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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 June 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 06/28/12

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

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

Joe Acaba completed his (currently daily) sleep-shift session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, his 12th time. [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.]

First thing in post-sleep, prior to eating, drinking & brushing teeth, André Kuipers & Don Pettit performed their 4th liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol (Day 4), followed by collection of a dry sample. The collections are made every other day for six days. The associated blood sample draws for FE-5 & FE-6 will be done tomorrow after the midday "nap". [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant's blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Kuipers set up & powered on the USND-2 (Ultrasound 2) and VPC (Video Power Converter) hardware, connected VPC to HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1), and then became the subject for abdominal ultrasound scans performed by Don Pettit who served as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). André then transferred the data from the USND2 hard drive to the USND2 USB for subsequent downlink.

With Sergei Revin taking documentary photography, Gennady Padalka configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h 15m session, his 2nd, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember's electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

After setting up the Russian BTKh-35 MEMBRANA (Membrane) biotechnology payload in the MRM2 module, Padalka started Experiment 2 in the KT thermostatic container with Kit #2, activating the heating cycle in Mode 2. Afterwards FE-1 removed the Kit #2 sample capsules from the thermostatic-controlled container for storage and closed out the equipment, supported by ground specialist tagup. [Objective of Membrane: Study of new technological capabilities to generate a porous structure with a high degree of uniformity of spatial distribution and working pore sizes based on the convection-turbulent-free process of phase changes in microgravity in a polymer solution. Expected outcome is the production of porous polymeric materials. These are filtering elements, membranes, sorbents having a high degree of structural homogeneity of working pores, acting as "molecular sieves" and possessing the improved selectivity characteristics (selective rejection) when they are used in the separation processes of complex mixtures of macromolecules. An example would be during extraction of valuable organic and bioorganic preparations in ground-based production.]

CDR Kononenko completed the periodic calibration & adjustment test of the O2 sensor of the SM SOGS (Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System) IK0501 gas analyzer (GA), using the BKGA/Gas Analyzer Calibration Assembly and IGZ/Analyzer Status Indicator (constituent meter). [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed. Result for O2 channel output should be 2.7 volts.]

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, preparatory to the planned R&R (removal & replacement) of the PDB (Power Distribution Box) of the TCA-L PPA (Thermal Control Assembly for Low Temperature Loop / Pump Package Assembly), FE-3 Acaba took resistance measurements of the PPA and disconnected cables from the PCS1 PDB. As part of preparations, Joe closed the TCA-L gas trap bypass manual valve. The actual R&R was deferred to a later time.

Afterwards, Acaba supported Day 2 of Robonaut operations in the US Lab, first setting up the Node-2 camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) for coverage, then powering on Robonaut to allow the ground to command the "human-like" robot and test the machine vision software. Afterwards, Joe powered the robot off, disassembled the hardware with André's help and restowed it.

Time again for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone in the Soyuz Descent Modules, completed by Oleg Kononenko for TMA-03M/29S (#703, docked at MRM1), and by Gennady Padalka for TMA-04M/30S (#704, docked at MRM2), a monthly routine job, 3rd time for 29S, first time for 30S. [After retrieving the phones from their location in the spacecraft Descent Module (SA, spuskayemyy apparat), the crewmembers initiated the recharge of the lithium-ion batteries, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion, the phone was returned inside its sealed SSSP Iridium kits and stowed back in the SA's ODF (operational data files) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an "undershoot" ballistic reentry, as happened during the 15S return). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule's GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put on board Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

In preparation for their return to gravity next Sunday, CDR Kononenko undertook the first part of his 5th and final exercise/training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the TVIS treadmill, with FE-1 Padalka assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Medical telemetry monitoring on the ground was at ~6:02am EDT. The activity was then closed out. Part 2 follows tomorrow. [The assessments, lasting one hour each, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body's cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmembers' orthostatic tolerance after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced ("negative") pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each, then -20, -25, and -30 mmHg (Torr) for 10 min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure, medically monitored with the Gamma-1M hardware. The body's circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian "Pinguin" suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Acaba completed another 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 (31-0005H) lists 14 CWCs (261.4 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (5 CWCs with 191.9 L); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (3 CWCs with 55.5 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.

Afterwards, Kuipers serviced the VIABLE experiment (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS), touching and blowing the top of each of 4 VIABLE bags in the FGB (loc. 409) where they are stowed to collect environment samples. [This investigation evaluates microbial biofilm development on space materials. Objectives are to determine the microbial strain producing the anti-biofilm product, evaluate the chemical nature of the anti-biofilm product, study the innovative materials which are chemo-physically treated, and address the biological safety issues associated with microbial biofilms. Background: Most surfaces are covered with microorganisms under natural conditions. The process by which a complex community of microorganisms is established on a surface is known as biofilm formation. Microbial biofilms can exist in many different forms by a wide range of microorganisms. The process of biofilm formation is a prerequisite for substantial corrosion and/or deterioration of the underlying materials to take place. VIABLE samples are composed by both metallic and textile space materials either conventional or innovative (Aluminum, Armaflex and Betacloth). They are placed inside four foam lined Nomex bags, specifically: Pouch 1 - untreated space materials; Pouch 2 - space materials pre-treated with biosurfactants; Pouch 3 - space materials pre-treated with hydrogen peroxide; Pouch 4 - space materials chemo-physically pre-treated with silica and silver coating.]

Oleg used the standard ECOSFERA equipment, set up yesterday, to conduct microbial air sampling runs for the MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment, with the POTOK Air Purification System temporarily powered down, taking Kit 1 samples from cabin surfaces along with samples from crewmembers for sanitation and disease studies. The Petri dishes with the samples were then stowed in the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container and subsequently packed for return in Soyuz 29S. Charging of the Ecosphere power pack (BP) was then initiated for Part 2 of the MO-21 protocol, scheduled tomorrow. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies. Because the Ecosphere battery can only support 10 air samples on one charge at one given time, the sample collection must be performed in two stages.]

Later, Kononenko had another 3 hrs for packing & stowing cargo on Soyuz 29S.

Sergei Revin continued stowing excessed equipment and trash on Progress 47P for disposal, logging moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.

FE-2 also continued the standard windows inspection, today on windows 6 & 7 in the SM. [Objective of the inspection, which uses a digital still camera (Nikon D2X w/SB-28DX flash) and voice recorder, is to assess the pane surfaces on RS for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection. The new assessment will be compared to the earlier observations. Defects are measured with the parallax method which uses eyeball-sighting with a ruler and a right isosceles triangle to determine the defects' size and position with respect to the window's internal surface (parallax being the apparent change in an object's position resulting from changing the observer's position).]

Later, Sergei 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).

The CDR retrieved and gathered SSVP Internal Transfer System accessory kits and tools for the Soyuz docking ports in MRM1 Rassvet & MRM2 Poisk for consolidation in a suitably-sized stowage bag, relocating the equipment from the Soyuz 29S kit to the MRM1.

Kuipers filled out his 19th 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.]

After inspecting and then activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility (later deactivating it), Don Pettit adjusted the video camera and conducted another session with the BASS (Burning and Suppression of Solids) experiment by conducting a single flame test run on a sample, and 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. Sample will either be ignited one time and then replaced with a new one, or burn multiple times. The four servicing procedures, ops prep, BASS ops, BASS fan calibration & BASS videotape exchange, are now no longer listed separately on the crew timeline but consolidated in one activity. 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.]

The 29S crew, Kononenko, Pettit & Kuipers, had another hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

Padalka set up the A-R water transfer hose with BP pumping equipment and transferred water from Tank 1 of the ATV-3 WDS (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3 Water Delivery System) to an EDV-SV container (#1042, #1041). [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed for gas/liquid separation, i.e., to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the Elektron's BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

At ~8:30am EDT, André conducted an ESA crew conference via phone with EAC (European Astronaut Center) Management near Cologne/Germany.

At ~10:10am, Kuipers, Pettit & Acaba supported a PAO TV event, responding to interview questions from the Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX (Eric Berger) and National Public Radio's "Science Friday" (Flora Lichtman).

At ~1:40pm, André Kuipers had a pre-descent PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~2:05pm, Joe Acaba powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 2:10pm conducted a ham radio session with participants in the 2012 STEM Summit in Dallas, TX.

At ~4:55pm, Oleg, Gennady & Sergei will team up for a "symbolic activity" for the ATV-3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3), signing a commemorative card dedicated to Barcisio Dore, with André, Don & Joe joining in. The card will be stamped with the octagonal ISS stamp and stowed in Soyuz 29S for return.

Before Presleep, FE-6 Pettit will turn on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and start the Ku-band 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, Don turns MPC routing 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-3, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR/2x, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5), and VELO bike ergometer 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. 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. Today's exercise called for CEVIS (aerobic/interval), his last workout on the device.]

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, 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).


CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Kwanza Basin (ISS approached this target in mid-morning light and fair weather from the SW. As it crossed the Angolan coast at this time, the crew was to look just right of track to document a thin string of new developments [infrastructure such as main roads, power lines, and settlements along the roads] between the capital city, Luanda, and new oilfields inland, simply trying for a continuous mapping strip from the Luanda area northeastward. Few usable images have yet been acquired, mainly due to the presence of continuous equatorial cloud), Aral Sea (the Aral Sea basins in southwestern Asia once contained the world's fourth largest lake, but since the 1960's the surface area [26,300 sq. mi] has shrunk to just 10% of its original size due to diversions of its water inflow sources for large-scale irrigation projects. ISS had a fine, early afternoon pass in fair weather with much of what remains of this shrinking lake lying left of track. At this time, the crew was to try for contextual, short lens views of this target area to document the current state of the ongoing changes), Rome, Italy (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: "The Eternal City" and capital of Italy [population ~2.7 million] lies just inland from sea on the western coastline of the Italian peninsula. Today the crew had a nadir pass in midday sun and fair weather. As ISS approached the coast of Italy from the SW, they were to look nadir for context views of the Rome metropolitan area), and St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: Antigua and Barbuda is a small Caribbean island-nation with an estimated population of 85,700 people. ISS had a late morning pass in fair weather with approach from the SW. At this time the crew was to begin looking just right of track for the capital city of St. John's located on the NW coast of the island, trying to get a context view of the city in one frame if possible.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:06am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 399.7 km
Apogee height - 405.4 km
Perigee height - 394.0 km
Period -- 92.55 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008365
Solar Beta Angle -- -2.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 64 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) - 77,977
Time in orbit (station) -- 4969 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4256 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing -- 12:48am EDT; land ~4:14am (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch - 10:40:03pm EDT -- S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking -- ~12:50am EDT
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
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
07/27/12 -- HTV3 docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
08/16/12 -- Russian EVA-31
08/30/12 -- US EVA-18
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
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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