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June 29, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/29/10

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

Crew sleep cycle remains shifted to the right for Progress 38P docking next week (7/2): Wake – 7:00am (reg. 2:00am), Sleep – 10:30pm (reg. 5:30pm) EDT.

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 will inspect the filters again before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

At wake-up, FE-4 Wheelock & FE-6 Walker did another session of 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.]

Also at wake-up, Shannon Walker started her session with the Pro K protocol, 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.]

FE-5 Yurchikhin performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated later tonight (~7:50pm EDT) before sleeptime, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days. (Last time done: 6/9-6/10).]

CDR Skvortsov took the new crewmembers Wheelock, Yurchikhin & Walker through the 2h 15m Emergency Egress Equipment Readiness drill (Trenirovka po avarijnomu pokidaniyu MKS), OBT (onboard training) for the case of rapid cabin depressurization, with Russian & US specialists standing by at both control centers for crew questions or comments, followed by a crew debrief with ground specialists. [Background: Purpose of the drill is to (a) familiarize the station residents with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) perform a survey of each hatch for drag-through cables (and reporting results to TsUP, (c) work through the RS (Russian Segment) hardware deactivation procedures, (c) practice crew emergency joint activities, and (d) identify crew comments and suggestions that arise during training regarding crew procedures and equipment. In the RS, the crew usually translates along the emergency egress paths, currently to the MRM1 & MRM2 (where Soyuz 23S & 22S, resp. are docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the US Segment (USOS) the inspection usually focuses on readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBA (portable breathing assembly) and PFE (portable fire extinguisher), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The checks include PMA-1, Node-1, Airlock, Node-3, Node-2, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.]

Kornienko completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [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.]

FE-3 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).

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson once again serviced the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the ESA COL, now for the new SPU (Sample Processing Unit) #1, installed yesterday, which finished its second (of 4) vacuum vent overnight. [Task steps today 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 3rd of 4 vacuum draws on the sample chamber. Vacuum vent #4 is to be started later in the day and let run overnight, after again letting the water line vent into the work volume for a while.]

Tracy also conducted the routine maintenance on the four CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, first replacing the batteries in all units, then zero-calibrating the instruments. [The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Following zero calibration, the backup units were returned to their nominal stowage location in the Node-1, along with the sampling pump, while the prime unit (#1044) was deployed at the SM Central Post.]

Alexander Skvortsov downlinked the TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) structural dynamics measurements of the Soyuz relocation and closed out the data take.

After setting up the STTS communication system for working in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet, Skvortsov serviced the experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification), setting up and connecting the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink of its collected structural dynamic excitation/loading data during the Soyuz relocation to the ground via OCA. STTS was then restored to nominal. (Last time done: 6/21). [The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band.]

In the MRM1, Mikhail completed the routine task of taking two photographs of the docking cone of the passive docking assembly (ASP-B) of the port occupied by the relocated Soyuz TMA-19/23S, a standard practice after Russian dockings. These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. Misha subsequently downlinked the pictures via OCA assets. [The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, Misha used the Nikon D2X digital still camera to take two pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

Kornienko had ~2 hrs set aside to conduct the periodic electrical plug-in audit in the RS, i.e. SM, FGB, DC1 (Docking Compartment), MRM1, MRM2, plus PPS-31 & PPS-26 panels in SM, logging the specific hardware/equipment currently plugged in each power outlet. [Using an uplinked tracking list, FE-3 compared the onboard situation (panel locations, power outlet designations, users, operating mode, nominal current load) against listed plug-in data, updated the listing where necessary and prepared the file for downlink via OCA.]

Later, Kornienko serviced the externally mounted KNT-36 EXPOSE-R payload, copying the experiment’s science data from the BSMM Multiplex Bus Synchronization Unit/computer to a PCMCIA memory card in the RSS1 laptop and then deleting BSMM stored data. [The European EXPOSE-R experiment, containing plant seeds and spores of bacteria & fungi, was mounted outside the SM’s large diameter section during the Russian EVA-21A on 3/11/09 after some earlier problems.]

In the MRM2 “Poisk” module, CDR Skvortsov made payload preparations for the upcoming installation and activation of the Russian/German KTP-21 Plasma Crystal-3 Plus (PK-3+) experiment, the first of Expedition 24, by unstowing the hardware in the FGB and assembling it in MRM2. More installation work to come tomorrow. [Steps included installing four special PK-3 video hard disk and a USB stick in the apparatus, then performing an initial leak check of the PK-3 Electronics Box before its evacuation. The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside a vacuum work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode.]

Later, Alexander performed a calibration session with the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) experiment, today using the hand-held spectrometer from SM window #1 to observe the sun directly (unlike the usual sun-glint observations of Earth’s oceans), synchronized with a coaxially mounted NIKON D2X camera for taking snapshots, and later downloading the data to laptop RSE1 for subsequent downlink via OCA. Calibration measurements were taken with the spectrometer in four different modes, four measurement cycles per 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.]

During her work day, Caldwell-Dyson supported a ground-controlled checkout of the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Maneuvering System) Hot Backup mode in the Lab. [This was to test a new software solution to the arm’s joint problems that prevented full Hot Backup functionality for the HTV-1 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 1) berthing. Tracy first connected the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation), then threw switches between “Main” and Backup” at both RWS (CUP & Lab), altogether four switch throws (for two steps executed twice) during the day in order to gather multiple data points. Afterwards, she took down the bypass cable again.]

In Node-3, Tracy completed another RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) replacement on the WRS (Water Recovery System), stowing the old unit for return and the Tox-2 caps & plugs of the spare for re-use. [RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine to turn it into water.]

In the COL, Shannon Walker removed stowage goods impeding planned operations on the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1) location (F4) for her first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Echo Ultrasound (U/S) scanning scheduled tomorrow, then also retrieved SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) and PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) gear to be used.

Fyodor Yurchikhin performed maintenance on the Elektron O2 generator which had failed to restart after being deactivated last Friday. [With the old Elektron nemesis, gas bubbles, suspected blocking the system, Fyodor tested the BZh-009 Liquid Unit’s main & backup circulation pumps, then activated Elektron in 50 amp mode for checking pump pressure sensors and removing gas bubbles by operating valves from the Elektron control panel. By running the system in 50 amp mode, it was hoped that the higher amperage will force the bubbles through the pump.]

Yurchikhin joined up with Kornienko in the DC-1 Docking Compartment to work on the three Orlan-MK spacesuits (#4, #5, #6), updating the controller of the Transit-AM radio hardware in the Orlan backpacks’ BRTA-2 radio/telemetry units. [For upgrading the BRTA software, the crewmembers loaded the software upgrade from the RSE-Med laptop via a special OPU operational reprogramming device (TA339) from FGB stowage.]

Fyodor, Shannon & Wheels 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.]

All crewmembers took their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mikhail at ~12:40pm, Alex at ~1:20pm, Shannon at ~1:45pm, Fyodor at ~2:00pm, Doug at 3:15pm, Tracy at ~3:55pm EDT.

The crew completed today’s 2-hr physical workout protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-4, FE-6), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2 FE-4, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-3, FE-5).

Post-Relocation Assessment:
  • Yesterday’s 4B SAW (Solar Array Wing) anomaly unexpectedly set off a large amount of hard, real-time work on the ground. Teams were able to accomplish the load in truly outstanding fashion, thanks to having built data tables for cases of degraded solar arrays ahead of time which allowed pressing on. ISS was in free drift for about 3 hrs, without any power problems. When the 4B array went out of position by as much as 200 degrees, it was recovered in time to complete the Soyuz relocation. It appears that due to a disturbance (possibly inadvertent impingement from a thruster), the 4B array turned, which the software erroneously interpreted as a motor trip. Due an earlier corrective OFF/ON command to the motor (when the array “dithered” around the commanded set angle), the BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) firmware had switched to “manual free control” mode, in which the motor does not control which way the SAW is pointing. Procedures are being updated to prevent a reoccurrence.
  • During relocation with ISS in “earth-fixed” LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal), three arrays (4A, 4B, 2A) entered into the critical LS (Longeron Shadowing) condition. With Progress 38P arrival ahead, this condition needs to be reconstructed quickly, to determine the thermal impact on the arrays. Until the arrays are cleared, Port & Starboard SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) are limited to Autotrack with no desaturations (by thrusters). When the LS analysis is complete for the three arrays and the impact of LS to the arrays determined to be acceptable, desats will be re-enabled. Reconstruction is underway. Also, specialists are now discussing whether vehicle dockings should be allowed at all in the future under such high Beta angles.

Conjunction Alert: NASA FCT (Flight Control Team) is working a conjunction of the ISS with an H-2A rocket body (Object 30588). TCA (Time of Closest Approach) for 30588 is 7/1 (Thursday) night at 10:04pm EDT. Until the current ISS orbit, after the 23S disturbances, has been tracked more precisely, the conjunction is currently classified as of medium concern.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were only for PMCs (Polar Mesospheric Clouds).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:41am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 352.9 km
Apogee height – 359.5 km
Perigee height – 346.3 km
Period -- 91.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.000982
Solar Beta Angle -- 67.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,541

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch, 11:35am (870kg props, 50kg O2, 100kg H2O, 1210kg dry cargo)
07/02/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking (~12:58pm)
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