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July 06, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/06/10

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

At wake-up, CDR 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). [The CDR will inspect the filters again before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, Skvortsov, Kornienko & Yurchikhin took a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, the CDR 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).]

Caldwell-Dyson, Doug Wheelock & Shannon Walker continued the current week-long session of the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Tracy’s 5th, the 1st for Wheels & Shannon, transferring data from her Actiwatch 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.]

The CDR initiated today’s experiment session with the KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload by activating the turbopump in the MRM2 “Poisk” module for keeping the vacuum chamber (EB) evacuated (it will be deactivated again before sleeptime, at ~5:25pm EDT). Later, after configuring the STTS comm system for his stay in Poisk, Alex conducted experiment ops in automatic mode, then closed the session out, copying & downloading data from the hard drive, followed by downlink to the ground via OCA from USB stick. Vacuum and KKT2 valves were to be left open after turbopump deactivation. [Main objective of PK-3+ is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles. Today’s experiment was performed with 2.55 µm (micrometer) particles, to study a two-phase linear structure development process (Relay-Taylor instability), evolution of boundary (to study surface phenomena).]

After configuring the usual pumping equipment (Compressor-M, hoses, adapters), Mikhail Kornienko initiated the transfer of urine from 9 EDV-U containers to the empty BV1 Rodnik storage tank of Progress M-06M/38P at the SM Aft port, emptied yesterday of its 150 L of water, then flushed the lines with disinfectant from an EDV. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

Starting a new round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, FE-5 Yurchikhin worked in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), inspecting & cleaning interior closeout panel vent screens. CDR Skvortsov joined in by replacing the FGB PS1 & PS2 dust filters, discarding the old cartridges and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System).

FE-5 also performed routine maintenance on the KN1(2) and KV1(2) valves of the SM (Service Module) Rodnik tanks, to prevent their failure during the long-term water stowage. Each of the four valves was activated twice.

Afterwards, Fyodor completed the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 (carbon dioxide) removal system’s spare AVK emergency vacuum valves, in the spare parts kit. [The AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh's vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).]

Doug Wheelock set up the US Lab camcorder to cover his activities for the ground, then worked on the FCF FIR (Fluid Combustion Facility Fluids Integrated Rack) to remove/replace a CVB (Constrained Vapor Bubble) Module for another test. [Wheels opened the lower & upper FCF (Fluids Combustion Facility) doors, translated the FIR Optics Bench out of the rack, rotated the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) Spindle Bracket Assembly from Operate to Service position for removing the LMM Optical Test Target from the LMM X-Y Stage, installed the CVB Module onto the LMM X-Y Stage in preparation for module testing, and then rotated the LMM Spindle Bracket Assembly back to Operate position. After closing the upper & lower FCF doors, FE-4 turned on two switches and notified POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) that the rack was prepared for command on RPC (Remote Power Controller.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson conducted the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) in Node-3, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, Tracy transferred results to an SSC (Station Support Computer) via USB drive for downlink, and also logged the data.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Caldwell-Dyson also supported ESA KUBIK-3 checkout activities. [Tracy first checked the thermostat-controlled cooler, then set the unit to +37°C and activated the centrifuge, later verifying the temperature attainment and copying temperature & centrifuge data to the EDR (European Drawer Rack) laptop, after removal of the iButton from KUBIK. The cooler/container was then stowed in COL (loc. D4-C2), after making room for it.]

Later, Tracy continued her service of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in COL, swapping SPUs (Sample Processing Units) and starting another evacuation/processing run. [Task steps included inspecting, activating & checking the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and closing the vacuum vent valve after the last vacuum draw on the sample chamber with SPU3, powering off ECU (Electronics Control Unit) in the MSG, activating the CSLM experiment by initiating sample heating, later initiating data transfer to the MLC (MSG Laptop Computer) hard drive, powering down the equipment, removing SPU3 and exchanging it with SPU11, again checking the MSG and finally opening vent & vacuum valves to initiate the first vacuum draw on the sample chamber.]

Still before breakfast, FE-6 Walker began Part 1 of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit), carried by Caldwell-Dyson, Skvortsov & Kornienko for 24 hours (with a microphone on the shirt collar). [In Part 2, Shannon will download the dosimeter data tomorrow and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

Afterwards, FE-6 started another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 8th session with the new GC/DMS unit (#1004), after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 100 runs. 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.]

In the SM, Alexander had ~30 min set aside to unstow M-1100 payload equipment and replace the rotor of its MTsF minicentrifuge, removing the old one to stowage.

Fyodor moved to the docking site of Soyuz 23S at the MRM1 Rassvet module for another inspection & checkout of the indicator of the VD/PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) between MRM1 SU (Transfer Vestibule) & Soyuz BO (Orbital Module), toggling the C6 indicator light ~5 times, then tagging up with ground specialists. [Done last time: 7/2.]

Afterwards, Yurchikhin installed protective screens at RBO-3-2 MATRYOSHKA-R exposure locations in the starboard CQ (Crew Quarters) in the SM, plus ID-3MKS personal radiation dosimeters for the Shtorka (Blind) experiment, taking photography and downloading the images to RSK-1 laptop for return to Earth.

Alexander & Mikhail had several hours between them for unloading Progress 38P cargo and transferring/stowing it in ISS, logging moves in the IMS.

Tracy & Doug jointly reviewed a preliminary EVA-16 task outline for familiarization. Their EVA-16 spacewalk is currently scheduled on 8/17, preceded by their EVA-15 on 8/5. [In order of their execution, the proposed tasks are (1) 1553 data cable installation (completion from EVA-15), (2) CP3 camera wedge installation, (3) P1 radiator beam troubleshooting, (4) Strela adapter retrieval, (5) starboard CETA cart re configuration, (6) get aheads: FGB thruster imagery; APFR re-location for ULF5; tool, re-stow/eternal tool box stow/transfer 2 round scoops to the Z1 tool box.]

Later, Wheels & Tracy spent time in the US A/L (Airlock), cleaning it up from the STS-132 EVAs by stowing all remaining items back in their nominal stowage locations and checking that switches are in their nominal positions.

Wheelock & Walker worked on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), troubleshooting the facility which is currently nonfunctional, probably due to its pump separator. [The crew was to remove & replace piping between the Russian-furnished MNR-NS pump separator and DKiV Pre-Treat Dispenser & Water Pump (also called “Dose Pump”), a regularly scheduled part of 180-day preventive maintenance. Doug & Shannon also were to change out the WHC’s UR (Urine Receptacle) hose and IF (Insert Filter), then vacuum the entire WHC and clean it with disinfectant wipes. With the WHC down, the entire crew is currently using the Soyuz toilet facilities. There is a spare pump separator onboard, and the crew has procedures for changing it out.]

Other tasks completed by Shannon Walker included –

  • Unpacking, setting up & checking out the backup TEPC (Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) instrument, #1003, delivered on STS-132/ULF4 last May [#1002 is prime TEPC.],
  • Performing the periodic status check on the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) Galley fridge, looking for any internal condensation moisture which would require replacing desiccants [MERLIN is used for cold storage of crew food and drink.],
  • Stowing the SOLO PCBA (Sodium Loading in Microgravity / Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) measurement cartridges 1 & 2, which arrived with Progress 38P, into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS),
  • Checking the battery SOC (state of charge) of all PCS (Portable Computer System) & PWS (Portable Work Station) laptops, then rebooting the machines,
  • Installing an ALTEA cable connector saver in preparation for upcoming ALTEA-DOSI (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts Dosimetry) activation for data collection, and
  • Conducting the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), checking out the rails & rollers, greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers and evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Walker also set up video and equipment for another session of the experiment series called “Kids in Micro-G”. Assisted by Doug with video & photo documentation, Shannon then conducted the second student experiment (deferred from 7/2 due to the Progress abort) and later stowed the reference material entitled Low-Gravity Artist Flight Procedures. [The “Kids in Micro-G” suite of experiments was developed and written by 5th grade students to demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion both on ISS and in the classroom.]

The CDR did the daily IMS 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).

Alex also 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.]

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-4, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR). [T2 currently must undergo a snubber inspection between exercise sessions.]

CDR, FE-2 & FE-3 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sasha at ~11:55am, Misha at ~12:50pm, Shannon at ~2:00pm EDT.

At ~6:30am, Alex, Mikhail & Fyodor supported a Russian PAO TV event, answering questions from students participating in the current (July 3-14) International Youth Science School at Bauman MGTU/Moscow on “Space Exploration: Theory and Practice” and spending today at TsUP control center in Korolev.

At ~10:45am, Tracy, Doug & Shannon engaged in a PAO TV interview event with two media clients,- KTRH Radio, Houston, TX (Lana Hughes, J.P. Pritchard), and The Houston Chronicle (Eric Berger).

At ~3:25pm, Shannon is scheduled for 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).

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:00am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 352.4 km
Apogee height – 359.3 km
Perigee height – 345.6 km
Period -- 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010202
Solar Beta Angle -- 34.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 26 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,650

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
07/26/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko) – MRM1 outfitting (~11:25pm-5:25am)
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
09/24/10 -- 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
11/01/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launch (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) ~4:33pm EDT“target”
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
02/02/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) ~4:19pm EDT“target”
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