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

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

At wake-up, CDR Skvortsov performed the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator which Maxim Suraev had installed on 10/19/09 in gaps between the BZh Liquid Unit and the oxygen outlet pipe (filter FA-K) plus hydrogen outlet pipe (filter FA-V). [The CDR will inspect the filters again before bedtime, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson, FE-4 Doug Wheelock & FE-6 Shannon Walker continued the current week-long session of the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Tracy’s 5th, 1st for Wheels & Shannon, transferring data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor his/her sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmember wears 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.]

Later in the day, Walker swapped the Lithium battery in her SLEEP Actiwatch, downloaded its accumulated data to the HRF PC1, initialized the Actiwatch, then decabled & stowed the hardware and turned off the laptop.

Also at wake-up, Wheelock & Walker conducted another run of the 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. 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.]

The CDR initiated another experiment session with the KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload by activating the turbopump in the MRM2 “Poisk” module for keeping the vacuum chamber (EB) evacuated (he will deactivate it again before sleeptime, at ~5:25pm EDT). Later, after configuring the STTS comm system for his stay in Poisk, Alex conducted experiment ops in automatic mode, then closed the session out, copying & downloading data from the hard drive, followed by downlink to the ground via OCA from USB stick. Vacuum and KKT2 valves were to be left open after turbopump deactivation. [Main objective of PK-3+ is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles. Today’s research was performed in succession with particles of various sizes. Main focus is on the study of the relaxation process in dust (complex) plasma at constant argon pressure: 100 Pa (Pascal) & RF-SP 500; 20 Pa & RF-SP 200, using various ways to “deactivate” plasma (using low frequency alternating current electric field, lowering power level, etc.).]

FE-5 Yurchikhin terminated his 2nd 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.]

Fyodor also serviced the CO2 Differential Gas Analyzer (GA TP2286) of the Russian Vozdukh CO2 removal system in the SM (Service Module), which Oleg Kotov had replaced on 4/21, “baking out” its sorbent material several times during the day by activating heater elements from the PU COA Atmosphere Purification System control panel.

FE-6 Walker completed Part 2 of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol by downloading the data from the acoustic dosimeters worn during the last 24 hours by Caldwell-Dyson, Skvortsov & Kornienko (with a microphone on the shirt collar), then stowed the instruments. [Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.]

Afterwards, Shannon broke out and set up the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware with Thermolab, left deployed in a temporary stow configuration on 7/1 by Wheels, and then had several hours to perform her first session of the VO2Max assessment, assisted by Tracy and recorded on video. Later, Shannon downloaded experiment data, then tore down and put away the hardware. [The experiment VO2Max uses the PPFS, CEVIS cycle, PFS gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol comprises 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 250-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cooldown period follows at the 25% load. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Yurchikhin, assisted by FE-3 Kornienko, took the periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 (“Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest”) on exercise equipment, his first session. [Equipment used was VPG/Temporal Pulsogram and 8-channel ECG/Electrocardiogram Data Output Devices (USI). The tests took place during RGS (Russian Groundsite) overflight windows (at 5:38am) via VHF for data downlink from the VPG and Gamma-1M ECG for about 5-6 minutes.]

FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson once again serviced the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), now for the new SPU (Sample Processing Unit) #11, installed yesterday. [Task steps included inspecting, activating & checking the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), followed by closing the vacuum vent valve after the first of 4 vacuum draws on the sample chamber. Next, the SPU water valve was opened for a while to initiate unattended vacuum prep. The third vacuum vent was then started, to be stopped after ~90 min. Vacuum vent #4 will then be started later in the day, to run overnight, after again letting the water line vent into the work volume for a while.]

Tackling their main job of today, Tracy & Doug worked several hours on Part 1 of the installation of the new desiccant/sorbent Bed #201 (in rear) in the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) in AR-1 (Atmosphere Revitalization Rack 1), currently temporarily residing in Node-3. [Since none of the AR-1’s umbilicals are mated, no safing was required. Wheels & Tracy moved the WHC Kabin to access the CDRA frame, later put the Kabin back and worked on the frame, removing all component groups to gain access to the Bed 201 location. After installing Bed 201, the component groups were replaced in part and the CDRA stowed temporarily. In Part 2, scheduled tomorrow, any remaining component groups will be restored, the CDRA will be installed in AR-1 and utilities will be mated.]

Misha Kornienko completed a major IFM (In-flight Maintenance) in the FGB by removing a failed Blok 800A storage battery (#2) and its BUPT-2 current converter control unit, replacing them with new spares. [Each of the 800A batteries has its own ZRU charge/discharge unit, which tracks 49 battery parameters and is designed to increase the operating life of the battery by setting up charging and discharging modes. Each ZRU is comprised of one battery current converter (PTAB), one PTAB control unit (BUPT), and three charge/discharge current integrators (MIRT-3). The ZRU charge/discharge unit #2 was deactivated by TsUP/Moscow beforehand and later reactivated. Battery #2 is currently being conditioned in Cycle mode. This restores the full set of six FGB batteries to operation.]

Alexander & Mikhail again had several hours set aside for unloading Progress 38P and transferring its cargo to the ISS for stowage, while updating the IMS (Inventory management System) with BCR (Bar Code Reader).

Afterwards, Skvortsov & Yurchikhin investigated the manually controlled TORU teleoperated rendezvous & docking system, taking it through a test program designed to investigate the root cause of the Progress docking abort event on 7/2. The “intermodular test with mated Progress” was conducted in two parts,- one without the Klest television system, on DO15 (6:40am-7:20am EDT), the second with Klest activated, on DO3 (11:20am-12:00pm).

In the Lab, Wheelock worked on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), removing the lock-down alignment guides (4) on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) to allow activation of the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) by ground operations requiring a micro-G environment. [The guides protected against possible dynamic disturbances during the undocking/redocking.]

Later, Doug conducted the periodic status check & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) payload in the Lab.

After Wheelock had moved the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) from Node-2 to COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and installed it at loc. A2, followed by retrieving Genara-A (Gravity Regulated Genes in Arabidopsis A) experiment hardware from stowage, Caldwell-Dyson took over, preparing the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) for experiment operation. [Tracy manually opened the EMCS gas valves (required 24 hrs before EMCS power-up by ground commanding), prepared 4 EMCS ECs (Experiment Containers) for Genara culture chambers (four for each EC) and replaced two RECs (Reference ECs) on Rotor A and two RECs on Rotor B with ECs to perform the experiment. Background: Genara-A, a collaborative effort between COL-CC (Columbus Control Center/Oberpfaffenhofen) and POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville), seeks to provide an understanding of microgravity-induced altered molecular activities which will help to find plant systems that compensate the negative impact on plant growth in space, an aspect of special importance for the application of plant based systems in life support systems or as food source for long-duration space flights beyond low Earth orbit. Genara-A addresses the existence of gravity regulated genes, which affect the mechanism of gravisensing and the redistribution of plant growth hormones. For this purpose the growth of Arabidopsis will be followed by optical observation of 1g reference samples and samples grown under microgravity. In transgenic Arabidopsis plants, several biomonitors will report the distribution of IAA (Indole-3-Acetic Acid, a plant hormone auxin) and ABA (Abscisic Acid, a plant hormone) at the tissue level in microgravity or in the 1-g centrifuge. Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress), is one of the model organisms used for studying plant biology and the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced. Changes in thale cress are easily observed, making it a very useful model.]

In MRM1 Rassvet, Skvortsov serviced the running experiment “Identifikatsiya” (TEKh-22/Identification), downloading structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. (Last time done: 6/29).

Sasha also conducted 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), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Following a ground request to check an MLU (Module Lighting Unit) at loc. Ovhd F2 in COL, Doug Wheelock found nothing wrong or amiss with the GLA (General Luminaire Assembly) at this time, both with its LHA (Lamp Housing Assembly) and BBA (Baseplate Ballast Assembly).

After recharging the battery for the SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder for the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment, Fyodor assembled & installed the payload hardware and later conducted the measurement session from SM Service Module) window #9 at a specific time (10:15am-10:20am), recording atmospheric radiation spectra. Afterwards, the equipment was taken down and stowed. [Using the GFI-1 UFKFialka” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment is designed for spectral observations of the Earth atmosphere and surface, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. Today’s thunderstorm measurements involved UV-range measurement of formations radiation during global electro-magnetic processes in the upper atmosphere. “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.]

The CDR did the daily IMS 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).

FE-5 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-4 & FE-6 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Shannon at ~12:45pm, Wheels at ~2:25pm EDT.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-4, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2, FE-4,) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-3, FE-5). [T2 currently must undergo a snubber inspection between exercise sessions.]

CEO Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Yellow River Delta (the Yellow River has a dynamic delta system in eastern China on the Bo Sea. ISS approach to this target area was from the SW in late afternoon light with partly cloudy weather expected. Looking nadir for this target and continue the documentation of changes in this feature), Kabul, Afghanistan (weather was predicted to be clear over this capital city of nearly three million. As ISS tracked over northeastern Afghanistan at this time, the crew was to look just right of track for this. The city is situated in a narrow valley between the Hindu Kush Mountains and the Kabul River. Overlapping mapping frames of the urban area were requested), Baku, Azerbaijan (the capital city of Azerbaijan is located in the extreme eastern part of the country and situated on the south side of the Abseron Peninsula which juts into the southeastern Caspian Sea. ISS approach was from the SW in late afternoon with fair weather. As the crew approached the coast of the Caspian Sea, they were to look just left of track for this city of over 2 million), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (Ascension has a history of association with space-based activities – particularly as a communications and satellite-tracking hub. Scattered clouds may have been present in the vicinity of island on this early afternoon pass. There were no visual cues for this small, remote feature as ISS approached from the SW, so at this specific time the crew was to look slightly to the right of track to try and spot the island. Overlapping mapping frames of the island were requested), Athens, Greece (the capital of Greece is an ancient city that dominates the south coast of region known as Attica in the southeastern part of the mainland. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in fair weather over this sprawling urban area of more than 3 million. As the crew tracked over southern Greece from the SW, they were to look just left of track for this target), Algiers, Algeria (the Algerian capital is located on the Mediterranean coast of this north-African nation. On this mid-afternoon pass tracking over the sea, looking just right track for this target. With a population of 2 to 3 million, the city is also known as "Algiers the White" due to its abundance of white buildings. Short lens views of the urban area and surroundings provide context for higher resolution imagery), and La Paz, Bolivia (the Bolivian capital city is located in the western part of the country, less than 50 miles southeast of Lake Titicaca. La Paz as has population of 1 to 2 million and is the world’s highest capital city, at over 10,000 feet elevation. As the station approached the Andes from the SW at midday and fair skies, the crew was to look nadir for this target).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 4:31am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 352.4 km
Apogee height – 359.3 km
Perigee height – 345.5 km
Period -- 91.59 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010217
Solar Beta Angle -- 30.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 30 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 66,664

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
07/26/10 -- Russian EVA-25 (Yurchikhin/Kornienko) – MRM1 outfitting (~11:25pm-5:25am)
08/05/10 -- US EVA-15 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
08/17/10 -- US EVA-16 (Caldwell/Wheelock)
09/07/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P undock
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/08/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka
10/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S docking
--------------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“target”
11/10/10 -- Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 – Russian EVA-27
11/26/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/10/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/12/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/15/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
12/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-28
12/26/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
12/27/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
12/29/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/02/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) ~4:19pm EDT“target”
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/24S undock/landing (End of Increment 26)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S launch – A. Borisienko (CDR-28)/R, Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/26S 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
05/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/31/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-23/27S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
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
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-22/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-24/28S launch
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-24/28S 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-23/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S launch
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-25/29S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock