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February 21, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 02/21/12

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

After breakfast, FE-1 Shkaplerov performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-6 Pettit had Day 2 of his 3rd (FD60) suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period. After recording his diet input today, Don will begin the urine collections for pH value on Thursday (2/23) and blood sampling on Friday (2/24). [For Pro K, there are 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 (science sessions are often referred to by Flight Day 15, 30, 60, etc. However, there are plus/minus windows associated with these time points so a “Flight Day 15” science session may not actually fall on the crewmember’s 15th day on-orbit). The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. On Days 4 & 5, 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.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), CDR Burbank serviced the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6) by replacing the BCAT-6 battery early in the morning with a fresh one and repeating the replacement about 8 hrs later. [The NIKON D2Xs with EarthKAM software running on an SSC laptop takes automated flash photography controlled by the software, photographing Sample 4 once every two hours for seven days. Crew performs three camera battery changes and a camera check each day. The camera battery changes are scheduled to be performed approximately every 8 hours per Mike Fossum’s recommendation during past BCAT-6 activities.]

FE-2 Ivanishin, with FE-4 Kononenko assisting, completed the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 (carbon dioxide) removal system’s spare AVK emergency vacuum valves, in the spare parts kit.   [The AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh's vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).]

Anton Shkaplerov configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h5m session, his 3rd, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure.  Oleg took documentary photographs.  The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

FE-5 Kuipers initiated charging on one, later on a second MAKITA power tool battery for the use of the fiberscope light source during tomorrow’s scheduled major CFA (Cabin Fan Assembly) cleaning activity.

Also in preparation for the upcoming CFA cleaning, André relocated stowage CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) from the D1 rack front in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to make room, then retrieved and pre-gathered tools and accessories required for the CFA 1,2 and ventilation duct inspection and cleaning.

In Node-3, FE-5 performed routine maintenance on the WRS (Water Recovery System), first changing out the TOCA WWB (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer Waste Water Bag), then taking water samples for analysis in the TOCA, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose with water from the WOPA (Water Processor Assembly) and buffer solution from the TOXCA Buffer Container. [The priming was necessary due to the bag sample running out of water during analysis from the PWD TOCA analysis on 2/15. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

The WRS routine maintenance by André included filling its PWR (Payload Water Reservoir) with iodinated water from the WPA to assist with water balance, using the H2O transfer common hose.

Later, FE-5 also performed the periodic leak check on RFTA #2 (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly 2).

After reviewing background material on the CSAC (Chip-Scale Atomic Clock) installation for the upcoming SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellites) test sessions, Don Pettit attached a reference clock to an ER (EXPRESS Rack) and then powered on the referenced clock and two SPHERES CSACs.     [The clocks need to be powered for at least 2 weeks prior to their use in an upcoming SPHERES test session.  An atomic clock uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave, optical or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms.  The most accurate time and frequency standards known, they are used for international time distribution services, to control the wave frequency of television broadcasts and in global navigation systems such as GPS.  CSACs represent the latest development of these atomic timekeeping systems.]

Later, Pettit set up the USND (Ultrasound) with video camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter), then placed reference markers on the thigh and calf of his right leg and donned the SPRINT thigh and calf guides with Dan Burbank’s assistance. Next, Don performed a SPRINT leg scan with remote guidance from ground teams, his 3rd (FD60). [SPRINT (Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study) evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in ISS crewmembers during long-duration missions.]

Shkaplerov & Kononenko joined up for testing and brushing up on Soyuz 28S & Soyuz 29S communications. [Steps included checking hard-line comm between ISS and both docked spacecraft, VHF-2 from each Soyuz separately to RGS (Russian Ground Sites), VHF-2 Simplex Mode between the two docked spacecraft with S-band & SM VHF-1, verifying MCC-Houston Public Call configuration, and returning to nominal STTS stage comm with no Shuttle docked.]

Anton & Anatoly worked in the SM on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), first unstowing, inspecting and pre-assembling new components (Flywheel Case, Transfer Case and Motor Box), then unbolting and removing the exercise machine from its “pit” in the SM deck and stowing it temporarily pending major upcoming IFM (Inflight Maintenance), scheduled tomorrow and Thursday.

After the TVIS removal, FE-2 Ivanishin retrieved the BP power supply for the SKV1 air conditioner from underneath the treadmill and stowed it temporarily.

Oleg meanwhile prepared for ISS data downlinking using the Russian RSPI Data Transmission Radio Link by first archiving specific data files on the RSK1 laptop and then transferring the archived files to RSS1 laptop for RSPI downlink.     [The downlink sessions are scheduled between 2/29 and 3/2.]

Kononenko also conducted his first onboard session of the Russian MedOps assessment MO-12, (“Study of the Veins in the Lower Extremities”), using the KARDIOMED (Cardiomed) complex with orthogonal leads which Oleg Kotov had installed in the SM in February 2010. [After loading the RSE-med laptop with the Cardiomed software, Oleg set up the equipment, which involves KARDIOMED-TsB, KARDIOMED-KP, KARDIOMED-PMO and KARDIOMED-KRM assemblies with ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes in a HOLTER monitor harness, a PLETISMOGRAF (Plethysmograph) instrument with calf measuring cuff, pneumatic hose, thigh occlusion cuff, hand pump & valve, and a DOPPLER complex. A Plethysmograph (sometimes called a “body box”) is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or the whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains).]

With its battery freshly charged overnight, FE-4 Kononenko installed & started the equipment of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9 for another run, using it to observe the Earth surface and atmosphere at terminator crossing (11:00am-11:20am EST). Later, Oleg dismantled the equipment again and dumped the data from Laptop 3 via the RSS1 terminal.   [By means of the GFI-1 UFKFialka-MV-Kosmos” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and SONY HVR-Z7 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.]

Spending ~2h 30m in Node-3, André Kuipers cleaned IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) systems such as the Stbd Aft IMV fan, inlet silencer and air duct inlet screens (not the outlet silencer at this time), after taking documentary photographs for subsequent downlink via SSC-20 (Station Support Computer 20).

FE-1 Shkaplerov performed 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.]

Anton also took care of 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).

In Node-3, Don Pettit reloaded the PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop with new R14.010 software image from a DVD (#1580).

Working on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), Don removed two MWA (Maintenance Work Area) pip pins from the machine’s main arm and installed Lift Bar Slide Track pip pins instead.  The removed pins were returned to the MWA.

In the Lab, the CDR completed the IFM on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Bay S3 begun on 2/13 to restore the MDCA (Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus) Avionics Package, by opening the combustion chamber front end cap, removing the temporarily installed “boot selector” inside the combustion chamber and closing up again.  Burbank then uninstalled & removed the three protective alignment guides from the rack, engaged the snubber pins and locked the safety pins to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be active before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.       [Background: On 1/19, CIR was unable to establish communication with the MDCA Avionics Package, i.e., the software controller for the MDCA CIA (Chamber Insert Assembly). It appeared that the MDCA boot parameters were corrupted, as has happened before in 2009 (8/12). As permanent solution, new firmware was installed onto the MDCA Avionics Package. The firmware is a “boot loader” that self-checks for corrupt boot parameters and reloads them as necessary to ensure successful booting every time.]

In preparation for maintenance work on the COL D1 rack scheduled tomorrow (replacement of Knee Braces), Burbank pre-gathered & readied a spare K-BAR (Knee Brace Assembly Replacement) from stowage.

The CDR also finished up cleaning out the endcone area of the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) to enable creation of a trash staging area prior to Progress loading.

Before using the ARED for his exercise session, Dan performed the routine inspection of its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) rails and rollers.      [Yesterday, the crew replaced the new-style rope with a previously used old-style Vectran exercise rope. This rope will be inspected prior to each exercise session to confirm its integrity.]

Burbank also completed a ~2h audit/inventory of the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) components kits and PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) cards on orbit.      [New/Complete HRM component kits (containing watch, chest strap, and transmitter) remain as kits.  Non-completed kits were to be divided into the following as spares: one ziplock of transmitters, one of watches, and one of Chest straps.  The spares were all stowed in a single Ziplock.  All empty HRM Component Kits were staged for Trash, and all stowed HRM hardware was stowed in a CTB.]

Anton Shkaplerov performed more troubleshooting on the SEP (Electric Power System) Channel B Power Controller in the SM, using a new test procedure for continuity checks on the SEP Power Controller on channel B which now focuses on the four Russian SNT-50MP power converter boxes under the TVIS in the SM. [This continues the investigation of the as-yet unresolved uncommanded triggering of the SEPV telemetry parameter (which deactivates the SEP Power Controller on channel B).]

Ivanishin swapped smoke detectors in the DC1 Docking Comopartment, removing three IDZ-2 detectors and replacing them with the newer model IDZ-3, supported by ground specialist tagup as required.

Next, Anatoly performed periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), verifying proper function of the radiation detectors by taking readings from the LULIN-5 electronics box located in the MRM1 Rassvet module near the spherical “phantom”. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (A21, A22, A27, A28, A33, A34, A35, A36) are deployed in the RS. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Continuing the current round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, FE-2 spent an hour cleaning the V3 fan screens in the MRM2 Poisk module.

Burbank had another time slot reserved for making entries in his electronic Journal on the personal SSC (Station Support Computer). [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep, the CDR will turn on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and start the Ku-band data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, Dan will turn MPC routing off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

Before sleeptime, Pettit will close the protective window shutters in the Lab, Node-3/Cupola and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) in preparation for ground-commanded SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) and SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) activities tonight and tomorrow night to perform surveys of the FGB.

FE-1, FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, André at ~7:45 am, Oleg at ~9:15am, Anatoly at ~11:25am, Anton at ~12:20pm EST.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4).   

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:55am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 390.2 km
Apogee height – 404.2 km
Perigee height – 376.1 km
Period -- 92.36 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0020713
Solar Beta Angle -- 4.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 49 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 75,981
Time in orbit (station) -- 4841 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4128 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
03/09/12 -- ATV3 launch --- 5:00pm EST
03/18/12 -- ATV3 docking --- ~9:31pm EST
04/19/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
04/20/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P launch
04/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P docking
04/30/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon launch (target date)
05/03/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon berthing  (target date)
xx/xx/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon unberth
04/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov (target date)
05/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docking (MRM2) (target date)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/01/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
11/03/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/05/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/26/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
12/28/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/19/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/02/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------