All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 17 of Increment 26/Week 1 of Increment 27.
Crew Wake/Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate Soyuz 24S undock at 00:27am EDT on Wednesday, 3/16, , crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, starting today by an extension of 3 hrs to the crew workday and including a long sleep period on Wednesday:
. Wake - 2:00am EDT (this morning, regular)
. Sleep - 8:30pm (this evening),
. Wake - 12:30pm (tomorrow noon, 3/15),
. Sleep - 4:30am (Wednesday, 3/16, morning);
. Wake - 2:00am (Thursday, 3/17, morning)
. Sleep - 5:30pm (Thursday, 3/17, regular).
Upon wakeup, FE-2 Skripochka 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). [Oleg 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-6 Cady Coleman undertook her 13th weekly U.S. "Bisphosphonates" biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. The required ~10h fast period started for her last night. [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.]
CDR Scott Kelly began another round of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol, distributing crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) to the 25S crewmembers, i.e., Dmitri, Paolo & Cady, for a 24 hrs data take.
At wake-up, FE-1 Kaleri terminated his 13th 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.]
In the SM (Service Module), FE-4 Kondratyev performed the pre-undock testing of the Russian "Istochnik-M" (source, spring) Telemetry Reception & Recording system (SPR- TMI), checking it out by communicating with the attached Soyuz 24S. [SPR enables the ISS to receive telemetry from descending Soyuz spacecraft, particularly during tri-module separation, and record it on the Istochnik-M telemetry system. With the VHF ham radio turned off, the BR-9TsU telemetry system on the Soyuz TMA-01M/24S was powered on, and the FSH3 spectrum analyzer was used to measure the input signal from the SM antenna. The equipment, including the Istochnik TM station, power amplifiers, power supply, USB software sticks and cables, will capture Soyuz data through the "Sputnik" amateur (ham) radio antenna, and transfer it to a laptop display where the crew and the ground will be able to immediately tell if a good separation of the three modules occurred during Soyuz 24S descent operations].
After last week's re-outfitting of the Node-2 Nadir-to-HTV2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 2) vestibule (incl. removal of the CDC/Center Disk Cover, mating of a power jumper and a MIL-STD-1553 data jumper from Node-2 to HTV, etc.), Cady Coleman & Paolo Nespoli this morning opened the HTV PLC (Pressurized Logistics Carrier) hatch, ingressed the HTV, performed an atmosphere test and installed a PFE (Portable Fire Extinguisher & PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus).
FE-5 Nespoli then had ~5 hrs set aside to work through an extensive task list of HTV cargo operations, including unloading, ballast confirmation, trash stowage, preparation of the upcoming installation of RSPs (Return Stowage Platforms), etc. Both CDR Kelly & FE-6 Coleman joined Paolo during the day for some time in HTV2 cargo ops.
In preparation for their return to gravity on Wednesday, Sasha & Oleg undertook Part 2 of their 5th and final exercise/training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the VELO bike ergometer, taking turns in assisting each other as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Medical telemetry monitoring on the ground was at 7:19am EDT for Alex, 8:54am for Oleg. The activity was then closed out. [The assessments, lasting one hour each, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body's cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmembers' orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced ("negative") pressure, set at -25, -35, -40, and -45 mmHg for five min. each, then -25, -35, and -45 mmHg (Torr) for 10 min. each plus 30mmHg for 5 min. while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body's circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian "Pinguin" suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]
CDR Kelly then reconfigured the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) waste water bus connection to allow the collection of condensate in the WPA WWT (Waste Water Tank).
Scott also offloaded the Lab condensate tank, filling a CWC (Contingency Water Container) and collecting a 300 mL sample after purging the sampling gear with 300 mL water. (Duration to offload to neutral point: 40 min.)
After checking out proper communications between the BSPN Payload Server and the RSS1 laptop, FE-4 Kondratyev downloaded data accumulated from the GFI-7 Molniya-GAMMA experiment mounted externally since the Russian EVA-28. [GFI-17 "Molniya" FOTON-GAMMA investigates atmospheric gamma-ray bursts and optical radiation in conditions of thunderstorm activity.]
Kondratyev also collected 8 Bubble dosimeters of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite "Matryoshka-R" (RBO-3-2) and prepacked them with their associated photo memory cards for return to Earth on 24S.
Working on the new Japanese KOBAIRO ("stork") rack in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Cady Coleman installed two sample cartridges into the magazine of the GHF SCAM (Gradient Heating Furnace / Sample Cartridge Automatic Exchange Mechanism). [GHF is a vacuum furnace that contains three heating blocks. Their positions and temperatures can be independently controlled, and various temperature profiles can be configured. This facility will mainly be used for high quality crystal growth experiments using unidirectional solidification.]
As part of post-ULF5 EVA activities, Coleman set up EMUs #3005 & #3010 with their SCUs (Service & Cooling Umbilicals) in the A/L and started the standard one-hour scrubbing process on the spacesuits' cooling water loops, filtering ionic and particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter), followed by reconfiguring the cooling loops and starting the ~2hr biocide filtering. [Loop scrubbing, incl. iodination of the LCVGs (Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garments) for biocidal maintenance is done to eliminate any biomass and particulate matter that may have accumulated in the loops.]
In further preparation for Wednesday's undocking, FE-1 Kaleri worked in the 24S spacecraft's Orbital Module (BO), disconnecting & taking out 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, for stowage and recycling for a future vehicle.
Working periodic maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), the CDR evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration. Scott also performed the periodic inspection of the VIS (Vibration Isolation System) Y- & Z-axes rails & rollers and upper stops as well as the recently added rope knot of the ARED's exercise rope for fraying or damage in the strands.
Nespoli performed the monthly maintenance of the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill, checking its components, pin alignment, rack centering and the snubber jam nut witness marks. Today, Paolo also inspected the snubber cup Sorbothane lining for wear and the damaged rack composite. [The damage was caused by the Z-axis isolator chafing against the rack, as was noticed when T2 was moved from Node-2 to Node-3. Witness marks (12 total) are applied to the X-, Y- & Z-axis jam nuts on each (of four) snubber arm; their inspection serves to determine to what degree and which jam nuts are backing off.]
Cady Coleman undertook her 3rd (FD75) 24-hr Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment, today only with ECG (electrocardiogram) Holter and Actiwatches (no Cardiopres blood pressure monitoring this time). Paolo Nespoli assisted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) in preparing the Actiwatches & electrode sites, plus taking documentary pictures.
Collecting air samples for return on 24S, Oleg Skripochka used a Russian AK-1M absorber in the SM & FGB for air, an AK-1M-F sampler in the SM for Freon, and IPD-CO & -NH3 Draeger tubes, on a cartridge belt with a pump, to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide) and NH3 (Ammonia), resp. The samplers were stowed for subsequent return to Earth.
Afterwards, Skripochka & Kondratyev conducted the MO-22 Sanitary-Epidemiological Status check, part of the Russian MedOps program done usually before Soyuz departures. [To monitor for microflora, Oleg & Dmitri collected samples from surface areas of interior panels and hardware at 24 locations in the SM, FGB, MRM1, MRM2, DC1 and, ATV2, also from himself, using cotton swabs and special test tubes which were then stowed in 24S for return to the ground.]
Later, FE-2 also used the standard ECOSFERA equipment to conduct microbial air sampling runs for the MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment, with the POTOK Air Purification System temporarily powered down, taking Kit 2 samples from cabin surfaces along with samples from crewmembers for sanitation and disease studies. The Petri dishes with the samples were then stowed in the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container and subsequently packed for return in Soyuz 24S. Part 1 of MO-21 protocol was done yesterday, including overnight. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger and power supply unit, provides samples to help determine microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.]
Dmitri continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today inspecting & cleaning "Group B1" ventilator fans & grilles in the SM with the vacuum cleaner.
FE-1 Kaleri conducted the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).
Dima 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, 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.]
Oleg handled 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).
Kaleri had another 2 hrs for transferring & packing return cargo on Soyuz 24S, going by an updated listing of equipment in a package (AKT) to be transferred to a representative at the landing site, as well a layout & securing scheme of containers & equipment in the SA Descent Module.
Scott, Alex & Oleg again had an hour each set aside for personal crew departure preparations; these are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.
With ISS Command now being transferred from Scott Kelly to Dmitri Kondratyev for Increment 27, beginning this week as sole Russian crewmember, with Paolo Nespoli & Candy Coleman as Flight Engineers, Dmitri & Alex at ~11:20am EDT signed two copies of the formal Russian handover protocol document certifying RS handover/acceptance, including the contents of Progress 41P (#409), currently docked at DC Nadir, MRM1 Rassvet, and MRM2 Poisk. [The first copy remains on ISS, the second copy will be returned to the ground on Soyuz TMA-01M. "We, the Undersigned, have executed this Protocol to the effect that Kaleri Alexandr Yurievich, a crew member in charge of the RS E26 handed over, and Kondratyev Dmitri Yurievich, a crew member in charge of the RS E27, accepted the ISS RS."]
Later, Kelly & Kondratyev joined in a CDR-to-CDR Handover activity, in which Scott reviewed with Dima, the new CDR, some lessons learned, best practices and other handover items as needed.
The traditional "Change of Command" ceremony follows later today: it is scheduled at ~4:45pm-5:05pm EDT with all crewmembers, officially marking the transfer of the baton from Increment 26 to Increment 27.
Before sleep time, Dima Kondratyev will prepare the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his 9th 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.]
FE-1, FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Paolo at ~9:45am, Alex at ~12:45pm, Dmitri at ~3:05pm, Oleg at ~3:20pm EDT.
At ~11:43am, Paolo Nespoli powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 11:48am conducted a ham radio session with students at Fair Lawn High School, Fair Lawn, NJ.
At ~5:30pm, Nespoli is scheduled for 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).
The crew worked out on today's 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-6), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).
JAXA SSIPC Update: Pacific Ocean undersea cables carrying communications between JAXA SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba and MCC-Houston were severed by the earthquake. Therefore, no command or video capability is available. We are currently using the network through BCC/HOSC (Backup Control Center/ Huntsville Operations Support Center) at MSFC via IP for voice and data. JAXA is still targeting a departure date of 3/28 for HTV2, but needs the undersea connection repaired. SSIPC took some building damage; there are some keep-out areas in the four-story edifice. JEM/HTV Flight Controllers are allowed to work at MCR (Mission Control Room) with limited capability (voice & telemetry only) and limited shift (daytime only). There are still some aftershocks, which could require the evacuation of the SSIPC Flight Controllers. Three JAXA Flight Directors will arrive in Houston this week. HTV2 hatch was opened this morning, and internal configuration (lighting, ventilation, smoke alarm) were set up by MCC-H with voice loop support by HTV Flight Controllers.
No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.
ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:25am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 350.8 km
Apogee height - 354.8 km
Perigee height - 346.7 km
Period -- 91.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006015
Solar Beta Angle -- -47.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 131 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 70,599
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
03/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-01M/24S undock (00:27am EDT)/post-undock tests/landing (3:53am) (End of Increment 26)
03/18/11 -- ATV2 Reboost (~00:05am EDT)
03/28/11 -- HTV2 unberth (~12:00pm EDT)
03/29/11 -- HTV2 deorbit (~12:00am EDT)
03/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S launch - A. Borisenko (CDR-28)/R.Garan/A.Samokutayev
04/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S docking
04/19/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour launch ULF6 (ELC-3, AMS) ~7:48pm EDT NET
04/21/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour docking (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 (DC-1 nadir)
05/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour undock
05/03/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour landing
05/16/11 - Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
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)
06/04/11 -- ATV-2 "Johannes Kepler" undock (SM aft) - under review
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
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)
05/xx/12 - 3R Russian Proton -- Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
05/29/12 - Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch - S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 - Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
09/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
10/02/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 - Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
11/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
11/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch - C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 - Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
03/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch - P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
05/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
05/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch - M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
09/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
09/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch - M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
11/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
11/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch - K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 - Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
03/xx/14 - Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)