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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 2 August 2011

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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

After wake-up, FE-3 Ron Garan, FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa & FE-6 Mike Fossum performed another session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The 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 (therefore, for the next sleep shift sequence RST is scheduled twice daily. 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.]

After breakfast, Furukawa & Fossum also supported the weekly U.S. "Bisphosphonates" biomedical countermeasures experiment, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. [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.]


Ron Garan is on Day 5 of the current SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity) experiment run. Besides the daily diet monitoring/logging, today's activities also involved taking Ron's blood samples for PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) analysis and preservation in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) as well as starting 24-hr urine collections. Satoshi acted as Operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for the blood draw. [SOLO is composed of two sessions of six days each. From Day 1 to 5 (included), the crewmember is ingesting one of two special diets (low salt & high salt content). SOLO Diet starts with breakfast on Day 1. Day 6 of each session is diet-free. For both diets, specially prepared meals are provided onboard. All three daily meals are logged daily on sheets stowed in the PCBA Consumable Kit in the MELFI along with control solution and cartridges for the PCBA. Body mass is measured with the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) on Days 4 & 6. Blood samples are taken on Day 5, centrifuged & inserted in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) and also measured with the PCBA. 24-hr urine collections are performed on Day 5, with sample insertion in MELFI. Background: SOLO, a NASA/ESA-German experiment from the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne/Germany, investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during long-duration space flight. The hypothesis of an increased urine flow as the main cause for body mass decrease has been questioned in several recently flown missions. Data from the US SLS1/2 missions as well as the European/Russian Euromir `94 & MIR 97 missions show that urine flow and total body fluid remain unchanged when isocaloric energy intake is achieved. However, in two astronauts during these missions the renin-angiotensin system was considerably activated while plasma ANP concentrations were decreased. Calculation of daily sodium balances during a 15-day experiment of the MIR 97 mission (by subtracting sodium excretion from sodium intake) showed an astonishing result: the astronaut retained on average 50 mmol sodium daily in space compared to balanced sodium in the control experiment.]

CDR Andrey Borisenko completed another session, his 5th, with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [Sasha Samokutyayev was available to assist in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes, applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit and taking documentary photography. 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.]

Borisenko also conducted a ~15-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 "Seiner" ocean observation program, obtaining NIKON D3 photos with Nikkor 80-200 mm lens and the SONY HD video camcorder on oceanic color bloom patterns in the waters of Central-Eastern Pacific, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

After last week's completion of all Orlan-MK suit preparations, Russian EVA-29 Dry-run activities began today at ~5:10am EDT with FE-4 Sergei Volkov tearing down & removing the air ducts between the SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) and DC1 Docking Compartment/airlock (not including their V3 ventilation fan) to make room for the subsequent suited exercise. [Removals included the IP-1 airflow sensor in the hatch between PkhO & DC1, reinstalled afterwards.]

At the same time, Samokutyayev worked on configuring the STTS communications systems in the DC1 for the exercise. [The suited run requires wireless Tranzit-B suit radio telemetry on both semi-sets. Tranzit-B TM was turned off after the checkout.]

After another functionality & leak check of the Orlan-MK suits, their equipment and their BSS interface units in the DC1 & PkhO, Sasha & Sergei began donning EVA gear at ~6:00am, i.e., putting on personal gear bags, biomed harness, thermal underwear, LCG (liquid cooling garment), low-noise headset, gloves, etc.

After more checkouts of comm hookups & biomedical parameter telemetry via the BSS Orlan interface system for vital signs & equipment monitoring, suit-up then culminated in ingress in the Orlans (~6:50am) through their "backdoors" and sealing off of the backpacks.

Next in line were -
* More functionality checkouts of the suits and their BSS controls (e.g., temperature control handling, water cooling system ops, preliminary Orlan & BSS leak checks),
* Preliminary dimensional suit fit checks at reduced suit pressure of 0.4 atm (5.9 psi), and
* About 1.5h of testing/training of suited mobility & translation inside the DC1, beginning at ~7:30am.
[These "intramural" exercises included translation to all DC1 work stations with mated fluid umbilical, assessment of how the interior DC1 config impacts operations with various gear & accessories such as the POV (EVA support panel) and BSS, moving the BRT (Body Restraint Tether) with a CLB (Crew Lock Bag) and securing the BRT on a handrail, retrieving the Kodak 760 camera from the KPU tool carrier and stowing it temporarily on the OTA swing arm, etc. The dry-run was successful; no major issues were reported.]

Sergei & Sasha's egress from their Orlan-MKs was at about 8:00am, followed by restoration of communication settings in the DC1 to nominal ops and post-training close-out activities, including air duct assembly.

Afterwards, FE-1 & FE-4 replaced the Orlan replaceable elements, filling the water tanks and generally readying their spacesuits for Wednesday's spacewalk.

After the dry-run, FE-5 Furukawa turned around (readied) the NIKON D2Xs cameras for the EVA-29 on 4/3.

At the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), Mike Fossum & Ron Garan took turns in removing closeout panel WHC-02 several times during the day to inspect the pump separator ORU (Orbit Replaceable Unit) for leakage.

Mike removed the 4 alignment guides from FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack) to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of FIR operations requiring a microgravity environment. Later in the day, the FIR alignment guides were re-installed for protection.

FE-6 also accessed the WRS (Water Recovery System) and reconfigured the setup for the periodic RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) backfill with a QD (Quick Disconnect) hose, which was then stowed and the RFTA activity closed out.

Later, Mike set up the VTR (Video Tape Recorder) jumper & bypass cables at the Lab P5 location to use the SSC-9 (Station Support Computer) laptop, a Lenovo T61p, for monitoring during the planned JAXA JEMRMS (Japan Experiment Module Robotic Manipulator System) operations from the Lab. [With MPEG2 mode activated, Mike then verified video streaming between SSC-9 in the Lab and SSC-15 in Kibo.]

Ron & Satoshi joined up for reviewing ODF (Operations Data File) material for the subsequent JEMRMS SFA (Small Fine Arm) functional checkout, followed by activating RLT-2 (Robotics Laptop 2) after verifying proper RLT software update, conducting the SFA checkout procedure, then deactivating RLT2 and changing the power cable connection for RT3, i.e., the ABM (Arm Bus Monitor). [Extraction of SFA from the SSE (SFA Storage Equipment) with tool release is scheduled tomorrow, full SFA function checkout on 8/4, and installation of the SFA in the SSE on 8/5.]

Furukawa had ~45 min reserved for searching in the USOS (US Segment) for a missing adapter unit required for CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) calibration.

Satoshi also started another sampling run with the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer); deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [Also known as AQM (Air Quality Monitor), the system is controlled with "Sionex" expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop. 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.]

Later, FE-5 deployed four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at bay P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

CDR Borisenko performed periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite "Matryoshka-R" (RBO-3-2), collecting eight Bubble dosimeters (A22, A24, A27, A28, A33, A34, A35, A36) and reading their recorded radiation traces in a special Reader. Afterwards, the dosimeters were initialized for new measurements and redeployed. [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Later, Andrey started a new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, changing out the cartridges of the four dust filters (PF1-4) in the SM (Service Module) after taking documentary photography and discarding the used cartridges.

Sergei meanwhile conducted the periodic accuracy check of six MV manual vacuum pressure gauges, three in SM, one in A/L (Airlock) and one each in Soyuz 26S & 27S.

Ron Garan undertook another session with the VIABLE (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS) experiment, first reviewing crew OBT (Onboard Training) material, then touching and blowing the top of each of 4 VIABLE bags. [The bags were then transferred from the US Lab ER-7 (EXPRESS Rack 7) to the FGB (loc.409) for stowage to collect environment samples. A photo was taken of the VIABLE equipment inside the FGB before panel replacement.]

Furukawa collected air samples with the GSC (Grab Sample Container) in the SM, Lab and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), using three regular samplers. [GSC #2074 - SM; GSC #2075 - Lab; GSC #2076 - JPM.]

After reviewing uplinked instructional material, Mike Fossum worked on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), first setting up the video equipment in the Lab for a live view of his activities, then configuring the MDCA CIA (Multi-user Drop Combustion Apparatus / Chamber Insert Assembly) to support subsequent ground-commanded test points. [Mike installed the Bayonet connector (which has a sheared o-ring, later determined to be OK) to the MDCA Fuel Reservoir (with the MDCA CIA partially removed from the Chamber), re-installed & connected the MDCA CIA, and lubricated the Combustion Chamber seals in support of science test points.]

Working from the discretionary Russian "time permitting" task list, Andrey Borisenko took care of 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).

Sasha Samokutyayev conducted 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.]

In the Lab, FE-6 opened the WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) Rack window shutters to allow ground-commanded operation of the ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera) system, then closed them again about 10 hrs later as protection.

Andrey initiated battery charging for the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging equipment with the FSS hardware for tomorrow's planned observation session. [The FSS system consists of an image recording module with lens and a spectroradiometer module with an electronics module.]

Shortly before crew sleep, RS thrusters will be disabled (~3:30pm-12:30am) during ground-controlled operations of the SSRMS SPDM (Space Station Remote Manipulator System Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) to set it up for the planned RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) removal & replacement demo.

At ~2:10pm, Satoshi had his periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~2:55pm, the crew is scheduled for their weekly teleconference with ISS Program Management at JSC/Houston via Ku-band/video & S-band/audio.

Before "Presleep" period tonight, Garan powers on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) 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, 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.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1). Sasha & Sergei reported only one session each, due to their suited exercise.

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

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
08/03/11 -- Russian EVA #29 (hatch open: ~10:30am EDT)
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)
09/08/11 - Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch - D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
09/24/11 - 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-------------

// end //

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