April 02, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/02/10

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

Soyuz TMA-18/22S launched this morning on time at 12:04am EDT, with Exp-23 crewmembers Alexander Alexandrovich Skvortsov (Russia), Mikhail Borisovich Kornienko (Russia) and Tracy Caldwell Dyson (USA).

Flight Day 1 (4/2):
· 4/2, 12:04am EDT: Launch to Orbit, ~9 min in duration; auto deployment of solar arrays & antennas; pressurization of prop tanks and filling of Soyuz manifolds; docking probe extended; leak check by crew of BO & SA modules; KURS self tests; test of BDUS angular rate sensors (2); attitude established (OSK =LVLH); crew opens BO-SA hatch, ingresses BO and doffs Sokol suits; test of RUO rotational hand controller; Soyuz put in ISK (sun spinning/«barbecue») mode; data for DV1 & DV2 burns uplinked; SOA air purification system activated in BO and deactivated in SA; DV1 burn (3:39:44am); DV2 burn (4:38:38am); Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew clean & dry Sokols; crew sleep.

Flight Day 2 (4/2-4/3):
· Post-sleep activities; BO workstation prepared; data for DV3 burn uplinked; crew tests RUO-2 & RUD-2 rotational and translational hand controllers; DV3 attitude established by crew with hand controllers; DV3 burn executed; Soyuz back in ISK attitude; crew swaps CO2 filters in BO; crew sleep.

Flight Day 3 (4/3-4/4):
· Post-sleep activities; DV4; KURS-A heaters activated; data for automated rendezvous uplinked; crew dons Sokols; SOA deactivated in BO and activated in SA; crew ingresses SA, closes BO-SA hatch and dons harnesses for docking; DV5 burn; automated rendezvous & docking at MRM2 port via KURS-P in ISS & KURS-A in Soyuz; docking (1:28am, 4/4); pressure equalized between Soyuz and ISS; crew transfers (~3:15am).

At wake-up, CDR Oleg Kotov performed the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [CDR again inspected the filters before bedtime this morning, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-6 Creamer & FE-5 Noguchi completed another Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is performed 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. Originally planned for a total of 121 RST runs, Jeff completed 108 runs by the time of his return last week. 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.]

Spending ~3 hrs successively in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), SM (Service Module), MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2) and DC1 (Docking Compartment 1), Kotov conducted a comprehensive inspection and audit of free spaces that can be used for stowing future equipment. [Going by an uplinked list of areas of interest, Oleg made volumetric estimates in cubic decimeter, liters or CTBEs (Cargo Transfer Bag-Equivalents).]

Afterwards, the CDR set up the DZZ-13 equipment for another run of the Russian RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) science experiment, then conducted another sun-glint observation session, using the hand-held spectrometer (without use of the TIUS three-stage rate sensor) from SM window #9, later downlinking data from the RSE1 laptop and removing the hardware. [RUSALKA ops involve calibration and tests of research equipment relating to the Sun and the Earth's limb at sunset (atmosphere lighted). To be tested are the procedure for remote determination of Methane (CH4) & Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content in the atmosphere (in the First Phase), measurement of CH4 & CO2 content in the atmosphere and reception of data on NI2 and NI4 content over the territories subjected to natural and technogenic effects, reception of sufficient data on seasonal dependencies of tropospheric parameters being studied (in the Second Phase). Equipment used: Rusalka monoblock, Nikon D2X(s) digital photo camera; AF VR Nikkor ED 80-400f/4.5-5.6D lens with ultraviolet filter, bracket for attachment to the window, and Rusalka-Accessories set. Support hardware: Device TIUS/DKShG/PNSK, Laptop RSK1, and Software Package loading disk.]

FE-5 Noguchi applied detailed uplinked work instructions to perform the scheduled repair activities on the TVIS treadmill, constructing & installing a replacement for a lost TVIS retainer plate, without which the treadmill could not be used. [For the repair, Noguchi first modified the older Version -301 retainer plate, which has no IRBA (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assembly) channel, by jerry-rigging it with an IRBA channel using gray tape and reinforcement with a piece of scissors-cut piece of aluminum, then punching holes for the IRBA cords and installing the retainer plate. After photo-documenting the assembly, final step involved replacement of the TVIS skirt.]

TJ Creamer set up the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for regular service on the science payload APEX-Cambium (APXC/Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit-Cambium), then harvested Run 3D plants of the TAGES (Transgenic Arabidopsis Gene Expression System) experiment, chemically preserving the GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) reporter gene plants for post-flight analysis. [Run 3, which concluded today, has been highly successful, generating over a thousand images of green fluorescent protein expression in plants. The TAGES images are the first of their kind from micro-G, representing a huge boost in the Telescience capabilities for plant research on ISS. When completed, the APEX-Cambium payload will help in resolving two scientific questions: First, the CSA-sponsored Cambium experiment will determine the role of gravity in Cambium wood cell development (providing the pulp & paper and construction industries insight into the fundamental mechanisms of wood cell formation), and secondly, the NASA-sponsored TAGES will demonstrate non-destructive reporter gene technology & investigate spaceflight plant stress. APEX-Cambium provides NASA & the International ISS community a permanent controlled environment capability to support growth of various organisms (i.e. whole plants).]

Working afterwards in Node-3, Creamer performed the planned changeout of the WRS RFTA (Water Recovery System / Recycle Filter Tank Assembly). The old full RFTA will be returned to Earth. [Although the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) had to be stopped yesterday due to a temporary transition upset of the Node-3 HCZ MDM (Hub Control Zone / Multiplexer/Demultiplexer computer) caused by an ADA software exception when the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) tank quantity seemingly became negative (i.e., less than zero), and needed to cool down for five hours before resuming processing, the remaining six liters were successfully processed by ground commanding, rendering the RFTA ready for changeout. (ADA is a high-level programming language that supports real-time applications and incorporates modular techniques, suitable for large systems with real-time processing, such as military uses, banking and ATC (Air Traffic Control). It is named after Augusta Ada Byron (1815-52), daughter of Lord Byron.]

With the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) again running nominally, producing water from urine, Timothy performed another fill of the UPA WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly), from a Russian EDV-U (urine collector-water container), using the EDV transfer hose, instead of PTU (Pretreat Urine) T-valve, and an electric compressor.

On the MSL (Materials Science Laboratory), TJ conducted sample exchange #8, removing the CETSOL #5 sample and replacing it with a new sample, MICAST #5. [The ESA/NASA MSRR-1 (Material Science Research Rack 1) provides a powerful multi-user MSL with diverse EMs (Experiment Modules) so that many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied in micro-G to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials. MSRR experiments are coordinated by international teams that share different parts of the samples. There are 25 investigators on three research teams participating in the first of these investigations. CETSOL (Columnar-to-Equiaxed Transition in Solidification Processing) and MICAST (Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive & Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions) are two complementary material science projects to carry out research into the formation of microstructures during the solidification of metallic alloys. The goal of MICAST is to study the formation of microstructures during casting of technical alloys. In space, buoyancy convection is eliminated and the dendritic solidification of the alloys can be quantitatively studied under purely diffusive conditions. The objective of CETSOL is then to study the transition from columnar growth to equiaxed growth that occurs when crystals start to nucleate in the melt and grow independently. Results of these experiments will help to optimize industrial casting processes.]

Creamer also had a few minutes to pack a discarded EDV container in a Hefty bag and stow it in the Lab (S1) for return on the 19A MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module).

In preparation for Sunday’s Soyuz docking, TJ Creamer & Oleg Kotov set up and tested the RS (Russian Segment) video “scheme” which utilizes TV conversion on a laptop to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band of the RS video signal from the SONY HDV camera via MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM, in order to downlink “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. [The associated conversion laptop, an A31p (SSC-1) in the FGB, on which Oleg will monitor the video stream during the relocation, was later shut down by the FE-6.]

Noguchi conducted the visual T+2 Day microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the “Week 3” water samples he had collected on 3/31 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Hot and Ambient lines from each port in a small waste water bag, using the MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) and CDBs (Coliform Detection Bags).

In the US A/L (Airlock), the FE-5 replaced the QDMAs (Quick Don Mask Assemblies) of the two PHAs (Prebreathe Hose Assemblies) with other QDMAs from two PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) bags in Node-3 which have less accumulated harness inflation cycle time.

Noguchi also conducted the monthly FDS PEP (Fire Detection & Suppression/Portable Emergency Provisions) safety inspection/audit in the ISS modules, including QDMAs. [The 30-min IMS-supported inspection involves verification that PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers), PBAs, QDMAs and EHTKs (Extension Hose/Tee Kits) are free of damage to ensure their functionality, and to track shelf life/life cycles on the hardware. (There are 2 PFEs, 1 PBA, 1 QDMA, 1 EHTK in Node-1, 1 PFE, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs 2 EHTKs in Node-2, 1 PFE, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs, 1 EHTK in Node-3, 1 PFE, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs in A/L, 2 PFEs, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs, 1 EHTK in the Lab, 2 PFEs, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs in JPM, 1 PFE in JLP, and 2 PFEs, 2 PBAs, 2 QDMAs in COL.)]

Oleg Kotov went through the regular monthly session (his first) of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on nosebleed. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Soichi removed the old THC B HEPA (Temperature & Humidity Control string B High-Efficiency Particulate Air) bacteria filter and replaced it with a fresh spare retrieved from stowage in the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment), then collected a dust sample from the ventilation grille and packed it with the old HEPA filter for return on 19A.

After activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), Noguchi & Creamer joined forces in performing Round 5 of the ongoing SODI (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument) troubleshooting, today removing the cable harnesses from the SODI bottom plate and the IPU (Image Processing Unit), then packing both up for coming down with 19A. [The PD (Payload Developer) has narrowed the cause for the SODI anomaly down to the IPU or the cable harnesses, but analysis of these items cannot be performed on orbit. It is hoped that the hardware can be repaired and returned to orbit soon for service.]

The CDR performed 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).

Noguchi had another hour set aside for any remaining cargo gathering & prepacking cargo for return in the 19A MPLM “Leonardo”.

Soichi & TJ were scheduled for their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Noguchi at ~3:00am EDT and again at ~5:00pm, Creamer also at ~5:00pm.

At ~4:00am, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~1:50pm, Soichi linked up with MCC-Houston stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~3:10pm, the ISS crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. [S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC (Station Support Computer).]

The crew performed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the TVIS treadmill (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR,).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Dushanbe, Tajikistan (immediately after crossing the Pamir Mountains, the crew could see the city within the green agriculture in the Kofarnihon River valley. The mountains and agriculture were their two main visual cues), Niamey, Niger (nadir pass: the city lies on the Niger River), Lynchburg, Tennessee (looking left, beyond Wheeler Lake [on the Tennessee River] and Huntsville. Other visual cues were a thickly wooded area with a prominent boundary near the target, and a less wooded area with the target), and Nassau, Bahamas (nadir pass).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:19am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 346.9km
Apogee height – 351.2 km
Perigee height – 342.6 km
Period -- 91.47 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006349
Solar Beta Angle -- -42.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 148 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 65,155

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/04/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S docking – Skvortsov (CDR-24)/Caldwell/Kornienko ~1:28am EDT
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
04/05/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – launch 6:21:21am
04/07/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – docking 3:46am
04/16/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – undocking 4:01am
04/18/10 -- STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC – land/KSC 8:35am
04/27/10 -- Progress M-03M/35P undock
04/28/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P launch
04/30/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P docking
05/10/10 -- Progress M-04M/36P undock
05/12/10 -- Soyuz 21S relocation (FGB Nadir to SM Aft)
05/14/10 -- STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1 “Rassvet”
06/02/10 -- Soyuz TMA-17/21S undock/landing (End of Increment 23)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
06/14/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch – Wheelock (CDR-25)/Walker/Yurchikhin
06/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
06/28/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P launch
06/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P docking
07/07/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
07/23/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko)
07/26/10 -- Progress M-05M/37P undock
07/29/10 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
08/30/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
08/31/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
09/02/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
09/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
09/16/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM)
09/18/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) docking
09/22/10 -- STS-133/Discovery (ULF5 – ELC4, PMM) undock
09/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-26
10/27/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P launch
10/29/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P docking
11/26/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
12/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/15/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
12/26/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
12/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S docking
04/27/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/28/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/30/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking
05/17/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
05/31/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
06/21/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P docking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/30/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking
11/25/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
11/27/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.