September 01, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/01/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. More catching up on Science!

Upon wake-up, FE-2 Caldwell-Dyson & FE-4 Wheelock completed another session with 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.]

CDR Skvortsov had 2h 50m reserved for undertaking his 5th onboard session with the Russian biomedical MBI-15 "Pilot-M"/NEURO signal response experiment after setting up the workplace and equipment, assisted by Mikhail Kornienko. Later, the Pilot-M & Neurolab-2000M gear was disassembled & stowed away, data files were downloaded, and Alexander reported to TsUP-Moscow on his run. [MBI-15 requires the Multipurpose Hardware Bench as a table, ankle restraint system, eyeball electrodes for an EOG (electrooculogram), and two hand controllers (RUO & RUD) for testing piloting skill in “flying” simulations on a laptop (RSK1) with software (v. 2.0) under stopwatch control, as well as for studying special features of the psychophysiologic response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.]

FE-6 Shannon Walker & FE-4 Doug Wheelock are on Day 4 of Session 1 of the SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment, i.e., low-salt diet for Wheels, high-salt for Shannon. Besides the daily diet monitoring/logging, today’s activities also involved taking measurements of body mass (BMM) with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device). [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included) Wheels & Shannon are ingesting special diet (for Wheels: Session 1 – Low salt diet; Session 2 – High salt diet which corresponds to normal ISS diet salt level; for Shannon: first High salt, then Low salt). SOLO Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are logged daily on sheets stowed in the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) Consumable Kit in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) on Days 4 & 6. Blood samples are taken on Day 5, centrifuged & inserted in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) and also measured with the PCBA. 24-hr urine collections will be performed on Day 5, with sample insertion in MELFI. Background: SOLO, a NASA/ESA-German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

SLAMMD was also used by Caldwell-Dyson for body mass measurement.

After configuring the video camcorder to cover her activities in the Lab, Tracy set up GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) hardware for ER (EXPRESS Rack) installation, made connections, installed a desiccant canister and equipped the container with desiccant packs. [GLACIER units are ultra-cold freezers that store samples as low as -185 degrees C. The GLACIER, designed and originally manufactured by the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), provides a double middeck locker-sized ER-compatible freezer/refrigerator for a variety of experiments that require temperatures ranging from +4 degC (39 degF) to -185 degC (-301 degF). GLACIER is part of the Cold Stowage Fleet of hardware which includes the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) and the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator).]

FE-5 Yurchikhin completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways SM PrK (Service Module Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PrK–Progress, DC1–Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Afterwards, FE-5 continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today inspecting & cleaning “Group B2” ventilator fans & grilles in the SM.

At ~5:00am EDT, the Russian Elektron O2 generator was reactivated by ground commanding with Kornienko monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had to be turned off while the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system & VD-SU control mode were temporarily deactivated for the KOB1 3SPN1 panel maintenance.]

Later tonight, Yurchikhin is scheduled to do the periodic check of the aerosol filters at the Elektron 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 Skvortsov conducted another ~30-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining NIKON D3 photos with Nikkor 80-200 mm lens and the SONY HD video camcorder on oceanic color bloom patterns in the waters of the South-Eastern Atlantic, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

Alexander also serviced the running experiment “Identifikatsiya” (TEKh-22/Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet, 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: 8/20).

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Caldwell-Dyson moved a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop, disconnecting it from one UOP (Utility Outlet Panel, b2 AD5 J3) to another UOP (a3 FD6 J3), where she rebooted it.

Later, Tracy performed the periodic (monthly) battery check and reboot of all active US PCS (Portable Computer System) in Lab, A/L (Airlock), CUP (Node-3 Cupola), SM and the COL PWS (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Portable Workstation) laptops.

FE-2 also started another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 19th session with the GC/DMS unit #1004, after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 100 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware].

FE-4 Wheelock set up the video camcorder to provide the ground with a live view of his activities, then worked several hours on the FIR/ARIS (Fluid Integrated Rack / Active Rack Isolation System) facility to support hyperextension tests on the ARIS pushrod/actuators. The task will extend to tomorrow and Friday. [Steps included first checking on the washers on pushrods 7 & 8 (which were calibrated on 8/30), then standing by for ground-commanded “hyperextension” tests on the ARIS actuators, each followed by a re-adjustment of the snubbers. For this, Doug had to remove/install the FIR alignment guides several times, to allow microgravity during the test and to protect the ARIS during each subsequent power-down. Background: Designed to attenuate external vibration disturbances of payload racks, ARIS is quite different from traditional shock absorbers by working with active feedback control. This is done with accelerometers to measure vibration disturbances, an electronic unit to process the data, eight actuators with pushrods for applying compensatory (counteracting) forces against the framework of the station in response to signals from the electronic unit that are calculated to "counteract" the disturbances measured by the accelerometers, and microgravity rack barriers (“snubbers”) that prevent accidental disturbance of the active ARIS rack. Before regular operation, ARIS is checked out and calibrated in order to fine-tune the multiple-component system. The standard ground-commanded hyperextension test cycles the eight pushrod/actuators through their full range of motion until the rack motion is stopped by the snubbers, to verify that its motion does not over-extend.]

Later, Wheelock continued troubleshooting the MI (Marangoni Inside) payload on the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) in JAXA’s JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), today checking fasteners and label of the installed MI cassette. [Last week, the wrong cassette was installed in FPEF. The current troubleshooting should determine whether the cassette can be used or needs to be replaced. In the latter case, another 7-8 hrs of crew time would be required.]

FE-6 Walker performed the periodic cleaning of the MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System) filter screens, using grey tape. [FE-6 reported accumulation of fine particles on the right and lower screen.]

After setting up the COL VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) to cover activities, Shannon continued ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) coolant refilling, first connecting the FSS (Fluid Servicing System) to the COL venting system, then adding coolant to the WPA2 (Water Pump Assembly 2) accumulator.

In the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), Walker also collected samples of a substance recently discovered in the UMS (Urine Monitoring System) air line, using the SSK (Surface Sampling Kit) to determine if it is microbial growth and preparing a sample to return to the ground for analysis. [The A2 connector on the UMS line was then cleaned to prevent any further growth.]

Later, Shannon downloaded and saved the ECG (Electrocardiograph) data recorded for the last 24 hrs from her 2nd session, started yesterday, with the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHMS (Biological Rhythms) and its body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG.

Fyodor prepared and downlinked via the BSR-TM channel additional results from an earlier GFI-8 “Uragan” Earth photography session (7/15) with the NIKON D2X digital camera with 800mm telelens. [Of particular interest: a photo of downtown Kiev where some automobiles are visible and Fyodor identified the resolution as ~2m per pixel.]

Working on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser, FE-2 took temperature measurements on its AIB (ARED Instrumentation Box) and verified power settings. [Temps were in the range of ~24-29 degC.]

Later, Tracy performed periodic (annual) maintenance on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), lubricating its guide pins and making sure that the exercise machine can still be rotated out of the way to its stowed position. Shannon Walker provided assistance. [Last time done: 8/18/09 (Kopra & DeWinne).]

Shannon also did the periodic status check & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) payload in the Lab.

In the US Airlock, Wheelock conducted the periodic inspection & cleaning of the FDS (Fire Detection & Suppression) area smoke detectors (SD) and bacteria filters (BF).

In Node-3, Doug worked on the T2/COLBERT treadmill, checking fastener torque and applying witness marks to some VIS (Vibration isolation System) fasteners (which would later indicate slight rotational, i.e., unscrewing, motion).

Fyodor Yurchikhin did the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance by 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).

Misha Kornienko 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.]

During overflight of RGS-21 (Russian Ground Site 21) at 10:44am-11:09am, Kornienko downlinked the video footage taken yesterday during the Progress 38P departure as a test of the new external Klest KL-154 video camera (RGS-21 VHF comm was tested yesterday). [RGS-21 Djusail (DJS) is located at 45.7N, 63.5E.]

With Skvortsov & Kornienko due to depart on Soyuz 22S (along with Caldwell-Dyson) in three weeks (9/24), Alex & Mikhail (of Exp-24) again spent about 2 hrs with Yurchikhin (of Exp-25) on handover activities, to get Fyodor up to date with RS tasks and issues.

Skvortsov had another ~55 min. reserved for shooting more “Chronicle” newsreel footage using the SONY HVR-Z7 #2 high-definition camcorder as part of the ongoing effort to create a photo & video imagery database on the flight of ISS-24 (“Flight Chronicles”). [Footage subjects generally include conducting experiments, current activities at the station, repair activities behind panels, exercise, cosmonauts looking out the window at the Earth, Earth surface, station interior, cosmonaut in zero gravity, leisure, life on orbit, personal hygiene, meals, station exterior, comm. passes with the ground, ham radio passes, station cleaning, spacesuits, space hardware, MRM1, MRM2, DC1, FGB, Soyuz & Progress, intermodular passageways, meeting a new crew, crewmember in space, medical experiments, handover activities, crew return preparations, farewell ceremonies, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

At ~5:25am EDT, Walker, Caldwell-Dyson & Wheelock joined in a PAO TV downlink, transmitting messages of congratulations to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama, which is observing its 50th Anniversary this year. [The Center will conduct a special event for employees and retirees on 9/8, the day Marshall was dedicated in 1960. Under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, on 3/15/60 NASA absorbed the ~4200 employees of the Army’s Development Operations Division under Wernher von Braun, and on 7/1 Dr. von Braun became officially the first Director of NASA’s new George C. Marshall Space Flight which at that time had a staff of about 4670.]

At ~11:10am, Shannon, Doug & Tracy supported a second PAO TV event, participating in two interviews of ~10 min each, – one with MSNBC (Chris Jansing), the other with California State University at Fullerton (CSUF, Russ Hudson).

At ~4:20pm, Wheels is scheduled for 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).

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-2, FE-4), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3/2x, FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-5). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but is regularly being done after the last T2 session of the day.]

MT Translation: At ~1:20pm-3:20pm, the Mobile Transporter was moved by ground command (S-band) on its rails on the main truss from WS2 (Worksite 2) to WS4. Russian thrusters were disabled for this event from 1:20pm-3:40pm, and no unisolated crew exercised was allowed during the roll-over.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Merapi Volcano, Java, Indonesia (Merapi Volcano lied left of track, the first of a cluster of volcanoes. The view angle--parallel with major linear faults—is ideal for documenting geological structures that dominate this collisional margin between two tectonic plates. Merapi is an active volcano), Semeru Volcano, Java, Indonesia (looking right of track for a cluster of volcanoes in eastern Java, and shooting the volcano nearest the south coast of Java), Sinabung Volcano, Sumatra, Indonesia (Dynamic event. Looking right of track. This volcano is active for the first time in 400 years as of August 2010. It erupted again on 8/30.. Visual cues are as follows: 1) a long valley leading from track towards Sinabung, 2) the vast Toba Volcano complex [volcano as an island within a lake-filled caldera] beyond Sinabung, as seen from orbit), Johannesburg, South Africa (good regional views are lacking. From ISS vantage west of this large urban area, the crew was to shoot overlapping images that include the long east-west axis of this gold-based urban area [the Witwatersrand], and the shorter north-south extent—which includes Pretoria, the capital city, and Vereeniging, the oil-refining and steel capital of the country. Visual cues from orbit are the Vredefort impact structure to the south, and the thin sharp ridge of the Magaliesberg to the north), and Hurricane Earl, western Atlantic (Dynamic event. The eye of this major storm (Cat. 4) was projected to be at nadir at the time of this ISS pass. Requested were panoramic views on approach [50 mm lens?], and detailed views [180, 400 mm lenses?]—looking down the eye if possible. Afternoon sun from the west should have enhanced any images).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:55am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 354.8 km
Apogee height – 360.2 km
Perigee height – 349.4 km
Period -- 91.64 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007998
Solar Beta Angle -- 35.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.71
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 48 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 67,547.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-----------------
09/06/10 -- Progress M-06M/38P deorbit – ~8:06am EDT
09/08/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P launch – 7:11am EDT
09/10/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P docking – ~8:40am EDT
09/xx/10 -- ISS reboost
09/24/10 -- Soyuz TMA-18/22S undock/landing (End of Increment 24; CDR-25 – Wheelock)
--------------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
11/10/10 -- Russian EVA-26
11/17/10 -- Russian EVA-27
11/30/10 -- Soyuz TMA-19/23S undock/landing (End of Increment 25)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/14/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/16/10 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/20/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
01/24/10 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/28/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/10 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-28
02/26/11 -- 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/xx/10 -- Russian EVA-29
05/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/30/11 -- 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
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
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.