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June 02, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/02/10

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

Short crew workday since wake/sleep times are being shifted back to nominal: Wake – 9:30am; sleep – 5:30pm (until 2:00am tomorrow).

Yest posadka! (We have Landing!) Welcome back home, Oleg, Soichi and TJ! After 162 days 18 hrs 33 min in space (160d docked to ISS), Soyuz TMA-17/21S, carrying Exp-23 crewmembers Oleg Kotov (Russia), Soichi Noguchi (Japan) and Timothy Creamer (USA), landed successfully at 11:25pm EDT last night (local time: today 9:25am) in central Kazakhstan near Zhezkazgan (known today as the headquarters of the copper conglomerate Kazakhmys and in Soviet times as the site of the Gulag labor camp Kengir, mentioned in Solzhenitsyn’s book “The Gulag Archipelago”). The crew was in excellent condition. The descent capsule toppled on its side. [TMA-17 (#227) undocked from the SM (Service Module) aft port last night at 8:04pm EDT, after the crew had performed leak checks of the vestibule area between the SM and the Soyuz spacecraft, of their Sokol suits and of the hatch between the Descent Module (SA) and Orbital Module (BO). Three minutes after physical undocking, Soyuz performed a 15 sec separation burn. The actual de-orbit burn of 4 min 19 sec duration came at 10:34pm, resulting in a 115.2 m/sec deceleration. Tri-module separation occurred at 10:58pm. 16 sec after the separation command, software pitched the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module (PAO) in the rear to a specific angle (-78.5 deg from reference axis) which, if the PAO would have remained connected to the SA/Descent Module, would have resulted in enough heating on the connecting truss to melt it, thus ensuring separation. Atmospheric entry followed at 11:00pm and nominal parachute deployment at 11:10pm. Following initial observation by Russian SAR (Search & Recovery) personnel, the Soyuz vehicle landed at 11:25pm. The crew was flown by helicopter to Karaganda where TJ Creamer & Soichi Noguchi boarded the waiting NASA Gulfstream airplane which today is bringing the two crewmembers back to Houston (with 2 refueling stops),- the first direct return for USOS crewmembers. Oleg Kotov meanwhile was flown on the GCTC Tu-154 back to Chkalovsky airfield of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Zvesdniy Gorodok (Star City). Kotov’s total time in space now is 360 days (two ISS missions), Noguchi has logged 177 days (1 ISS, 1 Shuttle mission: STS-114) & Creamer has 163 days (1 ISS).]

At wake-up, FE-3 Kornienko 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-3 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 another sampling run (the 100th) with the EHS GC/DMS (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.]

Working in Node-3 on the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System 2), Caldwell-Dyson set up the sufficiently filled RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) for UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) processing by accessing the RFTA, reconfiguring the backfill QD (Quick Disconnect) hose, and closing out the WRS-2 for RFTA activity.

Other activities being performed today by Tracy are –
  • Powering on VSW-1 (Video Streaming Workstation 1) so that the log file errors seen & stored during ULF4 can be retrieved by the ground,
  • Terminating the “bake-out” regeneration process on the two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters #0005 & #0015 in the US Airlock’s oven,
  • Retrieving & stowing the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies, deployed by Tracy on 5/31 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), 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.],
  • Removing the alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab to allow activation of the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) by the ground for FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) operations requiring a micro-G environment,
  • Performing the periodic status check & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) payload in the Lab, and
  • Unstowing her Pro K urine pH kit for an upcoming Pro K session.

Mikhail Kornienko has the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM on his timeline. [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.]

CDR & FE-3 are scheduled for their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mikhail at ~1:00pm, Alexander at ~2:35pm EDT.

At ~12:10pm, Tracy had her weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

The crewmembers completed an abbreviated physical workout protocol on TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3), and T2/COLBERT treadmill (FE-2).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Rabat, Morocco (weather was predicted to be clear over this capital city. Looking to the left of track for the city. Overlapping mapping frames of the urban area are requested to provide context for higher resolution imagery), Megafan SW Algeria (the crew had a nadir-viewing overpass of the northeastern part of this megafan complex. Looking for sinuous overlapping dry channels on the landscape - these are remnants of former river systems present when the local climate was cooler and wetter. Overlapping nadir-viewing mapping frames, taken along track, were requested), and Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico (Dynamic Event. Attempts to stop the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well have been unsuccessful so far, but containment and mitigation efforts continue. Looking to the left of track towards the Mississippi Delta for opportunities to take images of the oil spill; scattered clouds were likely to be present. Overlapping frames that tie images of the spill back to a landmark [such as the coastline] are necessary for assigning geographic centerpoints during the cataloging process).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:16am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 344.2 km
Apogee height – 350.3 km
Perigee height – 338.0 km
Period -- 91.42 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009169
Solar Beta Angle -- -23.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 167 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,116

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-----------------
06/07/10 -- ISS Reboost (~8:00pm EDT)
06/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/17/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/28/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S relocation (SM Aft to MRM1 @ FGB nadir)
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