Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
April 28, 2012
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2012
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 28 April 2012

ISS On-Orbit Status 04/28/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – Crew off duty. The crew is back on normal wake/sleep cycle (2:00am-5:30pm EDT)

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

FE-5 Kuipers powered up the ISS amateur/ham radio equipment (which had been turned off to prevent IR interference with Soyuz undocking).

FE-6 Pettit 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.

As generally on Saturdays, the 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 the TsV2 fan screen in the FGB, then worked in the SM cleaning Group E fan grilles (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP), the BMP Harmful Contaminants Removal System grille and today the three IDZ-3 smoke detectors.

Kononenko also performed 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.]

Also as part of uborka, FE-5 Kuipers used the vacuum cleaner to remove any dust and debris from the vents of the OpsLAN Server T61p SSCs (Station Support Computers) located in Lab bay O1 (LS1 & ISS-SERVER1) to ensure their optimal performance.

André opened the protective window shutters of the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment and activated the ISSAC laptop, so ground images can be captured by ground commanding. [ISSAC takes frequent visible-light & infrared images of vegetated areas on the Earth. The camera focuses principally on rangelands, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. The images may be delivered directly upon request to farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land. The images will also be shared with educators for classroom use.]

At ~8:30am, the 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.

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 (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR). [FE-6 is on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL. No exercise is being timelined for Fridays. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]

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

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

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty-Nine/Thirty — Week 32).

2D NANO Template (JAXA): The samples were returned on 28S.

3D SPACE: Complete.

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.


Amine Swingbed (NASA): No report.

AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer): No report.

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): We have not conducted any additional tests this week, but we have been reviewing and analyzing the data from the first 8 tests. From tracking data from Test 3 (SIBAL cotton-fiberglass fabric burning at 5 cm/s air flow), it appears that the flame reaches an approximately constant length before running out of fuel.

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.]

BIOLAB (ESA): No report.

BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): No report.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): 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): “André, your CARD samples will be returning with 28S. The science team is looking forward to receiving them. If all is confirmed well, this will end the CARD in-flight experiment with you as last subject.”

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): Due to a technical problem (PAR SW0010), DECLIC could not be started as planned. Investigations are currently underway to identify the origin of the problem. A RIC Reboot was performed by the PRO unsuccessfully. A cable network inspection (between DECLIC and ER7) was done by the crew to verify the status of the cable. DECLIC cable OK, but initialization not successful.

DomeGene (JAXA): Complete.

DOSIS (Dose Distribution Inside ISS, ESA): No report.

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): “Thanks to a data sharing agreement with VO2max, your 5th data collection for EKE was completed, André.”

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive – Space 2): Planned.

EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): No report.

ENose (Electronic Nose): No report.

EPM (European Physiology Module): No report.

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 MISSION X (ESA): No report.

EPO Spaceship Earth (ESA): “Over 1600 children participated in the Spaceship Earth events on 24th throughout Europe (Nemo in Netherlands, Speyer TM in Germany, Parque de las Ciencias of Granada in Spain and National Space Centre in UK). Each site had scientific demonstrations and hands-on activities including the EPO ground kits which were accompanied by your videos. Didactically speaking, the children were exposed to many different physics principles and learned a lot. Late afternoon, the live contact was the pinnacle of everyone’s day and they really enjoyed your time and answers to the questions.”

EPO LES-2 (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.


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): One remaining run to be completed, then the GEOFLOW-II campaign will be complete! [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: We continued dry run, now temperature reaching 650 degrees centigrade (targeting 1250 degrees centigrade). We will continue until 4/26.

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 5476 images to-date. The most recent HICO images include the Gulf of California, part of coastal Japan, part of the Gulf of Mexico and part of the New Zealand coastline. 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.


ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): No report.

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): 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): No report.

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 (ESA): No report.

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.

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): Continuing telemetry monitoring.

MDCA/Flex-2: This week we continued with MDCA/FLEX-2 Fuel Surrogate test points using 100% propylbenzene (pure) and 50% decane/50% propylbenzene (50/50 mixture). On GMT 110, we performed five successful test points using 100% pure fuel in a standard air mixture (21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen at 1 atm) with fuel droplet diameters ranging from 1.5 mm to 5.5 mm. On GMT 114, we performed eight successful test points using the 50/50 mixture fuel in the same standard air mixture with fuel droplet diameters ranging from 1.5 mm to 6.0 mm. Overall, testing was very successful allowing us to obtain results for a wide range of droplet diameters. Also, we were able to repeat some of the test points achieved on preceding test days allowing us to establish repeatability of our results. We have observed two flame extinction modes: radiative extinction and disruptive extinction. Radiative extinction is flame extinction caused by excessive radiative energy loss from the flame, and it occurs at relatively larger droplet and flame sizes. We have consistently seen radiative extinction for droplet diameters larger than 3 mm for the 50/50 mixture fuel. Disruptive extinction is flame extinction caused by the collapsing soot shell onto the droplet surface near the point at which diffusive extinction would occur. Diffusive extinction is flame extinction caused by an insufficient time for fuel and oxygen to react, and it occurs at relatively smaller droplet and flame sizes. A 3.0 mm droplet test performed on 4/23 using the 50/50 mixture fuel is particularly interesting because of the striking visual it provides, showing the development of soot aggregates that are uniformly ejected, in a radial trajectory, from the flame. The symmetry illustrates the exceptional deployments we have been achieving lately.

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 ground controllers are continuing to perform special commanding to prevent CIB resets during this high positive beta angle period. On Day 4/20 the SEUXSE experiment was turned back on. PASCAL is performing nominal commanding that produced IV curves of the solar cells. IV curves are plots of the current versus voltage for solar cells and tell a lot about how these are performing. 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.


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): 17 Area Dosimeters were retrieved on 4/26 from the walls of the JPM and the JLP. The dosimeters have been returned on 28S.

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): On 4/24, Don placed the Canister Bag into Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) for cooling, on 4/26 the sample was retrieved from Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) the stay in the Canister Bag and transferred to 28S right before undock.

PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): See PCG.

PLSG (Plant Signaling, NASA/ESA): No report.

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.


Portable PFS: Used for VO2max / THERMOLAB / EKE sessions.

Pro K: “André, you have completed 4 of the 5 planned Pro K sessions. The remaining Pro K controlled diet session may be scheduled within two weeks of return. Your logs have been downlinked and the Pro K team appreciates the efforts and attention to detail you’ve shown thus far. Thanks again and have a great week.”

RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

RadSilk (JAXA): No report.

Reaction Self Test (RST/Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): “Don and André, thank you for your continued participation in Reaction Self Test, we really appreciate it!”

ROALD-2 (Role of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression 2, ESA): Dan will not read it anymore, but thanks nevertheless for the preparation for return of the ROALD2 experiment containers. The science team is looking forward to receive them. [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): On 4/23, Don completed cover replacement of Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) and configuration change for coming experiment “Nano Step”. Now, we are ready, thank you very much.

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): No report. [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): Sun Visibility Window #52 started on 4/19. SOLSPEC calibrations and measurements were performed successfully. SOLACES is in heating mode for 46P propellant purge activity, 46P undocking, 47P docking, ATV3 reboost and 28S undocking to protect the instrument from contamination.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): “André, SOLO samples of you, Ron Garan and Dan Burbank are returning with 28S. The science team is looking forward to receiving samples of 3 subjects and are ready for analysis. If all is confirmed well, this will end the SOLO in-flight experiment with you and Dan as very last subjects.”

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: No report.

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 is analyzing data taken during the rendezvous phase of ATV-3 on Day 85 and during the final approach and docking on Day 88. Canary also took data during the ATV reboost on Day 96. 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): “Thanks André for your 5th data collection for THERMOLAB as part of your VO2max protocol on 4/26. The data have been downlinked and passed on to the science team, awaiting their feedback.”

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.

TREADMILL KINEMATICS: “Thanks, André, for your 3rd session!”

TRIPLELUX-B (ESA): No report.


UMS (Urine Monitoring System (NASA): No report.

VASCULAR (CSA): “No report.

VCAM (Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Module, NASA): No report.

VESSEL ID System (ESA): Nominal data acquisition with the NorAIS receiver. ERNOBOX and VESSEL ID SYS were deactivated for a period of about ~7hrs due to Software Cycle 13 transition as was foreseen. Minor impact of data gap.

VESSEL IMAGING (ESA): “Dan, you will not read it anymore, but the 3rd and final session for VESSEL IMAGING was again very smooth on 4/20.”
” [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): “André, great work on VO2max this week. Many thanks for your troubleshooting on the CEVIS issue! You have one more session before we see you on the ground. Thanks again!”

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 4/21 the ground has received 209,992 of ISS CEO frames for review and cataloguing. “We are pleased to report that we have received imagery with times corresponding to our CEO target request times as follows: Mumbai, India at Night – 23 frames – under evaluation; Oklahoma City at Night – 75 frames – under evaluation; Los Angeles at Night – 19 frames – under evaluation; Etosha Dry Lake, N. Namibia – 19 frames – under evaluation – Pretoria, South Africa – 13 frames in 2 sessions – under evaluation; Kampala, Uganda – 12 frames in 2 sessions – under evaluation; Arabian Haboob (dust storm) – 19 frames in 3 sessions – target acquired – under evaluation; New Delhi, India – 4 frames in 2 session – under evaluation; Damascus, Syria – 42 frames in 3 sessions – under evaluation; Urumqi, China – 18 frames in 4 sessions – under evaluation; L. Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt – 34 frames in 3 sessions – under evaluation; Kerguelen Is., S. Indian Ocean – 1 frame – under evaluation; Dhaka, Bangladesh – 99 frames in 2 sessions – under evaluation; and Mt. Kilimanjaro – 25 frames – under evaluation. Thank you for your efforts to acquire our targets. Your beautiful view of Wave Clouds near Ile aux Cochons, Southern Indian Ocean was published on the NASA/GSFC Earth Observatory website this past weekend. Your photo illustrates for all the interaction of the wind-driven marine layer of the atmosphere with small island masses and the complex cloud formations that can result in an otherwise hardly noticed part of our planet. Cool shot!”

CEO targets uplinked for today were Bigach Impact Crater, Kazakhstan (ISS had a fair weather pass over this target as it approached from the SW. The crew had a nadir-view over this feature. This 8-km in diameter impact is a roughly circular structure and somewhat subtle to recognize. At this time, just after crossing Lake Balkhash, the crew was to begin looking for Bigach. Overlapping mapping frames, taken along track, were suggested in order to obtain imagery of the challenging crater), Podgorica, Montenegro (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: This small capital city of just over 150,000 is located at the confluence of the Ribnica and Moraca Rivers in the southern part of the country known as the Zeta plain. ISS had a nadir pass in clear weather with approach from the SW. At this time as the crew approached the east coast of the Adriatic Sea, they were to begin a nadir mapping strip to acquire views of this challenging target), Chisinau, Moldova (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS had a near nadir pass in clear weather over this target. The Moldovan capital is located near the center of the country and inland about 120 miles from the northwestern coast of the Black Sea. At this time, as the crew approached from the SW, they were to look just left of track for this urban area of nearly one million inhabitants and try for single-frame views), Kiev, Ukraine (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS had a clear weather pass over the capital city of Ukraine with approach from almost due west. At this time begin looking just left of track for the major city with a population of 2.6 million. Kiev is located on the Dnieper River, just south of the Kiev Reservoir. Trying to capture the entire city within a single frame), Bay of Callao, Lima, Peru (HMS BEAGLE SITE: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at this port city, just west of Lima on July 19, 1835 to take on provisions. The city is built on and about a small peninsula, La Punta, and just opposite the offshore island of San Lorenzo. At this time, as the crew tracked northeastward, towards the coast of South America in fair weather, they were to look near nadir for this target), and Bridgetown, Barbados (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of the island country of Barbados with the population of the metropolitan area at 96,578 [2006]. As ISS approached the island from the SW in fair weather at this time, he crew was to look towards nadir for this target. Barbados is the easternmost of the Lesser Antilles Archipelago. The city is located on the southwestern coast of the island along Carlisle Bay).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:36am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 394.7 km
Apogee height – 401.2 km
Perigee height – 388.3 km
Period — 92.45 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009527
Solar Beta Angle — -4.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.57
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours —
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 77,028
Time in orbit (station) — 4908 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4195 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 31)—————-
04/28/12 — Progress M-14M/46P deorbit burn (6:33am EDT)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/07/12 — 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.