Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 29 June 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
June 29, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 29 June 2011

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

FE-4 Sergei Volkov tended the Russian/German KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, currently running in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, by checking the hermeticity of the evacuated EB vacuum chamber after wakeup and before bedtime (any pressure increase above the vacuum should stay within 5 mmHg). After configuring the STTS comm system for working in MRM2, Sergei then set up and initiated the experiment. Later, the system was disconnected, results downloaded & downlinked and PK-3 deactivated. FE-1 Samokutyayev assisted in Poisk by monitoring the TV downlink from the experiment. [Main objective of PK-3 is to study crystallization dynamics at constant argon pressures (9, 10, 11, 12 & 14 Pa) exposed to alternating current low-frequency and varied voltage electrical field (20 V range), using 1.55 particles. This session is run in semi-automatic mode.]

The 26S crewmembers Borisenko, Samokutyayev & Garan joined up in their Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft (docked at the MRM2 Poisk module) for the standard 3-hr Soyuz Emergency Descent Drill, a regular procedure for each station crew. The exercise, which does not involve any command activation, uses computer simulation (Trenasher Spusk/”descent trainer”) on the RSK1 A31p laptop (swapped with RSK1 T61p for this exercise), with a descent hand controller (RUS) in manual mode to set up reentry conditions and switch between modes. Operators were Aleksandr & Andrey. The two RSK1 laptops were later swapped again. [The onboard training (OBT) session, supported by TsUP instructor tagup, included a review of the pertinent RODF (Russian Operations Data Files), specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures such as manual undocking.]

At ~10:35am EDT, Borisenko, Volkov, Garan, Furukawa & Fossum had ~30-min blocked out for a review of uplinked ULF7 timeline and walkthrough material. [There was some group discussion, but most of this effort was accomplished individually.]

Andrey, Sasha & Ron than spent another 30 min on a fit check of their Kentavr anti-G suits for their return to Earth on Soyuz 26S on 9/8. [The “Centaur” garment (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the “Chibis” lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-G suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmember from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

FE-5 Furukawa performed the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer / Waste Water Bag) in Node-3, followed by the (approx.) weekly WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. This activity was deferred yesterday due to the Conjunction Alert (which cost the crew about 3 hrs on the timeline). [After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Other activities completed by Satoshi included –

* Repeating a data transfer from the T2 treadmill by batch file to the file server for downlinking (was done on 6/24 but left some data untransferred),

* The regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack; [AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm],

* The weekly health check of the O2 sensor in CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) #1045, which has exceeded its shelf life; [the health check, using both the #1045 and the #1046 unit, was performed in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) since both MCAs (Major Constituency Analyzers) are currently down, i.e., unavailable for calibration, while the COL PPOS (Partial Pressure Oxygen Sensor) could be used for comparison. Afterwards, both CSA-O2s were deactivated and stowed],

* Starting his first session (of 3) with the JAXA experiment “Biological Rhythms” (BIORHYTHMS), for which he donned the electrodes of the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) for ECG (Electro-Cardiogram) recording, then initiated the data take for the next 24 hrs; [deferred from yesterday due to Conjunction Alert], and

* Powered on the ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera) laptop, for ground testing, but kept the US Lab window closed.

FE-6 Fossum performed routine service on the WRS (Water Recovery System) using the LFTP (Low Flow Transfer Pump) to transfer one CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) and offloading it entirely. [Estimated offload time: 7 hrs; max. allowed quantity: 85%.]

Mike & Satoshi each completed a session with the U.S. HMS VIS (Health Maintenance Systems / Visual Acuity) testing program, using an eye chart for both far & near visual acuity and filling out an eye questionnaire for downloading on a laptop for ground access.

Later, both Furukawa & Fossum were subjects for the 2nd onboard session with the 24S-delivered HMS (Health Maintenance System) Tonometry payload, after Paolo Nespoli & Cady Coleman set up and tested the equipment on 4/28. Today, Satoshi & Mike took turns as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) to measure each other’s intraocular pressure, supervised via live S-band video by medical ground personnel. [Data take was preceded by a skill refresher on an eye simulator, observed from the ground. Seven to 10 measurements are required for the Tonometer to calculate an eye pressure reading and the statistical confidence level. For the actual Tonometry, anesthetic eye drops (Proparacaine) are used that are effective in approx. 30 seconds and last for 20 minutes or longer. Tonometer measurements in micro-G will be used to assess the health of the crew’s eyes.]

Also with focus on ocular research, FE-5 & FE-6 before crew sleep time will be subjects for a PanOptic eye test which requires application of eye drops (Tropicamide [Mydriacyl]) causing eye dilation for subsequent ophthalmic examination, performed by the two crewmembers in turn on each other as operator with an ophthalmoscope. [The procedure, guided by special software on the T61p RoBOT laptop (#1026), captures still & video images of the eye, including the posterior poles, macula & optic disc with the optic nerve, for downlink and expert analysis. Prior to the test, Ron sets up the equipment including video camera, and afterwards downloads the data, then disassembles & stows the gear.]

Garan & Fossum again had time set aside to review procedures for their ULF4 EVA on 7/12, and Mike also configured tools & equipment for the spacewalk based on updates of earlier instructions.

At ~8:35am, Ron & Mike tagged up with ground specialists and the previous ULF7 EVA crew to discuss EVA timeline & procedures.

FE-4 Volkov performed regular service on the Russian LIV/106/01 video complex system in the SM (Service Module) by cleaning its UN941 voltage converter’s vent grille with the vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment

Sergei also completed a data collection session for the psychological program MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”), accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. It was his 2nd onboard session with MBI-16. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

Afterwards, with BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control mode deactivated, FE-4 temporarily removed a BSK-0.5 power-switching device (blok silovoiy kommutatsii) in the SM behind panel 10 and replaced it with a spare unit, checking on disconnecting / reconnecting cables and accessing fasteners plus taking documentary photography. BITS2-12 and VD-SU were then powered up again.

FE-1 Samokutyayev set up the pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41) and started the transfer of water from the BV2 Rodnik water storage tank of Progress 43P (#411), docked at the SM aft port. The SM BV2 tank bladder had been compressed before (for leak check), and the Progress BV2 held ~210 liters. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

Later, FE-4 Volkov used the compressor setup for flushing the line of the BV1 tank of Progress 42P (docked at DC1) using 4-5 liters of water from US condensate.

Garan 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).

Mike, Satoshi & Ron spent ~30 min with a joint review of tomorrow’s SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations, i.e. pre-ULF7 MBS-to-Node 2 walk off. [Since the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software application is currently not working, the crew used an uplinked “make-do” document showing DOUG views of critical areas such as maneuver clearances.]

Andrey Borisenko 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.]

As a post-reboost activity, the CDR later performed the periodic task of downloading structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer of the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

Sasha Samokutyayev continued the new round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) to clean the screen of the TsV1 central circulation ventilator with a vacuum cleaner and soft brush.

Borisenko concluded his day by initiating recharge on the SONY HVR-Z7 camcorder battery for the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment. [Using the GFI-1 UFK “Fialka-MV-Kosmos” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and SONY HVR-Z7 HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from windows #9 & #6, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

Before “Presleep” period tonight, Ron Garan powers on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts the 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, MPC will be turned 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 ~8:05am EDT, Andrey, Sasha & Sergei supported a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking a message of greetings to the participants of the 10th Congress of Cultural Sphere Employees in Moscow. [This year the Congress sponsors will play around the main event of 2011, which is the first manned flight. Cultural Professionals employees will prepare creative projects and present their interpretation at the stage.]

Jobs listed for Samokutyayev, Borisenko & Volkov today on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list were –

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) by Sergei, and Preparing & downlinking more reportages (text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb).

Reboost Update: A one-burn reboost of ISS was performed successfully this morning at 8:15am EDT using the Progress 43P DPO rendezvous & docking thrusters, with attitude control handover to RS MCS (Motion Control System) at 6:50am and return to US CMGs at 9:30am. Due to the thruster malfunction during 43P docking, only 4 thrusters were used this morning (instead of the usual 8). Burn duration: 33m 31s (25s longer than expected). To provide the ISS with the remaining part of the intended delta-velocity, a second firing is scheduled in 7/1 (Friday). Numbers will be forthcoming. Purpose of the reboost is to gain altitude and set up phasing conditions for ULF7.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Mt. Etna, Sicily (Mount Etna has one of the world’s longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC. On June 14th an ash cloud from Etna rose about 200 – 250 m above the rim. Also detected was a small plume emanating from Etna in some of the recent ISS CEO imagery. Apparently Etna is going through a small eruptive phase whereby ash plumes have been observed to occur every 5 – 15 minutes. CEO observers are interested in any plume event; trying to capture the source and extent of any plume), Vaduz, Liechtenstein (looking nadir for the capital city of the principality of Liechtenstein. The city is located in a large valley on the banks of the Rhine River. Overlapping mapping frames were suggested to obtain imagery of this capital city), Kingston, Jamaica (as ISS crossed the south coast of Jamaica, the crew was to look for the capital city of Kingston. Trying to capture the whole city in a single image. Greater Kingston has a population of 650,000. In the Americas, Kingston is the largest mainly English-speaking city south of the United States), Moorea Coral Reef, Tahiti (weather was predicted to partly cloudy over Tahiti – the location of the Moorea Coral Reef LTER [Long Term Ecological Research] site. Detailed photography of the coral reefs ringing the island was requested to take advantage of the predicted weather conditions. This imagery will be useful in tracking changes to the reef extent and adjacent shoreline morphology), Huachuca Mountains, Mexico, Arizona (the crew was to try for a mapping strip over this small target area as ISS tracked northeastward over northwestern Mexico. This roughly horseshoe-shaped cluster of mountains is situated on the Arizona-Sonora border of the United States and Mexico about 70 miles SSE of Tucson. Observers are seeking detailed mapping views of this target for baseline and change detection of a unique and threatened habitat), and Las Conchas Fire, New Mexico (Dynamic Event: The Las Conchas wildfire has spread to near the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The residents of Los Alamos were ordered to evacuate on Monday. So far the fire has burnt 200 sq km and is being driven by 60 mph winds. The main fire appears to be spreading south and east. Looking slightly left of track to document main source points of the fire. Also trying to document the direction of the main plumes).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Six-crew operations————-
07/01/11 — ISS Reboost 2 (Progress 43P)
07/08/11 — STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) – 11:27am
07/10/11 — STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) ~11:09am
07/12/11 — EVA (Garan & Fossum) ~8:50am, 6h30m
07/18/11 — STS-135/Atlantis undock ULF7 (MPLM) – 1:59pm
07/20/11 — STS-135/Atlantis landing KSC ~7:07am
07/27/11 — Russian EVA #29
08/29/11 — Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 — Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 — Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/08/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
————–Three-crew operations————-
09/22/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
09/24/11 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
————–Six-crew operations————-
10/25/11 — Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 — Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 — Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
————–Six-crew operations—————-
12/26/11 — Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 — Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 — Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 — ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 — Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
————–Three-crew operations————-
03/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 — 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)
05/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
————–Three-crew operations————-
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
————–Six-crew operations—————-
09/18/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
————–Three-crew operations————-
10/02/12 — Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
————–Six-crew operations————-
11/16/12 — Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
————–Three-crew operations————-
11/30/12 — Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – 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.