NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 September 2012


image ISS On-Orbit Status 09/21/12

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.

Later, with RS STTS audio comm systems temporarily configured for crew presence in the MRM1 module, FE-4 spent ~2 hrs in Rassvet, dismantling and checking out IDZ-3 smoke detector #3. STTS was then reconfigured to nominal.

Yuri also took his first periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, spending ~90 min on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember rests for 5 min., then works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h].

CDR Williams had ~1.5h set aside to locate the long-ago stowed ELITE-S2 (ELaboratore Immagini TElevisive - Space 2) hardware, then relocate its IMU (Interface Management Unit) from ER2 (EXPRESS Rack 2) in the Lab to ER4 in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and provide support to ground operations. [The task was to set up the ELITE-S2 settings for IE (Internet Explorer) on the ELC (EXPRESS Rack Laptop Computer) and power on the IMU to enable the PD (Payload Developer) on the ground to command and downlink the ELITE test session data. 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.]

Also in the JAXA JPM, Sunita reconfigured the MRDL (Medium Rate Data Link) Ethernet cable on the Ryutai Rack, mating the cable to the MDLT (Medical Laptop) and turning the latter on for downlinking its log file.

Later, Suni completed her 2nd regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh her CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on a review of all topics. At the end, Suni completed a self-assessment questionnaire. Answers were provided at test conclusion. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

The CDR filled out her standard FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MDLT. It was Suni's 8th. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MDLT 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.]

FE-6 Hoshide completed routine maintenance on the WRS (Water Recovery System) by filling a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) with iodinated water from the WPA PWD Water Processor Assembly Potable Water Dispenser) Aux Port to assist with water balance, using the H2O transfer common hose. [Estimated offload time: ~23 min; quantity: 8.9L].

In the Kibo laboratory, Hoshide supported a ground checkout of the SSOD (Small Satellite Orbital Deployer) which he installed on the MPEP (Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform) of the extended slide table of the JEM AL (Airlock). The checkout was for the Cubesat deployment planned for next week. [After setting up the G1 camcorder in Kibo for live monitoring of activities from the ground, Aki connected the checkout cable to the SSOD and the RMS (Robotic Manipulator System) Console and powered on the SSOD. The checkout was performed from SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) in Tsukuba. Later, FE-6 removed the launch lock cover and attached MLI (Multi-Layer Insulation) on the SSOD, retracted the slide table and closed the AL inner hatch. The G1 camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) were then deactivated.]

Also in JPM, Akihiko retrieved & prepared the equipment for a new JAXA EPO (Educational Payload Operations) project called "Message in a Bottle 2" or SpaceBottle 2. [Aki used the G1 camcorder, MPC and miniDV tape to complete and downlink the video message in the bottle. The first SpaceBottle was prepared by Shannon Walker on Inc-24 in 2010.]

Later, FE-6 re-installed the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab starboard bay S3, engaged the snubber pins and locked safety pins to protect its ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances).

After measuring, on Day 3 of the leak checking, the internal pressure of the portable O2 repress tank (BNP) on the POV (EVA Support Panel) in the SM RO Work Compartment, used for the recent Russian spacewalk, Malenchenko de-installed the BNP and moved it to stowage.

For the ATV3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3) departure on 9/25, Yuri set up the Ku-band video "scheme" for a communications test of converting the RS video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from SM & Node-3/Cupola, for downlinking as MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoded "streaming video" packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. SSC2 (Station Support Computer 2) was used to monitor/control the TV signal. [Steps included connecting the SM TVS (television system) to the T61p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop at the SM CP (Central Post), activating Soyuz TVS, turning on MPEG-2 video Server 2, and monitoring the SM's TV signal from the ground (Moscow) via Ku-band and the Cupola RWS. The analog signal version of the digital Ku-band downlink is sent to TsUP-Moscow via ESA Gateway at COL-CC (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Control Center) on a Tandberg Decoder.]

FE-4 took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance from the 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).

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Suni Williams configured the equipment for the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring experiment and then began her 3rd session, after preparing the Actiwatches, electrode sites, attaching the harness and donning the Cardiopres with the assistance of Aki Hoshide. At ~1:00pm EDT, Sunita observed the initial 10-min rest period under quiet, restful conditions before going about her business. [The goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. Each experiment session consists of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The FD75 echo scan session will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. Today, wearing electrodes, the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) for recording ECG (Electrocardiogram) for 48 hours, the ESA Cardiopres to continuously monitor blood pressure for 24 hours, and two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) for monitoring activity levels over 48 hours, Suni started the ambulatory monitoring part of the ICV assessment, switching Makita batteries for the Cardiopres as required. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

In Node-3, Aki accessed the LTL SFCA (Low Temperature Loop System Flow Control Assembly) Mod valve after removing a closeout panel and checked out the position of the valve, disengaging it and re-engaging it. [To verify that the Modulation valve has no anomalous behavior after the recent Node-3 LTL SFCA troubleshooting from the ground. The troubleshooting went well, so SFCA is now back in a good valve modulating configuration in Node-3. The valve is no longer locked and is under software control, modulating as expected.]

Hoshide also gathered equipment and tools required for the upcoming ATV3 undocking.

Activities performed by FE-4 Malenchenko included -

• Verifying proper function of the deployed Russian "Matryoshka-R" (RBO-3-2) radiation detectors by taking readings and checking date/time from the LULIN-5 electronics box located in the MRM1 near the spherical "phantom"; [a total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS). The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies],
• Completing routine preventive maintenance on the SM Rodnik water storage system by opening and closing the KN, KV & KD valves of the BV1 & BV2 tanks from the Rodnik control panel; [the procedure of activating each valve twice is intended to keep the valves functional during long-term water storage],
• Switching the STTS radio/telemetry system assets to a backup string; [the "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 Docking Compartment and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM's outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support], and
• Activating the RSE-LCS laptop of the TEKh-39 LCS (Russian: SLS) Laser Communication System to start recording.


Suni Williams retrieved two CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) CO2 selector valves from stowage in PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) and readied them for the ASV R&R (Air Selector Valve Removal & Replacement) scheduled on 9/24 (Monday). The 3rd valve could not be located. Ground team is working the issue. [The plan is to replace the CDRA ASVs (Air Selector Valves) 103 & 104. If ASV 102 can be accessed, it will also be replaced.]

The CDR also had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in her electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep (~3:30pm), Williams powers 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, 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.]

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

At ~4:05am, Yuri, Suni & Aki held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Main Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~6:30am, Malenchenko linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~10:30am, the CDR held the regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~10:50am, Sunita powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 11:00am conducted a ham radio session with students at Lafayette Middle School, Lafayette, GA.

At ~2:35pm, the crewmembers conducted their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

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), 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) targets uplinked for today were Andorra la Vella, Andorra (Capital Cities Collection: The capital of the tiny Co-principality of Andorra, with a population of about 23,000, is situated in a small, high mountain valley of the eastern Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. ISS had a pass in late morning light with fair weather expected. Looking carefully for this small target as ISS tracked southeastward over the Pyrenees. The most recent cataloged imagery we have of this city is from the early 1990s), B.P. Impact, Libya (Terrestrial Impact Craters: ISS had a late morning pass in clear weather for this target with its approach from the NW. B.P. is an exposed impact crater that is 2 km in diameter and is estimated to be less than 120 million years in age. At this time, the crew was to begin looking in the vast Libyan Desert, right of track, for this feature and its visual cues. Although small, it is somewhat distinctive because of its circular shape. A local visual cue is an S-bend ridge near the crater), and St. John's, ATG (Capital Cities Collection: Antigua and Barbuda is a small Caribbean island-nation with an estimated population of 85,700 people. ISS had a late morning pass in fair weather with approach from the NW. At this time, the crew was to begin looking nadir for the capital city of St. John's, located on the NW coast of the island, trying to get a context view of the city in one frame if possible).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:07am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 416.7 km
Apogee height -- 429.0 km
Perigee height -- 404.3 km
Period -- 92.90 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0018143
Solar Beta Angle -- -4.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 87 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,297
Time in orbit (station) -- 5054 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4341 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
09/25/12 -- ATV3 undocking -- 6:36pm
09/26/12 -- ATV3 deorbit (burn 2) -- 10:33pm
10/07/12 -- SpaceX-1 launch -- 8:34pm
10/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/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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