Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 November 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
November 3, 2011
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 November 2011

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

Today 54 years ago (1957), the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, the world’s second artificial Earth satellite. On board was a little stray dog named Laika (“Barker”) who became the first animal to enter space (and the first animal to die in space).

. Sleep cycle shift: Crew wakeup was slipped from 2:00am to 3:00am EDT. Sleeptime remained at the regular 5:30pm, thus shortening the workday by an hour.

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

In the Lab, CDR Fossum serviced the EarthKAM (EKAM/Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) payload in the Lab WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack, changing battery after wakeup and twice more during the day. [EK uses a NIKON D2Xs electronic still camera with 50mm and 180mm lenses, powered by a battery, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research. The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to the A31p SSC-20 (Station Support Computer) laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera’s storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OpsLAN. The camera battery is changed when no pictures are being taken. EKAM uses new software on SSC-20 which replaces the version used for the DCS 760 camera. This is the 3rd use of the D2Xs camera by EKAM. Students around the world are anxiously awaiting use of the higher resolution images.]

The CDR also checked the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge and again at midday and before sleeptime. The Nikon D2Xs camera with EarthKAM software running with the Intervalometer on SSC-18 is taking automated flash photography. [The camera is running for a total of 7 days, taking one photo each hour of Sample 2 (since 11/2). 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.]

Volkov executed the periodic data dump from the BRI (SSR/Smart Switch Router) control log to the RSS1 laptop for downlink to the ground via OCA.

Later, Sergey performed the periodic downloading of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer of the running TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) experiment, located 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.]

FE-4 also worked in the newly-arrived Progress 45P vehicle to install the electronic LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory), using the LKT and PZU boxes removed from the previous Progress and stowed in DC1 (Docking Compartment).

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Furukawa temporarily removed stowage in front of the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack at bay F4 to enable access to rack drawers in support of subsequent USND (Ultrasound) activities.

After Furukawa broke out and set up the HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) USND equipment, Furukawa underwent his 2nd scan as subject, assisted by Fossum as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). Later, Satoshi in turn performed the USND scans on Mike as subject, also for the 2nd time. After each session, the data were transferred from the USND-2 hard drive to USB drive. Stowage was later returned by FE-5 to its original location. [Objective of the Ultrasound scans was the periodic eye examination for both subjects.]

Working in the SM, the Russian Flight Engineer switched the antenna feeder cables of the KURS-P (passive) automated radar approach & docking system at the K2-VKA instrumentation unit from SM -Y nadir port (location of DC1) to the SM +Y side (location of MRM2), then took documentary photography. [Purpose: Mating of LF (low frequency) and HF (high frequency) antenna feeder cables of the KURS-P system to support the upcoming docking (11/16) of the Soyuz 28S spacecraft at the MRM2 “Poisk” module, instead of DC-1. KURS is the automated radar approach & docking system on the Russian Soyuz & Progress vehicles, with the active (KURS-A) component in the visiting vehicles and the passive transponder/repeater-type KURS-P component in the SM.]

Afterwards, Sergey had ~1h20m reserved for Part 1 unloading of Progress 45P and transferring cargo to the ISS for stowage, guided by an uplinked loading plan. [Of the approximately 1166 listed entries on 45P, about 404 are USOS items. Progress M-13M is to remain docked at the DC1 for about 3 months, and its unloading will be a long-term activity.]

Satoshi meanwhile started prepacking USOS return cargo (~34 items) for loading on Soyuz 27S, stowing it for the time being in PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module). [FE-5 has a total of 3 hrs of 27S prepack time spread over 3 days.]

The CDR printed out a new cue card for the T2/COLBERT treadmill, updated with SBS (Series Bungee System) bungees, and replaced the old cue card with the new one.

Later, Fossum retrieved the #2 ARFTA (Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) spare from JAXA JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment) stowage and then changed out the ARFTA #1 in the Node-3 WRS-2 (Water Recovery System) Rack 2, draining, cleaning and stowing the expended unit. Mike also covered an erroneous label on the ARFTA tank and verified the Bellows Position Indicator. [ARFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine by the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) as it turns it into water. ARFTAs are reusable, but today’s replacement was a late change as part of ongoing decrewing preparations.]

Mike also completed 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.]

FE-4 Volkov took two photos of the internal part of the DC1 nadir port’s SSVP-StM docking cone (folded aside) to obtain digital imagery of the scratch or scuff mark left yesterday by the head of the 45P active docking probe on the internal surface of the passive drogue (docking cone) ring, a standard practice after Russian dockings. Sergey subsequently downlinks the pictures via OCA assets. [These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. The objective is to take photo imagery of the scratch or scuff marks left by the head of the docking probe on the internal surface of the drogue (docking cone, ASP) ring, now rotated out of the passageway. Before shooting the picture, the cosmonaut highlights the scuffmark with a marker and writes the date next to it. As other crewmembers before him, Sergey used the Nikon D2X digital still camera to take the pictures with the hatch partially closed.]

Satoshi patched two new PCS (Portable Computer System) T61p laptops, setting one up in the US A/L (Airlock) to replace its failed PCS, the second one in Node-3 for use in the RS (Russian Segment) in case of decrewing. [FE-5 removed the 1553 PCMCIA memory card from the failed laptop and used it along with the already deployed cables for the new unit. The old PCS was labeled “Suspect Hard Drive” and stowed. In Node-3 (loc. J3), the PCS received a 1553 PCMCIA card and power supply (power brick) fed from UOP-2 (Utility Outlet Panel 2/J3 (after reconfiguring the UOP by moving the SSC-5 power string from the J3 outlet to UOP/J4.)]

Fossum filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Mike later retrieved three green -32 degC Ice Bricks from MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS), one from Dewar 4/Tray B and two from Dewar 4/Tray C, for subsequent stowage in a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) in JPM.

Sergey Volkov did the daily routine 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.]

Fossum & Furukawa again had an hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

At ~11:00am EDT, Mike supported a PAO TV downlink, responding to an interview from the Houston Chronicle’s Science Reporter Eric “the SciGuy” Berger.

At ~12:10pm, Sergey downlinked a Russian PAO TV address to the players of Russia’s National Soccer Team and the participants of a presentation of a new soccer team uniform which he himself wore for the downlink.

At ~1:30pm, the CDR was scheduled for his regular IMS (Inventory Management System) stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

Before Presleep, Furukawa 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, Satoshi 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),
* 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),
* Conducting the daily inspection of the running Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (“Plants-2”) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules, 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 23rd 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.

Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Tashkent, Uzbekistan (World Capitals Collection Site: The capital city of Uzbekistan is located on a broad, agricultural plain west of the Altai Mountains and just north of the Chirchik River. At this time, as the crew approached the area from the SW in fair weather, they were to look nadir for this sprawling urban area of well over 2 million), Beirut, Lebanon (World Capitals Collection Site: ISS approach to Beirut was from the SW in late-morning light with fair weather. This capital city of over 2 million is located on the central Lebanese coast. After tracking over the Nile River Delta, at the uplinked time they were to looked nadir for this roughly triangular-shaped city on a peninsula jutting westward into the Mediterranean Sea), Yerevan, Armenia (World Capitals Collection Site: The ancient Armenian capital city of over 1.1 million is located in the southwestern part of the country on the north edge of the agricultural region of the Ararat River Valley. ISS nadir pass at midday with fair weather expected. At the uplinked time, as the crew approached the ranges of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, they were to look for this urban target), Haiti (World Capitals Collection Site: This capital city of less than 1 million is found on the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Gonave on the western side of the island of Hispaniola. On this mid-morning pass in fair weather as the crew tracked northeastward over the open Caribbean Sea, they were to look just right of track at this time for this target area), Virginia Coast Reserve, Virginia (LTER [Long Term Ecological Research] Site: ISS pass was at midday in clear weather with this target area just right of track. This is a National Science Foundation-sponsored site with research focused on the mainland marshes and lagoon systems behind the islands of the southern Delmarva Peninsula, particularly Hog and Parramore Islands. Trying for context views of this target area today), and Jornada Basin, New Mexico (LTER: This site is devoted to the causes and consequences of desertification. It is located in the northern Chihuahuan Desert just NE of Las Cruces, New Mexico. ISS had a nadir pass over this area in clear weather and early afternoon lighting. Trying for a detailed mapping strip across this area).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:26am EDT [= epoch])
* Mean altitude – 389.0 km
* Apogee height – 403.7 km
* Perigee height – 374.2 km
* Period — 92.33 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0021741
* Solar Beta Angle — -36.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.59
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 195 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,264
* Time in orbit (station) – 4731 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4018 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
————–Three-crew operations (Increment 29)————-
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————-
12/xx/11 — SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon — (Under Review)
12/21/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit — (Target Date)
12/23/11 — Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1) — (Target Date)
————–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 — (Target Date)
04/xx/12 — Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2) — (Target Date)
————–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.