NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 31 October 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 10/31/12

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

Progress M-17M/49P (No. 417) docked flawlessly this morning at 9:33am EDT to the SM (Service Module) aft port in the automated mode after a 4-orbit rendezvous & docking profile, with hook closure at 9:41am. All Progress systems operated nominally. This was the second time the 4-orbit rendezvous profile was implemented for Progress (similar to what was done during the Gemini Program). M-17M was launched this morning at 3:41am from Baikonur, and the trip from launch to docking took just 5h 52m. The cargo ship is delivering almost 3 t of food, propellants and supplies, including 930 kg propellants, 29 kg oxygen, 19 kg air, 420 kg water and 1241 kg spare part, maintenance items and experiment hardware. [Standard 1-hr leak checking, opening of the hatches and installation of the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling are scheduled tomorrow morning, followed by the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler, powering down the spacecraft and installing the ventilation/heating air duct, taking photographs of the internal docking surfaces for subsequent downlinking, and dismantling the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the SM.]

After wakeup, FE-4 Malenchenko, with FE-1 Novitskiy for "knowledge handover", performed the routine inspection of the SM PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection and completed the periodic (daily) reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops

Next, Oleg Novitskiy had ~3 hrs reserved to perform his 1st session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. Yuri Malenchenko assisted with the gear and took documentary photo/video. [Oleg donned the electrode cap, prepared the head for the electrodes, and applied electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, "adaptive biological control" training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

Before breakfast and other Postsleep activities, FE-2 Tarelkin set up the Russian spectrometry experiment MBI-28 Xromatomass (Chromatomass) and conducted his 1st session of collecting saliva and blood. MBI-28 was closed out afterwards.

FE-3 Kevin Ford transferred MOST (Medaka Osteoclast) samples from MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) to MELFI-3, using a DCB (Double Coldbag) and two ambient-temperature ice bricks.

Preparatory to Progress 49P arrival, FE-6 Hoshide closed the protective window shutters in Lab, Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) & Node-3 Cupola and also powered down the amateur/ham radio equipment in SM to prevent RF interference with the Progress autopilot radio.

In preparation for the EVA-20 spacewalk tomorrow, Sunita Williams, Akihiko Hoshide & Kevin Ford jointly -
• Reviewed the pertinent POC DOUG (Portable Onboard Computers Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software on a laptop for about an hour,
• Went through voluminous uplinked briefing material for a 3-hr review of updated EVA procedures, and
• Conducted a 30-min teleconference with EVA-20 specialists at ~10:55am EDT to discuss particulars.

Suni & Aki then -
• Spent another hour on configuring tools, hardware, and bags required for the spacewalk,
• Had ~45 min to prepare the A/L EL (Airlock Equipment Lock) with EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) and ancillary hardware & consumables, and
• Installed LLB (Long Life Battery) units and METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters in their EMU spacesuits.

Also for EVA-20, FE-4 Malenchenko prepared the Russian PILLE radiation dosimeters for use on Suni's and Aki's EMU during the spacewalk.

Prior to monitoring the automated approach of Progress 49P, FE-4 conducted the usual downlink channel test of the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) multicast streaming on the CP (Central Post) SSC2 laptop.

Afterwards, Yuri, with Oleg attending for handover, performed periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite "Matryoshka-R" (RBO-3-2), initializing & deploying new bubble dosimeters detectors and verifying proper function of the setup with the LULIN-5 electronics box. [A total of eight bubble dosimeter detectors (A41-A48) were initialized in the bubble dosimeter reader in the SM and positioned at new exposure locations. The deployment locations of the detectors were photo-documented with the NIKON D2X camera and also reported with initialization data to TsUP via log sheet via OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls],

Later in the day, Malenchenko switched STTS communications to MRM2 Poisk occupancy and set up the MPEG2 multicasting television equipment from MRM2, followed by installing and preparing 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 33. [Activities included making vacuum and 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.]

FE-2 Tarelkin worked several hours making preparations for critical biotechnical science payloads delivered on Progress 49P, to be unloaded tomorrow, supported by ground specialist tagup. Specifically, Evgeny -
• Set up the thermostatic enclosure for the BTKh-26 KASKAD experiment in the SM PrK (Transfer Tunnel) at panel 463, using the A340 power outlet,
• Configured, installed and connected the TBU (+37degC), TBU-V #4 (+4 degC) and KRIOGEM-03 (+29 degC) temperature-controlled refrigerators (the latter in the SM, TBU-V in MRM-1 & TVU in DC-1),
• Changed the RBS-10/3 power outlet attachment and modified panel 202 in the MRM1 Rassvet module,
• Activated TBU, TBU-V & KRIOGEM-03 to attain their pre-set temperatures, and
• Readied the Russian Glavboks-S (Glovebox-S) hardware in MRM1 for the BTKh-39 ASEPTIK payload.

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, working 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).

CDR & FE-6 had their second pre-EVA PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Aki at ~1:45pm, Suni at ~2:10pm EDT.

At 4:30am, Hoshide held the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

Kevin Ford had an hour of free time for general orientation (adaptation, station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Before Presleep (~3:40pm), Williams 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.]

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1). [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 (cont.), with EVA, and T2 (int., 4 min.) for the next 2 days. Aki's protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS, with EVA and no exercise on the following 2 days.]

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, and

Conjunction Notice: Flight controllers continue to track a repeating conjunction with object 34533 (Iridium 33 Debris). They are following a total of six close approaches from tonight at 9:20pm EDT, through 11/1, 5:04am. This is a small, high drag object which makes tracking updates difficult and provides a very high prediction uncertainty. NASA and Russian ballistics experts currently are evaluating DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) The prime DAM option is now tonight at 7:08pm. The DAM would be performed with the DC1 Progress mid-ring thrusters, with a delta-v of 0.5 m/s and burn duration of approximately 7 minutes. This burn would occur about 9.5 hours after this morning's 49P docking to SM aft and about 5 hours before the planned ISS attitude maneuver to +YVV in support of the EVA tomorrow. Currently, all PCs (Probabilities of Collision) are computed to be GREEN. However, some PCs have trended in an increasing direction while others have trended in a decreasing direction. It is not yet certain that all PCs will remain GREEN from here through TCA. Therefore, NASA has recommended to continue with DAM execution until the data has stabilized enough such that confidence is high that PCs will remain green.

EVA-20 Preview: EVA-20 will start tomorrow (11/1), at ~8:10am EDT with hatch opening and last about 6h 30m. The outboard activities by Williams (EV1) & Hoshide (EV2) will focus exclusively on the 2B power channel and the ammonia leak in the P6 truss. The data shows the leak in the loop has accelerated, and that channel could be off-line by the end of the year if the leak trend continues. Spacewalk activities include EAS (Early Ammonia System) jumper reconfigurations, demating the FQDC (Flight Quick Disconnect Coupling) of the 2B PVR (Photovoltaic Radiator), removal & stowage of the TTCR Trailing Thermal Control Radiator) shroud, plus release & deployment of the stowed TTCR radiator, with photography of IEA (Integrated Equipment Assembly) and PVR.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Lake Nasser-Toshka Lakes, EG (ISS had a mid-morning pass in clear weather offering near-nadir views of eastern part of this target area. CEO recently acquired excellent imagery of the Toshka Lakes to the W. Today the crew was to concentrate on Lake Nasser, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, holding an enormous 157 cubic kilometers of water. At this time as ISS tracked northeastward directly over the Nile, the crew was to conduct a mapping survey of the length of Lake Nasser from SW to NE for a seasonal update the lake's water level), San Marino, San Marino (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS had a near nadir pass in partly cloudy weather over the tiny capital city of this microstate within the target area with approach from the SW. At this time as ISS approached the coast of northern Italy, the crew was to begin a mapping strip to acquire useful views of this city that they were probably not able to distinguish for themselves. The Republic itself is land-locked and is located about 20 miles southwest of the Italian coastal city of Rimini. Best visual cues are Rimini's small but prominent bay and a light-toned river which reaches the sea at this point), Luquillo Forest, Puerto Rico (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEACH SITE [LTER]: ISS had a mid-morning pass for this target with approach from the SW in partly cloudy weather. The Luquillo Forest has been a center of tropical forestry research for nearly a century. As ISS approached eastern Puerto Rico, the crew was to try for a detailed mapping of the eastern end of the island, especially the darker green forest area and its edges), Santa Maria Volcano, GTM (ISS had a partly cloudy pass approach from the SW with this large stratovolcano just right of track. A large crater on the SW flank of the volcano was caused by a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The most recent eruptive activity occurred in April of 2010. As ISS approached the coast, the crew was to shoot just inland and try for overlapping mapping frames of the volcano - particularly of the Santiaguito lava dome on the southwestern flank), Post-Sandy Coastal Survey, NE U.S. (DYNAMIC EVENT: The large hybrid storm system that was formerly Hurricane Sandy made an earlier than forecasted landfall in southern New Jersey late on 10/29 and has continued to push slowly into Pennsylvania since then. Wind gusts in excess of 90 mph pounded the US coast from Nantucket to Cape Hatteras driving a record storm surge into New York harbor and the Battery. The extensive wind and water damage from the now-weakening storm are still being assessed as the system continues to buffet the northeastern United States with strong wind, heavy rains and some snow. At this time, even though the storm will not have fully cleared the region, the crew was to attempt a detailed mapping survey of the visible coastal areas, especially Cape Hatteras, the Delmarva Peninsula, New York Harbor, and Long Island Sound. All areas lied obliquely left of track), Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend-Rio Grande (ISS had a late-morning pass for this target area in clear weather with approach from the SW. This is an international wildlife preservation site where many endemic animal and plant species have created niches in a harsh desert environment. At this time the crew was to begin aiming left of track for the winding valley of the Rio Grande River and try for oblique, regional context views of this target area), and Santa Barbara Coast, CA (LTER Site: ISS had a late-morning, fair-weather pass for this target with approach from the SW. The Santa Barbara Coastal LTER site is located in the coastal zone of southern California near Santa Barbara. It is bounded by the steep east-west trending Santa Ynez Mountains and coastal plain to the north and the unique Northern Channel Islands to the south. Point Conception, where the coast of California returns to a north to south orientation, lies at the western, and the Santa Clara River the eastern boundary. Although some coastal fog may have been present, the crew was to look near nadir and try for a detailed mapping strip along the south-facing coast opposite the islands).

ISS Orbit (as of this noon, 12:57am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 413.1 km
Apogee height - 424.1 km
Perigee height - 402.0 km
Period -- 92.83 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0016283
Solar Beta Angle -- -47.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 8 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,922
Time in orbit (station) -- 5094 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4381 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
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 -------------

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