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September 23, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/23/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Soyuz 22S Departure Day. >>>>Last Monday, 9/20, Space Shuttle Discovery rolled out to the pad for the last time – supporting Mission STS-133.<<<<

Crew Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate tonight’s Soyuz TMA-18/22S undocking (9:34 pm EDT), crew workday began at 9:30am (shifted 7.5 hrs) and ends with sleep at 1:30am tomorrow morning. Wakeup on 9/24: 10:30am, sleep: 5:30pm, returning to normal.

FE-5 Yurchikhin conducted the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator, installed by Maxim Suraev 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-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.]

Upon wakeup, FE-6 Shannon Walker & FE-4/CDR Doug Wheelock performed their 5th liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE biomed protocol. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur within 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

Later, Wheelock & Walker took turns as Subject and Operator in drawing their blood in support of the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE assessment. [The blood samples need to be returned to the ground for analysis within 48 hrs of the sampling.]

Fyodor Yurchikhin meanwhile transferred the Russian BTKh-6/ARIL, BTKh-7/OChB, BTKh-10/KONYUGATSIYA (Conjugation) and BTKh-27/ASTROVACCINE & BIO-1/POLIGENE payloads to the Soyuz spacecraft for CDR Skvortsov to stow the containers for return.

FE-5 also moved the Russian BTKh-26/KASKAD payload to Soyuz TMA-18 after FE-2 helped to prepare it for the transfer from KRIOGEM-1M.

The BTKh-14/BIOEMULSIYA & BTKh-40/BIF experiments were transferred to 22C by Mikhail Kornienko.

Fyodor undertook the periodic transfer of condensate water to an RS EDV container for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & (waste) hydrogen, filling the designated KOV (condensate water) EDV container from a CWC (Contingency Water Container). When filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The ~40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the Elektron’s BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. If bubbles are detected in the EDV, they are separated (by centrifugation) into another EDV. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

FE-4/CDR Wheelock & FE-6 Walker filled out their weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Afterwards, the new US CDR –
  • Closed the protective window shutters in the Lab, Kibo laboratory & Node-3 Cupola, preparatory to the Soyuz spacecraft departure tonight,
  • Set up the LFTP (Low Flow Transfer Pump) and started offloading condensate water from a CWC (Contingency Water Container) to the WPA WWT (Water Processor Assembly Waste Water Tank) for processing,
  • Completed the weekly 10-min. CWC inventory as part of the on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes. [The current card (24-0007K) lists 122 CWCs (2,792.2 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (24 CWCs with 998.2 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 712.7 L in 17 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 128.3 L in 3 bags for flushing only with microbial filter, and 23.0 L in 1 bag for flushing only; 2. potable water (5 CWCs with 215.4 L, of which 1 bag with 43.6 L requires sample analysis, 1 bag with 42.5 L are to be used with microbial filter & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use; 3. iodinated water (84 CWCs with 1,550.1 L for reserve; 4. condensate water (6.3 L, in 1 bag with 6.3 L to be used only for OGA, plus 6 empty bags; and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (22.2 L, in 1 CWC with 20.2 L from hose/pump flush & 1 bag with 2.00 L from EMU dump). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health],
  • Removed the 4 protective alignment guides on the T2/COLBERT treadmill after Soyuz departure, and
  • Worked several hours with Shannon Walker on the MARES (Muscle Atrophy Resistive Exercise System) payload hardware, performing troubleshooting including re-checking cable connections and power verification.

Later, cleaning up after yesterday’s relocation of the CQ3 (Crew Quarters 3) rack from JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to Node-2, Shannon reconfigured the JPM D3 rack bay space with its nominal stowage contents.

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Tracy Caldwell-Dyson returned to the ESA BLB (Biolab), supporting ground-commanded run-in tests of the ATCS (Automatic Temperature Controlled Stowage).

As one of her last activities on board, TC then doffed her SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure During Spaceflight) Actiwatch and stowed it for future use. [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.]

FE-5 Yurchikhin 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).

Fyodor 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.]

Later, Yurchikhin verified proper operation of the running Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment in the SM (Service Module) for taking structural dynamics data during the Soyuz spacecraft undocking. Afterwards, Fyodor downlinked the measurement data to the ground. [Data calldown to TsUP/Moscow must be done once a day during joint flight of ULF-4 with the ISS, plus the file downlink and restart every third day. IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations - (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

Structural dynamics measurements of the undocking were also taken with the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System).

With its battery freshly charged overnight, FE-5 installed the hardware of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9 and later used it to observe & measure the high-rate interaction spectra of the Earth’s upper atmosphere with Soyuz thruster plumes during reentry. [Using the GFI-1 UFK “Fialka” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from window #9, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

After the undocking, Yurchikhin will reconfigure the Russian STTS onboard comm system to its “undocked” mode, and later, after the Soyuz landing in Kazakhstan, Wheels is timelined to return the STTS to nominal mode.

Also after 22S departure, Fyodor will be downlinking high-definition video footage shot in the last few days for the Russian TVTs television channel for their “News From Weightlessness” series.

After his wake-up, CDR Skvortsov had ~4.5 hrs set aside for wrapping up cargo loading activities on Soyuz. Later, at ~4:05pm EDT, the CDR downlinked his report on the finished loading ops.

Preparations for the late-night undocking began at ~5:20pm, with the activation of the Soyuz spacecraft by FE-1 Skvortsov.

Before ingress, FE-3 Kornienko switches the Russian STTS comm system to “undocking” mode and verifies that the onboard amateur radio stations in the Service Module (SM) and FGB are deactivated, to prevent radio interference with the departing spacecraft.

Mikhail & Tracy then enter the Descent Module, while Alex performs the regular communications check from the TMA-18.

Next, FE-3 activates the spacecraft’s GA gas analyzer, after which Skvortsov inside and Wheelock outside will close the Soyuz & MRM2 hatches. The departing Soyuz crew then starts the standard one-hour leak check on the Soyuz-to-Poisk vestibule.

After attitude control authority has been handed over to the RS MCS (Motion Control System) at ~8:20pm, the ISS will go into Free Drift at 9:30pm-9:39pm for MRM2 hooks opening and Soyuz undocking at 9:37pm. Attitude control will return to US Momentum Management with CMGs (Control Moment Gyros) at ~12:40am.

Wheels assembled & configured his Glenn harness with its transducer instrumentation for his exercise on the T2/COLBERT treadmill today, his 5th SDTO (Station Development Test Objective) session with the instrumented harness. [In order to maximize data acquisition, 8 transducers have been combined on the harness from both instrumentation kits and spares launched on Progress 38P. Doug has 3 exercise sessions on T2 between each data collection session, and there will be 4 collection sessions using each Harness (Glenn for T2, followed by the TVIS harness for TVIS).]

The remaining crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on the TVIS treadmill (FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, 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.]

22S Descent Timeline Overview:
If everything proceeds nominally, the return to Earth of the TMA-17 spacecraft tomorrow, 9/23,
will proceed along the following approximate event sequence (all times EDT):
  • ISS attitude control handover to RS --- 8:30pm;
  • ISS to free drift for undocking --- 9:31pm;
  • Undock command --- 9:32pm;
  • Separation springs action/physical sep (delta-V ~0.12 m/sec) --- 9:35pm;
  • Separation burn #1 (15 sec, ~0.63 m/sec) --- 9:38pm;
  • ISS maneuvers to Relaxation experiment attitude --- 11:48pm;
  • Deorbit Burn start (delta-V 115.2 m/sec) --- 12:04:23am;
  • Deorbit Burn complete --- 12:09:44pm;
  • Tri-Module separation (140 km alt) --- 12:29:15am;
  • ISS maneuvers to duty attitude --- 12:32am;
  • Atmospheric entry (99.5 km alt, with ~170 m/sec) --- 12:32:22am;
  • Entry Guidance start (80.5 km alt) --- 12:33:57 am;
  • Max G-load (34.5 km alt) --- 12:38:49am;
  • Parachute deploy command (10.8 km alt) --- 12:40:44am;
  • 22S Landing (DO1) --- 12:55:44am EDT; 7:55:44am Moscow DMT; 10:55:44am local Kazakhstan; (loc. 47deg 22min N, 69deg 35min E);
  • ISS attitude control handover to US --- 1:10am.
[Note: Kazakhstan time = GMT+6h; = EDT+10h. Moscow DMT = EDT+7h.]

What the Soyuz TMA-18 crew will experience during their reentry/descent tonight:
  • For the reentry, Skvortsov, Kornienko & Caldwell-Dyson will wear the Russian Kentavr anti-G suit under their Sokol suits. [The Kentavr garment is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]
  • Before descent:
    Special attention will be paid to the need for careful donning of the medical belt with sensors and securing tight contact between sensors and body.
    During preparation for descent, before atmosphere reentry, crewmembers settle down comfortably in the Kazbek couches, fasten the belts, securing tight contact between body and the seat liner in the couch.
  • During de-orbit:
    Dust particles starting to sink in the Descent Module (SA) cabin is the first indication of atmosphere reentry and beginning of G-load effect. From that time on, special attention is required as the loads increase rapidly.
    Under G-load effect during atmosphere reentry the crew expects the following experience:
    Sensation of G-load pressure on the body, burden in the body, labored breathing and speech. These are normal sensations, and the advice is to "take them coolly". In case of the feeling of a lump in the throat, this is no cause to "be nervous". This is frequent and should not be fought. Best is to "try not to swallow and talk at this moment". Crew should check vision and, if any disturbances occur, create additional tension of abdominal pressure and leg muscles (strain +abdomen by pulling in), in addition to the Kentavr anti-G suit.
    During deployment of pilot parachute (0.62 & 4.5 square meters), drogue chute (16 sq.m.) and main (518 sq.m.) chutes the impact accelerations will be perceived as a "strong snatch". No reason to become concerned about this but one should be prepared that during the parachutes deployment and change ("rehook") of prime parachute to symmetrical suspension, swinging and spinning motion of the SA occurs, which involves vestibular (middle ear) irritations.
  • It is important to tighten restrain system to fasten pelvis and pectoral arch.
    Vestibular irritation can occur in the form of different referred sensations such as vertigo, hyperhidrosis, postural illusions, general discomfort and nausea. To prevent vestibular irritation the crew should "limit head movement and eyes movement", as well as fix their sight on motionless objects.
  • Just before the landing (softened by six small rocket engines behind the heat shield):
    Crew will be prepared for the vehicle impact with the ground, with their bodies fixed along the surface of the seat liner in advance. "Special attention should be paid to arm fixation to avoid the elbow and hand squat" (instruction). Landing speed: ~9.9 m/sec.
  • After landing:
    Crew should not get up quickly from their seats to leave the SA. They were advised to stay in the couch for several minutes and only then stand up. In doing that, they should limit head and eyes movement and avoid excessive motions, proceeding slowly. Their body should not take up earth gravity in the upright position too quickly.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Coast Mts., BC, Canada (ISS passed over the southern Coast Mountains. Looking for glaciers and icefields on the summits of the mountains and in the adjacent valleys. Glaciers in the Coast Mountains have been receding for the past several decades, and detailed imagery is requested in order to assess their current extent), Wetumpka Impact Crater, AL (weather was predicted to be clear over this 6.5 km in diameter impact structure. The crater is located to the southeast of the Coosa River and is distinctive due to its lack of large agricultural fields. Overlapping nadir-viewing mapping frames of the impact crater taken along track were requested), and Yellow River Delta (the Yellow River delta is a highly dynamic geomorphic environment due to both natural processes and human-caused changes in water and land use. Overlapping mapping frames of the delta were requested to assess the current state of the shorelines and ecosystems).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:16am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 355.2 km
Apogee height – 359.7 km
Perigee height – 350.8 km
Period -- 91.65 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006655
Solar Beta Angle -- -51.6 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 105 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,894.

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-------------