NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 October 2012


image ISS On-Orbit Status 10/19/12

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

After wakeup, FE-4 Malenchenko performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Yuri also completed the periodic (daily) reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

CDR Williams took a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) from overhead stowage to "degas" it, i.e. to remove any free air bubbles that may have been ingested since its last use. [The traditional procedure for "degassing" the container (by first draining, then refilling it with a fully charged water CWC) was replaced in 2004 by a rather ingenious new procedure developed and checked out on the KC-135 aircraft flying zero-G parabolas at JSC/Houston: Essentially, it involves the crewmember himself centrifuging the selected container by holding it away from the body and applying a slow rotation of ~15 rpm to himself, to separate air and water in the bag through centrifugal force, while simultaneously squeezing out the air by cinching down on bungee cords wrapped around the CWC.]

Afterwards, Sunita serviced the WRS (Water Recovery System), using the Russian pumping equipment to initiate the periodic water transfer from the degassed CWC-I to the WPA WST (Water Processor Assembly Water Storage Tank) via "tee" hose and a freshly installed MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge as gas trap. The MRF was left connected for future operations.

FE-6 Hoshide & CDR Williams filled out their standard FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop Terminal). It was their 12th time. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MDLT 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.]

Yuri Malenchenko configured the GFI-1 "Relaksatsiya" (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment with its battery freshly charged since this morning, setting it up at SM window #9 for operation and then using it to take more spectral and photographic imagery of Earth's surface and atmosphere under ground commanding. Later, the CDR closed out the experiment and dumped the data from Laptop 3 via the RSS1 terminal. [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.]

Afterwards, Yuri had another 2 hrs reserved for continuing the ongoing cargo transfers to the Progress M-16M/48P ship for stowage (i.e., not for disposal). [Since 48P is scheduled to remain docked to the station until February next year, it serves as a temporary stowage location for selected cargo items, all of which must be documented in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Hoshide activated MSPR (Multipurpose Small Payload Rack) components VRU (Video Compression & Recording Unit), MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and the MSPR Hub.

Aki then prepared for Run 2 of the new JAXA experiment RST (Resist_Tubule/Mechanisms of Gravity Resistance in Plants - From Signal Transformation & Transduction to Response), retrieving four RST Chambers B from MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS, 2 degC) and inserting them into MEU Bs (Measuring Experiment Units B), then attaching them inside CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility). [In about 90-94 hrs, the samples will have to be fixated. RST clarifies the mechanisms of gravity resistance. Gravity resistance is a principal gravity response in plants and plays an important role in the transition of plant ancestors from an aquatic environment to a terrestrial environment (about 450 million years ago) and in the consequent establishment of land plants. The current study will study the mechanisms of gravity resistance, in particular the processes from signal transformation and transduction to response.]

Malenchenko 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.]

Yuri 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).

Other activities completed by Malenchenko included -

• Working in the Soyuz TMA-05M/31S spacecraft, docked at MRM1 Rassvet, to perform the periodic cleaning of the screen of the spacecraft's BVN air heater,
• A 30-min photography session for the DZZ-13 "Seiner" ocean observation program, obtaining SKPF-U (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in ocean waters, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop,
• The periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh system's spare AVK emergency vacuum valves, in the spare parts kit; [the AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh's vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the PP absorbent cartridges], and
• The periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways; [inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO-FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1.]


Williams had ~1h 20m for the periodic microbial/fungal surface sample collection/incubation, using the Microbiology SSK (Surface Sampling Kit) with incubation bag to collect samples at selected sites in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, Node-3, FGB, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and JPM. Hoshide meanwhile took cabin atmosphere samples with the MAS (Microbial Air Sampler). After five days of incubation, the media slides (microbial & fungal) will be inspected (10/24).

Williams & Hoshide performed checkouts on two SAFER (Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue) units to verify their functionality prior to the upcoming EVA-20, Suni on SAFER #1004, Aki on #1005.

In more pre-EVA activities, Aki terminated the recharging of EMU Lithium-Ion LLB (Long Life Batteries) 3004 & 3005.

Next, Sunita & Aki installed REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) #1012 in Aki's spacesuit (EMU 3011) and REBA #1008 in Suni's spacesuit (EMU 3010).

Aki also checked out the REM (Radiation Environment Monitor) #1009 in the Lab plus its USB connection to SSC15 (Station Support Computer 15) and verified proper data collection.

Later, FE-6 serviced the ERB-2 (European Recording Binocular), inserting a new HDD (Hard Disk Drive, #5) in the unit. [HDD 5 has a recording capability of 135 minutes high quality video.]

Aki & Suni held a 50-min EVA procedures conference via S-band/audio & Ku-band/video, involving the Exp-33 crew and EVA-20 specialists on the ground.

CDR Williams had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in her electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep (~3:40pm), Sunita will power up the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts 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, Suni 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 ~4:40am, Yuri, Suni & Aki 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 ~12:05pm EDT, Sunita Williams powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted a ham radio session with students at the Wattsburg Area School District, Erie, PA.

At ~3:30pm, the three crewmembers are scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

The crew worked out on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6). [CDR & FE-6 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 Suni on Friday, for Aki on Thursday. 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.]

Sunita Williams conducted today's SPRINT session on the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill with the Treadmill Kinematics protocol, her 5th time, setting up the HD camcorder in Node-1, placing tape markers on her body, recording a calibration card in the FOV (Field of View) and then conducting the workout run within a specified speed range. [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]

Tasks listed for FE-4 Malenchenko on the Russian discretionary "time permitting" job list 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),
• Removing the GFI-1 "Relaksatsiya" (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment from SM window #9 and dismantling the equipment for stowage,
• 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
• A ~30-min. run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D3X digital camera with Sigma AF 300-800mm telelens and PI emission platform using the SKPF-U (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) to record target sites on the Earth surface.


CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Sakura-jima Volcano, Japan (this stratovolcano, one of Japan's most active, is 3,665-ft and sits just 8-km across a bay from one of Kyushu's largest cities, Kagoshima. ISS had a partly cloudy pass over southern Kyushu Island in mid-afternoon light with its approach from the SW. At this time, the crew was to look towards nadir for the large bay on the southern end of Kyushu and then spot Sakura-jima in the northern part of the bay. Trying for detailed views of the caldera and summit area), Irrawaddy River Bars-S, MMR (the sand bars around the Irrawaddy River have a tendency to erode and rebuild periodically depending on the time of year. Currently this area is in the dry season, which is ideal for observing the erosional changes in river sand bars. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in partly cloudy weather with its approach from the SW. At this time, as the crew crossed the river valley, they were to try for a detailed mapping strip from south to north of the river's system of meanders and exposed sand bars), Victoria, Seychelles (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: At this time, as ISS tracked NE over the Indian Ocean from Madagascar, the crew was to look just left of track on the NE side of Mahe Island in partly cloudy weather and midday sun. Mahe Island is the largest in the group of three larger islands and numerous small ones. The Seychelles is a continental fragment left stranded in the Indian Ocean during India's plate tectonic movement northeast towards Asia. The rocks of Seychelles are extensions of major formations found in Zambia and South Africa. Trying to acquire context shots of the entire city of Victoria), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: This capital city of about 3.5 million lies in the heart of the Ethiopian Highlands at an elevation 7,726 ft. Today's pass offered an early afternoon, fair weather view with the city just left of track. At this time as ISS tracked northeastward over the highlands, the crew was to look for the landmark, dark vegetated areas north of the city and try to capture the entire urban area in a single frame), Floods in Chad (INTERNATIONAL DISASTER CHARTER SITE: Heavy rains which started in early August have caused continuing floods in Chad. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the floods, with damage to both property and agriculture. The persisting worst areas noted are in the Rig District of the Kanem Region - northeast of Lake Chad, the Sila Region - southeast Chad, in the Guera Region - south-central Chad, and in the capital, N'Djamena - southwest Chad along the Chari River. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in partly cloudy weather with its approach from the SW. At this time trying for context and/or detailed views of the areas of interest at nadir and left of track, i.e. The Guera Region and the Sila Region), and Damascus, Syria (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: The Syrian capital with a population estimated a 1.8 million is located in the extreme southwestern part of the country on an arid plateau area about 50 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea. ISS pass is in late afternoon light with fair weather expected. At this time, the crew was to begin looking left of track for this low-contrast urban area on the western edge of an area of intensive agriculture and try to capture the entire area in a single frame).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 4:21am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 414.4 km
Apogee height - 425.8 km
Perigee height - 403.0 km
Period -- 92.86 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0016809
Solar Beta Angle -- 36.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 9.4
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 128 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,730
Time in orbit (station) -- 5082 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4369 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
10/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin (6:51am EDT)
10/25/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking - (~8:40am EDT)
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
10/28/12 -- SpX-1 Dragon unberthing (?)
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch (3:41am EDT)
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking (~9:40am EDT)
11/01/12 -- EVA-20
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
-------------- Inc-34: 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
-------------- Inc-34: Six-crew operations -------------
02/11/13 -- Progress M-16M/48P undocking
02/12/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
02/14/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/15/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
-------------- Inc-35: 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
04/23/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P undock/landing
-------------- Inc-35: Six-crew operations -------------
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
-------------- Inc-36: 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
-------------- Inc-36: Six-crew operations -------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
-------------- Inc-37: 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
-------------- Inc-37: Six-crew operations -------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
-------------- Inc-38: 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
-------------- Inc-38: Six-crew operations -------------
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
-------------- Inc-39: Three-crew operations -------------

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.