Text Size

December 24, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/24/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. . Christmas Eve. Crew rest day.

>>>> 42 years ago today at ~5:00am ET in the morning, the crew of Apollo 8, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, fired the Service Module Propulsion System for 4 min 6.5 sec behind the Moon (i.e., out of our sight), beginning the first orbit (a 312 x 112 km ellipse) of their historical 10-orbit circumlunar exploration, humanity’s greatest adventure of modern times. At 9:31pm in the evening (85h 40min Mission Elapsed Time), the crew took turns in reading opening passages from Genesis: “In the beginning God created heavens and the earth.....and God saw that it was good.”<<<<

FE-4 Dmitri Kondratyev 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). [Dima will inspect the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

At wake-up, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli & FE-06 Catherine completed their second post-sleep shift session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [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.]

Kelly, Skripochka, Kaleri, Kondratyev, Nespoli & Coleman completed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough cleaning of their home, including COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM (Service Module) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

As part of the uborka house cleaning, Alex, Oleg & Dmitri conducted regular maintenance inspection & cleaning of fan screens in the FGB (TsV2) plus the BMP Harmful Contaminants Removal System grille and Group E fan grilles (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP) in the SM (Service Module).

Skripochka 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, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

Scott Kelly supported the BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) payload in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by resetting the Intervalometer of the D2Xs camera from 10 min to 60 min (number of intervals: 144), then performed the periodic camera setup status check on the running BCAT-5, now on Sample 3. [The checkup includes image transfer, camera battery and camera/flash position. It is scheduled daily starting at Initiation+1 day during automated photography. Pictures will now be taken automatically of Sample 3 for the next 144 hrs (6 days).]

Nespoli unstowed and prepared the equipment for his first sessions of the medical protocol Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), with controlled diet and diet logging after the urine pH spot test. Paolo will begin with the urine sampling for pH value on 12/26.

Coleman meanwhile set up the gear for her 24-hr urine collections, starting also on 12/26. [For Pro K, there will be five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day. The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings.]

Working in “his” Soyuz TMA-20/25S, Kondratyev performed troubleshooting on the GA/gas analyzer in the SA/Descent Module, checking connections and replacing a blown fuse with a spare from the BRUS spare parts kit. [The activity was to determine why the SA gas analyzer blows power line fuses.]

Scott Kelly set up a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop, transferring it with its power brick/cabling and 1553 data cable from COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to support the MELFI freezers. After checking the laptop out for proper function, Scott used it to perform health checks on MELFI-2 & MELFI-3 via the PCS displays.

At ~8:05am EST, the three Russian flight engineers conducted the regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week's "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners), via S-band/audio, reviewing upcoming activities and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

At ~9:30am, Alex, Dima & Oleg supported a PAO TV event, downlinking New Year messages of greetings & well-wishing to (1) the participants of the Russian National President’s Christmas Tree celebration, hosted by the Kremlin State Palace on 12/26, this year centered around the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight; (2) the participants of the New Year’s meeting of Moscow Mayor Sergey Semionovich Sobianin with Muscovites who distinguished themselves by outstanding achievements in various areas of life; and (3) the TV Channel Podmoskovye’s New Year’s session, with the TV crew assembled at TsUP/Moscow for a session with Expedition 26 Russian crew members.

At ~10:40am, Oleg Skripochka had 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).

Before doing his exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer, Paolo Nespoli checked out the device to adjust it to his height. [There were two options: first trying it with the seat-back adjusted for recumbent position, or alternately by moving CEVIS by two seat tracks (bottom seat track adapters from the 6th to the 4th track from the deck.]

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, FE-4). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

SPDM Demonstration: The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator “Dextre” has for the first time been taken through a series of ground-commanded maneuvers without crew involvement to demonstrate its powerful capability to accomplish tasks that once could only be done with EVA. [First, the SPDM arm 1 grappled the CTC-3/FRAM (Cargo Transport Container 3/Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism)’s micro fixture and released it from ELC2 (Express Logistics Carrier 2) site 1. FRAM was then maneuvered from the ELC and attached to the SPDM's EOTP (Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform). Next day, FRAM was released from the EOTP and placed back on ELC2 site 2 after several cycles of unfastening and re-aligning. The planned OTCM (ORU Tool Changeout Mechanism) umbilical checkout was deferred due to time shortage until after the Holiday break. The starboard HRS radiator survey that was previously deferred is now planned for 12/29 (Wednesday). This activity is being performed in preparation for the planned SPDM ops to unload cargo from HTV-2 in February. This is truly a remarkable achievement, CSA!]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were Woollya Cove, Chile (HMS Beagle Site. Looking to the right of track for Woollya Cove in Tierra del Fuego. Charles Darwin visited the Cove in 1833. Overlapping frames of the Cove and surrounding area were requested), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS Beagle Site. ISS had a nadir-viewing pass over Ascension Island. Trees on the island are the result of planting by the Royal Navy begun in 1850 - making Ascension Island one of the first experiments in human ecosystem manipulation. Overlapping mapping frames of the island were requested; some cloud cover may have been present), and Villarrica Volcano, Chile (looking to the left of track for the glacier-clad Villarrica Volcano. Villarrica is one of Chile's most active volcanoes - the most recent activity occurred in November 2010. Oblique imagery of the volcano will be a useful compliment to nadir-viewing imagery).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
01/13/11 -- ISS Reboost Pt. 2
01/20/11 -- HTV2 launch
01/21/11 -- Russian EVA-27
01/24/11 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/27/11 -- HTV2 berthing (Node-2 zenith)
01/28/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking (DC1)
02/03/11 -- STS-133/Discovery launch – 1:37:36 am EST
02/04/11 -- STS-133/Discovery docking – ~9:43pm
02/11/11 -- STS-133/Discovery undock – 4:42pm
02/13/11 -- STS-133/Discovery land (KSC) – ~8:41pm
02/21/11 -- 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)
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-------------
04/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) launch – ~3:15am --- NET
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-------------

To send holiday greetings to the crew and get more information about the space station, visit