Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 May 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2012
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 May 2012
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 May 2012

ISS On-Orbit Status 05/19/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – Crew off duty. >>>Today the AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 02) celebrates its First Anniversary of continuous operation on ISS – Congratulations!<<< After wakeup, CDR Kononenko performed the routine inspection of the SM PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection. The six Exp-31 crewmembers joined in conducting the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough cleaning of their home, including 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.] As part of Uborka house cleaning, Oleg completed regular weekly maintenance inspection & cleaning of fan screens in the FGB (TsV2) plus Group E fan grilles in the SM (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP). The CDR also handled 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.] FE-3 Acaba completed his (currently) daily task of filling out his SHD (Space Headache) questionnaire. [He started this activity after his Soyuz launch and is continuing it on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer), currently with daily logging in the first week, thereafter once weekly. Neurologists from Leiden University are studying the question whether astronauts in space suffer from headaches. With the help of a simple questionnaire, André registers 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], FE-5 Kuipers conducted the 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. FE-1 Padalka serviced the Russian BIO-8 PLAZMIDA biology experiment by removing it in its Rekomb-K hardware from the TBU temperature-controlled incubator (+37 degC) and inserting it into the KRIOGEM-03 cooler (+4 degC). Joe removed his CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) PCMCIA memory card from the SSC laptop where it was formatted for him. FE-6 Pettit filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), his 15th. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC 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.] At ~8:45am EDT, the entire crew held the regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week’s “Look-Ahead Plan” (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners), via S-band/audio, reviewing upcoming activities and any concerns about future on-orbit events. At ~10:25am, Joe Acaba had his (currently) daily post-arrival PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video. FE-2 & 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), Sergei at ~8:10am, Don at ~2:15pm EDT. The “newcomers” spent some time familiarizing themselves with the onboard exercise equipment, Gennady & Sergei observing Oleg’s workout on the TVIS treadmill, Joe watching Don Pettit on the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill and André Kuipers on the ARED and CEVIS machines. The “old” crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, 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 involving resistive and aerobic (interval & continuous) exercise, 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 (resistive+aerobic), with CEVIS (aerobic/interval), ARED+T2 (Kinematics), T2 (aerobic/interval), ARED+T2 and CEVIS (interval) following in the next 5 days. 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.] WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The new card (31-0005C) lists 9 CWCs (36.4 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (no CWCs); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (2 CWCs with 22.4 L; and 4. Waste water (1 empty bag EMU waste water). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L). No bags with Wautersia bacteria. Other CWCs are stowed behind racks and are currently not being tracked due to unchanging contents. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.] Did you know? In the last 28 days imagery downlinks via US OCA have averaged 30 GB (Gigabytes)/day. Weekly Science Update (Expedition Thirty-One – Week 2). 2D NANO Template (JAXA): Mission completed. 3D SPACE: Complete. ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete. ALTEA SHIELD (NASA/ASI): No report. Amine Swingbed (NASA): No report. AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer): 5/16 was the one-year anniversary of AMS being in space, and 5/19 will be the one year anniversary on ISS with AMS continuously operating. This has been a very productive year as the AMS physicists learned to operate the payload in the dynamic environment of space with the outstanding support from the STS and ISS Programs, the Flight Control Teams, and the crews. AMS has received data from over 16 billion cosmic-ray events, some with energies exceeding 1 teraelectron volts (TeV), at the Payload Operations Control Center at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Physicists world-wide from the AMS Collaboration are analyzing this data, and the AMS Collaboration anticipates exciting physics announcements soon. Congratulations and thanks to all who have made the first year of AMS a success! 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): “Last Friday, we burned a 2-cm diameter PMMA sphere. Four tests were planned but we were able to complete five in the allotted time. For the first time in BASS operations we attempted to obtain “wake” ignition, in which the downstream end of the sphere was ignited. After some effort getting the igniter wire in the best location, Don Pettit was able to progress quickly with the tests. The flames started out as extremely dim and blue and grew quite slowly. We explored the very low-speed flow range in the first four tests. For two of these, the effect of gaseous nitrogen was examined. The nitrogen weakened the flame but was unable to put it out even at the highest nitrogen flow rate setting. In the last test, the flow speed was increased to 20 cm/s. The small, dim blue flame transitioned to a long, sooty flame, and it spread steadily toward the stagnation point of the sphere. Turning the flow off put the flame out in all cases. Images are still being processed. BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 6): 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.] BLB (Biolab, ESA): No report. BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): No report. BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report. BISPHOSPHONATES: 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. Commercial (Inc 23&24, JAXA): No report. Commercial (Inc 25 & 26, JAXA): No report. CSAC (Chip-Scale Atomic Clock, SPHERES): No report. CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): No report. CsPins (JAXA): “Don, thank you very much for a successful on-time start of the experiment.” 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): No report. DomeGene (JAXA): Complete. DOSIS (Dose Distribution Inside ISS, ESA): Passive dosimeters and active detector instrument have been uploaded with Soyuz 30S. Their installation is currently foreseen on 5/21. EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): No report. EDR (European Drawer Rack, ESA): No report. EKE (Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics During Physical Training, ESA): “Don, data for EKE will be shared between the VO2max and EKE science teams.” ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned. EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): No report. ENERGY (ESA): “André, many thanks for your great support and dedication to recover from your armband hiccups, this is much appreciated! We hope that you enjoyed being the first ENERGY test subject, and we look forward to hearing your feedback about the implementation of this experiment. Your and Don’s urine samples and water samples are currently foreseen to be returned with SpX-1. The ground teams were glad to hear that you liked the special menu! Don, we appreciate very much your participation as control subject. The acquired data will be extremely valuable for the science team to be able to quantify the amount of Double Labeled Water that will be recycled in US system.” [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): Rack activated in support of ENERGY armband data transfers. 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 CONVECTIONS (ESA): “No report. EPO MISSION X (ESA): No report. EPO Spaceship Earth (ESA): No report. EPO LES-2 (ESA): No report. EPO GREENHOUSE (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 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. 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. FOAM STABILITY EPO (ESA): No report. FOCUS: No report. FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory, ESA): No report. FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device, ESA): No report. GENARA-A (Gravity Regulated Genes in Arabidopsis A/ESA): No report. GEOFLOW-2 (ESA): Experiment completed! The science team has submitted new science objectives for the future, but ESA will first proceed with FSL software maintenance and hardware tests to prepare for the next experiment (FASES). It is foreseen to remove the GEOFLOW-2 Experiment Container in the near future, and to put it back in FSL in the fall 2012 timeframe. [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.] HAIR (JAXA): No report. HDTV System (JAXA): No report. Hicari (JAXA): Ground Activity: Re-started Hicari Dry Run. Kobairo Rack/GHF was activated on 5/15 and now vacuuming. After the MP Pressure gets lower than 0.04 Pa, heating will be started. Holter ECG (JAXA): No report. HQPC (JAXA): Was delivered by 34P. HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System/JAXA): HICO has taken 5649 images to-date and the best images from January 2012 are included in this status. The most recent HICO images include Mono Lake in California, part of the Gulf Coast of Florida, Midway Island, part of Italy’s coastline, Lake Superior and the Columbia River Mouth. RAIDS is collecting 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. ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): Complete. ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “The Cardiopres hardware developer has looked at the data from André’s FD14 session (when the anomaly occurred) and has concluded that the issue was due to a bad battery. The data showed that when the device was booting up, power consumption increased and then the battery voltage rapidly decreased. In that situation, the dc-dc converters will try to maintain the correct voltage and this is audible. Due to the low battery power, the processor reset and the pattern repeated again and again. Now that Don has sorted through the batteries, we believe that a recurrence of this is unlikely and so Cardiopres operations will resume next week with Joe’s first session. If you have the opportunity, feedback on battery behavior would be greatly appreciated (S/N and duration of use in crew notes works great for that).” IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): No report. INTEGRATED IMMUNE: No report. InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): No report. IRIS (Image Reversal in Space, CSA): No report. ISS Amateur/Ham Radio: No report. ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera, NASA): Last week, ISSAC captured over 25 strip targets for a total of 1500 images or frames primarily focusing on UMAC region. On 5/15, ISSAC captured images of Paraguay flood in South America upon request from International Disaster Charter. We are currently processing the image data and assessing the image quality for suitability since the sun angle during the image acquisition was relatively low (less than 7 deg). IV Gen (Intravenous Fluids Generation): No report. JOURNALS (Behavioral Issues Associated with Isolation and Confinement, NASA): No report. [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.] KID/KUBIK6: No report. KUBIK 3/6 (ESA): “Thanks, André, for helping us on 5/4, now we can be sure that the KUBIK3 and 6 are still functioning well.” LMM/PACE-2 (Light Microscopy Module / Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment): No report. 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): External payload. Continuing telemetry monitoring. Ground Activity: Downloaded VSC Imagery on 5/14 and on 5/16. MDCA/Flex-2: This week we continued with MDCA/FLEX-2 Surrogate Fuel test points using 100% decane. 5/14 was the first of four test point days dedicated to 100% decane test points. We performed seven test points in a standard air mixture (21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen at 1 atm). “Don: Thank you for replacing the empty bottle in CIR Manifold #2. The replacement bottle will allow us to continue with our second test point day using 100% decane.” MEIS (Marangoni Experiment for ISS) in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): No report. Microbe-2 (JAXA): Sample returned by ULF6. Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete. MISSE-8 (Materials ISS Experiment 8): MISSE-8 ReflectArray, HyperX and SEUXSE experiments continue with nominal operations. The SpaceCube experiment is running code for new radiation hardening by software. MMA (JAXA/Microgravity Measurement Apparatus): No report. MPAC/SEED (JAXA): No report. MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox-Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment): No report. MSPR (Multi Purpose Small Payload Rack, JAXA): No report. MSL (Materials Science Laboratory, ESA): No report. 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. NANOSKELETON (Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity, JAXA): No report. 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: No report. ODK (Onboard Diagnostic Kit, JAXA): No report. PACE-2 (Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment 2, NASA): (please see under FIR and LMM/PACE-2. PADIAC (Pathway Different Activators, ESA): No report. PADLES (JAXA, Area PADLES 6/7; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): Performed on 5/17: 17 Dosimeters transferred from 30S then installed in JPM and JLP. 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: Used for VO2max / THERMOLAB / EKE sessions. Pro K: No report. RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete. RadSilk (JAXA): No report. Reaction Self Test (RST/Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): No report. 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. RYUTAI Rack (JAXA): No report. SAIBO Rack (JAXA): No report. SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): No report. SAMPLE: Complete. 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): “Thanks André for filling in your 20th weekly questionnaire on 5/11. Your continuous support is much appreciated! Dear Joe, thank you for participating in this experiment. We look forward to receiving your first daily questionnaires!” [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): Out of Sun Visibility Window until 5/14. Since that day, Sun Visibility Window #53 (SVW#53) is on-going. Nominal measurements with SOLSPEC (coordination with the MARS EXPRESS project to perform simultaneous measurements). The SolACES instrument has been put in warmed up mode since 5/15 in anticipation of the US Thruster Only (USTO) momentum management. It stayed in this mode until after 30S docking on 5/17. The current SVW is expected to end on 5/26. 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: “Don, excellent work on the Ultrasound this week! You’re getting proficient enough that you could be the backup scanner for your R+0 testing. The PI team has the data and is evaluating it now. There is one more Ultrasound planned for around R-7 days. We appreciate the feedback you’ve been giving about your exercise and file downlinks in crew notes. Anything you can share with us as you come across issues is greatly appreciated!” SS-HDTV (Super Sensitivity High Definition Camera, JAXA): Mission completed last week. STP-H3 (Space Test Program – Houston 3): The MHTEX Capillary Pumped Loop evaporators are currently repriming in preparation for further tests and steady state operations. VADER continues to characterize the performance of the Aerogel blanket attached to the backside of the experiment. Canary collected data during the 30S docking event. Canary also collected data while the ISS was in the -XVV attitude to recalibrate the sensors using ram ions as a “known source”. Canary will also cross-compare with the data from the FPMU instrument. DISC has taken more imagery this week and is processing images that were taken in previous weeks. SWAB (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): No report. TASTE IN SPACE (ESA): No report. THERMOLAB (ESA): “Don, the THERMOLAB science team confirmed that the data of your 5th session on 5/4 were good.” TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned. TREADMILL KINEMATICS: “Thanks for repeating a previous Treadmill Kinematics session for us, André.” TRIPLELUX-B (ESA): No report. ULTRASOUND: Planned. UMS (Urine Monitoring System (NASA): Due to the Urine Monitoring System (UMS) isolation failure discovered in the WHC/UMS conductivity testing on 4/3, the Human Research Program (HRP) has decided to return the UMS to ground on SpaceX-1. To date, the ground team has not been able to replicate the anomaly, and it is unknown which internal component has failed. As such, HRP will assess the unit upon return and determine repair/reflight options. Thank you for all of your help. VASCULAR (CSA): “No report. VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Module, NASA): No report. VESSEL ID System (ESA): Nominal data acquisition with the NorAIS receiver. [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): No report. [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): No report. 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: No report. CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Through 5/13 the ground has received 24,311 of ISS CEO frames from Expedition 31 for review and cataloging. “We are pleased to report that we have received imagery with times corresponding to our CEO target request times as follows: Volga – Ural Delta – 124 frames in 4 sessions with 1 in IR – target acquired – requirements have been met for this target and it can be removed from our list; Yerevan, Armenia – 1 frame – target not acquired; W Africa Dust event – 5 frames – target acquired – imagery lacked coastal reference points; Valletta, Malta – 63 frames in 4 sessions with 1 in IR – target acquired – under evaluation for content; Mt Etna – 67 frames in 4 sessions with 1 in IR – target acquired – under evaluation for content; Chisinau, Moldavia – 111 frames in 2 sessions with 1 in IR – under evaluation for content; Pristina, Kosovo – 49 frames in IR – under evaluation for content; Jornada Basin, New Mexico – 41 frames in 2 sessions with 1 in IR – target area not acquired; Charlevoix Impact Crater, Quebec, Canada – 7 frames in 2 sessions – 1 in IR – target not acquired; L. Faguibine, Mali – 10 frames in IR – target not acquired; and L. Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt – 31 frames in IR – target acquired – under evaluation for content. Thank you for your efforts to acquire our targets. Your imagery is under review for publication and some selections have been made. We will be including these as they are published in the near future as attachment to this report. Thank you for your patience!” CEO: The International Charter for Space and Major Disasters has been activated for severe floods in Paraguay. This organization includes participation by fourteen international partners and certain US Federal agencies (e.g. NOAA, and USGS). The ISS has now been included on the Disaster Charter activation list. Many rivers have overspilled their banks and numerous basins flooded. With the high interest now being given to this flood, ISS CEO targets today were requested to include the vast plains of western Paraguay. Today’s targets were Warsaw, Poland (CAPITAL CITY COLLECTION. Looking immediately left of track, on the prominent Vistula River for this capital city [metro region population 2.63 million]), Andorra la Vella, Andorra (CAPITAL CITY COLLECTION. The capital of the tiny Co-principality of Andorra (pop. 23,000) is situated in a small, high mountain valley in the Pyrenees Mountains, between France and Spain: looking right. The city lies in the main valley just south of the mountain ridgeline), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (IMPACT CRATERS. Looking right for this small feature. The general visual cue is a region of dark rocks, situated between light-toned dune fields. The local visual cue is an S-bend ridge which points toward the crater. B.P. is an exposed impact crater 2 km in diameter, estimated at less than 120 million years in age), St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda (CAPITAL CITY COLLECTION. Looking just right on the larger island of Antigua [Barbuda at nadir]. Being a small city, 400mm-lens images were requested), and Paraguay Floods (Dynamic Event. Aiming at nadir and rightward from nadir, shooting overlapping frames for 2 mins to cover the parts of this very large region nearer track. The crew was to note again the sunglint imaging opportunity right of track, looking back into the velocity vector. The International Charter for Major Disasters has been activated due to the severity of this event. As mentioned above, the ISS has now been included as a participant in Disaster Charter activations). ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:40am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.6 km
Apogee height – 405.9 km
Perigee height – 391.2 km
Period — 92.53 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0010862
Solar Beta Angle — -13.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 89 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 77,355
Time in orbit (station) — 4929 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4216 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/22/12 — SpaceX Falcon/Dragon launch (NET/not earlier than)
05/25/12 — SpaceX Dragon capture
————–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.