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July 20, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/20/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>Today 41 years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. Congratulations - Neil, Buzz & Mike!<<<

Upon 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.]

Skvortsov also 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 (~5:15pm 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: 6/29-6/30).]

Afterwards, the CDR 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.]

FE-6 Walker supported POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville) in the COL on the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) with the startup for the next (fourth) run of the SAME (Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment). [Later tonight, the MSG will be shut down again.]

Next, Shannon conducted the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Alexander undertook the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on airway issues. [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.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson had several hours to perform the Day 1 activities of repairing the US OGS (Oxygen Generator System) which performed an unexpected “Fast Shutdown” on 7/5, probably due to blockage in several cells within the H2 (hydrogen) ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit). [Since a sample in the OGS Recirculation Loop, brought home on 20A, showed a low pH (~4.1) and high counts of particulate, Tracy today performed the first of two separate planned flushes of components of the Recirculation Loop, connecting the potable water bus via QDs (quick disconnects) on the Water ORU for the flushing and then routing that water to the zone to be flushed. This required Tracy to mate/demate QDs throughout the flush program.]

Major focus for FE-3 Kornienko & FE-5 Yurchikhin today was on Orlan spacesuit activities in the DC1 “Pirs” Docking Compartment, to extend for the next few days, i.e., preparing spacewalk hardware for the EVA-25 dry-run/simulation on 7/23 and the spacewalk on 7/26. Today, Mikhail & Fyodor –
  • Configured STTS communications for “Pirs” DC1 (Docking Compartment) occupancy,
  • Set up EVA (VKD) equipment in DC1 & SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment),
  • Adjusted the Orlan-MK spacesuits #4 & #5 for size,
  • Activated & inspected the suits for hermeticity (leak tightness),
  • Checked out the DC1 & PkhO BSS (Orlan Interface Units) for function and hermeticity,
  • Checked out valves, jumpers, connections and testing them for hermeticity,
  • Configured the Orlan & BSS cooling loops and performing their degassing (i.e., liquid/gas separation) in DC1,
  • Degassed the BSS systems in the PkhO,
  • Refilled the feedwater bladders if necessary,
  • Switched the frequency of the BRTA telemetry unit on Orlan #4, and
  • Restored DC1 STTS communications to their nominal settings.

Tracy & Doug undertook OBT (Onboard Training) of the EVA SAFER (Extravehicular Activity Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue) device by using a sophisticated training program on the laptop. Tracy later tore down the equipment and stowed it.

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Wheelock disconnected FACET cables and removed the FACET cell from the SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility) for subsequent installation of air circulation covers in SCOF and FACET cell. [FACET (Investigation of Mechanism of Faceted Cellular Array Growth Experiment) is an investigation of the mechanism of faceted cellular array growth. It investigates the phenomena at the solid-liquid interface for crystallization, especially for facet-like crystallization, which are considered to be strongly influenced by the temperature and concentration distributions in the liquid phase. In order to investigate the phenomena at the solid-liquid interface in facet growth, in-situ observation of concentration and temperature diffusion field with two wavelength interferometer are carried out using transparent organic materials under microgravity condition. Results can provide the useful data on the optimization of the crystal growth condition not only in space but also on earth.]

Afterwards, Wheels performed the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm. AEDs are generally either held by trained personnel who will attend events or are public access units which can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs and any other location where people may congregate.]

Mikhail Kornienko & Fyodor Yurchikhin undertook their first training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisting each other in turn as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The 50-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground site (DO3, 6:28am-6:47am; DO4, 8:02am-8:18am), 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. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Romanenko’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, today set at -20, -25, -30 and -35mmHg for five min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Wheelock set up the demo equipment for another session of the experiment series called “Kids in Micro-G”. Assisted by Shannon with video & photo documentation, Wheels then conducted the student experiment, today showing the “Bottle Blowing in Space” procedure in micro-gravity. [The “Kids in Micro-G” suite of experiments was developed and written by 6th grade students to demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion both on ISS and in the classroom.]

Activities completed by CDR Skvortsov today included –
  • Performing the fill of EDV containers with water from the Progress M-05M/37P BV1 tank (to expedite the emptying up of the BV1 tank),
  • Doing 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),
  • Completing 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],
  • Completing the periodic cleaning of the screen of the BVN air heater fan assembly in the Orbital Module (BO) of the Soyuz TMA-18/22S crew return vehicle, docked at the MRM2 port,
  • Continuing the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, repressed on 6/14 with nitrogen (N2) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2), by conducting the usual pressure check and recharging it with N2 from BPA-1M Nitrogen Purge Unit as required to verify the unit’s hermeticity [objective of the monthly checkout of the spare BZh, which has been in stowage since March 2007, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used], and
  • Conducting the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways [inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Tasks undertaken by FE-6 Shannon Walker today included –
  • Removing & replacing an LHA (Lamp Housing Assembly) in Node-3 (loc. OF2-STBD),
  • Inspecting safety & waist tethers and D-ring extenders to be used in US EVA-15 for structural integrity,
  • Performing a PiP (Plug-in Plan) audit of select UOPs (Utility Outlet Panels) in the US LAB in order to update the PiP Tool and IMS,
  • Unpacking US hardware that arrived on Progress 38P, and
  • Printing US EVA procedures in preparation for the planned EVA Procedure Review.

Alex performed the regular weekly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), primarily inspecting the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices) in contingency configuration, SLD cables for fraying and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.

CDR, FE-3 & FE-5 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Fyodor at ~12:00pm, Sasha at ~12:30pm, Misha at ~1:30pm EDT.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2, 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-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-4) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-5). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (the Toshka Lakes formed in the late 1990’s when record high water in the Nile River and Lake Nasser spilled out into desert depressions to the west. Since then the lakes have persisted, but continue to slowly dry up. The crew was asked to update CEO monitoring record of this event with oblique context views of the lakes. Looking for them left of track as ISS tracked along the Nile River valley from the southwest. It was mid-morning with clear weather expected), Baghdad, Iraq (clear weather is expected for this nadir pass over Baghdad, capital city of Iraq. The municipal population has been estimated between 7 and 7.5 million, making it the second largest city in the Arab world. It is located on the Tigris River and dates back to the 8th century. As ISS tracked northeastward over the broad valley of the Tigris-Euphrates River in late morning light, the crew was to try for overlapping images of the urban area), St. Paul Rocks Islets, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle briefly visited this isolated, equatorial Atlantic site in early February of 1832. This tiny group of islets and rocks is also known as the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago. The islands are of particular interest to geologists as they expose rocks associated with the Earth's mantle above sea level. Looking near nadir for the islands during ISS approach to the area from the southwest. With mid-morning light and only partly cloudy skies the crew should have been able to photograph all of them in a mapping pass), Algiers, Algeria (the Algerian capital is located on the Mediterranean coast of this north-African nation. On this late morning pass tracking over the sea, looking just right track for this target. With a population of 2 to 3 million, the city is also 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), Mount Hood, OR (ISS had a near-nadir, late morning pass over Oregon’s highest peak [11,249 feet] in clear weather. The glacially eroded volcano sits astride the crest of the Cascade Range south of the Columbia River about 50 miles east of Portland. ISS approach was from the southwest. Trying for detailed mapping views of the summit area of this target), and Coast Mts., BC, Canada (ISS had an early afternoon pass in fair weather over these beautiful snowcapped mountains rising above the forests of western British Columbia. The glaciers here have been in a well-documented, heavy retreat for the past couple of decades even though they are located in a moist, marine environment, with heavy winter snowfalls and elevations ranging from 10,000 to 13,000 feet. As ISS tracked eastward over Vancouver Island, the crew was to look left of track for context views of the target area).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:28am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 355.3 km
Apogee height – 361.0 km
Perigee height – 349.6 km
Period -- 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008475
Solar Beta Angle -- -24.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 47 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,870

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
07/23/10 -- Russian EVA-25 Orlan suited dry-run
07/26/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko) – MRM1 outfitting (hatch open ~11:45pm)
08/05/10 -- US EVA-15 (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.