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October 05, 2010
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/05/10

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. >>>Yesterday 53 years ago (10/4/1957), the Space Age began when the Soviet Union’s Sergei Korolev launched the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1. The US responded 119 days later with Explorer 1 on Wernher von Braun’s Redstone/Jupiter-C (1/31/1958) – and the Race was underway.<<<

At wake-up, FE-5 Yurchikhin 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). [FE-5 again inspects the filters before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

CDR Wheelock began his third (FD/Flight Day 120) NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K generic blood collection, with FE-6 Walker assisting with the phlebotomy as operator. Douglas then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [The operational products for Blood & Urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads have been revised, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they should verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

Wheels’ 24-hr urine collections of the Generic HRF (Human Research Facility) urine sampling protocol ended on or around ~2:15am EDT. For wrapping it up, FE-6 photographed the filled out log sheets for downlink. Doug’s next NUTRITION/Repository/Pro K activity will be his FD180 session.

Wheelock, Yurchikhin & Walker undertook the standard 90-min. on-board training (OBT) session with procedures designed to respond to a rapid depressurization. A joint drill debrief with ground specialists via S-band at ~10:45am EDT wrapped up the exercise. [Objective of the exercise is to provide proficiency training for crew response during depressurization. The training exercise is performed under the most realistic emergency conditions possible. Instructors & OBT experts at the control centers (TsUP-Moscow, MCC-Houston, COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen and SSIPC/Tsukuba) stood by to send commands as required and respond to crew questions. The crew moved throughout the station in order to simulate emergency response actions per procedures at specific checkpoints; they communicated & coordinated simulated actions with the control centers as if this were a real event.]

Fyodor had another hour set aside for unloading cargo from Progress M-07M/39P and transferring it to the ISS, logging moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Afterwards, FE-5 terminated the overnight charging of the two NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries for the Russian BMD (Biomedical Device) PZE STIMUL-01 payload in the payload’s charger device, in preparation for his upcoming physical stimulation/conditioning training with the device. [The neuromuscular myostimulator suit STIMUL-01, which uses electrical stimulation to contract and relax leg muscle fibers for conditioning, is part of the suite of BMS (Biomedical Support) systems under development at the Moscow IBMP (Institute for Biomedical Problems) for long-duration spaceflights including piloted Mars missions.]

Walker supported payload ground commanding on the current BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 5) activity by turning on the power on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starting the data downlink by playing back the recorded tape through the MPC. Afterwards, the MPC was powered down again. [The HRDL (High-Rate Data Link) for the transmission was routed by POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center).]

After yesterday’s discussion of the new CFE ICF-1 (Capillary Flow Experiment Interior Corner Flow 1) activities with the PI (Principal Investigator), Shannon today set up the hardware in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and performed the required fluid test runs using the ICF-1 vessel/hardware. [Setup activities included unstowing CFE hardware, preparing the MWA (Maintenance Work Area, work surface only), securing the CFE hardware on the MWA, and positioning the HD (High Definition) camcorder. The CFE hardware was later torn down and placed in stowage with the video tapes, and the MWA and camcorder put away. CFE is a suite of fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. CFE takes advantage of the station’s micro-G environment to investigate the special dynamics of capillary flow, i.e., the interaction of liquid with solid that can draw a fluid up a narrow tube and can be exploited to control fluid orientation so that fluid systems on spacecraft perform predictably. Interest is in the critical wetting angles for various container geometries and determination of the hysteresis to a higher accuracy than before. CFE results will have applications to management of liquid fuels, cryogens, water-based solutions and thermal fluids in spacecraft systems. ICF (Interior Corner Flow) is one of three CFE experiments, the others being Vane Gap (VG) and Contact Line (CL). Each of the CFE experiments is represented with two unique experimental units (1,2), all of which use similar fluid-injection hardware, have simple and similarly sized test chambers, and rely solely on video for highly quantitative data. Silicone oil is the fluid used for all the tests, with different viscosities depending on the unit. Differences between units are primarily fluid properties, wetting conditions, and test cell cross section. The last CFE session, the 22nd, was conducted by Shannon Walker on 9/12.]

Yurchikhin set up pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41) in the DC1 Docking Compartment and transferred remaining water from the Rodnik BV2 tank of Progress M-05M/37P to an EDV container for condensate water (KAV). 37P is docked at the DC1 Docking Compartment.

Immediately thereafter, Fyodor replaced the usual A-R water transfer hose with a T2-PrU air line, and started the standard bladder compression & leak check of the 37P’s BV2 water storage tank to get it ready for urine transfer. Flush water was to be transferred to an EDV or caught in a towel. The bladder of the other tank, BV1, was compressed on 9/2 by Alex Skvortsov. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

Later, Yurchikhin undertook the standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) onboard familiarization training, his first, using a D2Xs digital still camera with 400mm & 800mm lenses and taking practice shots of CEO (Crew Earth Observation) ground features from SM (Service Module) windows #6 or #8, with images having 40-50% overlap and about 20 images in each sequence. Afterwards, Walker transferred Fyodor’s shots to an SSC (Station Support Computer) for subsequent downlink for ground analysis. [The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the next Shuttle (STS-133/Discovery/ULF5), to be launched 11/1. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the “shooters” have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Endeavour, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.]

CDR Wheelock reviewed the procedures for the upcoming installation of the Sabatier reactor in Node-3, then conducted a teleconference with ground specialists (~12:30pm) to discuss the “big picture” and installation specifics. [In Node-3, the Sabatier reactor will be installed into the OGS (Oxygen Generator System) Rack in rack bay A5. Once installed, the Sabatier will combine CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) coming from the Node-3 CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) with H2 (Hydrogen) from the OGS to form H2O (Water) and CH4 (Methane). The water will be sent to the WWB (Waste Water Bus) and reprocessed through the WPA. The Methane will be vented overboard.]

Other activities completed by Doug Wheelock included –
  • Opening the OGA (Oxygen Generator Assembly) door in the AR (Atmosphere Revitalization) rack to allow thermal conditioning of the OGS components for the Sabatier work tomorrow,
  • Conducting the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) in Node-3, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose, then replacing the old TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag) with a new spare [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],
  • Working on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) to perform the periodic evacuation of its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration,
  • Configuring the ER1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) laptop computer (loc. LAB1O2) with a Quadtech card & PROComm Plus software to continuously monitor/debug the RS-232 RIC (Rack Interface Controller) [to determine why ER1 has had many autonomous reboots since being upgraded to RIC Release 6],
  • Turning the TVIS CB (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization Circuit Breaker) Off to allow cool-down in preparation for tomorrow’s scheduled 6-month TVIS maintenance, and
  • Removing the 4 alignment guides from CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.

In preparation for flow measurements in support of the upcoming Sabatier installation, FE-6 Walker gathered required Non-Intrusive Flow Meter equipment (instruments, accessories, power cable, probes, etc.), stowing them in Node-1 for now.

Shannon also started another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer); deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 28th 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.]

Fyodor Yurchikhin did the daily IMS 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).

FE-5 also 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.]

At ~11:20am EDT, Wheelock powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 11:25am conducted a ham radio session with students at I.R.S.E.A. (Institute of Research and Education non profit) in Bisceglie, Italy.

At ~3:00pm, the three crewmembers will convene for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

Before his sleeptime tonight, Yurchikhin will activate the Kenwood D700 “Sputnik” amateur radio station in the SM and start the program for the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment for an overnight run in relay mode. [Objective of the experiment is the automatic retranslation of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions. This is the experiment’s third run, after FE Yuri Malenchenko conducted it for the second time on Exp-16 in November 2007, preceded by Mikhail Tyurin on Exp-14 in November 2006.]

Also before sleeptime, Fyodor sets up the Russian MBI-12 payload and starts his 8th Sonokard experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [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.]

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-5).

Soyuz TMA-01M/24S Launch Preparations: At the Baikonur/Kazakhstan launch site preparations continue for the launch of Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft on 10/7 (7:11pm EDT). The assembled Soyuz FG launch vehicle was rolled out from the assembly-test facility to the launch site. L-2 launch ops are underway.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Manama, Bahrain (ISS had a late morning pass in clear weather over the central Persian Gulf and island nation of Bahrain. As the station tracked over Iraq and approached the coast, the crew was to look to the left of track for this capital city of nearly 200,000 on the north end of the main island of Bahrain), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (the Toshka Lakes formed in the late 1990's when record high water in the Nile River and Lake Nasser spilled out into desert depressions to the west. Since then the lakes have persisted, but continue to slowly dry up. The crew was asked to update CEO monitoring records of this event with nadir and context views of the lakes. Looking slightly left of track and taking overlapping images), and Lilongwe, Malawi (Lilongwe was at nadir with respect to ISS orbit track. The city is located to the southwest of Lake Malawi. Overlapping mapping frames of the urban area and surroundings were requested; such context imagery will aid in locating higher resolution imagery).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:40am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 354.1 km
Apogee height – 359.1 km
Perigee height – 349.1 km
Period -- 91.62 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007415
Solar Beta Angle -- -13.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 70 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 68,081.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/07/10 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S launch – Kelly (CDR-26)/Kaleri/Skripochka – 7:10:55pm EDT
10/09/10 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S docking – ~8:02pm
--------------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
11/12/10 -- 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-------------
12/13/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S launch – Kondratyev (CDR-27)/Coleman/Nespoli
12/15/10 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/20/10 -- Progress M-07M/39P undock
01/24/11 -- Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/28/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P docking
02/xx/11 -- Russian EVA-28
02/15/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” launch
02/27/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02)
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
--------------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/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
--------------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-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
--------------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-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
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/??/11 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
03/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-23/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
03/28/12 -- Soyuz TMA-25/30S docking
--------------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-------------