NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 October 2012


image ISS On-Orbit Status 10/12/12

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.

Yuri also completed the periodic (daily) reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

Akihiko Hoshide had Day 7 of his current extended session of the ESA ENERGY experiment. No urine or water sampling scheduled today, but required were the special ENERGY breakfast plus logging of all ISS food & drinks consumed during ENERGY experiment performance from lunch and dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 10. [Aki wears an armband monitor, positioned on the right triceps where it started automatically on skin contact. The instrument must be worn for the entire 10-day ENERGY measurement period and removed only during showers or if needed during blood draws. Activities without the armband monitor on the triceps must be carefully logged. The monitor will be removed at the end of the 10-day period, then data will be downloaded from the device. Background: The observed loss of astronauts' body mass during space flight is partly due to the systematic ongoing negative energy balance in micro-G, in addition to disuse. Unfortunately, the reason for such unbalanced match between intake and output is not clear, but appealing data suggest a relation between the degree of energy deficit and the exercise level prescribed as a countermeasure. 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. Purpose of the ENERGY experiment is (1) to measure changes in energy balance during long term space flight, (2) to measure adaptations in the components of the Total Energy Expenditure TEE (consumption), and (3) to derive an equation for the energy requirements of astronauts. TEE is the sum of resting metabolic rate (RMR, measured), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT, measured oxygen-uptake minus RMR) and activity-related energy expenditure (AEE, calculated).]

CDR Williams completed another weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of continuing WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated "cue cards" based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes. [The current card (32-0005C) lists 23 CWCs (305.93 L total), including 2 empty bags, for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (3 CWCs with 113.1 L) plus 1 empty bag; 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (13 CWCs with 166.65 L); 4. Waste water (1 CWC with 9.68 L bag EMU waste water), and 5. Special Fluid (OGS) (1 CWC with 2.5 L). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L, stowed in ATV3 for disposal. No bags with Wautersia bacteria. Other CWCs are stowed behind racks and are currently not being tracked due to unchanging contents. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

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

In the Kibo lab, Hoshide performed the JAXA MICB (MICROBE-3) experiment by starting the ASD (Air Sampling Device) and Particle Counter attached on the bottom of the Kobairo Rack GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace), and later inserting the samples with the air filter from the ASD in a Ziploc bag in MELFI-4, Dewar 4, at 2 degC, after removing 7 expired KFTs (KSC Fixation Tubes). The session was conducted a 2nd time later in the day, after which the Particle Counter was turned off. [The ASD is part of the NASA/JSC SWAB (Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization) experiment equipment.]

In Node-3, Hoshide performed routine maintenance on the WRS (Water Recovery System), changing out the TOCA WWB (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer Waste Water Bag) with a new one (#1090).

Williams worked on a CWC-I (-Iodinated, #2044) to "degas" it, i.e. to remove any free air bubbles that may have been ingested since its last use. [The traditional procedure for "degassing" the container (by first draining, then refilling it with a fully charged water CWC) was replaced in 2004 by a rather ingenious new procedure developed and checked out on the KC-135 aircraft flying zero-G parabolas at JSC/Houston: Essentially, it involves the crewmember himself centrifuging the selected container by holding it away from the body and applying a slow rotation of ~15 rpm to himself, to separate air and water in the bag through centrifugal force, while simultaneously squeezing out the air by cinching down on bungee cords wrapped around the CWC], and

Next, Suni used the pumping equipment to start the periodic water transfer from the just degassed CWC-I #2044 to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) Potable Water Storage Tank via "tee" hose and a freshly installed MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge as gas trap. [During the day, with MCC-H monitoring, Aki checked transfer progress and purged gas from the MRF, as required, to allow water to flow from CWC-I to the Potable Water tank.]

FE-4 Malenchenko installed & configured new "Sputnik" amateur/ham radio hardware in the SM, supported by ground specialist tagup. Testing of the setup will be performed after a commensurate software upgrade on the RSK2 laptop.

Also in the SM, Malenchenko later performed troubleshooting on the Russian ASN-M Satellite Navigation System, switching cabling between navigation electronics units NPM-1 & NPM-4 as a test.

Sunita Williams filled out her standard FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop Terminal). It was her 11th time. [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.]

Afterwards, Suni reviewed briefing material for the new Dragon-delivered experiment Micro-6 (Genotypic and Phenotypic Responses of Candida albicans to Spaceflight). [In the coming weeks the CDR will be activating, terminating, and transferring GAPs (Group Activation Packs) among CGBA-1 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 1) , CGBA-4, and CGBA-5. Specifically, CGBA-5 will be used to incubate the GAPs, CGBA-1 & CGBA-4 will be used to cool GAPs before and after incubation. Background: Fundamental space biology experiments address basic questions of how life responds to gravity and space environments. The experiments probe the fundamental nature of life in order to enhance our understanding of how life responds to physical phenomena and physical forces on Earth and serve as the basic biological foundation in support of exploration. In particular, Micro-6 studies how microgravity affects the health risk posed by the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans. In our bodies, yeasts, especially the yeast Candida albicans help us maintain a healthy personal ecosystem. However, when our immune systems are stressed, Candida albicans can grow out of control. When that happens, yeast become so numerous that infections can result in the mouth, throat, intestines, and genitor-urinary tract. The equipment consists of GAPs stored in a flight-certified incubator at a temperature of 4 degC. Each GAP contains eight FPAs (Fluid Processing Apparatuses) shaped like test tubes but designed to meet the unique requirement of mixing fluids in microgravity. Each FPA contains an isolated amount of the microbial culture of Candida, plus a growth medium and a termination reagent or fixative. During the three-week flight aboard the ISS, a crew member begins the experiment by increasing the incubator temperature to 30 degC, and then activate the FPAs by pushing the plunger to mix the Candida with a growth medium. After 24 or 50 hours depending on the sample, the experiment will be terminated by pushing the plunger deeper into the FPA which combines a fixative agent to effectively stop the growth of the yeast cultures.]

In the Lab, Sunita also serviced the NanoRacks Module 9 payload, activating MTs (Mixing Tubes) #1005 tubes 1 & 3 and #1006 tube 1, plus shaking #1005 tube 6. About 45 min later, MT #1006 tube 11 was deactivated.

In the SpX-1 Dragon capsule, the CDR performed the periodic status check on the GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator), ensuring that the freezer is operational and its temperature is as expected.

Afterwards, Suni re-stowed the DCBs (Double Coldbags) and IceBricks that were temporarily put aside during recent sample transfer between the ISS-based MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) and the Dragon-based GLACIER.

Activities completed by Yuri Malenchenko included -

• 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],
• Taking 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),
• Continuing the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems by changing out the cartridges of the four dust filters (PF1-4) in the SM and discarding the used cartridges,
• Servicing the RS radiation payload suite "Matryoshka-R" (RBO-3-2), taking readings of the eight radiation detectors, then re-initializing and replacing the dosimeters in the RS. The completed registration document was loaded on the RSS2 laptop for transmittal to TsUP-Moscow through the high-speed RSPI Data Transmission Radio Link; [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],
• Supporting the running experiment TEKh-22 "Identifikatsiya" (Identification) in the MRM1 Rassvet module by downloading the new batch of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via RSPI; [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104], and
• Performing his 6th 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.]


Preparatory to transferring the MPEP (Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform) to the JEMAL (JEM Airlock) in the Kibo module, Hoshide pressurized the airlock. [Vent valve and A/L manual backup valve were already closed on 10/5.]

Sunita Williams & Akihiko Hoshide again had several hours on their timeline dedicated to unloading the SpX CRS-1 Dragon capsule and transferring cargo to ISS for stowage. Later in the day, at ~2:05pm, Suni is scheduled for a phone debriefing with the ground on cargo transfer progress.

Malenchenko, Hoshide & Williams joined up for a 15-min OBT (Onboard Training)/review of Dragon emergency procedures & responses in case of a contingency involving the SpX-1 spacecraft.

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 (~3:40pm), Suni 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.]

At ~3:45am EDT, 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 ~4:30am, 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 ~10:00am, Williams supported a PAO TV downlink, responding to interview questions from WBZ-TV, Boston, MA (David Wade) and WCVB-TV, Boston, MA (Jennifer Berryman).

At ~3:30pm, the crewmembers are scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

Aki Hoshide set up the USND (Ultrasound) with video camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter), placed reference markers on thigh & calf of her right leg, donned the SPRINT thigh & calf guides and then, with the help of Sunita Williams, performed his 3rd SPRINT leg scan with remote guidance from ground teams. [SPRINT (Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study) evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in ISS crewmembers during long-duration missions.]

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, with ARED/T2 (interval), T2 (int., 2 min.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) for the next 6 days. Aki's protocol for today showed ARED/T2 (cont.), with T2 (int., 2 min.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) on the following 5 days.]

Tasks listed for FE-4 Malenchenko on the Russian discretionary "time permitting" job for today were -

• More preparation & downlinking of reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia's manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb),
• A ~30-min. 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
• 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 (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) to record target sites on the Earth surface.


CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Dili, East Timor (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: The capital city of East Timor, with a population of almost 200,000, is located on the north coast of eastern Timor Island. At this time, as ISS tracked NE over the Timor Sea, the crew was to look just right of track to capture long lens shots of this city in a single frame), Volcanic Activity on Java (DYNAMIC EVENT: In recent weeks there have been reports of significant eruptions at no less than five volcanoes in the Java region. On this mid-afternoon pass, ISS approached the SE coast of Sumatra with the island of Java obliquely to the right of track. Trying for context and more detailed views of any visible volcanic activity [plumes or ash clouds] that the crew observed as they tracked W and NW of Java5), Antananarivo, Madagascar (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: This capital city of about 1.5 million is located in this large, island nation's central highland. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with the target just right of track. Much of the interior of Madagascar is exposed and heavily eroded with little vegetation. The Antananarivo area has more wood lands and small lakes. At this time as ISS tracked over the elevated interior of the island, partly cloudy conditions were expected, but the crew was to try for a single frame view of the entire city), Victoria, Seychelles (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: At this time, as ISS tracked NE over the Indian Ocean from Madagascar, the crew was to aim just left of track on the NE side of Mahe Island in fair weather. Mahe Island is the largest in the group of three larger islands and numerous small ones. The Seychelles is a continental fragment left stranded in the Indian Ocean during India's plate tectonic movement NE towards Asia. The rocks of Seychelles are extensions of major formations found in Zambia and South Africa. Trying to acquire context shots of the entire city of Victoria), and Paramaribo, Suriname (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: This capital city is located just inland from the coast on the west bank of the Suriname River estuary and has a population of about 250,000. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with partly cloudy skies expected. As it approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to look just left of track for single-frame views of this small city).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:12am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 414.6 km
Apogee height - 426.7 km
Perigee height - 402.6 km
Period -- 92.86 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.001774
Solar Beta Angle -- 36.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 100 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,624
Time in orbit (station) -- 5075 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4362 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
10/17/12 -- ISS Reboost (1-burn/two SM engines) - (11:23am EDT)
10/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch - K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin (6:51am EDT)
10/25/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking - (~8:40am EDT)
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing - (7:00pm/10:00pm EDT) (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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