Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 November 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 November 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Today at 11:00am EST, in a well-attended ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, Congressional Gold Medals were presented to former NASA Astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins & Buzz Aldrin.

. Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate the post-midnight arrival of Soyuz 28S this morning, the crew got up last night at ~8:00pm EST. Sleeptime started today at 11:00am, to return to normal cycle tomorrow, with wakeup at 1:00am, Sleep at 4:30pm.

Yest kasaniya! Soyuz TMA-22/28 docked successfully early this morning at 12:24am EST at the MRM2 “Poisk” module, 9 minutes ahead of schedule and 4 min before orbital sunset. This doubles the station crew size to 6 persons and brings the total number of currently docked Russian VVs (visiting vehicles) to 3:

* Soyuz TMA-22/28S (#232) @ MRM2 “Poisk” zenith,

* Soyuz TMA-02M/27S (#702) @ MRM1 “Rassvet”

* Progress M-13M/45P (#413) @ DC-1 nadir

This is the 117th mission to the ISS and Russia’s 77th (plus 1 failed). Since the first launch, by the FGB “Zarya” module on a Proton-K (1A/R) on 11/20/1998, there also have been a total of 36 US missions, 2 European missions (ATV-1, ATV-2) and 2 Japanese missions (HTV1, HTV2).

TMA-22 delivered Exp-28/29 crewmembers FE-1 Anton Shkaplerov, FE-2 Anatoly Ivanishin & FE-3 Dan Burbank, joining CDR Mike Fossum, FE-4 Sergey Volkov & FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa. [They are Part 1 of the Expedition 30 crew, with Dan Burbank as CDR, to be joined in December by O. Kononenko, A. Kuipers & D. Pettit. Burbank has flown on two Shuttle missions, STS-106 & STS-115. For Shkaplerov & Ivanishin this is their first space mission.]

Welcome aboard, Daniel, Anton and Anatoly!

First thing in post-sleep prior to eating, drinking & brushing teeth, CDR Fossum & FE-5 Furukawa performed another liquid saliva collection of their first INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol (Day 2). 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 at wake-up, Mike Fossum & Satoshi Furukawa completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

Mike 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.]

Before the Soyuz terminal approach maneuvers & docking, CDR Fossum deactivated the amateur/ham, radio stations in SM and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to prevent RF interference with the spacecraft and its KURS system. Later in the day, the ham equipment was turned back on.

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

The CDR also completed the standard 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack. [AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.]

For covering the docking, Sergey & Satoshi activated the Ku-band video “scheme” for converting (encoding) the RS (Russian Segment) 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. [The image was monitored on the SSC (Station Support Computer) at the SM CP (Central Post). Using the NASA MPEG2 VIEWER and ESA MPEG2 ENCODR software, the SSC provided both decoding (viewing) and encoding (converting) during the operation.]

FE-4 Volkov switched the STTS communications system to pre-docking mode and then, starting at ~11:10pm, monitored the final rendezvous & approach phase of the Soyuz 28S spacecraft until its docking at the MRM2 port on DO1 (Daily Orbit 1) at ~12:24am.

After the docking, Spacecraft CDR Anton Shkaplerov conducted the leak checking on the Soyuz side (by evacuating the Orbital Module and watching pressure readings).

RS (Russian Segment) thrusters on the ISS were inhibited from 9:15pm-1:50am EST during the leak checking and clamp installation.

When the spacecraft’s BZV quick disconnect screw clamps of the SSVP (Docking & Internal Transfer Mechanism) were closed for rigidizing the joint, TsUP Flight Controllers and Shkaplerov ran a performance test of the MRM2 ASP (Passive Docking Assembly). The test showed that previous repair on the MRM2 hatch by Sergey had been successful. Afterwards, Volkov installed the pressurized cover of the ASP MGK pressurized hatch sealing drive. [Purpose was a remote test of the UK Contact Device on the ASP hatch cover which Sergey had installed and adjusted on 10/10. Since the test showed that Sergey had adjusted UK correctly, the device now enables hook opening with MRM2 & Soyuz hatches plus PEV (Pressure Equalization Valves, KVDs) closed, and Soyuz on standalone power. For testing the repair, the MRM2 ASP hooks were remotely commanded to close, then to be opened from by Anton from the Soyuz 28S InPU panel and again to be closed from the ground. If the test results had been negative (i.e., hooks opening from Soyuz failed), Sergey was to have disconnected the UK device from the onboard cable network and cap the latter’s connector.]

Hatch opening took place at ~2:39am, followed by Crew Welcome, transmitted to the ground live on PAO TV.

Afterwards, the three newcomers, FE-1 Shkaplerov, FE-2 Ivanishin & FE-3 Burbank, joined FE-4 Volkov & FE-5 Furukawa for the obligatory Safety Briefing by CDR Fossum (~3:50am-4:35am), to familiarize them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency.

Other activities performed by Sergey Volkov included –

* Switching the hatch KVDs (PEVs) between MRM2 & Soyuz back to Electric control mode,

* Dismantling, with Furukawa, the Ku-band streaming video transmission “scheme”,

* Turning off the BRTK TVS video system and subsequently downlinked its footage,

* Reconfiguring STTS station comm for the nominal post-docking hardline mode (MBS),

* Downloading the new batch of post-docking TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” structural dynamics measurements, and

* Taking care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur), and

* Unloading new 28S-delivered ODF (Operations Data File) material for replacing outdated onboard ODFs.

Anatoly Ivanishin serviced the 3 Sokol intravehicular spacesuits, setting them up for drying out. He and Anton Shkaplerov also put up the Sokol gloves for drying.

After deactivating Soyuz 28S systems and switching the spacecraft to ISS-furnished power, the three Russian Flight Engineers started transferring higher-priority BIOEKOLOGIYA (Bioecology) experiment cases from the spacecraft to SM, logging moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System) and taking documentary installation photography for ground inspection and situational awareness:

* BIO-8 PLAZMIDA (to Kriogem-3 cooler at +4 degC, in SM)
* BTKh-6,7 ARIL/OChB,
* BTKh-40 BIF (to TBU/Universal Bioengineering Thermostat at +37 degC, in DC1)
* BTKh-14 BIOEMULSIYA (to TBU/Universal Bioengineering Thermostat at +37 degC, in MRM1)
* BTKh-26 KASKAD (to Kriogem-3 cooler at +4 degC, in SM)

In addition, Anton had another hour for IMS-logged cargo transfers after deactivating the spacecraft, guided by an uplinked Cargo Loading manifest listing 147 items. These transfers will be spreads over the long-term, to maximize making use of Soyuz stowage room over time.

A high priority activity for Ivanishin & Burbank was to prepare and get settled in their CQ (Crew Quarters). [Activity steps probably included inspection of the CQ and cleaning if needed, retrieving personnel clothing and sleeping bag CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags), installing the sleeping bag on the sleep wall and setting up & securing personnel effects.]

In the USOS (US Segment), Mike & Dan joined for the first of several Handover sessions, spending about 1h 10m on getting the new crewmember familiarized with equipment and activities for Increment 30.

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

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Buenos Aires, Argentina at Night (CITY LIGHTS: ISS had an excellent nighttime pass over the Argentine capital of nearly 3 million). At this time, the crew was to look towards nadir for this well-lit urban area), Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (Brunei, a small independent sultanate located on the north coast of the giant island of Borneo, has its capital city of 140,000 located on the north bank of the Brunei River estuary in the northern part of the country. ISS had a late afternoon pass for this target with partly cloudy weather and an approach toward the coast from the NW. At the uplinked time, the crew was to look towards nadir for this small city on the coast), Mt. Etna (ISS had a near-nadir pass in early afternoon light with partly cloudy weather for this famous volcano located in eastern Sicily. Mount Etna has one of the world’s longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC. CEO researchers are interested in detailed views of any plume event the crew may be able to observe. At this time as ISS tracked southeastward over the western part of the island of Sicily, trying to capture the source and extent of any plume), and Wellington, New Zealand at Night (CITY LIGHTS: Weather was expected to clear for this nighttime pass over the New Zealand capital of about 400,000. At this time, looking towards nadir for this urban area).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:38am EST [= epoch])

* Mean altitude – 386.9 km
* Apogee height – 401.7 km
* Perigee height – 372.1 km
* Period — 92.29 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0021908
* Solar Beta Angle — -60.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 186 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,468
* Time in orbit (station) – 4744 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4031 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–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.