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October 07, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/07/10

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

At wake-up, 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 10/19/09 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.]

FE-5 then closed down the overnight retranslation run of the Kenwood D700 “Sputnik” amateur radio station in the SM (Service Module) for the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment. [Objective of the experiment is the automatic relay/retranslation of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions. This is the experiment’s third run, after FE Yuri Malenchenko conducted it for the second time on Exp-16 in November 2007, preceded by Mikhail Tyurin on Exp-14 in November 2006.]

After wakeup, CDR Wheelock & FE-6 Walker performed a new session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-6 Walker set up the G1 video camcorder for downlinking coverage of her activities live with audio commentary via MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter), then serviced the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) payload for Sample 6 & 7 operations. [Today’s steps involved homogenizing Sample 6 for long-term crystal observation, checking for crystals, then photographing the sample manually using the EarthKAM DCS 760 digital camera and initiating automatic photography using the Intervalometer and KODAK Camera Manager instead of the currently failed EarthKAM application. The sample is now being photographed automatically with electronic flash every hour for 21 days, and the pictures are downlinked via OCA during nominal OCA downlink sessions.]

Later, still in the JAXA JPM, Shannon used the G1 camera & SSC5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop, relocated from the Lab, to run the GUI (Graphic User Interface) for commanding a new 3.5 hrs test session (#24) of the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) research program. Today’s session focused on fluid slosh, thruster fault recovery, human interaction, and decentralized control. [SPHERES was originally developed to demonstrate the basics of formation flight and autonomous docking, using beacons as reference for the satellites, to fly formation with or dock to the beacon. A number of programs define various incremental tests including attitude control (performing a series of rotations), attitude-only tracking, attitude and range tracking, docking with handheld and mounted beacons, etc. The payload consists of up to three self-contained 8-inch dia. free-floating satellites which perform the various algorithms (control sequences), commanded and observed by the crew members which provide feedback to shape algorithm development. Each satellite has 12 thrusters and a tank with CO2 for propellant. In addition, there are 5 beacons, one beacon tester and a seat track extender for Beacon 5. The first tests, in May 2006, used only one satellite (plus two beacons – one mounted and one hand-held); a second satellite arrived on ULF1.1, the third on 12A.1. Formation flight and autonomous docking are important enabling technologies for distributed architectures.]

For ground monitoring of the Soyuz TMA-01M rendezvous & docking on Saturday, 10/9, Wheelock connected the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) power bypass cable at the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation) for capturing external video coverage with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) camera system.

Next, Wheels & Yurchikhin set up the Ku-band video “scheme” for a communications test of converting the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from FGB & SM, for downlinking “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. [For the test, Doug configured the SSC-1 (Station Support Computer 1) A31p laptop in the FGB and activated the VWS (Video Streaming Workstation) laptop for both the conversion and the “streaming” MPEG2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoding, with Fyodor running the video test from the RS.]

Wheels also performed troubleshooting on the IWIS RSU (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System Remote Sensor Unit) which had a communication failure yesterday during ground-commanded programming for the 24S docking. The programming will be performed today.

After installing the 4 PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab to protect the rack from external loading (dynamic disturbances), the CDR had ~3h20m for working on the CIR’s FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) to install the new PACE (Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment) hardware. [PACE is a Technology experiment, designed to investigate the capability of conducting high magnification colloid experiments with the LMM for determining the minimum size particles which can be resolved. Today’s activity steps included opening the rack doors (after checking on touch temperatures), rotating the LMM SBA (Light Microscopy Module Spindle Bracket Assembly) from the Operate to Service position and removing the CVB (Constrained Vapor Bubble) Module from the LMM X-Y Stage. PACE was then installed onto the X-Y stage in preparation for testing, the SBA rotated back to Operate, the upper & lower FCF doors were closed, and POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) was notified that the rack was ready for RPC (Remote Power Controller) activation.]

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), the CDR serviced the BLB (Biolab), removing the medium cartridges that were used as thermal loads for TCUs (Thermal Control Units) 1 & 2 ground testing. Next activity will involve precooling in preparation for receiving samples of the ESA/Swiss experiment PADIAC (Pathway Different Activators). [PADIAC will study activation of T-cells (mature white blood cells from the thymus gland) in microgravity to improve the knowledge of the immune system.]

Activities completed by FE-5 Yurchikhin included –
  • Doing 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),
  • Conducting 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],
  • Starting a new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, today performing a 2.5-hr inspection & cleaning session of Group A ventilator fans and grilles in the SM (Service Module),
  • Completing routine maintenance on the KN1(2) and KV1(2) valves of the SM Rodnik tanks, to prevent their failure during the long-term water stowage. Each of the four valves was activated twice (On/Off) from the IKR (Rodnik Control System Indicator) panel, and
  • Performing 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), PrK–Progress, DC1–Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Continuing the on-going installation of the Sabatier reactor in the OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) rack in Node-3, Doug Wheelock today removed two protective panels from the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) rack volume in order to make room for Sabatier.

Doug then re-installed the T2/COLBERT handrail which had been temporarily removed by Shannon Walker earlier to clear working space, and also performed the periodic inspection of the rack’s limit barriers called “snubbers”.

Later, Wheels completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) 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. [WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC water audit. [The current card (25-0001) lists 122 CWCs (2,778.1 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 (4 CWCs with 171.8 L, of which 1 bag with 42.5 L is to be used with microbial filter & 129.3 L in 3 bags are good for contingency use; 3. iodinated water (84 CWCs with 1,548.2 L for reserve; 4. condensate water (37.7 L in 2 bags, 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.]

At 1:50m EDT, Doug conducted another VHF-1 emergency communications proficiency check over NASA’s VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today with the VHF site at Dryden (1:56:31pm-2:03:45pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator), Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom), EUROCOM/Munich and JCOM/Tsukuba in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the USOS ATUs (Audio Terminal Units). [Purpose of the periodic test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, improve crew proficiency, and ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).]

Walker filled out her weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) 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.]

Before sleeptime, Shannon also sets up the equipment for the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) Vascular Blood Collection protocol scheduled tomorrow. [Samples will be spun in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS), after recording the blood tube bar codes.]

At ~4:15am, Fyodor Yurchikhin held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~4:30am Yurchikhin linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly RS IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~3:55pm, Shannon is scheduled for his 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).

The crew worked out on the 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-5).

TVIS Failure: Yesterday at the start of the speed characterization test of the TVIS 6-months maintenance activity, the TVIS gyroscope failed to spin up on activation. Subsequent troubleshooting activities have not yet resolved the problem as of this morning. Without gyro, TVIS is No-Go for exercise due to stability issues. Crew was asked to power the treadmill down and transfer data from its PC memory card to the MEC for downlink to the ground for analysis.

Soyuz TMA-01M/24S Launch Preparations: At the Baikonur/Kazakhstan launch site, preparations continue for tonight’s launch of Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft (7:11pm EDT). The crew, complementing the EXP-25 station crew, will be Soyuz CDR/ISS-24/25 FE-1 Alexander Yurievich Kaleri, Soyuz FE/ISS FE-3/Exp-26 CDR Scott J. Kelly & ISS-25/26 FE-2 Oleg Ivanovich Skripochka. [Soyuz TMA-01M is the first of the new breed of Soyuz vehicles, looking unchanged from the outside but having the old computer and analog parts replaced by digital avionics. Instead of the traditional triply-redundant Argon-16 guidance computer, in use since 1974, the TMA-M type carries the new TsVM-101 CPU (Central Processing Unit)/computer. Also, five analog processors for monitoring spacecraft systems, each with its own telemetry transmitter, have been replaced with a single new unit called MBITS. This allows rapid pre-launch testing of the spacecraft instead of the previous time-consuming checkouts of each system separately, which in turn allows a doubling of the launch rate. In all, the upgrade replaced 36 old devices with 19 new ones of higher performance, lower mass and reduced power consumption, most of which have been flight-tested several times on Progress cargo ships. The new TsVM/CPU, along with modernized color displays in the cockpit, allows the new Soyuz to be flown by a single professional pilot, instead of two fully trained crewmembers.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Khartoum, Sudan (capital city. Looking right of track towards the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers. The dark lines of the rivers in the light-toned desert landscape were the visual cues), Nouakchott, Mauritania (some clouds may have been present at the time of this overpass of this capital city. Located on the western African coastline, Nouakchott is one of the largest cities in the Sahara. Looking right of track and taking overlapping mapping frames of the urban and adjacent rural areas. Once past Nouakchott, looking south of track and towards the coast for a dust plume that was currently visible in the satellite imagery. Looking for the edge and extent of the plume. Peoria High School in Arizona is participating in a NASA funded program, Expedition Earth and Beyond, and they have requested dust storm images), and Kilauea Volcano, HI (ISS had a nadir-viewing pass over Kilauea Volcano. The volcano has been active recently; plumes of steam and ash may be visible. Overlapping mapping frames of the volcano were requested).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:47am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 353.9 km
Apogee height – 359.1 km
Perigee height – 348.7 km
Period -- 91.62 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007684
Solar Beta Angle -- -5.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 134 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 68,113.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/07/10 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka – 7:10:55pm EDT
10/09/10 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S docking – ~8:02pm
--------------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-------------
12/13/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/20/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
01/24/11 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/28/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/xx/11 -- Russian EVA-28
02/15/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” launch
02/27/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/20/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R.Garan/A.Samokutayev
03/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S 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/11 -- Russian EVA-29
05/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/27S 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-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-23/28S 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-22/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/29S 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-23/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
03/28/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-24/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-26/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-26/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/09/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-27/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O. Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/25/12 – Soyuz TMA-27/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-26/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-28/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-28/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-27/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/34S launch.
03/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-29/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------