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November 25, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/25/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. THANKSGIVING in the US ---- 23S Reentry Day --- Begin of Increment 26, with Scott Kelly as CDR (Congrats, Scott!).

  • Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate tonight’s Soyuz 23S departure, crew workday today shifted 8 hrs to the right: Wakeup – 9:00am; sleep – 12:30am EST (returning to “normal” tomorrow).

At day’s begin, FE-2 Skripochka 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). [Oleg will again inspect the filters before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Kelly, FE-4 Wheelock & FE-6 Walker concluded their current week-long activity with the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), 8th for Wheels & Shannon, 3rd for Scott, transferring data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. Wheels & Shannon later doffed their Actiwatches and stowed them aboard the Soyuz. [To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure during a SLEEP session, crewmembers wear 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.]

Also after wake-up, Walker & Wheelock had their last liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol, prior to eating, drinking, and brushing teeth, bringing their 2nd session to a close. [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 with 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.]

Also at wake-up, FE-2 Skripochka terminated his 4th experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/Sonokard, taking the recording device from his Sonokard sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-Med laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

The new CDR terminated his second 24-hr NUTRITION/Repository urine sample collections, with samples storing in MELFI. Scott’s next NUTRITION w/Repository will be the FD (Flight Day)120 session. [The operational products for blood & urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads were revised some time ago, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they must verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

Also at wake-up, Kelly performed another 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 (therefore, for the next sleep shift sequence RST is scheduled twice daily. 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.]

Other pre-undocking activities completed by Scott Kelly included –
  • Terminating the dry-out process on the KUBIK-6 incubator in COL EDR (Columbus Orbital Laboratory / European Drawer Rack),
  • Copying SPHINX (SPaceflight of Huvec: an Integrated eXperiment) temperature data of KUBIK-6 to EDR laptop,
  • Transferring the SPHINX temperature file from the laptop to the EDR MMU (Mass Memory Unit) for downlink,
  • Retrieving & stowing the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies, deployed by Wheels on 11/23 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground [two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow], and
  • Closed the protective window shutters of the Lab, Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and Node-3 Cupola.

With Alex Kaleri taking documentary photography, FE-4 Wheelock removed PADIAC ECs (Pathway Different Activators / Experiment Containers) from MELFI-1 (Dewar 3, Tray A, Tray Section 1-2), packed them in ESD (electrostatic discharge)-protective bubble wrap Ziploc bags and handed them over to FE-2 Skripochka for FE-5 Yurchikhin to load them on the 23S Descent Module (SA/spuskayemyy apparat).

FE-2 Skripochka activated & verified proper operation of the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment in the SM (Service Module) for taking structural dynamics data during the Soyuz departure. [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.]

FE-6 Walker meanwhile uninstalled & removed the JAXA PCG (Protein Crystal Growth) canister in the Kibo JPM and handed it over to Skripochka for Yurchikhin to stow it in 23S with the TkhN-9/KRISTALLIZATOR, photographed by Alex.

Afterwards, Yurchikhin reported “Loading Complete” to TsUP/Moscow at ~2:15pm via S-band).

Oleg 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.]

FE-2 also did 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).

At ~12:15pm, Wheelock had a last PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

Skripochka serviced the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet, downloading structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer before undocking to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

After the undocking later tonight, Oleg & Alex will –
  • Manually close the MRM1 KVD/PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve),
  • Reconfigure the Russian STTS onboard comm system to its “undocked” mode, and later, after the Soyuz landing in Kazakhstan, reset it to nominal mode,
  • Download the TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB measurement data,
  • Download the new batch of post-undocking TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” structural dynamics measurements,
  • Downlink the photo/video footage of the hatch closure event to the ground, and
  • Switch the Elektron O2 generator first to 24 Amps mode, later to 32 Amps.

During the Soyuz re-entry flight, Sasha Kaleri will be monitoring Soyuz telemetry with the Russian “Istochnik-M” (source, spring) telemetry reception & recording (SPR TMI) system in the SM, then close it down. [Istochnik-M enables the ISS to receive data telemetered from Soyuz spacecraft during return to Earth and record it on the SPR telemetry system. The equipment, including the Istochnik TM station, power amplifiers, power supply, USB software sticks and cables, captures the telemetry through the Sputnik amateur (ham) radio antenna and transfers it to a laptop display where the crew is able to immediately tell if a good separation of the three Soyuz modules occurred during Soyuz descent operations].

Preparations for tonight’s undocking begins at ~3:40pm, with the activation of the Soyuz spacecraft by Soyuz CDR Yurchikhin1 who will perform checkouts and conduct communications tests from the 23S to RGS (Russian Groundsite) via VHF (Very High Frequency).

Russian thrusters will be disabled from ~4:45pm-6:30pm due to load constraints for the removal of the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint.

Before crew ingress, FE-1 Kaleri switches the Russian STTS comm system to “undocking” mode and verifies that the onboard amateur radio stations in the SM and FGB are deactivated, to prevent radio interference with the departing spacecraft.

After Crew Farewell, Fyodor, Wheels & Shannon enter the Soyuz at ~5:10pm, covered by live PAO TV.

Next, the Soyuz CDR activates the spacecraft’s gas analyzer (GA), after which Kaleri & Skripochka inside MRM1 and Yurchikhin outside will close the Soyuz & MRM1 hatches. The departing Soyuz crew then starts the standard one-hour leak check on the Soyuz-to-Rassvet vestibule.

After attitude control authority has been handed over to the RS MCS (Motion Control System) at ~7:25pm, the ISS will go into Free Drift at 8:19pm-8:28pm for MRM1 hooks opening and Soyuz undocking at 8:22pm. Attitude control will return to US Momentum Management with CMGs (Control Moment Gyros) at ~9:30pm (no GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya”/Relaxation observations planned this time.)

The remaining crew completed today’s 2-hr. physical workout protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-2).

Reboost: A one-burn ISS reboost was performed this morning at 12:03am EST by the Progress 39P Rendezvous & Docking thrusters. Burn duration: 7 min 38 sec; delta-V: 0.92 m/s (3.02 ft/s), mean altitude gain: 1.62 km (0.87 nmi). The purpose of the reboost was to set up phasing for the ULF5 launch (currently NET 12/17) as well as for 25 Soyuz launch on 12/15. The reboost is considered a slight underburn of about 8%. Nominal is within 5%.

23S Descent Timeline Overview:
If everything proceeds nominally, the return to Earth of the TMA-18 spacecraft tonight, will proceed along the following approximate event sequence (all times EST):
  • ISS attitude control handover to RS --- 7:25pm;
  • ISS to free drift for undocking --- 8:19pm;
  • Undock command --- 8:19pm;
  • Separation springs action/physical sep (delta-V ~0.12 m/sec) --- 8:22pm;
  • ISS attitude control handover to US --- 9:30pm
  • Separation burn #1 (15 sec, ~0.63 m/sec) --- 9:38pm;
  • Deorbit Burn start (delta-V 115.2 m/sec) --- 10:54:30pm;
  • Deorbit Burn complete --- 10:58:54pm;
  • Tri-Module separation (139.8 km alt) --- 11:19:49pm;
  • ISS maneuvers to duty attitude --- 11:23pm;
  • Atmospheric entry (102.3 km alt, with ~170 m/sec) --- 11:22:47pm;
  • Entry Guidance start (80.4 km alt) --- 11:24:36pm;
  • Max G-load (33.2 km alt) --- 11:29:29pm;
  • Parachute deploy command (10.7 km alt) --- 11:31:25pm;
  • 23S Landing (DO2) --- 11:46:25pm EST; 7:46:25am Moscow DMT; 10:46:25am local Kazakhstan; (loc. 50deg 59min N, 67deg 10min E);
[Note: Kazakhstan time = GMT+6h; = EST+11h. Moscow DMT = EST+8h.]

What the Soyuz TMA-19 crew will experience during their reentry/descent tonight:
  • For the reentry, Wheelock, Walker & Yurchikhin 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 effects 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.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli (2:09pm)
12/17/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S docking (MRM1) (~3:09pm)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/17/10 -- STS-133/Discovery launchNET (not earlier than)
01/20/11 -- HTV2 launch
01/24/11 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/27/11 -- HTV2 berthing (Node-2 nadir)
01/28/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking (DC1)
02/xx/11 -- Russian EVA-28
02/15/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” launch
02/19/11 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
02/24/11 -- HTV2 unberthing (Node-2 nadir)
02/26/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” docking (SM aft)
02/27/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) launch
03/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) docking
03/11/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) undock
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 (MRM2)
--------------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 (DC1)
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 (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/04/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” undock (SM aft)
06/21/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P docking (SM aft)
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
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 (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/25/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
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 (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
03/05/12 -- Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-23/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------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-------------