ISS On-Orbit Status 10/24/12
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.
Still before breakfast, Yuri completed another session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Involving visual urine assessment, MO-9 is one of 4 Russian crew health status checkups currently being conducted (the other three: MO-3 (Physical Fitness Evaluation), MO-7 (Calf Volume Measurement) & MO-8 (Body Mass Measurement). Yuri then closed out the experiment. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)'s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]
In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), CDR Williams configured the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware with power, data, front panel, and gas connections plus MBS (Mixing Bag System), and then conducted her 4th and final session with the VO2max assessment (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions), integrated with Thermolab (head sensors), using the PPFS TFM (Turbine Flow Meter) insert that she modified last week. After the session, Suni powered down, cleaned up & fully stowed the equipment, then downloaded the data to a PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop for downlink. [The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle with vibration isolation, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]
Later, Suni conducted the T+5 day visual microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis & data recording of surface & air samples collected by her & Aki Hoshide on 10/19 at selected sites in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, Node-3, FGB, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) with the Microbiology SSK (Surface Sampling Kit) and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler);. [The colony growth on the sampling slides is inspected visually after five days of incubation, using a special procedure to analyze the SSK media slides for bacterial & fungal colony growths.]
Malenchenko completed the periodic 3hr routine maintenance in the SM's ASU toilette facility, changing out replaceable parts behind panels 137, 138 & 139 with new components, such as a filter insert (F-V), the urine receptacle (MP), hoses, the pre-treat container (E-K) with its hose and the DKiV pre-treat & water dispenser. [All old parts were trashed for disposal, and the IMS was updated. E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in the DKiV dispenser and used for toilet flushing.]
Later, Yuri continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working hours in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok). [Using a vacuum cleaner and soft brush, Yuri cleaned the detachable VT7 fan screens of the three SOTR gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4), plus the fixed GZhT4 grill.]
At ~10:25am EDT, Suni Williams & Aki Hoshide had another 30 min for reviewing spacewalk procedures for their EVA-20 on 11/1 in a teleconference with spacewalk specialists on the ground.
In the Kibo lab, Hoshide serviced the JAXA MICB (MICROBE-3) experiment, first familiarizing himself with MICB Agar Tube sampling and taking documentary photography, then collecting samples in JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) with wet wipes and MDSs (Microbial Detection Sheets). Six Agar Tubes and 6 MDSs were then inserted in MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) Dewar 4 at 2 degC.
Akihiko also retrieved the Humidifier from CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility), filled it with water and collected a sample of this waste water for storing in MELFI, then cleaned up the sampling sites.
The CDR retrieved & stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies which she had deployed on 10/22 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]
Working in the Kibo JPM on the MSPR (Multipurpose Small Payload Rack), Aki prepared for tomorrow's arrival of the JAXA MOST (Medaka Osteoclast) payload on Soyuz 32S, first performing a troubleshooting check of the AQH (Aquatic Habitat) pH sensor for its response to an injected reagent, then connecting the AQH's water bag and waste bag to the WCU (Water Circulation Unit for exchanging their water contents. Afterwards, FE-6 activated MSPR components MSPR MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter), MSPR VRU (Video Compression & Recording Unit), MSPR Hub, AQHC (Aquatic Habitat Control) and MSPR ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal) for operational readiness. [The MOST experiment lasts approximately 60 days. Soyuz 32S will deliver 32 Medaka (Guppy-like) fish with four Fish Carriers. 16 fish in Fish Carrier #1 & #2 go into Aquarium 1 & 2 for long term experiment, 8 fish in Fish Carrier #3 are provided for initial fixation and the last 8 fish in Fish Carrier #4, which has a Russian flag label, are stowed 3 to 4 days in cabin then fixed. Feeding is performed three times a day, nominally 10:00, 13:30 and 17:30 with ground observation. It may changes due to communication availability or crew operation time for the Aquarium. In order to maintain water quality, periodic water sampling, refill, preparation and/or analysis are performed, twice a week for the first three week, then three times in two weeks for the rest of experiment. Background: The JAXA AQH is a closed-water circulatory system, which provides a new facility option ISS-based research. Scientists will use the habitat to study small, freshwater fish on orbit. For the first investigations, they plan to examine the Medaka fish (Oryzias latipes), looking at the impacts of radiation, bone degradation, muscle atrophy, and developmental biology. The investigations eventually could last up to 90 days and provide data that may lead to a better understanding of related human health concerns here on Earth. Medaka fish are ideal specimens for many reasons. They are transparent, making it easy to view the inner workings of their organs. They also breed quickly and easily in micro-G environments, enabling multi-generation studies. Researchers can take advantage of a variety of genetic modifications to these fish, as well. Also, scientists already have all of the Medaka genome identified, which makes it easier to recognize any alterations to the fishes' genes, due to factors like space radiation.]
Yuri Malenchenko performed his 7th 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.]
Yuri also completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS 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.]
Sunita Williams continued the new Dragon-delivered experiment Micro-6 (Genotypic & Phenotypic Responses of Candida albicans to Spaceflight), today transferring and activating the 2nd Group. [Steps included accessing CGBA-1 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 1) and removing & activating all Micro-6 GAPs (Group Activation Packs) G,H,I,O, then accessing CGBA-5 and inserting the removed GAPs G,H,I,O in CGBA-5. YTSL (YouTube SpaceLab) GAPs 1,2,3,4,5,6 and Micro-6 GAPs D,F,N remain in CGBA-1. Fundamental space biology experiments address basic questions of how life responds to gravity and space environments. The experiments probe the fundamental nature of life in order to enhance our understanding of how life responds to physical phenomena and physical forces on Earth and serve as the basic biological foundation in support of exploration. In particular, Micro-6 studies how microgravity affects the health risk posed by the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans. In our bodies, yeasts, especially the yeast Candida albicans help us maintain a healthy personal ecosystem. However, when our immune systems are stressed, Candida albicans can grow out of control. When that happens, yeast become so numerous that infections can result in the mouth, throat, intestines, and genitor-urinary tract. The equipment consists of GAPs stored in a flight-certified incubator at a temperature of 4 degrees centigrade. Each GAP contains eight FPAs (Fluid Processing Apparatuses) shaped like test tubes but designed to meet the unique requirement of mixing fluids in microgravity. Each FPA contains an isolated amount of the microbial culture of Candida, plus a growth medium and a termination reagent or fixative. During the three-week flight aboard the ISS, a crew member begins the experiment by increasing the incubator temperature to 30 degrees centigrade, and then activate the FPAs by pushing the plunger to mix the Candida with a growth medium. After 24 or 50 hours depending on the sample, the experiment will be terminated by pushing the plunger deeper into the FPA which combines a fixative agent to effectively stop the growth of the yeast cultures.]
FE-4 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 Russian 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).
In preparation for tomorrow's docking of Soyuz 32S, Williams closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola and JPM windows to prevent their contamination from thruster effluents during the docking.
Suni also turned off the amateur/ham radio equipment in COL and SM to prevent RF interference with the Soyuz Kurs autopilot.
Aki had another ~45 min for transferring return-to-Earth cargo to the SpX-1 Dragon spacecraft. Later, at ~2:30pm EDT, Robotics personnel on the ground will maneuver the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) to re-grapple the Dragon vehicle in preparation for unberth and release this weekend.
METERON Update: The ESA METERON team sent up thanks to Suni for her "great work on [yesterday's] OPSCOM-1 activity. Preliminary results from this test are very encouraging and successful. And lastly, you indeed turned out to be a great driver as no obstacles were destroyed by a rover (or a rover driver) that went out of control, and everybody would feel comfortable tagging along with you towards Mars!"
At 5:30am EDT, Akihiko Hoshide held the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.
At ~7:30am, Yuri Malenchenko supported a future Russian PAO TV event, using the Sony HVR-Z7E camcorder to extend pre-recorded greetings to the RAKETAFEST 2012 Model Rocket Festival, held in Moscow for several days, with rocket launches at Khodynka Field on 10/28. [The Rocket Festival is an ongoing RAKETAFEST project. The idea of Model Rocket Festival started back in 2003, and in 2009 the project took shape as "socially significant RAKETAFEST Rocket Model Festival" project. RAKETAFEST became a logical continuation of a long-standing public relation and outreach effort for space exploration including model rockets. The goal of this festival is to promote patriotism among children and youth by attracting attention to national achievements in space science and technology, to facilitate participation of children and youth in imaginative work applied to scientific and technical fields. This year the festival is dedicated to the 55th anniversary of the first man-made Earth satellite launch.]
The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (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. Suni's protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (VO2max), with T2 (int., 4 min.) for tomorrow. Aki's protocol for today showed T2 (int., 4 min.).]
Tasks listed for FE-4 Malenchenko 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),
• 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.
Debris Cloud Monitoring: As reported and discussed at the IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team), a rocket booster's 2nd stage that had been on orbit for several months fragmented into numerous pieces last week. Data collected to date show that there is a debris cloud on orbit, believed not to be insignificant. It is being tracked and monitored carefully for any potential impacts to ISS, EVA-20 or Soyuz.
ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:16am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 413.7 km
Apogee height - 425.0 km
Perigee height - 402.4 km
Period -- 92.84 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0016691
Solar Beta Angle -- -14.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 139 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,811
Time in orbit (station) -- 5087 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4374 days.
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
10/25/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking - (K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin; ~8:35am EDT)
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
10/28/12 -- SpX-1 Dragon SSRMS release (~9:08am, de-orbit 10/28 2:28pm, splashdown ~3:20pm)
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 -- US EVA-20
11/19/12 -- 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 -------------