Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 March 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
March 15, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 March 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Last full day of Increment 26. First day as CDR for Dmitri Kondratyev (Scott Kelly again FE-3 as on Inc-25).

Crew Wake/Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate Soyuz 24S undock tomorrow at 00:27am EDT, crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, featuring a long sleep-over and late turn-in today and an “all-sleep” Wednesday:

. Wake – 12:30pm (today),
. Sleep – 4:30am (tomorrow morning, 3/16);
. Wake – 2:00am (Thursday morning, 3/17)
. Sleep – 5:30pm (Thursday, 3/17, regular).

Upon wakeup, CDR Kondratyev performed the regular daily 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). [Dmitri will inspect the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Kondratyev also terminated his 9th 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.]

At wake-up, FE-3 Kelly, FE-5 Nespoli & FE-6 Coleman completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. It was the 12th (and last) for Scott, the 13th for Cady & Paolo. [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.]

Afterwards, Kelly deployed four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at bay P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Scott also completed the final download of the Actiwatch from his final (9th) session with the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), then stowed the hardware. [FE-3 additionally performed the download & initialization of Cady Coleman’s Actiwatch for MedOps. To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure during a SLEEP session, US crewmembers wore a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him/her as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition, using the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries were done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Later, Scott conducted Part 2 of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol, today taking the three crew-worn acoustic dosimeters of the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) from the 25S crewmembers (Dmitri, Paolo, Cady), and downloaded their accumulated data.

For her on-going 3rd Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment, Cady Coleman changed out the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) card and Makita battery and then continued to wear both the HM2 and both Actiwatches for another 24 hrs, using the CEVIS exercise machine later in the day to meet ICV’s heart rate requirement (greater than 120 bpm for 10 min.). No Cardiopres blood pressure monitoring this time. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. Today, wearing electrodes, the HM2 for recording ECG (Electrocardiogram) for the second 24 hrs and two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) for monitoring activity levels over 24 hrs, Cady continued the ambulatory monitoring part of the ICV assessment. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate >=120 bpm (beats per minute). After approximately 24 hrs (today at ~12:00pm), the Cardiopres was temporarily doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery were changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise.]

Kondratyev performed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) 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].

Afterwards, the CDR downloaded a log file from the BSPN Payload Server for inspection.

FE-5 Nespoli had ~3 hrs set aside to continue working through his extensive task list of HTV2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle) cargo unloading & trash stowing operations, including installing RSPs (Return Stowage Platforms), etc. Later in the day (~8:55pm), Paolo will tag up with ground specialists at MCC-Houston for an HTV2 cargo ops progress report.

Later, Paolo will configure ATU (Audio Terminal Unit) #15 in the new “on-call” crewmember’s CQ (Crew Quarters) in Node-2 (at port bay 5) and verified its functionality.

FE-6 Coleman completed the periodic routine replacement of the RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) with a spare unit and then reconfigured the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) to feed the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) directly for processing. The used RFTA was stowed in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) [New RFTAs were delivered on ULF-5. RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine by the UPA as it turns it into water. HTV2 also delivered two new RFTAs. This allows nominal WHC/UPA operations, feeding urine directly to the UPA for processing as required.]

Later, Cady performs routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) prime unit (#1067) by replacing its battery with a new one, then zero-calibrating all units. [CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Following zero calibration, the prime unit was re-deployed at the SM Central Post.]

FE-6 also undertakes the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling in Node-3 using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose, followed by the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag). [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.]

FE-2 Skripochka 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 Kaleri had several hours reserved for final cargo transfers and loading operations in the Soyuz 24S SA Descent Module. Afterwards, Alex will report “Loading Complete” to TsUP/Moscow at ~5:40pm via S-band).

Dmitri Kondratyev, the new CDR, is to complete another data collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. It is his 9th run. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

For the undocking, Kondratyev will power off both the Vozdukh CO2 (carbon dioxide) scrubber and the Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator.

Also preparatory to the Soyuz departure, Cady Coleman deactivates the onboard amateur radio stations in the Service Module (SM), to prevent radio interference with the departing spacecraft and the Istochnik-M system, while Paolo Nespoli closes the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) windows.

Preparations for tonight’s undocking begin at ~8:00pm, with the activation of the Soyuz spacecraft by Soyuz CDR Kaleri who will perform checkouts and conduct communications tests from the 24S to RGS (Russian Groundsite) via VHF (Very High Frequency).

Russian thrusters will be disabled from ~9:00pm-10:40pm due to load constraints for the removal of the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint.

After Crew Farewell, Scott, Oleg & Sasha enter the Soyuz at ~9:10pm, covered by live PAO TV.

Next, Soyuz CDR Kaleri activates the spacecraft’s gas analyzer (GA), after which Kondratyev inside MRM2 and Skripochka outside will close MRM2 & Soyuz hatches. The departing Soyuz crew then starts the standard one-hour leak check on the Soyuz-to-Poisk vestibule.

Before the undocking, CDR Kondratyev activates & verifies proper operation of the Russian TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB (“Bend”) experiment in the SM for taking structural dynamics data during the Soyuz departure. Tomorrow morning, Dmitri will download the stored measurements. [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.]

After attitude control authority has been handed over to the RS MCS (Russian Segment Motion Control System) at ~11:10pm, the ISS will maneuver to duty attitude, then undock attitude and go into Free Drift at 00:23am-00:29am for MRM2 hooks opening and Soyuz undocking at 00:27am. Attitude control will return to US Momentum Management with CMGs (Control Moment Gyros) at ~1:41am.

After Soyuz departure (00:27am EDT), CDR Kondratyev will –

* Manually close the KVD/PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) between MRM2 and its docking port vestibule (~00:50am),
* Reconfigure the Russian STTS onboard comm system to its “undocked” mode, and later, after the Soyuz landing in Kazakhstan, reset it to nominal mode,
* Download the TEKh-15/DAKON-M IZGIB measurement data,
* Download the new batch of post-undocking TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” structural dynamics measurements,
* Downlink the photo/video footage of the hatch closure event to the ground,
* Support ground reactivation of the Elektron O2 generator, switching it first to 24 Amps mode, later to 32 Amps, and
* Reactivate the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber.

During the Soyuz re-entry flight, Dmitri will be 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].

With all the departure activities on his work schedule, Dima’s sleep time is will start an hour later (5:30am) than Cady’s & Paolo’s (4:30am).

Soyuz TMA-01M Post-Undock Tests: In a departure from the standard undock/sep/deorbit template, Soyuz 24S will conduct two attitude control tests shortly after physical separation (00:27am EDT) and before deorbit. After moving slowly away from the MRM2 in the zenith direction (-Z = straight up), the spacecraft will station-keep at a range of ~50 m, and the crew will test the new RODK (Manual Attitude Control in Digital Mode) of the ship at ~00:31am. After the test, at ~00:36am, Soyuz will perform a 20 sec separation burn (delta-V~0.72 m/sec), moving further to the ISS zenith and then aft. At ~00:37am, the crew will perform the second test, this time of the ROAK (Manual Attitude Control in Analog Mode) using the new angular speed sensors (ammeters). Nominal deorbit burn is scheduled for ~3:03am-3:07am.

The crew worked out on today’s 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (CDR).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today were Sudbury Impact Crater, Ontario, Canada (looking to the left of track for this large impact structure and mining area. Scattered clouds were expected. The Sudbury impact structure is ancient [approx. 2 billion years old] and has been modified by geologic processes over time into its current oval shape. Overlapping mapping frames of the crater were requested), North Mariana Islands, & Guam (Scattered clouds were expected during this overpass of Guam and the southern Mariana Islands. Overlapping, nadir-viewing frames of the islands and surrounding coral reefs were requested), Earthquake and Tsunami Damage, Japan (Dynamic Event. Looking to the left of track for the eastern coastline of Honshu. A magnitude 8.9 earthquake occurred off the east coast of the island on March 11, 2011. In addition to damage caused by the earthquake itself, a tsunami was generated that inflicted additional damage along the coastline. Cloud cover was present over much of Japan, but there may have been enough gaps to allow photography of the Honshu coastal areas).

24S Descent Timeline Overview:
If everything proceeds nominally, the return to Earth of the TMA-01M spacecraft early tomorrow will proceed along the following approximate event sequence (all times EDT):
* ISS attitude control handover to RS — 11:10pm;
* ISS to free drift for undocking — 00:23am;
* Undock command — 00:24am;
* Separation springs action/physical sep (delta-V ~0.12 m/sec) — 00:27am;
* Crew activation of RODK (digital manual attitude control) — 00:27:30am
* Manual separation burn #1 (10 sec, ~0.35 m/sec) — 00:29am
* Stationkeeping for RODK test (~50 m) — 00:30:15am
* RODK (digital attitude control) test start — 00:31am
* Manual separation burn #2 (20 sec, ~0.72 m/sec) — 00:36am;
* Crew activation of ROAK (analog manual attitude control, ~100 m) — 00:37am;
* ROAK (analog attitude control w/ammeters) test start (~120 m) — 00:37:30am
* ISS attitude control handover to US — 1:41am;
* Deorbit Burn start (delta-V 115.2 m/sec) — 3:03:17am;
* Deorbit Burn complete — 3:07:34am;
* Tri-Module separation (140 km alt) — 3:27:57am;
* Atmospheric entry (102.3 km alt, with ~170 m/sec) — 3:30:50am;
* Entry Guidance start (80.5 km alt) — 3:32:36am;
* Max G-load (33.7 km alt) — 3:37:27am;
* Parachute deploy command (10.6 km alt) — 3:39:23am;
* 24S Landing (DO2) — 3:53:43am EDT; 10:53:43am Moscow DMT; 1:53:43pm local Kazakhstan; (loc. 51deg 00min N, 67deg 10min E);
[Note: Kazakhstan time = GMT+6h; = EDT+10h. Moscow DMT = EDT+7h.]

What the Soyuz TMA-01M/24S crew will experience during their reentry/descent tonight:

* For the reentry, Kaleri, Skripochka & Kelly 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:

SpaceRef staff editor.