ISS On-Orbit Status 08/31/12
All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.
For some additional rest after yesterday's 8h 17m spacewalk (instead of planned 6h 30m), USOS crewmembers Sunita Williams, Akihiko Hoshide & Joe Acaba were allowed one hour additional sleep this morning, i.e., wake-up at 3:00am EDT instead of 2:00am. For Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin & Yuri Malenchenko, start of workday remained at 2:00am.
CDR Padalka performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.
FE-2 Sergei Revin serviced the BTKh-26 KASKAD experiment, extracting the top of the bioreactor (#6) from the TBU-V incubator (+29 degC), shaking it with "moderately strong" movements for 2 minutes without taking it out of the case and inserting it again in TBU-V. [Started on 8/23, this activity is being carried out for 21 days, once in the morning and once in the evening.]
Upon wakeup, FE-3 Joe Acaba conducted his weekly post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 35th time for Joe. [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.]
After setting up the necessary equipment, FE-5 Williams & FE-6 Hoshide took turns being subject and operator of their 3rd session with the periodic 30-min US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam, with Aki acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for Suni, and Suni then as CMO for Aki. FE-5 logged the data and stowed the equipment. A subjective evaluation was part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop.]
Padalka configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his 4th, 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 memory 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.]
Sergei Revin & Yuri Malenchenko worked several hours of 6-month maintenance on the TVIS treadmill, first taking it from its location in the SM "pit", then removing specific components from it for inspection, verifying torque on accessible fasteners, lubricating components and setting time & date on the TVIS control panel. After installing the treadmill back in the pit, Revin conducted an unmanned speed characterization test to check TVIS functionality. Afterwards, Sergei was to perform his workout on the machine.
At ~10:00am EDT, Sunita, Akihiko & Joe joined for a 30-min teleconference with ground specialists for a debriefing of yesterday's EVA-18. [The problem encountered with the MBSU1 (Main Bus Switching Unit 1) replacement will necessitate a second spacewalk, EVA-19, sometime next week (as soon as cause and remedial actions of the installation issue are determined.]
Suni Williams completed post-EVA activities, inspecting & taking photographs of the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) gloves for subsequent downlink via SSC (Station Support Computer) and initiating recharge of EMU Li-Ion LLB (Long Life Batteries) 3004 & 3005.
Afterwards, Williams & Hoshide spent ~1.5 hrs in the A/L (Airlock) to resize a third spacesuit to replace Aki's EMU 3015 which apparently lost its cooling during the spacewalk (probably due to sublimator malfunction). [For EVA-19, Aki & Suni resized EMU 3010 (for FE-5) & 3011 (for FE-6), checked out 3010 and recharged the water tanks of 3011 with iodinated water. For CO2 removal, the crew installed METOX (Metal Oxide) canister #13 for 3011, #22 for 3015.]
As part of post-EVA clean-up activities, Acaba -
• Returned the hard copies of the Red and Orange EMER books from the A/L to the FGB,
• Initiated the recharge process on EVA helmet light & PGT (Pistol Grip Tool) batteries as well as on REBAs (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assemblies) 1008 & 1012 after removing them from the EMUs, in preparation for EVA-19,
• Cycled the PPRV Positive Pressure Relief Valve) of EMU 3010, and
• Unpowered and tore down the Cupola RWS (Robotics Workstation) and disconnected the Lab RWS DCP bypass cable (as part of power-downs for 3-MBSU load management).
Joe completed another weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of continuing 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 (32-0027G) lists 12 CWCs (241.6 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (5 CWCs with 192 5 L); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (2 CWCs with 35.1 L); and 4. Waste water (1 empty bag EMU waste water). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L, stowed in ATV3 for disposal. 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 also reconfigured the BCAT-C1 hardware setup commensurate with non-violation of EVA keep-out zones.
At ~12:55pm, Acaba debriefed on yesterday's SSRMS Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations in a tagup with ground specialists.
The CDR 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.]
Gennady also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance from the discretionary "time permitting" task list, 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).
Afterwards, with STTS comm configured for crew presence in the MRM1 Rassvet module, Padalka performed major outfitting in the module, working ~2.5 hrs to install a new framework structure for the temperature-controlled TBU-V (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat V) incubator system behind panel 205.
In Node-3, Aki Hoshide serviced the WRS (Water Recovery System) by -
• Relocating two potable CWC-I (Collapsible Water Container - Iodine) bags (#2051, #2020) from PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) stowage to Node-3 for use before their expiration,
• Switching WPA (Water Process Assembly) condensate collection from the WWT (Waste Water Tank) to the Lab condensate tank, and
• Completing the periodic manual fill of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV (condensate container) flush water tank from the PWB (Potable Water Bus) for about 14 min, a partial fill during which WHC was not available.
Joe Acaba performed his weekly task of filling out the SHD (Space Headache) questionnaire which he started after Soyuz launch on a daily basis and continues on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) for every week after his first week in space.
FE-4 Malenchenko conducted his first onboard session of the Russian MedOps assessment MO-12, ("Study of the Veins in the Lower Extremities"), using the KARDIOMED (Cardiomed) complex with orthogonal leads (installed in the SM by Oleg Kotov in February 2010). [After loading the RSE-med laptop with the Cardiomed software, Yuri set up the equipment, which involves KARDIOMED-TsB, KARDIOMED-KP, KARDIOMED-PMO and KARDIOMED-KRM assemblies with ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes in a HOLTER monitor harness, a PLETISMOGRAF (Plethysmograph) instrument with calf measuring cuff, pneumatic hose, thigh occlusion cuff, hand pump & valve, and a DOPPLER complex. A Plethysmograph (sometimes called a "body box") is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or the whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains).]
Yuri also supported the ground-commanded initiation of the first repressurization of the cabin atmosphere with gas from ATV3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3) tankage, for about 2h 30min. [FE-4 was told to reorient the AED (Air Exhaust Duct) outlet towards the GCP (Gas Control Panel) to maximize airflow to the GCP base since photos had shown that AED was not oriented suitably.]
Before Presleep, FE-3 Acaba turns 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, Joe 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.]
At ~3:55am EDT, the three Russian crewmembers held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Main 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 ~7:10am, Aki Hoshide powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 7:20am conducted a ham radio session with students at Megina Gymnasium Mayen, Am Knuppchen 1, Mayen, Germany.
At ~11:00am, Joe Acaba conducted the regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.
FE-5 & FE-6 had their standard post-EVA PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Aki at ~12:05pm, Suni at ~1:25pm.
At ~2:50pm, the crew held their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.
The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration stabilization (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR/2x, FE-4) [FE-6 & FE-5 are 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 Friday. If any day is not completed, Suni & Aki pick up where they left off, i.e., they would be finishing out the week with the last day of exercise on her off day. Suni's protocol for today was on CEVIS (instead of T2 as scheduled). Aki's protocol for today showed ARED (resistive)/CEVIS (aerobic, continuous), with T2 (interval, 2 min.), ARED/CEVIS (aerobic, continuous), T2 (int. 30 sec), ARED/CEVIS, T2 (int., 4 min.) for the next 5 days.]
Due to power limitations with the current 3-MBSU jumper configuration, T2/COLBERT has been powered down since it is a big power draw on Channel 4. For the time being, T2 sessions have been rescheduled as CEVIS for Suni, Aki & Joe, and TVIS for Gennady.
Tasks listed for Revin, Malenchenko & Padalka on the Russian discretionary "time permitting" job for today were -
• 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), and
• A detailed & general view photo session with TEKh-52 Vizir of the flooding which occurred overnight on 8/21-22 at the Black Sea; [the disaster zone includes the towns Novomikhalovsky, Lermontovo and Tenginka, the Shapsukho & Nechepsukho river valleys and the adjacent mountain region. Novomikhalovsky is located on the Tuapse-Novorossiisk Highway, 33 km from Tuapse and 14 km from Dzubgi. The town is situated in the Nechepsukho river valley and its tributary Psebe, where Nechepsukho is falling into Mikhalovsky Bay in the Black Sea. As a result of torrential rain the Nechepsukho River flooded. 600 houses, a hospital and a school were in the disaster zone. Four people died, 1500 were affected, including 275 children. Municipal infrastructures need to be restored. Lermontovo is located on the shores of Tenginsky Bay of the Black Sea, at the inflow of Shapsukho River. The valley of that river is approx. 40 km in length, 5 km to the east of Dzubgi on the Tuapse-Novorosskiisk highway and 55 km from Tuapse. The Tenginka village is located 4 km upriver], and
• 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.
Background on MBSU:
• MBSUs (Main Bus Switching Units) are power distribution boxes. There are four of them on the ISS, all mounted externally on the S0 truss segment. Each pair of the eight photovoltaic solar "wing" panels (two pairs each on Starboard & Port) feeds power of 160 volts to an MBSU which then distributes the electricity to two transformers each called DDCUs (DC-to-DC Converter Units) for converting it to 124 volts of direct current for supplying onboard power users (loads).
• The MBSU boxes are sitting on "cold plates", i.e., heat exchangers to keep them cool, fastened by two bolts which themselves are firmly attached to the S0 truss, with the screw part of the fastener in the MBSU. The H2 bolt that could not be fastened despite several attempts and settings of the torqueing device on the PGT (Pistol Grip Tool) is required to take up on-orbit loads (the other bolt, H1, may not be required for that - but that's still being looked at).
• There are two spare MBSUs on board. One is currently at the worksite, securely tied down. The other remains at its stowage site on ESP-2 (External Stowage Platform 2). One of them came with ESP-2 on a Shuttle flight, the other was deposited there by the crew of STS-123.
• Each MBSU is "weightless", but with a hefty mass of ~220 lbs it requires the SSRMS for translation.
• With only 75% of power available from the solar wings, ISS requires "load management" (load shuffling) so that all important users can be served. Less important loads can be powered down to help make up for the deficit, such as the T2/COLBERT exerciser, RWS work stations, thermostatically (i.e. automatically) controlled wall heaters, etc.
• Since the current crewmembers are best trained for the MBSU R&R, it would be prudent to schedule the next spacewalk, EVA-19, ASAP before their return on Soyuz 30S. Work is underway by "tiger teams" to search for cause and possible remedies of the issue, before EVA-19 can be undertaken. A typical question under study, for example, is whether the failed MBSU would have to be brought inside for a closer inspection.
ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:01am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 416.1 km
Apogee height -- 426.4 km
Perigee height -- 405.8 km
Period -- 92.89 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015194
Solar Beta Angle -- -30.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 52 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 78,973
Time in orbit (station) -- 5033 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4320 days.
CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Beirut, Lebanon (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS approach to Beirut was from the SW in late morning light with clear weather. This capital city of over 2 million is located on the central Lebanese coast. After tracking over the Nile River Delta, at this time the crew was asked to look near nadir for this roughly triangular-shaped city on a peninsula jutting westward into the Mediterranean Sea), Lake Faguibine-Niger R., Mali (ISS had a near-nadir pass in partly cloudy weather over this target, located between the Sahel Region and the Sahara Desert of western Africa. During seasonal floods, the Niger River supplies water via a connector channel to the fertile floor of arrow-shaped Lake Faguibine. Today, Faguibine is a dry Sahel lake, although it was probably a permanent water body ~16,000 years ago. The connector channel and lake floor are the areas of interest. The connector is often blocked by moving sand dunes, making the lake floor useless as a major local cropland. At this time, as ISS crossed the Sahel from the SW, the crew was to begin a detailed mapping strip to acquire this target area), Georgetown, Guyana (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: ISS had a late-morning, nadir-viewing pass for this capital city in fair weather with approach from the SW. Georgetown, with its population estimated at 250,000, is located near the Atlantic coast on the east bank of the Demerara River estuary. At this time, as ISS approached the coast and the small estuary of the Demerara, the crew was to try for detailed views of this small urban area), Tropical Storm Isaac, Louisiana (DYNAMIC EVENT: Tropical Storm Isaac has drenched portions of Louisiana with storm totals in excess of 25 inches of rain, as it has slowly crept northwestward over the state since making landfall late Wednesday night. At this time, as ISS tracked northeastward over the Gulf of Mexico, the crew was to look left of track for panoramic views of the storm's cloud features and possibly, where breaks in the clouds permit, areas of flooding in southeastern Louisiana), Dinaric Alps Fires, Bosnia-Herzegovina (DYNAMIC EVENT: Today's weather satellite imagery indicated that widespread fires are occurring in the Dinaric Alps region of Bosnia-Herzegovina. ISS pass today, as it tracked southeastward of Italy, offered good views of this event and the accompanying smoke plumes. At this time, the crew was to begin looking from left of track to nadir for both panoramic views of the fires and their smoke plumes over the Adriatic Sea), and Jornada Basin, New Mexico (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH (LTER) Site: This site is devoted to the causes and consequences of desertification. It is located in the northern Chihuahuan Desert just northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico. ISS had a nadir-looking, clear-weather pass over this area at midday with the target area just left of track. Trying for a detailed mapping strip across this area).
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
09/xx/12 -- U.S. EVA-19
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/08/12 -- HTV3 reentry
09/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing - 5:56pm/9:20pm
(End of Increment 32)
09/25/12 -- ATV3 undocking
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
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)
12/05/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch - C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
12/25/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P undocking
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)
04/02/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch - P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
05/29/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch - M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch - M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S docking
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S launch - K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)