NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 June 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 06/14/12

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

After wakeup, FE-1 Padalka performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-6 Don Pettit had Day 3 of the pH test and diet log entry for the Pro K pH plus controlled diet menu protocol of his 5th Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) Controlled Diet activity. In addition to recording his diet input, Don began the associated 24-hr urine collections and later set up the equipment for the blood sampling scheduled tomorrow. [For Pro K, there are five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day (science sessions are often referred to by Flight Day 15, 30, 60, etc. However, there are plus/minus windows associated with these time points so a "Flight Day 15" science session may not actually fall on the crewmember's 15th day on-orbit). The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. On Days 4 & 5, urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI Dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings. Background on pH: In chemistry, pH (Potential Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a watery solution. Pure water is neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at 25 degC. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are "acidic" and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are "basic" or "alkaline". pH measurements are important in medicine, biology, chemistry, agriculture, forestry, food science, environmental science, oceanography, civil engineers and many others.]

CDR Oleg Kononenko terminated his 8th 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.]

Afterwards, Kononenko had 2 hrs set aside for prepacking cargo items for return or disposal on Soyuz 29S (703), [Cargo intended for disposal will be stowed in the Orbital Module (OM), to be jettisoned.]

Continuing the outfitting work in the MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet module, FE-2 Sergei Revin temporarily configured the RS (Russian Segment) STTS audio comm systems for crew research in the module, then had another ~2.5 hrs for installing new enclosures/containers (GK) for crew cargo items in the module. STTS was later reconfigured to nominal.

FE-5 Joe Acaba checked the VES/VRS (Vacuum Exhaust System / Vacuum Resource System) jumper hose to verify that it is properly connected to the Lab P4 UIP (Utility Interface Panel) and that its vacuum QD (quick disconnect) is securely connected to the jumper hose for Amine Swingbed off-gassing prior to the upcoming initial assembly of the hardware.

At Lab loc. O1, Joe swapped the ELC-2 (EXPRESS Rack 2 Laptop Computer), replacing the A31p with the newer Lenovo T61p and connecting the latter's video cable. About 2 hrs later, FE-5 loaded the new ER (EXPRESS Rack) common laptop software Version 8.0 on ELC-2 software, then set up & loaded BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and configured the laptop for operations on ER-2.

Afterwards, Joe loaded two additional new payload applications on ELC-2 from CD (Compact Disk),- one for SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor), the other for GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator).

Working in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Facility), André Kuipers worked on the inspection and cleaning of the second TCS WOOV (Thermal Control System Water On/OFF Valve), no. 9, after finishing yesterday with no. 10). [Front rack stowage had to be temporarily relocated from D1 & D2 to O4 & O3 ZSR (Zero-G Storage Rack) rack front to make room, followed by setting up the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) on A2, and installing/adjusting VC1 (Video Camera 1) & VC2 to cover the WOOV9(10) and MWA installation locations for ground monitoring. TCS WOOV9 was then inspected, cleaned, disinfected and encapsulated. Inspection and cleaning was repeated later after the COL TCS system had been properly configured by the ground.]

Later, André reviewed procedures and then began the two-day task of finishing the software load of the ER-4 RIC (Rack Interface Controller) and configuring it for operation. Today's activity focused on setting up two laptop computers side-by-side to perform the software load, scheduled tomorrow. [The previous RIC software attempt loaded only one of the four RIC cards. For upgrading the 3 remaining cards, Kuipers set up the A31p & T61p laptops at the ER-4 and connected them to the rack and the UOP (Utility Outlet Panel) for power.]

Working in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) on the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility), FE-6 Don Pettit removed the experiment cover body and IR (Infrared) Imager, then performed careful cleaning of the two mirrors (front & downward) for the FPEF IR Imager which André had found earlier to be dirty (3/15). Don then re-installed the IR Imager and cover.

Oleg set up the battery for the SONY DCR-TRV900E camcorder for charging and later in the day installed the GFI-1 "Relaksatsiya" (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9, to be used tomorrow for measuring UV (ultraviolet) emissions in Earth's upper atmosphere during global electromagnetic event under ground commanding. [By means of the GFI-1 UFK "Fialka-MV-Kosmos" ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and SONY HVR-Z7 HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from window #9, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. "Relaxation", in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

Using sample tubes with swabs and gray tape, the CDR also collected microflora (microbial) samples from surfaces, equipment and panels in the FGB module for return to Earth.

FE-1 Padalka supported the subsequent ground-commanded activation of the Elektron oxygen generator by pressurizing the assembly's BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen to ensure safe operation, i.e. prevent hydrogen (H2) presence in the O2 line. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

Several times during the day, Gennady monitored & photographed the running "Physics-Phase" demo of the Russian educational experiment OBR-1/Fizika-Obrazovaniye, also recording the activity on video. [Obrazovaniye (Education) is a suite of three educational demonstrations of physics in micro-G, viz., OBR-1-1/"Fizika-LT" (Motion), OBR-1-2/"Fizika-Faza" (Phase) and OBR-1-3/"Fizika-Otolit". The current "Phase" demo studies a complete gas-liquid phase separation of fine dispersion particles in micro-G with diffusion and surface tension of the fluid. The experiment is conducted over several days, documented with photography.]

Using the Russian electrical Kompressor-M (#41) pump with the A-R transfer hose, T2PrU air line and pressure adapter, FE-2 Revin pumped water from the Rodnik BV2 tank of Progress M-15M/47P (about 78 L) to EDV containers, then started the standard bladder compression & leak check of BV2 on TsUP-Moscow Go, to get it ready for urine transfer. [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.]

FE-5 Kuipers downloaded the accumulated data from his recent 5th (R-15) 24-hr ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session from two Actiwatch Spectrums and two HM2 HiFi CF Cards to the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1). The laptop was then powered off. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres/BP is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink.]

Joe Acaba had another ~45 min for performing the continuing preventive inspection & cleaning of accessible AR (Atmosphere Revitalization) system bacteria filters in Node-1, Node-2 & Node-3.

After visually inspecting and then activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility (later deactivating it), Joe adjusted the video camera and conducted another session with the BASS (Burning and Suppression of Solids) experiment by conducting flame test runs on samples, exchanging burner tubes between each test point, exchanging the digital tapes in the MSG VTR1 (Video Tape Recorder 1) & VTR2 and at the end performing a fan calibration to evaluate the air flow with the new fan flow constrictor installed. [BASS uses SLICE equipment but burns solid fuel samples instead of gaseous jets. Each sample will be ignited several times for study. BASS examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. It will also guide strategies for extinguishing accidental fires in micro-G. Results will contribute to the combustion computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems in space and on Earth.]

Oleg completed his 12th 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.]

Afterwards, Kononenko started his 2nd session of the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2-1 protocol which monitors human cardiovascular performance in the space flight environment. [After 24 hrs of ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed (CDM) system, Oleg will doff the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads and recorded on the "Kardioregistrator 90205" unit. The examination results will then be downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. Later, the data will be downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

After switching STTS communications to MRM2 Poisk occupancy and setting up the MPEG2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) multicasting television equipment from MRM2, Gennady Padalka installed and prepared the equipment for another run of the new KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload, the first time for Expedition 31. [Activities included making electrical connections, installing a video hard drive and conducting a vacuum leak check of the Electronic Box, with ground specialist tagup. Also included were a test session of the video downlink to TsUP-Moscow, monitoring the TV signal on the VKU "Klest" video monitor, then closing out the hardware and reconfiguring STTS comm to nominal settings. The PK-3+ equipment comprises the EB (Eksperimental'nyj Blok) Experiment Module with a turbopump for evacuation, Ts laptop, video monitor, vacuum hoses, electrical circuitry, four hard storage disks for video, and one USB stick with the control application. The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

Working on the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System) Rack 2 in Node-3, Don changed out the full RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly), stowing the used unit. [RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine by the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) as it turns it into water. They need to be replaced when filled and constitute an important resupply item from the ground.]

Joe completed 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 (31-0005G) lists 15 CWCs (282.6 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (5 CWCs with 211.9 L); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (4 CWCs with 56.7 L); and 4. Waste water (1 empty bag EMU waste water). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L). No bags with Wautersia bacteria. Other CWCs are stowed behind racks and are currently not being tracked due to unchanging contents. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

Joe & André completed their weekly task of filling out their SHD (Space Headache) questionnaires which they started after Soyuz launch on a daily basis and continue on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) for every week after their first week in space.

FE-5 also completed periodic maintenance of the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine, evacuating its cylinder flywheels to reestablish proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

Gennady conducted 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).

At ~3:10pm EDT, the crew is scheduled for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office/CB (Peggy Whitson), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR/2x, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-5), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2). [FE-6 is on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions involving resistive and aerobic (interval & continuous) exercise, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL. No exercise is being timelined for Fridays. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]

Tasks listed for Kononenko, Revin & Padalka on the Russian discretionary "time permitting" job for today were -

A ~30-min. session for Russia's EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera with the RSK-1 laptop (CDR, FE-1), and
More preparation & downlinking of reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia's manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb) (all).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Singapore (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a pass over this capital city in afternoon light. As the crew traveled NE over Indonesia, they were to look right of track for this target with a few clouds in the sky. Singapore is an island city-state 35 miles long, and is separated from the Malaysian mainland by the Johore Strait), Bujumbura, Burundi (Capital Cities Collection: Some scattered clouds may have been present at the time of the nadir-viewing overpass of this capital city. The city is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika), and Pilcomayo River Fan, Argentina-Paraguay (as ISS traveled NE over southern South America, the crew was to look left of track for this large megafan. The Pilcomayo River rises in the Andes foothills, and then flows over 2,000 kilometers southeast across central South America. This megafan has a radius of 705 kilometers, making it the largest such feature on Earth and the best analog for a large megafan found on Mars).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:16am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 398.1 km
Apogee height - 405.4 km
Perigee height - 390.8 km
Period -- 92.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010768
Solar Beta Angle -- 60.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 93 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 77,759
Time in orbit (station) -- 4955 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4242 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch - S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
07/20/12 -- HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock
07/24/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/01/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
11/03/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/05/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch - C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/26/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
12/28/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/19/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/02/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch - P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch - M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch - M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S launch - K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------

// end //

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