NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 April 2011


image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 5 of Increment 27.

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). [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.]

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 24th for Paolo & Cady. [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.]

Nespoli continued his 4th (FD120) 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 are 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.]

All crewmembers conducted the periodic pre-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IMT mass measurement device set up by Kondratyev who later stowed it away again. In addition to MO-8, Dmitri, Andrey & Alexandr also completed the PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement protocol. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IMT "scales" for MO-8 measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember's mass is calculated by the computer and displayed. MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. ]

Cady Coleman undertook her 17th 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.]

In the ATV2 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 2), FE-6 Coleman accessed and retrieved RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) spare unit #008 from an M-Bag stowage container for her subsequent IFM (Inflight Maintenance).

Afterwards, working in Node-3 on the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System) Rack 2, Coleman completed the planned changeout of the RFTA, then performed the RFTA backfill from two EDV-U urine containers with a QD (Quick Disconnect) hose, which was then stowed and the RFTA activity closed out. [For the processing, Cady had to fill the WSTA (Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly) with the compressor to a level exceeding 60%, at which point the contents were automatically dumped into the RFTA. This had to be repeated several times, requiring changeout of the EDV-U. WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) was not available during these activities.]

Later, FE-3 Garan replaced the currently installed WRS EDV-U (#966) in the WHC which expired today.

FE-2 Borisenko undertook his first onboard session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. CDR Kondratyev provided assistance. [For the session, Andrey donned the electrode cap, prepared his head for the electrodes, and applied electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Luescher test, "adaptive biological control" training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Luescher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-3 Garan reconfigured power cabling for the Marangoni MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) on the Ryutai Rack for micro-G measurements. [There are two RSUs (Remote Sensing Units), one on the Kobairo Rack (bay F3) and the other on the Ryutai Rack (bay A3), which must share a single 28V power outlet on the UDC2 (Utility DC/DC Converter 2) located on Ryutai. Ron had to do the periodic power cable switch which depends on which rack is conducting science.]

Preparatory to new BXF (Boiling Experiment Facility) payload operations, Ron visually inspected & activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility.

Dmitri Kondratyev configured the pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41), emptied the BV2 Rodnik water storage tank of Progress 41P (#409) to an EDV container for use as condensate water, then replaced the usual A-R water transfer hose with a T2PrU air line and started the standard bladder compression & leak check of BV2, to get it ready for urine transfer. The BV1 tank bladder compression was done on 3/8. [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.]

FE-3 Garan continued his familiarization with CMS (Countermeasures Systems) exercise equipment, receiving hands-on training by observing experienced crewmembers C today FE-5 Nespoli on the T2/COLBERT treadmill.

Working in the US A/L (Airlock), Nespoli continued preparations for the ULF6 EVAs (Extravehicular Activities), today terminating the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters #0021 & #0022 in the "bakeout" oven, initiated last Friday. Paolo also terminated the recharge of the last batch of EMU Li-Ion (Extravehicular Mobility Unit / Lithium-Ion) batteries in the Li-Ion Battery Charger. [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.]

Later, Paolo performed routine maintenance on the CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) prime unit (#1067) by replacing its battery with a new one, then zero-calibrating all units. [CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Following zero calibration, the prime unit was re-deployed at the SM Central Post.]

In the Lab, FE-5 activated CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1045 & #1046 and recorded their O2 concentrations, battery ticks and time values for downlinking to MCC-Houston.

After donning their Sokol flight suits, Kondratyev, Nespoli & Coleman, due to return on 5/16, conducted the periodic 30-min. fit check of their Kazbek couches in the Soyuz TMA-20/25S (#230), docked at MRM1, the three contoured shock absorbing seats in the SA Descent Module. [For the fit check, crewmembers remove their flightsuit cabin apparel and don Sokol KV-2 suit & comm caps, get into in their seats and assess the degree of comfort and uniform body support provided by the seat liner. Using a ruler, they then measure the gap between the top of the head and the top edge of the structure facing the head crown. The results are reported to TsUP. Kazbek-UM couches are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing. Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and noncocked. In cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown. The fit check assures that the crewmembers, whose bodies gain in length during longer-term stay in zero-G, will still be adequately protected by the seat liners for their touchdown in Kazakhstan, either emergency or regular return.]

FE-1 Samokutyayev completed 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.]

FE-2 Borisenko 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).

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 30th 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],

Samokutyayev & Garan spent ~30 min checking out and familiarizing themselves with the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System), a standard procedure. [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who is also provided with restraints around the device. CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and can also restrain two CMOs at the same time during their delivery of medical care.]

The new arrivals, Sasha, Andrey & Ron took the monthly O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There has been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

The three newcomers, FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3, also 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.

Cady Colman 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 her CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on airways issues.

Dmitri performed hardware setup and test activation of the TEKh-43 Radioskaf-B "Kedr" microsatellite in the MRM2 Poisk module, connecting it to an 825M3 Orlan battery and checking out its 430 MHz transmitter from the satellite control panel. [The small satellite was named Kedr in honor of the call sign of Yuri Gagarin. It will be activated onboard the station tomorrow, April 12, i.e., Cosmonautics Day, when the world celebrates the anniversaries of the first human flight into space and the first Space Shuttle flight. Development, manufacturing and launch of Kedr is the first phase in Russia's integrated program approved by UNESCO, with the goal to create and operate mini-satellites with a mass less than 100 kg by combined efforts of students across the world. Once Kedr is activated, it will transmit 25 greetings in 15 languages, pictures of Earth, and telemetry data from science hardware and support systems, as well as historical audio recordings. 50 years after Gagarin's flight all ham radio operators across the world thus will have a unique opportunity to hear the famous "Poyekhali" (Let's Go!) from Earth orbit.]

CDR, FE-1, FE-2 & FE-5 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Paolo at ~6:05am, Dima at ~11:50am, Andrey at ~1:25pm, Sasha at ~2:10pm EDT.

At ~3:10am EDT, Cady Coleman powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 3:15am conducted a ham radio session with students at John XXIII College, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

At ~5:25am EDT, Kondratyev & Samokutyayev conducted a PAO radio exchange with students and guests at the 10th Open Children & Youth Space Festival hosted by the Ulyanovsk State Technical University in memory of the 50 years of Yuri Gagarin's space flight. [The festival is sponsored by Russia's Aviation and Space Youth Association [] Soyuz. The first comm session between Ulyanovsk high school and university students and Mir Space Station took place in 1992, and in subsequent years, another 15 radio sessions were conducted with Mir and ISS crews. Director of the Children & Youth Aerospace Center Buran is Colonel (ret.) Yuri Ivanovich Donin, combat pilot 1st class, former commander of a MiG-25 wing.]

At ~10:05am, the six crewmembers supported two PAO TV interviews, one with AP/Associated Press (Marcia Dunn), the other with CBS News (Bill Harwood).

At ~11:03am, Dmitri, Andrey & Alex participated in a Russian PAO TV downlink, transmitting ISS messages of greetings to two events: (1) the Children's Studio NEPOSEDY (Restless), one of the most popular children song & dance company on the Russian scene with performances in the best concert halls of Moscow & Russia and in other countries, on its 20TH anniversary on 4/12, and (2) to the participants of the Russian Hand-To-Hand Combat Championship of the Federal Penitentiary Service which opens in Vladimir on 4/13. [On 4/18, the State Kremlin Palace is hosting a celebration show to mark the 20 years of NEPOSEDY theater studio. Six thousand boys and girls will come to see the show while its televised version made by Channel One will be watched by millions of their peers. This year, the anniversary of the children group coincides with the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight and because of that it was decided to name the show NEPOSEDY 20 Years.]

ARED Update: The ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), which last week suffered a failure of its right VIS (Vibration Isolation System) x-rotation dashpot, was repaired by the crew over the weekend by replacing all four dashpots (five spares remain). Paolo Nespoli later took the device through an unmanned ACO (Activation & Checkout) test. Ground engineers are currently reviewing the results of the test session.

MT Translation: From 9:30am-11:30am EDT, the MT (Mobile Transporter) was moved by the ground from WS2 (Worksite 2) to WS5 using the B IMCAs (Integrated Motor Controller Actuators). Russian thrusters were disabled during this period due to load constraints.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the TVIS treadmill (CDR), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR, FE-2). [T2 snubber arm inspection is no longer needed after every T2 session but must be done after the last T2 session of the day.]

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:16am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude C 349.7 km
Apogee height C 351.7 km
Perigee height C 347.8 km
Period -- 91.53 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002952
Solar Beta Angle -- 46.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.73
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 135 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) C 71,040

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 C Soyuz TMA-20/25S undock/landing (End of Increment 27)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S launch C M. Fossum (CDR-29)/S. Furukawa/S. Volkov
06/01/11 -- 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 C 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 C Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch C D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
10/02/11 C 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 C 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 C 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 C launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) C docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 C Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch C S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 C 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 C K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 C 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 C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 C 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 C Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch C P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch C M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch C M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch C K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 C Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 C Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------

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