NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 November 2012

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

image ISS On-Orbit Status 11/27/12

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

After wakeup, FE-1 Novitskiy performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection and also .

FE-1 also completed the daily reboot of the Russian RS1 & RS2 laptops.

FE-2 Tarelkin rebooted the RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

CDR Ford started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, his 8th. [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.]

In Node-3, the CDR afterwards conducted the approximately weekly WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. [After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Novitskiy & Tarelkin undertook the periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 ("Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest") on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), their first. [Equipments used were VPG/Temporal Pulsogram and 8-channel ECG/Electrocardiogram Data Output Devices (USI). MO-1 is scheduled 30±3 days after launch and 1-2 days before or after PHS (Periodic Health Status), always before exercise.]

Kevin updated both Medical Emergency Procedures books by incorporating new material, viz., PCNs (Page Change Notices) from an IMAK (ISS Medical Accessories Kit) delivered on Progress 49P and from SODFs (Station Operation Data Files). [Changes include new American Heart Association guidelines for CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) as those used in ground training. The IMAK was returned to its stowage location for future unpacking.]

Later, with the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) activated, Ford powered on the InSPACE and InSPACE3 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 3) hardware for its 5th operational session and conducted several runs of the experiment. MSG was later turned off again. [Steps included turning on MSG video cameras & monitor, verifying optical alignment of the cameras, and configuring the MSG video recorders. Then, after particle distribution was established by sweeping with the BCAT magnet and then focusing and switching the magnetic field to STEADY mode, Kevin removed & stowed the video tapes from the MSG video recorders. After the run, the hardware and video drawers were deactivated. The InSPACE-3 experiment continues the earlier InSPACE-2 studies to determine the lowest energy configurations of the three dimensional structures of a magnetorheological (MR) fluid under the influence of pulsed magnetic fields. Purpose of the InSPACE micro-G investigations is to obtain fundamental data of the complex properties of an exciting class of smart materials termed magnetorheological (MR) fluids. MR fluids are suspensions of small (micron-sized) superparamagnetic particles in a nonmagnetic medium. These controllable fluids can quickly transition into a nearly solidlike state when exposed to a magnetic field and return to their original liquid state when the magnetic field is removed. Their relative stiffness can be controlled by controlling the strength of the magnetic field. Due to the rapid-response interface that they provide between mechanical components and electronic controls, MR fluids can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions, robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damping systems].

Working for ~3 hrs on the Russian SEP (EPS/(Electrical Power System) in the SM, Evgeny Tarelkin removed the PTAB-1M current converter (A303) of Battery #3 and replaced it with a spare unit from FGB stowage. The discarded module was temporarily stowed and changes were logged in the IMS (Inventory Management System). [Each of the eight 800A 28 Volt batteries in the SM (the FGB has six) has its own ZRU charge/discharge unit, which tracks 49 battery parameters and is designed to increase the operating life of the battery by setting up charging & discharging modes. Each ZRU is comprised of one battery current converter (PTAB), one PTAB current control unit (BUPT-1M), and three charge/discharge current integrators (MIRT-3).]

With its battery freshly charged overnight, Oleg Novitskiy ran a test of the new Russian Earth observation experiment TEKh-62 ALBEDO, using the FSS Photo Spectrum System at an SM window.

Afterwards, Oleg supported the current testing of the TEKh-39 LCS (Laser Communications System, Russian: SLS) in the SM by copying the test data collected overnight from the RSE-SLS A31p laptop to the RSS2 laptop for data downlink and log file dump.

Kevin Ford worked on the MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), performing repair on the Dewar door status switch which controls the door light. [Once the switch functionality was verified by manual activation, the rack was deactivated by the ground and Kevin given a go to proceed with removing and fixing the switch. After the switch was repaired the rack was to be activated and the switch fix verified from the ground.]

Servicing MELFI-2, the CDR retrieved a TDR (Temperature Data Recorder) battery pack and installed it in the rack (which did not have a battery).

Evgeny collected & downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian "Pille-MKS" (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has 11 sensors placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, MRM2, MRM1, etc.) and four in CQs. [The sensors were cross-calibrated, and the memory/flash card was then replaced. Today's readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. The dosimeters were re-deployed at their locations. They take their readings automatically every 90 minutes.]

Later, Tarelkin performed his 2nd 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.]

Oleg continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working in the MRM2 Poisk module to clean its VD1 & VD2 air ducts.

Afterwards, FE-1 finished up the work begun yesterday on repairing interior panel #329 in the SM by installing a large number of cover sheets and then wiping the worksite thoroughly with Fungistat disinfectant. [Work involved drilling out rivet heads, drilling numerous holes in the body of the interior panel and the cover sheet while wearing gloves, safety goggles & respirator, and cleaning up with the vacuum cleaner.]

After reviewing salient reference/OBT (Onboard Training) material on upcoming test activities with the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) payload, Kevin Ford held a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss procedures (at ~12:00pm EST). [The upcoming sessions will involve cameras, 2 satellites, 5 beacons, a beacon tester, 3 handrail extenders, battery packs, CO2 tanks and the primary LPTX antenna, to be used in 3 groups: Group A Objectives: System Identification (Investigate thruster performance at different duty cycles and number of thrusters open; Perform maneuvers while collecting high speed inertial measurement unit data in order to determine the systems center of mass and inertia matrix with the new expansion port). Group B Objectives: Zero Robotics Unit Tests (Test several components of the Zero Robotics (ZR) High School Tournament game; Demonstrate several game features and a full head-to-head match to guide students in preparing tests for an ISS competition in January). Group C Objectives: System Identification (Determine if SPHERES system performance in Group A is dependent on operation time or which SPHERE is used). SPHERES was originally developed to demonstrate the basics of formation flight, autonomous docking and other multi-spacecraft control algorithms, using beacons as reference for the satellites, to fly formation with or dock to the beacon. A number of programs define various incremental tests including attitude control (performing a series of rotations), attitude-only tracking, attitude and range tracking, docking with handheld and mounted beacons, etc. The payload consists of up to three self-contained 8-inch dia. free-floating satellites which perform the various algorithms (control sequences), commanded and observed by the crew members which provide feedback to shape algorithm development. Each satellite has 12 thrusters and a tank with CO2 for propellant. The first tests, in May 2006, used only one satellite (plus two beacons - one mounted and one hand-held); a second satellite arrived on ULF1.1, the third on 12A.1. Formation flight and autonomous docking are important enabling technologies for distributed architectures. Per applicable Flight Rule, SPHERES operations have no CO2 output constraints if the CDRA (CO2 Removal Assembly) is operating in dual-bed or single-bed mode.]

Oleg 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-1 also 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.]

The three crewmembers took the periodic 45-min CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) Emergency Health Maintenance System Contingency Drill training, which gives crewmembers the opportunity to work as a team in resolving a simulated medical emergency onboard ISS. [The training refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment use, and procedures.]

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

Oleg Novitskiy broke out and set up the equipment for another session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis, scheduled tomorrow for him and Evgeny Tarelkin. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)'s /special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Ford closed the protective shutters of the Node-3/Cupola windows in preparation for today's (10:00am-3:00pm EST) ground-commanded SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) "walkoff" from MBS PDGF-1 (Mobile Base System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 1) to the Node-2 PDGF, followed by the SSRMS maneuvering into position in front of the Cupola windows for tomorrow's planned LEE (Latching End Effector) photo ops.

FE-1 & FE-2 held their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Oleg at ~11:45am, Evgeny at ~1:10pm EST.

At ~3:15am, Tarelkin & Novitskiy joined in a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking greetings to and responding to questions from senior students from N. E. Bauman MSTU (Moscow State Technical University)'s School of Rocket and Spacecraft Dynamics & Control, assembled at TsUP-Moscow. ["Would you like to change anything in Soyuz spacecraft design in terms of convenience in flight? What functions (actions) do ISS crew members perform during next crew Soyuz docking to the station? How do you replenish shortage of UV rays needed for human body on the ISS? How did you decide to become a cosmonaut? This is your first mission. What can you tell us about adaptation in microgravity? On which day of the mission did you start feeling yourselves "like home"? Do you conduct star and planet observation? Is it a part of the flight plan or do you do it in your spare time? What surprised or struck your imagination? Oleg, your younger daughter is five years old. Do you have a desire to write or just simply narrate about the ISS in a simple understandable for small children fashion? Does space flight change your attitude towards universal human values?"]

At ~8:20am, Kevin Ford supported a PAO TV downlink, answering interview questions from WNDU-TV, South Bend, IN (Tricia Sloma) and The Observer, Notre Dame University (Editor-in-Chief Allan Joseph).

Before Presleep (~2:30pm EST), Ford powered 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, Kevin 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 CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2).

Tasks listed for Evgeny & Oleg 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 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.

PDAM Capability for Conjunctions: Work is underway to prepare for the new PDAM (Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver) capability which will be used if there is not enough time for a planned DAM due to late notification of a conjunction. A decision for a standard DAM must occur not later than approximately 23.5 hrs before TCA (Time of Closest Approach). For a PDAM, the decision time can be as late as TCA-3 hrs (driven by system configurations such as solar array positioning, attitude control handover etc.). The PDAM utilizes a pre-built program (cyclogram), with a burn of 0.5 m/s (delta-V) performed by the Progress spacecraft on DC-1 nadir with a specific ISS attitude. TIG (Time of Ignition) for the PDAM will be at TCA-140 min but can vary by +/-15 min for debris clearing. New SM software for PDAM is already on-board the SM, awaiting an upcoming readiness review. A test of PDAM would then be planned for mid-December during a planned reboost.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Asmara, Eritrea (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Looking left. The city lies well inland [50 miles] from the Red Sea in a hilly upland. Visual cues for the crew were a major bay on the Red Sea coast, and wooded highlands that appear darker than the surrounding plains. Asmara, the Eritrean capital city of nearly 600,000, lies at elevation of 7,628 ft. The small size of the city required the 400 mm lens), Kunene River Fan, Namibia-Angola (a mapping strip both sides of track is requested. The large Kunene alluvial fan lies between the Kunene River in Angola [north] and Namibia's Etosha Pan [south]. General views were requested to gauge vegetation changes resulting from the recent normal flooding of numerous channels of the fan—which makes this area the most productive part of Namibia in terms of agriculture. Villages occupy the numerous islands that lie 1-3 m above the flooded waterways. Recent floods reached down the length of the fan to Etosha Pan, the low point of the basin), and Galapagos Islands, EC (H.M.S. BEAGLE SITE: Nadir pass with scattered clouds. General views were requested to provide context for recent 400 mm images. Vegetation change with the waxing and waning of El Nino episodes is one of the items of interest. Charles Darwin conducted an extensive survey of these islands from September 15th to October 20th 1835, and commented that "The natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself; the greater number of its inhabitants, both vegetable and animal, being found nowhere else.")

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:41am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude - 411.4 km
Apogee height - 422.1 km
Perigee height - 400.6 km
Period -- 92.79 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015812
Solar Beta Angle -- 9.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.52
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 82 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,338
Time in orbit (station) -- 5121 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4408 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-34: Three-crew operations -------------
12/19/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch - C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/21/12 -- 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 -------------
03/28/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch - P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/30/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
04/15/13 - Progress N-17M/49P undock
04/18/13 -- ATV4 launch
04/23/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P undock
04/24/13 - Progress M-19M/51P launch
04/26/13 - Progress M-19M/51P docking
05/01/13 -- ATV4 docking
-------------- Inc-35: Six-crew operations -------------
05/14/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
-------------- Inc-36: Three-crew operations -------------
05/28/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch - M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/30/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
-------------- Inc-36: Six-crew operations -------------
07/23/13 - Progress M-19M/51P undock
07/24/13 - Progress M-20M/52P launch
07/26/13 -- Progress M-20M/52P docking
09/11/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
-------------- Inc-37: Three-crew operations -------------
09/25/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch - M.Hopkins/O.Kotov(CDR-38)/S.Ryanzansky
09/27/13 -- 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/M.Tyurin
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
12/18/13 -- Progress M-20M/52P undock
-------------- 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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