NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 November 2012


image ISS On-Orbit Status 11/28/12

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

After wakeup, FE-1 Novitskiy performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection and also .

FE-1 also completed the daily reboot of the Russian RS1 & RS2 laptops.

FE-2 Tarelkin rebooted the RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

Still before breakfast, Oleg & Evgeny each performed another session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis, the first for both. 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). FE-1 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).]

CDR Ford performed troubleshooting on the CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) Camera 1 of the JAXA MOST AQH (Medaka Osteoclast [killifish] Aquatic Habitat) payload (which did not downlink several times since 11/23), then completed regular MOST maintenance by testing the water in WCU (Water Circulation Unit) with test strips for ammonium, nitrate and nitrite concentrations, and later supplying fresh water. [Kevin also supplied a reagent for controlling pH value and replaced the used waste filter with a fresh one. The AQH test strips were then returned to MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3).]

Next, Ford serviced the ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera) system at the Lab WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack to recover its health and status, then downloaded the event log and application files.

The CDR also retrieved & stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies which he had deployed on 11/26 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.]

Novitskiy had ~3 hrs reserved to perform his 2nd on-board 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. Evgeny Tarelkin 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.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Kevin Ford had 1.5 hrs set aside to prepare for Test Session 34 of the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) experiment, setting up the Panasonic 3DA1 camcorder with fresh batteries for recording 3D video, plus other equipment, and then had another 2 hrs to conduct the session which used 1 satellite for Systems Characterization/ Identification, 2 satellites for ZR (Zero Robotics) Game tests and subsequently 2-satellite Systems Identification. Afterwards, during an additional 20 min, the satellites were deactivated, the 3D imagery copied over to the SSC for downlink via OCA, the 3DA1 turned off, the battery packs checked and removed, the beacons powered off, the LPTX antenna disconnected, and the gear stowed. [The session involved cameras, 2 satellites, 5 beacons, a beacon tester, 3 handrail extenders, battery packs, CO2 tanks and the primary LPTX antenna, being used in 3 groups: Group A: System Identification (Investigate thruster performance at different duty cycles and number of thrusters open; Perform maneuvers while collecting high speed inertial measurement unit data in order to determine the systems center of mass and inertia matrix with the new expansion port). Group B: Zero Robotics Unit Tests (Test several components of the Zero Robotics (ZR) High School Tournament game; Demonstrate several game features and a full head-to-head match to guide students in preparing tests for an ISS competition in January). Group C: System Identification (Determine if SPHERES system performance in Group A is dependent on operation time or which SPHERE is used). SPHERES was originally developed to demonstrate the basics of formation flight, autonomous docking and other multi-spacecraft control algorithms, using beacons as reference for the satellites, to fly formation with or dock to the beacon. A number of programs define various incremental tests including attitude control (performing a series of rotations), attitude-only tracking, attitude and range tracking, docking with handheld and mounted beacons, etc. The payload consists of up to three self-contained 8-inch dia. free-floating satellites which perform the various algorithms (control sequences), commanded and observed by the crew members which provide feedback to shape algorithm development. Each satellite has 12 thrusters and a tank with CO2 for propellant. The first tests, in May 2006, used only one satellite (plus two beacons - one mounted and one hand-held); a second satellite arrived on ULF1.1, the third on 12A.1. Formation flight and autonomous docking are important enabling technologies for distributed architectures. Per applicable Flight Rule, SPHERES operations have no CO2 output constraints if the CDRA (CO2 Removal Assembly) is operating in dual-bed or single-bed mode.]

Oleg serviced the SPPZ Fire Protection System by replacing end-of-life OKR-1 fire extinguishers in the RS (Russian Segment) with new units (2 in SM, 1 in MRM2, 1 in DC1). The old units were prepared for disposal on Progress.

Evgeny worked on the Russian iPads and RSE1 & RSE-LCS laptops, updating their WiFi settings to work as clients for the SM WAP (Wireless Access Point) which the ground transitioned yesterday to a new configuration. [The settings of the RS SSC laptops were also changed by TsUP/Moscow without crew involvement.]

Afterwards, Tarelkin took the periodic (once a month) readings with the Russian AOK GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system and calibrated the unit.

Later, FE-2 used the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to look for Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde and Ammonia. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur dioxide, Hydrogen cyanide, Phosgene, etc.]

Novitskiy supported the ongoing testing of the TEKh-39 LCS (Laser Communications System, Russian: SLS) in the SM by transferring the test data collected overnight to the RSE-LCS laptop for data downlink and log file dump, later checking on archiving completion.

Oleg also conducted 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.]

After opening the Node-3/Cupola window shutters, Kevin took documentary photographs of the SSRMS LEE (Space Station Remote Manipulator System Latching End Effector) outside of the Cupola (with the LEE snares in direct sunlight) and later closed the protective shutters again before ground personnel maneuver the robotarm clear of the windows. [Purpose of the photographs: to assess the degradation of the snare cables.]

In the SM, Evgeny performed a 4-hr IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the RS EPS (Electrical Power System), removing & replacing the BUPT-1M current control unit (box A403) of the 800A battery #3 and also replacing the battery itself with a new 800A unit. The old 800A was transferred to stowage, the BUPT-1M was prepared for disposal on Progress. The PTAB-1M current converter (A303) of battery #3 was replaced yesterday. [The battery's ZRU charge/discharge unit was deactivated by TsUP/Moscow beforehand and reactivated later. Each of the eight 800A 28 Volt batteries in the SM (the FGB has six) has its own ZRU charge/discharge unit, which tracks 49 battery parameters and is designed to increase the operating life of the battery by setting up charging & discharging modes. Each ZRU is comprised of one battery current converter (PTAB), one PTAB current control unit (BUPT-1M), and three charge/discharge current integrators (MIRT-3). Before connecting the new BUPT, TsUP turned off the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control mode.]

After the Elektron-VM oxygen generator was activated by ground commanding via the BPI NU (Low Frequency Data Receiver) system, Tarelkin evaluated the operation of its primary micro-pump, using controls and displays at the PP 6064 panel, which is connected to the Elektron's BZh Liquid Unit and its BSSK Signal & Command Matching Unit. [Elektron had to be turned off earlier when the 800A & BUPT-1M replacement necessitated shutdown of BITS2-12 and VD-SU.]

Kevin Ford & Oleg Novitskiy set up and charged their personal iPads for use in the OBT (Onboard Training) emergency drill tomorrow, including performing a wireless connectivity check throughout the ISS to determine signal strength to the new BELAIR WAPs. [The SSC clients were successfully updated yesterday with new Service Packs which include an updated version of iTunes. Preparing the Russian iPad involved configuring the desired language setting, setting the screen orientation to landscape, connecting the iPad to the SM WAP, removal of cookies and browser data and charging the iPad.]

Oleg performed his 3rd 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.]

FE-2 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.]

FE-1 completed 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).

Before Presleep (~2:30pm EST), Ford powered 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, Kevin 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, Novitskiy sets up the battery of the GFI-1 "Relaksatsiya" (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment for overnight charging. [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.]

At ~1:15pm EST, Kevin held his standard weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~2:10pm, the three crewmembers conducted their weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office/CB (Bob Behnken), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

Before the workout, Kevin set up and checked out the G1 video camera for it to record Evgeny's session on the machine, meeting the regular 30-day requirement for biomechanical evaluation of the on-orbit crewmembers, and evaluation of the hardware status. Afterwards, Kevin stowed the video footage.

Tasks listed for Evgeny & Oleg 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,
• 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
• Updating Wi-Fi clients settings for new WAP.


CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Aurora Borealis, 3 opportunities (looking left towards the limb during night passes over North America. The Geophysical Institute is predicting moderate auroral activity for today), Dodoma, Tanzania (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Looking right. Visual cues for this hard-to-see target are two lakes, Lake Sulunga and Mtera Reservoir, also right of track. Dodoma [population 325,000] lies between them. Trying to capture this small city in a single frame), and Johannesburg, South Africa (looking right for the lighter-toned area which comprises Greater Johannesburg. Visual cues are parallel hills to the north [with the capital city Pretoria], and a large reservoir [Vaal Dam, Johannesburg's water supply] to the south. The Greater Johannesburg Metro Area has 7.1 million people. With adjoining cities, as seen from space, the built-up zone is nearly 100 km long, encompassing 10.3 million. The city is the largest industrial center in Africa south of the Sahara. It is the world's largest urban area not situated on a river, lake, or coastline. Baseline imagery for the city's growth patterns was requested).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-34: Three-crew operations -------------
12/19/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch - C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/21/12 -- 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 -------------
03/28/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch - P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/30/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
04/15/13 - Progress N-17M/49P undock
04/18/13 -- ATV4 launch
04/23/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P undock
04/24/13 - Progress M-19M/51P launch
04/26/13 - Progress M-19M/51P docking
05/01/13 -- ATV4 docking
-------------- Inc-35: Six-crew operations -------------
05/14/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
-------------- Inc-36: Three-crew operations -------------
05/28/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch - M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/30/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
-------------- Inc-36: Six-crew operations -------------
07/23/13 - Progress M-19M/51P undock
07/24/13 - Progress M-20M/52P launch
07/26/13 -- Progress M-20M/52P docking
09/11/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
-------------- Inc-37: Three-crew operations -------------
09/25/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch - M.Hopkins/O.Kotov(CDR-38)/S.Ryanzansky
09/27/13 -- 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/M.Tyurin
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
12/18/13 -- Progress M-20M/52P undock
-------------- 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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