ISS On-Orbit Status 06/02/12
All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday - Crew off duty.
After wakeup, CDR Kononenko performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.
The six Exp-31 crewmembers joined in conducting the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough cleaning of their home, including COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). ["Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]
As part of Uborka house cleaning, Oleg, Gennady & Sergei completed regular weekly maintenance inspection & cleaning of fan screens in the FGB (TsV2), Group E fan grilles in the SM (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP), and the weekly checkup on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM's & FGB's SOGS air revitalization subsystem.
FE-2 Revin also handled 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-6 Pettit conducted the regular (~weekly) inspection & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) and CGBA-5 payloads in their ERs (EXPRESS Racks) at Lab O2 & O1, focusing on cleaning the muffler air intakes.
Kononenko, with Padalka attending for "knowledge handover", completed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:55pm EDT. Bed #2 regeneration will be done tomorrow. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP's regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (last time: 5/14 & 5/15).]
FE-3 Acaba sequentially initiated and monitored charging of four Makita batteries for use with the Cardiopres blood pressure device during the next 24-hr ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session.
Don Pettit closed the protective shutters of the JAXA Kibo laboratory window to avoid its heating during the upcoming high Beta angle regime. [Shutter closure should be verified 12 hrs (as a margin) before the Betas reach more than +60 deg.]
Acaba & Pettit filled out their weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), Joe's 2nd, Don's 17th. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]
At ~8:00am EDT, the entire crew held the regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week's "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners), via S-band/audio, reviewing upcoming activities and any concerns about future on-orbit events.
FE-3 & FE-5 were scheduled for their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), André at ~9:40am, Joe at ~2:10pm EDT.
Don had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in his electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]
The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5, FE-6), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (FE-1). [FE-6 is 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 Fridays. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day. Today's exercise called for ARED+T2 (resistive+aerobic/continuous), with CEVIS (aerobic/interval), ARED+CEVIS (VO2max), T2 (aerobic/interval), ARED+T2 (resistive+aerobic/continuous) and CEVIS (aerobic/interval) following in the next 5 days. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]
Tasks listed for Kononenko, Revin & Padalka on the Russian discretionary "time permitting" job for today were -
• 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 (Oleg+Gennady),
• A 10-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 "Seiner" ocean observation program, obtaining HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of the Central Eastern Atlantic Ocean, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop (Sergei), and
• 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) (all).
Weekly Science Update (Expedition Thirty-One - Week 4).
2D NANO Template (JAXA): Mission completed.
3D SPACE: Complete.
ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.
ALTEA SHIELD (NASA/ASI): "Dear André, since you are going to set up the ALTEA SHIELD Shielding experiment in Columbus in the coming week, please find some more background information in the following. [Cosmic radiation consists of very small, atomic-sized particles that are flying around in space at tremendous speeds. Their energy is so high that these particles, like tiny bullets, can permeate through the complete structure of the ISS. Exposure of astronauts to cosmic radiation is risky from a medical point of view. The best way to protect our astronauts against cosmic radiation is to build the complete ISS from lead! This would solve the problem but the enormous mass can impossibly be launched into space. Therefore different materials, much lighter than lead, are being tested to be used as shielding materials. Two of those will be investigated in the ALTEA-SHIELD experiment. The effectiveness of the shielding materials will be measured on board by a set of special radiation detectors. Some detectors will be covered with tiles made of shielding materials, some others will not. We are looking forward to find out what difference it will make!"]
Amine Swingbed (NASA): No report.
AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer): No report.
APEX (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit) -Cambium: No report.
APEX-TAGES (Transgenic Arabidopsis Gene Expression System): No report.
Asian Seed 2010 (JAXA): Returned on ULF6.
BASS (Burning and Suppression of Solids, NASA): We had no operations this week and are continuing the data processing and analysis.
BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 6): No report. [Colloids are particles as small as a few tens of nanometers (a thousandth of a thousandth of a millimeter) that are suspended in a medium, usually a liquid or a gas. The name "colloid" comes from the Greek word for "glue", and expresses very important properties of colloids: when small and light enough, particles can be influenced in their behavior by forces of electromagnetic origin, and make them stick together, or repel each other depending on the configuration. Colloids are widely studied in science because the forces between particles can be controlled and tuned and because particles, while being small enough to be influenced by such forces, are big and slow enough to be seen with a relatively simple and inexpensive laboratory instrument like a microscope. This is why colloids are often studied as model for molecular systems (like standard gases or liquids) where molecules, the individual constituents, are much smaller than colloids and cannot be seen with light. As mentioned, forces between colloids can be tuned giving rise to a rich variety of phenomena. One of them is aggregation, which is when particles stick together and tend to form structures. Among the many ways to induce particle aggregation, one allows to do so by controlling the temperature of the solution in which the particles are immersed, thanks to very weak forces called "critical Casimir forces" that have been predicted more than 30 years ago but just partially verified in experiments. The objective of SODI COLLOID is to measure such forces and produce a controlled aggregation of tiny plastic particles. This would allow to shed light on critical Casimir forces and to make a step towards the fabrication of new nanostructured materials with remarkable optical properties for industrial applications.]
BLB (Biolab, ESA): On 5/29 to 5/31 quarterly maintenance test activities for BIOLAB were performed. "Thank you, André, for your support on 5/29 by opening the O2 and the CO2 gas bottles and checking the gas supply valves. A Life Support Module (LSM) tightness test was performed to check the tubes between the LSM and the Experiment Containers. Unfortunately, due to a LSM software anomaly and bad Ku coverage, the scheduled functional checkout of the LSM was postponed and needs to be rescheduled. On 5/30 files were successfully updated for the scheduled Handling Mechanism (HM) Gripper tests (force and positioning tests). Unfortunately, there was an issue with one of the axis of the HM Gripper Arm. The p-axis could not be initialized and the tests were aborted. These tests also need to be re-planned. On 5/31 the BLB Rotor Alignment tests for rotor A and B were successfully completed without any issues."
BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): No report.
BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report.
BISPHOSPHONATES: No report.
BXF-Facility (Boiling eXperiment Facility, NASA): No report.
BXF-MABE (Microheater Array Boiling Experiment, NASA): No report.
BXF-NPBX (Pool Boiling Experiment, NASA): No report.
CARD (Long Term Microgravity Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): No report.
CB (JAXA Clean Bench): No report.
CBEF-2 (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility)/SPACE SEED: No report.
CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): No report.
CERISE (JAXA): No report.
CCF (Capillary Channel Flow, NASA): No report.
CFE-2 (Capillary Flow Experiment 2, NASA): No report.
CFS-A (Colored Fungi in Space-A, ESA): No report.
CSI-5/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #5/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): No report.
CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.
CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), MDCA/Flex: No report.
Commercial (Inc 23&24, JAXA): No report.
Commercial (Inc 25 & 26, JAXA): No report.
CSAC (Chip-Scale Atomic Clock, SPHERES): No report.
CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): No report.
CsPins (JAXA): "Don, thank you very much for a successful on-time start of the experiment."
CubeLab: No report.
CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.
DECLIC-ALI (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization-ALICE-like, CNES/NASA): No report.
DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.
DOSIS (Dose Distribution Inside ISS, ESA): No report.
EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): No report.
EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): No report.
EKE (Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics During Physical Training, ESA): "Don, data for EKE will be shared between the VO2max and EKE science teams."
ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2): Planned.
EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): No report.
ENERGY (ESA): No report. [Background: In the ENERGY experiment, astronauts are invited to participate in a study that aimed to evaluate how much food is needed for astronauts during long-term space missions. To do so, the science team will measure every component or variable of the astronaut's energy expenditure reflecting his energy needs. Those variables will be measured twice: up to 4 months before flight and after at least 3 months in space but 3 weeks before landing. The changes in the astronaut's energy balance and expenditure will be measured, which will help in deriving an equation for energy requirements in weightlessness. This will contribute to planning adequate, but not excessive cargo supplies for food.]
ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.
EPM (European Physiology Module): Rack activated in support of ENERGY armband data transfers.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Eye in the Sky; Sleep 2): No report.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Sesame Street): No report.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Kids in Micro-G): No report.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Earth/Moon/Mars Demo): No report.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Space Sports): No report.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (ISS Orbit): No report.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations, ESA): No report.
EPO CONVECTIONS (ESA): "No report.
EPO MISSION X (ESA): No report.
EPO Spaceship Earth (ESA): No report.
EPO LES-2 (ESA): No report.
EPO GREENHOUSE (ESA): No report.
EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): No report.
EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): No report.
EPO Dewey's Forest (JAXA): Closed out on 3/15.
EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.
EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): No report.
EPO Lego Bricks (NASA, JAXA): No report.
EPO Moon Score (JAXA): No report.
EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.
EPO Paper Craft (Origami, JAXA): No report.
EPO Poem (JAXA): No report.
EPO-5 SpaceBottle (Message in a Bottle, JAXA): No report.
EPO-6 Spiral Top 2 (JAXA): No report.
EPO-7 Doctor Demo (JAXA): No report.
EPO-7 Green Tea Preparation (JAXA): No report.
EPO-7 Ink Ball (JAXA): No report.
EPO-7 Video (JAXA):
EPO-7 Try Zero-G (JAXA): No report.
EPO-8 Space Sakura (JAXA): No report.
EPO-8 Space Musical Instruments (JAXA): No report.
ERB-2 (Erasmus Recording Binocular, ESA): [ERB-2 aims are to develop narrated video material for various PR & educational products & events, including a 3D interior station view.] No report.
ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.
FACET-2 (JAXA): No report.
FERULATE (JAXA): No report.
FIR/LMM/CVB (Fluids Integrated Rack / Light Microscopy Module / Constrained Vapor Bubble): No report.
Fish Scales (JAXA): Completed on FD7/ULF-4 and returned on STS-132.
FOAM STABILITY EPO (ESA): No report.
FOCUS: No report.
FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory, ESA): No report.
FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device, ESA): No report.
GENARA-A (Gravity Regulated Genes in Arabidopsis A/ESA): No report.
GEOFLOW-2 (ESA): Experiment completed! [Background: Everybody is familiar with liquids. In an average day we get to use, handle or drink water or other liquids. And everybody knows how fluids (that is liquids and gases) behave: when subjected to a net force, may be pressure, a temperature difference or gravity, they can move freely. Scientists have been studying how fluids move for centuries, and managed to write mathematical formulas that can describe and predict such movements. Unfortunately, these equations are extremely complex and only approximate solutions are known. As a result, our quantitative understanding of fluid movement is just partial. This is especially true for natural phenomena where the forces can be enormous and unpredictable, like in oceans or in the atmosphere. Or the interior of the earth, where rocks are exposed to pressures and temperatures so incredibly high that they slowly move and adapt their shape. That is, over hundreds of years rocks flow just like a very viscous liquid. Scientists try to study such flows but cannot observe them directly due to the fact that they take place deep beneath the surface of our planet. The only way is to have computers simulating those movements starting from the equations, but how to check whether computers are correct? This is what Geoflow II is trying to answer on board the International Space Station. Geoflow II is a miniature planet that has some of its essential ingredients: a fluid can freely move inside a spherical container that rotates, has temperature differences and has a simulated gravity directed towards the centre just like in a real planet. By taking pictures of the fluid movements, scientists are able to understand the essential characteristics of the flows and determine whether computer simulations are correct or whether they need to be refined and improved towards a better understanding of the elusive movements that take place inside our planet.]
HAIR (JAXA): No report.
HDTV System (JAXA): No report.
Hicari (JAXA): Ground Team continued Dry Run of Hicari experiment, temperature of Material Processing Unit (GHF-MP) is 1200 degree C on 5/30. We will maintain 1250 degree C for 125 hours, then cool down before end of week 6."
Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.
HQPC (JAXA): Was delivered by 34P.
HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System/JAXA): HICO has taken 5701 images to-date and the best images from February 2012 are provided as part of the status for this week. The most recent HICO images include the Gulf Coast of Florida, part of Japan, the Straits of Gibraltar, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. RAIDS is collecting secondary Science data including nighttime atmospheric disk photometry, spectra and temperatures. Extreme Ultra Violet airglow spectroscopy and optical contamination studies will also be performed.
HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1, NASA): No report.
HydroTropi (Hydrotropism & Auxin-Inducible Gene Expression in Roots Grown under Microgravity Conditions/JAXA): No report.
ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): Complete.
ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): ""Great job on the echo last Saturday! Don, we weren't able to locate any super glue in IMS, but since the ultrasound scanheads aren't disposable, ""sticking"" with gel is probably best ;-). Joe, the PIs have looked at your recent Cardiopres data and said that it was excellent quality on-orbit data. The Holter data also looked very clean, so whatever you did, be sure to do it again for your upcoming FD30 session!!"
IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): No report.
INTEGRATED IMMUNE: No report.
InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): No report.
IRIS (Image Reversal in Space, CSA): No report.
ISS Amateur/Ham Radio: No report.
ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera, NASA): This past week ISSAC was able to resolve its BIOS corruption anomaly experienced on 5/18 with a crew activity that took place on 5/26. Thanks to Joe, ISSAC was able to continue obtaining images before light over our primary science region disappeared on 5/30. The system was able to take 444 images spanning 8,880 km over our primary science region (Northern Plains, USA) in addition to 3 strip targets of areas affected by flooding in Paraguay. This week also was the first time that ISSAC conducted operations while having a vehicle (Dragon) docked to the station, where imaging opportunities were black banded in OSTPV along with CEO targets. The ISSAC team has appreciated the effort by both the crew and Huntsville cadre with assisting us in obtaining science during a period where we otherwise would not be able to.
IV Gen (Intravenous Fluids Generation): No report.
JOURNALS (Behavioral Issues Associated with Isolation and Confinement, NASA): No report. [Studies conducted on Earth have shown that analyzing the content of journals and diaries is an effective method for identifying the issues that are most important to a person. The method is based on the reasonable assumption that the frequency that an issue or category of issues is mentioned in a journal reflects the importance of that issue or category to the writer. The tone of each entry (positive, negative, or neutral) and phase of the expedition also are variables of interest. Study results will lead to recommendations for the design of equipment, facilities, procedures, and training to help sustain behavioral adjustment and performance during long-duration space expeditions to the ISS, asteroids, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Results from this study could help to improve the behavioral performance of people living and working under a variety of conditions here on Earth.]
KID/KUBIK6: No report.
KUBIK 3/6 (ESA): No report.
LMM/PACE-2 (Light Microscopy Module / Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment): No report.
LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): No report.
MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System, NASA): No report.
Marangoni Exp. (JAXA): No report.
Marangoni DSD - Dynamic Surf (JAXA): Payload name was change from Marangoni DSD to Dynamic Surf.
Marangoni UVP (JAXA): No report.
MARES (Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System, ESA/NASA): "Dear Don, thank you for your skillful repair of the MARES Ethernet cable. It is great to get all your detailed feedback about this activity. We now look good to envisage a repetition of the MARES Check-Out Part#1"
Matryoshka-2 (RSA): No report.
MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): External payload. Continuing telemetry monitoring. Ground Activity: Downloaded VSC Imagery on 5/30.
MDCA/Flex-2: On 5/22 and 5/14, we performed MDCA/FLEX-2 Surrogate Fuel test points using 100% decane. Both test point days were performed in a standard air mixture (21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen at 1 atm). On 5/22, we ignited fuel droplets with diameters ranging from 4 mm to 5.5 mm. With these larger droplet diameters (>3 mm), we are observing radiative extinction followed by the formation of a condensation cloud. Radiative extinction is flame extinction caused by excessive radiative energy loss from the flame, and it occurs at relatively larger droplet and flame sizes. On 5/14, we performed several tests with smaller droplet diameters (1.5 mm to 3 mm). Surrogate fuels are mixtures of pure fuels that simulate the behavior of real fuels, such as gasoline and jet fuels. Surrogate fuels are chosen for investigation because they allow insight into the burning characteristics of real fuels, which are very difficult to study because they are multi-component. The results from these test points will lead to greater fuel efficiency of liquid-fuel engines and will minimize pollutant emissions. Results will also allow for the quantitative evaluation of future fuels.
MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): No report.
Microbe-2 (JAXA): Sample returned by ULF6.
Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.
MISSE-8 (Materials ISS Experiment 8): MISSE-8 ReflectArray, HyperX and SEUXSE-II experiments continue with nominal operations. PASCAL is performing nominal commanding that produced IV curves of the solar cells. IV curves are plots of the current versus voltage for solar cells and tell a lot about how these are performing. The SpaceCube experiment is running code for new radiation hardening by software. MISSE-8 operators are currently performing special commanding to prevent CIB resets during this high beta period.
MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): No report.
MPAC/SEED (JAXA): No report.
MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox-Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment): No report.
MSPR (Multi Purpose Small Payload Rack, JAXA): No report.
MSL (Materials Science Laboratory, ESA): Three processed Sample Cartridge Assemblies (SCA's) have been returned with SpX-D.
MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC-1 "Pirs".
MYCO 3 (JAXA): On 9/22, Mike and Satoshi completed sample collection.
MyoLab (JAXA): Completed on 4/20.
NanoRacks (NASA): Activation of the scheduled NanoRacks Module 9 mixing sticks was executed nominally. Unfortunately, deactivation of some of the sticks was performed prematurely. Potential science loss and recovery options are under investigation.
NANOSKELETON (Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity, JAXA): No report.
NEURORAD (JAXA): No report.
NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report. [During microgravity stay, the human body goes through multitude of physiological changes in order to accommodate to the new environment. As the brain is a master organ where major crucial processes take place, it is fundamental to understand how it manages adaptation for living in Space. One of the main purposes of Neurospat (NES) experiment is to focus on how microgravity environment influences cerebral activity of astronauts aboard ISS. For this, the global electrical activity of the brain of the astronaut is measured thanks to electroencephalogram (EEG) technique, while he or she is executing specific tasks through a computer as if it was a kind of videogame. In practice, the astronaut is wearing a specially equipped cap with passive, gel filled electrodes that are in contact with his/her scalp while he or she is performing the specific tasks that we have designed. These are visual-orientation perception and visuo-motor tracking tasks that may be encountered on a daily basis. The tasks allow the study of 5 cognitive processes: Perception, Attention, Memorization, Decision and Action. Besides there are also task-irrelevant images that are showed to the astronaut in order to assess how well he or she processes novel visual stimuli. The electrodes all over the scalp are linked to sensitive amplifiers that allow us to measure small variations of electrical potential between different regions of the scalp. These signals are in turn used to estimate activity in the cerebral cortex related to the task being performed. Also, they serve to identify the mental processes associated with these tasks and to localize in the brain the sources of the underlying neural activity. After analysis of the data we can better understand whether the novel environment of microgravity accompanied by a multitude of stressors may place an increased load on the cognitive capacity of the human brain and whether the sensory signals and motor responses of astronauts are processed and interpreted differently because a new reference frame.]
NightPod (ESA): NightPod images have been presented in a news blog on the ESA PromISSe website: http://blogs.esa.int/promisse/2012/04/05/nightpod/
NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.
NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY/ProK: No report.
ODK (Onboard Diagnostic Kit, JAXA): No report.
PACE-2 (Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment 2, NASA): (please see under FIR and LMM/PACE-2.
PADIAC (Pathway Different Activators, ESA): No report.
PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 6/7; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): Continuing radiation data acquisition of 17 Dosimeters installed inside of JEM. This experiment will continue until 30S return.
PASSAGES (JAXA): No report. [PASSAGES is an experiment about the strategies involved in the perception of the world around us. Seeing correctly the world is necessary to success our gestures, our actions, such as catching a ball, stepping an obstacle on the ground or passing through an opened door. In this experiment, we want to know if the strategies involved on Earth continue to be used when the astronaut is in a weightlessness environment for a long period. To investigate this question, the participant sees 3D scenes on the screen of a laptop such as a video game. The scene is a room with an opening which can vary in width. The task of the participant is to decide if yes or no he or she could pass through the aperture without rotating or scrunching the shoulders. The science team uses typical methods from psychophysics and manipulates several factors to highlight the strategies used by the participant. Then, the science team will compare the performances obtained on ground with those obtained onboard.]
PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility - Process Unit): No report.
PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): Mission completed last week.
PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): See PCG.
PLSG (Plant Signaling, NASA/ESA): No report.
PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.
POLCA/GRAVIGEN (ESA): Complete.
Portable PFS: Used for VO2max / THERMOLAB / EKE sessions.
Pro K: No report.
RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.
RadSilk (JAXA): No report.
Reaction Self Test (RST/Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): "Don, André, and Joe, thank you for your work with Reaction Self Test! We really appreciate your efforts with this study!"
ROALD-2 (Role of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression 2, ESA): No report. [Background: The ROALD-2 experiment studies how the function of T-cells from the immune system are affected by microgravity and spaceflight. T-cells play an important role in controlling the immune systems response to infection. It has previously been shown that the immune response of astronauts can be reduced following spaceflight and it has also been shown that the activation of T-cells in culture is reduced in microgravity. A series of experiments on T-cells and other immune system cells have been previously performed by different scientific teams on Space Shuttle and the ISS over the last 30 years. The data from these individual experiments provides information which together can be used to understand the mechanisms by which gravity or the absence of gravity can affect T-cell function.]
Robonaut (NASA): No report.
RYUTAI Rack (JAXA): No report.
SAIBO Rack (JAXA): No report.
SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): No report.
SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility, JAXA): No report.
SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): Continuing telemetry monitoring.
SHD (Space Headaches, ESA): "Dear André, thank you for filling in your 22nd weekly questionnaire on 5/24. Keep on going! Thank you, Joe, for completing your 1st weekly questionnaire on 5/24!" [Background: The neurologists from Leiden University want to study the question whether the astronauts, while in space, suffer from the headaches. With the help of simple questionnaires the astronauts will register the headache episodes and the eventual accompanying symptoms. The results will hopefully help to characterize the frequency and characteristics of space headache and to develop countermeasure to prevent/minimize headache occurrence during the space flight.]
SHERE II (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment II): No report.
SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device): No report.
SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): No report.
SLICE (Structure & Liftoff In Combustion Experiment): No report. [See under BASS.]
SMILES (JAXA): Continuing telemetry monitoring.
SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids, ESA): No report.
SODI/COLLOID (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Colloid): No report.
SODI-DSC (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Diffusion & Soret Coefficient, ESA): No report. [Background: Fluids and gases are never at rest. This statement is in apparent contradiction with our experience: when we pour water in a glass and wait until all flows have disappeared and the temperature of the liquid is in equilibrium with that of the room, we see that water appears to be completely at rest. However, if we were able to see the individual molecules of water with a very powerful microscope, we would discover that they are incessantly moving and collide with each other following frantic, random paths even if the liquid appears to be quiescent at naked eye. Scientists are interested in observing and measuring such movements because they reveal important, practical information: how fast does heat propagates in a fluid? How fast do liquid mixtures mix? Such phenomena occur in absence of a macroscopic flow, that is when the fluid appears to be at rest, and are called heat and mass diffusion respectively. While the theoretical prediction of heat and mass diffusion is still quite challenging, its measurement is a standard laboratory practice, but may become extremely difficult or impossible when dealing with mixtures of many liquids, due to the fact that such measurement needs to be carried out when the fluid is quiescent, a condition sometimes impossible to achieve on ground. This is precisely the objective of the SODI DSC experiment carried out on board the International Space Station: the measurement of diffusion in mixtures of liquids. By using very sensitive optical techniques, it will be possible to measure mass diffusion, compare with current theories, and improve our present understanding of how molecules move in liquid mixtures. The results will be used by the large team of scientists involved in the project to try to understand which of the many existing theories for mass diffusion is correctly predicting the experimental behavior.]
SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory, ESA): On 5/24 and 5/26, the last three days of Sun Visibility Window #53 (SVW#53), successful measurements with SOLSPEC were acquired (coordination with the VENUS EXPRESS project to perform simultaneous measurements). On 5/25 due to a Ku-Band drop out, the first 4 minutes of science data measurements were lost. On 5/27 SOLAR experienced a communication error (AIB failure) but was recovered immediately as per corresponding recovery procedure. Since 5/23 SolACES is in warmed up mode due to the Space-X Dragon docking and undocking activities.
SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): No report.
Space-DRUMS (Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix System): No report.
Space Food (JAXA): No report.
SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): No report.
SPHINX (SPaceflight of Huvec: an Integrated eXperiment, ESA): No report.
SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): No report.
SPINAL (Spinal Elongation): No report.
SPRINT: No report.
SS-HDTV (Super Sensitivity High Definition Camera, JAXA): Mission completed last week.
STP-H3 (Space Test Program - Houston 3): MHTEX has started a new test this week with the Capillary Pumped Loop. VADER continues to characterize the performance of the Aerogel blanket attached to the backside of the experiment. Canary collected data during the Dragon rendezvous, fly-around and docking events last week. This week Canary collected data from the Dragon release and departure burn events. DISC has taken more imagery this week and is processing images that were taken in previous weeks.
SWAB (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): No report.
TASTE IN SPACE (ESA): No report.
THERMOLAB (ESA): "Don, the THERMOLAB science team confirmed that the data of your 5th session on 5/4 were good."
TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.
TREADMILL KINEMATICS: "Thank you Don and André for completing your 5th session. One more to go!"
TRIPLELUX-B (ESA): No report.
UMS (Urine Monitoring System (NASA): No report.
VASCULAR (CSA): "Don, thank you for successfully completing the second session this week."
VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Module, NASA): No report.
VESSEL ID System (ESA): Nominal data acquisition with the NorAIS receiver. [Background: As the ISS circles Earth, it has been tracking individual ships crossing the seas beneath. An investigation hosted by ESA in COL module has been testing the viability of monitoring global maritime traffic from the station's orbit hundreds of kilometers above since June 2010. The ship-detection system being tested is based on the AIS (Automatic Identification System), the marine equivalent of the air traffic control system. Astronauts were instrumental in enabling the COLAIS experiment, which is an in-orbit demonstration project of ESA's General Support Technology Program. COL was not originally outfitted with VHF antennas to capture the AIS signals; they were installed on the outside of the module during a spacewalk in November 2009, with the remaining piece of hardware, the ERNOBox control computer, installed inside COL along with the NORAIS receiver in May 2010.- The two operational phases with the first receiver from Norway, or NORAIS, which is operated by FFI/Norway, have been extremely successful, with data telemetry received by the N-USOC, in Trondheim, Norway, via ESA's COL-CC in Germany. Data has been received by NORAIS in almost continuous operation, and all modes of operation have worked extremely well. On a good day, approximately 400,000 ship position reports are received from more than 22,000 different ship identification numbers (Maritime Mobile Service Identity, or MMSI).-- The NORAIS Receiver has a sample mode that can collect the raw signal, digitize it and send it to ground for analysis of signal quality, which is proving very helpful in making additional improvements/ refinements to the system. This is used both to investigate the signal environment and to evaluate the performance of new receiver technologies on the ground. Several hundred data sets have been collected and processed with new candidate algorithms for next generation receivers.-- From the assessment of these data sets, an updated version of the decoder algorithm has been worked. The development benefits from the investigations of the sampled data and ongoing work in other ESA projects. The firmware was uploaded to the NORAIS Receiver through the station's communications network. This upgrade #1 ("NORAIS Receiver FPGA firmware v18"), was activated on 1/20/2012.-- The on-orbit data of the NORAIS Receiver v18 have been analyzed since and show very good results. The teams are confident in the operation and performance of v18 and have now preliminary results of the comparison of the performance of the upgraded NORAIS Receiver (v18) relative to the version operated prior to the upgrade (v16).-- Changes of the signal environment on ISS can influence the number of correctly decoded messages, which makes it important to compare the results of this upgrade to a period running the old algorithm with a similar background level.-- The daily averages are calculated for 11 days for both receiver versions. For the upgrade, the period considered for comparison is 1/21-1/31/2012, which are the first 11 days of operation. When selecting the period for the reference data it was important to find a period with the same background signal level as the 11 days with the upgraded NORAIS Receiver. The period from 11/27 - 12/7/2011 was. Even though the two 11 day periods are 45 days apart, the ship traffic should not be very different around the world, except for some regions in the north that may be hampered by sea ice.-- The performance has been studied as the average number of decoded messages per day for the current upgrade v18 of the firmware and the original NORAIS Receiver software. The improvement is the ratio of these numbers (so average numbers of messages per day before the upgrade divided by number of messages after the upgrade). The number of messages from ships in various geographic areas shows a variation in the ratio of messages from 1.2 to 2.0, whereas the ratio of MMSI's ranges from 1.1 to 1.9. The improvement in the Mediterranean is almost a factor of 2.0 in number of messages, and more than 1.6 in number of distinct ships per day. The improvement in other high-traffic zones, at the Gulf of Mexico and East Asia, is even higher.]
VESSEL IMAGING (ESA): Dear Joe, you did a great job when performing your 1st VESSEL IMAGING session on 5/26!" [Background: It is known that the ability of blood vessels to vasoconstrict - the ability of the muscular vessel wall to narrow the diameter of the blood vessel - is impaired during and after a human has been in space. "Vessel Imaging" is using the Ultrasound scanner on board the ISS to take images of the five different blood vessels in the lower abdomen and in the legs to study what changes occur to cause the blood vessels to be less able to vasoconstrict. For each vessel, a 5 second scan is performed to observe the blood vessel during several heart beats, followed by a scan where the ultrasound scan-head is tilted to allow a "cut through the blood vessel wall". The same scans are also performed before flight, and these pre-flight images are used as the baseline to which the in-flight data is compared with. The images are analyzed to detect any changes in the blood vessel wall properties, such as wall thickness, elasticity or structure, changes in the size of the blood vessel or blood flow (volume) while the crewmember is in orbit.]
VIABLE (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS Payload Touch, NASA): "Dear André, thank you for performing the monthly VIABLE touch activity this week."
VO2max (NASA): No report.
VLE (Video Lessons ESA): No report.
WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels; ESA): No report.
YEAST B (ESA): No report.
YOUTUBE SpaceLab: No report.
CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Through 5/20 the ground has received 34,175 of ISS CEO frames from Expedition 31 for review and cataloging. "We are currently reviewing your latest downlinked imagery and will give you a more complete review in next week's science summary . Your unique view, highlighting 3-dimensional cloud patterns above the Pacific Ocean, was published on the NASA/GSFC's Earth Observatory website this past weekend. This nicely composed image provides a fine illustration of the intersection of the Andes Mountains of central Chile, clouds, and the surface of the Pacific Ocean highlighted by sunglint - all in one frame! Your imagery continues to inspire!"
CEO targets today were Luanda, Angola (Capital City Collection: ISS had a morning pass in partly cloudy weather for views of the Angolan capital city of nearly 5 million. As the crew approached the African coast from the NW, they were to look right of track for this urban area by the sea), Pretoria, South Africa (Capital City Collection: ISS had a mid-morning pass over the administrative capital of South Africa, which is approximately 30 miles NE of Johannesburg. As the station tracked SE over southern Africa, the crew was to look just right of track to capture both Pretoria and Johannesburg. Pretoria can be easily recognized by the Magaliesberg Mountains, which intersect the capital city from W to E), and Johannesburg, South Africa (as ISS racked SE over South Africa, the crew was to look just right of track for Johannesburg. Johannesburg is one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world and the largest industrial center in Africa south of the Sahara. 180 mm lens imagery of the metro area will provide useful context for higher resolution photographs).
ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:13am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 399.0 km
Apogee height - 406.1 km
Perigee height - 391.9 km
Period -- 92.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010493
Solar Beta Angle -- 50.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 74 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 77,572
Time in orbit (station) -- 4943 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4230 days
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
07/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch - S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
07/20/12 -- HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock
07/24/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
09/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
11/01/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
11/03/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
12/05/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch - C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
12/26/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
12/28/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/19/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
04/02/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch - P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
05/29/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch - M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch - M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S docking
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S launch - K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)