NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2011

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

Upon wake-up, Alex Samokutyayev 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). Sasha inspects the filters again before bedtime tonight, currently a daily requirement per plan, with photographs to be taken if the filter packing is discolored.]

Afterwards, at ~4:05am EDT, FE-1 Samokutyayev & CDR Kondratyev tagged up for an hour with ground specialists to discuss tomorrow's Progress 42P docking activities and to perform a refresher test with the backup TORU teleoperated control system which they would use in case of a failure of the KURS autopilot system. [Transitioning to TORU if automated approach fails is covered by RODF (Russian Operations Data File) flight rules or as directed by the ground. During nominal spacecraft approach, TORU is kept in "hot standby" mode.]

FE-2 Borisenko continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working in the MRM1 Rassvet module where he replaced the SKPF1 & SKPF2 dust filters and cleaned the GZhT gas-liquid heat exchanger grill, then updated the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-3 Garan disconnected the VU (Video Unit) of the EPM (European Physiology Module) facility after yesterday's Day 2 CARD run by Nespoli. Later, Ron connected the EPM laptop to the right UDP (Utility Distribution Panel)/.

In JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Garan then collected the equipment used yesterday by him and Cady Coleman for the LEHX (Layer 2 Ethernet Hub & Multiplexer) installation and restowed all items, going by an uplinked location list.

Afterwards, Ron continued his support of the new JAXA life science experiment CsPINs (Dynamism of Auxin Efflux Facilitators responsible for Gravity-regulated Growth and Development in Cucumber) by adding water to two CsPINs Chambers B and saline solution (salt water) to the two remaining chambers for Run1-3 of the CsPINs experiment. Later, Ron took photography and completed the fixation of all samples and stowage in MELFI. [The four Chamber Bs (#801-#804) are installed in four MEU B (Measurement Unit B) units, attached in the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) 1G incubator. At the end, the samples, along with the single specimen from Run1-2 (Chamber B #902), were photographed, put in five KFTs (Kennedy Fixation Tubes) for fixation in AAE (Acetic Acid Ethanol) and stored in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) at +2 degC. Background: 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.]

FE-5 Nespoli & FE-6 Coleman were subjects for the first onboard test of the 24S-delivered HMS (Health Maintenance System) Tonometry payload, set up and operated by FE-3 Garan as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) to measure Paolo's & Cady's intraocular pressure, supervised via live S-band video by medical ground personnel. [Data take was preceded by a skill refresher on an eye simulator, observed from the ground. Seven to 10 measurements are required for the Tonometer to calculate an eye pressure reading and the statistical confidence level. For the actual Tonometry, anesthetic eye drops (Proparacaine) are used that are effective in approx. 30 seconds and last for 20 minutes or longer. Tonometer measurements in micro-G will be used to assess the health of the crew's eyes.]

FE-6 Coleman concluded the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol, today downloading the latest recorded data from the crew-worn dosimeters and the noise level measurements in the interior.

FE-5 Nespoli completed a session with the U.S. PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol as subject, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on BP (blood pressure) & ECG (electrocardiogram) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer in the US Lab. Readings were taken with new BP/ECG equipment (which also checked out the unit) and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Cady Coleman assisted as Operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

Afterwards, Paolo Nespoli -
Conducted the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack [AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm],
Gathered equipment required for an upcoming IFM (In-flight Maintenance) in the Node-2 Deck CQ (Crew Quarters), where brackets and K-BARs (Knee-Brace Assembly Replacements) will be installed,
Worked with Alex Samokutyayev to start (and terminate) a 1h50min repress of the station with O2 from ATV-2 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 2) "Johannes Kepler" oxygen stores,
Set up and plugged in the DCS 760 BC (Battery Charger) & power supply in preparation of ULF6 requirements when the BC will be used to charge EVA camera flash batteries,
Continued outfitting work in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) "Leonardo", removing knee-braces at bay A2 and reconfiguring this location from using upper attachment mechanisms to straps for tying down RSPs (Resupply Stowage Platforms), using LSAs (Long Strap Assemblies) scavenged from the PMM endcone,
Removed & replaced a full BXF HDD (Boiling Experiment Facility Hard Disk Drive) with a new one,
Relocated Station Support Computers SSC19 & SSC5 from Lab to the Cupola, VSW2 (Video Streaming Workstation 2) from Lab to Node-2, and SSC17 from Node-3 to Cupola to act as Robotics ops monitors during ULF6, and
Closed the protective shutters of the Cupola & JPM windows preparatory to the SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) feathering for Progress 42P docking tomorrow morning.

Ron Garan performed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) 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 (27-0041E) lists 94 CWCs (1,840.0 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (12 CWCs with 458.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 153.5 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.]

With STTS comm systems temporarily configured for crew presence in the MRM2 "Poisk" module, Borisenko followed up on yesterday's active session with the Russian experiment KPT-10 "Kulonovskiy Kristall" (Coulomb Crystal) by downlinking the video footage obtained on 4/27 with a SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder over two RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes (8:45am & 9:50am) 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.]

CDR Kondratyev conducted troubleshooting/health checking on the RS3 laptop by swapping its HDD with the HDD of another laptop (#1053) from stowage and checking out the suspect unit. Final disposition was to be logged in the IMS.

FE-1 Samokutyayev 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.]

FE-1 also took on 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).

Later, Sasha completed his 2nd data collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie ("Interactions") program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a "mood" questionnaire, a "group & work environment" questionnaire, and a "critical incidents" log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

FE-6 Coleman had another ~30 min for prepacking cargo for return on ULF6.

Afterwards, Coleman offloaded the WPA WWT (Water Processor Assembly / Waste Water Tank) contents into a CWC-I (-Iodine) container from WWT process line B, then tore down the gear.

Later, Cady built a new EDV container from components (lid & body) to be used as the next EDV-U for urine in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment).

Cady also continued the installation and setting up of HRF (Human Research Facility) Supply Kits "Purple" & "Green", started yesterday, followed by taking documentary photos of the setup.

In preparation of ULF6, Paolo & Cady installed an ARCU (American-to-Russian-Converter Unit) voltage converter in Node-1, part of an overall goal to increase the power feeds of the ARCUs. [Two EVA jumpers and an IVA ARCU power jumper will be installed during ULF6. ARCUs are used for converting from USOS (US Segment) 124V to RS 28V.]

Both Coleman & Nespoli had time reserved for more cargo transfer operations to the ATV2, deferred from yesterday. At ~2:25pm, FE-5 conducted the daily tagup with MCC-Houston to debrief on today's ATV cargo transfers (which was also cancelled yesterday).

Later tonight before "Presleep" period, 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 (Payload Operations & Integration Center) 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 ~2:50am, Nespoli powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) for a ham radio session, at 2:55am, with students at the Italian Air Force Academy, Pozzuoli, Italy. [The new ham radio equipment in the COL is still in checkout and has not been cleared for use yet.]

At ~5:05am, Kondratyev, Samokutyayev & Borisenko joined for a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking a message of greetings to the participants of the 68th Track-and-Field Relay in Ulyanovsk. [The Track-and-field relay for the Ulyanovskaya Pravda newspaper prize is conducted in Ulyanovsk since 1943. Runners from many Volga Federal District cities will participate in this relay, and Vladislav Tretyak, Irina Rodnina, Lyubov Yegorova, Pyotr Bolotnikov and other famous athletes participated in the relay on various occasions in the past. This year the relay is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's space flight. ("...We are wishing you cosmic victories not only in today's takeoff but in your entire lives. Is Ulyanovsk ready for takeoff? Poyekhali (Let's go)!"]

At ~5:40am, the three Russian crewmembers held a teleconference with ground specialists at TsUP, discussing the stowage locations and transfer of time-critical cargo items from Progress M-10M/42P tomorrow after docking and hatch opening.

At ~8:35am, 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 ~1:40pm, Cady Coleman had her regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~3:35pm, 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, FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-3, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR, FE-2).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Beijing, China Aerosol (looking left towards the glint point and the coastline with oblique look-angles to capture the smog haze that is drifting east towards track. The Northeast China plain supports the largest population cluster on the planet, and the smoke, smog and dust hazes from the region reach well out into the Pacific Ocean. These plumes are of special interest in modeling the atmospheric heating and cooling effects of aerosols), Madagascar soil erosion features (Dynamic event. Large red soil erosion features, known in the literature as "lavacas," are areas of significant soil erosion of this tropical country. Lavacas are large enough to be seen easily from low earth orbit, and appear red against the green grass and forest of unaffected hillsides. Since these gashes develop in tropical soils many meters thick, they expand and change shape rapidly, and may appear with new streams and even small lakes within them after recent rain. This ideal pass placed the sunglint point just left of track. The crew was asked for a mapping pass of overlapping images near track, with shorter lenses: these will allow mapping of the lavacas), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (looking mainly left of track. Images from the last increment showed that recent rains in the high desert plains of the Andes Mts. have resulted in significant inflows of water into the usually dry lakes ["salars"] near Lake Poopo. Lake Poopo is expected to have risen significantly. Requested were general images with shorter lenses of Lake Poopo and surrounding salars, to monitor this rapidly changing water-level status. Rains in the high deserts are restricted to La Nina phases, one of which is presently ongoing. [These areas receive higher rainfall in antiphase with the hyperarid coasts which receive rainfall during El Ninos]).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:30am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 346.7 km
Apogee height - 348.5 km
Perigee height - 344.9 km
Period -- 91.47 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0002638
Solar Beta Angle -- 25.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.74
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 247 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 71,306

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
04/29/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P docking (DC-1 nadir) ~10:29am
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-------------

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.