NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 07 November 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 11/07/12

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.

FE-2 Tarelkin completed the daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

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

CDR Williams, FE-6 Hoshide & FE-3 Ford started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, Suni's 36th, Aki's 37th, Kevin's 3rd. [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.]

Williams had Day 2 of her 5th (FD180) and final suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period after start of pH testing. Sunita will begin urine collections on Day 4, Friday (11/9) and blood sampling (fasted) on Day 5, Saturday (11/10), with Pro K photography. [For the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) protocol, there are five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day. The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI Dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings. Background on pH: In chemistry, pH (Potential Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a watery solution. Pure water is neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at 25 degC. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are "acidic" and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are "basic" or "alkaline". pH measurements are important in medicine, biology, chemistry, agriculture, forestry, food science, environmental science, oceanography, civil engineers and many others.]

FE-6 Hoshide set up for his own 5th (FD180) suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol. After recording his diet input today, Akihiko will begin urine collections on Day 4, Saturday (11/10) and blood sampling (fasted) on Day 5, Sunday (11/11), with Pro K photography.

In the MRM2 Poisk module, Yuri Malenchenko continued the current twice-daily (morning/evening) checking of vacuum/pressure conditions in the Plasma Chamber of the Russian KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload for upcoming operations.

Later, after the vacuum/pressure integrity check and with STTS communications configured for work in MRM2, Yuri ran his 2nd experiment session with the KPT-21 payload. The experiment was then deactivated, the STTS reconfigured and the data downloaded from the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for downlink. [With the ZB vacuum chamber in the SM RO (Work Compartment) evacuated by the turbopump in the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment), FE-4 conducted the automated PK-3 operations while Oleg Novitskiy monitored the TV downlink via MPEG-2 stream and Ku-band for proper function. The run was terminated after two hours and the accumulated data transferred from hard disk to USB stick for subsequent downlinking. The KPT-21 activities were supported by ground specialists and monitored by them via video packet streaming over the network which temporarily slowed down wireless SSCs (Station Support Computers) in the ISS. Today's experiment was performed on plasma with fine particles (1.55 µm) to study the crystallization dynamics at constant argon pressures (10 Pa) with superimposed low-frequency and varied voltage electrical field. During this session crystallization of various particle profiles in plasma dust was observed. 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. Main objective of PK-3+ is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e. fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

Kevin Ford continued the Makita battery reconditioning in SMPA (Scope Meter Power Adapter) 1008 in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and SMPA 1007 in the Lab, charging 4 batteries (#1032, #1037, #1038, #1051) and discharging them in turn in the driver drill, letting them cool down and then recharging them. [Makita battery reconditioning by Sunita on 11/5 in preparation for the ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Cardiopres activity on 11/9 had failed. Several combinations of batteries and chargers were attempted without success. Yesterday's successful troubleshooting used new batteries with each charger since old batteries have had a history of not lasting the expected life.]

In Kibo, Kevin afterwards continued ECCO (ESA Thermal Container) conditioning, inserting two (out of four) small ECCO cartridges from stowage into MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) Dewar 2/Tray C at -19 degC to ensure proper thermal conditioning for planned ECCO sampling operations;

In the Lab, Ford later prepared Ice Brick units in MELFI-3 for upcoming preservative storage needs, retrieving 4 green (-32 degC) Bricks and inserting them in Dewar 1/Tray A for cool-down.

Williams, Malenchenko & Hoshide joined for the regular 30-min fit check of their Kentavr anti-G suits for their return to Earth on Soyuz 31S on 11/19, followed by a 10 min teleconference with Kentavr specialists. A post-Kentavr PMC (Private Medical Conference) for all three followed the session at ~4:00am EST. [The "Centaur" garment (not to be confused with the Russian "Pinguin" suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Chibis" lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-G suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmembers from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

Afterwards, Yuri, Suni & Aki donned their Sokol intravehicular pressure suits to perform the standard leak check in their spacecraft, a 60-min job. Yuri also performed a check out of the Kazbek-UM seat restraint system latches for proper function, opening & closing them five times with all belt buckles engaged. After doffing the suits, Malenchenko & Williams set them up along with their gloves for drying and then stowed the gear.

Novitskiy completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1airflow 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.]

With the video camcorder set up for documentation, FE-3 Ford underwent his 1st session with the U.S. PFE (Periodic Fitness Evaluation) protocol as subject, a monthly 1.5-hr. procedure which checks up on BP (blood pressure) & ECG (electrocardiogram) during programmed exercise on the CEVIS cycle ergometer in the US Lab. Readings were taken with BP/ECG equipment and the HRM (heart rate monitor) watch with its radio transmitter. Aki Hoshide assisted as Operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer). The BP/ECG recordings were later transferred from the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) via USB thumb drive to a T61p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop for downlink to the ground. The video equipment was then closed down. [BP/ECG provides automated noninvasive systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements while also monitoring and displaying accurate heart rates on a continual basis at rest and during exercise.]

Afterwards, Kevin powered up the IMU (Interface Management Unit) of the ELITE-S2 (ELaboratore Immagini TElevisive - Space 2) investigation in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to allow the downlinking of footage of yesterday's experiment via Ku-Band to the PD (Payload Developer), and later turned it off again. [Background: This experiment evaluates differences in the way the brain controls conscious & unconscious motions such as breathing, sitting and standing in environments with and without gravity. ELITE-S2 investigates the connection between brain, visualization and motion in the absence of gravity. By recording & analyzing the three-dimensional motion of crewmembers, this study helps engineers apply ergonomics into future spacecraft designs and determines the effects of weightlessness on breathing mechanisms for long-duration missions. The experiment is a cooperative effort with the Italian Space Agency, ASI. The predecessor to this investigation, ELITE-S, was flown on EUROMIR in 1995.]

Hoshide continued yesterday's troubleshooting of the dysfunctional (non-flushing) WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) toilet facilities, today removing & replacing the dose pump with a spare. [After confirmation last Friday that the flush tank fill process was working, it turned out that dose pump is not drawing flush water & pre-treat water as it should be. This pump is only 25 days old against a planned life of 180 days, and there are concerns with the water-side of the WHC. The originally 2-year maintenance task of replacing a valve block as well as changing out a hose and sensor early to attempt to preserve the last spare dose pump on-orbit which replaced the currently installed unit (the next dose pump spare is manifested for Progress 50P). The WHC is on internal EDV container for flushing until the dose pump is replaced to verify that high concentrations of pre-treat do not impact the system detrimentally.]

Aki also performed a full fill of the WHC flush water tank from the EDV water container to use for calibrating the pumping capabilities of the new dose pump.

After his 2nd session with the BLR48 (Biological Rhythms 48/BIORHYTHMS) experiment ended today, FE-6 removed the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) and Actiwatch Spectrum from his body, saved the data from both ECG (electrocardiogram) Holters in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and analyzed them. [Sunita Williams begins her BLR48 measurements next Saturday (11/10). Objective of this study for Aki & Suni is to examine the circadian variation of astronaut's digital electrocardiograph during space flights using the cardiac autonomic function of the "Digital Walk Holter ECG" with its electrodes attached to the chest and the wrist-worn Actiwatch Spectrum activity monitor to supplement circadian rhythms data. For Aki only, the objective is also the long-term ODK2 (Onboard Diagnostic Kit 2) evaluation of a remote healthcare system's operability and accuracy with the collected data, in order to develop a computerized remote healthcare system for astronauts],

Yuri Malenchenko performed his 8th 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.]

Evgeny Tarelkin meanwhile had another ~2h20m min for unloading the Progress M-17M/49P transport ship, transferring cargo to the ISS for stowage with moves logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.

In the U.S. Airlock, Ford terminated the recharging of the METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorbent canisters #007 & #0021 in the "bake-out" oven.

Tarelkin took care of 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.]

Malenchenko completed the daily IMS 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).

Novitskiy readied the equipment for an upcoming run of the Russian SSTV (Slow Scan TV) Sputnik comm equipment of the MAI-75 experiment, part of OBR-3 (Obrazovanie-3, Education 3) ops. [This is essentially an ARISS (Amateur Radio from ISS) ham radio set-up with Kenwood TM D700 Transceiver and Kenwood VS-N1 (Visual Communicator) gear for downlinking photographic images to the ground station at MAI. To date, there have been 7 runs with MAI-75 on board the ISS. The payload is named after the renowned MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute) whose reputation is based on the large number of famous aviators and rocket scientists that received their academic education here. Among the alumni are Academicians and Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Over 100 General and Chief Designers earned their degree at MAI, with famous rocket scientists like Makeyev, Mishin, Nadiradze and Yangel. MAI also fostered 20 Pilot-Cosmonauts, almost 100 famous test pilots, Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia. The amateur radio (ham) equipment aboard the ISS for downlinking SSTV imagery is a MAI product.]

Afterwards, Oleg serviced the BTKh-26 KASKAD payload, mixing another sample in the KT/Thermostat Enclosure and transferring it to the KRIOGEM-03 temperature-controlled incubator (+29 degC), again photo-documented by Evgeny.

At ~9:45am EST, Williams, Novitskiy, Tarelkin & Ford joined up for a 2h15m OBT (Onboard Training) drill of integrated (i.e., both RS & USOS) emergency hardware familiarization, which was then followed by a 10-min tagup with ground specialists.

The CDR performed the monthly inspection of the T2/COLBERT treadmill system and its components, checking pin alignment, rack centering and the snubber jam nut witness marks. [Witness marks (12 total) are applied to the X-, Y- & Z-axis jam nuts on each (of four) snubber arm. Their inspection serves to determine to what degree and which jam nuts are backing off.]

Hoshide, Ford & Williams took turns as subjects for ocular research with the PanOptic eye test which requires application of eye drops (Tropicamide [Mydriacyl]) causing eye dilation for subsequent ophthalmic examination, performed by the three crewmembers on each other as operator with an ophthalmoscope. Aki was CMO (Crew Medical Officer)/Operator for Kevin and Suni, and Suni acted as CMO for Aki. 1st time for Kevin, 2nd time for Aki & Suni. The procedure was transmitted to the ground via MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter). [The procedure, guided by special software on the T61p RoBOT laptop (#1026), captures still & video images of the eye, including the posterior poles, macula & optic disc with the optic nerve, for downlink and expert analysis. Prior to the test, Joe set up the equipment including video camera and afterwards downloaded the data, then disassembled & stowed the gear.]

Malenchenko had an hour set aside for personal crew departure preparations which is standard pre-return procedure for homecoming crewmembers.

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

Before Presleep (~2:30pm EST), Suni powers up the MPC 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.]

Before Sleeptime, Yuri will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 5th session with the Sonokard experiment, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3 again had an hour of free time each 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.

Williams & Hoshide held their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Suni at ~9:05am, Aki at ~12:00pm EST.

At ~3:20pm, Novitskiy, Malenchenko & Tarelkin are scheduled for a Russian PAO TV downlink, transmitting their congratulations to V.I. Lobachev on his 75th anniversary. [Vladimir Ivanovich Lobachev, who turns 75 on 11/8, is Deputy Director of TsUP Mission Control. Professor Doctor Lobachev is Academician of the Academy of Astronautics and the Academy of Information Technology Education of Russia, a Laureate of the State Prize of the "Red Banner of Labor" from the Council of Ministers, and other government awards. For 25 years, until 2009, Vladimir Ivanovich taught Computer Science, besides his TsUP chair, at the Moscow State Forest University.]

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3/PFE), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-3, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (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 ARED/T2 (cont.) and T2 (int., 30s) for tomorrow. Aki's protocol for today had 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. 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 to record target sites on the Earth surface,
• Updating WiFi Client Settings (laptops) after the ground updated the ABP (WAP) wireless access point (WAP) configuration for the SM (which caused loss of network connectivity), 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.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) Note: ISS daylight-awake orbit tracks have reached a seasonal pattern in which they temporarily parallel the terminator. Consequently most of the nadir views of CEO targets fall below the accepted criterion for illumination, with darkness to the left of track and adequate lighting right of track. This condition is expected to persist for the next few days with minimal illumination for a few targets possible as early as tomorrow. Today only one target had marginal illumination. CEO is continuing to look for dynamic-event targets for which oblique views to right of track will be useful, especially aerosol sites where obliques can be very useful. CEO will also continue to take advantage of nighttime photography opportunities of cities in oblique, short-lens views.

CEO targets uplinked for today were Mumbai, India Aerosol (looking obliquely forward and right of track for dust/smoke/smog haze exiting hundreds of miles from the Indian subcontinent. To capture recognizable coastal features, the crew was to start with forward-looking oblique views, then continue with obliques [even including the limb], panning to the right with overlapping images. Oblique images in lower-illumination conditions can reveal atmospheric hazes very well. Margins of the haze mass are especially useful for mapping pall size. Visibility was reported at 2 miles in Mumbai, winds transporting aerosols SSW out to sea. Mumbai is one of a few megacities that appears to generate its own smog/haze pall. The present event, however, combines a regional dust from the Rajasthan deserts with the smog and smoke of the vast urban sprawl of greater Mumbai's industry and 18.4 million people).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:16am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 413.1 km
Apogee height - 423.5 km
Perigee height - 402.7 km
Period -- 92.83 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015313
Solar Beta Angle -- -68.0 deg (magnitude peaking)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 30 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,029
Time in orbit (station) -- 5101 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4388 days.

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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