Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 September 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
September 15, 2012
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 September 2012

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – Prep for Soyuz 30S Undocking.

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

Also at wake-up, FE-4 Malenchenko conducted the periodic checkup of the circuit breakers & fuses in the MRM1 Rassvet & MRM2 Poisk modules. [The monthly checkup in DC1, MRM1 & MRM2 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36. MRM2 & MRM1 were derived from the DC1 concept and are very similar to it.]

With the Russian crewmembers occupied with preparations for tomorrow’s undocking, the regular weekly three-hour task of house cleaning today was performed by FE-3 Acaba, FE-5 Williams & FE-6 Hoshide, taking care of USOS (US Orbit Segment) modules like Lab, Nodes, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). [“Uborka”, usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the sleep stations with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.]

Joe Acaba also performed 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, focusing on cleaning the muffler air intakes.

In preparation for his return to gravity tomorrow evening (7:09pm EDT), FE-2 Sergei Revin undertook Part 2 of his 5th and final exercise/training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the TVIS treadmill with CDR Padalka assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). [The assessment, lasting 90 min., supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmembers’ orthostatic tolerance after several months in zero-G. The closeout exercise generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -35, -40 mmHg (Torr) for 5 min. each, followed by -10 mmHg for 1 min., -20, -35, -40 mmHg for 10 min. each, and a final 30 mmHg for 5 min. and drop to 0 mmHg, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure, medically monitored with the Gamma-1M hardware. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the “Kentavr” anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

Sunita Williams deployed four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at bay P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Suni also conducted 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.]

Later, FE-5 took air samples with new GSCs (Grab Sample Containers) in the center of SM (#2109), Lab (#2113) and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module, #2112), sequenced with the AQM sampling for postflight comparison. [GSC samples are to be taken 1-3 hrs after AQM start.]

Sergei Revin collected regular air samples for return on 30S, using a Russian AK-1M absorber in the SM for air & Freon, 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).

Afterwards, Revin conducted the MO-22 Sanitary-Epidemiological Status check, part of the Russian MedOps program done on structures and crewmembers usually before Soyuz departures. Malenchenko assisted. [To monitor for microflora, Sergei collected samples from surface areas of interior panels and hardware at numerous locations in the SM, FGB, MRM1, MRM2, DC1 and ATV-3, also from himself, CDR Padalka & FE-4 Malenchenko using cotton swabs and special test tubes which were then stowed in 30S for return to the ground.]

Gennady worked in the TMA-04M spacecraft’s Orbital Module (BO), disconnecting & taking out the electronic LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit, for stowage and recycling in a future vehicle.

Padalka also had another 2h15m for loading cargo on Soyuz 30S.

Malenchenko removed Bioekologia container #6-4 of the Russian BTKh-8 BIOTREK (Influence of heavy charged particles of space radiation on the generic properties of cells producing biologic active substances) payload from its MRM1 stowage, shot documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera with SB800 flash and transferred the experiment to 30S for loading by Gennady.

Yuri also photo-documented and transferred Bioekologia container #7-3 of the BTKh-29 ZHENSHEN-2/Ginseng-2 (Study of new plants for biological products and genotypes with increased biological activity) payload from MRM2 stowage to the TMA-04M spacecraft.

Acaba removed 4 SODI (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument) flash disks from the Colloid flash disk stowage bag and packed them for return to Earth, handing them over to the CDR for loading on 30S. [The ESA SODI experiment has three parts, IVIDIL, DSC & Colloid, for advanced research in vibration effects on diffusion in liquids, diffusion measurements in petroleum reservoirs and the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions, respectively.]

Malenchenko continued the current round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today spending ~2h50m in the SM to inspect & clean “Group B2” ventilator fans & grilles.

Later, Yuri performed standard service on the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 by downloading the new batch of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer from the HTV unberthing to the RSE1 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.]

FE-2 Revin used the standard ECOSFERA equipment to conduct microbial air sampling runs, Part 2, for the MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment, with the POTOK Air Purification System temporarily powered down, taking Kit 2 samples from cabin surfaces along with samples from crewmembers for sanitation and disease studies. The Petri dishes with the samples were then stowed in the KRIOGEM-03 thermostatic container and subsequently packed for return in Soyuz 30S. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies. Because the Ecosphere battery can only support 10 air samples on one charge at one given time, the sample collection must be performed in two stages.]

Afterwards, Sergei retrieved and gathered SSVP Internal Transfer System accessory tools for the Soyuz docking ports from the kit in the Soyuz 30S BO (Orbital Module) for consolidation in a suitably-sized stowage bag and relocation the equipment to the MRM2 Poisk module.

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.]

Malenchenko also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, working from the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, 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-6 Hoshide filled out his standard FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop). It was Aki’s 7th. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MDLT 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.]

30S crewmembers Padalka & Revin again had an hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which is standard pre-return procedure for homecoming crewmembers.

FE-4, FE-5 & FE-6 conducted their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Aki at ~10:20am, Yuri at ~11:55am, Suni at ~3:20pm EDT.

At ~4:30am, with ISS Command being transferred tonight from Padalka to Williams for Increment 33, with Yuri Malenchenko & Akihiko Hoshide as Flight Engineers, Gennady & Yuri signed two copies of the formal Russian Handover Protocol document certifying RS (Russian Segment) handover/acceptance, including the contents of Progress 48P (#415), currently docked at DC-1 nadir, MRM1 Rassvet, and MRM2 Poisk. [The first copy remains on ISS, the second copy will be returned to the ground on Soyuz TMA-04M. “We, the Undersigned, have executed this Act to the effect that Gennady Padalka 31-32, responsible for ISS-31/32 RS, handed over the ISS RS, Yuri Malenchenko, a crew member in charge of the ISS-32/33 RS, accepted the ISS RS, including the operating features and onboard system or equipment anomalies.”]

At ~7:10am, Sunita Williams activated the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) routing to downlink the recording of Joe’s and her Treadmill Kinematics sessions of yesterday, stopping it at ~10:35am. [POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville) routed the on-board HRDL (High-Rate Data Line) system.]

At ~2:35pm tonight, all six crewmembers joined up for the traditional “Change of Command” ceremony, officially marking the transfer of the baton from Increment 32 to Increment 33, with Sunita Williams taking over Command from Gennady Padalka who temporarily will become FE-1.

Later, before sleeptime, Suni will configure onboard C&T (Communications & Tracking) for her CQ (Crew Quarters) as the new “On-Call” crewmember by connecting the Node-2 port-side ATU (Audio Terminal Unit) #15 to the CQ and verifying speaker functionality.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2/2x, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-3, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4). [FE-6 & FE-5 are on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions involving resistive and aerobic (interval & continuous) exercise, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL. No exercise is being timelined for Suni on Friday, for Aki on Thursday. If any day is not completed, Suni & Aki pick up where they left off, i.e., they would be finishing out the week with the last day of exercise on her off day.]

Tasks listed for Revin, Malenchenko & Padalka 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), 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.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Thirty-Two – Week 11).

2D NANO Template (JAXA): Mission completed.

3D SPACE: Complete.

ACE-1 (Advanced Colloids Experiment 1, NASA): No report.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.

ALTEA SHIELD Shielding (NASA/ASI): On 8/9, Aki has exchanged the shielding tiles with a second set. The session#2 immediately started afterwards. The two materials being investigated for their shielding capacity on-board are polyethylene (session#1) and Kevlar (session#2). To date, the session#2 has progressed nominally, with 35 cumulative days (of minimal 40 / preferred 60 days) of science acquisition. There was a short interruption of data acquisition on 9/12 which was quickly recovered by a power-cycle and a restart by the crew, thank you for your help! [Cosmic radiation consists of very small, atomic-sized particles that are flying around in space at tremendous speeds. Their energy is so high that these particles, like tiny bullets, can permeate through the complete structure of the ISS. Exposure of astronauts to cosmic radiation is risky from a medical point of view. The best way to protect our astronauts against cosmic radiation is to build the complete ISS from lead! This would solve the problem but the enormous mass can impossibly be launched into space. Therefore different materials, much lighter than lead, are being tested to be used as shielding materials. Two of those will be investigated in the ALTEA-SHIELD experiment. The effectiveness of the shielding materials will be measured on board by a set of special radiation detectors. Some detectors will be covered with tiles made of shielding materials, some others will not. We are looking forward to find out what difference it will make!”]

Amine Swingbed (NASA): No report.

AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer): AMS recorded its 22 billionth cosmic ray event.

APEX (Advanced Plant Experiments on Orbit) -Cambium: No report.

APEX-TAGES (Transgenic Arabidopsis Gene Expression System): No report.

Asian Seed 2010 (JAXA): Returned on ULF6.

BASS (Burning and Suppression of Solids, NASA): (The BASS hardware has been stowed until we resume tests beginning sometime in December 2012 or January 2013.)
BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 6, CSA): No report. [Colloids are particles as small as a few tens of nanometers (a thousandth of a thousandth of a millimeter) that are suspended in a medium, usually a liquid or a gas. The name “colloid” comes from the Greek word for “glue”, and expresses very important properties of colloids: when small and light enough, particles can be influenced in their behavior by forces of electromagnetic origin, and make them stick together, or repel each other depending on the configuration. Colloids are widely studied in science because the forces between particles can be controlled and tuned and because particles, while being small enough to be influenced by such forces, are big and slow enough to be seen with a relatively simple and inexpensive laboratory instrument like a microscope. This is why colloids are often studied as model for molecular systems (like standard gases or liquids) where molecules, the individual constituents, are much smaller than colloids and cannot be seen with light. As mentioned, forces between colloids can be tuned giving rise to a rich variety of phenomena. One of them is aggregation, which is when particles stick together and tend to form structures. Among the many ways to induce particle aggregation, one allows to do so by controlling the temperature of the solution in which the particles are immersed, thanks to very weak forces called “critical Casimir forces” that have been predicted more than 30 years ago but just partially verified in experiments. The objective of SODI COLLOID is to measure such forces and produce a controlled aggregation of tiny plastic particles. This would allow to shed light on critical Casimir forces and to make a step towards the fabrication of new nanostructured materials with remarkable optical properties for industrial applications.]

BCAT-C1 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test C1, CSA): “Thanks, Suni, for transferring the images from run 2 of sample 1. The images are now in the hands of the science team at Simon Fraser University.”

BLB (Biolab, ESA): A BIOLAB Rotor alignment test and video test were successfully completed on 9/7, as part of a quarterly maintenance.

BIORHYTHMS 48 (Biological Rhythms, JAXA): No report.

BISE (Bodies in the Space Environment, CSA): No report.


BXF-Facility (Boiling eXperiment Facility, NASA): No report.

BXF-MABE (Microheater Array Boiling Experiment, NASA): No report.

BXF-NPBX (Pool Boiling Experiment, NASA): No report.

CARD (Long Term Microgravity Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease, ESA): No report.

CARDIOCOG-2: Complete.

CB (JAXA Clean Bench): No report.

CBEF-2 (JAXA Cell Biology Experiment Facility)/SPACE SEED: No report.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): No report.

CERISE (JAXA): No report.

CCF (Capillary Channel Flow, NASA): No report.

CFE-2 (Capillary Flow Experiment 2, NASA): No report.

CFS-A (Colored Fungi in Space-A, ESA): No report.

CSI-5/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #5/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): No report.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), MDCA/Flex: No report.

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS (ESA): “Thank you Aki for your third Circadian Rhythms data collection between 9/6 and 9/8, much appreciated! The data was downlinked after the Portable PFS / VO2max session of Suni on 9/11. Pending science team confirmation.”

Commercial (Inc 23&24, JAXA): No report.

Commercial (Inc 25 & 26, JAXA): No report.

Commercial (Inc 32, JAXA): No report.

CSAC (Chip-Scale Atomic Clock, SPHERES): No report.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): No report.

CsPins (JAXA): No report.

CubeLab: No report.

CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Complete.

DECLIC-ALI (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization-ALICE-like, CNES/NASA): During the first day, the following activities were:- Declic Activation on GMT 254 13:30.- Loading and validation of new ALI scripts- Backup data from the previous ALI-SC7sequence (8 hours). In the next few days we start the science data acquisition:1 -Turbidity measurements on the observation cell to verify the stability of the cell. 2 -Determination and confirmation of the relative critical temperatures Tc (instrument) .

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

DOSIS (Dose Distribution Inside ISS, ESA): “Thank you Suni for collecting the DOSIS-3D Passive detectors for 30S return and for finding the floating one! It is expected there will be some science impact for this specific detector as the cumulative measurement cannot be linked to location. It is being investigated if we can find out how long the detector has been floating around. Continuation of nominal science acquisition with the active detectors inside Columbus.”

DTN (Delay Tolerant Network, NASA): No report.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): No report.

EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): Activated on 8/23 to support the ERB-2 index file transfer activity.

EKE (Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics During Physical Training, ESA): The EKE experiment will have gathered a second in-flight data set based on a data sharing agreement with VO2max. As mentioned it is believed that enough strokes during the calibration are available to allow to perform a ground calibration of the data. Pending EKE science team confirmation.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): No report.

ENERGY (ESA): No report. [Background: In the ENERGY experiment, astronauts are invited to participate in a study that aimed to evaluate how much food is needed for astronauts during long-term space missions. To do so, the science team will measure every component or variable of the astronaut’s energy expenditure reflecting his energy needs. Those variables will be measured twice: up to 4 months before flight and after at least 3 months in space but 3 weeks before landing. The changes in the astronaut’s energy balance and expenditure will be measured, which will help in deriving an equation for energy requirements in weightlessness. This will contribute to planning adequate, but not excessive cargo supplies for food.]

ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.

EPM (European Physiology Module): No report.

EPO (Education Payload Operations, NASA) Demos: No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Eye in the Sky; Sleep 2): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Sesame Street): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Kids in Micro-G): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Earth/Moon/Mars Demo): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (Space Sports): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, NASA) (ISS Orbit): No report.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations, ESA): No report.


EPO MISSION X (ESA): No report.

EPO Spaceship Earth (ESA): No report.

EPO LES-2 (ESA): No report.


EPO 3-min Video (JAXA): No report.

EPO J-Astro Report (JAXA): No report.

EPO Dewey’s Forest (JAXA): Closed out on 3/15.

EPO Space Clothes (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Hiten (Dance, JAXA): No report.

EPO Lego Bricks (NASA, JAXA): No report.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): No report.

EPO OpticSphere & ISSOrbit-Demo (NASA): No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Paper Craft (Origami, JAXA): No report.

EPO Poem (JAXA): No report.

EPO-5 SpaceBottle (Message in a Bottle, JAXA): No report.

EPO-6 Spiral Top 2 (JAXA): No report.

EPO-7 Doctor Demo (JAXA): No report.

EPO-7 Green Tea Preparation (JAXA): No report.

EPO-7 Ink Ball (JAXA): No report.

EPO-7 Video (JAXA):

EPO-7 Try Zero-G (JAXA): No report.

EPO-8 Space Sakura (JAXA): No report.

EPO-8 Space Musical Instruments (JAXA): No report.

EPO-9 (JAXA): “We very much appreciate your recording for JAXA-REPORT05.”

ERB-2 (Erasmus Recording Binocular, ESA): [ERB-2 aims are to develop narrated video material for various PR & educational products & events, including a 3D interior station view.] No report.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.

FACET-2 (JAXA): No report.

FERULATE (JAXA): No report.

FIR/LMM/CVB (Fluids Integrated Rack / Light Microscopy Module / Constrained Vapor Bubble): No report.

Fish Scales (JAXA): Completed on FD7/ULF-4 and returned on STS-132.


FOCUS: No report.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory, ESA): A long-duration “stress”-test for the FSL Video Management Unit (VMU) was started on 9/10 for 4 days. On 9/13 an error was observed. The test was aborted and the issue is under investigation.

FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device, ESA): No report.

GENARA-A (Gravity Regulated Genes in Arabidopsis A/ESA): No report.

GEOFLOW-2 (ESA): Experiment completed! [Background: Everybody is familiar with liquids. In an average day we get to use, handle or drink water or other liquids. And everybody knows how fluids (that is liquids and gases) behave: when subjected to a net force, may be pressure, a temperature difference or gravity, they can move freely. Scientists have been studying how fluids move for centuries, and managed to write mathematical formulas that can describe and predict such movements. Unfortunately, these equations are extremely complex and only approximate solutions are known. As a result, our quantitative understanding of fluid movement is just partial. This is especially true for natural phenomena where the forces can be enormous and unpredictable, like in oceans or in the atmosphere, or the interior of the earth, where rocks are exposed to pressures and temperatures so incredibly high that they slowly move and adapt their shape. That is, over hundreds of years rocks flow just like a very viscous liquid. Scientists try to study such flows but cannot observe them directly due to the fact that they take place deep beneath the surface of our planet. The only way is to have computers simulating those movements starting from the equations, but how to check whether computers are correct? This is what Geoflow II is trying to answer on board the International Space Station. Geoflow II is a miniature planet that has some of its essential ingredients: a fluid can freely move inside a spherical container that rotates, has temperature differences and has a simulated gravity directed towards the centre just like in a real planet. By taking pictures of the fluid movements, scientists are able to understand the essential characteristics of the flows and determine whether computer simulations are correct or whether they need to be refined and improved towards a better understanding of the elusive movements that take place inside our planet.]

GLACIER (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator, NASA): “Thank you for your work this week on the battery and desiccant replacement.”

HAIR (JAXA): “Aki, thank you for your first hair sampling and your CrewNote input.”

HDTV System (JAXA): No report.

Hicari (JAXA): No report.

Holter ECG (JAXA): No report.

HQPC (JAXA): No report.

HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System/JAXA): HICO has taken 6418 images to-date. The most recent HICO images include the Sea of Azov, the coast of southern California, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and China’s Yellow River Estuary. RAIDS is continuing to collect secondary Science data including nighttime atmospheric disk photometry, spectra and temperatures. Extreme Ultra Violet airglow spectroscopy and optical contamination studies will also be performed.

HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1, NASA): No report.

HydroTropi (Hydrotropism & Auxin-Inducible Gene Expression in Roots Grown under Microgravity Conditions/JAXA): No report.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “Joe: Your inflight data collection for ICV is now complete! Many thanks for a job well done (and details well attended to!); we’re looking forward to continued success with postflight BDC once you’re back on the ground! Happy landing!”

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS; RS): “Second sessions completed by Sergei Revin and Gennady Padalka on respectively 9/11 and 9/12 with help of Suni for samples insertion into MELFI-1. Thank you all!”


InSPACE-3 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 3): No report.

IRIS (Image Reversal in Space, CSA): No report.

ISS Amateur/Ham Radio: Hoshide’s contact with the Marcelino Canino Canino Middle School, Puerto Rico was successful and 16 questions were answered. Also, 14 questions were answered with the Maroochydore State School, Queensland, Australia. Other successful passes this week included NASA Goddard Child Development Center, Greenbelt, MD (Hoshide), Burns Sci-Tech Charter School, Oak Hill, Florida (Suni) and Gymnasium Unterriden, Sindlefingen, Germany (Suni). This makes a total of 64 events so far for 2012 for all crew members.

ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera, NASA): ISSAC imaging ops are nominal. Last week, ISSAC captured 45 strip targets (equivalent of 1500 images); of which 25 strip targets are within the US. Thanks to the crew (Suni, Joe, Aki) for their support in opening the lab window shutter. With the undock of HTV3 on 9/12, the shutter was opened on 9/13 and ISSAC will continue its nominal imaging operations. ISSAC took several images of on-going wildfires in the US and other parts of the world.

IV Gen (Intravenous Fluids Generation): No report.

JOURNALS (Behavioral Issues Associated with Isolation and Confinement, NASA): “Joe, the remainder of your Journals files will be downlinked after you have departed station but the Journals team would like to thank you for being an outstanding subject. We wish you all the best. Thank you for your participation!” [Studies conducted on Earth have shown that analyzing the content of journals and diaries is an effective method for identifying the issues that are most important to a person. The method is based on the reasonable assumption that the frequency that an issue or category of issues is mentioned in a journal reflects the importance of that issue or category to the writer. The tone of each entry (positive, negative, or neutral) and phase of the expedition also are variables of interest. Study results will lead to recommendations for the design of equipment, facilities, procedures, and training to help sustain behavioral adjustment and performance during long-duration space expeditions to the ISS, asteroids, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Results from this study could help to improve the behavioral performance of people living and working under a variety of conditions here on Earth.]

KUBIK 3/6, KID (ESA): No report.

LMM/PACE-2 (Light Microscopy Module / Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment): No report.

LEGO Bricks: “Suni: Thank you for performing the Spinner activity. Future robotic model experiments are planned.”

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): No report.

MAMS (Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System, NASA): No report.

Marangoni Exp. (JAXA): No report.

Marangoni DSD – Dynamic Surf (JAXA): Payload name was change from Marangoni DSD to Dynamic Surf.

Marangoni UVP (JAXA): No report.

MARES (Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System, ESA/NASA): No report.

Matryoshka-2 (RSA): No report.

MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, JAXA): No report.

MCE (Multi-Mission Consolidated Equipment, JAXA): Ground team has been continuing the checkout of SIMPLE, HDTV-EF and IMAP.

MDCA/Flex-2: On 9/10, we successfully performed four MDCA/FLEX-2 Quiescent test points using 100% decane fuel at a 1.0-atm chamber environment of 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. At this atmosphere, we found that fuel droplets with initial diameters (Do) greater than 4 mm extinguished radiatively. Radiative extinction is flame extinction caused by excessive radiative energy loss from the flame, and it occurs at relatively larger droplet and flame sizes.- The study of sooting phenomena (i.e., soot field concentration, soot shell morphology) is one of the objectives of testing with this fuel at these atmospheric conditions. This data is typically gathered from the backlit images from one of our HiBMS Imaging Packages; however, preliminary observations (using the MDCA Color Camera) show rapid development of highly symmetric soot shells. Smaller droplets (Do < 3.5 mm), which diffusively extinguish, exhibit a phenomena marked by a mini-explosion of the droplet just prior to what would be its diffusive extinction. We believe this is due to the absorption of soot and/or its precursors at the droplet surface which are then rapidly separated from the droplet as the flame collapses around the droplet. Diffusive extinction is flame extinction caused by an insufficient time for fuel and oxygen to react, and it occurs at relatively smaller droplet and flame sizes. These test points should provide excellent sooting data when evaluated with the backlit images! MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): No report. MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS, NASA): No report. Microbe-3 (JAXA): “Aki, thank you very much for the dust sampling around JEM on 8/28.” Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete. Miscible Fluids in Microgravity (MFMG): No report. MISSE-8 (Materials ISS Experiment 8): MISSE-8 is nominal. PASCAL performed nominal commanding that produced IV curves of the solar cells. IV curves are plots of the current versus voltage for solar cells and tell a lot about how these are performing. The SpaceCube experiment is continuing to run code for new radiation hardening by software. MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): No report. MPAC/SEED (JAXA): No report. MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox, NASA): No report. MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox -Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment): No report. MSPR (Multi Purpose Small Payload Rack, JAXA): AQH (Aquatic Habitat) functional checkout was performed on 9/7. Some mismatch was found in the calibration data files installed in MSPR ELT and pH/DO sensor. New calibration data files will be uplinked on 9/12. MSL (Materials Science Laboratory, ESA): Three processed Sample Cartridge Assemblies (SCA’s) have been returned with SpX-D. MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC-1 “Pirs”. MULTIGEN-1: Completed. MYCO 3 (JAXA): On 9/22, Mike and Satoshi completed sample collection. MyoLab (JAXA): Completed on 4/20. NanoRacks (NASA): No report. NANOSKELETON (Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity, JAXA): No report. NANO STEP (JAXA): Completed run#1 on 9/7. Scientist team was satisfied with the good results. NEURORAD (JAXA): No report. NEUROSPAT (ESA/Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration): No report. [During microgravity stay, the human body goes through multitude of physiological changes in order to accommodate to the new environment. As the brain is a master organ where major crucial processes take place, it is fundamental to understand how it manages adaptation for living in Space. One of the main purposes of Neurospat (NES) experiment is to focus on how microgravity environment influences cerebral activity of astronauts aboard ISS. For this, the global electrical activity of the brain of the astronaut is measured thanks to electroencephalogram (EEG) technique, while he or she is executing specific tasks through a computer as if it was a kind of videogame. In practice, the astronaut is wearing a specially equipped cap with passive, gel filled electrodes that are in contact with his/her scalp while he or she is performing the specific tasks that we have designed. These are visual-orientation perception and visuo-motor tracking tasks that may be encountered on a daily basis. The tasks allow the study of 5 cognitive processes: Perception, Attention, Memorization, Decision and Action. Besides there are also task-irrelevant images that are showed to the astronaut in order to assess how well he or she processes novel visual stimuli. The electrodes all over the scalp are linked to sensitive amplifiers that allow us to measure small variations of electrical potential between different regions of the scalp. These signals are in turn used to estimate activity in the cerebral cortex related to the task being performed. Also, they serve to identify the mental processes associated with these tasks and to localize in the brain the sources of the underlying neural activity. After analysis of the data we can better understand whether the novel environment of microgravity accompanied by a multitude of stressors may place an increased load on the cognitive capacity of the human brain and whether the sensory signals and motor responses of astronauts are processed and interpreted differently because a new reference frame.] NightPod (ESA): NightPod images have been presented in a news blog on the ESA PromISSe website: NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete. NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY/ProK: Suni, thank you for completing your Nutrition and Repository FD60 session. Your barcodes have been received on the ground and will be very helpful for sample return. You have one session remaining which will be scheduled within two weeks of return.” ODK-2 (Onboard Diagnostic Kit 2, JAXA): On 9/5, ground team successfully recovered the missing data in the SD card. We will try to re-register the data into the ODK software from the ground next week. PADIAC (Pathway Different Activators, ESA): No report. PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 6/7; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): The 17 dosimeters installed inside the JEM were removed on 9/14. PASSAGES (JAXA): No report. [PASSAGES is an experiment about the strategies involved in the perception of the world around us. Seeing correctly the world is necessary to success our gestures, our actions, such as catching a ball, stepping an obstacle on the ground or passing through an opened door. In this experiment, we want to know if the strategies involved on Earth continue to be used when the astronaut is in a weightlessness environment for a long period. To investigate this question, the participant sees 3D scenes on the screen of a laptop such as a video game. The scene is a room with an opening which can vary in width. The task of the participant is to decide if yes or no he or she could pass through the aperture without rotating or scrunching the shoulders. The science team uses typical methods from psychophysics and manipulates several factors to highlight the strategies used by the participant. Then, the science team will compare the performances obtained on ground with those obtained onboard.] PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility – Process Unit): No report. PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): Mission completed last week. PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): See PCG. PLSG (Plant Signaling, NASA/ESA): No report. PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete. POLCA/GRAVIGEN (ESA): Complete. Portable PFS: The Portable PFS was set-up on 9/10 for the second VO2max / THERMOLAB session completed on 9/11 by Suni. Pro K: “Joe, you have completed your Nutrition, Repository and Pro K inflight sessions. We are anticipating receiving the downlink of your data from your final session by the end of the week. You have been an excellent subject and we would like to thank you for participating in these experiments as it has been a pleasure working with you. We look forward to working with again on the ground. Happy Landings! Suni, your FD60 Pro K session will be rescheduled as previously communicated. The samples you have already collected will count towards your FD60 Nutrition and Repository inflight session. The Pro K team would like to thank you for your participation and your efforts to achieve successful science.” RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete. RadSilk (JAXA): No report. Reaction Self Test (RST/Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): “Suni and Aki, thank you for your continued participation in Reaction Self Test, your efforts are greatly appreciated! Joe, the actual number of tests you will complete is 77. The number we have been carrying, 115, was a planning number. Thank you for your participation in Reaction Self Test throughout your increment!” REBR (Re-Entry Breakup Recorder, JAXA): REBR was successfully installed on the F1 rack front location on the HTV-3 using the attached straps to secure it. REBR was then activated and appeared to function nominally when the LED light turned on and off with the first and second wire pull, respectively. Aki took photographs and these have been received on the ground. HTV-3 unberthed with an unexpected ACU burn but that has no effect on the REBR. The HTV deorbit burn and re-entry are per the original timeline. REBR’s mission occurs during HTV-3 re-entry when it will record the re-entry characteristics of the HTV-3 and then transmits the data for analysis. Reversible Figures (ESA): No report. [Background: The objective of this study is to understand the relationship between gravity and depth perception. Another objective is to identify the problems associated with depth and distance perception in astronauts with the goal of developing countermeasures to reduce any associated performance alteration. This experiment investigates cases in which what astronauts might think to see, fails to achieve a correct representation of the environment, namely, optical illusions. Ten ambiguous figures, with or without depth cues, are presented to an astronaut in virtual reality goggles. These figures are ambiguous because they can be seen at first sight in two different ways. The figure does not change, but after some time the brain reverses (flip-flops) its interpretation. The astronaut is asked to look closely at each figure and to indicate with a mouse trackball which view he/she sees first, and when the view flip-flops. The interval between the views will be compared between 1g and 0g conditions. In 0g, the astronaut will do the test while free-floating to eliminate all orientation cues. This experiment will be performed three times pre-flight, then up to six times in-flight, and again three times post-flight. The science team will then compare the results of these tests across these gravitational environments. It is expected that the frequency of flip-flops of figures with depth cues will be different in between 0g and 1g, and that an adaptation to long-term exposure to weightlessness, as well as a re-adaptation to Earth gravity, will take place.] ROALD-2 (Role of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression 2, ESA): No report. [Background: The ROALD-2 experiment studies how the function of T-cells from the immune system are affected by microgravity and spaceflight. T-cells play an important role in controlling the immune systems response to infection. It has previously been shown that the immune response of astronauts can be reduced following spaceflight and it has also been shown that the activation of T-cells in culture is reduced in microgravity. A series of experiments on T-cells and other immune system cells have been previously performed by different scientific teams on Space Shuttle and the ISS over the last 30 years. The data from these individual experiments provides information which together can be used to understand the mechanisms by which gravity or the absence of gravity can affect T-cell function.] Robonaut (NASA): No report. RRM (Robotic Refuelling Mission, NASA): In standby mode, awaiting the next task/run, refueling. [The RRM investigation demonstrates and tests the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically service and refuel satellites in space, especially satellites not originally designed to be serviced. RRM is expected to reduce risks and lay the foundation for future robotic servicing missions in microgravity.] RYUTAI Rack (JAXA): No report. SAIBO Rack (JAXA): No report. SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): SAMS file repair was successful and SAMS is currently operating nominally. SAMS was not recovered in time to catch the HTV-3 unberth activities. SAMPLE: Complete. SCaN (Space Communications and Navigation Testbed, NASA): SCAN Testbed successfully completed two RF Subsystem checkout tests to verify the RF connections internal to the payload. Two separate paths were checked out using the Antenna Pointing System (APS) and Space Network Medium Gain Antenna (SN-MGA). These tests also required a receive signal from TDRSS. This is the first time that SCAN Testbed has both pointed at TDRSS with our steerable gimbals and received a signal from TDRS. In addition to checking out the payload, being able to successfully point at and receive a signal from TDRSS validated the SCAN Testbed operational processes for performing experiments. [Background: The SCaN Testbed provides an orbiting laboratory on space station for the development of SDR (Software Defined Radio) technology. These systems will allow researchers to conduct a suite of experiments over the next several years, enabling the advancement of a new generation of space communications. The testbed is the first space hardware to provide an experimental laboratory to demonstrate many new capabilities, including new communications, networking and navigation techniques that utilize SDR technology. The SCaN Testbed includes three such radio devices, each with different capabilities. These devices will be used by researchers to advance this technology over the Testbed’s five year planned life in orbit. Two SDRs were developed under cooperative agreements with General Dynamics and Harris Corp., and the third was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. JPL also provided the five-antenna system on the exterior of the testbed, used to communicate with NASA’s orbiting communications relay satellites and NASA ground stations across the United States.] SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility, JAXA): No report. SEDA-AP (Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload, JAXA): Continuing telemetry monitoring. SHD (Space Headaches, ESA): “Joe, thanks for your last weekly questionnaire on 9/13! We have been so impressed that you have consistently remembered to fill all your questionnaires! Thank you!”” [Background: The neurologists from Leiden University want to study the question whether the astronauts, while in space, suffer from the headaches. With the help of simple questionnaires the astronauts will register the headache episodes and the eventual accompanying symptoms. The results will hopefully help to characterize the frequency and characteristics of space headache and to develop countermeasure to prevent/minimize headache occurrence during the space flight.] SHERE II (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment II): No report. SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device): No report. SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): No report. SLICE (Structure & Liftoff In Combustion Experiment): No report. [See under BASS.] SMILES (JAXA): Continuing telemetry monitoring. SODI/IVIDIL (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Influence of Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids, ESA): No report. SODI/COLLOID (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Colloid): No report. SODI-DSC (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument/Diffusion & Soret Coefficient, ESA): No report. [Background: Fluids and gases are never at rest. This statement is in apparent contradiction with our experience: when we pour water in a glass and wait until all flows have disappeared and the temperature
of the liquid is in equilibrium with that of the room, we see that water appears to be completely at rest. However, if we were able to see the individual molecules of water with a very powerful microscope, we would discover that they are incessantly moving and collide with each other following frantic, random paths even if the liquid appears to be quiescent at naked eye. Scientists are interested in observing and measuring such movements because they reveal important, practical information: how fast does heat propagates in a fluid? How fast do liquid mixtures mix? Such phenomena occur in absence of a macroscopic flow, that is when the fluid appears to be at rest, and are called heat and mass diffusion respectively. While the theoretical prediction of heat and mass diffusion is still quite challenging, its measurement is a standard laboratory practice, but may become extremely difficult or impossible when dealing with mixtures of many liquids, due to the fact that such measurement needs to be carried out when the fluid is quiescent, a condition sometimes impossible to achieve on ground. This is precisely the objective of the SODI DSC experiment carried out on board the International Space Station: the measurement of diffusion in mixtures of liquids. By using very sensitive optical techniques, it will be possible to measure mass diffusion, compare with current theories, and improve our present understanding of how molecules move in liquid mixtures. The results will be used by the large team of scientists involved in the project to try to understand which of the many existing theories for mass diffusion is correctly predicting the experimental behavior.]

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory, ESA): Currently out of Sun Visibility Window. SolACES is in heated mode in view of vehicle traffic and ISS maneuvers such as HTV3 unberthing, ATV3 reboost, 30S undocking events. Next Sun Visibility Window #57 is expected to start around 9/15.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): No report.

Space-DRUMS (Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix System): No report.

Space Food (JAXA): No report.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): No report.

SPHINX (SPaceflight of Huvec: an Integrated eXperiment, ESA): No report.

SPICE (Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment): No report.

SPINAL (Spinal Elongation): No report.

SPRINT: “Aki, great job completing your Sprint leg ultrasound this week. You are getting very good at the scanning technique, and the photos Suni took of the guides donned will help us in comparison of the images to the last session. Thanks again to your dedication the Sprint experiment!”

SS-HDTV (Super Sensitivity High Definition Camera, JAXA): Mission completed last week.

STP-H3 (Space Test Program – Houston 3): All experiments are functional and are in a nominal configuration. MHTEX is currently in a priming operation for the Capillary Pumped Loop (CPL) in preparation for additional testing. VADER continues to characterize the performance of the Aerogel blanket attached to the backside of the experiment. Canary collected data during the HTV-3 unberthing event this week. An anomaly with the instrument memory occurred during the HTV Abort Control Unit burn so this data was not downlinked. We have documented the memory problem and this problem did not occur during the HTV apogee raising burn data take. Canary also plans to take data during the 30S undocking event on Day 260. DISC took new images this week and continues to process images that were taken in previous weeks.

SWAB (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): No report.

TASTE IN SPACE (ESA): No report.

THERMOLAB (ESA): “Thank you, Suni, for collecting also THERMOLAB session#2 data during your VO2max protocol. The data were well received and are being assessed by the science team.”

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.

TREADMILL KINEMATICS: “Thanks, Suni, for your 2nd Treadmill Kinematics session! Thanks, Joe, for your 5th Treadmill Kinematics session, and thanks in particular for the calibration at the end.”

TRIPLELUX-B (ESA): No report.


UMS (Urine Monitoring System (NASA): No report.

VASCULAR (CSA): “We received the VASCULAR Podcast -thanks, Joe, we appreciate this. It will be useful for our outreach program.”

VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Module, NASA): No report.

VESSEL ID System (ESA): Nominal data acquisition with the NorAIS receiver, with a couple of small permanent losses – 3 distinct events between 8/28 and 8/29. [Background: As the ISS circles Earth, it has been tracking individual ships crossing the seas beneath. An investigation hosted by ESA in COL module has been testing the viability of monitoring global maritime traffic from the station’s orbit hundreds of kilometers above since June 2010. The ship-detection system being tested is based on the AIS (Automatic Identification System), the marine equivalent of the air traffic control system. Astronauts were instrumental in enabling the COLAIS experiment, which is an in-orbit demonstration project of ESA’s General Support Technology Program. COL was not originally outfitted with VHF antennas to capture the AIS signals; they were installed on the outside of the module during a spacewalk in November 2009, with the remaining piece of hardware, the ERNOBox control computer, installed inside COL along with the NORAIS receiver in May 2010.- The two operational phases with the first receiver from Norway, or NORAIS, which is operated by FFI/Norway, have been extremely successful, with data telemetry received by the N-USOC, in Trondheim, Norway, via ESA’s COL-CC in Germany. Data has been received by NORAIS in almost continuous operation, and all modes of operation have worked extremely well. On a good day, approximately 400,000 ship position reports are received from more than 22,000 different ship identification numbers (Maritime Mobile Service Identity, or MMSI). — The NORAIS Receiver has a sample mode that can collect the raw signal, digitize it and send it to ground for analysis of signal quality, which is proving very helpful in making additional improvements/ refinements to the system. This is used both to investigate the signal environment and to evaluate the performance of new receiver technologies on the ground. Several hundred data sets have been collected and processed with new candidate algorithms for next generation receivers.– From the assessment of these data sets, an updated version of the decoder algorithm has been worked. The development benefits from the investigations of the sampled data and ongoing work in other ESA projects. The firmware was uploaded to the NORAIS Receiver through the station’s communications network. This upgrade #1 (“NORAIS Receiver FPGA firmware v18”), was activated on 1/20/2012.– The on-orbit data of the NORAIS Receiver v18 have been analyzed since and show very good results. The teams are confident in the operation and performance of v18 and have now preliminary results of the comparison of the performance of the upgraded NORAIS Receiver (v18) relative to the version operated prior to the upgrade (v16).– Changes of the signal environment on ISS can influence the number of correctly decoded messages, which makes it important to compare the results of this upgrade to a period running the old algorithm with a similar background level.– The daily averages are calculated for 11 days for both receiver versions. For the upgrade, the period considered for comparison is 1/21-1/31/2012, which are the first 11 days of operation. When selecting the period for the reference data it was important to find a period with the same background signal level as the 11 days with the upgraded NORAIS Receiver. The period from 11/27 – 12/7/2011 was. Even though the two 11 day periods are 45 days apart, the ship traffic should not be very different around the world, except for some regions in the north that may be hampered by sea ice.– The performance has been studied as the average number of decoded messages per day for the current upgrade v18 of the firmware and the original NORAIS Receiver software. The improvement is the ratio of these numbers (so average numbers of messages per day before the upgrade divided by number of messages after the upgrade). The number of messages from ships in various geographic areas shows a variation in the ratio of messages from 1.2 to 2.0, whereas the ratio of MMSI’s ranges from 1.1 to 1.9. The improvement in the Mediterranean is almost a factor of 2.0 in number of messages, and more than 1.6 in number of distinct ships per day. The improvement in other high-traffic zones, at the Gulf of Mexico and East Asia, is even higher.]

VESSEL IMAGING (ESA): “Joe, the science team confirmed good scan images during your second and final in-flight VESSEL IMAGING session on 9/7.” [Background: It is known that the ability of blood vessels to vasoconstrict – the ability of the muscular vessel wall to narrow the diameter of the blood vessel – is impaired during and after a human has been in space. “Vessel Imaging” is using the Ultrasound scanner on board the ISS to take images of the five different blood vessels in the lower abdomen and in the legs to study what changes occur to cause the blood vessels to be less able to vasoconstrict. For each vessel, a 5 second scan is performed to observe the blood vessel during several heart beats, followed by a scan where the ultrasound scan-head is tilted to allow a “cut through the blood vessel wall”. The same scans are also performed before flight, and these pre-flight images are used as the baseline to which the in-flight data is compared with. The images are analyzed to detect any changes in the blood vessel wall properties, such as wall thickness, elasticity or structure, changes in the size of the blood vessel or blood flow (volume) while the crewmember is in orbit.]

VIABLE (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS Payload Touch, NASA): No report.

VO2max (NASA): “Suni, great job with your VO2max session this week. Also a big thank you for performing the troubleshooting on the TFM. This helped preserved ESA EKE science. We have the data on the ground and analysis will begin soon.”

VLE (Video Lessons ESA): No report.

WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels; ESA): No report.

YEAST B (ESA): No report.

YOUTUBE SpaceLab: “Suni, we would like to thank you for everything you did to support the YouTube SpaceLab experiments. We appreciate all of the extra time and effort you put in to help us make the experiments as successful as possible. Thank you also for highlighting CGBA during the live event. It was such a pleasure to work with you.”

CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Through 9/9 the ground has received 8,822 of ISS CEO frames from Expedition 32 for review and cataloging. “We are pleased to report that we have received imagery this week with camera times corresponding to our CEO target request times as follows: Zagreb, Croatia – 4 frames – target not acquired; Hurricane Leslie – 15 frames – target acquired – PAO was advised of the content; and Brussels, Belgium – 27 frames – although several good views of nearby cities were acquired with the correct lens, the target city was not acquired – we look to improve our guidance to you for this target next time. Thank you for your efforts in acquiring useful imagery for our payload. Your marvelous image of Istanbul, Turkey was published on the NASA/GSFC Earth Observatory website this past weekend. Your well-focused and nicely framed view depicts the illuminated outline at night of the infrastructure of this famous, cosmopolitan city where Europe meets Asia and the Black and Mediterranean Seas are joined by the Bosporus. Kudos to the crew for the fascinating photograph!”

CEO targets uplinked for today were Dushanbe, Tajikistan (Capital Cities Collection: This capital city with a population nearing 750,000 is located in an agricultural area of the western part of the country at the confluence of the Varzob and Kofarnihon Rivers. At this time, after passing the Aral Sea tracking southeastward, shooting left of track for this urban target marked by its rivers and agricultural patterns), London, England (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a near nadir pass over London, the largest metropolitan area in the European Union and as such one of CEO’s designated “megacities”. As ISS passed over this capital city in mid-morning, the crew was to look near nadir and just right of track to capture the entire city in one context shot), Brussels, Belgium (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a mid-morning pass today with good weather for this capital city target. Brussels has a population of nearly 2 million and is located in central Belgium about 70 miles inland from the North Sea and about 25 miles from Antwerp. As ISS tracked E and inland at this time, the crew was to aim right of track for this major city. The crew recently tried to acquire the target and came very close to it, so today they were to give it another try with some better guidance), Rome, Italy (Capital Cities Collection: “The Eternal City” and capital of Italy [population ~2.7 million] lies just inland from the sea on the western coastline of the Italian peninsula. As ISS tracked SE on this late morning pass over the Italian peninsula, the crew was to look right of track for a context view of the Rome metropolitan area), and Dodoma, Tanzania (Capital Cities Collection: Approach to this target today was from the NW at midday with fair weather expected. As ISS tracked SE, the crew was to look right of track to spot this challenging and low-contrast target. Best visual cues were Lake Sulunga to the W and dark hills around the urban area. Trying to capture this city in a single frame).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:33am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude — 417.2 km
Apogee height — 429.6 km
Perigee height — 404.8 km
Period — 92.91 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.65 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0018228
Solar Beta Angle — -29.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 225 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 79,206
Time in orbit (station) — 5048 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4335 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing – 7:12pm/~10:53pm
(End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/25/12 — ATV3 undocking — 6:35pm
09/26/12 — ATV3 deorbit (burn 2) — 10:31pm
10/15/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/31/12 — Progress M-17M/49P launch
10/31/12 — Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
12/05/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
————–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)
————–Three-crew operations————-
04/02/13 — Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 — Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
04/23/13 — Progress M-18M/50P undock/landing
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/16/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/13 — Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 — 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.