Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 April 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
April 6, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 April 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate tonight’s arrival of Soyuz TMA-21/26S (7:18pm EDT), crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, featuring today a 4-hr “nap” plus a 55-min “snack”, followed tomorrow by a free day.
* Wake – 2:00am EDT (this morning, regular)
* Lunch – 9:30am
* Midday nap – 10:30am-2:30pm
* Snack – 7:55pm-8:50pm
* Sleep – 5:00am (tomorrow morning, 4/7) for a very long “sleep”
* Wake – 2:00am (Friday, 4/8 – returning to regular)

Upon wake-up, CDR Kondratyev performed the regular daily check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) 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.]

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 20th 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.]

Kondratyev conducted the periodic download of accumulated log files from the BSPN Payload Server for inspection.

Afterwards, the CDR performed the periodic (monthly) functional activation of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system’s AVK emergency vacuum valves and also the standard closure test of two spare AVKs from storage. 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).]

Later, Dmitri completed the periodic transfer of condensate water to an RS EDV container for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis into oxygen & (waste) hydrogen, filling the designated KOV (condensate water) EDV container (#896), today from US CWCs (Collapsible Water Containers, #1083, #1065). 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 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.]

Dmitri 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-5 Nespoli meanwhile undertook a session with the U.S. PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol as subject, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on BP (blood pressure) & ECG during programmed exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer in the US Lab. Readings were taken with the BP/ECG equipment and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Cady Coleman assisted as Operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

With Nespoli taking documentary photography, Coleman set up the laptop computer for the AMS-2 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2), “ghosting” its software load (Vers. 1.41) and installing the HDD (Hard Disk Drive). [AMS will arrive on STS-134/ULF6 NET (not earlier than) 5/1.]

FE-6 also serviced the running BXF NPBX (Boiling Experiment Facility / Nucleate Pool Boiling Experiment) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) by removing & stowing the tapes from both digital recorders, labeling & installing new tapes, and resetting the tape counters. [BXF supports two investigations in MSG: NPBX and MABE (Microheater Array Boiling Experiment). Nucleate boiling is bubble growth from a heated surface and the subsequent detachment of the bubble to a cooler surrounding liquid (bubbles in micro-G grow to different sizes than on Earth). As a result, these bubbles can transfer energy through fluid flow. The BXF-NPBX investigation provides an understanding of heat transfer and vapor removal processes that take place during nucleate boiling in microgravity. This understanding is needed for optimum design and safe operation of heat exchange equipment that uses nucleate boiling as a way to transfer heat in extreme environments of the deep ocean (submarines) and micro-G.]

FE-5 Nespoli later powered down the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox).

Afterwards, Cady initiated another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer) and deactivated the system ~5 hrs later. [This was the 29th session with the replaced GC/DMS unit #1004, after the previous instrument (#1002) was used for approximately 7 runs. Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop (due to a software glitch, the software needs to be opened, closed, and then reopened in order to ensure good communication between GC/DMS and SSC-12). The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware],

In Node-3, Nespoli & Coleman worked on the OGS (Oxygen Generation System), measuring conductivity (pH value) in a recirculation loop sample collected on 3/5 during maintenance of the loop. [The 3/5 activity was intended to provide pre- and post-filtration samples and pressure data for developing a long-term remediation configuration to remedy the low pH issue of the recirculation loop which limited the OGS running time. Because the delta-pressure sensor in the water pump assembly is failed, pump current is being adjusted from the ground to keep maximum delta-pressure below maximum value. ]

Also in Node-3, Paolo removed & replaced the four HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria/charcoal filters and cleaned both Area SDs (Smoke Detectors).

Coleman conducted the regular (~weekly) inspection & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) and CGBA-5 payloads in their ERs (EXPRESS Racks).

Later, FE-6 continued preparing MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) units for Stage ULF5 preservative storage needs, first retrieving 4 ice bricks (-32 degC) and one half-Box Module and inserting them in MELFI-1, Dewar 3,Tray A/Sections 1 & 2, and then repeating the procedure with 16 ice bricks (+4 degC) and four half-Box modules for MELFI-3 Dewar 4, Trays A, B, C & D, Sections 1 & 2 of each.

In the US A/L (Airlock), Cady performed functional checkouts of three PGTs (Pistol Grip Tools, #1001, #1004, #1007) after equipping them with their freshly charged batteries.

Cady also closed the external shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science windows to protect them from Soyuz thruster contaminants.

At ~3:00am EDT, Paolo Nespoli powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 3:05am conducted a ham radio session with students at Scuola Primaria III Circolo “Tiro a Segno,” Fermo, Italy. The ham radio equipment was then powered down by Cady in preparation for the Soyuz arrival, to prevent RF interference.

At ~6:30am, Dmitri, Cady & Paolo supported three Russian PAO TV events, downlinking messages of greetings to (1) participants of the Yuri’s Night International Online Marathon at Moscow’s Gaudi Arena Club in the night of April 11/12, (2) participants of a Yuri’s Night celebration concert in Perm on April 12, and (3) employees of the GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) for their festivities dedicated to Cosmonautics Day on April 8, 2011, at GCTC. [Yuri’s Night is an international holiday celebrated annually on April 12 in memory of the first human flight to space. Yuri Gagarin made his first space flight on April 12, 1961, and the first space Shuttle was launched on April 12, 1981. Yuri’s Night is celebrated across the world: in Los Angeles, Stockholm, Antarctica, San-Francisco, Tel-Aviv, Tokyo, and even on the ISS. The goal of the celebration is to make the public aware of space exploration, inspire a new generation of seekers, unite young people who will be building the future of cosmonautics, select global-scale leaders and innovators from their midst. This year Yuri’s Night celebration will take place in Russia. The International Online Marathon will take place in Moscow’s Gaudi Arena Club on the night of April 11/12. The organizer of the youth’s event of the year is RSC Energia.– A concert of the world-renown Jethro Tull band led by Ian Anderson, a legendary flutist, and the Russian string ensemble Opus Posth with the outstanding violinist Tatiana Gridenko conducting, will take place on April 12 in the Large Hall of the Perm Philharmonic Theater. Cady was offered the chance to play some music on her flute “which she and Ian Anderson could perform as a duet during the concert, and say something in her own words about the Space-Earth duet. Ian wants to dedicate this duet to the memory of Yuri Gagarin.”]

At ~8:00am EDT, Coleman had her weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~8:50am, Nespoli conducted a tagup with the ESA staff at Col-CC at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between ISS crewmembers and Col-CC via S/G2 (Space-to-Ground 2) audio.]

At ~9:15am, Kondratyev recorded a PAO event for the “Human-Earth-Space” International Science Conference on April 9-10 in Kaluga, printing out and signing the cover and first page of a book for children, “Gagarin’s Lesson. I am from Childhood”. [The book is based on data collected and illustrated by schoolchildren from Kaluga school No. 25, .dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight for all Kaluga regional schools and school museums of Russia. Photos from the ISS will be placed on the title pages of 50 gift copies of “Gagarin’s Lesson. I am from Childhood” for VIPs at the conference.

At ~10:15am, Paolo performed his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

After their 4-hr “nap”, which lasted from 10:30am to 2:30pm EDT, Kondratyev first performed the regular daily check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) 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).

Next, the CDR started preparing the RS (Russian Segment) for the Soyuz 26S arrival by supporting TsUP-Moscow in deactivating the Elektron O2 generator (~3:40pm). As part of the standard deactivation process Dima purged the Elektron with N2 (nitrogen), controlled from laptop.

For covering the Soyuz docking, Paolo & Dmitri will later set up the Ku-band video “scheme”. [Paolo will activate the FGB-based A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop for the TV conversion to NTSC & Ku-band of the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera via the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from FGB & SM (Service Module), in order to downlink “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. Dima meanwhile sets up and checks out the RSS1 (SSC-1) laptop at the TsP (Central post) for monitoring the imagery during the MPEG-2 channel transmission.]

Other activities by FE-5 Nespoli include –
* Inspect all EVA safety & waist tethers and D-ring extenders for structural integrity [early inspection allows manifesting of new hardware on next flight if required],
* Terminate Round 2 maintenance recharge on the new REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly),
* Terminate autocycle of EMU Li-Ion LLBs (Long Life Batteries) using EMU Li-Ion Battery Charger,
* Initiate automated maintenance sequence on new batch of Li-Ion batteries in the Li-Ion Battery Charger, and
* Continue prepacking items for return on ULF6.

FE-6 Coleman will use the Velocicalc instrument to take IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) flow measurements for Node-1 Stbd Aft, Lab Fwd Port, Node-3 Deck Stbd & Node-3 Fwd Stbd.

Later, Coleman will join Paolo in prepacking cargo items for return on STS-134.

Cady is also scheduled to perform another weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of the on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes. [The new card (27-0041B) lists 132 CWCs (2,535.8 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (16 CWCs with 546.7 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 241.7 L in 6 bags containing Wautersia bacteria, 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use, 170.8 L in 4 bags for transfer into EDV-RP containers via US/RSA-B hose, and 3 empty bags; 2. potable water (no CWCs); 3. iodinated water (104 CWCs with 1,885.2 L for reserve, of which 642.2 L in 35 CWCs are listed as “expired”; 4. condensate water (76.6 L in 10 bags incl. 7.1 L in 1 bag to be used only for OGA, plus 5 empty bags); and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (27.3 L in 2 CWCs from hose/pump flush). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

At ~3:45pm, Coleman conducts her regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

Before the docking, CDR Kondratyev –
* Sets up the BRTK TVS video equipment to receive video from Soyuz and transmit it via the Ku-band “scheme”,
* Configures STTS/station communications for the docking, and
* Monitors, with Paolo, the approach and final docking of Soyuz (~7:18pm).

After the Soyuz docking at MRM1, Dmitri’s activities will include –
* Switching hatch KVDs (Pressure Equalization Valves/PEVs) between MRM1 & Soyuz back to Electric control mode,
* Dismantling, with Paolo, the Ku-band transmission “scheme”,
* Turning off the BRTK TVS video system for subsequent downlinking of footage, and
* Reconfiguring STTS station comm for the nominal post-docking hardline mode (MBS).

RS thrusters will be inhibited from 8:55pm-10:10pm EDT for the leak check and clamps installation. Soyuz CDR Alex Samokutyayev will conduct the leak checking on the Soyuz side from, followed by hatch opening and Crew Welcome, expected to take place at about 10:10pm-10:40pm EDT, to be transmitted to the ground live on PAO TV.

Afterwards, Samokutyayev will install the interface-rigidizing SSVP BZV quick-disconnect clamps at ~10:40pm-11:00pm. The crew will then switch to the ISS work plan, continue drying their Sokol suits and start drying the suit gloves.

The newcomers, FE-1 Alex Samokutyayev, FE-2 Andrei Borisenko & FE-3 Ron Garan, then join CDR Dmitri Kondratyev, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli & FE-6 Cady Coleman for the obligatory Safety Briefing by Dmitri (~11:00pm-11:45pm), to familiarize them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency.

Crewmembers worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (looking just left of track. Visual cues for this 2-km wide crater: it lies down track of a zone of darker rock surfaces, between the dark surfaces and an area of light-toned dunes. A local cue is an S-bend ridge), and St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda (looking near nadir for this capital city, on the north shore of the island of Antigua. A visual cue was the larger, butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe, just down track. Antigua and Barbuda is a small Caribbean nation with an estimated population of 85,700 people).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:03am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 350.8 km
Apogee height – 352.4 km
Perigee height – 349.2 km
Period — 91.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0002406
Solar Beta Angle — 23.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 307 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 70,961

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations————-
04/06/11 — Soyuz TMA-21/26S docking – ~7:18pm EDT
————–Six-crew operations————-
04/26/11 — Progress M-09M/41P undock
04/27/11 — Progress M-10M/42P launch
04/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC-1 nadir)
04/29/11 — STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS) ~3:47pm EDT
05/01/11 — STS-134/Endeavour docking
05/16/11 – Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch – M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations————-
06/10/11 — 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/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) ~3:30pm EDT NET
06/30/11 — STS-135/Atlantis 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————-

SpaceRef staff editor.