Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 17 May 2012

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

ISS On-Orbit Status 05/17/12

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

• Sleep Cycle Shift: To accommodate the arrival of Soyuz 30S, the crew got up ~4h30m earlier,
at 9:30pm EDT. Last night. Sleeptime starts today 5h30m earlier, at 12:00pm, to shift back to normal tomorrow, with wakeup at 2:00am, sleep at 5:30pm.

Yest kasaniya! Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docked successfully shortly after midnight, at 12:36am EDT at the MRM2 “Poisk” module, 2.5 minutes ahead of schedule and 22 min after orbital sunrise. Docking hooks were driven closed at ~12:46am. 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-03M/29S (#703) @ MRM1 “Rassvet”
Soyuz TMA-04M/30S (#704) @ MRM2 “Poisk”
Progress M-15M/47P (#415) @ DC-1 nadir

This is the 123rd mission to the ISS and Russia’s 80th (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-04M delivered Gennady Padalka (Russia, Soyuz 30S CDR, ISS-31/32 FE-1, ISS-32 CDR), Sergei Revin (Russia, ISS-31/32 FE-2) and Joe Acaba (NASA, ISS-31/32 FE-3) for a stay of 125 days (return: 9/17/2012). They joined Exp-31 crewmembers CDR Oleg Kononenko, FE-5 André Kuipers and FE-6 Don Pettit (return: 7/1/2012). [Padalka & Acaba have been on ISS before; for Revin it’s the first stay.]

Welcome aboard, Gennady, Sergei & Joe – and Happy Birthday, Joe!

After wakeup, CDR Kononenko performed the routine inspection of the SM PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

For covering the docking, Oleg Kononenko 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 coder yesterday during a streaming test from the RSS1 laptop and today 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.]

Oleg also switched the STTS onboard communications system to pre-docking mode and activated the Soyuz 30S TV monitoring assets.

Then, starting at ~11:50am, the CDR observed the final rendezvous & approach phase of the spacecraft until its docking at the MRM2 port on DO2 (Daily Orbit 2) at 12:36am, on Soyuz Orbit 34.

For the docking, ISS attitude control authority was handed over to RS thrusters at 10:38pm. At 12:36am, the station was moded to Free Drift until ~12:50am. Attitude control handover back to US CMG (Control Moment Gyroscope) momentum management was at 1:50am.

After the docking, Spacecraft CDR Gennady Padalka 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 2:32am-4:45am during the leak checking and BZV clamp installation.

Hatch opening took place at 3:30am, followed by Crew Welcome, transmitted to the ground live on PAO TV.

Upon hatch opening, crewmembers were unable to find the BZV quick disconnect screw clamps of the SSVP (Docking & Internal Transfer Mechanism) for manual installation by Padalka, so TsUP-Moscow closed the MRM2 hooks to the Soyuz. With both Soyuz and ISS hooks closed, the ISS is in a good configuration for attitude control and maneuvers.

Afterwards, the three newcomers, FE-1 Padalka, FE-2 Revin & FE-3 Acaba, joined FE-5 Kuipers & FE-6 Pettit for the obligatory Safety Briefing by CDR Kononenko (~6:35am-7:20am), 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 Oleg Kononenko –

Turned the BRTK TVS video system off and subsequently downlinked its footage,
Reconfigured STTS station comm for the nominal post-docking hardline mode (MBS),
Switched the hatch KVDs (PEVs) between MRM2 & Soyuz back to Electric control mode,
Download the new batch of post-docking TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” structural dynamics measurements,
Activated the GA/gas analyzer in the Soyuz TMA-03M/29S (#703), docked at MRM2 Poisk. [The GA’s are activated periodically to check the cabin air in the Descent Modules.]
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), and
Perform 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.]

Revin & Padalka 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 Gennady, Sergei & Joe 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 his Soyuz spacecraft, Gennady Padalka & Sergei Revin started cargo unloading from 30S, with IMS logging.

With Padalka taking documentary photography, Revin transferred the 30S-delivered MATRYOSHKA-R RBO radiation hardware, handing over 17 PADLES (Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space) radiation dosimeters to Don Pettit who then installed them on the walls of the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) and JLP (JEM modules and photographed each of them after installation.

Other Russian biotechnology payloads transferred and set up in the temperature-controlled incubator/containers as required were –
• BTKh-26 KASKAD Bioreactor,
• BTKh-42 STRUKTURA (Structure),
• BTKh-29 ZHENZHEN-2 (Ginseng-2)

After wake-up, André Kuipers continued his current extended session of the ESA ENERGY experiment. No urine or water sampling was scheduled today, but required were the special ENERGY breakfast plus logging of all ISS food & drinks consumed during ENERGY experiment performance from lunch and dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 10. [André wears an armband monitor, positioned on the right triceps where it started automatically on skin contact. The instrument must be worn for the entire 10-day ENERGY measurement period and removed only during showers or if needed during blood draws. Activities without the armband monitor on the triceps must be carefully logged. The monitor will be removed at the end of the 10-day period, then data will be downloaded from the device. Background: The observed loss of astronauts’ body mass during space flight is partly due to the systematic ongoing negative energy balance in micro-G, in addition to disuse. Unfortunately, the reason for such unbalanced match between intake and output is not clear, but appealing data suggest a relation between the degree of energy deficit and the exercise level prescribed as a countermeasure. Purpose of the ENERGY experiment is (1) to measure changes in energy balance during long term space flight, (2) to measure adaptations in the components of the Total Energy Expenditure TEE (consumption), and (3) to derive an equation for the energy requirements of astronauts. TEE is the sum of resting metabolic rate (RMR, measured), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT, measured oxygen-uptake minus RMR) and activity-related energy expenditure (AEE, calculated).]

Later, André activated the pumping equipment for transferring water from CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) potable water tank using a “tee” hose and a fresh MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) as gas trap. During the run, FE-5 checked the transfer. Later, Kuipers terminated the procedure and left the equipment intact for subsequent use.

André also printed out 3 copies of the traditional PLUTO (Plug-In Port Utilization Officer) informative “Welcome Message” for placement in the crew sleep stations.

Afterwards, FE-5 went on a search for a missing SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) headrest but was unable to locate the item.

Later, André used the Velocicalc instrument to take IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) flow measurements in Node-3 (OVHD diffusors), Cupola supply, Lab (FWD Port Inlet & Aft Port Outlet) and Node-1 (STBD AFT Outlet). [This is the first activity to be considered an ISTAR (ISS as Testbed for Analog Research) activity, i.e., an activity performed onboard without any crew interaction with the ground. This simulates the way future crews will need to work on long duration deep-space missions (such as to Mars) where there is a large gap in communications with ground controllers on Earth. Future ISTAR activities will explore these large time delays in communications. ISTAR activities are categorized as NASA Utilization.]

In further investigation of the DECLIC (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization) payload at the ER-7 (EXPRESS Rack 7), FE-6 Pettit relocated the ELC (EXPRESS Laptop Computer) from ER-5 to ER-7, connected & configured it for operations and used its ER application to check for good Ethernet communications and then start a SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) run. [DECLIC had been transferred with its power & data cables from ER-4 to a locker in ER-7 on 4/16 by Dan Burbank. The French (CNES)/NASA-sponsored DECLIC is a multi-user facility to investigate low & high temperature critical fluids behavior, chemical reactivity in supercritical water, directional solidification of transparent alloys, and more generally transparent media under micro-gravity environment.

Don conducted the visual T+2 Days (44 ± 4h) microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of PWD water samples collected by André on 5/15 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Ambient & Hot ports, using the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit / Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).

With the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) installed to protect its PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances) and the Lab camcorder adjusted by Kuipers to view CIR live from the Node-1 side, Don Pettit performed another bottle swap on CIR, removing & replacing a manifold bottle on one of four manifolds (B) in front of the Optics Bench. [Steps included opening the upper doors, removing CIR manifold bottle F #2003 containing 30% O2 (oxygen) and 70% N2 (nitrogen) remaining and replaced it with manifold bottle F #2004 containing 30% O2 (oxygen) and 70% He (helium), then placing the manual vent valve in VENT position, GIP valve lever in Up (open) position, closing the upper rack doors again, turning on two switches, and notifying POIC of rack readiness.]

FE-3 Acaba performed his daily task of filling out his SHD (Space Headache) questionnaire which he started after Soyuz launch and continues on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) for his first week in space. He also took photos of the two questionnaires from his time on Soyuz and downlinked them to the ground.

André Kuipers completing his weekly task of filling out his SHD questionnaire. [Like Joe, he started it daily after his Soyuz launch for the first week and is continuing it on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) on a weekly basis after that. Neurologists from Leiden University are studying the question whether astronauts in space suffer from headaches. With the help of a simple questionnaire, André & Joe register the headache episodes and the eventual accompanying symptoms. The results may help to characterize the frequency and characteristics of space headache and to develop countermeasure to prevent/minimize headache occurrence during the space flight],

At ~7:40am EDT, Joe Acaba had his first PMC (Private Medical Conference) after arrival via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Before Presleep, Pettit turned on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and started 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, Don turned MPC routing off again. [This is a routine operation which regularly transmits HD onboard video (live or tape p

FE-5 & FE-6 worked out with the regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-5, FE-6) and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6). [FE-6 is on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL. No exercise is being timelined for Fridays. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day. Today’s exercise called for ARED+T2 (anaerobic+aerobic). If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Yangtze River Delta (this target and the next occurred simultaneously on this ideal pass: looking just right for this feature which appears more as an estuary than a delta. Sediment from this great river is being deposited rapidly so that shorelines change continuously. Human modification-mainly by land reclamation-has become even more important in changing shore geometry in the last two decades), Shanghai, China (looking right on the far side of the Yangtze River estuary. General and detailed views were requested of this urban area of >23 million people. The city does not often appear as a target with reasonable viewing conditions), Moscow, Russia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION. Looking well left for this capital city of 11.5 million people. Visual cue is a major forest boundary trending NE towards the city. Locally, the city appears as a larger gap in the forests), Aral Sea, Central Asia (ISS31 images of the present status of the sea have just been received for most of the original shoreline. Requested were now views of the complex northern bays which often escape notice, especially since they were the first to empty), Jakarta, Indonesia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION. The Indonesian capital [~ 9 million] is located on the north coast of Java. The city appears as a major light-toned zone, by contrast with the darker surrounding tropical forests), and Vatican City (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION. ISS had a near-nadir pass over this and the next target which occur simultaneously. Looking well inland of the pointed Tiber River delta and shooting the center of the gray cityscape of Rome. The Vatican City lies on the Tiber River).

Conjunction Update: Flight Controllers have been tracking a conjunction with Object 00831 (ELEKTRON 3 Debris) with TCA (Time of Closest Approach) tomorrow at 3:52am EDT. Predicted PoC (Probability of Collision) has now dropped to a value approaching Zero, and a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) will not be necessary. [Following the Soyuz docking, GPS telemetry indicated ISS gained approximately 45 m of altitude, which was within the expected range. The resulting ISS trajectory results in miss distances outside the volume of concern around the station. No additional actions are required for this conjunction.]

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:23am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.8 km
Apogee height – 406.4 km
Perigee height – 391.2 km
Period — 92.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0011247
Solar Beta Angle — -20.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.56
Mean altitude gain in the last 24 hours — 43 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 77,323
Time in orbit (station) — 4927 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4214 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/19/12 — SpaceX Falcon/Dragon launch (4:55am EDT)
05/22/12 — SpaceX Dragon capture (~8:07am EDT)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
07/01/12 — Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
07/15/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
07/20/12 — HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 — Progress M-15M/47P undock
07/24/12 — Progress M-15M/47P re-docking
07/30/12 — Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
07/31/12 — Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 — Progress M16M/48P docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/17/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
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.