Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 January 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
January 3, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 January 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 6 of Increment 26.

FE-4 Dmitri Kondratyev conducted the regular daily early-morning check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 generator , installed (by Maxim Suraev 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). [Dima 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.]

As on every Monday, CDR Kelly undertook his 12th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. Cady Coleman joined him in this experiment, her 3rd 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.]

Scott began another week-long regimen with the post-wakeup experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), Scott’s 5th 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.]

FE-5 Nespoli started his 2nd suite of sessions with the medical protocol Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period. [For Pro K, there will be five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day. The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings.]

Paolo also performed another status check on the MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) Galley fridge, looking for any internal condensation moisture which would require replacing desiccants. [MERLIN, the Galley fridge, is used for cold storage of crew food and drink. If Paolo found moisture, a change-out of the desiccant will be scheduled. Daily checks by the crew are currently required because the ground has lost insight into MERLIN due to issues with the failed ER6 (EXPRESS Rack 6) laptop software load on 12/28. A manual software load by a crewmember will be scheduled for tomorrow. FDS (Fire Detection & Suppression) capabilities for the rack are still in place.]

FE-2 Skripochka, with FE-4 Kondratyev attending as handover activity, completed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated later tonight (~4:05pm EST) before sleeptime, followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days. (Last time done: 12/13-15).]

Working in the US Airlock, Nespoli performed Part 1 of regular maintenance on EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) equipment. [Activities included installing his EMU (#3005) on the Fwd EDDA (EMU Don/Doff Assembly) and Scott’s EMU (#3009) on the Aft EDDA position, then connecting their LCVHs (Liquid Cooling Ventilation Garments) to the suits (i.e., LCVG 3212 to #3005, LCVG 3194 to #3009) and filling the garments with water. As next step, Paolo “degassed” two PWRs (Payload Water Reservoirs, #1005, #1026), i.e., manually removed gas bubbles (by self-centrifugation) to minimize the amount of air introduced into the EMU. Then, both EMUs underwent their regular “dump and fill” maintenance for their feedwater tanks, using the degassed PWR 1005. Finally, Nespoli initiated EMU battery maintenance cycle on the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) which takes the batteries through a charge-discharge-recharge cycle.]

Tasks worked by Cady Coleman included –

* Checking out the PFS (Pulmonary Function System) relief valve on the HRF 2 (Human Research Facility 2) rack,
* Installing new software on ER6 RIC (EXPRESS Rack 6 / Rack Interface Controller), [after first making sure that ER6 laptop PCMCIAQ harness/card are properly seated and RS-232 data cable connections are correctly in place, and then starting RIC boot auto loader process],
* Initiating another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer); deactivating the system ~5 hrs later, [i.e., the 7th session with the newly replaced GC/DMS unit #1004, after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 7 runs],
* Unstowing the 3 copies of the “ULF4” Warning Book (Lab, SM, FGB) and making P&I (pen & ink) changes regarding recent replacements of UOPs (Utility Outlet Panels) with UOP bypass cables,
* Swapping out the IV (Intravenous) Administration Pack in the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack) and then performing an IV Fluids inventory in ALSP and locker D1 at Lab location D4, reclaiming expired fluids,
* Reviewing the procedure for furnace exchange (LGF/Low Gradient Furnace to SQF/Solidification & Quenching Furnace) in the MSL (Materials Science Laboratory), then removing the MICAST (Microstructure Formation in Casting of Technical Alloys under Diffusive & Magnetically Controlled Convective Conditions) Sample 7 from the LGF and stowing it in MSRR-1 (Materials Science Research Rack 1) for later use,
* Supporting JAXA by checking out CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for possible room to stow two LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights to be unloaded from the HTV-2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 2),
* Updating a display of the ISL (Integrated OpsLAN) interface panel port map of the JSL (Joint Station LAN/Local Area Network) in Node-2 & US Lab, and
* Starting her first session (of 3) with the JAXA experiment “Biological Rhythms” (BIORHYTHMS), for which she donned the electrodes of the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) for ECG (Electro-Cardiogram) recording, then initiated the data take for the next 24 hrs.

FE-1 Kaleri conducted another active session for the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), then downlinked video footage obtained with two SONY HVR-Z1J camcorders, in two parts sequenced to RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes (~5:19am & 6:54am EST). [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.]

Afterwards, Kaleri completed the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system’s AVK emergency vacuum valves. Vozdukh is part of the RS COA (Atmosphere Purification System). [The AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh’s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP).]

Alex also had another 1h55m for stowing disposal cargo in Progress M-08M/40P, scheduled for undocking on 1/24.

After making preparations for the periodic GKM window inspection in the SM (Service Module), FE-2 Skripochka had ~2 hrs set aside for the inspection & photography, using a tool kit with ruler, adhesive tape, 90-deg equilateral triangle & measuring tape, the NIKON D2 X digital camera with 28-70 mm lens, a flash attachment, and sketches of the windows under scrutiny (6, 7, 8, 9, and 12) in SM with previous detected flaws marked and flaw tables. Dmitri Kondratyev assisted as handover activity. [Purpose of the activity is to assess the condition of the window panes for deterioration as compared to the data from previous increments (appearance of new cavities, scratches, discolorations, or spots reducing transparency, or an increase in the size of old flaws), plus photography. Then images and data tables were stored on the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via OCA.]

Later, Skripochka performed a 2-hr audit/inventory of Russian medical support systems and equipment in RS medical lockers, containers & bags, assisted by uplinked table lists.

Kondratyev started a new round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, today working in the SM on Group A ventilator fans & grilles and in the DC1 Docking Compartment on the V3 fan.

CDR Kelly transferred 4 urine-filled EDV-U containers (#958, #965, #964, #966) from the Node-3 port endcone location to the DC1 for subsequent offloading to Progress 40P.

In the DC1, Alex Kaleri, with Dmitri assisting, configured the usual pumping equipment (Kompressor-M #41, hoses, adapters) and initiated the urine transfer from the US EDV-Us to the BV2 Rodnik storage tank of Progress 40P (#408), docked at DC1 Nadir. Scott later returned the empty containers to Node-3 for stowage. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Paolo Nespoli performed his first onboard science session with the ESA PASSAGES experiment, after setting up the VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) to cover the activities, operating the experiment from the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop. Cady Coleman also served as subject for a subsequent science run. [After installing the experiment equipment (NeuroSpat light shield, trackball) on the MPL (Multipurpose Laptop) in front of the EPM, Paolo & Cady each conducted a session of the science data collection as subjects (no glasses allowed). FE-6 then stowed the equipment. For downlinking the data, Coleman inserted the PASSAGES PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card into the EPM laptop and afterwards reconnected its power cable to its original EDR (European Drawer Rack) laptop. The PCMCIA was placed in the PASSAGES kit, which was then put back in the NeuroSpat kit. PASSAGES is designed to test how astronauts interpret visual information in weightlessness: it aims at studying the effects of micro-G on the use of the ‘Eye-Height’ strategy for estimating allowed actions in an environment, and whether this could possibly decrease after a long exposure to weightlessness.]

Scott had ~1h25m set aside to perform more IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) on the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack), with Paolo assisting by physically restraining the FIR while it was in a free-floating condition as Scott worked on it. [Work at the Lab D4 location today consisted in lower left snubber R&R (removal & replacement) and alignment to support ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) pushrod operation, visual locking sleeve inspection dental mirror and mini-maglight, and installation of a spare microgravity rack barrier post at the upper right corner of the FIR. Paolo’s rack restraint was necessary to prevent damage to the pushrods.]

Scott Kelly, in two segments, was to work on two CWCs-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine, #2009, #2010) to “degas” them, i.e. to remove any free air bubbles that may have been ingested since their last use, unless they were already done. This has become necessary since the water in the bags is reaching its expiration date and needs to be used. [The traditional procedure for “degassing” the container by first draining, then refilling it with a fully charged water CWC was replaced in 2004 by a rather ingenious new procedure developed and checked out on the KC-135 aircraft flying zero-G parabolas at JSC/Houston: Essentially, it involves the crewmember himself centrifuging the selected container by holding it away from the body and applying a slow rotation of ~15 rpm to himself, to separate air and water in the bag through centrifugal force, while simultaneously squeezing out the air by cinching down on bungee cords wrapped around the CWC.]

In preparation for the upcoming 2-year maintenance/overhaul of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), the CDR pre-gathered necessary equipment and tools from stowage, readied the urine & water valve block ORUs (On-orbit Replacement Unit) and reviewed procedural material for the WHC 2-Year Changeout activities. The review was followed by a WHC Maintenance teleconference with ground specialists via audio at ~1:00pm EST. [For the WHC 2-Year Changeout, the crew will replace urine lines, pressure sensors and the Urine Valve Block; these are yearly tasks and were performed last year. The crew will also replace water lines, pressure sensors, and the Water Valve Block; these 2-year tasks have never been performed on WHC as yet. The procedure includes a corrective maintenance activity to remove the internal UMS (Urine Monitoring System) line that was found to be contaminated with microbial growth during Inc-24. UMS will arrive on ULF5, along with a new adapter. Finally, the piping between the Pretreat & Water Pump and the Pump Separator needs to be changed out.]

Working periodic maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), FE-5 Nespoli removed & replaced both cable arm ropes, then evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

After her workout on the ARED, FE-6 Coleman later performed the periodic inspection of the recently added rope knot of the device’s exercise rope for fraying or damage in the strands, then greased the VIS (Vibration Isolation System) Y- & Z-axes rails & rollers and upper stops.

Paolo completed the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on Eye Treatment. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

Nespoli also began with setting up the new EEGS (Emergency Egress Guidance System) in the ISS interior, today installing glow-in-the-dark decals near hatches on the emergency egress path in the US modules. [COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and JPM decals will be installed at a later time.]

Skripochka, with Kondratyev assisting, 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.]

An additional task for Oleg & Dmitri in the SM was the routine weekly inspection of the SVO SRV-K2M (Condensate Water Processor) hoses from the MF-R Diaphragm Separator Filter to the BRPK Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit.

FE-2 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, Dima will set up the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 2nd 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.]

CDR & FE-6 had their regular PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Scott at ~9:10am, Cady at ~11:2500am EST.

At ~4:15am, Alex, Oleg & Dmitri supported a formal live PAO TV downlink with greetings and congratulations to a special Russian educational event at the S.P. Korolev Russian National Children & Youth Center for Aerospace Education for the Fifth Russian Youth Science Readings in honor of Sergey Pavlovich Korolev.

The crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Scott’s, Paolo’s & Cady’s workouts on the ARED were captured on video and downlinked for subsequent biomechanical evaluation of the crewmember and hardware status at MCC-H.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded today.

ISS Orbit (as of this noon, 12:58pm EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 351.8 km
Apogee height – 355.4 km
Perigee height – 348.2 km
Period — 91.57 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0005355
Solar Beta Angle — -13.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 121 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 69,502.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
01/13/11 — ISS Reboost Pt. 2
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 – 1:37:36 am 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————-

SpaceRef staff editor.