Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 April 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
April 24, 2012
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 April 2012
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 April 2012

ISS On-Orbit Status 04/24/12

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

After breakfast, FE-1 Shkaplerov performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-4 Kononenko completed the routine verification of yesterday’s automated refreshes of the IUS AntiVirus program on all Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2. [Antivirus update procedures have changed since the recent SSCV4 software update. Before the installation on 8/8/11 of the new automated procedure, the refresh was done manually on Mondays on RSS2, copying the files to the RSS2 service folder, then launching update scripts on the network laptops RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 and finally manually updating non-network laptops RSE-Med & RSE1. On Tuesdays, the anti-virus scanning results are regularly verified on all laptops. Nominally, Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday.]

FE-5 Kuipers activated radiation dosimetry data collection with the ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts)-Shield.

After setting up the G1 video camcorder, FE-6 Pettit readied the PCG (Protein Crystal Growth) payload in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) by installing the canister bag inside the CBEF (Cell Biology Experiment Facility) Micro-G IU (Incubation Unit). Real-time G1 video downlink was required to check the inside configuration of CBEF.

CDR Burbank had ~3 hrs set aside for cargo activities, unpacking Soyuz 28S-delivered US payload and then assisting FE-1 Shkaplerov & FE-2 Ivanishin in stowing disposable items & trash in the Soyuz BO Orbital Module, to be jettisoned on 4/27 from the returning Soyuz SA Descent Capsule for incineration in the atmosphere.

In preparation for their return to gravity next Friday, Anton Shkaplerov & Anatoly Ivanishin undertook the first part of their 5th and final exercise/training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the TVIS treadmill, with Oleg Kononenko assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Medical telemetry monitoring on the ground was at ~5:29am EDT for FE-1, ~7:05am for FE-2. The activity was then closed out. Part 2 follows tomorrow. [The assessments, lasting one hour each, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer’s instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmembers’ orthostatic tolerance after several months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each, then -20, -25, and -30 mmHg (Torr) for 10 min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure, medically monitored with the Gamma-1M hardware. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the “Kentavr” anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

FE-4 Kononenko conducted the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. Anatoly will terminate the process at ~4:55pm EDT. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. (Done last: 4/2 & 4/3). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hrs and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

In preparation for today’s SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) onboard training drill, Don Pettit connected the RWS DCP (Robotic Workstation Display & Control Panel) bypass cable in the Node-3/Cupola and then installed the RWS CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint) which acts like a “seat belt” for the SSRMS operator in micro-G.

Afterwards, André & Don reviewed free-flyer capture procedures, then set up the PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop for the Demo and worked their way through a SpaceX Dragon capture OBT (Onboard Training, practicing grappling of the Dragon during a misaligned approach. After a subsequent SSRMS debrief with the ground, André stowed the Dragon CCP (Crew Command Panel) and deactivated the CUCU (COTS UHF Communications Unit) equipment, while Don removed the CCR “seat belt”.

FE-1 Shkaplerov spent several hours in the Soyuz TMA-22/28S performing Part 2 of the R&R (removal & replacement) of the KhSA Cooler/Dehumidifier Assembly’s fan box in the SA (Descent Module). Today: cable installation for the previously installed new fan box, followed by TMI (telemetry) hookup and checking out mobile receiving devices on the island of Crete from the Soyuz 28S SA telemetry transmitter. [On 3/15, Russian ground teams reported that the KhSA fan in 28S had deactivated. The crew inspected the fan for debris, and after finding none the fan was power-cycled and it reactivated nominally. Later, Anton Shkaplerov removed the fan and installed a new fan box.]

FE-2 Ivanishin relocated the Russian BTKh-14 BIOEMULSIYA biotechnology experiment for recombination from the TBU (Universal Bioengineering Thermostat) container to the TBU-K incubator at +37 degC.

FE-4 Kononenko later moved the BTKh-6, 7 ARIL/OChB payload to the KRIOGEM-03 thermostat-controlled container, set at +4 degC.

In preparation for upcoming sessions with the Russian MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, Shkaplerov initiated charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP) and set up the refrigerator. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies. Because the Ecosphere battery can only support 10 air samples on one charge at one given time, the sample collection must be performed in two stages.]

Kononenko also performed the periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), collecting eight Bubble dosimeters (A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) to read their recorded radiation traces in a special Reader. Afterwards the dosimeters were initialized for new measurements, redeployed at specific locations and photographed. Oleg also verified proper functioning of the RBO-3-2 Lulin-5 electronics box in MRM1 which is connected to the spherical sensor-equipped “phantom”. [The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Anton took two photos of the internal part of the DC1 nadir port’s SSVP-StM docking cone (folded aside) to obtain digital imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left yesterday by the head of the 47P active docking probe on the internal surface of the passive drogue (docking cone) ring, a standard practice after Russian dockings. FE-4 subsequently downlinks the pictures via OCA assets. [These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, Oleg used the Nikon D2X digital still camera to take the pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

Don Pettit 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.]

FE-6 also 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.]

Activities completed by FE-2 Anatoly Ivanishin included –

* Collecting data readings from the running Russian BAOK GANK Real-Time Monitoring Analyzer unit for measuring concentration of harmful contaminants in the air of the RS (Russian Segment); [the BAOK gas analyzer, a subsystem of the SKDS Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System, determines concentrations of CH4 (methane), NH3 (ammonia), CO (carbon monoxide), HCN (hydrogen cyanide), HF (hydrofluoric acid) and NO2 (nitric oxide) from air samples using electrochemical sensors, with measurements displayed on LCD (liquid crystal display) and stored on tapes],
* Conducting the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of cooling loop KOB-2, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness), and
* Conducting the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 (carbon dioxide) removal system’s spare AVK emergency vacuum valves, in the spare parts kit; [the AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh’s vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP)].

Tasks performed by Shkaplerov were –

* The periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways; [inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)-RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)-RO, PkhO-DC1, PkhO-FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO-FGB GA, and FGB GA-Node-1], and

* The daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance from the “time permitting” discretionary 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).

Oleg meanwhile conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM; [regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator],

CDR Burbank re-installed the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab bay S3, engaged the snubber pins and locked safety pins to protect its ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances).

Later, the CDR performed regular maintenance on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), changing out its UR (Urine Receptacle) hose and IF (Insert Filter), then vacuumed the entire WHC and cleaned it with disinfectant wipes. [The old UR & IF were double-bagged and stowed for disposal.]

Dan also conducted maintenance on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), removing & replacing its expired ACTEX (Activated Carbon/Ion Exchange) filter cartridge in the WHC flush water jumper at the Node-3 F4 rack UIP (Utility Interface Panel).

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), André Kuipers unstowed and set up the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware with power, data, front panel, and gas connections, including MBS (Mixing Bag System) for his up-coming 4th session with VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions), scheduled on Thursday, 4/26.

Working several hours with Makita electric jig saw, a serrated knife, regular knife, hand hacksaw, cutter and lots of US gray tape, Ivanishin & Kononenko performed modifications on the headrest and lower section of Anatoly’s personal seat liner (IAA) in the Soyuz 28S SA/Descent Capsule. [During the recent Kazbek seat check, Anatoly was having issues with fitting into his Soyuz seat liner, confirmed by the CDR. The crew reduced the thickness of the foam at the top of the head and reduced the foam around the hips. NASA has offered live video downlink during the next Kazbek couch fit check.]

After tagging up with the ground at ~6:35am to discuss ATV-3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3) cargo transfer particulars, Don Pettit had about an hour for ATV cargo operations (unloading & unpacking into stowage) and bag cleaning, i.e., stowing discarded bags and foam packing material in “Edoardo Amaldi”.

FE-1, FE-2, FE-4 & FE-5 had their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, André at ~4:40am, Anton at ~12:40pm,Oleg at ~2:00pm, Anatoly at ~2:20pm EDT.

Dan had another time slot reserved for making entries in his electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep, the CDR 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, Dan 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.]

Before sleeptime, Oleg Kononenko will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 5th Sonokard experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

At ~9:20am, Burbank powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 9:30am conducted a ham radio session with students at Istituto Comprensivo di Calolziocorte – Scuola Media, Calolziocorte, Italy.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4).. [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. 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 Urumqi, China (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in fair weather with approach from the SW for this urban target. This desert agricultural region is rapidly transitioning to the focus of China’s petroleum and natural gas exploration. The city itself is located at the southern edge of the Junggar Basin near a pass between the Erenhaberg and Bogda Ranges. At this time as ISS tracked northeastward over the Erenhaberg ranges, the crew was to look just right of track and try for context mapping views of this challenging target area), Aral Sea (the Aral Sea basins in southwestern Asia once contained the world’s fourth largest lake, but since the 1960’s the surface area [26,300 sq. mi] has shrunk to just 10% of its original size due to diversions of its water inflow sources for large-scale irrigation projects. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in clear weather with much of what remains of this shrinking lake lying left of track. At this time, trying for contextual, short lens views of this target area to document the ongoing changes), Niamey, Niger (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: The capital city of Niger with a population of about 800,000 lies on a broad bend of the Niger River as it bisects a plateau in the extreme southwestern part of the country. Today ISS had a midday pass in fair weather with possibly some dust in the air. At this time as it approached from the SW, the crew was to look just left of track and try for contextual views of this city within a single frame), St. Paul Rocks islets, Brazil (HMS BEAGLE SITE: Darwin and the Beagle briefly visited this isolated, equatorial Atlantic site in early February of 1832. This tiny group of islets and rocks is also known as the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago. The islands are of particular interest to geologists as they expose rocks associated with the Earth’s mantle above sea level. At this time the crew was to look carefully towards nadir for these small features marked best by breaking waves. With partly cloudy weather expected they may been able to photograph at least a few of them in a detailed mapping pass), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (ISS approached this high-elevation interior basin target from the SW. The effects of the past La Niña episode were felt markedly in the high Andes last year but are transitioning to El Niño conditions now. Lake Poopo fluctuates greatly under the influence of the El Niño/La Niña cycle. Comparative images show the changes in Lake Poopo during a prior La Niña. ISS had a good mid-morning pass in fair weather for mapping along your orbit track to document water levels in Lake Poopo and the nearby dry lakebeds [salars]), Guatemala City, Guatemala (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: Today’s pass for this target area was at midday with fair weather expected as ISS approached from the SW. This sprawling urban area of just over 1.1 million is located in a mountain valley the south central part of Guatemala. As ISS tracked northeastward from the Pacific Ocean over the coast at this time, the crew was to look nadir for this target and try to acquire the entire city within a single frame),and Florida Coastal Everglades (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH SITE: This site located in the region known as “The Everglades” of south Florida. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the ecosystems along the major drainage basins of the region known as “sloughs” where fresh water from the interior moves slowly to the sea. On today’s fair-weather, early-afternoon pass the crew approached the target area from the SW with near-nadir views. Trying for long-lens detailed mapping views of the south Florida peninsula, but inland from the large coastal).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations—————-
04/27/12 — Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock (4:19am EDT)
04/27/12 — Soyuz TMA-22/28S landing (7:45am EDT; 2:45pm DMT/Moscow) (End of Increment 30)
04/28/12 — Progress M-14M/46P deorbit burn (6:33am EDT)
————–Three-crew operations————-
xx/xx/12 — SpaceX Dragon launch
05/15/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/S.Revin
05/17/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–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.Novitskiy/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.