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May 13, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/13/11

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

CDR Kondratyev, FE-1 Samokutyayev & FE-2 Borisenko conducted the periodic pre-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. In addition to MO-7, Dmitri & Aleksandr also completed the PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement using the IMT mass measurement device set up by Kondratyev.  The MO-8 sessions for Andrey, FE-3 Garan, FE-5 Nespoli & FE-6 Coleman were cancelled. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IMT "scales" for MO-8 measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed. MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. ]

In the morning (~5:05am EDT), Cady Coleman concluded her 5th NUTRITION w/Repository 24-hr urine collection period, with samples deposited in MELFI. Afterwards, Cady underwent the associated generic blood draw, with Nespoli assisting with the phlebotomy as operator. FE-6 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 were revised some time ago, 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 must verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

FE-1 Samokutyayev 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.]

Paolo, Aleksandr & Ron had ~30 min for the standard Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training, using NIKON D2Xs digital still cameras with 800mm & 400mm lenses for 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.  Garan later downlinked the photos. [The practice session included going between auto & manual focus and using manual override when in autofocus. The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the next Shuttle (STS-134/Endeavour/ULF6, to be launched 5/16. 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.]

In preparation for their return on Soyuz 25S in 10 days (5/23), Dima Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli & Cady Coleman donned their Sokol pressure suits and performed a fit-check in their body-contoured Kazbek couches in the spacecraft while conducting the standard leak check, a 45-min job. After doffing the suits, Dima set up the suits and gloves for drying and then he & Paolo stowed the gear.

Ron Garan relocated the MCA DCA (Major Constituent Analyzer / Data & Control Assembly) from the AR2 (Atmosphere Revitalization 2) rack in Node-3 to the AR1 Rack in the Lab to regain functionality of the Lab MCA, connecting it, with Paolo’s help (in restraining the MCA vacuum jumper), to the waste gas QD (quick disconnect) at bay O4.

Later, FE-3 assembled, connected & activated the FTP (Fluid Transfer Pump) to purge air & water from the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) T-hose.

Performing IFM (In-flight Maintenance) on ER6 (EXPRESS Rack 6) in the Lab, FE-6 Coleman removed & replaced the filter of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser).     [This procedure also includes cleaning the fan filter areas on the back side of the PWD, a preventative maintenance activity that is required once a year.  PWD filters are returned to the ground and refurbished.]

Later, Cady retrieved (scavenged) two LSAs (Long Strap Assemblies) from the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module), to be used in July during ULF7.

FE-5 Nespoli meanwhile –
  • Installed alkaline batteries in discharged battery packs to obtain 5 battery packs for use in the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units,
  • Stowed the BXF (Boiling Experiment Facility) hardware after completion of experiment operations, returned the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility to baseline configuration and deactivated it,
  • Had time set aside to complete operations with the JAXA Spiral Top-II EPO demo (if Coleman did not complete the Spiral-Top II retry yesterday) with the driving device ejection test, then closed out the experiment (Ron Garan later turned off the MPC converter after the video footage had been downlinked), and
  • Pre-gathered more US cargo items to be packed on 25S for return to Earth.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-3 Garan closed out his maintenance on the LEHX (Layer 2 Ethernet Hub & Multiplexer) of yesterday by disconnecting the MLT2 (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus Laptop Terminal 2) cable from the MRDL (Medium Rate Data Link), returning it to nominal configuration.

After configuring the camcorder for real-time ground monitoring in the Lab, Ron set up and activated the ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera) multispectral sensor in the empty WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for visually observing the movement of the ISSAC imaging system through its range of -30 to +30 degrees. [ISSAC, a successor of the earlier AgCam, will operate in conjunction with EarthKAM, both to conduct simultaneous but independent operations in the WORF rack in the Lab. AgCam was a multi-spectral camera for taking images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth, principally of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. It was found to have operational problems and was discontinued in 2009.]

Ron also filled out his 5th weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Kondratyev & Samokutyayev, in another handover activity, used the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with FSS science hardware at SM window #9 during a 15-min span, taking pictures of targets along the flight track, viz: Atlantic Ocean area and British Isles; Europe; Gomel area; Kursk natural preserve, Don and Volga river flood plains; Volga river delta; Caspian Sea (oil spills on the sea surface); and Amudaria river flood plain, downloading the recorded session data for downlink.    [The FSS (Fotospektralnaya sistema) consists of an image recording module with lens and a spectroradiometer module with an electronics module. FSS includes the ME Electronics Module & MRI Image Recording Module.  The FSS battery was set up for charging last night.]

FE-2 Borisenko undertook his 2nd onboard session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. FE-1 Samokutyayev provided assistance. [For the session, Andrey donned the electrode cap, prepared his head for the electrodes, and applied electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

FE-2 continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today inspecting & cleaning “Group V1” ventilator fans & grilles in the SM with the vacuum cleaner, after taking photos of the fan screens.

Later, Andrey Kaleri performed periodic service of the RS radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), initializing & deploying new Bubble dosimeters, supported by ground specialist tagup. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors were initialized in the Bubble dosimeter reader in the SM and positioned at new exposure locations. The deployment locations of the detectors were photo-documented with the NIKON D2X camera and also reported with initialization data to TsUP via log sheet via OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls],

With the Elektron currently inoperable, Samokutyayev initiated a refresh of the ISS cabin air for two hours with O2 from ATV2 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 2) Johannes Kepler stores.

Afterwards, Sasha worked in the Pirs Docking Compartment (DC1) in Russian EVA equipment (oborud), removing & replacing the BUS-MK Control Unit of the BSS-4 Orlan Interface Unit, supported by ground specialist tagup.      [The BUS-MK is the Russian equivalent of the US Airlock’s OSCA (On-Board Spacesuit Control Assembly). The BUS supplies the Orlans with coolant and O2 while in the DC1, getting its O2 from four bottles manifolded to it.  This Russian OSCA would also be used in the A/L to support A/L Orlan operations and contingency EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) operations (i.e., venting of EMU umbilicals during an ingress anomaly).]

Later, FE-1 ran a familiarization test of KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera, regularly done for Russia's EKON Environmental Safety Agency.

After reviewing uplinked procedures and a demo video clip on “Buoyancy in Space”, Cady Coleman prepared another “Kids in Micro-G” experiment, then performed the demo session with Paolo’s assistance. The video recording was later downlinked to the ground via MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter). [The “Kids in Micro-G” suite of experiments was developed and written by 6th grade students to demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion both on ISS and in the classroom.]

Samokutyayev conducted 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.]

Aleksandr 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).

At ~4:15am EDT, Dmitri, Alex, Andrey, Ron & Paolo (Cady was busy) held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~4:30am, CDR & FE-2 linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~10:35am, Cady powered up the new amateur radio station in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and at ~10:45am conducted ham radio session with students at English Estates Elementary, Fern Park, FLA. 

At ~12:30pm, Kondratyev, Borisenko & Samokutyayev used the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) for another ham radio session with students, schoolchildren and participants in the “Science-Technology & Innovation Achievements of Russia” Exhibition in Madrid, Spain.     [These ham radio sessions are organized by Kursk South-West University, scheduled yesterday, today and tomorrow.]

At ~3:30pm, the six crewmembers are scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

Later tonight before “Presleep” period, Cady will power on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and start the 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, MPC will be turned 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.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico (Mexico’s second highest peak [17,802 feet] is a large, active stratovolcano located 43 miles southeast of Mexico City.  ISS had a mid-morning, ascending pass in clear weather.  As it tracked northeastward over southern Mexico, the crew may have spotted the sprawling urban area of Mexico City just left of track, then they had to aim nadir for this target.  Three major explosive eruptions have occurred in the very recent geologic past, producing pyroclastic flows and lahars [mud flows] that affected the basins surrounding the volcano.  Additional Mapping frames of the volcano and flanks are requested to capture current summit glacier extent and cone geomorphology.  Gas and steam emissions can at times be observed emanating from the volcano), San Marino, San Marino (the tiny capital city of the European microstate of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino has a population of about 4,500.  The Republic itself is land-locked and located on the eastern edge of the Apennine Mountains of north-central Italy, less than 20 miles from the coast of the Adriatic Sea.  ISS had a fair-weather pass in mid-afternoon light.  As it tracked southeastward down the Italian peninsula, the crew was to look just left of track to try for detailed mapping views of this challenging target), and Chiricahua Mountains (ISS pass today for this target was at mid-morning with clear weather over the entire region.  As ISS tracked northeastward over northwestern Mexico into southeastern Arizona, the crew was to look carefully nadir for this area.  This small, fist-shaped range of mountains is situated in the southeastern corner of the state of Arizona, USA about 90 miles east-southeast of Tucson.  With elevations ranging from about 4,000 to 9,800 feet, the Huachuca support an ecologically diverse, alpine-woodland habitat within the Sonoran Desert that includes them in the regional province of scattered highlands known as the Madrean Sky Islands of northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States.  CEO staff is seeking detailed mapping views of this target for baseline and change detection of unique and threatened habitat).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:58am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 344.8 km
Apogee height – 346.5 km
Perigee height – 343.2 km
Period -- 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002441
Solar Beta Angle -- -30.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 127 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 71,544

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/16/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS)  ~8:56am EDT
05/16/11 -- Soyuz 25S thruster test firing
05/18/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour docking – 6:15am
05/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock – 7:06pm EDT (End of Increment 27)
05/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S landing – 10:26pm (8:26am local on 5/24)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour undock – 11:53pm
06/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour landing – ~2:32am
06/07/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/09/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/xx/11 -- ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” undock (SM aft)
06/21/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P launch
06/23/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P docking (SM aft)
06/28/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) ~3:30pm EDT NET
06/30/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) NET
07/27/11 – Russian EVA #29
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/25/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 -- Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/05/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/02/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------