Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 October 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
October 24, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 October 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 6 of Increment 29 (three-person crew).

FE-4 Volkov performed the routine checkup of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

First thing in Post-sleep, FE-5 Furukawa & CDR Fossum undertook their 19th weekly U.S. “Bisphosphonates” biomedical countermeasures session, ingesting an Alendronate pill before breakfast. The required ~10h fast period started for them last night. This is usually done on Mondays. [The Bisphosphonates study should determine whether antiresorptive agents (that help reduce bone loss) in conjunction with the routine in-flight exercise program will protect ISS crewmembers from the regional decreases in bone mineral density documented on previous ISS missions. Two dosing regimens are being tested: (1) an oral dose of 70 mg of Alendronate taken weekly starting 3 weeks prior to flight and then throughout the flight and (2) an intravenous (IV) dose of 4 mg Zoledronic Acid, administered just once approximately 45 days before flight. The rationale for including both Alendronate and Zoledronic Acid is that two dosing options will maximize crew participation, increase the countermeasure options available to flight surgeons, increase scientific opportunities, and minimize the effects of operational and logistical constraints. The primary measurement objective is to obtain preflight and postflight QCT (Quantitative Computed Tomography) scans of the hip. The QCT scans will provide volumetric bone density information of both cortical and trabecular (spongy) bone regions of the hip.]

Volkov deactivated the Kenwood D700 “Sputnik” amateur radio station in the SM and the overnight run of the Russian KPT-14 SHADOW-BEACON (Tenj-Mayak) experiment. [Objective of the experiment is the automatic retranslation of time tag (pre-planned executable) packets from ground stations. SHADOW (or ECLIPSE), sponsored by Roskosmos and its leading Moscow research organization TSNIIMASH (Central Research Institute of Machine Building), employs VHF amateur radio (ham) operators around the globe (via ARISS/Amateur Radio on ISS) to help in observing refraction/scattering effects in artificial plasmas using the method of RF (radio frequency) sounding in space experiments under different geophysical conditions.]

With the RS (Russian Segment) STTS communications system configured for working in the MRM2 Poisk module, Sergey conducted a leak check on the EB vacuum chamber of the new KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload and then performed manual experiment operations. The FE-4 copied and downlinked data & log files, later returned the STTS comm system to nominal, and checked EB vacuum chamber hermeticity afterwards and before sleeptime (any pressure increase above the vacuum should stay within 5 mmHg). [Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

FE-4 also performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~5:10pm EDT. Bed #2 regeneration will be done tomorrow. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (last time: 9/29 & 9/30).]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), CDR Fossum worked several hours on setting up and starting the new BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6) experiment. FE-5 Furukawa provided support by taking documentary photography. Before “Presleep” period tonight, Mike will replace the BCAT-6 battery with a fresh one. [Activities included installing the G1 camcorder for MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) video capture, unstowing the SGSM (Slow Growth Sample Module) and photographing samples 1-10 manually with the NIKON D2Xs with EarthKAM software running on an SSC (Station Support Computer). After arranging the lighting for the turbid sample, Mike homogenized (mixed) samples 6-10 plus sample 1 and then set up the latter for automated flash photography controlled by EarthKAM software.]

FE-5 performed visual inspection of the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and activated the facility from its laptop prior to payload operations.

Afterwards, Furukawa relocated a CWQMK (Colorimetric Water Quality Monitor Kit) Iodine sample from his starboard CQ (Crew Quarters) to the CWQMK kit in the Lab at D4_B1.

Satoshi then 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.]

Volkov had another hour set aside for loading waste and other excessed cargo on the resupply ship-turned-trash can Progress 42P, while logging the moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database. Furukawa later joined in by transferring USOS (US Orbit Segment) trash to the Progress.

Fossum worked on the WRS WSTA (Water Recovery System / Waste Storage Tank Assembly), manually transferring urine from EDV-U container to fill up the UPA ARFTA (Urine Processor Assembly / Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly).

Afterwards, the CDR reconfigured the ARFTA with QD (Quick Disconnect) hose from the periodic backfill mode to UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) processing mode.

After clearing the front of the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) of stowage bags to make room for using the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device), Mike Fossum set up the SLAMMD equipment and used it for determining his body mass, followed in suit by Satoshi Furukawa. Afterwards, Mike took the device down for stowing it and then also returned the stowage goods which had been temporarily “deconflicted”.

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, Satoshi serviced the FPEF MS (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility / Marangoni Surface) payload by removing & replacing 5 HDs (hard disks) of the IPU VRU (Image Processing Unit / Video Recording Unit),- #1021, #1023, #1024, #1025, #1026. [The replaced VRU disks (#1096, #1097, #1098, #1099, #1020) were put in a Ziploc bag for return to SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba)].

In preparation for possible station decrewing, Furukawa worked extended IFM (Inflight Maintenance) in Node-2 (Bay 5) where he cleaned the CQ (Crew Quarters), overhead & deck, with vacuum cleaner and disinfectant wipes, plus taking photography, to support long-term deactivation. [All food, drink, or trash items were discarded, including used clothing and hygiene items, all personal items, clothing and sleeping bag were removed and all remaining items (blankets, radiation protection, PCS Desk, etc.) were secured inside CQ, followed by cleaning of CQ interior surfaces with disinfectant wipes. Laptops and lamps were turned off and the CQ doors secured in closed position after exit.]

Also as part of decrewing preps, Furukawa continued GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace) troubleshooting in JPM, today using the MultiMeter instrument to measure GHF heating units insulation resistances, then re-attaching the GHF MPU (Material Processing Unit) front panel.

Afterwards, Satoshi connected the MMA TAA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus / Triaxial Acceleration Assembly) cable to MMA RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) on the Kobairo Rack and powered on the RSUs and UDC-2 (Utility DC-to-DC Converter) unit 2.

FE-4 Volkov conducted the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

Sergey also performed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) 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.]

Later, the Russian flight engineer 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.]

Before sleeptime, Sergey will initiate refreshing the cabin interior with pressurized O2 (oxygen) from Progress 42P tankage. To be terminated tomorrow at ~3:55am.

Satoshi conducted the periodic inspection of the PEPs (Portable Emergency Provisions), checking PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers, PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), and EHTKs (Extension Hose Tee Kits). QDMA (Quick-Don Mask Assembly) harness inspection was not required. [PFEs: 2 in Node-1, 2 in A/L (Airlock), 2 in Lab,1 in Node-2, 1 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL. PBA O2 Bottles: 6 in Node-1, 1 in A/L, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL. QDMAs or Prebreathe Masks: 6 in Node-1, 6 in A/L, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL. EHTKs: 2 in Node-1, 1 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 1 in Node-3.]

In support of tomorrow’s scheduled propellant lines vent & purge of the Progress 42P Approach & Attitude Control Thruster subsystem (Section 2 of the KDU Combined Propulsion System), Furukawa closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola and JPM windows. [Fuel (ZUG) line purge will commence at 4:11am EDT and last ~13 min, followed by oxidizer (ZUO) line purge after DO15 RGS (Russian Groundsite), lasting ~13 min. During the purge/vent operations, which require attitude control authority handovers between USOS and RS, USOS solar arrays will be feathered.]

Before Presleep tonight, the CDR will turn on the MPC and starts 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, Mike will turn 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.]

The 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 (FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR).

Tasks listed for Sergey Volkov on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –

* Continuing the preparation & downlinking of more reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb),

* The daily inspection of the recently activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules; [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP)],

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

* Another ~30-min. session for Russia’s EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera with the RSK-1 laptop.

JAXA Marangoni Experiment: The crew was advised of another Marangoni bridge building event tonight (7:00pm-1:00am), the 17th in 24 planned bridge buildings in Increment 29/30. The experiment is performed in the Kibo JPM during crew sleep (since the liquid bridge to be formed is sensitive to g-jitter), 4 days/week at most and 24 runs in total. After the liquid bridge has been formed, the ground imposes a temperature gradient on it to produce Marangoni convection. The crew, which is being informed regularly, has been asked to avoid any disturbances in this timeframe. Even disturbances in other modules can be transmitted and cause the liquid bridge in JPM to break up, resulting in science loss.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 11:01am EDT [= epoch])

* Mean altitude – 387.3 km
* Apogee height – 399.4 km
* Perigee height – 375.2 km
* Period — 92.30 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0017872
* Solar Beta Angle — 11.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 176 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,112
* Time in orbit (station) — 4721 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4008 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 29)————-
10/29/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking (5:04am EDT)
10/30/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch (6:11am)
11/02/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (~7:40am)
11/13/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin (11:14pm)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2) (~12:45am)
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/22/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~9:21pm)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon — Target date
12/26/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit — (date “on or about”)
12/28/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1) — (date “on or about”)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
TBD — Progress M-13M/45P undock
TBD — Progress M-14M/46P launch
TBD — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
TBD — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
05/05/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 — Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
————–Three-crew operations————-

SpaceRef staff editor.