Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 October 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
October 13, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 13 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.

CDR Mike Fossum serviced the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) experiment, checking camera operations and changing the camera battery in the morning. Later, Mike ended the photography of Sample 5 by exiting the software and powering off the equipment. [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.]

After ground-commanded overnight MDCA (Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus) payload FLEX test operations on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab (at S3), CDR Fossum installed the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the rack to protect its ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances).

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 (#2008) 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).]

After adjusting the G1 HD camcorder in Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for ground monitoring of his activity, FE-5 Furukawa conducted another ~2h35m “LEGO Bricks” EPO (Education Payload Activity) session in the JPM MWA (Maintenance Work Area), building a model of a satellite 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.]

Satoshi also relocated the JAXA SSHDTV (Super Sensitive High-Definition Television) from the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to the Node-3 Cupola and started another SSHDTV camera session, today with the IR (Infrared) cut filter on a zoom lens, and the automatic recorder clock & time code set for 5 min of recording of night views of Earth and later in particular of Japan at night.

Sergey Volkov supported the sequencer-commanded reactivation of the Elektron-VM O2 generator, first performing the usual buffer volume compression, then monitoring the external temperature of its BD secondary purification unit for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. RCT (Russian Contingency Telemetry) downlinked salient activation data packets via S-band. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause dangerous overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

Afterwards, FE-4 continued the GKM MVP photo/video documentation of selected Resurs plates inside the SM, today on the spherical shell of the PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment).

In the JPM, CDR Fossum prepared the CubeLab payload for a working session (for which he had prepared on 90/28), setting up the CubeLab USB Microscope, then checking out the microscope slide experiment to verify the functionality of the USB microscope, which investigates microscopic interaction & behavior of particles in microgravity. Later, after all microscope ops, the USB microscope was stowed and Cube Module 5 was reconfigured inside CubeLab Frame 1 (free floating) with parameters selected. [CubeLab is a low-cost commercial 1-kg platform for educational projects. It is a multipurpose research facility that interfaces small standard modules into the ERs (EXPRESS Racks). The modules can be used within the pressurized space station environment in orbit, with a nominal length, width, and height of 100 mm and a mass of no more than 1 g. Up to 16 CubeLab modules can be inserted into a CubeLab insert inside an ER.]

After configuring STTS communication systems temporarily for crew presence in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, Sergey Volkov configured & conducted another active session with the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), supported by ground specialist tagup. STTS was then reconfigured to nominal. Volkov later set up the two SONY HVR-Z1J video camcorders for replaying and downlinking their recorded footage via VHF over two RGS (Russian Groundsites) at 10:47am-11:11am EDT and at 12:21pm-12:45pm, followed by disassembly of the equipment. [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS: condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

FE-4 completed the daily inspection of the recently activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering 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).]

Later, Volkov performed 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.]

Mike Fossum & Satoshi Furukawa joined forces to conduct the 2nd onboard tests of Robonaut (after the first tests had to be aborted on 9/1). Robonaut was put in motion for the first time on-orbit. After performing a coordinated power-up with the ground, the crew maneuvered each arm joint to determine the differences of the micro-gravity environment by setting control gains through repetitive motions. They also performed an initial vision checkout of the high-def cameras to verify they are working and in focus. The ground then commanded Robonaut to move to the stow-position while you monitor the motion. [After configuring the Node-2 camcorder to capture activities, the crewmembers assembled the Robonaut hardware on its seat track in the Lab (loc. P2), connected cables and powered on Robonaut in conjunction with ground commanding from POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center). Mike then had about ~2 hrs for powered operations, to check out two sensors (JR3 & Joint Torque), the Motion Stop button, both arms (with adjustment damping) and Robonaut vision via its left & right camera. This required activation of Robonaut’s GUI (Graphic User Interface) and telnet windows. (This had run into a snag on 9/1, preventing completion of the program within the allotted “thermal clock” time of ~2.2 hrs, to limit touch temperature). Afterwards, ground controllers ran runs scripts to bring Robonaut to the Stow Pose and closed the software applications prior to disassembly. Mike & Satoshi then decabled Robonaut and restowed the disassembled hardware in an M-03 bag at its stowage location.]

FE-4 completed the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

Afterwards, Sergey also performed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO-FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1.]

Satoshi filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Fossum performed a visual inspection of the 6 normally unlit GLAs (General Luminaire Assemblies) in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) to verify the status of each unit.

Mike also checked/verified the 5 available CSL (Crew Support LAN) laptops before the SWRDFSH (Swordfish) software update to aide in CSL troubleshooting and file transfers. [PLUTO flight controllers cannot start CSL client software update until clients and server configurations are verified.]

At ~12:50pm EDT, FE-5 Furukawa will support a JAXA PAO “Communications with Asia” TV event for JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), responding to participants assembled on the island of Fiji.

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 ~3:05pm EDT, the crew is scheduled for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Peggy Whitson), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

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.]

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).

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),
* Taking care of 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.

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.