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May 19, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/19/11

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.    FE-3 Ron Garan continues on his special Shuttle-crew sleep-cycle schedule:  Wake – 10:56pm last night; Sleep – 1:56pm-10:26pm today, for EVA support.

  • At ~2:58am EDT, the AMS-2 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2) was unberthed from the Shuttle cargo bay by Roberto Vittori & Drew Feustel, transferred to the ISS with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) by Greg Chamitoff & Greg Johnson and successfully installed at the S3 Zenith inboard PAS (Payload Attach System) at ~5:47am.  Later, AMS-2 was fully activated from the ground at ~10:30am and has started nominal operations to seek out answers to the mysteries of antimatter, dark matter, and cosmic ray propagation in the universe. Congratulations!

Activities on Ron Garan’s schedule today included –
  • Powering up two VSWs (Video Streaming Workstations) & the A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop loaded with VSW software [to create two MPEG2 video files on the VSWs; two video feeds coming from the Orbiter will be streamed via OpsLAN to minimize cable dragthroughs],
  • Installing the CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint) which stabilized the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operator,
  • Inserting two Ziploc bags containing eight 2D Nano Template Bags in MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3) at +2 degC,
  • Taking the monthly O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop [the O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM. To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required during the first 14 days and every 45 days thereafter],
  • Deploying 2 new RAMs (Radiation Area Monitors, #2475, #2480) delivered on Progress 42P.  RAM units #2442 & #2449, brought up by STS-133/ULF5, will be returned on 25S. [The RAMs are color-coded; the new ULF5 units are cherry-colored], and
  • Working in the A/L (Airlock), installing EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) spacesuit batteries, LiOH (lithium hydroxide) canisters, REBAs (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies), followed by a checkout of REBA-powered hardware.

Ron Garan & CDR Mark Kelly later terminated the O2 (oxygen) transfer to the ISS high- and low-pressure tanks and then reconfigured the Shuttle O2 supply equipment for PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) use on the ISS PBA ports for prebreathing.

Afterwards, Garan & Samokutyayev performed an RSP (Respiratory Support Pack) checkout.

Kondratyev, Coleman & Nespoli spent three hours in “their” 25S Descent Module (#231), docked at MRM1, conducting the Soyuz descent drill, a standard training exercise for every crew returning on this spacecraft. Results of the exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display on the Neptun-ME console), were subsequently reported to ground control at TsUP/Moscow. [The session includes a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console. The training uses a Descent Simulator application (Trenasher Spusk =descent trainer”) on the RSK1 laptop.]

Dmitri Kondratyev, with Alex Samokutyayev for handover/familiarization,  completed the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

The CDR also had 2 hrs set aside for taking disposable cargo and trash to the Soyuz 25S for stowage in the Orbital Module, to be jettisoned along with the service section for burn-up before the atmospheric entry of the spacecraft.

In the MRM2 Poisk module, FE-1 activated the Russian biotech payload BTKh-35/MEMBRANA for another run, using pack #2.  Later, he switched the payload to standby mode.

Sasha also serviced the BTKh-26 KASKAD science payload, placing its ice packs in the KRIOGEM-03 freezer at -22 degC.

In the SM (Service Module), FE-2 Borisenko performed the daily monitoring of the running Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment which is taking structural dynamics data during the Shuttle docked phase. The data were later copied from the BUSD Control & Data Gathering Unit to a USB-D-M-3 stick for downlink to the ground. The BUSD archive was then deleted and the DAKON-M restarted. [IZGIB has the objective to help update mathematical models of the ISS gravitation environment, using accelerometers of the Russian SBI Onboard Measurement System, the GIVUS high-accuracy angular rate vector gyrometer of the SUDN Motion Control & Navigation System and other accelerometers for unattended measurement of micro-accelerations at science hardware accommodation locations - (1) in operation of onboard equipment having rotating parts (gyrodynes, fans), (2) when establishing and keeping various ISS attitude modes, and (3) when performing crew egresses into space and physical exercises.]

FE-5 Nespoli performed a WPA (Water Processor Assembly) water analysis using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer).

Cady Coleman set up the G1 camcorder in the Lab to document her activities, then configured the Spider in Space CSI (CGBA Science Insert).       [Activities included installation of 2 spider habitats and 2 camera modules in the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5), then opening spider compartment (#4) and allowing 10-20 fruit flies emerge from compartment #3 into the main volume, re-cabling it and activating it.  The Spider in Space experiment will be monitored for 5 days.  After approximately four days, Cady will feed the spiders by releasing more fruit flies into the Spider Habs, continuing this operation approximately every four days until the end of the experiment.  At the end of the experiment, the Spider Habs will be removed and stowed for future return.  For the duration of the experiment, a Spider Hab video will be generated by the Camera Modules inside CGBA-5.  The spider is called the Nephila clavipes.  It is also known as the “Banana Spider” because of its yellow banana shaped body.  It is sometimes referred to as the “Golden Silk” or “Golden Orb” spider because its web has a golden hue when viewed in the sunlight.  It is commonly found in the southern parts of the US, particularly Florida, but it can be found throughout all parts of the southern United States including Alabama and Texas.  The two spiders in the habitats are juvenile females and are only about ½ cm long. When female Nephila clavipes complete their last molt and become mature adults, they can be over 3 inches long and their webs over 3 feet across. (Unfortunately, these space spiders will most likely not live until adulthood nor will they get quite that large).  To keep the spiders as healthy as possible for as long as possible, they are given a diet of wild type fruit flies.  The fruit flies are provided a diet enriched with extra protein.  The protein is ground up dog food that is added to their normal diet of potato flakes.  The spider scientists are interested in the Nephila clavipes because she builds a three-dimensional web on the ground that appears disorganized but is in fact very ordered.  The hypothesis is these spiders will not build as much 3 dimension into their web given the absence of gravity. This may help scientists more clearly understand the purpose of the 3D web on Earth.] 

Using the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, Samokutyayev performed the monthly standard check on the SM cabin air, testing for Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Formaldehyde.   [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, etc.]

Afterwards, Sasha 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 PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1. This checkup is especially important now when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a larger crew on board, currently twelve persons.]

CDR Kondratyev made preparations for a microbial air sampling session scheduled tomorrow and subsequent with the MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, initiating charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP) and readying the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container (at -22 degC) for the samples.   [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]

Dmitri also verified proper communications between the BSPN Payload Server (Matching Unit) and the RSS1 laptop and then downlinked data accumulated on the BSPN from the GFI-7 Molniya-GAMMA experiment (mounted externally since the Russian EVA-28) via RSS1 and OCA, starting at 11:01am and ending at 2:41pm EDT. [GFI-17Molniya” FOTON-GAMMA investigates atmospheric gamma-ray bursts and optical radiation in conditions of thunderstorm activity.]

Samokutayev downloaded the structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer of the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104].

Borisenko completed the periodic transfer of condensate water to an RS (Russian Segment) EDV container for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & hydrogen, filling the designated KOV (condensate water) EDV container from US CWC (Contingency Water Container). When filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The ~40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the Elektron’s BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. If bubbles are detected in the EDV, they are separated (by centrifugation) into another EDV. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Andrey also 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.]

FE-1 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).

Nespoli collected samples from Russian  EDV-U pre-treated urine containers (up to 5) for return to Earth, with a flush of the sample adapter prior to each collection.

Coleman had another hour each set aside for personal crew departure preparations; these are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.    [Nespoli did not use his Crew Departure session.]

Cady also –
  • Deactivated the two VSWs (Video Streaming Workstations) & the A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop loaded with VSW software,
  • Uninstalled & removed the CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint) which stabilized the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operator, and
  • Checked on the proper installation of the VDS (Video Distribution System) video cap in Node-2 which enables pass-through reception of video from the Endeavour with the Orbiter docked in support of SSRMS ops during crew sleep.

At ~3:41am EDT, FE-3 Garan turned on the new amateur radio station in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and at ~4:05am conducted a ham radio session with students at the Primary and Junior High Schools Complex in Podgrodzie, Debica, Poland. 

At ~6:11am, Ron Garan was joined by Mark Kelly, Box Johnson, Mike Fincke & Taz Chamitoff for a PAO TV event, being interviewed by Google Moderator Miles O’Brien.

At ~10:01am, Coleman, Kelly & Chamitoff supported a PAO TV downlink, responding to 4 interview clients – National Public Radio (Scott Simon), Associated Press (Marcia Dunn), Reuters (Irene Klotz) & Fox News Radio (Bill Hemmer).

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

After Ron Garan prepared the A/L EL (Airlock Equipment Lock) for today’s Campout, he and Paolo Nespoli joined the Shuttle crew at ~10:21am for an in-depth one-hour review of procedures for the EVA-1 spacewalk, with egress scheduled tomorrow morning at ~3:30am. [During this spacewalk, Taz Chamitoff & Drew Feustel will retrieve two experiments and install a new package of experiments on ELC-2 (Express Logistics Carrier 2), install jumpers between segments on the left-side truss for ammonia refills; vent nitrogen from an ammonia servicer; and install an external wireless communication antenna on the US Lab that will provide wireless communication to the ELCs mounted on the truss.]

At ~12:51pm, Chamitoff (EV1) & Feustel (EV2), assisted by Ron Garan, began their “campout” (nachalo desaturatsiy = desaturation start) in the A/L with hatch closure and depressurization of the CL (Crewlock) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi, followed by mask prebreathe (~12:51pm-1:36pm) and sleep from 2:26pm-10:26pm. A hygiene break, with temporary repress to 14.7psi and depress back to 10.2psi, is scheduled tonight for 11:01pm-12:11am.  This will be followed by EMU Preps (12:11am-1:41am), EMU Purge (1:41am-1:56am), EMU Prebreathe (1:56am-2:46am) and Crewlock Depress (2:46am-3:16am). [Sleep for the ISS crew, except Ron, begins 3 hrs later, at 5:30pm.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:56am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 344.0 km
Apogee height – 345.8 km
Perigee height – 342.2 km
Period -- 91.42 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002441
Solar Beta Angle -- -30.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 170 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 71,638

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock – 5:25pm EDT (End of Increment 27)
    • ISS Photography Flyabout – 5:50pm
    • ISS in photography attitude – 6:06pm
    • Soyuz TMA-20/25S deorbit burn – 9:36pm
05/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S landing – 10:27pm (8:27am 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/Endeavour launch ULF7 (MPLM) ~3:30pm EDT NET
06/30/11 -- STS-135/Endeavour 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-------------