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August 30, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/30/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 13 of Increment 24. Big Science this week!

CDR Skvortsov’s morning inspection today included the weekly checkup behind ASU/toilet panel 139 in the SM (Service Module) on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

Alexander also completed 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: 8/9-8/10).]

Continuing her support of the SAME (Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment) payload in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-6 Walker activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and started up the next (13th) run of the SAME (Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment). [Steps included powering up the MLC (MSG Laptop Computer), changing out the SAME sample in the carousel (with all 6 preloaded carousels processed, the individual samples on each carousel now need exchanging), switching the carousel, the tape, the alcohol wick, and the thermal precipitator, opening the VES (Vacuum Exhaust System) & GN2 (gaseous nitrogen) valves in the MSG work volume, then turning on the experiment’s 120V power. The MSG tape is exchanged after every second carousel is processed. After a ~4hr run, FE-6 performed the scheduled shutdown of the MSG and experiment.]

After setting up the video system for recording her activities, then unstowing & configuring the hardware for the BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment) experiment, FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson took her first BISE session, with FE-6 Walker shooting documentary photography. [The CSA (Canadian Space Agency)-sponsored BISE experiment studies how astronauts perceive Up and Down in microgravity, investigating the relative contributions of internal & external cues to self-orientation during and after micro-G exposure. BISE data collection must be performed at least one hour after any exercise. The specific objective of the BISE project is to conduct experiments during long-duration micro-G conditions to better understand how humans first adapt to micro-G and then re-adapt to normal gravity conditions upon return to earth. This experiment involves comparisons of preflight, flight, and post-flight perceptions and mental imagery, with special reference to spaceflight-related decreases in the vertical component of percepts. The test involves having subjects view a computer screen through a cylinder that blocks all other visual information. The astronauts are being presented with background images with different orientations relative to their bodies.]

FE-5 Yurchikhin had 2h 50m reserved for doing his 3rd onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, assisted by FE-3 Kornienko. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, data files were downloaded, and Fyodor reported to TsUP on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

Skvortsov set up test gear and then used the external “Klest” (KL-154M) TV camera to record and play back data in the DVCAM PAL format with the SONY HVR-Z1 camcorder to verify whether this mode can be used for dynamic operations. [Once the recording was completed on DO12 (Daily Orbit 12), Sasha downlinked the result on DO16. KL-154M is controlled from the ATV TV control console (BRTK-PU).]

Later, Alex had several hours blocked out to conduct inventory/audits of users/loads on selected power-outlet SUPs (Standard Utility Panels) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Node-2 & Node-3, for the purpose of updating the PiP (Plug-in Plan) tool on the PCS (Portable Computer System) and IMS (Inventory Management System).

Tracy Caldwell-Dyson worked a large number of maintenance & service tasks including –
  • Powering up the SDRM (SpaceDRUMS/Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix) experiment hardware, turning it off again ~5 hrs later after data capture. [SpaceDRUMS suspends a solid or liquid sample using 20 acoustic beam emitters during combustion or heat-based synthesis. Materials can be produced in microgravity with an unparalleled quality of shape and composition. SpaceDRUMS will support scientific understanding of processes like combustion synthesis and self-propagating high temperature synthesis and also provide direct commercial benefits from materials processing. Advanced ceramics, polymer, and colloids can be processed in SpaceDRUMS.],
  • Removing the lock-down alignment guides (4) on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow activation of the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) by ground operations requiring a micro-G environment [the guides protect against possible external dynamic disturbances],
  • Starting another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Gas Chromatograph/Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 18th session with the 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],
  • Performed the periodic inspection & cleaning of the RGSH (Return Grid Sensor Housing) in the port cone/deckside location of COL, monitored by the VCA-1 (Video Camera Assembly 1), by using the vacuum cleaner after opening the RGSH to access its internal sensors and brackets. [Afterwards, VCA1 was re-adjusted towards the COL stbd cone], and
  • 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. [Since the TOCA run on 8/25 was aborted due to bubbles in the line, the TOCA needed to be primed before the analysis. After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB stick for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

FE-2 & FE-6 conducted the periodic maintenance & visual inspection of the ARED advanced resistive exerciser, Shannon checking out the rails & rollers and greasing the Y- and Z-axis rails & rollers, Tracy evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition and sensor calibration.

Mikhail Kornienko spent several hours on preparing Progress M-06M/38P for its departure tomorrow morning (~7:22am EDT). Specifically, the usual close-out steps included –
  • Installing the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the SM aft port [the StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress' cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB, MRM2 and DC1],
  • Uninstalling & removing the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry, along with its ROM unit (read-only memory, TA765B) for re-use,
  • Scavenging (removing) an SD1-7 double-light fixture from the Progress, stowing it with spares & updating the IMS (Inventory Management System),
  • Activating the spacecraft’s electronics and taking out the ventilation/heating air duct;
  • Closing the hatches on TsUP Go (~11:30am);
  • Removing the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint [during clamp removal and leak checking, Russian thrusters were inhibited from 11:00am-3:40pm due to load constraints],
  • Starting the standard one-hour leak checking of the SU docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and SM, and
  • Downlinking Mikhail’s formal report on loading completion and the video depicting the close-out activities, for review by ground specialists.

Fyodor Yurchikhin meanwhile completed the periodic re-tightening of the BZV quick release screw clamps on the MRM1 Rassvet/Soyuz 23S docking mechanism interface.

Later, Shannon worked in Node-3 on the portside deck hatch, re-aligning (correcting) the interlocking seal joint.

Misha initiated overnight (10-hr) charging of the Kelvin-Video battery for the Russian KPT-2 payload with its BAR science instruments suite (other BAR components being the ТТМ-2 Anemometer-Thermometer, the charger cable, and the video display unit). [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Besides the new Piren-B video-endoscope with pyrosensor, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

The CDR modified a number (7) of T61p laptop video adapters/”dongles” by taping them with Kapton tape to satisfy flammability requirements set by the MRB (Materials Review Board), to allow removal of their yellow tags. [Yellow tags, more formally called "uncertified dual ops tags", are used to identify items not certified for ISS Operations (certification and/or paperwork not complete prior to launch); items which have IP (International Partner) segment-specific certification (can be used in one IP segment but should not be used in anther IP segment); items that could pose a safety hazard; and items that are broken or expired. Blank yellow tags are flown so hardware can be tagged on-orbit as necessary.]

While overflying RGS-21 (Russian Ground Site 21), Skvortsov checked out the functionality of the UKV (=VHF) radio transmission. [RGS-21 Djusail (DJS) is located at 45.7N, 63.5E.]

For upcoming FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack) activities, FE-4 Wheelock performed an ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) pushrod calibration. [Steps included borrowing an ER (EXPRESS Rack) T61p laptop, then connecting it to the FIR for running the pushrod calibration, live-monitored from the ground via the Lab camcorder. The T61p’s IP was then re-set, and the laptop powered down. Background: Designed to attenuate external vibration disturbances of payload racks, ARIS is quite different from traditional shock absorbers by working with active feedback control. This is done with accelerometers to measure vibration disturbances, an electronic unit to process the data, eight actuators with pushrods for applying compensatory (counteracting) forces against the framework of the station in response to signals from the electronic unit that are calculated to "counteract" the disturbances measured by the accelerometers, and microgravity rack barriers (“snubbers”) that prevent accidental disturbance of the active ARIS rack. Before regular operation, ARIS is checked out and calibrated in order to fine-tune the multiple-component system.]

In the JAXA JPM, Doug Wheelock changed cable connections, disconnecting the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) bus cable, used for the Marangoni experiment, and reconnecting the SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility) 1553 data cable.

FE-4 Wheelock & FE-6 Walker updated their daily diet logs for their on-going first six-day SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) sessions, which entail diet intake loggings, body mass measurements and blood & urine samplings in two session blocks. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Wheels & Shannon are eating special diets (for Wheels: Session 1 – Low salt diet; Session 2 – High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level; for Shannon: first High salt, then Low salt). SOLO Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are logged daily on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) on Days 4 & 6. Blood samples are taken on Day 5, centrifuged & inserted in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) and also measured with the PCBA. 24-hr urine collections will be performed on Day 5, with sample insertion in MELFI. Background: SOLO, a NASA/ESA-German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

Wheels set up and prepared the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware, including MBS (Mixing Bag System), for his 3rd session with the VO2max assessment, integrated with Thermolab, scheduled tomorrow. [The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Working on MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), FE-6 brought up its Dewar 4 to match the same configuration of the other Dewars by retrieving a spare ½-box module from MELFI-3 for use in Dewar 4. Wheels was also to clean and dry the Dewar of any condensation as required.

Skvortsov 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.]

Sasha also did the daily IMS maintenance by 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-6 Walker collected a 60mL water sample from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), after hose purging, and subjected it to in-flight analysis with the CWQMK (Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring Kit), first establishing an Iodine standard, then completing the Silver standard and analysis. [Data were downloaded afterwards and the CWQMK kit stowed.]

In preparation for the JAXA experiment MYCO (Mycological Evaluation of Crew Exposure to ISS Ambient Air), Doug distributed drinking water (100 mL) from PWD to participating crewmembers (Tracy, Shannon & himself) along with a MYCO Kit for use first thing tomorrow morning, then reviewed procedural requirements with the crew. The sample collections and MELFI insertions must be made first thing in the morning. [MYCO evaluates the risk of microorganisms via inhalation and adhesion to the skin to determine which fungi act as allergens on the ISS. MYCO samples are to be collected from the nasal cavity, the pharynx and the skin of crew during preflight, in flight and postflight focusing particularly on fungi which act as strong allergens in our living environment. Before sample collection, crewmembers are not to eat or drink anything except water, nor wash their face, brush their teeth, or gargle after they wake up to avoid science loss.]

Yurchikhin had another ~2 hrs reserved for shooting more “Chronicle” newsreel footage using the SONY HVR-Z7 #2 high-definition camcorder as part of the ongoing effort to create a photo & video imagery database on the flight of ISS-24 (“Flight Chronicles”). [Footage subjects generally include conducting experiments, current activities at the station, repair activities behind panels, exercise, cosmonauts looking out the window at the Earth, Earth surface, station interior, cosmonaut in zero gravity, leisure, life on orbit, personal hygiene, meals, station exterior, comm. passes with the ground, ham radio passes, station cleaning, spacesuits, space hardware, MRM1, MRM2, DC1, FGB, Soyuz & Progress, intermodular passageways, meeting a new crew, crewmember in space, medical experiments, handover activities, crew return preparations, farewell ceremonies, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

Fyodor also completed 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.

Joining in the new Russian round of Simvolika (Symbolika) activities, Caldwell-Dyson, Wheelock & Walker stamped and signed ~60 Russian Postal Service envelopes with the Expedition 24 insignia to be returned with them in the Soyuz TMA-18/22S Descent Module on 9/24.

At ~11:40am EDT, Tracy, Shannon & Doug supported a PAO TV event, being interviewed by KPRC-TV in Houston, TX (Courtney Gilmore).

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3/2x, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-4, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-5). [T2 snubber arm inspection of witness marks (to indicate undesired motion) is now needed only once a month. A daily inspection of the left bottom and right bottom snubbers has been added instead. Analysis shows these were subjected to loads beyond their design limit, and performing a “wiggle” test on these will indicate whether the hardware has been compromised.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:36am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 354.9 km
Apogee height – 360.2 km
Perigee height – 349.6 km
Period -- 91.64 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007889
Solar Beta Angle -- 44.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 66 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,516.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
08/31/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock – 7:22am EDT
09/06/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P deorbit – ~8:06am EDT
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch – 7:11am EDT
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking – ~8:40am EDT\
09/xx/10 -- ISS reboost
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24; CDR-25 – Wheelock)
--------------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
02/26/11 -- 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-------------
05/30/11 -- 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.

Note: The daily ISS On-Orbit Status reports can also be found at