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June 25, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/25/10

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

FE-3 Kornienko completed 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.]

At wake-up, Doug Wheelock continued his first session of the medical protocol Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), with controlled diet and diet logging after the urine pH spot test. [Under Pro K, the crewmember measures and logs the pH value of a urine sample, 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 during the day.]

Also at wake-up, FE-4 Wheelock & FE-6 Walker completed a 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.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson once again serviced the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) where the SPU #4 (Sample Processing Unit #4) processing finished overnight. [Tracy verified transfer of processing data, powered down the CLSM-2 and exchanged SPU #4 with a new sample, SPU #10, again via the MSG AL (Microgravity Science Glovebox Airlock), instead of having to extract the WV (Work Volume). Afterwards, the first two (of four) vacuum vent cycles were conducted. Task steps included inspecting, activating & checking the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) for acceptable humidity & temperature levels in the sample chamber, followed by opening the water valve, then closing it and opening the vent valve to initiate the first of the vacuum draws on the sample chamber. Vacuum vent #2 was started later in the day and let run overnight, after again allowing the water line to vent into the work volume for a while.]

Later, Tracy did more troubleshooting of the T2/COLBERT treadmill which yesterday exhibited a “rubbing” noise during its unmanned ACO (Activation & Checkout) speed characterization test, caused by the tread belt contacting one of the 4 closeout panels. After Tracy readjusted closeout panels today and conducted a second unmanned ACO, the clicking noise was gone. The crew is Go for T2 exercise.

Kornienko performed maintenance on the SOTR Thermal Control System’s KOB1 loop in the SM (Service Module) behind panel 247, replacing a cable insert on the 3SPN1 pump panel, supported by ground specialist tagup. The old cable piece was discarded. [The two SOTR KOB thermal loops control the removal of metabolic heat and heat emitted by working equipment; they also establish specific temperature conditions for the cabin atmosphere. The excess heat is passed from the coolant through liquid-liquid heat exchangers (ZhZhT) into the active external thermal control system (KOKh) for subsequent radiation into open space. Each loop contains 118 liters of "Triol" coolant fluid, i.e., water with a 30 percent solution of glycerin (to lower the freezing point to 7 degC) plus biocide and UV-light-sensitive additives to aid in leak detection. One liter of Triol, which is nontoxic and poses no hazard to the crew, can absorb about 14 cubic cm of air. Each of the two KOB loops is served by two nominally redundant pump panels (SPN), each equipped with two redundant replaceable electric pumps (ENA). While in the early years of Mir and ISS the pumps were integral to the SPN panels, the more advanced current design allows them to be replaced without requiring a swap-out of an entire SPN block.]

Later, the Russian Elektron O2 generator was reactivated by ground commanding with Mikhail monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [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. Elektron had to be turned off while the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system & VD-SU control mode were temporarily deactivated for the KOB1 3SPN1 panel maintenance.]

In the MRM1 Rassvet module, Misha moved two switches (P1, P2) on the RShchP Power Distribution Panel to the ON position, then notified TsUP-Moscow of the action.

FE-5 Yurchikhin, FE-4 Wheelock & FE-6 Walker, who will fly the Soyuz TMA-19/23S spacecraft relocation next Monday (6/28), went (“very successfully”) through a 3-hr rehearsal of the flight in a formal training drill comprising a procedures review, flight data review, tag-up with ground instructor and onboard simulator training on the RSK1 laptop. [Due to the currently very high solar Beta angle period with its increased thermal loads on the station, the standard relocation maneuver profile/template was changed for the new Beta-caused ISS attitude mode. The latter will be “earth-fixed” LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) attitude instead of the usual “space-fixed” Inertial mode, i.e., with the ISS continuing to pitch down in orbit rate (~4 deg/min) to remain “locally horizontal”. For the docking, 23S will have to match the station’s very slow pitch-down rotation. Mission events will be tied to RSG (Russian Groundsite) comm windows. Soyuz activation on 6/28 is scheduled on DO13 (Daily Orbit 13, ~7:45am+ EDT), followed by hatch closure on DO14 (~9:20am) and manual undocking command on DO2 (1:55pm). Physical separation from the SM AO occurs at ~1:58pm with a pushrod delta-V of ~0.12 m/s, in sunshine. Flyaround to the MRM1 -Y (nadir) port, starting at ~2:05pm, will be at a range of 30-50m from the station, ending at station-keeping (~2:15pm). Final approach begins at ~2:19pm, concluding with contact & capture at ~2:23pm. Orbital sunset is at 2:29pm.]

Later, after Wheels had closed the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Lab and Cupola windows, Fyodor Yurchikhin spent an hour in the TMA-19 Descent Module (SA) supporting a ground-commanded checkout of the MCS (Motion Control System SUD, Mode 2/“Docked”) for Monday’s spacecraft relocation. The checkout involved pressurization of the KDU (Combined Propulsion System) Section 2 & Tank 2, a test of the pilot’s translational hand controller (RUD), and a 1-min hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters (12:57:00pm-12:58:00pm), for which the ISS was put in free drift for ~25 min. DPO lateral thrusters were not fired. The Soyuz GA gas analyzer was left on until after the relocation. The thruster firing required several additional temporary powerdowns, e.g., some DDCUs (DC-to-DC Converter Units), Node- 3 shell heaters & two ARCUs (American-to-Russian Converter Units). [For the PRST (perestykovkoi/redocking) test, station attitude control authority was handed over to Russian thruster control at 12:48pm, then back to LVLH XVV (Local Vertical Local Horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) attitude. The one-minute firing took place on DO3 during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) pass via VHF. Attitude control was returned to the USOS (U.S. Segment) at 2:10pm.]

CDR Skvortsov meanwhile performed another sun-glint observation session with the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) experiment from SM window #9, using the hand-held spectrometer (without use of the TIUS three-stage rate sensor), synchronized with a coaxially mounted NIKON D2X camera for taking snapshots, and later downloading the data to laptop RSE1 for subsequent downlink via OCA. Video footage was also taken, using the SONY HVR-Z7E camcorder in auto mode. [RUSALKA is a micro spectrometer for collecting detailed information on observed spectral radiance in the near IR (Infrared) waveband for measurement of greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth atmosphere.]

Also in the SM, Skvortsov worked ~3 hrs on the ASN-M Satellite Navigation System, troubleshooting a failed feeder circuit between the ASN antenna and the NPM-3 navigation electronics module behind panel 338 (over the ASU). [The ASN-M will be needed for the proximity operations of the second ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle), currently expected to arrive in December of this year.]

In the JAXA Kibo complex, Caldwell-Dyson checked out fire indicators in the JPM & JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment) on ISPRs (International Standard Payload Racks) A2, A3, F1 & F5 by verifying that their illumination is functioning.

Later, Tracy handled another periodic relocation of the TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) detector assembly, the primary radiation measurement tool in the ISS, moving it from Lab S4 (where it had been since its transfer from Node-3 Bay F3 on 5/28) back to SM panel 327, utilizing CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) outlet 5 on panel 450.

Afterwards, Caldwell-Dyson undertook the regular monthly CHeCS emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh her CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on 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.]

Performing preventive maintenance on the US WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), Doug Wheelock removed & replaced the air hoses with T-adapter and liquid indicator with new spares.

Skvortsov & Kornienko had ~1h45m reserved for conducting a comprehensive audit/inventory of IVA (Intravehicular Activity) tools and gear in the RS (Russian Segment). [The audit included tools on tool panels 1, 2 & 3, static electricity removal cartridge belt with jumper cable, and the contents of kits for UKR-50 equipment, EVA dummy electrical connectors & thermal liners.]

FE-3 completed 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.]

Mikhail also did 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).

Tracy, Wheels & Shannon had ~50min reserved for working joint E23/E24 crew handover activities, continuing with the still remaining topics as laid out in three hardcover copies of the new Crew Handover book delivered on 23S.

The three newcomers again had an hour each set aside for crew onboard orientation and adaptation. [The first two weeks after their arrival, a new ISS crew will have 1 hour a day to adjust to living in space. Additional time is allotted for getting around in the – by now – extensive new “home in space” and working with its valuable research equipment.]

Tonight, shortly before sleep time, Yurchikhin configures the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and starts his first experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. Kornienko will take documentary photography of Fyodor’s preps. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

At ~4:10am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~4:30am, Alexander downlinked the video footage taken yesterday of the Russian crewmembers for the traditional Charity Festival at the Windlesham House School (West Sussex, UK), to be held July 3-4, attended by about 1500 students from schools of Great Britain and other countries. This year the festival is called "Odyssey". [The video was downlinked via HD MPC (High Definition Multipurpose Converter.]

At ~4:45am, Sasha, Misha & Fyodor linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~12:15pm, Caldwell-Dyson held her regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~12:53pm, Kornienko conducted an amateur/ham radio exchange with participants at the International Youth Forum “ATP. Siberia -2010: Activity. Creativity. Development”, held 6/23-27 near the town of Barnaul in the Altai Region. [The event is dedicated to the development of interaction of young leaders and teams of many countries for joint social-economic projects. In attendance are about 1500 participants, 18-30 years old, from Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, China, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, France, etc.]

At ~3:10pm, all crewmembers will convene for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

Tracy set up the video equipment to capture her physical exercise on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser for subsequent biomechanical evaluation of crewmember and hardware status.

The crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-4), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3). [For his TVIS workout, Yurchikhin used the TVIS SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices) tailored for him. The protective SPDs are required for new crewmembers for the first seven TVIS sessions for safety. This was Fyodor’s 5th session.]

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The updated card (24-0007C) lists 126 CWCs (2,956.7 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (28 CWCs with 1,127.6 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 712.7 L in 18 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 129.4 L in 3 bags still requiring sample analysis, 128.3 L in 3 bags for flushing only with microbial filter, and 23.0 L in 1 bag for flushing only; 2. potable water (5 CWCs with 215.4 L, of which 1 bag with 43.6 L requires sample analysis, 1 bag with 42.5 L are to be used with microbial filter & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use; 3. iodinated water (84 CWCs with 1,550.1 L, including 18 CWCs with 331.7 L still requiring analysis); 4. condensate water (7 bags with 43.4 L, including 2 CWCs with 43.4 L that are to be used with microbial filter & 5 empty bags; and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (1 CWC with 20.2 L & 1 empty bag). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Over the next week or so there will be fewer CEO targets in the target list. This is due to the crew’s daylight/awake orbits paralleling the terminator. This phenomenon occurs at least twice a year, sometimes more – during the high-Beta angle period. During this time the sun elevations for nadir targets will be too low to meet requirements for many, but not all, of the targets. The crew sees darkness if they look to the left of the orbit tracks; to the right they see sunlight. This typically lasts for about a week before sun angles improve for CEO nadir targets. For the station, high Beta also means critically increased solar thermal input.

Epsilon Aurigae Eclipse Observation: ISS is participating in a significant astronomical observation program just getting underway, followed by thousands of amateur & professional astronomers: the Epsilon Aurigae Eclipse. A specific star in the Constellation Auriga (Charioteer) called Epsilon Aurigae undergoes an eclipse (being occulted) every 27.1 years. This has puzzled astronomers for nearly 200 years. The eclipse lasts nearly two years which, with the 27.1 year period, means the eclipsing body must be gigantic. There may be a temporary brightening at mid-eclipse. There have been no satisfactory explanations to date for this. Is it a giant cloud of gas with a doughnut-like hole, permitting the star to brighten during mid-eclipse? The Sun’s proximity to Epsilon Aurigae, as seen from the ground, prevents observations by ground-based astronomers during mid-eclipse, but astronauts on the ISS, having a different aspect angle, can observe and note changes in relative brightness, as suggested by the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) following a talk by NASA-Astronaut John Grunsfeld. The method used by the crew is to compare the brightness of Epsilon Aurigae weekly with three other nearby stars of known & unchanging brightness.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Epsilon Aurigae & Comet NcNaught (looking left of track, above the limb of the Earth, to observe the brightness of this star as compared to other stars in the Auriga constellation, as described above. Because of the current seasonal lighting conditions during the northern portion of each of the station’s orbits, the crew has several roughly 40 minute periods today to view the star. The times of the periods were uplinked for the mid-way point for viewing during two selected periods).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:17am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 353.2 km
Apogee height – 359.5 km
Perigee height – 346.8 km
Period -- 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0009437
Solar Beta Angle -- 74.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 33 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,477

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/28/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S relocation (SM Aft to MRM1 @ FGB nadir; 1:58pm-2:23pm)
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch (870kg props, 50kg O2, 100kg H2O, 1210kg dry cargo)
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/26/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko) – MRM1 outfitting
08/05/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
08/17/10 -- US EVA-16 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
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) - ~11:40am
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery undock
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/08/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/10/10 -- 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-------------
10/20/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
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