NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 April 2011


image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 6 of Increment 27.

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). Dima inspects 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 Coleman undertook her 19th 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.]

Before breakfast, FE-6 Coleman began another round of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol, distributing crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) to the 25S crew, i.e., Dmitri (#1011), herself (#1012) & Paolo (#1013) for a 24 hrs data take.

Cady later used the SLM (Sound Level Meter) to conduct the Week 6 acoustic survey of several ISS modules, first recording the acoustic level of a C&W (Caution & Warning) Class I Emergency alarm tone in Node-3 at 7 locations and in Node-2 at one location (ATU/Audio Terminal Unit), then taking general background noise measurements in Node-3 (2), MRM1 (2) & ATV (3).

The 25S crew (Kondratyev, Nespoli, Coleman) 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. 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.]

At the EPM (European Physiology Module) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Paolo Nespoli prepared for tomorrow's session with the experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) by inserting fresh AA batteries in the CDL HLTA BP (Cardiolab Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) equipment (must be done a minimum of 16 hrs before the session). [Astronauts experience lowered blood volume and pressure during space missions due to relaxation of the cardiovascular system in microgravity which may be a result from decreased fluid and sodium in the body. CARD examines the relationship between salt intake and the cardiovascular system when exposed to the microgravity environment and explores whether blood pressure & volume can be restored to the same levels that were measured during groundbased measurements by adding additional salt to the crew's food. Results from this may lead to new health safety measures for astronauts to protect them on long duration missions. The CARD experiment runs over two days: CARD Day 1 and CARD Day 2. It requires 24-hr blood pressure monitoring, which is done using the ESA "CDL Holter Arterial BP" equipment. CARD Day 2, after the first rebreathing session in the morning, features a blood draw. The CARD experiment includes 3 double rebreathing sessions on Day 1, and 2 double rebreathing sessions on Day 2. The rebreathing sessions are separated by 4 (+/-1) hours if possible, and each rebreathing session includes 2 rebreathings with 5 minutes in between, with manual activation of the CDL Holter Arterial BP between these 2 rebreathings. CARD is not using the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) of VO2max, but a stationary PFS in COL (however, the two equipments are based on the same type of photoacoustic analyzers).]

Afterwards, Nespoli 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 32nd 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.]

To prepare for STS-134/ULF docking next week, Paolo & Ron worked ~2hrs on relocating stowage items from Node-2 to other locations in Node-3, FGB, Lab, Node-1, PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module), and PMA-1 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 1), guided by uplinked instructions.

With STTS comm systems temporarily configured for crew presence in the MRM2 "Poisk" module, Andrey Borisenko conducted another active session for the Russian experiment KPT-10 "Kulonovskiy Kristall" (Coulomb Crystal), followed by downlinking the video footage obtained with a SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder over two RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes (8:35am & 10:10am) and reconfiguring STTS to nominal. [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS: condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb's Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

Alexandr Samokutyayev continued the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, today replacing the PF1-4 dust filter cartridges in the SM, discarding the removed units as trash and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Kondratyev, Borisenko & Samokutyayev spent ~4 hrs jointly on continuing their IFM (In-flight Maintenance) task in the SM (Service Module) modifying the SSVP StA Passive Docking Assembly cover in the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment) hatch. [Steps today included securing the cover on the docking cone, applying the jigsaw to resize the cover while using a layer of shaving cream to catch the sawing debris and prevent its floating away, and afterwards stowing the hardware and tools temporarily. The work will be continued on 4/27, using the Makita drill on the modified hatch cover.]

In Node-3, FE-3 Garan collected the periodic water samples from the EHS PWD (Environmental Health Systems / Potable Water Dispenser) needle for microbial in-flight & post-flight analysis. [Collected were from PWD Hot: one shared 750mL post-flight analysis bag & one 250 mL TOCA analysis bag; from PWD Ambient: one shared 750mL post-flight analysis bag, one 125 mL microbial in-flight analysis bag. The in-flight samples were processed in the MCD (microbial capture device) and CDB (coliform detection bag) from the U.S. WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing after no more than 6 hours of the collection. For the TOCA, Ron actually performed two sample analyses after initializing the TOCA software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose primed,- one before and one after the replacement of the TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag). After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Later, Garan also completed the routine collections for "Exp-27 Week 6" sampling of WRS (Water Recovery System) potable water in the SM for chemical & microbial analysis. Specimens were taken from the SVO-ZV & SRV-Hot taps, the latter after preliminary heating of the water (three heating cycles) and flushing. [Collected were one 750 mL shared post-flight sample from the SVO-ZV tap, and one 500mL shared post-flight sample from the SRV-K Hot tap for microbial post-flight microbial analysis, all to be returned on ULF6. The samples were stored later by Ron who also reclaimed the flush water for technical use.]

After Coleman's installation (and subsequent removal) of the AmiA (Antimicrobial Applicator) in the Node-3's ITCS MTL (Internal Thermal Control System / Moderate Temperature Loop) on 4/21-22, which introduced the antimicrobial agent OPA (Ortho-phthalaldehyde) into the coolant, Cady today performed a flush of the sampling equipment and then took a coolant/AmiA sample for return to the ground.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), with the SDRM (SpaceDRUMS/Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix) payload and ER-5 (EXPRESS Rack 5) powered down, Coleman installed a stainless shim of best fit on SDRM. [SpaceDRUMS suspends a baseball-sized solid or liquid sample using 20 acoustic beam emitters during combustion or heat-based synthesis. Materials can be produced in microgravity with an unparalleled quality of shape and composition. SpaceDRUMS will support scientific understanding of processes like combustion synthesis and self-propagating high temperature synthesis and also provide direct commercial benefits from materials processing. Advanced ceramics, polymer, and colloids can be processed in SpaceDRUMS.]

Later, Cady & Ron joined forces in transferring science samples from the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) racks to the GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator) unit FU1 in ER6 in the Lab in preparation for ULF6 return.

In the Kibo laboratory, Ron Garan started the new JAXA life science experiment CsPINs (Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber). [Steps included gathering items for Run1-2, then preparing one CsPINs sample in Chamber B (for collecting early-phase germinated reference samples) by watering the sample, then inserting Chamber B in MEU B (Measurement Unit B) and finally attaching MEU in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) 1G incubator. The sample now has ~18 hrs for germination. CsPINs studies the phenomenon of tropism, i.e., the growth or turning movement of a biological organism, usually a plant, in response to an environmental stimulus. Specifically focusing on gravity, the new JAXA experiment investigates how plants sense gravity as an environmental signal and use it for governing their morphology and growth orientation. CsPINs plays an important role in the regulation of gravity-dependent redistribution of auxin (a class of plant hormones) and thereby controls gravimorphogenesis (peg formation) in cucumber (Cucmis sativus L.) seedlings. Gravitropism also interferes with hydrotropism in cucumber roots, in which the dynamism of these facilitators may also play a role. Cucumber seedlings are used to analyze the effect of gravity on the expressions of CsPINs and unravel their contributions to peg formation. Hydrotropism is differentiated from gravitropism in roots, and the expressions of CsPINs are compared to determine the interacting mechanism between the two tropisms.]

Afterwards, FE-3 replaced the batteries on all CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units with new batteries, then zero-calibrated the instruments and deactivated all units to save crew time and battery life. [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.]

CDR Dmitri Kondratyev conducted his 2nd onboard session of the Russian MedOps assessment MO-12, ("Study of the Veins in the Lower Extremities"), using the KARDIOMED (Cardiomed) complex with orthogonal leads which Oleg Kotov had installed in the SM in February 2010. [After loading the RSE-med laptop with the Cardiomed software, Dima set up the equipment, which involves KARDIOMED-TsB, KARDIOMED-KP, KARDIOMED-PMO and KARDIOMED-KRM assemblies with ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes in a HOLTER monitor harness, a PLETISMOGRAF (Plethysmograph) instrument with calf measuring cuff, pneumatic hose, thigh occlusion cuff, hand pump & valve, and a DOPPLER complex. A Plethysmograph (sometimes called a "body box") is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or the whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains).]

With Nespoli assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Samokutyayev & Borisenko 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 exercise equipment, the first for both Sasha & Andrey. [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 (~7:13am EDT) via VHF for data downlink from the VPG and Gamma-1M ECG for about 5-6 minutes.]

Nespoli completed the periodic manual fill of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV (condensate water container) flush water tank from the PWB (Potable Water Bus). [WHC was temporarily unavailable. Offload time: ~24 min.]

In the JAXA JPM, FE-5 switched off the Kobairo Rack's MMA RSU (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus / Remote Sensing Unit) since the rack is currently not activated.

Paolo also worked on the ISS-SERVER1 T61p laptop, formatting and setting up an UltraBay HDD (hard disk drive) for the next version (SSC vers. 4) of the ISS-SERVER1 for OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network).

Ron Garan & Paolo Nespoli had ~1h for unstowing & preparing the US A/L (Airlock) for ULF6. [This involved a number of EVA systems activities such as locating wrist mirrors, Kapton-tape a biomed signal conditioner, ready EHIP (EVA Helmet Interchangeable Portable) Lights & ERCAs (EVA Radio Frequency Camera Assemblies), configure EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) Equipment Bag & EVA Systems mesh bags, and update the NH3 (ammonia) Contamination cue card.]

Also in A/L, Paolo started recharge on Li-Ion LLBs (Long Life Batteries) for maintenance, and then worked on regenerating EMU METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters, including troubleshooting the bake-out oven. [During the last METOX regeneration activity, the regenerator showed an error code for canisters #0021 & #0022 which indicated that the canisters did not reach a pre-set temperature within the first two hours of operation. An on-orbit malfunction with the same signature was documented about one year ago. It is believed that like in the previous instance the malfunction is most likely due to leakage between the canister and oven ports. Today's troubleshooting was to check for such leakage, perhaps a canister that is not completely seated into the oven or an o-ring that is either rolled/twisted, out of its groove or damaged.]

Kondratyev handled the 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).

Samokutyayev 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.]

Working periodic maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), Cady Coleman evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration, then performed the periodic inspection of the exercise rope knot for fraying or damage in rope or rope strands. [Knot can be loosened as needed to aid in the inspection. Areas of concern are those with the tightest diameters (i.e. sections of rope contacting the French Clip). If damage is found, Cady was to photo document it and notify MCC-Houston.]

Later tonight, before "Presleep", Ron 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.]

Before sleep time, Dmitri will prepare the Russian MBI-12 Sonokard payload and start his 12th 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.]

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

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:59am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 347.3 km
Apogee height - 349.0 km
Perigee height - 345.5 km
Period -- 91.48 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002574
Solar Beta Angle -- 39.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 249 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 71,261

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
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
05/23/11 - 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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