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May 23, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/23/11

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 10 of Increment 27/28. Soyuz TMA-20/25S Undocking Day. FE-3 Ron Garan continues on his special Shuttle-crew sleep schedule for EVA support: Wake – 8:56pm last night; Sleep – 11:56am-8:26pm today. The ISS crew is also sleep-shifting: Wake – 6:01am; Sleep – 11:36pm (till 7:56pm tomorrow).

First thing in post-sleep, prior to eating, drinking & brushing teeth, Ron Garan performed his first liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol (Day 1). The collections are made every other day for six days. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

FE-6 Coleman packed up her INTEGRATED IMMUNE saliva and blood samples in an insulated sample pouch and stowed them with Dmitri Kondratyev’s help aboard the Soyuz SA/Descent Module at ambient temperature.

Paolo Nespoli & Cady Coleman completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol, their last on board the ISS. It was the 35th for them. [RST is done 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.]

At ~8:26am EDT, Cady Coleman powered up the amateur radio equipment in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for a ham radio session, at 8:36am, with students at Escola EBI/JI de Montenegro, Faro, Portugal.

At ~9:31am, the two Italian crewmembers, Paolo Nespoli & Roberto Vittori, received a 20-min VIP call from Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic.

CDR Borisenko verified proper operation of the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment in the SM (Service Module) for taking structural dynamics data during the Soyuz departure. [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.]

Borisenko also serviced the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet, downloading structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer before undocking 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.]

Other pre-undocking activities completed by Andrey included –
  • Closing-out operations in the BIO-1 POLYGENE payload and transfer to 25S, photographed by Aleksandr,
  • Removing the BTKh-6,7 ARIL/OChB) experiment from its thermostatic container (+4 degC) and transferring it to Soyuz,
  • Removing the BTKh-40 BIF case removal from thermostatic container and transfer to Soyuz,
  • Conducting 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],
  • Performing the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways to see how the ventilation/circulation system is coping with the 6-person crew, [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],
  • Checking out the VSWs (Video Streaming Workstations) and SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops for the video “scheme” for downlinking “streaming video” packets via the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder, U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band,
  • Activating the Soyuz TMA-20 TV monitoring assets TVS,
  • Monitoring & photographing the spacecraft undocking, and
  • Removing the BTKh biotech refrigerator/incubators KRIOGEM-03, TBU and TBU-V and stowing them.

FE-1 Sasha Samokutyayev –
  • Activated comm systems in the Soyuz 26S/#231 spacecraft,
  • Retrieved the BTKh-14 BIOEMULSION replaceable Bioreactor from the thermostatic container and transferred it to Soyuz 25S,
  • Inserted icepacks in the BTKh-26 KASKAD and its Bioreactor into the BIOKONT-T container for return,
  • Removed the BTKh-10 KONYUGATSIYA Recomb-K payload from the TBU thermostatic container (+4) and transferred it to to Soyuz,
  • Configured the Russian STTS onboard comm system to its “undocked” mode, and later, after the Soyuz departure, back to “Shuttle mated” mode,
  • Performed an S-band comm check for 25S, and
  • 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).

FE-4 Kondratyev loaded remaining return & excess cargo on the Soyuz spacecraft and downlinked the usual “Loading Complete” via S-band at 11:06am.

Dmitri also photographed the external surface of Soyuz 25S SA/BO hatch/manhole door and downlinked the images using OCA.

Before initiating final departure activities, at ~7:56am, Borisenko, Samokutyayev & Kondratyev tagged up with ground specialists for a joint review & discussion of the undocking timeline and ISS photography.

FE-3 Ron Garan, who got up about 9 hrs before the other ISS crewmembers, terminated REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies) and EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Suit) batteries in the Airlock BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly).

Garan also initiated & later terminated offloading the WPA WWT (Water Processor Assembly / Waste Water Tank) contents into a CWC-I (-Iodine) container from WWT process line B, then collected a sample for return on ULF6 before tearing down the gear.

Afterwards, Ron worked on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), reconfiguring the toilet system for feeding the internal EDV-U container, and reported the flush counter.

FE-5 Nespoli meanwhile closed the external window shutters in the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to protect them from contamination by thruster plume effluents.

Paolo also powered down the amateur/ham radio stations in the SM and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to prevent RF (radio frequency) interference during the Soyuz undocking and departure.

Preparations for tonight’s undocking began at ~1:30pm, with the activation of the Soyuz spacecraft by Soyuz-CDR Kondratyev who also performed checkouts and conducted communications tests from the 25S to RGS (Russian Groundsite) via VHF (Very High Frequency).

Russian thrusters were disabled from ~2:00pm-3:40pm due to load constraints for the removal, by Dmitri, of the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint.

After Crew Farewell, Dima, Cady & Paolo entered the Soyuz at ~5:10pm, covered by live PAO TV.

Next, the Soyuz-CDR activated the spacecraft’s gas analyzer (GA), after which Borisenko inside MRM1 and Kondratyev outside closed MRM1 & Soyuz hatches. The departing Soyuz crew then started the standard one-hour leak check on the Soyuz-to-Rassvet vestibule.

After attitude control authority was handed over to the RS MCS (Russian Segment Motion Control System) at ~4:40pm, the ISS maneuvered to duty attitude, then undock attitude and went into Free Drift at 5:31pm-5:36pm for MRM1 hooks opening and Soyuz undocking at 5:33pm. Attitude control returned to US Momentum Management with CMGs (Control Moment Gyros) at ~7:00pm.

After hooks opening, Dmitri Kondratyev backed the spacecraft out to a station keeping distance of at 200 meters. ISS then rotated through 180 deg to a +YVV (+Y axis in velocity vector) attitude, to be in a position for photography. Paolo Nespoli photographed ISS from the 25S BO/Orbital Module and then re-ingressed the SA/Descent Compartment for the descent. 25S performed the final separation burn and ISS rotated back to the nominal mated attitude.

After Soyuz departure, CDR Borisenko –
  • Manually closed the KVD/PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) between MRM1 and its docking port vestibule,
  • Downloaded the TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB measurement data,
  • Downloaded the new batch of post-undocking TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” structural dynamics measurements, and
  • Downlinked the photo/video footage of the hatch closure event to the ground.

During the Soyuz re-entry flight, the new ISS-CDR is monitoring Soyuz telemetry with the Russian “Istochnik-M” (source, spring) telemetry reception & recording (SPR TMI) system in the SM. [Istochnik-M enables the ISS to receive data telemetered from Soyuz spacecraft during return to Earth and record it on the SPR telemetry system. The equipment, including the Istochnik TM station, power amplifiers, power supply, USB software sticks and cables, captures the telemetry through the “Sputnik” amateur (ham) radio antenna and transfers it to a laptop display where the crew is able to immediately tell if a good separation of the three Soyuz modules occurred during Soyuz descent operations].

25S Descent Timeline Overview:
If everything proceeds nominally, the return to Earth of the TMA-20 spacecraft later tonight will proceed along the following approximate event sequence (all times EDT):
  • Deorbit Burn start (delta-V 115.2 m/sec) --- 9:35:01pm;
  • Deorbit Burn complete --- 9:39:26pm;
  • Atmospheric entry (99.6 km alt, with ~170 m/sec) --- 10:02:59pm;
  • Parachute deploy command (10.7 km alt) --- 10:11:21pm;
  • 25S Landing (DO1) --- 10:26:21pm EDT; 05:26:21am Moscow DMT (5/24); 8:26:21am local Kazakhstan; (loc. 47deg 18min N, 69deg 35min E);
[Note: Kazakhstan time = GMT+6h; = EDT+10h. Moscow DMT = EDT+7h.]

What the Soyuz TMA-20/25S crew will experience during their reentry/descent tonight:
  • For the reentry, Dima, Cady & Paolo will wear the Russian Kentavr anti-G suit under their Sokol suits. [The Kentavr garment is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]
  • Before descent:
    Special attention will be paid to the need for careful donning of the medical belt with sensors and securing tight contact between sensors and body. ECG electrodes are applied with paste. Kentavr suits must have snug fit in lower body and calves.
    During preparation for descent, before atmosphere reentry, crewmembers settle down comfortably in the Kazbek couches, fasten the harness belts, securing tight contact between body and the seat liner in the couch.
  • During de-orbit:
    • Dust particles starting to sink in the Descent Module (SA) cabin is the first indication of atmosphere reentry and beginning of G-load effect. From that time on, special attention is required as the loads increase rapidly.
    • Under G-load effects during atmosphere reentry the crew expects the following experience:
      Sensation of G-load pressure on the body, heaviness of the body, labored breathing and speech. These are normal sensations, and the advice is to "take them coolly". In case of the feeling of a lump in the throat, this is no cause to "be nervous". This is frequent and should not be fought. Best is to "try not to swallow and talk at this moment". Crew should check vision and, if any disturbances occur, create additional tension of abdominal pressure and leg muscles (strain abdomen by pulling in), in addition to the Kentavr anti-G suit.
    • During deployment of pilot parachute (0.62 & 4.5 square meters), drogue chute (16 sq.m.) and main (518 sq.m.) chutes the impact accelerations will be perceived as a "strong jolt". No reason to become concerned about this but one should be prepared that during the parachutes deployment and change ("rehook") of prime parachute to symmetrical suspension, swinging and spinning motion of the SA occurs, which involves vestibular (middle ear) irritations.
  • It is important to tighten restrain system to fasten pelvis and pectoral arch.
    Vestibular irritation can occur in the form of different referred sensations such as vertigo, hyperhidrosis, postural illusions, general discomfort and nausea. To prevent vestibular irritation the crew should "limit head movement and eyes movement", as well as fix their sight on a stationary object.
  • Just before the landing (softened by six small rocket engines behind the heat shield):
    Crew will be prepared for the vehicle impact with the ground, with their bodies fixed along the surface of the seat liner in advance and braced for ground impact. "Special attention should be paid to arm fixation to avoid the elbow and hand squat" (instruction). Landing speed: ~9.9 m/sec.
  • After landing:
    Crew should not get up quickly from their seats to leave the SA. They were advised to stay in the couch for several minutes and only then stand up. In doing that, they should limit head and eyes movement and avoid excessive motions, proceeding slowly. Their body should not take up earth gravity in the upright position too quickly.

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

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock – 5:33pm EDT (End of Increment 27)
    • ISS Photography Flyabout – 5:57pm
    • ISS in photography attitude – 6:13pm
    • 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-------------