Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 November 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
November 14, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 November 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 9 of Increment 29 (three/six-persons crew)

. Soyuz TMA-22/28S launched last evening on time at 11:14pm EST in driving snow, with Anton Shkaplerov (Russia, Soyuz 28S CDR, ISS-29/30 Flight Engineer), Anatoly Ivanishin (Russia, ISS-29/30 FE), and Dan Burbank (USA, ISS-30 CDR). [See pictures, below].

Docking at the MRM2 Poisk module will be on Wednesday, 11/16, at ~12:33am EST, for a stay of 122 days. This is the 117th mission to the ISS. With the first launch of the FGB “Zarya” module on a Proton-K (1A/R) on 11/20/1998, there have been a total of 36 US missions, 77 Russian missions (+ 1 failed), 2 European missions (ATV-1, ATV-2) and 2 Japanese missions (HTV1, HTV2). It is also the first post-Shuttle manned launch.

. Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate the post-midnight arrival of Soyuz 28S on Wednesday morning, ISS crew wake/sleep cycle will be adjusted as follows (times EST):
11/15 (tomorrow): Wake – 1:00am; Sleep – 11:00am; Wake – 8:00pm;
11/16 (Wednesday): Docking – 12:33am; Sleep – 11:00am;
11/17 (Thursday): Wake – 1:00am; Sleep 4:30pm (i.e., back to normal).

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

First thing in post-sleep prior to eating, drinking & brushing teeth, CDR Fossum & FE-5 Furukawa performed their first liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol (Day 1). The collections are made every other day for six days. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

Also early in Postsleep, Furukawa & Fossum undertook their 22nd weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures session, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. The required ~10h fast period started for them last night. This is usually done on Mondays. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

Mike Fossum checked the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge. The Nikon D2Xs camera with EarthKAM software running with the Intervalometer on SSC-18 (Station Support Computer 18) is taking automated flash photography of Sample 3. [After starting on 11/10, the camera is running for a total of 7 days, taking one photo each hour. Camera battery change and Intervalometer restart is done three times a day. Objective of BCAT-6 Phase Separation: to gain unique insights into how gas and liquid phases separate and come together in microgravity. These fundamental studies on the underlying physics of fluids could provide the understanding needed to enable the development of less expensive, longer shelf-life household products, foods, and medicines.]

With the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Lab and Cupola windows closed, Volkov & Furukawa prepared for Soyuz 27S undocking & deorbit on 11/21 by spending an hour in the TMA-02M/27S Descent Module (SA) on MRM1 nadir, supporting a ground-commanded thruster test and checkout of the Soyuz MCS (Motion Control System SUD, Mode 2/”Docked”) which included pressurization of the KDU (Combined Propulsion System) Section 2 and Tank 2, a test of the pilot’s rotational & translational hand controllers (RUD & RUO), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters (2:57am-3:20am EST). DPO retrograde thrusters were not fired. [For the RST (rasstjkovkoy / undocking) test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 2:50am. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 3 during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) pass. Attitude control was returned to the USOS (U.S. Segment) at 3:50am.]

Later, the three-member crew spent 30 min on the regular fit check of their Kentavr anti-G suits for their return to Earth on 27S, followed by a 10 min teleconference with Kentavr specialists. [The “Centaur” garment (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the “Chibis” lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-G suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

In the SM, Volkov deactivated the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment which had been running with the Kenwood TM D700″Sputnik” amateur radio station in Repeater Mode with ground stations. [Objective of the experiment is the automatic retranslation (repeating) of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions. This experiment has been run by Dmitri Kondratyev, Oleg Skripochka, Fyodor Yurchikhin, Yuri Malenchenko and Mikhail Tyurin (first time in November 2006.]

In the Kibo JPM, Mike powered up the SDRM (SpaceDRUMS/Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix) payload on ER-5 (EXPRESS Rack 5) and turned it off again about 5 hrs later after a checkout by POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) to verify that the previously installed shims are working correctly. [SpaceDRUMS suspends a baseball-sized solid or liquid sample using 20 acoustic beam emitters during combustion or heat-based synthesis. Materials can be produced in microgravity with an unparalleled quality of shape and composition. SpaceDRUMS will support scientific understanding of processes like combustion synthesis and self-propagating high temperature synthesis and also provide direct commercial benefits from materials processing. Advanced ceramics, polymer, and colloids can be processed in SpaceDRUMS.]

Sergey collected the regular air samples for return on 27S, using a Russian AK-1M absorber in the SM for air, plus IPD-CO Draeger tubes, on a cartridge belt with a pump, to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide) and subsequently also for NH3 (Ammonia).

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Fossum powered on the USND-2 (Ultrasound 2) and VPC (Video Power Converter) hardware, connected VPC to HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1), and performed his periodic SPRINT leg muscle self scan with remote guidance from the ground team. [Afterwards, Mike powered off the hardware, decabled the VPC from HRF Rack-1, and stowed the hardware. Fossum is currently following a special experimental “SPRINT” protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5hrs per day regime and introduces special daily sessions, followed by the USND scan. No exercise is being timelined for Fridays. If any day is not completed, Mike picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]

Working in the Lab on reconfiguring the ROBoT laptop setup to nominal, Mike relocated the SSC-11 (Station Support Computer 11) back to CQ4 (Crew Quarters 4) and then performed a checkout of the SSC and CSL (Crew Support LAN) Client laptops at CQ1 and CQ4, verifying their power & data availability and functionality.

Satoshi worked in the JAXA JPM and JLP (JEM Pressurized Logistics Segment) modules, finishing up the decrewing preparations executed over several days, while Mike performed these close-out activities in the COL. [Verifying GLA (General Luminaire Assembly) settings, stowage configuration, taking photo-documentation of CGSE (Common Gas Supply Equipment) Argon pressure and module configuration, etc.]

Sergey conducted periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), collecting eight Bubble dosimeters (A21, A22, A27, A28, A33, A34, A35, A36) to read their recorded radiation traces in a special Reader; afterwards, the dosimeters were initialized for new measurements and redeployed. [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

FE-4 also 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 memory/flash card was then replaced Today’s readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. Automatic mode was then reactivated and the dosimeters returned to their original locations. [The dosimeters take their readings automatically every 90 minutes.]

Preparatory to the arrival of Soyuz 27S, Sergey & Satoshi set up the Ku-band video “scheme” for a communications test of converting (encoding) the RS video signal from the SONY HVR-Z7E camera and external Klest Kl-154 “+X” camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from SM, to downlink “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. [This activity tested MPEG2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoding capability using a JSL connected T61p SSC (Station Support Computer) in the RS. This test used the TVS Klest signal from the Orbit Module of the docked Soyuz 27S and the SSC located at the CP (Command Post), for encoding and decoding (viewing) SSC during the test (it can perform both operations simultaneously with NASA MPEG2 VIEWER and ESA MPEG2 ENCODER). For the test the crew used two procedures, a Russian radiogram that acted as main driver of the activity, and a Photo/TV procedure containing all of the steps to perform encoding & decoding on the SSCs.]

Furukawa performed the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling in Node-3 using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose, followed by the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag). [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Volkov completed 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.]

The Russian FE also continued preparations for the 11/21 Soyuz undocking from the MRM1, packing and loading return cargo with the help of an uplinked extensive of items list and stowage schematic for the Descent Module (SA). [Soyuz Loading Status was to be reported down later during the DPC (Daily Planning Conference) at ~2:10pm.]

The crewmembers again had an hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

The crew had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sergey at ~10:25am, Mike at ~10:55am, Satoshi at ~1:20pm EST. At ~10:35am, the CDR powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 10:40am conducted a ham radio session with students at A.S.J. Memorial High School, Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada.

Before Presleep, FE-5 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, Satoshi 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 CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-4, FE-5).

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

* The weekly documentary photography of the running Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse; [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), and

* Taking care of the daily IMS 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),

No CEO targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:37am EST [= epoch])
* Mean altitude – 387.2 km
* Apogee height – 402.0 km
* Perigee height – 372.4 km
* Period — 92.30 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0021874
* Solar Beta Angle — -67.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 153 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,438
* Time in orbit (station) – 4742 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4029 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 29)————-
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-22/28S docking (MRM2 “Poisk”) (~12:33am)
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/21/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~5:57pm/9:25pm)
————–Three-crew operations————-
12/xx/11 — SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon — (Under Review)
12/21/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit — (Target Date)
12/23/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/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-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov — (Target Date)
04/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/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-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–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
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–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
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.