NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 September 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 09/17/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 12 of Increment 33 (three-person crew).

Light duty day on board: Wake - 7:40am; sleep - 5:30pm EDT (returning to normal)

Yest posadka! (We have Landing!) Welcome back home, Gennady, Sergei & Joe! After 125 days in space (123 days on ISS), Soyuz TMA-04M/30S carrying Exp-32 crewmembers Gennady Ivanovich Padalka, Sergey Nikolaevich Revin & Joseph Michael Acaba landed successfully last night at 10:53am EDT about 85 km north of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, almost exactly at the designated landing site, 26 minutes after local sunrise. The Descent Capsule tipped over, and the crew, which was in excellent condition, was quickly extracted by SAR (Search & Rescue) personnel. Moscow time at touchdown was 5:53am, local time at landing site 8:53am. The 125-day mission has advanced Padalka to the 4th position on the most-experienced-space-fliers list, with 711 days in 4 missions. Acaba now has 138 days from his 2 orbital flights, and "first-timer" Sergei Revin starts out with 125 days to his record. [TMA-04M (#705) undocked from the MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2) Poisk port at 7:09pm EDT, after the crew had closed hatches (ZPL) at 4:12pm and performed leak checks of the vestibule area between MRM2 and the Soyuz spacecraft, of their Sokol suits and of the hatch between the Descent Module (SA) and Orbital Module (BO). The crew then enabled the spacecraft's BTsVK onboard digital computer complex (RDR command) and VTsVK MCS (Motion Control System) "Chaika" and put in the latest guidance parameter settings. Undocking was initiated by crew command to open hooks at 7:06pm, and physical separation occurred at 7:09pm. The crew then performed an observation test of the docking interface/structure with the new SSD309 LED (Light-Emitting Diode) spotlight. About 3 min after physical separation, 30S conducted the first automated separation burn, 15 seconds for a delta-V of 0.57 m/s with two DPO-B1 thrusters. The actual de-orbit burn of 4 min 14 sec duration came at 9:56pm, resulting in 115.2 m/sec deceleration. Tri-module separation occurred smoothly at 10:25pm at 139.9 km altitude, as reported by the SPR Istochnik-M system to ISS (and from there to ground). At ~16 sec after the separation command, software pitched the PAO (Instrumentation/Propulsion Module) in the rear to a specific tail-to-the-Earth angle (-79.5 deg from reference axis) which, if PAO remained connected to the SA (as has happened twice in Soyuz history), would have resulted in enough heating on the connecting truss to melt it, thus ensuring separation. 266 sec after separation (~93 km alt.) the TsVM-101 central computer was deactivated. Atmospheric entry (101.6 km) followed at 10:29pm, entering plasma sheath and encountering max G-load at 34.6 km. Nominal parachute deployment followed at 10:38pm (10.7 km). After initial observation by Russian SAR (Search & Rescue) personnel in their fixed-wing Antonov plane and helicopters plus receipt of radio comm from the crew, the capsule landed at 10:53pm EDT, falling on its side. SAR was there within 2 minutes. After the usual stopover in the medical tent, the crew was flown by helo in 2 hrs to Kustanai where Joe Acaba boarded the waiting NASA-992 Gulfstream-III airplane which today is bringing him back to Houston/Ellington AFB (with 2 refueling stops),- the 10th direct return for USOS crewmembers. Gennady Padalka & Sergei Revin meanwhile were flown on the GCTC Tu-134 back to Chkalovsky airfield of GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) at Zvezdniy Gorodok (Star City) where the usual cheerful crowd of officials and families welcomed them before their disappearance into "Prophy" hospital for post-mission medicals.]

The remaining ISS crew of CDR Williams, FE-4 Malenchenko & FE-6 Hoshide is enjoying a light-duty/rest day, returning to normal work/sleep cycle at 2:00am tomorrow.

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-4 also conducted the weekly checkup behind ASU/toilet panel 139 in the SM of a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

Aki Hoshide performed regular maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), inspecting and greasing its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) Y- & Z-axes rails & rollers and upper stops.

Afterwards, Aki retrieved & stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies which Suni had deployed on 9/15 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.]

Yuri completed 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.]

CDR Williams opened the protective window shutters of the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment and activated the ISSAC laptop, so ground images can be captured by ground commanding. [ISSAC takes frequent visible-light & infrared images of vegetated areas on the Earth. The camera focuses principally on rangelands, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. The images may be delivered directly upon request to farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land. The images will also be shared with educators for classroom use.]

Later, Sunita performed regular extended service on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), changing out its UR (Urine Receptacle) hose and IF (Insert Filter) with associated air hose, then vacuumed the entire WHC and cleaned it with disinfectant wipes and Braycote-601 lubricant.

Akihiko relocated emergency equipment in preparation for the arrival of Soyuz TMA-06M/32S with Ford, Novitsky & Tarelkin in October, removing the 30S (prime) crew's labels from the PEP (Portable Emergency Provisions) equipment and preparing the emergency equipment for the new crew. [In line with a newly adopted emergency strategy, the "Soyuz docked to MRM1" (currently: 31S) crew's ammonia respirators will remain in the MRM1, and the "Soyuz docked to MRM2" (to come: 32S) crew's respirators, relabeled appropriately, will be kept pre-configured in the FGB.]

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6). [CDR & FE-6 are on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions involving resistive and aerobic (interval & continuous) exercise, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL. No exercise is being timelined for Suni on Friday, for Aki on Thursday. If any day is not completed, Suni & Aki pick up where they left off, i.e., they would be finishing out the week with the last day of exercise on her off day. Suni's protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (aerobic continuous), with T2 (aerobic interval, 30s), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) & T2 (int. 4min) for the next 3 days. Aki's protocol for today showed T2 (int., 30s), with ARED/CEVIS (cont.) & T2 (int. 4 min. for the next 2 days.]

After his SPRINT workout on the T2 machine, Aki closed down the treadmill software on its laptop for data transfer, then turned off the T2 display. [After the display shutdown, the T2 rack is power cycled (turned off/on) from the ground, and T2 is then ready for use. These power cycles allow for the T2 data to be transferred to the Server for downlink.]

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

Conjunction Advisory: Engineers have continued to track a conjunction with Object 30407 (Fengyun 1C Debris) with TCA (Time of Closest Approach) tomorrow at 9:25am EDT. While the initial estimate of the ISS trajectory following Soyuz undocking attitude maneuvers had decreased the predicted conjunction miss distance, likely increasing the Pc (Probability of Collision), latest tracking data indicate a Pc of 3.6 x 10-9. This was judged small enough to make a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) unnecessary.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:56am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 417.0 km
Apogee height -- 429.5 km
Perigee height -- 404.6 km
Period -- 92.91 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0018305
Solar Beta Angle -- -21.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 96 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,237
Time in orbit (station) -- 5050 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4337 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
09/25/12 -- ATV3 undocking -- 6:35pm
09/26/12 -- ATV3 deorbit (burn 2) -- 10:31pm
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- 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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