), Kotov, Noguchi & Creamer tried on their Kentavr suits for a fit check. [The Kentavr (“Centaur”) garment (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Chibis" lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Caldwell-Dyson reloaded the PSW1 (Portable Workstation 1) & PSW2 laptops with C12 (Cycle 12) software, rebooted the machines and then used PSW2 to configure the CLSW (Columbus LAN Switch) with the C12 configuration files.

Tracy also worked in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) on the new JAXA experiment Ferulate (Regulation by Gravity of Ferulate Formation in Cell Walls of Rice Seedlings). [Activity steps included retrieving rice seedling sample holders from MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2), inserting them in MEUs (Measurement Experiment Units) A1 & A2 (two each), and installing the four MEUs in CBEF IU-Micro-G (Cell Biology Experiment Facility Incubator Unit Micro-G). Ferulates are compounds of ferulic acid, an organic substance which is an abundant phenolic phytochemical found in plant cell walls. The salt sodium ferulate is a drug used in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of cardiovascular & cerebrovascular diseases and to prevent thrombosis. The ISS experiment Ferulate tests the hypothesis that microgravity decreases the mechanical strength of cell walls of rice plants by modifying the levels of abscisic acid. The polysaccharide composition of the cell wall in gramineous plants, such as rice, maize, wheat, and barley, is distinguished from that in dicotyledons, such as Arabidopsis, pea, and mung bean, which have been used in many space experiments.]

Skvortsov & Kornienko undertook a session with the MedOps protocol MO-5, “Cardiovascular Evaluation during Graded Exercises” on the VELO cycle ergometer, a standard Russian fitness test, assisting each other as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The 50-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup via VHF and telemetry monitoring (4:31am-4:50am & 6:05am-6:20am EDT), 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. For the graded exercise, the subject works the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each. Data output involves a kinetocardiogram, rheoplethysmogram, rheoencephalogram and a temporal pulsogram.]

Alexander changed out replaceable parts in the SM (Service Module)’s ASU toilette facility with new components, such as a filter insert (F-V), the urine receptacle (MP), the pretreat container (E-K) with its hose and the DKiV pretreat & water dispenser. All old parts were discarded as trash. [E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in the DKiV dispenser and used for toilet flushing.]

The six-member crew joined for the obligatory 2-hr Crew Safety Handover (brifing po bezopasnosti), to familiarize them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency, and to clarify emergency roles & responsibilities. CDR Kotov went through formally listed procedures in discussing the ISS prime to non-prime crew emergency roles & responsibility agreements established during ground training. [Safety Handover includes safety-related items such as (1) emergency actions, equipment and individual crew roles & responsibilities for the four hazard areas (depressurization, fire, ammonia release, non-ammonia toxic release), (2) visiting vehicles docking/undocking, (3) evacuation vehicles, (4) crew life support system status, (5) computers, (6) communications, (7) medical equipment & provisions, (8) stowage, (9) IVA hazards (e.g., sharp edges, protrusions, touch temperatures) and (10) stowage and current hardware status. Aboard the station are 2 potential sources of Toxic Level 4-chemicals (external thermal loops; Vozdukh)) and 7 Tox-2 sources such as Elektron, METOX cans, LiOH cans and batteries.]

The crewmembers worked on another set of Simvolika mementos, the traditional Russian commemorative items treasured as gifts, today cancelling postage stamps and signing 60 envelopes for the Russian Postal Service (GRO) with a special template. [Participation by the US crew was part of their voluntary “job jar” activity list for today.]

Oleg set up the RSE1 laptop for the second activity program (of four) of the ongoing four-day test of the ASN-M Satellite Navigation System for the second ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle). [For each activity segment, the redundant NPM receiver module units are being monitored by Oleg for communication status & absence of errors approximately every 2 hrs. Test duration is four days, and the test started on 5/25. Background: The ASN-M will be needed for the proximity operations of the second ATV, expected in December of this year. For the test of the ATV RGPS (Relative Global Positioning System) in the current joint ISS-MRM2-Soyuz TMA-18/22S configuration, some station systems will be powered down (due to reduced power availability from the solar arrays). The USOS windows were shuttered for the attitude maneuver required to test for multipathing impacts of various SARJ/BGA/TRRJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint/Beta Gimbal Assembly/Thermal Radiator Rotary Joint) configurations and possible shadowing of the ASN-M antennas which are used for ATV dockings. The SARJs are parked during the test, and several parked and autotracking BGA configurations will be used.]

Working in Node-3 on the WRS (Water Recovery System), FE-5 Noguchi performed another RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) removal & replacement, stowing the old unit for return and the Tox-2 caps & plugs for re-use. [RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine to turn it into water.]

Tracy conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes. [The current card (23-0003I) lists 114 CWCs (2,717.9 L total) for the five types of water now identified on board: 1. technical water (21 CWCs with 868.9 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 347.6 L in 9 bags containing sample analysis, 2. potable water (9 CWCs with 366.7 L, of which 2 bags with 66.6 L require sample analysis, 4 bags Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 387.1 L in 9 bags still requiring with 170.8 L are to be used with microbial filter & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use, 3. iodinated water (75 CWCs with 1,380.8 L), 4. condensate water (7 bags with 73 L, including 2 CWCs with 43.4 L that are to be used with microbial filter, and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (2 CWCs with 28.5 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

In the US Airlock, Timothy terminated the post-mission discharge cycled on the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries for maintenance & stowage requirements in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) and initiated the process on the second batch.

TJ also prepared the equipment required for another Pro K Diet logging activity scheduled to start tomorrow.

With the STTS communications system temporarily configured for working in the MRM2, Mikhail Kornienko transferred the Russian experiment BTKh-35 MEMBRANA (Membrane) to Poisk, set up the equipment and started the experiment by activating mode 2, supported by ground specialist tagup. Skvortsov took documentary photography. STTS was restored to nominal afterwards. [Objective of Membrana is to study new technological capabilities to generate a porous structure with a high degree of uniformity of spatial distribution and working pore sizes based on the convection-turbulent-free process of phase changes in microgravity in a polymer solution. Expected outcome is the production of porous polymeric materials. These are filtering elements, membranes, sorbents having a high degree of structural homogeneity of working pores, acting as "molecular sieves" and possessing the improved selectivity characteristics (selective rejection) when they are used in the separation processes of complex mixtures of macromolecules. An example would be during extraction of valuable organic and bioorganic preparations in ground-based production.]

In the DC1, Kornienko later removed the BTKh-16 KASKAD (Cascade) sample mix from the KRIOGEM-03 in its KT Thermostatic Enclosure and placed it in the KR container, with Alexander taking photographs.

Sasha also 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.]

Misha 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).

The CDR had ~2 hrs reserved for loading return equipment on Soyuz TMA-17/21S, docked at the SM aft port.

Oleg, Soichi & TJ again had ~60 min set aside for regular crew departure preparations, working on the standard end-of-increment cleanup preparatory to their return. [TJ reported that he used the time to audit trash bag liners & utility bags in Node-1 & PMA-1, finding some variances from the IMS database. It is usual for crewmembers to be granted reduced workdays for making their departure preparations, as their return date approaches.]

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

For his T2 exercise session, TJ Creamer donned the Glenn treadmill harness with installed transducer instrumentation, then activated the harness. [Afterwards, FE-6 downloaded the harness data (including achieved “body weight”) and filled out a survey questionnaire to complete the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective). The harness SDTO uses both TVIS and T2.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Algiers, Algeria (looking to the right of track for this North African capital city. The city is known as "Algiers the White" due to its abundance of white buildings. Short lens views of the urban area and surroundings provide context for higher resolution imagery), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (weather was predicted to be clear over this Central Asian capital city. Looking to the left of track for the urban area; general context views of the city were requested), Havana, Cuba (ISS had a near-nadir pass over the major port and capital of Cuba. The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana's harbor led to the Spanish-American War of 1898. Short-lens views of the city and surroundings provide context for higher resolution imagery), Charlevoix Impact Crater, Qu├ębec Canada (weather was predicted to be clear during this nadir overpass of this impact crater. The crater is located along the northwestern shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, and is known primarily from detailed geological study of the area. Overlapping, nadir viewing mapping frames taken along track were requested in order to maximize capture of the crater area), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (the crew had a nadir-viewing overpass of this small [approximately 2 km in diameter] impact crater in the Libyan Desert. The crater presents a well-defined circular structure against the surrounding desert. Overlapping mapping frames of the crater were requested), and Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (ISS had a nadir-viewing overpass over this impact structure located in the Libyan Desert; this target will be visible within 10 seconds of the previous target. The Oasis crater is 18 km in diameter and presents a clearly visible circular structure against the surrounding desert. Overlapping mapping frames of the crater were requested).

ISS Orbit (as of this noon, 12:16pm EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 345.0 km
Apogee height – 351.1 km
Perigee height – 338.9 km
Period -- 91.44 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009106
Solar Beta Angle -- -30.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 140 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,024

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
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)
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/08/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
07/23/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko)
09/07/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM)
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery undock
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/12/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
10/27/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
11/xx/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
11/10/10 -- Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 – Russian EVA-27
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/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-28
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-------------
04/26/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 -- 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-------------
10/21/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/23/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
01/xx/12 -- ATV-3 launch– Ariane 5 (ESA) U/R