NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 October 2012


image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday - Crew off duty. Ahead: Week 16 of Increment 33 (three-person crew).

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 daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

CDR Williams & FE-6 Hoshide started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, their 30th. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

After wake-up, Akihiko Hoshide had Day 9 of his current extended session of the ESA ENERGY experiment. No urine or water sampling was scheduled today, but required were the special ENERGY breakfast, to take water only from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) and to use the US toilet only, 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).]

Sunita Williams continued the new Dragon-delivered experiment Micro-6 (Genotypic and Phenotypic Responses of Candida albicans to Spaceflight), today accessing CGBA-5 and inserting the activated Micro-6 GAPs (Group Activation Packs, A, L, M) into CGBA-5. [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 degrees centigrade. 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 degrees centigrade, 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.]

Yuri completed the routine daily & weekly servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM and FGB. [This included the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings of SM & FGB for calldown to TsUP-Moscow, as well as the weekly checkup on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM's & FGB's SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & "On" durations for calldown. SOZh servicing includes checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers as required.]

Suni serviced the NanoRacks in the Lab, activating Module 9 and later deactivating it. [Activities included activating mixing tubes #1005 10, shaking mixing tubes #1005 6 & #1006 16, and later deactivating mixing tubes #1006 1, 2 & 5.]

Before sleeptime, FE-4 Malenchenko started the TM D700 "Sputnik" amateur radio station in the SM in Repeater Mode for the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment and turned the station off again after 30 minutes. [Objective of the experiment is the automatic retranslation of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions. This experiment has been run by Anatoly Ivanishin, Dmitri Kondratyev, Oleg Skripochka, Fyodor Yurchikhin, Yuri Malenchenko and Mikhail Tyurin (first time in November 2006.]

Suni & Aki conducted a 30-min review of procedures for transferring biomedical samples from an ISS MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) to the Dragon MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) refrigerator for return to Earth.

At ~10:30am EDT, Hoshide, Malenchenko & Williams conducted a teleconference with the Expedition 34 crew to discuss handover particulars. [Purpose of the standard conference is for the current ISS crewmembers to pass on the lessons learned to the upcoming Expedition Crew, beginning the handover process prior to the arrival on orbit through Videocons and Data Exchanges between the current crew and the upcoming crew.]

CDR & FE-6 had 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), Aki at ~11:10am, Suni at ~12:50pm EDT.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR), 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 T2 (int., 2 min.), with ARED/CEVIS (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) for the next 4 days. Aki's protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) on the following 3 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. 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,
* A 10-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 "Seiner" ocean observation program, obtaining SKPF-U (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of color bloom patterns in the waters of South-Eastern Pacific (SEPO), then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop, 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 Semeru Volcano, Java, IDN (this target, at 12,060 ft, is the highest peak on the island of Java. Semeru rises abruptly from the coastal plains and has multiple calderas with lakes. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with an approach from the SW with partly cloudy skies. CEO targets of this massive volcano lied just left of track. The crew used the long lens setting for detailed views of the summit area. CEO database does not yet have detailed images of this volcano), Mekong River Delta, Vietnam (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass over the delta of one of the world's major rivers and a key agricultural area for Southeast Asia. The dry season is now underway and fair weather was expected for this nadir pass approaching from the SW. At this time the crew was to begin looking just right of track to document the land use of this delta with context views of the estuary islands and interior plains), Port Louis, Mauritius (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS had a partly cloudy, mid-afternoon pass for this target with its approach from the SW. This small capital city of ~150,000 people is located on the NW coast of the island of Mauritius. After passing the large French island of Reunion, just ahead lied a similar island, Mauritius. Looking towards nadir and trying to capture this urban area within a single frame), Flooding in Lokoja, Nigeria (INTERNATIONAL DISASTER CHARTER SITE: This capital city of the Nigerian state of Kogi with an estimated population of 90,000 is located on the west bank of the Niger River where it is joined by the Benue River. The flooding in Nigeria is reported to be the worst in 50 years and the Koji state has been declared a national disaster area by the federal government. ISS approach was from the SW in mid-afternoon light. Partly to mostly cloudy conditions were expected, but the crew was to try for views of the river and look for flooding where breaks permitted), Pilcomayo River Fan, ARG-PRY (ISS had an excellent, clear-weather pass at midday with best views of this target from nadir to just right of track. As ISS tracked NE across the Andes, the crew was to begin looking for this large river and fan on the eastern side. Despite strong flow, all water and sediment from the Pilcomayo River is deposited on the fan, with none exiting to the regional river [Parana River]. This retention of all discharge on land [with none reaching the ocean] may be the result of a recent tectonic down-warp producing a depression in the middle of the target area. Documenting this area with overlapping mapping strips), and San Jose, Costa Rica (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: ISS had a mid-afternoon, partly cloudy pass today for this target with its approach from the SW. San Jose is the largest city in Costa Rica, with a population near 400,000. It is located in the mountainous interior of the country. At this time, as ISS approached the coast of Central America, the crew was to begin looking just right of track for this urban area, trying to capture it all within a single frame.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:11am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 414.5 km
Apogee height - 426.3 km
Perigee height - 402.6 km
Period -- 92.86 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0017499
Solar Beta Angle -- 30.5 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 121 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,655
Time in orbit (station) -- 5077 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4364 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 -------------
10/28/12 - SpX-1 Dragon unberthing (?)
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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