Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 November 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
November 1, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 1 November 2011

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

FE-4 Volkov performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

In the Lab, CDR Fossum changed the battery of the running EarthKAM (EK/Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) payload at the WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack. Upon ground notification, Mike also readjusted the EK camera which yesterday had shown some obstructions (ISSAC frame & window frame) in its first calibration images. [Battery replacement was done during orbit night when the system was not capturing images. EK is using a Nikon D2Xs electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens at the Lab window, powered by 16Vdc from a 28V DC adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. EarthKAM is an education program that enables thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from the unique perspective of space, integrating the excitement of ISS with middle-school education. The student requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop which then activates the camera (wireless) at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OPS LAN. This is the 3rd use of the NIKON D2Xs camera by EK. The experiment uses the new EarthKAM software on an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop which replaced the earlier version used for the KODAK DCS 760 camera.]

Sergey Volkov conducted the routine verification of yesterday’s refreshes of the IUS AntiVirus program on all Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2. [Antivirus update procedures have changed since the recent SSCV4 software update. Before the installation on 8/8 of the new automated procedure, the refresh was done manually on Mondays on RSS2, copying the files to the RSS2 service folder, then launching update scripts on the network laptops RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 and finally manually updating non-network laptops RSE-Med & RSE1. On Tuesdays, the anti-virus scanning results are regularly verified on all laptops. Nominally, Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday.]

Later, Sergey undertook his 6th session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [A crewmember stood by to assist Sergey in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes and applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Luescher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Luescher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person’s psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

After CDR Fossum broke out and set up the appropriate equipment, FE-5 Furukawa acted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for Mike’s 3rd session with the periodic 30-min US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam. They then “turned tables”, with Satoshi becoming the subject, his 3rd session, and Mike serving as operator/CMO. FE-5 logged the data and stowed the equipment. A subjective evaluation was part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop.]

The CDR performed a visual inspection of the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and activated the facility from its laptop prior to payload operations from the ground.

Fossum also spent several hours in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), conducting Session 29 of the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) program. After reviewing procedures, discussing activities with the SPHERES operations chief on the ground at ~7:50am EDT and temporarily relocating a T61p laptop from CQ (Crew Quarters) to Kibo for viewing procedures during the test session, Mike set up the SPHERES equipment in the Kibo work areas, comprising a Smartphone camera, 2 satellites, 5 beacons, a beacon tester and the primary LPTX antenna. With CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) operating, Mike programmed & deployed the two satellites, using the SSC-15 (Station Support Computer) laptop to command the test program. The T61p was later returned to CQ. [Purpose of today’s two-satellite session was (a) to capture Smartphone video while the Smartphone was attached to a moving satellite, in order to inform the design of a SPHERES teleoperation interface, as well as to use Smartphone to record data on a moving satellite for characterizing Smartphone sensors in the ISS environment, and (b) to simulate a relative satellite inspection maneuver using a SPHERE as the object to be inspected. 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.]

In preparation for tomorrow’s arrival of Progress M-13M/45P, Sergey Volkov & Satoshi Furukawa tagged up with ground specialists at ~6:35am EDT to discuss docking preparations and approach monitoring, with the TORU teleoperated rendezvous & docking system configured for activation if required to take over from the KURS autopilot system. TsUP-Moscow reported that the ground-received signal strength of the television system of 45P, currently en route, is somewhat lower than expected. [TORU lets an SM-based crewmember use hand controllers to perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of failure of the automated KURS autopilot system. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember steers the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM’s TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 7 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over Russian ground sites (RGS) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground.]

With the G1 HD camcorder set up in the Kibo laboratory for downlinking his activity, Furukawa conducted another “LEGO Bricks” EPO (Education Payload Activity) session in the JPM MWA (Maintenance Work Area), building a model of a Fishing Rod from Lego pieces from a guide book for ground audiences and then casting the line in micro-G, measuring the distance it had traveled. [The MWA Containment System was required since Lego bricks can only be exposed to the open cabin air for a maximum of 2 hrs due to restrictions for flammable materials. After the demo recording, the MWA equipment was restowed.]

Volkov performed the periodic downloading of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer of the running TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) experiment in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

Afterwards, Sergey inspected the running Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse and took the weekly documentary photography of setup & activities. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

In Node 3, Satoshi reconfigured the power supply of the Cupola RWS DCP (Robotic Workstation / Display & Control Panel), connecting it to the Cupola UOP-1 (Utility Outlet Panel 1) for the subsequent Ku-band “scheme” test.

In preparation for Progress 45P arrival, Furukawa & Volkov set up the Ku-band video “scheme” for a communications test of converting the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from SM & Node-3/Cupola, for downlinking as MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoded “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. Video from the Soyuz TMA-02M/27S (#702) spacecraft, docked at MRM1, was used for the test. [Steps included connecting the SM TVS (television system) to the T61p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop at the SM CP (Central Post), activating Soyuz TVS, turning on MPEG-2 video Server 2, and monitoring the SM’s TV signal from the ground (Moscow) via Ku-band and the Cupola RWS. The analog signal version of the digital Ku-band downlink is sent to TsUP-Moscow via ESA Gateway at COL-CC (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Control Center) on a Tandberg Decoder. Afterwards, Satoshi turned Server 2 off for the time being.]

FE-5 started another sampling run with the AQM (Air Quality Monitor), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [Consisting of the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

FE-4 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).

Sergey also did the daily routine 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.]

Furukawa closed down the current session of the CSI-05 PHAB (Science Insert 5 / Plant Habitat) in CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) by deactivating and decabling CGBA-5, accessing CSI-05, removing camera modules, germination flasks and flask brackets, and then stowing the equipment. [The CSI-05 plant experiment focused on characteristics associated with successful germination in space. On Earth, the roots and shoots of a young plant respond to light, gravity and mechanical stimuli. However, because of the ever presence of gravity on Earth, it is difficult to determine which of these three factors impact roots and shoots the most. This is important to know for crops grown in zero-G. This educational experiment utilized the seed from the Brassica plant (mustard family).]

The Russian flight engineer completed his 5th data 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.]

Before Presleep, Mike will turn on the MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) and start 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, the CDR will turn 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 ~12:55pm, Sergey Volkov has his standard weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video. At ~3:55pm, Mike will power up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 4:00pm conduct a ham radio session with students at Sundance Elementary School, San Diego, California.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5).

After the exercise sessions, Mike Fossum will shut down the T2/COLBERT treadmill software in order to transfer the accumulated data, then turn off the T2 display for a subsequent rack power cycle to clear memory.

Tasks listed for Sergey Volkov on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –

* Continuing the preparation & downlinking of more reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb),

* Conducting the daily inspection of the running Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules, and

* Another ~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.

JAXA Marangoni Experiment: This week, JAXA will perform the Marangoni Experiment each night on 11/1, 11/3, and a “LONG” liquid bridge will be developed tonight. At 5:30pm-2:00am, the crew should pay scrupulous attention to not to generate disturbances since taller liquid bridges are much more sensitive to g-jitter. This is the 22nd in 24 planned runs in Increment 29/30.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Lake Nasser, Egypt (looking right for Lake Nasser. After imaging the neighboring Toshka Lakes on 9/30, CEO staff requested images of water levels in Lake Nasser to complete this round of documentation. Lake Nasser is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, holding an enormous 157 km3 of water, with a shoreline length of 7844 km), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou, the capital and largest city of Burkina Faso with 1.5 million inhabitants, is located near the center of this land-locked country. This is a low-contrast target), and Hawaii in sunglint (Dynamic event. The crew had an unusual sunglint opportunity: the glint point crossed Hawaii’s big island, lighting up the surrounding ocean surface).

Progress M-13M/45P Rendezvous & Docking Timeline (Wednesday, 11/2):

* Feathering SM Solar Arrays 5:56 am
* Kurs-A Activation 6:06 am
* Kurs-P Activation 6:08 am
* Assured Kurs signal acquisition 6:35 am
* Sunrise 6:47 am
* Progress TV act., range 8 km 7:00 am
* Kurs Test Disabled 7:06 am
* Progress VHF rcvr act, 3 km 7:08 am
* GO for SM Final Approach 7:10 am
* Begin a 400m Flyaround ~7:19 am
* Initiate Stationkeeping ~7:25 am
* Initiate Final Approach 7:30 am
* Contact ~7:41 am
* Sunset 7:46 am
* SM Kurs-P Deactivated at capture

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:25am EDT [= epoch])
* Mean altitude – 389.3 km
* Apogee height – 404.2 km
* Perigee height – 374.3 km
* Period — 92.34 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0022111
* Solar Beta Angle — -27.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 112 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,235
* Time in orbit (station) – 4729 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4016 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 29)————-
11/02/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (~7:41am)
11/13/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin (11:14pm)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2) (~12:45am)
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/22/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~9:21pm)
————–Three-crew operations————-
12/xx/11 — SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon — (Under Review)
12/21/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit — (Target Date)
12/23/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1) — (Target Date)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
TBD — Progress M-13M/45P undock
TBD — Progress M-14M/46P launch
TBD — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
TBD — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov — (Target Date)
04/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2) — (Target Date)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/05/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 — Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.