NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2011

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

Upon wake-up, CDR Kondratyev performed the regular daily check of the aerosol filters at the Russian Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator. [Maxim Suraev installed these filters 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 inspects the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Kondratyev & FE-1 Samokutyayev continued their preparations for Progress M-09M/41P (#409) undocking tomorrow morning. Today Dima & Sasha -
* Finished up stowing disposable cargo and trash on the drone, while logging moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database,
* Downlinked the formal report on stowage completion to TsUP/Moscow,
* Uninstalled & removed the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry, along with its ROM unit (read-only memory, TA765B) for re-use,
* Activated the spacecraft's electronics and took out the ventilation/heating air duct;
* Installed the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1 port [the StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress' cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM (Service Module), FGB, MRM2 and DC1],
* Removed the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint,
* Closed the hatches;
* Conducted the standard one-hour leak checking of the SU docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress & DC1, and
* Downlinked the video depicting the close-out activities, for review by ground specialists. [During hatch closure, leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters as usual were inhibited due to load constraints (11:15am-12:55pm).]

In the MRM1 Rassvet module, the CDR afterwards tightened the BZV quick release screw clamps of the SSVP docking mechanism on the MRM1/Soyuz 25S StA docking interface, a periodic task.

The periodic BZV tightening was also performed by Alex Samokutyayev on the docking interface between the SM PrK aft port and the ATV2 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 2) spacecraft.

FE-3 Ron Garan set up the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware including MBS (Mixing Bag System) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), and then conducted his first session with the VO2max assessment, integrated with Thermolab. Afterwards, Ron powered down, cleaned up and fully stowed all equipment, then downloaded the data to a PCS laptop. [The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

FE-5 Nespoli had several hours blocked out on his schedule for the late-added task of troubleshooting the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) which was declared non-functional yesterday after the "Pre-Treat Bad Quality" signal lit up 3 times in a row. Paolo's efforts were successful: the WHC is back in operation, and the crew is Go to use it. [Replacing the WHC flush tank (an EDV-SB container) last night did not help: no pre-treat solution was added to the water flow from the flush tank. Early today, Nespoli replaced the DKiV Pre-Treat Tank & Water Dispenser Assembly and hose. This R&R (removal & replacement) was successful, and the "Pre-Treat Bad Quality" light was cleared.]

Also on Nespoli's work schedule were outfitting activities in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) Leonardo, reconfiguring RSPs (Resupply Stowage platforms) in bays F1 & F2 with K-BARs (Knee-Brace Assembly Replacements) and K-BAR capture mechanisms to allow for faster rack rotation and better access to stowage than with the replaced KBs (Knee Braces). The RSPs were then to be tied down in the PMM with LSAs (Long Strap Assemblies). [If the WHC troubleshooting (above) required replacement of the EDV-SB flush tank, these RSP reconfigurations were to be deferred to a later date.]

In an activity deferred yesterday from Cady Coleman's schedule, Paolo Nespoli adjusted the internal EWIS (External Wireless Instrumentation System) antenna, which has not been communicating clearly with any of the RSUs (Remote Sensing Units), i.e., between the EWIS NCU (Network Control Unit) and IWIS (Internal WIS) RSUs, except the one in the Lab. [Today's antenna repositioning by means of the articulated antenna "Bogen" arm was to provide a clearer RF (radio frequency) path between the device antennas. The final position and surrounding area was then photo documented for the ground.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-6 Coleman worked several hours on the FPEF MI (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility / Marangoni Inside [as opposed to "Surface"]) payload, closing out the latest experiment run and removing the experiment cell for return on ULF7 for repairs. [Activities included removing the silicone filter hose from FPEF in the Ryutai Rack, disconnecting the FPEF payload bus cable and the IPU (Image Processing Unit) User Video cables between FPEF and IPU, removing the MI Core from FPEF and setting it up on the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) for changing its configuration to non-operation mode and then stowing it. The Marangoni convection experiment in the FPEF has researched fluid tension flow in micro-G: first, a liquid bridge of silicone oil is formed into a pair of disks. Then, using temperature differences imposed on the disks, convection is induced causing the silicone oil to move and transition through different types of flows because of its fluid instability: successively from laminar to oscillatory, chaos, and turbulence flows as the driving force increases. The flow and temperature fields are observed in each stage and the transition conditions and processes are investigated.]

Also in JPM, Coleman supported ground engineers in a TCA LTL (Thermal Control Assembly Low Temperature Loop) pump test. [After the ground had increased pump speed, Cady reconfigured the manual TCA LTL gas trap valves to include the gas trap in the loop and activated the gas trap heater. After ~3.5 hrs, FE-6 turned the heater off, reset the valves for nominal operation (bypassing the gas trap) and installed their thermal insulation. Pump speed was then reduced to nominal (without gas trap) by ground commanding.]

With the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) in Node-3 transitioned currently from Dual to Contingency MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) Mode, Cady Coleman installed an AmiA (Antimicrobial Applicator) module in the ITCS MTL (in series, i.e. in line), an exacting 45-min job. [Running for a minimum of six hours, AmiA introduces OPA (Ortho-phthalaldehyde), an antimicrobial agent, into the Node-3 TCS coolant at the D6 location.]

After finishing his VO2max session, FE-3 Garan installed the four CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) alignment guides to protect the PaRIS (Passive Rack isolation System) against disturbances.

Working on the WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack in the Lab, Garan adjusted its SAM (Shutter Actuator Mechanism) to improve shutter closure after the crew had reported (on 4/12) that the Lab window shutter did not fully close when activated. [External views are being coordinated to confirm the degree of success in closing the shutter.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Ron later serviced the ESA DOSIS (Dose Distribution Inside ISS) payload, removing the failed DOSTEL1 (Dosimetry Telescope-1) for return to Earth after measuring the voltage at its power outlet. [DOSIS is collecting science data with DOSTEL2, installed by Shannon Walker on 11/2/10.]

FE-1 Samokutyayev set up the TBU-V Universal Bioengineering Thermostat in the MRM1 research module and activated it at a +2 degC temperature setting, then checked it for performance (temperature stability) several times at an MRM1 cabin temperature of ~37 degC.

Dmitri Kondratyev 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.]

Dima also 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).

Later, the CDR broke out and set up the equipment for another session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis, scheduled tomorrow for the three Russian crewmembers plus Paolo Nespoli. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)'s /special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Cady Coleman completed the T+5 day visual microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis & data recording of remaining surface & air samples collected by her on 4/15 at selected sites in Node-1, Node-2, Node-3 and JPM with the Microbiology SSK (Surface Sampling Kit) and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler). This activity was started yesterday, but not finished. [The colony growth on the sampling slides is inspected visually after five days of incubation, using a special procedure to analyze the SSK media slides for bacterial & fungal colony growths. All samples will be returned regardless of growth.]

FE-2 Borisenko spent most of his working hours on the completion of the REGUL-OS IFM (Inflight Maintenance) in the SM, uninstalling the failed first-string transmitter unit SA325-I and replacing it with the third-string SA325-III which he had removed yesterday. Andrey then remated the BITS2-12 telemetry connectors and took photographs of the installed SA325 unit and the work area for downlink to TsUP-Moscow via OCA. [Located in the SM, the Regul-OS is a subsystem of the RSUS Radio Control & Comm System of the RS (Russian Segment) for handling two-way voice communication, digital command/program information, and telemetry transmission via Russian RGS (Groundsites). Regul is the nominal uplink channel for all Russian commands; operating at a low data rate, it is equivalent to the US S-band system. The SA325 block installed today is one of three redundant units, each containing a transceiver (PPA) and Digital Processor (UtsO).]

Paolo Nespoli serviced the FCF (Fluids Combustion Facility) in the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack), configuring the equipment for new research sessions (which are run autonomously through scripts and ground-based commanding. Crew time is required for the initial installation and check out in the FIR, sample change out, and removal from the FIR. [After configuring the US Lab camcorder to cover activities for POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center/Huntsville), Paolo opened the lower & upper FCF doors, took out the AFC compartment door, removed the Bio Base from the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) X-Y Stage and the Bio Data Logger from the LMM, then reconfigured the LMM objective lenses by installing a 40x and a 63x lens onto the microscope revolver, put the Bio Base back on the LMM X-Y Stage, rotated the LMM SBA (Spindle Bracket Assembly) to Operate position and closed the rack doors.]

With Ron Garan taking part as a handover activity, Cady performed the weekly 10-min. CWC 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 current card (27-0041D) lists 94 CWCs (1,868.4 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (12 CWCs with 486.9 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 181.9 L in 5 bags containing Wautersia bacteria and 134.2 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use; 2. potable water (no CWCs); 3. iodinated water (70 CWCs with 1,277.6 L for reserve; 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.]

The three newcomers, Sasha, Andrey & Ron, again 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.

Later tonight, before "Presleep", Cady will power on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and start the data flow of video recorded during the day to the ground, with POIC routing the onboard HRDL (High-Rate Data Link). After about an hour, MPC will be turned off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape playback) to the ground on a daily basis before sleeptime.]

At ~7:25am EDT, Paolo Nespoli conducted his regular 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 ~2:35pm, Cady Coleman was scheduled for her regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~3:55pm, the six crewmembers will have their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

TVIS Failure: The Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization is currently No Go for the crew, after failing last evening when the CDR reported that the TVIS gyroscope would not spin up and that it was showing an "underspeed" fault message. Dmitri power-cycled it twice (which has cleared the fault seen in the past), but this was not successful. For now, Russian crews will use the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill as appropriate while a forward plan is coordinated with US and Russian ground teams.

Elektron Failure: RSC-Energia reported this morning that the Elektron oxygen generator failed yesterday when reactivated after the REGUL-OS repair activities. ppO2 (oxygen partial pressure) is currently in the nominal comfort range, and work is underway to restore the electrolysis device to service. Should Elektron downtime stretch out longer, an O2 repress from ATV2 tankage could be performed next week, after which STS-134/ULF6 would supply oxygen, and another ATV2 repress could be done after Endeavour's departure.

SKV2 Failure: Energia also reported failure of the SKV2 air conditioner in the SM. Investigation is underway.

Progress 41P Undocking: Physical separation from the DC1 Docking Compartment will occur tomorrow morning at ~7:41am EDT in insolation (sunshine). 41P will perform a separation burn three minutes after physical separation. The crew will see the spacecraft moving below and behind the ISS, so it should be visible from any aft or nadir window. Orbital sunset will occur at 7:46am, after which the Progress will no longer be visible.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Juan de Nova Island, Madagascar (looking right for this small island and its large reef), Monaco-Kiev pass: Cities at night (ISS had ~5 mins of clear weather over Europe: the crew had near track views from Monaco, over northern Italy, to Vienna, Budapest, and Kiev), and Paris-Kiev pass: Cities at night (up-directed city light, also regarded as light pollution, is a subject of concern in many European countries. ISS had ~5 mins of clear weather over the North European plain to document different light intensities near track, from Paris to Brussels [possibly the brightest city at night in western Europe], Berlin, Warsaw, and again ending with Kiev).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:06am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 348.0 km
Apogee height - 350.1 km
Perigee height - 346.0 km
Period -- 91.50 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0003045
Solar Beta Angle -- 55.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 186 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 71,196

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
04/22/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P undock ~7:41am EDT
04/26/11 -- Progress M-09M/41P deorbit ~9:15am
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
05/11/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour undocking ~6:23am
05/13/11 -- STS-134/Endeavour landing (KSC) ~9:28am
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/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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