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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 5 August 2011

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011

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

At wake-up, FE-3 Garan, FE-5 Furukawa & FE-6 Fossum completed another session with the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [The RST is performed 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.]

CDR Borisenko terminated his latest experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [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.]

FE-4 Volkov performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated later today (~5:15pm EDT), followed tomorrow by Bed #2 regeneration. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP's regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

Borisenko & FE-1 Samokutyayev finished the re-integration of Progress M-11M/43P (#411) with the ISS by removing the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the SM (deferred from yesterday). Andrey also installed the two handles on the external side of the hatch door of the Progress cargo ship, docked at the SM (Service Module) aft port. [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, FGB and DC-1].

Ron Garan completed his 2nd onboard sessions with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and going through the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA's long-duration bed rest studies.]

Afterwards, Ron opened the protective window shutters of Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment, so ground images can be captured by ground commanding. Later tonight, FE-3 will close the shutters again. [ISSAC takes frequent visible-light & infrared images of vegetated areas on the Earth. The camera focuses principally on rangelands, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. The images may be delivered directly upon request to farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land. The images will also be shared with educators for classroom use.]

FE-5 Furukawa performed the periodic manual fill of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV (Condensate Water Container) flush water tank from the PWB (Potable Water Bus) for about 18 min (during which WHC was not available).

Satoshi also used the two CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units along with the CDM (Carbon Dioxide Monitor) to take simultaneous readings in SM and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), both at midmodule, for subsequent report, with activity time, to MCC-Houston. [For the monitoring, a blue filter needed to be installed on the CDM.]

In the Lab, FE-6 Fossum removed the 4 alignment guides from FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack) to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of ground-commanded FIR operations requiring a microgravity environment. Before sleeptime, FE-6 will re-install the guides for protection.

Garan & Furukawa joined up for Day 4 of the JEMRMS SFA (Japan Experiment Module Robotic Manipulator System / Small Fine Arm) functional checkout. With MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder set up to transmit monitor views, Satoshi & Ron activated the RLT (Robotics Laptop), CCP (Camera Control Panel) and RMS Monitors and then went through today's final checkout maneuvers. [Steps included configuring proper switch settings, activating & starting the JEMRMS ABM (Arm Bus Monitor), maneuvering SFA to the SSE (SFA Stowage Equipment) Approach Position, installing the SFA on SSE, closing SSE Latching Arm for SFA capture and maneuvering to and grappling Tool Fixture 2 on SSE. The final steps, ungrappling SFA after "limping" the joint and moving JEMRMS to Stowed Position, were deferred. Satoshi then copied ABM data to SSC using USB memory stick and then deactivated ABM, disconnect power cables from UOP b2 J3 and RLT3 for reconnection to PLT2. All equipment was then powered down, including the MPEG video system.]

Meanwhile, Mike Fossum set up and worked on the new STS-135-delivered PLSG Plant Signaling experiment (The Effect of Spaceflight on Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants With Compromised Signaling) in the Lab MWA (Maintenance Work Area). [Activities included configuring the MWA for PLSG sample processing, positioning VCA-1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) for downlinking video after each experiment run, stopping the running EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) PLSG experiment, removing all samples from Rotors A (1 g) & B (zero-g), and inserting the PLSG seed cassettes into MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Reference ECs (Experiment Containers) were then inserted on Rotors A (EC1-Fluid Module/FM001, EC2-FM002, EC3-FM003, EC4-FM004) & B (EC1-FM005, EC2-FM006, EC3-FM007, EC4-FM008). The EMCS gas valves were then closed. (If EMCS powerdown is performed via ground commanding, the EMCS gas valves will be closed by the crew manually within 24 hours following the experiment run. If an EMCS Facility Dry Mode command activity is scheduled after the experiment run, it is considered part of the experiment run and requires the gas valves to remain open until after Dry Mode completion). Later, Mike deconfigures the MWA after PLSG operations. Background: During long-term space exploration it will be necessary to provide astronauts with regenerative sources of food. As new information about how plants grow in microgravity emerges, sustainable plant-based life support systems may be developed. The Plant Signaling experiment studies the effects of microgravity and various levels of rotor-induced gravity on growth responses of plants seedlings (roots and shoots, both wild type and genetically modified). Images of seedlings are captured and downlinked. Plant samples will be harvested and preserved on orbit for analysis on Earth. While this project addresses basic research questions in plant biology, the research will also provide insights into the cultivation of plants during spaceflight on long-term missions. Ultimately, understanding mechanisms of plant development will aid in improving crop production and agricultural yields on Earth.]

Other activities completed by Mike included -

* Conducting an audit/inventory of a stowage bag containing video cabling and various video accessories, located in COL,

* Checking a Canon G1 camcorder for a missing video tape containing "Taste In Space" footage,

* Working on the SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10) laptop and swapping its damaged ISL (Integrated Station LAN) Ethernet cable with an unstowed spare,

* Returning VTR (Video Tape Recorder) encoding bypass hardware used for Ron's & Satoshi's JEMRMS operations to nominal configuration, and

* Performing the periodic ISS Ops Product Survey by US crews [this evaluation helps MCC-Houston/MOD and the entire ISS Ops community across all IPs (International Partners) to better integrate the ops products used onboard on a daily basis (such as the Daily Summary, Stowage Notes, and Procedures). The standards described in the survey are not NASA-only but are also supposed to be followed by all USOS control centers (Houston, POIC, COL-CC, and SSIPC)],

The periodic ISS Ops Product Survey was also conducted by FE-3 Garan.

Working in the USOS (US Segment), Satoshi Furukawa gathered the Lego equipment & guide book and then performed the education experiment "Lego Brick Building", while Ron Garan used the HD video camcorder to record the activity for downlink to SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba. Completion of the Lego Brick activity was deferred.

Samokutyayev & Volkov closed out their post- EVA-29 activities, removing Orlan-MK and BSS support equipment to stowage.

Afterwards, Sasha also stowed all EVA tools, updating the IMS (Inventory Management System) database concurrently.

Sergei meanwhile configured the pumping equipment with the electric compressor and then started the transfer of urine from 3 EDV-U containers to the BV1 Rodnik water storage tank of Progress 43P (#411). [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

Before sleeptime, Volkov will set up the first Orlan-MK 825M3 battery pack for discharge and start the process on the pack.

With the Russian Elektron oxygen generator currently turned off, ISS cabin atmosphere is being refreshed by periodic O2 represses from Progress 43P SRPK tankage.

CDR Borisenko 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.]

Borisenko also took care of 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, Andrey set up the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA ("Mermaid") hardware at SM window #9 for another sun-glint observation session, using the hand-held spectrometer (without use of the TIUS three-stage rate sensor) and later downloaded the data to laptop RS1 for subsequent downlink via OCA. The equipment was photographed with the NIKON D2Xs and then torn down and stowed away. [RUSALKA is a micro spectrometer for collecting detailed information on observed spectral radiance in the near IR (Infrared) waveband for measurement of greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth atmosphere.]

Using the electronic Velocicalc instrument, Garan took IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) flow measurements in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) at specific IMV locations (Ovhd Aft Inlet, Stbd Aft Inlet, Stbd Fwd Outlet).

Afterwards, Ron performed troubleshooting on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) display, reconfiguring its display cable after powering it down, by first removing the tape securing the cable, then reseating the cable at the instrumentation box and securing it again with Kapton tape. After photographing the interface, ARED was powered up again. [Without a working display, ARED users track their exercises using spreadsheets.]

Satoshi filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) 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.]

Before "Presleep" period tonight, Garan turns 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.]

At ~3:55am EDT, the six crewmembers held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~7:25am, Mike Fossum & Ron Garan supported a PAO TV downlink, being interviewed by ABC News Radio (Vic Ratner) and WOFL-TV, Orlando, FL (John Brown/Michelle Burdo).

At ~3:10pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly teleconference with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

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-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-4, FE-5), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1). No exercise was reported for Mike Fossum.

RS Thrusters Inhibit: Russian attitude thrusters were inhibited from 5:00am - 6:05am for the JEMRMS SFA operations.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Mbabane, Swaziland (this small capital city has a population of approximately 95,000 and lies in a wooded highland of the tiny, land-locked nation of Swaziland. CEO staff has no images of this city in their database. ISS approach was from the NW in late-morning light with clear weather expected. At this time, looking nadir and beginning a mapping strip to acquire frames of this challenging target), Florida Coastal Everglades (this is an LTER [Long-Term Ecological Research] Site located in the Everglades of south Florida. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the ecosystems along the major drainage basins of the region known as "sloughs" where fresh water from the interior moves slowly to the sea. On today's fair-weather early morning pass ISS approached the target area from the NW at nadir. Trying for short-lens contextual views of the south Florida peninsula), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, presently a city of more than 7 million, in April of 1832 and undertook an expedition inland. ISS had a nadir pass today in late morning light with fair weather expected. Mapping the urban area around the prime visual cue, Guanabara Bay), and Ubinas Volcano, Peru (ISS had a near-nadir pass over Peru's most active volcano at midday with clear skies expected. The summit caldera contains an ash cone, and debris avalanche deposits extending 10 km from the SE flank of the volcano. As ISS approached from the NW over the coastal ranges of Andes Mountains, the crew was to look carefully for this isolated, usually snow-capped peak. CEO staff is seeking detailed, overlapping frames of the volcano summit and flanks).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:10am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 386.9 km
Apogee height - 395.5 km
Perigee height - 378.3 km
Period -- 92.29 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0012741
Solar Beta Angle -- 41.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.60
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 27 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 72,845

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