Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 20 December 2010

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2010
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 20 December 2010

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 4 of Increment 26.

FE-2 Skripochka & FE-4 Kondratyev, as handover, 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). [Oleg & 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.]

CDR Kelly continued his current week-long activity with the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Scott’s 4th session, transferring data from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. [To monitor their sleep/wake patterns and light exposure during a SLEEP session, US crewmembers wear 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 are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Also at wake-up, Kelly, Nespoli & Coleman performed a session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol, first time for Paolo & Cady. For their pre-sleep RST activity, Scott, Paolo & Cady took photos and video of each other to provide insight to the Principal Investigator team. [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.]

Scott undertook his 10th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. Cady Coleman joined him in this experiment, her first weekly pill ingestion. The required ~10h fast period started last night for both of them. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

FE-1 Kaleri started his day by upgrading the hard disk of the RSS-Med A31p laptop with new software, vers. 1.6. [The installation upgraded software for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and provided new software for MBI-1 SPRUT-2 (“Squid-2”), part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity.]

Skripochka meanwhile replaced the old RSS1 A31p laptop with a New Generation T61p Lenovo laptop, loading it with vers. 3.0 software.

Later, Kaleri undertook the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors/meters in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways, skipping the Soyuz hatch. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO (SM Working Compartment), PrK-Progress, PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment) – RO, PkhO-FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO-FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1.]

In the “digital” Soyuz TMA-01M/24S (#701) spacecraft, docked at the MRM2 “Poisk” at FGB nadir, Alex turned off the GA gas analyzer in the SA/Descent Module which he had activated on 12/14 for the periodic checkup of the cabin air.

In the newly arrived Soyuz TMA-20/25S (#230), FE-4 Kondratyev worked in the Orbital Module (BO), installing and connecting the electronic LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit from stowage, recycled from an earlier vehicle.

FE-4 also deactivated the GA in the SA of 25S.

At ~6:10am EST, the six-member crew joined for the important 2-hr Crew Safety Handover (peredacha del po bezopasnosti), to familiarize them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency, and to clarify emergency roles & responsibilities. CDR Scott Kelly went through formally listed procedures in discussing the ISS prime to non-prime crew emergency roles & responsibility agreements established during ground training. A 20-min ground specialist tagup wrapped up the obligatory session. [Safety is of primary concern on board. Safety Handover includes safety-related items such as (1) emergency actions, equipment and individual crew roles & responsibilities for the four hazard areas (depressurization, fire, ammonia release, non-ammonia toxic release), (2) visiting vehicles docking/undocking, (3) evacuation vehicles, (4) crew life support system status, (5) computers, (6) communications, (7) medical equipment & provisions, (8) stowage, (9) IVA hazards (e.g., sharp edges, protrusions, touch temperatures) and (10) stowage and current hardware status. Aboard the station are 2 potential sources of Toxic Level 4-chemicals (external thermal loops; Vozdukh) and 7 Tox-2 sources such as Elektron, METOX cans, LiOH cans and batteries. Prime/non-prime crew roles assignments: the CDR will be responsible for crew headcount; for Fire in the RS (Russian Segment), the three cosmonauts will be prime, i.e. responsible for generally working the response, while Kelly, Coleman & Nespoli would stay in their respective Soyuz vehicles or other safe areas; for Rapid Depress, designated crewmembers would calculate the all-important T.res (remaining time), manipulate valves & hatches, run procedures & coordinate communications; for a Toxic Leak (ammonia), each crewmember is assigned specific tasks in retrieving respirators, detection kits, Sokol suits, go-to locations, etc. Soyuz vehicle preparations for descent could be required very quickly.]

The CDR performed the periodic camera setup status check on the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) with Sample 2. [The checkup includes image transfer, camera battery and camera/flash position. It is scheduled daily starting at Initiation+1 day during automated photography.]

For upcoming CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) video checkouts to be conducted for the next two weeks by JAXA/SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba), Scott & Cady attached two MEUs B (Measurement Experiment Units B) in the CBEF IU 1G (Incubator Unit for 1G).

FE-5 Nespoli completed 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. [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.]

Afterwards, Paolo unpacked a new HMS IMAK (Health Maintenance System / ISS Medical Accessory Kit) brought up on Soyuz 25S.

FE-6 Catherine Coleman had ~30 min scheduled to configure and review the upcoming JEM RMS (Japanese Experiment Module / Robotic Manipulator System) checkout in the computerized DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) in preparation for the HTV2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 2) arrival on 1/27/11. [The RMS checkout will involve the HC (Hand Controller) and Arm Bus, JOCAS (Joint Operator Commanded Auto Sequence), FOR (Frame of Reference {i.e., x,y,z instead of joint angle values} OCAS, and Pause/Proceed function, EE (End Effector) and VLU (Video Light Unit), plus manual operations for familiarization.]

Afterwards, Cady worked in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), performing the periodic changeout of the urine receptacle (UR) and insert filter (IF) with new units. [WHC was unavailable for use during this activity.]

Alex Kaleri set up the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal) with its electromagnetic unit and replaceable container for another run and initiated operation. After about 1h20m, the hardware was disassembled & stowed, and the video footage, obtained with two SONY HVR-Z1J camcorders, was downlinked in two parts. [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS (Russian Segment): condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

Later, Sasha performed his 5th data collection 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. [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.]

FE-2 Skripochka had another 2-hr period set aside for continuing transfer and stowage of excessed hardware and trash on Progress M-08M/40P, docked at DC-1 nadir, for undocking and disposal on 1/24/11.

Working for about 2h 45m in Node-1, Scott Kelly cleaned the starboard aft IMV (Inter-module Ventilation) inlet, fan and noise dampers.

In the US A/L (Airlock), Scott then installed two IMV grids, one a duct screen over the air inlet of the vestibule duct between A/L and Node-1, the other a panel screen over the A/L air return duct selector panel.

FE-1 completed the regular weekly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization). [This is primarily an inspection of the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices) in contingency configuration, SLD cables for fraying and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.]

FE-4 worked through a familiarization/test session for Russia’s EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera with the RSK-1 laptop.

Afterwards, Paolo serviced the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) by conducting its periodic maintenance & visual inspection, including evacuating its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration, checking out the rails & rollers and greasing the Y- and Z-axes rails & rollers.

Earlier, the CDR had performed the periodic inspection of the ARED exercise rope, checking the recently added rope knot for fraying or damage in the strands. [If damage was found, Scott was to photodocument it and notify MCC-H.]

Working in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory, FE-5 Nespoli installed the experiment equipment for his and Cady’s first in-orbit session with the ESA experiment NEUROSPAT (Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration). [Laptops and EPM (European Physiology Module) were not yet powered up. NEUROSPAT activities will be spread over the two days this week. Tomorrow: Setting up the EEG cap and acquiring science data from Paolo & Cady setup. Wednesday: Data handling & stowage (Paolo).]

After clearing out space in the Lab end cone & Ovhd O4 stowage areas to enable ops, Paolo also completed Part 1 of assembling the SLAMM-D (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) hardware, then connected the HRF PC (Human Research Facility Portable Computer) laptop to SLAMMD.

At the MSG AL (Microgravity Science Glovebox Airlock), Coleman removed the Bezel hardware, to be trashed, and replaced it with new components, then verified correct mating of the Ethernet cables and took documentary photographs of the connections at MLC (MSG Laptop Computer), UIP (Utility Outlet Panel) and of the full MSG rack.

Skripochka 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.]

Oleg also did 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).

Before sleeptime, Dmitri Kondratyev will set up the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his first 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 three new crewmembers had ~30 min set aside to review protocols and use of the CMS (Counter Measure System) exercise equipment. Kondratyev then observed Skripochka in his run on TVIS while Nespoli & Coleman used Kelly’s workout session on the T2/COLBERT machine to familiarize themselves with the advanced treadmill. [New crewmembers always receive training from experienced crew on the use of the exercise equipment – one session for each apparatus.]

For his first exercise run on the TVIS treadmill today, Dmitri reformatted his PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) flash memory/storage card with his personal information on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer, using FE-2, since the TVIS format utility only supports CDR, FE1 & FE-2.

Also on the MEC, Nespoli transferred the automated CEVIS protocol to his CEVIS PCMCIA card.

The “old” crew and Oleg completed today’s physical workout regimel, on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-4).

CDR, FE-5 & FE-6 had their PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Paolo at ~10:45am, Cady at ~11:25am, Scott at ~12:20pm EST.

At ~1:20pm, Kaleri, Kondratyev & Skripochka joined for a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking two messages of holiday greetings: (1) to children attending a New Year night celebration at RSC-Energia, and (2) to the management and staff of Energia at the New Year party. [The Moscow mayor’s office annually arranges the New Year holiday for children. This year, organizers of festive ideas delivered holiday greeting from Moscow children to the ISS for all Exp-26 crewmembers, and a gift box. During the conversation, Alexander, Oleg, Dmitri held the cards and gift box from the children.]

Robotics Test: After ground-commanded power-up of the MSS (Mobile Service System), the MT (Mobile Transporter) with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) was moved by ground control from WS3 (Worksite 3) to WS5 (10:45am-1:45pm). Subsequently, the SSRMS maneuvered to and grappled MBS PDGF3 (Mobile Base System / Power & Data Grapple Fixture 3). For the MT translation, Russian thrusters were disabled at ~10:45am and re-enabled at 1:45pm.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:43am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 348.9 km
Apogee height – 354.5 km
Perigee height – 343.3 km
Period — 91.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0008293
Solar Beta Angle — 28.1 deg (magnitude topping out)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 74 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,278.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
12/22/10 — ISS Reboost (11:25am EST; 18min 54sec; delta-V 2.50 m/s)
01/20/11 — HTV2 launch
01/21/11 — Russian EVA-27
01/24/11 — Progress M-08M/40P undock
01/27/11 — HTV2 berthing (Node-2 zenith)
01/28/11 — Progress M-09M/41P launch
01/31/11 — Progress M-09M/41P docking (DC1)
02/03/11 — STS-133/Discovery launch – ~1:37am EST
02/04/11 — STS-133/Discovery docking – ~9:43pm
02/11/11 — STS-133/Discovery undock – 4:42pm
02/13/11 — STS-133/Discovery land (KSC) – ~8:41pm
02/21/11 — Russian EVA-28
02/15/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” launch
02/19/11 — Progress M-07M/39P undock
02/24/11 — HTV2 unberthing (Node-2 nadir)
02/26/11 — ATV-2 “Johannes Kepler” docking (SM aft)
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 (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
04/01/11 — STS-134/Endeavour (ULF6 – ELC3, AMS-02) launch – ~3:15am — NET
04/26/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC1)
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 (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/04/11 — 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)
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-23/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 – Soyuz TMA-23/28S 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-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 (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton.
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)
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-23/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-25/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Valkov
04/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-25/30S docking (MRM2)
————–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————-

To send holiday greetings to the crew and get more information about the space station, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.