NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 06 November 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 11/06/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

After wakeup, FE-2 Tarelkin performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-1 Novitskiy completed the daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

Before breakfast and other Postsleep activities, FE-2 Tarelkin set up the Russian spectrometry experiment MBI-28 Xromatomass (Chromatomass) and conducted his 2nd session of collecting saliva and blood. MBI-28 was closed out afterwards.

In the MRM2 Poisk module, Yuri Malenchenko continued the current twice-daily (morning/evening) checking of vacuum/pressure conditions in the Plasma Chamber of the Russian KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload for upcoming operations.

Later, after the vacuum/pressure integrity check and with STTS communications configured for work in MRM2, Yuri ran his 2nd experiment session with the KPT-21 payload. The experiment was then deactivated, the STTS reconfigured and the data downloaded from the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for downlink. [With the ZB vacuum chamber in the SM RO (Work Compartment) evacuated by the turbopump in the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment), FE-4 conducted the automated PK-3 operations while Oleg Novitskiy monitored the TV downlink via MPEG-2 stream and Ku-band for proper function. The run was terminated after two hours and the accumulated data transferred from hard disk to USB stick for subsequent downlinking. The KPT-21 activities were supported by ground specialists and monitored by them via video packet streaming over the network which temporarily slowed down wireless SSCs (Station Support Computers) in the ISS. Today's experiment was performed on plasma with fine particles (2.55 & 14.9 µm) to study the crystallization dynamics at constant argon pressures (10 Pa) with superimposed low-frequency and varied voltage electrical field. The PK-3+ equipment comprises the EB (Eksperimental'nyj Blok) Experiment Module with a turbopump for evacuation, Ts laptop, video monitor, vacuum hoses, electrical circuitry, four hard storage disks for video, and one USB stick with the control application. Main objective of PK-3+ is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e. fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

After wakeup, FE-6 Hoshide terminated his first session of overnight recording of his brainwaves with the onboard DK (Diagnostic Kit), then saved and analyzed the EEG (Electroencephalograph) measurements on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. Before sleeptime tonight, Aki will start the 2nd (of 2) overnight EEG measuring of brainwaves during his sleep. [Purpose of these activities is to perform diagnostic measurements with medical equipment in order to evaluate the equipment for development of a future diagnostic system on board. DK includes: Medical laptop, USB Camera, Pulse Oximeter, Stethoscope, Sleep Monitor and Digital Walk Holter/Electrocardiograph and Electroencephalograph (for brain waves).]

CDR Williams began her 5th and last suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period after start of pH testing. After recording her diet input today, Sunita will begin the urine collections on Day 4, Friday (11/9) and blood sampling (fasted) on Day 5, Saturday (11/10), with Pro K photography. [For the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) protocol, there are five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day. The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI Dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings. Background on pH: In chemistry, pH (Potential Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a watery solution. Pure water is neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at 25 degC. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are "acidic" and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are "basic" or "alkaline". pH measurements are important in medicine, biology, chemistry, agriculture, forestry, food science, environmental science, oceanography, civil engineers and many others.]

Later in the day, Akihiko also unstowed & set up the Pro K diet equipment for his 5th and final session, scheduled to begin tomorrow.

In preparation for his return to Earth in two weeks (11/19), Yuri Malenchenko completed his first (preliminary) orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis-M ("Lapwing") suit by conducting the MedOps MO-4 exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) plus an ODNT-suited run on the TVIS treadmill, assisted by Oleg Novitskiy as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). The exercise was supported by ground specialist tagup, and it was the first time that the exercise was conducted with LF-B telemetry downlink via S-band. [The Chibis-M provides gravity-simulating stress to the body's cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmember's orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. Data output includes blood pressure readings. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by one cycle of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced ("negative") pressure, set at -25, -35, -40 and -45 mmHg for five min. each, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure and the REG SHKO Rheoencephalogram Biomed Cap. The body's circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis-M data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis-M suit (not to be confused with the Russian "Pinguin" suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Aki Hoshide performed regular maintenance on the JAXA MOST (Medaka Osteoclast [killifish]) AQH (Aquatic Habitat) Aquariums 1 & 2 by testing the Aquariums' water quality using nitrate & nitrite test strips from MELFI-3 Dewar 4 to measure the concentration of ammonium, nitrate and nitrite in the water of the WCU (Water Circulation Unit). The test strips were then returned to MELFI-3. [As per JAXA report, the Aquariums again have air bubbles in their water which need to be removed before Medaka research can continue.]

Suni Williams performed several hours of hard-working troubleshooting on the dysfunctional (non-flushing) WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) toilet facilities, in part assisted by Kevin Ford, only interrupted by exercise and lunch break. After gathering the necessary tools & equipment, Suni accessed the WHC rack, replaced the urine hose & insert filter, and then also removed & replaced the flush water components including the dose pump with spares. [After confirmation last Friday that the flush tank fill process was working, it turned out that dose pump is not drawing flush water & pre-treat water as it should be. This pump is only 25 days old against a planned life of 180 days, and there are concerns with the water-side of the WHC. The originally 2-year maintenance task of replacing a valve block as well as changing out a hose and sensor early to attempt to preserve the last spare dose pump on-orbit which replaced the currently installed unit (the next dose pump spares are manifested for Progress 50P). The WHC is on internal EDV container for flushing until the dose pump is replaced to verify that high concentrations of pre-treat do not impact the system detrimentally.]

Oleg Novitskiy broke out and set up the equipment for a run of the Russian SSTV (Slow Scan TV) Sputnik comm equipment of the MAI-75 experiment as part of OBR-3 (Obrazovanie-3, Education 3) ops. [This is essentially an ARISS (Amateur Radio from ISS) ham radio set-up with Kenwood TM D700 Transceiver and Kenwood VS-N1 (Visual Communicator) gear for downlinking photographic images to the ground station at MAI. To date, there have been 7 runs with MAI-75 on board the ISS. The payload is named after the renowned MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute) whose reputation is based on the large number of famous aviators and rocket scientists that received their academic education here. Among the alumni are Academicians and Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Over 100 General and Chief Designers earned their degree at MAI, with famous rocket scientists like Makeyev, Mishin, Nadiradze and Yangel. MAI also fostered 20 Pilot-Cosmonauts, almost 100 famous test pilots, Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia. The amateur radio (ham) equipment aboard the ISS for downlinking SSTV imagery is a MAI product.]

In the U.S. A/L (Airlock), Suni terminated the recharge process on two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorbent canisters (#007, #0021) in the "bake-out" oven. Later, before sleeptime, Aki will initiate another bake-out on METOX cans #0019 & #0020.

Other activities completed by Aki Hoshide included -

• Installing a PPS (Portable Power Supply) on the D2 Rack in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), prepared for yesterday, followed by its connection to a SUP3 (Standard Utility Panel 3) power outlet and checkout;
• Inserting two (out of four) small ECCO (ESA Thermal Container) cartridges from stowage into MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) Dewar 2/Tray C at -19 degC to ensure proper thermal conditioning for planned ECCO sampling operations;
• Terminating the first 24-hr BRL48 (Biological Rhythms 48/BIORHYTHMS) session, exchanging the MMC (Multimedia Memory Card) and then restarting for the 2nd 24-hr measurement run; [Sunita Williams begins her BLR48 measurements next Saturday (11/10). Objective of this study for Aki & Suni is to examine the circadian variation of astronaut's digital electrocardiograph during space flights using the cardiac autonomic function of the "Digital Walk Holter ECG" with its electrodes attached to the chest and the wrist-worn Actiwatch Spectrum activity monitor to supplement circadian rhythms data. For Aki only, the objective is also the long-term ODK2 (Onboard Diagnostic Kit 2) evaluation of a remote healthcare system's operability and accuracy with the collected data, in order to develop a computerized remote healthcare system for astronauts],

• Charging a newer Makita battery in SMPA (Scope Meter Power Adapter) 1008, setting up SMPA 1007 in the Lab and charging the 2nd newer Makita battery in an attempt to verify if SMPA charger(s) are functional with a newer battery; [Makita battery reconditioning by Sunita yesterday in preparation for the ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Cardiopres activity on 11/9 was unsuccessful. Several combinations of batteries and chargers were attempted without success. Today's troubleshooting used new batteries with each charger since old batteries have had a history of not lasting the expected life],

• Retrieving 14 CWC-Is (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine) from stowage in PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) for possible recycle use, inspecting them for cracked fittings, current leaks, signs of potential past water leaks or microbial growth, then restowing them; and

• Taking documentary photographs with the NIKON D2X with 17mm lens of the entire internal CL (Crew Lock) with 40-50% overlap, [to be used at JSC/Houston to verify CAD (Computer-Assisted Design) drawings and the Airlock mockup for the proposed location of a new heater to be installed in the CL.]

Malenchenko took care of 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.]

Novitskiy completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, working from the Russian 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).

After closing down the Vozdukh CO2 (carbon dioxide) removal system in the SM and gathering tools & equipment, Yuri & Oleg worked behind panel 425 to look for a leak of an adapter by test-replacing it with a spare, for the ground to check pressures.

Oleg serviced the BTKh-26 KASKAD payload, mixing another sample in the KT/Thermostat Enclosure and transferred it to the KRIOGEM-03 temperature-controlled incubator (+29 degC), photo-documented by Evgeny Tarelkin.

Evgeny later worked his 2nd stretch with the BTKh-39 ASEPTIK payload, which investigates the sterility achievable inside the Russian GB/Glavboks (Glovebox). [After taking photographs of the medium before the experiment, FE-2 inserted it in the GB, activated sterilization with bench cleaning, then downloaded/downlinked the photographs, more pictures of the setup and collected internal surface samples and later also air samples to check asepticism after the cleaning, retrieved the samples from the GB after verifying the automatic shutoff of the pump and placed them in the TBU incubator at +37 degC for the next 8 days.]

In the COL, Kevin Ford performed mechanical setup and activation of the ESA TriTel (Three-Axis Telescope) payload experiment, with concurrent photography for ground review. [The TriTel 3D Detector Telescope investigation characterizes the radiation environment within COL with high accuracy, using a combination of three different detector types - Silicon, ThermoLuminescent & Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors - to measure the radiation amount, direction and history of radiation. This allows determination of, among else, two very important values to humans: absorbed dose and dose equivalent from solar and galactic radiation. Thus, the goal of the TriTel study includes obtaining temporal information (radiation history) in order to describe the radiation environment in COL, specifically regarding the dose equivalent rate, the occurrence of solar particle events (SPEs), the contributions from galactic radiation and solar radiation, and the improved estimation of the dose equivalent of the space flight crew.]

Later, Kevin set up the Node-2 video camcorder and adjusted the various cameras of the ELITE-S2 (ELaboratore Immagini TElevisive - Space 2) investigation in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), then performed the prescribed motion and attitudes. [For the activities, Kevin applied markers to his body and executed the protocols. 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.]

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-4 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Evgeny at ~11:05am, Yuri at ~11:45am, Oleg at ~12:45pm EST.

Evgeny, Kevin & Oleg again took an hour of free time each for general orientation (adaptation, station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

FE-4 Malenchenko had an hour set aside for personal crew departure preparations which is standard pre-return procedure for homecoming crewmembers.

At ~8:00am EST, Aki Hoshide supported two JAXA PAO TV events, responding to interviews from Yomiuri Newspaper and Keio University.

Sunita inspected the VIS (Vibration Isolation System) and rollers of the ARED advanced resistive device.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-3) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1). [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., 4 min/Kinem.), with ARED/T2 (cont.) and T2 (int., 30s) for the next 2 days. Aki's protocol for today had ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with T2 (int., 4 min.) tomorrow.]

Suni conducted today's SPRINT session on the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill with the Treadmill Kinematics protocol, her 6th time, setting up the HD camcorder in Node-1, placing tape markers on her body, recording a calibration card in the FOV (Field of View) and then conducting the workout run within a specified speed range. [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]

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),
• Updating WiFi Client Settings (laptops), 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 NE United States—Storm Sandy Aftermath. Two opportunities. (DYNAMIC EVENT. Weather predicted clear north of central New Jersey: looking near nadir and left of track to pick up any damage left by the storm. Camera settings for lower illumination were called for. One orbit later: Looking left just beyond predicted cloud cover for New Jersey and Long Island coastlines).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:31am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 413.2 km
Apogee height - 423.7 km
Perigee height - 402.6 km
Period -- 92.83 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015497
Solar Beta Angle -- -67.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 45 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,013
Time in orbit (station) -- 5100 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4387 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
11/19/12 -- 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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