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September 20, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/20/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 16 of Increment 24.

FE-5 Yurchikhin conducted the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [FE-5 again inspects the filters before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson & FE-6 Walker joined forces to relocate the CHeCS RSR (Crew Health Care System / Resupply Stowage Rack) in the Lab from rack bay O5 to D4.

With his departure approaching, Alex Skvortsov had ~3 hrs reserved for stowing return cargo in Soyuz 22S. Later in the day, FE-3 Kornienko moved excessed equipment and trash to the 22S BO Orbital Module (atop the SA Descent Module) for disposal via burn-up in the atmosphere on reentry.

Alex & Mikhail completed their 4th preliminary orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test run (of 5) with the Russian Chibis suit in preparation for their return to gravity on 9/23 with Soyuz 22S (along with Tracy Caldwell-Dyson). They conducted the ODNT exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) on the TVIS treadmill. Each crewmember took turns as Subject, while Mikhail served as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for Alex, and Fyodor assisted Mikhail. The CDR was supported in his one-hour session by ground specialist tagup via VHF at 6:35am, Mikhail at 8:10am EDT. [The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmember’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. Data output includes blood pressure readings. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by one cycle of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -25, -35, -40 and -45 mmHg for five min. each, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure and the REG SHKO Rheoencephalogram Biomed Cap. 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.]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-4 Wheelock supported the FACET experiment by reorienting (rotating) the FACET cell for Cell 2 observation. [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.]

Kornienko serviced two Russian science payloads, viz. –
  • BTKh-35 MEMBRANA: Setting up & activation for ops, turning off after ~3 hrs and closing out, and
  • BTKh-26 KASKAD: Placing fresh ice packs in the KRIOGEM-03 refrigerator for cooling it down to -22 degC (for tomorrow’s MO-21 samples).

Alex serviced the running experiment TEKh22/IDENTIFIKATSIYA in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet by downloading structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 A31p laptop (last time done: 9/16).

Mikhail later transferred the TEKh-22 data from the RSEI laptop to HDD (hard disk drive) for return to Earth on 22S.

Yurchikhin conducted the daily temperature check of the Russian experiment BTKh-10/KONYUGATSIYA (Conjugation), currently installed in the TBU thermostat-controlled incubator at +29 degC, and reported the temperature to TsUP-Moscow.

CDR Skvortsov had 2h 50m reserved for undertaking his 6h and final onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, assisted by Kornienko. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, data files were downloaded, and Alex reported to TsUP-Moscow 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.]

FE-5 Yurchikhin 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: 8/30-8/31).]

Later, Fyodor performed the periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), verifying proper function of its recent (9/13) setup by taking readings with the LULIN-5 electronics box.

Working in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, FE-5 removed & replaced the MPI/Multifunction Indicator Panel, then switched the MPI on for ground testing.

Afterwards, Yurchikhin completed the periodic refresh of the IUS AntiVirus program in the Russian VKS auxiliary (non-network) laptops RSS1, RSK1, RSK2, RSE1, which are not loaded from the ground, from a special software program working with Norton AV on the FS (File Server) laptop, first scanning the latter, then transferring the database by flash-card to the other computers and scanning them one by one. [Only the RSS2 laptop is automatically updated (once a week on Fridays from MCC-Houston).]

Activities completed by FE-6 Shannon Walker included –
  • Starting another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS ( Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later [This was the 24th 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],
  • First setting up the Lab video camcorder for ground monitoring of her activities, then disassembling the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) payload hardware, reconfiguring it with the ALTEA Shield Isotropic Equipment and finishing up with documentary photography [ALTEA-Shield uses existing ALTEA hardware to survey the radiation environment in the US Lab in 3D. It will also measure the effectiveness and shielding properties of several materials with respect to the perception of anomalous Light Flashes. FE-6 today set up the ALTEA-Shield Survey configuration in the first of three sites],
  • Setting up & preparing the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware, including MBS (Mixing Bag System), for her 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 with Tracy Caldwell-Dyson on pre-ULF5 transfer of science samples from the MELFI-2 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2) to the ISS GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) after yesterday’s procedures brush-up [Transferred were blood & urine samples plus experiment specimen from the Ferulate and Genara payloads, using one double Coldbag and two Icepac belts from MELFI-1], and
  • Conducting 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, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB stick for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

FE-4 Wheelock had ~2.5h set aside for IFM (Inflight Maintenance) preparatory to the arrival of the PMM (Permanent Multi-purpose Module) “Leonardo” on ULF5 in November, installing a power jumper for the PMM Mod Kit.

Other tasks conducted afterwards by Wheels included –
  • Clearing out module space in Node-2 at loc. D5 for CQ3 (Crew Quarters 3) by relocating stowed cargo bags,
  • Completing cable configurations at the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) in the JAXA Kibo laboratory – first disconnecting one payload bus cable and two IPU user video cables at the SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility), then connecting one payload bus cable & two IPU user video cables at the FPEF,
  • Supporting the CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment) in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by opening the AR (Argon) gas supply at the upper AR GBU (Gas Bottle Unit), and
  • Removing the alignment guides on the FIR/ARIS (Fluids Integrated Rack / Active Rack Isolation System) before beginning FIR operations that require a microgravity environment.

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Caldwell-Dyson restored the stowage to its original state before the temporary cargo removal to allow MARES (Muscle Atrophy Resistive Exercise System) Commissioning. [Restored were front stowage bags from bays D1 & D2 to their original positions at O3, O4, D3 & D4.]

Other activities conducted by Tracy included –
  • Inserting desiccant packs into MELFI 3 Dewars to help control moisture levels inside the Dewars,
  • Supporting BLB LSM (Biolab Life Support Module) function by opening O2 & CO2 valves and adjusting the Gaseous N2 (nitrogen) valve setting,
  • Checking out the US SLM (Sound Level Meter) instrument, then using it to conduct the periodic noise level measurements program in the station interior for a 2-hr acoustic survey for Week 28. Data download to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) was a subsequent activity. [A total of 61 acoustic measurements were to be obtained, specifically at 9 locations in the Lab, with WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) turned off, 12 locations in the SM, 11 in the JPM, 4 in JLP, 2 in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), 9 in Node-2, 8 in Node-3, and 6 in MRM1. The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) data dump or via OCA. No exercise was allowed during the SLM survey, to avoid corrupting the acoustic measurements],
  • Transfer of the PGB (Portable Glovebox) from the FGB to COL, and
  • Installing the T2 alignment guides plus closing the window shutters in the Lab, Kibo & Node-3 Cupola as protection for tomorrow morning’s scheduled Soyuz 22S thruster testing (~3:51am EDT).

Mikhail Kornienko was up for 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.

Later Misha made preparations for the usual pre-departure microbial air sampling session scheduled tomorrow with the MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, initiating charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP) and readying the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container for the samples. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Kornienko did the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).

Yurchikhin 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.]

Tracy, Sasha & Misha again had an hour each set aside for personal crew departure preparations, standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

The crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-4, 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 is no longer needed after the last T2 session of the day but is now regularly being done once a week after the last T2 session.]

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 4:45am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 355.6 km
Apogee height – 359.8 km
Perigee height – 351.3 km
Period -- 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.000636
Solar Beta Angle -- -48.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 82 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,843.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
09/23/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock – 9:34pm EDT (End of Increment 24; CDR-25 – Wheelock)
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S landing – 12:55am EDT (local Kazakhstan: 10:55am)
09/24/10 – Tracy Caldwell-Dyson returns to Houston by direct flight from Kazakhstan
--------------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
11/12/10 -- Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 -- Russian EVA-27
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/14/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/20/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
01/24/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/28/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-28
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/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-29
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
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
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 – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
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 – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
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
03/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-24/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-26/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
03/28/12 -- Soyuz TMA-26/30S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/09/12 -- Soyuz TMA-26/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-28/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O. Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/25/12 – Soyuz TMA-28/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-27/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-29/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-28/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-30/34S launch.
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-30/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------