NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 08 November 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 11/08/12

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.

Upon wakeup, FE-4 Malenchenko terminated his 5th Sonocard experiment session, started last night for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/Sonokard, taking the recording device from his Sonokard sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-Med laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

CDR Williams had Day 3 of her 5th and final (FD180) 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. Sunita also set up the urine sampling equipment for her urine collections beginning tomorrow, followed by 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.]

FE-6 Hoshide completed Day 2 of his own 5th (FD180) suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol. After recording his diet input today, Akihiko will begin urine collections on Day 4, Saturday (11/10) and blood sampling (fasted) on Day 5, Sunday (11/11), with Pro K photography.

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 3rd 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 semi-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 in semi-automatic mode on plasma with fine particles (1.55 & 2.55 µm) to study the crystallization dynamics on the boundary of binary dust plasma 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.]

Kevin Ford continued the Makita battery reconditioning in SMPA (Scope Meter Power Adapter) 1008 in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and SMPA 1007 in the Lab. [After Ford's Makita power tool battery work yesterday, ground engineers suspect that the Lab SMPA charger may not be able to charge batteries. Also the JPM charger may have an intermittent communication problem with the battery, causing it to take a long time to charge. Kevin's goal today was to try and get three of the older batteries charged to support Suni's ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) ops tomorrow during the crew awake period, and to top off the charge on the two newer batteries so they can hopefully keep ICV going thru the sleep period.]

Sunita Williams continued yesterday's troubleshooting of the still dysfunctional WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) toilet facilities which showed a persistent "Pre-Treat Bad Quality" indication. [Today's steps included a visual inspection of WHC pretreat hoses for any kinks or damage as well as of the pre-treat tank for proper air vent installation, followed by R&R (removal & replacement) of the pre-treat tank, the WHC piping and pre-treat indicator if the fault indication was not cleared.]

Hoshide worked with Ford to perform, as a handover task, the periodic maintenance of the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine of evacuating its cylinder flywheels to re-establish proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

Akihiko later took two CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) units from overhead stowage 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.]

Evgeny Tarelkin set up the BTKh-43 KONSTANTA payload and performed a session (no. 2) of the experiment, recorded with photo and video by Oleg Novitskiy. The run was supported by ground specialist tagup via S-band. [Using the Rekomb-K hardware, KONSTANTA aims to identify the effects of the micro-G environment on the activity of a model enzymatic agent with respect to a specific zymolyte by identifying the feasibility of determining enzymatic activity of an isolated cholinesterase specimen in comparison with ground experiments run concurrently and periodic activity tests of the cholinesterase specimen with respect to a specific zymolyte on board the ISS using a method which allows correct calculation of the Michaelis constant. Purpose: Finding possible approaches to protecting enzyme systems of animals against undesirable effects of spaceflight, as well as determining the feasibility of both spot checks and regular monitoring of biochemical indicators of the crew during spaceflight using enzyme test systems.]

Novitskiy serviced the BTKh-26 KASKAD payload, mixing another sample (Bioreactor 6) in the KT/Thermostat Enclosure and transferring it to the TBU-V temperature-controlled incubator (+4 degC), photo-documented by Tarelkin. KT was then turned off and stowed away.

Suni Williams performed her 4th (FD135) ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo Scan, with Kevin Ford serving as Operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer) operating the USND (Ultrasound) scans after setting up the equipment and powering it on. Suni later downloaded the data from the USND 2 hard drive to USND 2 USB drive. [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Sunita underwent the USND scan for ICV assessment, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. Heart rate was tracked with the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor). There are dietary constraints, and no exercise is allowed 4 hrs prior to scan. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. Later, the data from the two HM-2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi Cards and two Actiwatch Spectrums were transferred from the USND-2 (Ultrasound 2) hard drive to the USND-2 USB drive. Voice required last 5 minutes for crew to inform ground copy process is complete. The USND echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The ICV experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there are fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months).]

Afterwards, Williams also conducted her 2nd in-flight ESA Vessel Imaging (Echography) Ultrasound 2 scans in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), using the Image Collector software on the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop, with VOX/Voice plus real-time video downlink during the activity. The equipment was then powered down. [Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) evaluates the changes in central and peripheral blood vessel wall properties (thickness and compliance) and cross sectional areas of long-duration ISS crewmembers during and after long-term exposure to microgravity. An LBNP (Lower Body Negative Pressure) program is run in parallel to Vessel Imaging. Flow velocity changes in the aorta and the middle cerebral and femoral arteries are used to quantify the cardiovascular response to fluid shift. Vessel Imaging aims to optimize the countermeasures used routinely during long-duration space missions.]

Tarelkin 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.]

Evgeny also completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, 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).

FE-3 Ford performed the periodic inspection of the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation & stabilization, checking its four isolators and cables. [Crew downlink: "No damage to any strands on any of the cables. All cable stops are in great shape."]

Malenchenko had another 1h15m for prepacking oborud (equipment) to be loaded on Soyuz 31S.

Williams conducted the 12th onboard JAXA HAIR experiment, collecting hair samples from Aki Hoshide, then inserting them into MELFI-3, Dewar 3, set at -95 degC, and closing out the activity.

Working in the Russian ASU toilet facility, Novitskiy completed the periodic R&R of the E-K pre-treat tank and its hose, discarding the used units as trash. [E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in the DKiV dispenser and used for toilet flushing.]

FE-3 Ford performed the weekly 10-min. CWC 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, but this time the report was "no change" to the current card. [The current card (32-0005G) lists 14 CWCs (178.3 L total), including 1 empty bag, for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (3 CWCs with 98.1 L); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L); 3. Iodinated water (5 CWCs with 54.55 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). 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.]

After the first fixation of eight fish on 10/29 (for the Russian part of the experiment) of the JAXA MOST (Medaka Osteoclast [killifish]) AQH (Aquatic Habitat) payload, Aki Hoshide today captured and transferred a second set of Medaka fish from the Fish Carrier to the Fish Fixation Apparatus C for fixating in Paraformaldehyde, before inserting the samples in MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3), Dewar 4 (to be retrieved in 3 days), for SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba.

In the Lab, Ford continued preparing Ice Brick units in MELFI-1 for upcoming preservative storage needs, retrieving 4 green (-32 degC) Bricks and inserting them in Dewar 2/Tray A for chill-down.

Evgeny started a new round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working ~2h20m in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok). [Using a vacuum cleaner and soft brush, FE-2 cleaned the interior closeout panel vent screens 116, 316, 231, 431, 201, 301, 401.]

Working with Kevin for handover, Aki performed the periodic service of the WRS (Water Recovery System), using the Russian pumping equipment to initiate the periodic water transfer from a degassed CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) to the WPA WST (Water Processor Assembly Water Storage Tank) via "tee" hose and a freshly installed MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge as gas trap. The MRF was left connected for future operations.

FE-1 Novitskiy configured the equipment of the Russian SSTV (Slow Scan TV) Sputnik comm system for the MAI-75 experiment, part of OBR-3 (Obrazovanie-3, Education 3) ops. The experiment runs for two days with 3 back-to-back SSTV ham radio sessions to be received by ground stations including the one at MAI, plus video from the station's Photo Album. [This is essentially an ARISS (Amateur Radio from ISS) ham radio set-up with Kenwood TM D700 Transceiver & Kenwood VS-N1 (Visual Communicator) gear for downlinking selected photographic images to the ground station at MAI. To date, there have been 9 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.]

Malenchenko & Novitskiy broke out and prepared Progress 49P-delivered kits containing PAO "Symbolic" material, esp. envelopes and flags, to be stamped and signed tomorrow by the Russian crewmembers.

Before sleeptime, Aki Hoshide starts his 5th session with the ESA/German experiment CRHYT (Circadian Rhythms), instrumenting himself with two Thermolab Double Sensors, mounting the Thermolab Control Unit on the belt, then connecting & powering on the control unit for the next 36 hours during which the equipment is worn. For this session he was asked to count the cups of coffee he drank starting this morning at 2:00am EDT until CRHYT de-instrumentation in 36 hrs, on Saturday, 11/10. [The main objective of the experiment is to get a better basic understanding of any alterations in circadian rhythms in humans during long-term space flights. Such knowledge will not only provide important insights into the adaptations of the human autonomic nervous system in space over time, but also has significant practical implications by helping to improve physical exercise, rest- and work shifts as well as fostering adequate workplace illumination in the sense of occupational healthcare in future space missions. The Circadian Rhythms experiment is performed over 3 days (from Day 1 to Day 3) and involves: Instrumentation (Day 1); 36-hrs continuous measurement (Day 1 + 2 + 3), and De-instrumentation (Day 3). On-orbit measurements are planned for FD 15, FD30 and then at 30 day intervals until return. During day 1, the instrumentation is performed late in the afternoon. This consists of donning the Thermolab Double Sensors at the forehead and sternum positions. By powering on the Thermolab Control Unit the 36 hours measurement is started. During day 2, the Thermolab Control Unit will measure throughout the day. No interaction is required other than confirming the Thermolab Control Unit is measuring by checking the display from time to time.]

Sunita, Kevin & Akihiko took turns as subjects for a session each with the HMS (Health Maintenance System) Tonometry payload. First, Aki acted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) to measure Suni's & Kevin's intraocular pressure; then Aki was the subject with Suni as operator. The activities were supervised via live Ku-band video by medical ground personnel. It was the 2nd Tonometry run for Williams, the 1st for Aki & Kevin. [Data take was preceded by a skill refresher on an eye simulator, observed from the ground. Seven to 10 measurements are required for the Tonometer to calculate an eye pressure reading and the statistical confidence level. For the actual Tonometry, anesthetic eye drops (Proparacaine) are used that are effective in approx. 30 seconds and last for 20 minutes or longer. Tonometer measurements in micro-G are used to assess the health of the crew's eyes.]

Ford had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in her electronic Journal on the personal SSC (Station Support Computer). [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3 again had 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 had an hour set aside for personal crew departure preparations which is standard pre-return procedure for homecoming crewmembers.

Before Presleep (~2:30pm EST), Suni powers up the MPC 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 ~3:25am EST, Hoshide held the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

At ~6:55am, Akihiko Hoshide powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted a ham radio session with ham fans at Nino Costa, Priocca, Italy.

At ~2:10pm, the six crewmembers conducted their weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office/CB (Bob Behnken), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

The crew worked out on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3), 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., 30s). Aki's protocol for today had none (Thursday).]

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

• 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 to record target sites on the Earth surface, 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) Note: ISS daylight-awake orbit tracks have reached a seasonal pattern in which they temporarily parallel the terminator. Consequently most of the nadir views of CEO targets fall below the accepted criterion for illumination, with darkness to the left of track and adequate lighting right of track. This condition is expected to persist for the next few days with minimal illumination for a few targets possible as early as tomorrow. Today only one target had marginal illumination. CEO is continuing to look for dynamic-event targets for which oblique views to right of track will be useful, especially aerosol sites where obliques can be very useful. CEO will also continue to take advantage of nighttime photography opportunities of cities in oblique, short-lens views.

No CEO targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:16am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 413.1 km
Apogee height - 423.8 km
Perigee height - 402.5 km
Period -- 92.83 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015658
Solar Beta Angle -- -67.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 23 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,045
Time in orbit (station) -- 5102 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4389 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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