Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 October 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
October 11, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 October 2011

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

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

At wake-up, CDR Mike Fossum & FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [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.]

The CDR serviced the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) experiment, checking camera operations during the day and changing the camera battery in the morning and before sleeptime (change required after 8 hrs). [The current experiment session is with a Harvard University mixed sample no. 5 which requires an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop with EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) timing software, power cables and camera USB cable. Illumination is provided by Mini-MagLite and Flash, and the camera needs freshly charged battery every 8 hrs for its automated photography, triggered by the EarthKAM software. This requires camera battery changes twice a day and image check with a battery change once per day. In micro-G, the mixed (alloyed) colloid sample will develop over time an increasingly coarse structure of its colloid particles which are like tiny spheres evenly dispersed in a fluid, gas or solid to help stabilize the mixture. Over time, these colloids can move around — known as “coarsening” — causing changes in the concentrations and properties of the substance. On Earth, gravity complicates this research by causing heavy components to sink and lighter ones to float. In space, however, these forces are minute, revealing the natural movement of the colloids. The on-orbit samples’ aging process works more slowly and evenly, making it easier to study. BCAT-5 was started by Mike on 9/21 with phase separation sample no. 4.]

Mike also uninstalled the three alignment guides from CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab bay S3 to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.

The FE-4 conducted 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.]

Afterwards, it was time again for Volkov to recharge the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phones in the Soyuz TMA-02M/27S (#702, docked at MRM1), a monthly routine job and the 4th time for Sergey. (Done last time: 9/12). [After retrieving the phones from their location in the spacecraft Descent Modules (SA, spuskayemyy apparat), FE-4 initiated the recharge of the lithium-ion batteries, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion, the phone was returned inside their SSSP Iridium kits and stowed back in the SA’s ODF (operational data files) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an “undershoot” ballistic reentry, as happened during the 15S return). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule’s GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put on board Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

Sergey also completed the daily inspection of the recently activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying enough water supply in the KDV tank, and proper humidity of the KM A32 & A24 root modules and taking 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).]

With the G1 HD camcorder set up in Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for downlinking his activity, Furukawa conducted another ~3.5h “LEGO Bricks” EPO (Education Payload Activity) session in the JPM MWA (Maintenance Work Area), building models of Balance Beam and then also of Lunar Exploration & Mars Rover from Lego pieces from a guide book for ground audiences. [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.]

Later, FE-5 activated MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) routing and started downlinking the stored HD video files of the Lego Balance Beam and Lunar Exploration & Mars Rover models.

Satoshi also serviced the DECLIC (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization) experiment in ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) by replacing the RHDD (Removable Hard Disk Drive) #XXX in the DECLIC ELL (Electronics Locker) with a new one (#001). [The French (CNES)/NASA-sponsored DECLIC is a multi-user facility to investigate low & high temperature critical fluids behavior, chemical reactivity in supercritical water, directional solidification of transparent alloys, and more generally transparent media under micro-gravity environment. DECLIC uses the standard infrastructure offered by the US ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) module, with standard lockers. Typical experiments for DECLIC include fluids (CO2, SF6) close to their near ambient critical point engineered in a dedicated insert (ALI), directional solidification of transparent materials (succinonitrile alloy) engineered in a dedicated insert (DSI), high temperature, and high pressure critical fluids (H2O, NH3, etc.) engineered in the dedicated HTI insert. DECLIC is designed for remote science control, commonly called “Telescience”. Operation capabilities offer scientists the possibility to remotely visualize and modify their selected experiment conditions in the ISS from User Home Base through the CADMOS User Support & Operation Centre.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module, FE-5 performed troubleshooting on the failed GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace) on the Kobairo Rack, opening its MP (Material Processing) front panel and taking close-up video with the G1 camcorder for ground inspection. Afterwards, Satoshi opened the GHF SCAM (Sample Cartridge Automatic exchange Mechanism front door and took photos of the GHF cartridge for inspection. [An anomalous overcurrent event of the GHF Central Heater occurred on 4/12/11 & 4/20/11. Suspected cause of the short circuit is inadvertent contact between a lock wire and a heater flange. Troubleshooting will involve inspection of the end heater unit and cartridge, checking the lock wire position of the new Central Heater and fix it if needed, and attaching heaters and servicing GHF-MP in order to resume the GHF experiment.]

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), the CDR replaced the old ER3 (EXPRESS Rack 3) A31p ELC laptop with a new T61p laptop.

After charging the laptop battery (for at least 2 hrs), Fossum loaded Common Laptop Software Release 8.0 on the ELC3, then followed it up with new SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) payload software for LAN (Local Area Network) data downlinking and EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) Payload Application software. [Steps included configuring & loading BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), setting up the laptop for operations on ER3, allowing 2 hrs for charging the battery after setup, and then loading the SNFM & EMCS payload applications on the ELC3.]

Also in COL, Mike temporarily removed stowage in front of the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1) to gain access to the rack and readied the equipment for tomorrow’s scheduled session with the VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions) payload. [The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle with vibration isolation, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

Volkov configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his 5th, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

Later, Volkov spent ~3.5 hrs on a photo/video documentation of selected sites of the Resurs plates inside the SM’s PrK Transfer Tunnel shell. [Objective: To evaluate access to Resurs system plates to measure electrical conductivity using the MVP-2K device.]

Fossum worked on the WRS WSTA (Water Recovery System / Waste Storage Tank Assembly), manually transferring urine from EDV-U container to fill up the UPA ARFTA (Urine Processor Assembly / Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly).

Later, Mike successfully reconfigured the ARFTA QDs (quick disconnects) from the backfill setup back to regular processing configuration. Flight controllers activated the UPA, which is now processing nominally.

With the Lab camcorder configured to provide live view of his subsequent work on the FIR FCF (Fluids Integrated Rack / Fluids & Combustion Facility), conducted another session with the PACE (Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment) hardware for which he installed a new PACE sample (#2005) for processing. [PACE is a Technology experiment, designed to investigate the capability of conducting high magnification colloid experiments with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) for determining the minimum size particles which can be resolved with it. Today’s activity steps included opening the AFC front door, rotating the LMM SBA (Light Microscopy Module Spindle Bracket Assembly) from the Operate to Service position, installing the sample, and replacing the LMM monochrome camera to obtain realtime video with the camera zoomed in for view into the left window of LMM AFC. The LMM Spindle Bracket Assembly was then rotated to the Operate position. No oil was used. Mike closed the upper & lower FCF doors, turned on two switches and notified POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center) that the rack is prepared for command on RPC (Remote Power Controller).]

Furukawa gathered & readied US equipment for tomorrow’s scheduled testing of the Ku-band video “scheme” of converting RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from FGB & SM via wireless SSC (Station Support Computer), for downlinking MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoded “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band.

Fossum pregathered equipment & tools required for the upcoming RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) R&R/maintenance activity.

The CDR also conducted the regular (~weekly) inspection & maintenance, as required, of the CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4) and CGBA-5 payloads in their ERs (EXPRESS Racks) at Lab O2 & O1, including cleaning the muffler air intakes.

Before sleeptime, Sergey Volkov will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 5th Sonokard experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [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.]

Before “Presleep” period tonight, the CDR turns on 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, Mike 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 ~4:35am EDT, Sergey Volkov supported three Russian PAO TV events, downlinking greetings to (1) the Arsenal Development Lab in St. Petersburg, (2) the Participants of the XI Youth Tsiolkovsky Readings, and (3) the participants of the “I am an Author” Festival. [(1) 10/15 is 300th anniversary celebration of St. Petersburg Arsenal, one of the largest defense industry enterprises in Russia founded by the Emperor Peter the Great. The plant was known for its engineering capabilities was always considered to be one of the best in Russia and in Europe. (2) The XI Youth Tsiolkovsky Readings in memory of Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky and dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first human flight to space will take place on 10/27-29, sponsored by K. E. Tsiolkovsky Museum. These readings are held since 1989; USSR pilot-cosmonauts V. P. Savinykh and A. A. Serebrov are honorary chairmen of the Tsiolkovsky Readings. Over 350 students and schoolchildren from across the nation will take part in the event. (3) In 2011 Russia’s Association of Disabled People is conducting Russia’s Children Art Festival “I am an Author”. The Festival will address the fostering of an environment for cultural interaction between children from various regions of Russia, support young authors with limited capabilities to actively participate in various art forms and their complete integration into the world. Year 2011 is the year of cosmonautics in Russia, and the final stage of the Festival, which will take place in Moscow on 11/3-6, has a space theme. The program includes visits to Star City and GCTC.]

At ~1:00pm, Sergey had his standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

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

RS Oxidizer Transfer: Russian ground controllers performed oxidizer (NTO/nitrogen tetroxide) transfer from the FGB TBO1-4 oxidizer tankage to the SM to refill Zvezda’s BO1 ODU (Integrated Propulsion System) oxidizer tank 1.

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),
* The daily IMS (Integrated 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), 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.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:19am EDT [= epoch])
* Mean altitude – 386.0 km
* Apogee height – 396.7 km
* Perigee height – 375.3 km
* Period — 92.27 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.001587
* Solar Beta Angle — 43.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 168 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 73,907
* Time in orbit (station) — 4708 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 3995 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 29)————-
10/19/11 — ISS Reboost
10/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking (5:01am EDT)
10/30/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch (6:11am)
11/02/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (~7:42am)
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————-
11/30/11 — SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon — Target date
12/26/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit — (date “on or about”)
12/28/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1) — (date “on or about”)
————–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
04/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–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.