NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 April 2011

image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. First full day of the entire Exp-27 crew complement:

Upon wake-up, CDR Kondratyev & FE-2 Borisenko 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). This was the first of a succession of joint "handover"-activities, timelined to familiarize the newcomers with onboard routine tasks. [Dmitri & Andrey 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.]

Afterwards, Kondratyev & Borisenko checked out proper communications between the BSPN Payload Server and the RSS1 laptop, and then 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.]

Dmitri & Andrey also conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). [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.]

Later, CDR & FE-2 jointly unpacked & deployed new TMA-21-arrived RODF (Russian Operations Data Files) material. [This involved updates for the books on Life Support System (SOZh), Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System (SKDS), Medical Operations (MO), Biotechnology Experiments (BTKh), Atmosphere Revitalization System (SOGS), Photo Ops, TORU Ops, ISS-26/27 Handover Recommendations (RPS MKS 26/27), Soyuz 25S Ascent/Descent data, plus 2 ODF CD-ROMs.]

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 21st for them. Newcomer Ron Garan will perform his first in-flight RST tomorrow. [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.]

FE-3 Garan took in the obligatory CMS (Countermeasures Systems) exercise overview which is required of each new crewmember prior to the first physical exercised session. [Ron familiarized himself with location and usage of items such as the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) components (chest strap, transmitter, watch), TVIS & CEVIS PCMCIA memory cards, treadmill harness, ergometer & athletic shoes, and the SBS (Series Bungee System) assembly.]

After adjusting the VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) to cover his activities in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for ground monitoring, Ron Garan worked in the forward section on the D1 rack on degassing the water loop of the running WPA2 TCS (Water Pump Assembly 2 / Thermal Control System), a periodic task. [Activities included setting up and connecting the PFA (Portable Fan Assembly) for ventilation, opening a D1 panel, installing the "Hydrocyclone" device on WPA2 and initiating degassing. After checking Hydrocyclone activity several times during the day for its air bubble removal, it turned out that bubble removal was not fully successful. Ground engineers are investigating.]

Later, Ron also transferred and unpacked his Soyuz-delivered HMS IMAK (Health Maintenance System / ISS Medical Accessory Kit).

FE-6 Coleman & FE-5 Nespoli meanwhile worked in the A/L (Airlock) where they had ~2 hrs for resizing two EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) for the STS-134/ULF6 spacewalks. [EMU #3005 was resized for Greg Chamitoff (EVA-1 & EVA-4). EMU #3018 was reconfigured with backup EMU hardware, to be returned on EMU #3018 (Mike Fincke's suit). Since 3 of the 4 ULF6 EVAs will take the crew outboard of the SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint), with a potential for plasma shock hazard, Cady & Paolo used Kapton tape to wrap suit #3005's electrical harness "Lemo" cable-to-cable connectors for insulation.]

Also in the A/L, FE-5 Paolo Nespoli terminated the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters #0019 & #0018 in the "bakeout" oven, initiated yesterday, and started the process on METOX cans #0021 & #0022. [Recyclable METOX canisters replaced the old one-way/expendable LiOH (lithium hydroxide) canisters as carbon dioxide (CO2) removal system in the EMU/spacesuits in 2001. During use, CO2 is absorbed by them and later removed through a special valve opening by "baking" (heating), which takes place in a special oven in the A/L.]

Additionally, Paolo terminated Round 3 maintenance recharge on the new REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly),

Later, FE-5 used the G1 camcorder to shoot a video tour of the A/L interior for instructional use by the upcoming ULF6/STS-134 crew. [Recommended focus areas were emergency equipment, general stowage philosophy in A/L & ISS, tool configurations, staging bag with fish stringers hook inventory, EVA ammonia decontamination kit, spacesuit accessories, etc.]

FE-6 Cady Coleman continued her support of the JAXA NANOSKELETON-2 payload in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), today conducting post-Experiment #2 activities. [Steps included detaching MEU (Measurement Experiment Unit) A (2) from CBEF IU (Cell Biology Experiment Facility Incubation Unit) for Micro-G after incubation of the experiment #2, then retrieving Observation Sample Bag (2) from Bag Cartridge B (2) and MEU B. NANOSKELETON is one of the micro-G experiments conducted by JAXA for industrial application. The objective of this experiment is to develop a new functional photocatalyst named "Nanoskeleton" using self-assemblies of the surfactant. In the experiment, the TiO2 (titanium oxide) "nanoskeleton" is synthesized with a mixture of CTAB (Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) surfactant solution and TiOSO4 (Titanium oxysulfate)-H2SO4 solution under isothermal conditions (40 degC), to quantitatively investigate the effects of gravity during a chemical reaction process. Micro-g is needed to get uniform large pore sized structure and to clarify the effect of sedimentation and convection on particle cohesion. The experiment uses oil (TMB) to enlarge the pore size of the honeycomb structure; therefore, this experiment will attempt to clarify the effects of gravity such as the flotation of oil and convective flow, by evaluating the retrieved samples. Experiment output on orbit consists of the temperature samples plus images. The result of the experiment will contribute to high performance organic solar cell, water/air purification and so on.]

Later, Cady set up equipment for pumping urine from an EDV-U container into the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) and initiated the transfer. [The WRS (Water Recovery System) EDV-U was connected to the WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly via EDV transfer hose and the Russian compressor, powered from the Ku-band power source. EDV-U should be filled to 70%, with additional pumping opportunities scheduled tomorrow and Sunday, if required, in order to allow the planned RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) replacement on Monday.]

FE-6 also continued preparing MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) for Stage ULF5 preservative storage needs, retrieving 2 ice bricks (-32 degC) and one half-Box Module and inserting them in Dewar 3,Tray D/Sections 1 & 2. [This was Insertion #7.]

In Node-3, Kondratyev worked on the RS (Russian Segment) Remote Laptop (#1118), resetting it to Nominal by cloning ("ghosting") Russian BVS Onboard Computer System software. Afterwards, the CDR deactivated the laptop and tagged up with round specialists. [On 3/17, Dmitri had modified the Remote Laptop software for ATV2 displays.]

Other activities completed by Dmitri included -
* 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),
* The periodic data dump from the BRI (SSR/Smart Switch Router) control log to the RSS1 laptop for downlink to the ground via OCA,
* Setting up the RS video configuration, supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band,
* Initiating maintenance discharge on the first 825M3 Orlan spacesuit battery pack,
* Removing & replacing the VN1 & VN2 air ventilation fans in the SM, prepacking the fans for disposal and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System), and
* Servicing the running experiment TEKh-22 "Identifikatsiya" (Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet, downloading the latest batch of ISS structural dynamic data collected by the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in the PGO section behind panel 104.]

FE-1 Samokutyayev transferred the second part of the new set of the radiation payload "Matryoshka-R" (RBO-3-2) from the Soyuz, viz. the spherical body-simulating FANTOM ("Phantom") complex, to the MRM1 and deployed it with its 20 dosimeters at its designated exposure location (behind panel 205). [The Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.]

With Kondratyev shooting documentary photographs, Sasha Samokutyayev installed the Russian BTKh-43 KONSTANTA (#11) payload, transferred from Soyuz 26S, in the SM, then performed the first run of the biotech experiment with Cassette #1. [BTKh-43, comprising the Recomb-K hybridizer bioreactor plus photo & video equipment with two SPR-1 portable lights, studies potential effects of spaceflight factors and their nature on the activity of a model enzyme relative to a specific substrate (bioreactors are specialized hardware for growing, cells, tissues, and microorganisms).]

FE-2 Borisenko took two photos of the internal part of the MRM2 nadir port's SSVP-StM docking cone to obtain digital imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left by the head of the Soyuz TMA-21 active docking probe on the internal surface of the passive drogue (docking cone) ring, a standard practice after Russian dockings. Andrey subsequently downlinked the pictures via OCA assets. [These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, Alex used the Nikon D2X digital still camera to take the pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

FE-2 also had ~1 hr set aside for Soyuz 26S cargo transfer and IMS updating operations.

Later, Andrey handed his first daily IMS 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).

With Nespoli assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Kondratyev undertook the periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 ("Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest") on the TVIS exercise equipment, his first session. [Equipment used was VPG/Temporal Pulsogram and 8-channel ECG/Electrocardiogram Data Output Devices (USI). The test took place during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) overflight window (~11:14am-11:30am EDT) via VHF for data downlink from the VPG and Gamma-1M ECG for about 5-6 minutes.]

Paolo had another 1-hr block assigned for prepacking cargo for STS-134/ULF6. [An estimated 11 hrs total are required to complete ULF6 prepacking. Most items are being packed in CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags); some of them are uniquely packed. Prepack staging location is in Node-2. In order to prepack some items, the crew first has to remove their replacements from the ATV2 (Automated Transfer Vehicle) or, in two cases, the item will come from "Johannes Kepler".]

At ~12:40pm EDT, the six-member crew joined for the important 1.5-hr Crew Emergency Roles & Responsibilities Review (peredacha smeniy po bezopasnosti), to familiarize them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency, and to clarify emergency roles & responsibilities. CDR Dmitri Kondratyev 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 Garan, 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.]

Ron spent ~1 hr with FE-6 Coleman in another handover session, the 2nd, during which Cady familiarized her compatriot with USOS (US Segment) activities.

The three newcomers, FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3, had their free time for general orientation (adaptation, station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3 also had their post-launch PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sasha & Andrey at ~8:00am, Ron at ~8:55am EDT.

At ~8:30am, Kondratyev, Samokutyayev & Borisenko supported 5 PAO TV events, downlinking messages of greetings and well-wishes. [The messages were intended for (1) viewers of TV Channel Rossiya-25 for a live conference with Samara and other Russian cities immediately related to the space industry and Yuri Gagarin's flight, (2) the finalists of the series of the Continental Hockey League's Yuri Gagarin Cup and game viewers, (3) participants in the International Scientific Conference "Lomonossov-2011" with students, postgraduates and young scientists at Moscow State University April 11-15, (4) the participants in the show "The Star by the name Gagarin", to be held April 11 for young patriots at the Moscow Youth Palace, and (5) the citizens of Udmurtia and their celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first flight of a man into space (in Udmurtia, enterprises such as "Axion-Holding", "Radiozavod", "Sarapulsky Radiozavod", etc. work for the space industry. Background: The Udmurt Republic, which has its own language, is a sovereign republic within the Russian Federation, situated in the Western part of the Middle Urals between the Kama and Vyatka rivers. The distance between Izhevsk, the capital of Udmurtia, and Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation, is 1325 km, between Moscow and Kazan 395 km. The republic covers an area of 42.100 which equals 0.25% of the total area of the Russian Federation.]

At ~2:55pm, Cady, Paolo, Dima, Sasha, Andrey & Ron had their usual weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

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

Conjunction Update: The conjunction event with Object 33329 (Chinese CZ-2C rocket debris) reported yesterday has moved out of the probability zones, i.e., Pc (Probability of Collision) = 0, and is no longer of concern. .

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Shebelle and Juba River fans, Somalia (looking left [near track and obliquely further off track] for these agriculturally productive fan landscapes. These flat plains, with networks of active [and inactive] river channels in this otherwise arid region, receive rainfall runoff from Ethiopia. Images are requested to document present [pre-wet season] patterns of active channels--some of which will appear in sunglint--and vegetation. Wet-season images will be requested in the coming months), Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis (nadir pass over this capital city of 16,000 people. The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest nation in the Americas in both population [51,300] and area [261 km2]), Bridgetown, Barbados (nadir pass over this capital city of 100,000 people. The entire population of Barbados is 280,000), and Sian Kaan Bay Mangroves, Yucatan, MX (this large biosphere of ~1.3 million acres was set up in 1986, and preserves fauna, flora and archeological sites [as a World Heritage Site]. Visual cues are the east coast of Yucatan, and two major bays at nadir. General views were requested for this new target.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:37am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 350.2 km
Apogee height - 351.9 km
Perigee height - 348.5 km
Period -- 91.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002547
Solar Beta Angle -- 32.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 227 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 70,993

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------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) ~3:47:49pm EDT
05/01/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour docking ~1:31pm
05/13/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour landing (KSC) ~9:29am
05/16/11 - Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
06/07/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch - M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/09/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/xx/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-------------

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