Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 November 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 2011
Filed under , , ,
NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 November 2011

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

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.

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.]

Fossum performed the (currently) daily check of the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge and again 8 hrs later 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.]

In the SM, Sergey Volkov collected the periodic KAV condensate water samples from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor (water recovery system) upstream of the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit, then removed sampler & separator and disposed of flush water.

Afterwards, Sergey had an hour set aside for commemorative (“Symbolic”) activity, today concerning Saint Nicholas, the historic 4th century saint and Greek Bishop, also called Nikolaos of Myra (Demre in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey), highly revered in the Russian Orthodox Church and worldwide the model for Santa Claus. [Sergey unpacked two St. Nicholas icons, one for a permanent location onboard the ISS, the other for recording various shots at different places in the ISS with the Sony HVR-Z7E camcorder (with his narration) and Nikon D2X & D3 digital still cameras with Nikon SB 800 flash.]

FE-5 Furukawa deployed four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at bay P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Afterwards, Satoshi started another sampling run with the AQM (Air Quality Monitor), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [Consisting of the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

FE-5 also collected air samples with new GSCs (Grab Sample Containers) in the SM (#2068), Lab (#2069) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory, #2070), sequenced with the AQM sampling for postflight comparison.

Later, Satoshi performed the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling in Node-3 using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose, followed by the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag). [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.]

CDR Fossum had almost 3 hrs reserved for deploying new color-coded RAMs (Radiation Area Monitors) delivered on Progress 45P and collecting used RAMs for return on Soyuz 27S, also taking documentary photography. [Mike deployed a total of 21 blue RAMs in SM, Node-1, A/L, Node-3/Cupola, Lab, Node-2, COL & JPM. For return to Earth, he collected 28 cherry RAMs (delivered on ULF-5) and 2 white units (delivered on 42P).]

FE-4 Volkov continued preparations for Soyuz 27S undocking in two weeks (11/22), packing and loading return cargo with the help of an uplinked extensive of items list and stowage schematic for the Descent Module (SA).

In Node-3, Mike collected a water sample from the WRM (Water Recovery & Management) condensate line, with ARED and robotics ops in the Cupola “deconflicted” for access. [The sample was transferred via condensate sampling adapter assembly to a CWC (Contingency Water Container) sample bag, with a 2nd sample used for initially purging the transfer lines.]

The CDR also drew a water sample from the WPA WWT (Water Processor Assembly / Waste Water Tank) for return to Houston. [Water drawn in a 2nd bag was used for line purging beforehand, with the water reclaimed.]

Furukawa printed out new SODF (Station Operations Data File) procedures for temporarily updating the 3 onboard Warning Books (Lab, SM, FGB). [These updates refer to the possible event of an EPS (Electrical Power System) bus failure for the time during which the new SPDA (Secondary Power Distribution Assembly) jumpers are installed. The jumper installation, done yesterday by Mike, was in response to observed MBSU-1 (Main Bus Switching Unit 1) firmware degradation, moving all Lab B1 DDCU (DC-to-DC Converter Unit) loads to a different power feed, to protect against the hardware becoming unpowered in case of an MBSU failure due to the old firmware.]

For his on-going 4th (and final) Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Alternate experiment, Satoshi reached the midpoint at about 9:30am EST, after which he started the second 24h data collection period. [For the second 24 hr period, the Cardiopres was temporarily doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery were changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months).

Later, FE-5 had 2h15m for setting up the 2nd T61p Router laptop for the JSL (Joint Station LAN) Dual OCA (Orbital Communication Adapter), unpacked on 11/2, and repowering the first Router from a different power outlet, in support of ground commanding. [The 2nd OCA Router serves as backup for redundancy.]

Sergey Volkov 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 the extensive troubleshooting of the TEKh-39 LCS (Russian: SLS) Laser Communication System in the past two months, Volkov today measured electrical resistances and voltages in LCS power circuits to check out the BTLS Onboard Laser Communication Terminal lines and connections, supported by ground specialist tagup.

Sergey, Mike & Satoshi again had an hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

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.]

Before sleeptime, Volkov will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 6th Sonokard experiment session, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

At ~6:10am EST, Sergey Volkov conducted a teleconference with upcoming Soyuz 28S crewmembers A.N. Shkaplerov & A.A. Ivanishin to discussing specific “handover” topics to “lighten the load” of the abbreviated handover time resulting from the short overlap of Exp-29 & Exp-30 of only 5 days. [Topics of “experience transfer” included the current status on Progress 45P transfers, recommendations for activities with radiograms, life support system (locations of equipment), science hardware (BIOEMULSION, PLAZMIDA, CASCADE, MEMBRANE, KONSTANTA, POLYGEN, MATRYOSHKA-R, MOLNIYA-GAMMA, SONOCARD), photo/video, and IMS data base.]

At ~9:55am, Mike Fossum supported an Educational PAO TV event, responding to questions from K-12 students and Deputy U.S. Secretary of Education Tony Miller at the LBJ Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Education, with employees/representatives from NASA HQ and the Department of Education also in attendance.

At ~12:45pm, Sergey Volkov has his standard weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video. Fossum performed his 5th session of the new Treadmill Kinematics program on the T2/COLBERT treadmill, setting up the HD camcorder in Node-1, placing tape markers on his body, recording a calibration card in the FOV (Field of View) and then conducting the workout run within a specified speed range. [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]

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), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-4, 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 (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.

RS Propellant Transfer: After yesterday’s prop transfer from the 45P cargo ship to the SM BG1 & BO1 tanks (ended 5:32am), another transfer of oxidizer (N2O4 or NTO, nitrogen tetroxide) to SM tank BO2 will begin tonight at ~10:27 pm, with BITS2-12 onboard realtime telemetry system and VD-SU mode off. [When VD-SU mode is deactivated and BITS is powered down, affected equipment must be turned off to avoid operation in the absence of real-time telemetry. The most notable impacts are:

1. Elektron oxygen generation system (shutdown by crew or ground),
2. SKV air conditioning system (shutdown by crew or ground).
3. Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal unit (no telemetry if in automatic mode, no impact if in manual mode).
4. BMP micropurification unit (automatically shutdown).
5. SRV-K condensate water processor (can be shut down by crew or ground, usually not required).
6. BRI data conversion unit (smart router) is power cycled when VD-SU mode is cycled. After VD-SU activation, the crew may execute a test to assess the impact of VD-SU mode cycling on the BRI,
7. No dP/dt (pressure change) detection in RS (Russian Segment) due to the lack of telemetry,
8. Fire & smoke alarms (audio only) will annunciate onboard in the SM through the C&W panel (PSS) speaker,
9. Total pressure alarms (audio only) will annunciate onboard in the SM through the C&W panel (PSS) speaker.]

FOBOS-GRUNT Launch: If everything goes as planned, Russia will launch its FOBOS-GRUNT (Phobos-Soil) probe to Mars tonight at 7:16pm EST on a Zenit-2SB/Fregat rocket. The Phobos Sample Return Mission PhSRM, which is also carrying a Chinese Mars satellite, Yinghuo-1, a 2nd Chinese experiment, and an experiment of the U.S. Planetary Society, will land on the Martian moon and return a soil sample (~200g) to Earth. It will also study Mars from orbit, including its atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation environment. The return vehicle is scheduled to arrive back on Earth in August 2014. The spacecraft will be inserted into a 207 x 347 km elliptical orbit inclined 51.4 deg. After 2.5 hrs flight (1.7 revs) the main propulsion system will be ignited to transfer the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit of 250 km x 4150 (…4170) km, with a period of 2.2 hrs. After 2.1 hrs (1 revolution), a 2nd engine burn for TMI (Trans-Mars Injection) at 8:04:06pm EST will transfer the spacecraft into an interplanetary Earth-Mars trajectory.
The ISS crew will be able to view PhSRM tonight, starting at ~7:58pm, at a range of 3248 nmi., with the spacecraft and its exhaust plume in sunlight for the entire duration of the viewing opportunity and the ISS in eclipse (darkness). If successful, Russia is back in the business of planetary exploration. Let’s all wish them well! Godspeed, Fobos-Grunt!

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Volga – Ural Delta (the water level of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, is variable due to its land-locked condition and climate induced changes in the discharge of its major rivers. This causes significant changes in the coastal wetlands in the north and northwest parts of the sea. ISS had a late-morning pass in fair weather for this target today. At this time as the station tracked northeastward over the open waters of the Caspian, the crew was to look left of track and try for an overlapping mapping strip of the wetland areas), Chisinau, Moldova (World Capitals Collection Site: ISS had fair weather over this target in late morning light. 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 ISS approached from the SW, the crew was to look just left of track for this urban area of nearly one million inhabitants), Subtropical Storm (DYNAMIC EVENT: The National Hurricane Center is designating this non-tropical low pressure area with gale force winds in the western North Atlantic as Invest 98L and rate the probability at 40% of it becoming a subtropical storm in the next 48 hours as it moves slowly westward. This mid-morning pass at this time tracked over or just SE of the center of this developing weather system. Looking nadir or left of track and trying to acquire short-lens imagery of the banding structure of the storm), and Middlesboro Impact Crater, KY (ISS had a nadir-viewing pass over this 6 km diameter impact structure. The crater is partially covered by the Middlesboro, KY urban area, but the crater rim can be perceived by vegetation patterns and topography to the east. Overlapping frames, taken along track as ISS approached and then passed over the target area were suggested to maximize potential for imaging the crater).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:59am EST [= epoch])
* Mean altitude – 388.2 km
* Apogee height – 402.8 km
* Perigee height – 373.5 km
* Period — 92.32 min.
* Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
* Eccentricity — 0.0021604
* Solar Beta Angle — -60.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
* Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.60
* Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 201 m
* Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 74,346
* Time in orbit (station) – 4736 days
* Time in orbit (crews, cum.) — 4023 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 EST)
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.