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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 September 2011

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011

image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Soyuz 26S Departure Day.

Crew Wake/Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate Soyuz 26S undock tonight at 8:38pm EDT, crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, featuring a late turn-in today, plus an "all-sleep" Friday (tomorrow):

. Wake - 9:00am (today);
. Sleep - 1:00am (tomorrow);
. Free tomorrow until 2:00am Saturday (9/17), then back to regular).

FE-4 Volkov performed the routine checkup of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of the regular Daily Morning Inspection,

At wake-up, FE-5 Furukawa & CDR Fossum completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

FE-3 Garan packed up all INTEGRATED IMMUNE saliva and blood samples in an insulated sample pouch and stowed them, with Alex Samokutyayev's help, aboard the Soyuz SA/Descent Module at ambient temperature for return to the ground.

Afterwards, Ron powered down the amateur/ham radio equipment in the SM and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to prevent RF (radio frequency) interference during Soyuz undocking and departure.

FE-5 Furukawa meanwhile uninstalled & removed the JAXA PCG (Protein Crystal Growth) canister in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and handed it over to FE-4 Volkov for Samokutyayev to stow it in 26S with two TkhN-9/KRISTALLIZATOR container bags, photographed by FE-2 Borisenko.

Later today, Sergei Volkov will -

* Configure the Russian STTS onboard comm system to its "undocked" mode,

* Perform, with Sasha Samokutyayev, a communications check for 26S,

* Inspect the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse and verify proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules; [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP)],

* Handle 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], and

* Complete 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),

Ron, Satoshi & Mike filled out their weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

FE-1 Samokutyayev had another 2h40m for loading remaining return & excess cargo on the Soyuz spacecraft. At ~2:00pm, Sasha will downlink the usual "Loading Complete" report via S-band.

Afterwards (~2:15pm), Sasha will also photograph the external surface of Soyuz 26S SA/BO hatch/manhole door to assess the condition of the slot antenna, and then downlink the images using OCA.

CDR Fossum conducted 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 (28-0014M) lists 131 good CWCs (2,992.9 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (31 CWCs with 1,285.2 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 978.9 L in 24 bags containing Wautersia bacteria and 129 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use; 2. Silver potable water (no CWCs); 3. Iodinated water (88 CWCs with 1,591.4 L (also 19 expired bags with 345.4 L); 4. condensate water (79.3 L in 7 bags, plus 3 empty bags); and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (37.0 L in 2 CWCs, incl. 20.2 L 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.]

In the US Airlock, Mike terminated the discharge cycle on REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery) #1008 in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), initiated by Ron Garan on 9/13. Battery and REBA BSA cable were then stowed.

Later in the afternoon, the CDR is scheduled for several hours of work in the Kibo JPM, to conduct the 11th operation with the CFE VG1 (Capillary Flow Experiments / Vane Gap 1) vessel, monitored from the ground on live video via MPC (Multi Protocol; Converter). [Mike's activities include reviewing setup & operational procedures, preparing the MWA WSA (Maintenance Work Area / Work Surface Area), setting up the CFE hardware and performing fluid tests (i.e., filling perforations and reducing the thick fluid film on the wall to a thin film), finally tearing down the equipment and returning hardware and video tapes to stowage.]

Fossum was also requested to locate a spare FCPA (Fluid Control Pump Assembly), in stowage in the JLP (JEM Pressurized Logistics Segment), in preparation for a possible UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) FCPA R&R (removal & replacement). [On 9/13, the UPA shut down due to high current in the FCPA. After an attempt to restart the UPA for reactivating the FCPA, the UPA shut down immediately with the same high FCPA current signature. Yesterday another restart was tried, which was successful, showing much lower FCPA current levels. The single spare FCPA onboard would be used in the event that the presently installed FCPA fails again and is not recoverable.]

Activities scheduled for Satoshi Furukawa included -

* Building several new KTO solid waste containers (number as per preference) from components (lid & body) for future use in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment),

* Performing extended (monthly) maintenance on all CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units, including changing out the battery on all units and performing the periodic zero calibration on the combustible products sensors of all CSA-CPs, then deactivating the instruments,

* Conducting the periodic inspection of the PEPs (Portable Emergency Provisions), checking PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers, PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), EHTKs (Extension Hose Tee Kits) and QDMA (Quick-Don Mask Assembly) harnesses; [PFEs: 2 in Node-1, 2 in A/L (Airlock), 2 in Lab,1 in Node-2, 1 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL. PBA O2 Bottles: 6 in Node-1, 1 in A/L, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL. QDMAs or Prebreathe Masks: 6 in Node-1, 6 in A/L, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL. EHTKs: 2 in Node-1, 1 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 1 in Node-3 ],

* Preparing JAXA EPO (Educational Program Operation) Report 09, i.e., writing another short report showing ordinary life in space which, it is expected, will attract children and the general public's attention for future human space exploration; [JAXA EPO Report 09 is intended for the magazine THE NIKKEY WEEKLY-5, "About the in-flight medical support system"], and

* Powering up the amateur/radio stations in the SM and COL after Soyuz departure.

Preparations for tonight's undocking will pick up momentum at ~4:00pm, with the activation of the Soyuz spacecraft by Samokutyayev & Borisenko who will also perform checkouts and conduct communications tests from the 26S to RGS (Russian Groundsite) via VHF (Very High Frequency).

Russian thrusters will be disabled from ~5:00pm-6:40pm due to load constraints for the removal, by Sasha & Andrey, of the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint at the MRM2 zenith port (5:00pm-5:20pm).

After Crew Farewell, Andrey, Ron & Sasha will enter the Soyuz at ~5:20pm-5:40pm, covered by live PAO TV.

Next, with the Soyuz spacecraft's gas analyzer (GA) running, Samokutyayev inside MRM2 and Volkov outside close MRM2 & Soyuz hatches. The departing Soyuz crew then starts the standard one-hour leak check on the Soyuz-to-Poisk vestibule.

After attitude control authority handover to the RS MCS (Russian Segment Motion Control System) at ~7:45pm, the ISS will maneuver to undock attitude. The returning crew will then perform Sokol suit leak checks and depressurize the BO Orbital Module by 150 mmHg for leak checking the SA-BO hatch. Next, they will don their Kentavr g-suits, biomed belts and Sokol space suits.

ISS goes into Free Drift at 8:34pm-8:39pm for MRM2 hooks opening and Soyuz undocking at 8:38pm. Attitude control returns to US Momentum Management with CMGs (Control Moment Gyros) at ~9:30pm EDT.

When hooks have opened and 26S has been pushed out by spring force (delta-V ~0.12 m/s) with Soyuz CDR Alex Samokutyayev at the controls, the automated first separation burn of 15 sec duration (~0.55 m/s) is performed at 8:41pm with two DPO-B1 thrusters. Later, ISS will return to duty attitude (LVLH/ Local Vertical Local Horizontal) at 8:46pm.

The remaining ISS residents worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-4, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5).

After the undocking, before "Presleep" period, Mike Fossum turns on the MPC and starts 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, Mike will turn MPC 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.]

With 26S departed, the CDR opens the protective window shutters of the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment, so ground images can be captured by ground commanding.

Also after the undocking, Sergei Volkov, on ISS, will -

* Monitor 26S departure,

* Manually close the KVD/PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) between the MRM2 "Poisk" module and its zenith docking port vestibule,

* Download the new batch of post-undocking TEKh-22 "Identifikatsiya" structural dynamics measurements,

* Downlink the photo/video footage of the hatch closure event to the ground,

* Return the Russian STTS onboard comm system to its nominal mode, and

* Prepare for & activate/monitor the Russian "Istochnik-M" (source, spring) telemetry reception & recording (SPR TMI) system in the SM during the Soyuz re-entry; [Istochnik-M enables the ISS to receive data telemetered from Soyuz spacecraft during return to Earth and record it on the SPR telemetry system. The equipment, including the Istochnik TM station, power amplifiers, power supply, USB software sticks and cables, captures the telemetry through the "Sputnik" amateur (ham) radio antenna and transfers it to a laptop display where the crew is able to immediately tell if a good separation of the three Soyuz modules occurred during Soyuz descent operations, scheduled at ~11:33pm EDT].

26S Descent Timeline Overview:

If everything proceeds nominally, the return to Earth of the TMA-21 spacecraft tonight will proceed along the following approximate event sequence (all times EDT):

* Orbital (local) Sunset --- 9:23pm
* Deorbit Burn start (delta-V 115.2 m/sec) --- 11:05:27pm;
* Deorbit Burn complete --- 11:09:47pm;
* Orbital (local) Sunrise --- 11:26pm
* Trimodule Separation (~140 km alt) --- 11:33:24pm
* Atmospheric entry (99.1 km alt, with ~170 m/sec) --- 11:36:43pm;
* Entry Guidance start (81.1 km alt) --- 11:38:20pm;
* Maximum G-load (38.9 km alt) --- 11:43:01pm
* Parachute deploy command (10.8 km alt) --- 11:45:20pm;
* 26S Landing (DO1) --- 12:00:22am EDT; 07:00:22am Moscow DMT (9/16); 10:00:22am local Kazakhstan; (loc. 47deg 16min N, 69deg 35min E);

[Note: Kazakhstan time = GMT+6h; = EDT+10h. Moscow DMT = EDT+7h.]

What the Soyuz TMA-21/26S crew will experience during their reentry/descent tonight:

* For the reentry, Andrey, Sasha & Ron will wear the Russian Kentavr anti-G suit under their Sokol suits. [The Kentavr garment is a protective anti-g suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

* Before descent:

Special attention will be paid to the need for careful donning of the medical belt with sensors and securing tight contact between sensors and body. ECG electrodes are applied with paste. Kentavr suits must have snug fit in lower body and calves. During preparation for descent, before atmosphere reentry, crewmembers settle down comfortably in the Kazbek couches, fasten the harness belts, securing tight contact between body and the seat liner in the couch.

* During de-orbit: Dust particles starti ng to sink in the Descent Module (SA) cabin is the first indication of atmosphere reentry and beginning of G-load effect. From that time on, special attention is required as the loads increase rapidly.

Under G-load effects during atmosphere reentry the crew expects the following experience: Sensation of G-load pressure on the body, heaviness of the body, labored breathing and speech. These are normal sensations, and the advice is to "take them coolly". In case of the feeling of a lump in the throat, this is no cause to "be nervous". This is frequent and should not be fought. Best is to "try not to swallow and talk at this moment". Crew should check vision and, if any disturbances occur, create additional tension of abdominal pressure and leg muscles (strain abdomen by pulling in), in addition to the Kentavr anti-G suit.

During deployment of pilot parachute (0.62 & 4.5 square meters), drogue chute (16 sq.m.) and main (518 sq.m.) chutes the impact accelerations will be perceived as a "strong jolt". No reason to become concerned about this but one should be prepared that during the parachutes deployment and change ("rehook") of prime parachute to symmetrical suspension, swinging and spinning motion of the SA occurs, which involves vestibular (middle ear) irritations.

* It is important to tighten restrain system to fasten pelvis and pectoral arch. Vestibular irritation can occur in the form of different referred sensations such as vertigo, hyperhidrosis, postural illusions, general discomfort and nausea. To prevent vestibular irritation the crew should "limit head movement and eyes movement", as well as fix their sight on a stationary object.

* Just before the landing (softened by six small rocket engines behind the heat shield): Crew will be prepared for the vehicle impact with the ground, with their bodies fixed along the surface of the seat liner in advance and braced for ground impact. "Special attention should be paid to arm fixation to avoid the elbow and hand squat" (instruction). Landing speed: ~9.9 m/sec.

* After landing: Crew should not get up quickly from their seats to leave the SA. They were advised to stay in the couch for several minutes and only then stand up. In doing that, they should limit head and eyes movement and avoid excessive motions, proceeding slowly. Their body should not take up earth gravity in the upright position too quickly.

No (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:21am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 384.4 km
Apogee height - 391.8 km
Perigee height - 377.1 km
Period -- 92.24 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010879
Solar Beta Angle -- -46.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.61
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 124 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 73,499

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/15/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock -- 8:38pm EDT
09/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S landing -- 12:00am (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/xx/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking --- UNDER REVIEW
10/xx/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch --- UNDER REVIEW
10/xx/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking --- UNDER REVIEW
11/xx/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch - D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin --- UNDER REVIEW
11/xx/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/17/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- Target date
12/xx/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch - O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit --- UNDER REVIEW
12/xx/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
01/xx/12 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock --- UNDER REVIEW
01/xx/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch --- UNDER REVIEW
01/xx/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1) --- UNDER REVIEW
02/29/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
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----------

// end //

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