NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 November 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012

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

Sleep cycle shift: The workday began and ended an hour earlier for the Russian crewmembers: Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin & Yuri Malenchenko woke up at 1:00am EDT instead of 2:00am, and their sleep period begins an hour earlier tonight (i.e., 4:30pm instead of 5:30pm). For the USOS crewmembers, wake/sleep times remain unchanged.

EVA-20 by CDR Sunita Williams & FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide started at 8:29am EDT and ended at 3:07pm, i.e., after 6hr 38min, with all objectives accomplished, plus one get-ahead. Congratulations, Suni, for your new record mark for women!

Supported by FE-3 Kevin Ford as IV (intravehicular crewmember), Williams (EV1) & Hoshide (EV2) -
. Completed the EAS (Early Ammonia System) jumper reconfiguration Part 1,
. Demated the PVR 2B FQDC (Photovoltaic Radiator Flight Quick Disconnect Coupling),
. Reconfigured the ammonia jumpers,
. Removed the cover from the spare TTCR (Trailing Thermal Control Radiator),
. Completed the EAS jumper reconfiguration Part 2,
. Released & deployed the TTCR,
. Took documentary photography of the IEA (Integrated Equipment Assembly) and PVR,
. Inspected the port SARJ (Solar Array Roitary Joint) as get-ahead, and
. Cleaned up & Ingressed.

[As they did for EVA-18 & EVA-19, instead of going through the previous overnight Campout procedure, EV1 & EV2 used the new ISLE (In-Suit Light Exercise) protocol for denitrogenation, designed to create efficiency in spacewalk preparation and tested by Fincke & Feustel on ULF6/EVA-3. For ISLE, Suni & Aki performed light exercise for 100 minutes, starting at ~3:15am EDT while partially suited, using masks to breathe pure O2 (oxygen) to facilitate purging of N2 (nitrogen) from blood stream and tissues. This eliminated the need for campout. Afterwards, the EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) were purged, continuing with more ISLE with in-suit prebreathe while collecting data and swapping METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters for CO2 absorption. Depressurization of the A/L C-LK (Airlock Crewlock) followed at ~7:40am for about 30 min. With EV1 & EV2 switching to suit power, EVA-19 began at 8:29am. It ended at 3:07pm, lasting 6h 38 min. It was the 166th spacewalk for ISS assembly & maintenance (total time: 1049h 21m, the 5th this year, and the 355th worldwide, i.e., for all Astronauts & Cosmonauts, since 1965. During the spacewalk, Sunita Williams added to her EVA record for women, setting a new mark of 50h 40m. Suni now has 7 EVAs to her credit.]

FE-3 Ford supported the spacewalkers on their ISLE protocol, ISLE prebreathe, EMU preps and during post-EVA activities.

FE-4 Malenchenko configured the internal RS (Russian Segment) STTS communications connections, setting up the IAS (Internal Audio Subsystem) to work with USOS (US Segment) comm in support of the EVA.

After return on board from the spacewalk, Suni, Aki, Kevin & Yuri completed initial post-EVA activities in the A/L (Airlock) for about an hour, including -
* Doffing backpacks, harnesses, tethers and EMUs,
* Inspecting & taking photography of the EMU gloves,
* Returning Orlan PILLE radiation dosimeters to Yuri for data take & stowage,
* Reconfiguring IAS/STTS communications in the RS by Yuri,
* Downlinking spacewalk camera imagery, and
* Downlinking the glove photographs for analysis.

In the morning, FE-4 Malenchenko, with FE-1 Novitskiy & FE-2 Tarelkin 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.

Also for handover, Yuri, Evgeny & Oleg conducted the periodic checkup of the circuit breakers & fuses in the DC1 Docking Compartment. [The monthly checkup in DC1, MRM1 & MRM2 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36. MRM2 & MRM1 were derived from the DC1 concept and are very similar to it.]

After yesterday's arrival of Progress M-17M/49P, Malenchenko & Novitskiy spent most of their work hours today on the cargo ship, with Tarelkin pitching in, to -
. Start the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and the SM PrK SU (Transfer Tunnel Vestibule),
. Open the hatches (2:45am) and install the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling,
. Take the standard air samples inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler,
. Deactivate the cargo ship, and
. Install the ventilation air duct between Progress & SM.

Afterwards, Yuri, Evgeny & Oleg began unloading the cargo ship, with priority given to the time-critical biotechnology payloads which they transferred to the ISS and their thermostat-controlled containers, specifically -
. BTKh-40 BIF (Bifid bacterium), to TBU cooler (+37 degC);
. BTKh-14 BIOEMULSIYA Bioreactor to KRIOGEM-03 (+4 degC);
. BTKh-26 KASKAD Bioreactor (+4 degC);
. BTKh-6,7 ARIL/OChB to KRIOGEM-03 cooler (+29 degC);
. BTKh-10 KONYUGATSIYA Rekomb-K to TBU-V (+4 deg C);

During the spacewalk, IV Kevin Ford -
. Swapped the T2/COLBERT treadmill Pacebook with an SSC (Station Support Computer) [after a T2 Pacebook Display malfunction yesterday, probably due to bad connection to the WAP (Wireless Access Point) and T2 GUI (Graphic User Interface). Since the T2 Pacebook is needed for nominal T2 operation, it was replaced today with SSC-5 which was equipped with a new software upload by the ground overnight and should automatically transfer over to the T2 rack once power-cycled],
. Performed routine maintenance on the WRS (Water Recovery System) using the LFTP (Low Flow Transfer Pump) to transfer water from CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) and offloading it, using a particulate filter; [estimated offload time (i.e., spacing between initiation & termination): ~4:30 hrs], and
. Completed the periodic manual fill of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV (condensate) flush water tank from the PWB (Potable Water Bus) for about 23 min, a partial fill during which WHC was not available, [offload time: ~15 min.]

With colder times approaching in Kazakhstan, Novitskiy & Malenchenko relocated the standard Russian TZK-14 Thermal Protection Jackets (three each) from ISS/MRM2 stowage to the Soyuz TMA-05M/31S and Soyuz TMA-06M/32S spacecraft. [These warm coats, delivered on Progress 48P, always ready for an emergency return in cold climate, are required to protect the Soyuz crew after a landing in Kazakhstan (or Russia) in winter time.]

Evgeny 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.]

Oleg took care of 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).

Afterwards, FE1 also broke out and readied the equipment for his and Evgeny's first session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), scheduled tomorrow right after wake-up. [MO-10 measures the red cell count of the blood. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time.]

FE-4 Malenchenko, with Tarelkin & Novitskiy attending as handover activity, executed the periodic data dump from the BRI (SSR/Smart Switch Router) data conversion control log to the RSS1 laptop for downlink to the ground via US OCA (Orbiter Communications Adapter) or Russian high-speed RSPI Data Transmission Radio Link.

After his sample collections in the SM yesterday, Yuri today had another ~2 hrs for collecting microflora samples from equipment and surfaces at 12 selected locations in the FGB in special sample tubes which he then prepared for return to Earth on Soyuz 31S, along with documentary photographs.

The Russian crewmembers worked out on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2). [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 no exercise (EVA), with T2 (int., 4 min.) for the tomorrow. Aki's protocol for today showed no exercise (EVA) and none for tomorrow Friday).]

Later tonight, CDR & FE-6 are scheduled for their regular post-EVA PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Aki at ~4:25pm, Suni at ~5:00pm EDT.

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.

Conjunction Update: To evade a repeating conjunction with Object 34533 (Iridium 33 Debris), ISS performed a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) reboost last night, using the Progress 48P engines on DC1-Nadir. Due to an issue with the thruster configuration on the 48P vehicle, an underburn of 38% occurred. Actual burn duration: 10 min (thruster time limit is set at 600 s). Actual delta-V: 0.31 m/s (instead of 0.5 m/s); delta-H: 0.6 km (instead of 0.9 km). New mean altitude: 413.3 km; new apogee altitude: 420.6 km; new perigee altitude: 406.1 km.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Chisinau, Moldova (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS had a near nadir pass in fair weather over this target in midday light. The Moldovan capital is located near the center of the country and inland about 120 miles from the northwestern coast of the Black Sea. At this time, as ISS approached from the SW, the crew was to look slightly right of track for this urban area of nearly one million inhabitants and try for single-frame views), Soufriere Hills Volcano, MSR (ISS pass was at mid-morning in weather over this target area that includes the island of Montserrat in the northwestern part of the Lesser Antilles. The Soufriere Hills Volcano is located on the southwestern end of the island and its ongoing activity has rendered more than half of it uninhabitable), Managua, Nicaragua (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: On this mid-morning pass ISS approached the coast of Nicaragua from the SW in partly cloudy weather. After crossing the coast the crew could see to their right both the larger Lake Nicaragua and the smaller Lake Managua to the NW. Trying for single frame views of this capital city of nearly 2 million located on the south shore of Lake Managua), Nassau, Bahamas (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: ISS had a good, mid-morning pass in partly cloudy weather over the Bahamian capital city. As ISS approached the northwestern Bahamas from the SW, the crew was to begin looking near nadir for this target after crossing the much larger Andros Island. The city of Nassau proper is located on the eastern half of New Providence Island; however the metropolitan area encompasses the entire island), Galveston Bay, TX-USA (ISS had a fair weather pass at mid-morning today with this target just right of track. The objective of this site is to develop baseline imagery and then document land use, land cover, vegetation, and shoreline morphology changes along the upper Texas coast and in particular the Galveston Bay area. At this time as ISS tracked northeastward over the Texas Coastal Plain and the Houston area, the crew was to look right of track and try for a detailed mapping strip of the beach areas from Freeport to Rollover Pass), Wells Creek Impact, TN-USA (ISS had a late morning pass in clear weather for this challenging impact crater target in Tennessee. The crater is 12 km in diameter and is estimated to be about 200 million years old. The Expedition 28 crew was able, just barely, to capture this crater in a context view. At this time, as ISS approached from the SW, the crew was to look towards nadir for the forked reservoir on the Tennessee River and then try for overlapping context views from W to E with a longer lens to acquire this small feature), and Shortgrass Steppe, CO-USA (LONG TERM ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH SITE: ISS had a nadir pass approaching from the SW over this site with clear weather and late-morning light. At this time, as ISS left the Rocky Mountains and entered the Great Plains, the crew was to begin a nadir mapping strip north of the lush agricultural areas along the Platte River. The research focus is the effect of grazing on the extent and character of vegetation cover, which are in continuous change).

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