Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 October 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 October 2011

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. FE-4 Volkov performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

At wake-up, CDR Mike Fossum & FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

Also at wakeup, Fossum checked the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge and later in the day performed additional checks on the payload, looking for crystals, changing camera battery, downloading images and restarting the Intervalometer for automated flash photography. [The camera is running for a total of 7 days, taking a photo of the turbid Sample 1 every hour. While Sample 1 is running, crystal checks on Samples 6-10 will be performed each day. Camera battery change and Intervalometer restart is done three times a day. Objective of BCAT-6-Phase Separation: to gain unique insights into how gas and liquid phases separate and come together in microgravity. These fundamental studies on the underlying physics of fluids could provide the understanding needed to enable the development of less expensive, longer shelf-life household products, foods, and medicines.]

At or after ~2:05am EDT, FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa concluded his 3rd NUTRITION w/Repository 24-hr urine collection period, with samples deposited in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) in Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module). Additionally, Satoshi underwent the associated generic blood draw, with Mike Fossum assisting with the phlebotomy as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). FE-5 then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the JPM MELFI. [The operational products for blood & urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads were revised some time ago, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they must verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

Mike Fossum began his own 3rd 24-hour urine collections under the Generic HRF (Human Research Facility) NUTRITION/Repository protocol with the first void, followed tomorrow by the blood sample draw.

Furukawa completed Day 3 (of 3) of his 2nd onboard session with the experimental JAXA DK (Diagnostic Kit) which involves a series of medical diagnostic measurements including cardio/heart, brainwave, and oxygen data. [After recording the 3rd overnight electroencephalographic BW (brainwave) measurements this morning, Satoshi later in the day used the stethoscope for taking heart sound measurements. With the use of the USB camera for documenting his physical condition, FE-5 completed the DK protocol. These measurements will be repeated one more times later in the Increment. Purpose of these activities is to perform diagnostic measurements with medical equipment in order to evaluate the equipment for development of a future diagnostic system on board. DK includes: Medical laptop, USB Camera, Pulse Oximeter, Stethoscope, Sleep Monitor and Electroencephalograph (for brain waves).]

FE-5 also terminated his 3rd 24-hr session with the JAXA biomedical experiment BIORHYTHM, removing the body-worn digital Walk Holter ECG (Electrocardiograph) and uploading the recorded ECG data to the IPU (Image Processing Unit) and ELT (Experiment Laptop Terminal) for access by SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba. Later in the day, Satoshi deactivated the ELT laptop.

At day break, Sergey Volkov conducted the regular leak check on the EB vacuum chamber of the new KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload, then configured the RS (Russian Segment) STTS communications system for working in the MRM2 Poisk module and afterwards ran another KPT-21 experiment session. Later, FE-4 copied and downlinked data & log files, 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 continue previous plasma crystal experiments, aimed at studying features of plasma including the critical points, where the temperature and pressure at which the liquid and gaseous phases of a substance become identical. Plasma, or collections of charged particles, is the most common state of matter in the universe. In microgravity, large 3-dimensional plasma crystals can be grown, allowing better observation of their structure and basic processes, which will provide a better understanding of plasma. Under Earth conditions, gravity “squeezes” the plasma crystal and it becomes 2-D, not 3-D. Experiments in space aboard the ISS allow researchers to see the real property of the crystals.]

Volkov also completed 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.]

After configuring the already deployed PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware including MBS (Mixing Bag System) in ESA’s COL, Fossum during the next 3-4 hrs conducted another session, his 7th, with the VO2max assessment, integrated with the Thermolab head sensors. After the session, Mike powered down, cleaned up & stowed or trashed the equipment, then downloaded the data to a PCS laptop. He also packaged a “starter kit” for his successor, Dan Burbank. [The experiment VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions) uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle with vibration isolation, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

In the MRM1 Rassvet module, Sergey conducted the periodic task of tightening the BZV quick release screw clamps of the SSVP docking mechanism on the MRM1/Soyuz 27S docking interface.

Afterwards, FE-4 prepared the Progress M-10M/42P cargo ship for its undocking on 10/29 from the DC1 Docking Compartment, first installing the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1 nadir port, then uninstalling & removing the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard measurement telemetry, along with its ROM unit (read-only memory, TA765B) for re-use. [The StM is the “classic” probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress’ cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB, MRM1, MRM2 and DC1].

In preparation for Progress undocking, Furukawa spent time on reviewing the Russian OBT (Onboard Training) procedures for the standard Progress TORU drill, scheduled tomorrow for him and Sergey. [The SM-based TORU teleoperator radio control system provides a manual backup mode to the Progress’ KURS automated rendezvous radar system.]

In the COL, Satoshi deactivated the DMS PWS-1 (Data Management System / Portable Work Station 2) and then performed the periodic reboot on the active PWS-1, noting state of battery charge for reporting to COL-CC (Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany.

Also in the European laboratory, Satoshi inspected the two PPRA VLVs (Positive Pressure Relief Assembly Valves) on the aft side feed-through in the port cone and the CDA (Cabin Depressurization Assembly) for FOD (Foreign Object Debris) or obstructions on the debris screen, performing cleaning as required.

The CDR meanwhile conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of the on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes. No changes to the current card were reported. [The current card (29-0002D) lists 116 good CWCs (2,610.7 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. technical water (30 CWCs with 1,205.2 L, for Elektron electrolysis, incl. 942.9 L in 24 bags containing Wautersia bacteria and 129 L in 3 clean bags for contingency use; 2. Silver potable water (no CWCs); 3. Iodinated water (74 CWCs with 1,333.6 L (also 33 expired bags with 603.2 L); 4. condensate water (35.7 L in 4 bags, plus 6 empty bags); and 5. waste/EMU dump and other (36.2 L in 2 CWCs, incl. 20.2 L from hose/pump flush). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

In early preparation for the arrival of the next cargo ship, Progress 45P on 11/2, Furukawa retrieved two M-02 stowage bags (#1024, #1031) from the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) endcone location and pre-staged them at the PMM rack front for USOS (US Orbit Segment) cargo unpacking from 45P.

Before Presleep, Fossum 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, 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.]

At ~4:15am, FE-5 conducted the regular tagup with Japanese Program Management at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center).]

At ~10:35am, Satoshi had an audio/teleconference with ground specialists for a debriefing on his recent (last week’s) inspection, cleaning, disinfecting and encapsulating activities on the WOOVs (Water On/Off Valves) 3, 4 & 5 in COL. [The ground is working on improving the overall concept for the next execution on the remaining cold WOOVs (6, 7, 9 & 10) and is currently in the process of finalizing the procedures and operational scenario that will be used for the next encapsulation of WOOV 6 & 7.]

At ~1:00pm, Mike powered up the SM’s amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 1:05pm conducted a ham radio session with students at the Cherry Creek School District, Centennial, Colorado.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5).

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 (Inventory Management System) 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 20th 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.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Harare, Zimbabwe (looking right for this capital city of 1.8 million [greater Harare 2.8 million], which can be difficult to detect. The two nearby lakes were good visual cues, however), Lilongwe, Malawi (this target appears ~60 sec after Harare. On approach, looking between the regional forest margin in Mozambique and the vast Lake Malawi. The city itself has small preserved wooded areas which stand out against the mainly deforested landscape of Southern Malawi. [Neighboring forests lie in unpopulated Mozambique as one of few examples of an international boundary coinciding with major differences in land use]), Dakar, Senegal (looking just left for this city which lies on a prominent cape), and Hurricane Rina, Caribbean Sea (looking left for obliques and then near nadir views of this strengthening storm. The storm track is expected to curve NE-ward.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:34am EDT [= epoch])
* Mean altitude – 389.9 km
* Apogee height – 404.7 km
* Perigee height – 375.2 km
* Period — 92.35 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0021821
* Solar Beta Angle — -2.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 300 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,155
* Time in orbit (station) – 4724 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4011 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 (5:01am 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.