Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 July 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2012
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 July 2012
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 July 2012

ISS On-Orbit Status 07/17/12

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

Crew sleep cycle shift:
• Wake (last night): 8:00pm
• Docking (this morning): 12:51am
• Sleep (today): 12:00pm
• Wake (tomorrow): 2:00am (normal)

Yest kasaniya! Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docked successfully shortly after midnight, at 12:51am EDT at the MRM1 “Rassvet” module, 1 minute ahead of schedule and 19 min after orbital sunrise. Docking hooks were driven closed at ~1:05am. At “hooks closed” signal, SM (Service Module) returned to active attitude control. The arrival doubles the station crew size to 6 persons and brings the total number of currently docked Russian VVs (visiting vehicles) to 3:
Soyuz TMA-04M/30S (#704) @ MRM2 “Poisk”
Soyuz TMA-05M/31S (#705) @ MRM1 “Rassvet”
Progress M-15M/47P (#415) @ DC-1 “Pirs” nadir.
This is the 124th mission to the ISS and Russia’s 81st (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 37 US missions, 3 European missions (ATV-1, ATV-2, ATV-3) and 2 Japanese missions (HTV1, HTV2).

TMA-05M delivered Yuri Malenchenko (Russia, Soyuz 31S CDR, ISS-32 FE-4), Sunita Williams (USA, ISS-32 FE-5, ISS-33 CDR) and Akihiko Hoshide (Japan, ISS-32 FE-6) for a stay of 119 days (121d in space; return: 11/12/12). They joined Exp-31 crewmembers CDR Gennady Padalka, FE-2 Sergei Revin and FE-3 Joe Acaba (return: 9/17/12). [All 31S crewmembers have been on ISS before.]

Welcome aboard, Yuri, Sunita & Akihiko!

For covering the docking, Padalka 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 CDR checked out the MPEG-2 early in the morning and later monitored the transmission of the docking coverage to the ground. [The image was monitored on the SSC-1 (Station Support Computer 1) 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.]

Joe Acaba reconfigured the wireless SSCs (Station Support Computers) temporarily to wired operation since the TV MPEG2 multicasting causes transmission outage on wireless SSCs (Station Support Computers) on board. Hey were later returned to nominal wireless operation.

Joe also turned off the amateur/ham radio equipment in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and SM to prevent RF interference with the Soyuz Kurs autopilot.

Revin switched the STTS onboard communications system to pre-docking mode and activated the Soyuz 31S TV monitoring assets.

Starting at ~11:20pm, the CDR observed the final rendezvous & approach phase of the spacecraft until its docking at the MRM1 port on DO3 (Daily Orbit 3) at 12:51am, on Soyuz Orbit 34.

For the docking, ISS attitude control authority was handed over to RS thrusters at 10:30pm. At 12:50am the station was moded to Free Drift until ~1:06am. Attitude control handover back to US CMG (Control Moment Gyroscope) momentum management was at 1:55am.

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

RS thrusters on the ISS were inhibited from 2:10am-4:15am during the leak checking and BZV clamp installation.

Hatch opening took place at 3:25am, followed by Crew Welcome, transmitted to the ground live on PAO TV.

Upon hatch opening Yuri Malenchenko & Gennady Padalka installed the BZV quick disconnect screw clamps of the SSVP (Docking & Internal Transfer Mechanism).

Afterwards, the three newcomers, FE-4 Malenchenko, FE-5 Williams & FE-6 Hoshide joined FE-2 Revin & FE-3 Acaba for the obligatory Safety Briefing by CDR Padalka (~7:25am-8:10am), to familiarize them with the potential hazards and available safety measures on-board the ISS. [The joint crew reviewed plans for emergency actions, roles, and, responsibilities in response to depressurization, fire, and toxic release hazards. Each crewmember had to practice the emergency egress route from all station modules, and hatches were inspected for the presence of objects preventing them from being closed, such as cables and air ducts routed through hatches. Each crewmember also reviewed emergency equipment locations in their Soyuz vehicle.]

After hatch opening and crew welcome Sergei Revin –

• Turned the BRTK TVS video system off and subsequently downlinked its footage,
• Reconfigured STTS station comm for the nominal post-docking hardline mode (MBS), and
• Switched the hatch KVDs (PEVs) between MRM1 & Soyuz back to Electric control mode.

Sergei Revin took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance from the 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-2 also performed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM; [regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

Yuri & Suni serviced the three Sokol intravehicular spacesuits, setting them up for drying out, and also put up the Sokol gloves for drying.

Afterwards, a high priority activity for Yuri, Suni & Aki was to prepare and get settled in their CQ (Crew Quarters)/sleep stations. [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.]

After deactivating the Soyuz spacecraft, the three newcomers commenced cargo unloading from 31S, with IMS logging.

Acaba 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.]

Joe afterwards performed the periodic nitrogen pressure checks on MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS)-1 (9250 kPa), MELFI-2 (10,000 kPa) and MELFI-3 (9300 kPa) to ensure that pressures are within acceptable range.

FE-3 also 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.]

Revin completed the periodic routine maintenance in the SM’s ASU toilette facility, replacing the filter insert (F-V) and the urine receptacle (MP) with new spares.

With the KPT-2 TTM-2 battery freshly charged in the morning, Padalka & Revin used the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments, with Piren-V and TTM-2, for another 2h session of conducting air temperature and humidity monitoring in the RS (Russian Segment) to fill the mapped database to populate the mapped RS data base. Afterwards, the TTM-2 battery was charged again, ending before sleeptime. [KPT-2 monitors problem areas, necessary to predict shell micro-destruction rate and to develop measures to extend station life. Data are copied to the RSE1 laptop for downlink to Earth via OCA, with photographs, and the activities are supported by ground specialist tagup as required. Objective of the Russian KPT-2/BAR science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind RS panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Piren-V is a video-endoscope with pyrosensor, part of the methods & means being used on ISS for detecting tiny leaks in ISS modules which could lead to cabin depressurization. Besides KPT-2 Piren-V, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer / thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU-1) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Acaba collected air samples with new GSCs (Grab Sample Containers) in the Lab and Kibo JPM, sequenced with the AQM sampling for postflight comparison (#2006 – Kibo, #2009 – Lab, #2111 – SM). [GSC samples are taken 1-3 hrs after AQM start.]

Later, Acaba serviced the FPEF MI (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility / Marangoni Inside) payload in the JAXA Kibo laboratory by removing & replacing 5 HDs (hard disks) of the IPU VRU (Image Processing Unit / Video Recording Unit),- #1047, #1048, #1049, #1100, #1101. [The replaced VRU disks (#1037, #1038, #1039, #1040, #1041) were put in a Ziploc bag for return to SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba)].

FE-3 also performed part of the R&R (removal & replacement) of LHA (Lamp Housing Assembly) units in the ISS.

Next, Joe conducted periodic maintenance of the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine, evacuating its cylinder flywheels to reestablish proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

Padalka completed another collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. It was Gennady’s 5th time. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

Afterwards, Gennady unstowed and gathered CMS (Crew Medical Systems) physical exercise hardware intended for the newly arrived 31S crew. [The equipment consists of items such as HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) component kits, treadmill harnesses, SPD (Subject Positioning Device) top assemblies, TVIS PCMCIA memory cards, Ergometer shoes, athletic shoes, etc.]

Williams & Hoshide had their standard post-launch PMCs (Private Medical Conferences, via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sunita at ~6:25am, Akihiko at ~6:55am EDT. At ~9:10am, Acaba had his regular weekly PMC.

Joe again had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in his electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep, FE-3 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, Joe turns 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.]

Acaba undertook the monthly inspection of the T2/COLBERT treadmill system and its components, checking pin alignment, rack centering and the snubber jam nut witness marks. Today’s inspection focused especially on the right top snubber cup fastener witness mark to determine to what degree the fastener is backing off, and inspection of the bottom snubbers for any signs of free play. [Witness marks (12 total) are applied to the X-, Y- & Z-axis jam nuts on each (of four) snubber arm. Their inspection serves to determine to what degree and which jam nuts are backing off. The procedure has been modified to enable the crew to work through the procedure and some off nominal situations without needing to make calls to the ground. Joe reviewed the updated procedure as well as completed a questionnaire about the contents, layout, and perception of the procedure with an eye toward its use in exploration. This is the first step in an effort called ISTAR (ISS Testbed for Analog Research) to make a library of autonomous crew procedures which will reduce crews’ dependence on MCC and allow the ground to use ISS to simulate deep-space exploration missions with reduced or delayed communication with Earth. With a goal of ISTAR being autonomy, the crewmember has the choice to perform the troubleshooting steps or stand down and wait for MCC-H to schedule the troubleshooting activities. All times are provided in the procedure to assist the crew in making that decision.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-3), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2). No report received from CDR on his scheduled TVIS run.

Tasks listed for Revin & Padalka on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –

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,
EKON Earth photography of the current flooding conditions in Russia’s Kuban region, and
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).

ISS/ATV Reboost: Tonight at 11:16pm EDT, a one-burn ISS reboost with ATV-3 “Edoardo Amaldi” OCS (Orbit Correction System) thrusters will be conducted for a duration of 19 min 25 sec and a delta-V of 2.82 m/s (9.25 ft/s), resulting in a predicted mean altitude increase of 4.97 km (2.68 nmi). This reboost will set up the accelerated 48P rendezvous. The option below is clear of any conjunctions in the 2x25x25 km box.

Crew sleeptime begins today at 12:00pm EDT, for all six crewmembers. Wake-up: Tomorrow 2:00am EDT (normal).

CEO targets uplinked for today were Bigach Impact Crater, Kazakhstan (ISS had a mid-morning, fair weather pass over this target as it approached from the WNW. The crew had a nadir-view over this feature. This 8-km in diameter impact is a roughly circular structure and somewhat subtle to recognize. At this time, with eastern Lake Balkhash to the right, the crew was to begin looking for Bigach. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along track, were suggested in order to obtain imagery of the challenging crater), Piccaninny Impact Crater, West Australia (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in clear weather for this target with approach from the NW. At this time the crew was to begin looking nadir and try for a mapping strip to acquire views of this approximately 7-km diameter impact structure. The crater defines a roughly circular area on the landscape, but is fairly low contrast in relation to the surrounding area. The crater is located within an upland area with deep narrow canyons to the SW and NW), Krasnodar, Russia – Regional Flooding (DYNAMIC EVENT: This imagery request is in response to an International Charter Activation documentation of the recent disastrous flooding event in the Krasnodar region near the western Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. ISS had a fair weather pass today in mid-morning light with the area of interest to the right of track. At this time as ISS tracked east-southeastward over the Sea of Azov try for context and more detailed views of the flood region located on the interior side of the Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea, especially in the area of Krymsk), Andorra la Vella, Andorra (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: The capital of the tiny Co-principality of Andorra with a population of about 23,000 is situated in a small, high mountain valley of eastern Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. The near-nadir pass was in midday light with fair weather expected. Looking carefully for this small target as ISS tracked southeastward just north of the Pyrenees), and Valletta, Malta (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: The Maltese islands of Gozo and Malta in the central Mediterranean Sea lie about 100 miles south of the large island of Sicily. The capital city of Valletta with a population of just over 6,000 is located on the north coast of the larger island of Malta. ISS approached from the NW at midday in clear weather. At this time as the ISS tracked just south of Sicily, the crew was to look near nadir for this target).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:18am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.5 km
Apogee height – 403.5 km
Perigee height – 393.5 km
Period — 92.53 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0007333
Solar Beta Angle — -15.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 103 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 78,273
Time in orbit (station) — 4988 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4274 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations—————-
07/17/12 — ATV/ISS reboost
07/20/12 — HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 — Progress M-15M/47P undock #1 ~4:22pm EDT
07/23/12 — Progress M-15M/47P Kurs-NA Test
07/23/12 — Progress M-15M/47P re-docking ~9:55pm EDT
07/27/12 — HTV3 docking
07/30/12 — Progress M-15M/47P undocking #2 ~2:11pm EDT
08/01/12 — Progress M-16M/48P launch [4-orbit RDVZ] ~3:35pm EDT
08/01/12 — Progress M-16M/48P launch [34-orbit RDVZ] ~3:38pm EDT
08/01/12 — Progress M-16M/48P docking [4-orbit RDVZ] ~9:24pm EDT
08/03/12 — Progress M-16M/48P docking [34-orbit RDVZ] ~6:14pm EDT
08/16/12 — Russian EVA-31
08/30/12 — US EVA-18
09/06/12 — HTV3 undocking
09/08/12 — HTV3 reentry
09/17/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/25/12 — ATV3 undocking
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————-
11/01/12 — Progress M-17M/49P launch
11/03/12 — 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————-
12/26/12 — Progress M-18M/50P launch
12/28/12 — Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/19/13 — 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
————–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.