Text Size

10-29-2011
October 29, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/29/11

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – Crew off duty.

  • Progress M-10M/42P undocked nominally this morning at 5:04am EDT from the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port after hooks open command at 5:01am. An automated 15-sec separation burn with DPO-K2 thrusters followed at 5:07am (delta-V 0.67 m/s). The cargo ship, loaded with trash, performed its 3-min. deorbit burn (99.7 m/s) at 8:10:30am, entered the atmosphere at ~8:48am and burned up at ~8:54am. Surviving debris impacted in the Pacific Ocean at ~9:00am.
  • Meanwhile, Progress M-13M/45P is being readied for tomorrow’s liftoff (see below).

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

At wakeup, CDR Fossum checked the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge and later in the day performed additional checks on the payload, looking for crystals, changing camera battery, downloading images and restarting the Intervalometer for automated flash photography. The SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop with EarthKAM software is not being used for this run. [The camera is running for a total of 7 days, taking a photo of the turbid Sample 1 every hour. While Sample 1 is running, crystal checks on Samples 6-10 will be performed each day. Camera battery change and Intervalometer restart is done three times a day. Objective of BCAT-6-Phase Separation: to gain unique insights into how gas and liquid phases separate and come together in microgravity. These fundamental studies on the underlying physics of fluids could provide the understanding needed to enable the development of less expensive, longer shelf-life household products, foods, and medicines.]

Mike Fossum, Satoshi Furukawa & Sergey Volkov 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 (Service Module) 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, Volkov completed regular weekly maintenance inspection & cleaning of fan screens in the FGB (TsV2) plus Group E fan grilles in the SM (VPkhO, FS5, FS6, VP) and the BMP Harmful Contaminants Removal System grille in the SM. Before the cleaning, all fan screens were photographed for ground inspection.

After 42P departure, Fossum also opened the protective window shutters of the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment, so ground images can be captured today 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.]

As is standard practice after Russian undockings, Sergey took photographs of Progress 42P’s docking interface ring during separation to verify that no rubber seals were missing on the Progress docking interface, and to assess seal integrity. The JPEG images were downloaded to the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via OCA. [If a rubber seal is found to be missing, it could be stuck on the SM aft port interface and interfere with the next docking, Progress 45P. This has happened before, requiring intervention via EVA.]

After 42P departure, FE-4 also switched the DC1 nadir port hatch pressure equalization valve (PEV; Russian: KVD) to the Closed position on TsUP/Moscow Go.

FE-5 Furukawa powered up the amateur/ham radio stations in the SM which had been turned off to prevent RF (radiofrequency) interference with Progress proximity operations.

Also as part of uborka, FE-5 Furukawa 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.

For his chosen VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) program, Satoshi set up the G1 video camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter), gathered the necessary equipment, then conducted several experiments on List 3 of the JAXA EPO (Education Payload Operation) “Try Zero-G” demo, taking video imagery. Later, the educational footage was downlinked via MPC HRDL (high-rate data link).

Sergey Volkov set up, activated and monitored the TV signal downlink from the SM of the new KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload recorded in the last few days. The Ku-band OCA downlink of the RS (Russian Segment) video via MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoded stream as usual went from MCC-Houston through the ESA Gateway and COL-CC (Control Center) to TsUP-Moscow. The transmission was terminated by Sergey about 2h50m later. [Main objective of PK-3 is to continue previous plasma crystal experiments, aimed at studying features of plasma including the critical points, where the temperature and pressure at which the liquid and gaseous phases of a substance become identical. Plasma, or collections of charged particles, is the most common state of matter in the universe. In microgravity, large 3-dimensional plasma crystals can be grown, allowing better observation of their structure and basic processes, which will provide a better understanding of plasma. Under Earth conditions, gravity “squeezes” the plasma crystal and it becomes 2-D, not 3-D. Experiments in space aboard the ISS allow researchers to see the real property of the crystals.]

Volkov also completed the 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.]

At ~8:35am EDT, the three crewmembers 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.

At ~3:36pm, Mike Fossum is scheduled for an amateur/ham radio exchange with the amateur club of Texas A&M University in Aggieland, Texas.

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

Tasks listed for Sergey Volkov on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • Continuing the preparation & downlinking of more reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb),
  • The daily inspection of the recently activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules; [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP)],
  • 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,
  • Closing down the KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ experiment in MRM2 Rassvet and dismantling plus packing the payload equipment, and
  • A 10-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of bio-luminescent glow of high-production zones in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

Progress M-13M/45P Countdown: L-1 activities are underway at the Baikonur/Kazakhstan launch site where the Soyuz-U launch vehicle with the Progress 45P cargo ship was rolled out yesterday to the pad for tomorrow’s liftoff at 6:11am EDT.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Twenty-Nine -- Week 6)

2D NANO Template (JAXA): No report.

3D SPACE: Complete.

AgCam (Agricultural Camera): No report.

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

ALTEA SHIELD (NASA/ASI): ALTEA-SHIELD Survey experiment aims at characterizing the radiation environment of the ISS with active detectors. The current part of the study foresees measurements at various locations, as a first step. Later on shielding materials will be tested with the same instrument. Expected spin-offs are in radiation-protection field for new space vehicles or inhabited space modules. On 10/16 one Silicon Detector Unit (SDU 4) went off and since then only 5 out of 6 SDUs are delivering science data. However, since measurements in all 3 directions are collected, there is no real impact on science.

AMS-02 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer): All AMS payload and laptop operations are nominal. AMS is experiencing heartbeat errors from the PLMDM, but this is a known issue that is being worked. Payload data is not adversely affected. The Starboard TRRJ was repositioned this week, coincident with a Beta angle of zero degrees, to further assess passive thermal control techniques for sensitive AMS components.

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.

BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 6): “Thank you for your work with BCAT-6, sample 1 (the sample from Dr. Matthew Lynch at Proctor & Gamble and Tom Kodger at Harvard/Proctor & Gamble), which is presently running. The photos we have seen look over-exposed, but it will take time using digital image enhancement techniques to see if we can recover significant science data from them. Again, we are most grateful for your efforts with this microgravity experiment and for your dealing with the problems that the camera and it's flash seem to be experiencing.”

BIOLAB (ESA): No report.

BIORHYTHMS (JAXA, Biological Rhythms): On 10/26, Satoshi started his third session. This session was completed on 10/27.

BISE (CSA, Bodies in the Space Environment): No report.

BISPHOSPHONATES: 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): No report.

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): Sample returned by ULF6.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): No report.

CsPins (JAXA): No report.

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): No report.

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): “Thanks Mike for disconnecting the damaged EDR Laptop cable from the EDR rack and attaching the coiled cable on the rack front. This preparatory activity puts us in good config for the subsequent EDR rack activation, ensured not to have any power shortcut.”

EKE (Endurance Capacity by Gas Exchange and Heart Rate Kinetics During Physical Training, ESA): No report.

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

EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Nominal water pump servicing was performed by ground commanding on 10/13.

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 LES-2 (ESA): No report.

EPO GREENHOUSE (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-5 SpaceBottle (Message in a Bottle, JAXA): No report.

EPO Moon Score (JAXA): No report.

EPO-7 Try Zero-G (JAXA): No report.

EPO Kibo Kids Tour (JAXA): Complete.

EPO Paper Craft (Origami, JAXA): No report.

EPO Poem (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):

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.] “On 10/25 an old index file was downlinked. A new attempt to retrieve the ERB-2 index file for your last Vol. Sci. ERB-2 recordings was successfully performed on 10/26. The planned video data downlink will need to be planned again, as we first need the correct index file on ground...”

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.

FOAM STABILITY (ESA): No report.

FOCUS: No report.

FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory, ESA): FSL VMU Hybrid Test and troubleshooting were successfully completed.

FWED (Flywheel Exercise Device, ESA): No report.

GENARA-A (Gravity Regulated Genes in Arabidopsis A/ESA): No report.

GEOFLOW-2 (ESA): GEOFLOW-2 science runs are on hold due the USOC preparing for other experiment's operations.

HAIR (JAXA): No report. [Hair root cells actively divide in a hair follicle, and they sensitively reflect physical conditions. The hair shaft has an advantage in that it records the metabolic conditions of the environment where the subject is. The purpose of this experiment is to examine the effect of long duration space flight on gene expression and trace element metabolism in human body by analysing human hair.]

HDTV System (JAXA): No report.

Hicari (JAXA): On 10/20, 10/21 and 10/24, Satoshi completed GHF trouble shooting included installation of Central Heater, Thermocouple alignment check, cleaning of GHF-MP and Heater insulation measurement. Root cause of anomaly has been confirmed as short circuit to ground between the Locking Wire of Central Heater Busbar (hot side) and surface of the End Heater. Now, we can proceed to next step to checkout of GHF experiment process and to conduct Hicari experiment in this year. “The ground team is very much appreciated your hard work, thank you so much!”

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 4349 images to-date. The most recent HICO images include Sydney, Australia, part of Lake Victoria in Africa and part of New Zealand. RAIDS has lost low-rate telemetry containing the Science data as of 9/21 and is currently troubleshooting the problem with NASA engineers.

HydroTropi (Hydrotropism & Auxin-Inducible Gene Expression in Roots Grown under Microgravity Conditions/JAXA): No report.

ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): Complete.

ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular): “Mike & Satoshi, thanks for another great ultrasound session. The images looked great during the scan and the PI team is anxious to begin analyzing the data. Satoshi has one more ICV session left. Great Work!“

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.

INTEGRATED IMMUNE: “Mike & Satoshi, thanks to all of you for a successful blood draw on 9/14. The PI team is looking forward to analyzing the data.”

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: The latest statistics include 14 completed events for Mike and 10 completed events for Satoshi. This includes a total of 112 events in 2011 and 678 total events for the project.

ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera, NASA): After 4 weeks of blackout period (no light) for US targets, ISSAC resumed its access to some of its US targets. ISSAC captured ~60 targets this week and ~85% of these targets are outside US. Next week, both ISSAC and EarthKAM will be operating simultaneously inside WORF. This is the first time that both ISSAC & EarthKAM will be operating together inside WORF.

IV Gen (Intravenous Fluids Generation): No report.

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): On 10/24, Satoshi completed VRU hard disk exchange. Ground Activities completed for MEIS3-17 on 10/24, MEIS3-18 on 10/25, and MEIS3-19 was completed on 10/26.

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: “Mike: This week we powered CIR to check out the FLEX-2 configuration just installed on the back of the Optics Bench. We encountered two main issues: (1) the FCF I/O Processor (CIR's main software controller) was unusually slow processing telemetry, and (2) the bottom FCF IPSU at UML5 was unable to acquire images from the CIR HiBMS Imaging Package at UML8 (this pair of packages was already installed in CIR supporting FLEX). There is good news! The newly installed FCF IPSU was able to successfully acquire images from the newly installed CIR HiBMS Imaging Package at UML7 although we still need to tweak the camera settings to optimize the images for science data.” Issue Resolution: (1) We determined that issue #1 is not a problem with the FCF I/O Processor but with the data getting to the ground. We intend to change settings to accommodate the increased data due to the additional hardware packages. We also plan to power up the CIR again to check out these settings. (2) We decided to work on a plan for the replacement of the CIR IAM F/O Cable #1 that connects the non-communicating IPSU and imaging package. Following the replacement of the CIR FOMA Cal Unit in support of the CIR's yearly calibration and the replacement of this cable, we plan to return to the last bit of FLEX test points.

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 is operating nominally although the Communication Interface Board (CIB) has reset a couple of times this past week. NASA engineers have investigated the possibility that ISS RF systems are causing the CIB resets but found that e-field strengths at the MISSE-8 location are less than 1.5 V/m rms at CIB reset times. MISSE-8 passed ground tests at higher levels so ISS RF systems are not expected to be the cause. MISSE-8 is investigating potential correlations of CIB resets to active MISSE-8 experiments and sub-experiments. ReflectArray was re-enabled on Day 294 after being off for about a week due to temperatures being out of limits. PASCAL has performed 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): Science program is on hold pending engineering assessment after the MSRR / MSL power-down due to P/L MDM crashes on 9/29.

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.

NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.

NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY/ProK: “With the success of the sessions on Thursday and Friday, you have both completed your Nutrition with Repository inflight operations. It has been a pleasure working with both of you and we wish you happy landings in the next few weeks.”

ODK (Onboard Diagnostic Kit, JAXA): On 10/25, Satoshi completed brain wave measurement and data saving. On 10/26, Satoshi started oxygen level and brain wave measurement.

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 3/4; Passive Area Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): No report.

PASSAGES (JAXA): No report.

PCDF-PU (Protein Crystallization Diagnostic Facility - Process Unit): No report.

PCG (JAXA, Protein Crystal Growth): Returned on 26S on 9/16.

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

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

PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

POLCA/GRAVIGEN (ESA): Complete.

Portable PFS: No report.

Pro K: No report.

RadGene & LOH (JAXA): Complete.

RadSilk (JAXA): No report.

Reaction Self Test (RST/Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS): “Mike and Satoshi, keep up the great work with Reaction Self Test!”

Robonaut (NASA): No report.

RYUTAI Rack (JAXA): No report.

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.

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.

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): The “aggregation detection runs”, aiming at the determination of the current aggregation temperature per cell, were completed for all 4 cells by the end of week #5. As expected, the temperatures were lower than measured during the COLLOID#1 experiment. On 10/24 the COLLOID#2 “crystal growth detection runs” were started. Since no crystals were observed during the “Crystal growth detection runs” #1, the science team requested a temperature change to be applied to the following runs. The correct temperature setting to create crystals is rather difficult to define as this process is highly temperature-sensitive and even a small temperature change can have the desired effect. On 10/26 the “Crystal growth detection runs” #2 were completed for all 4 cells and another small temperature change was applied before starting the “Crystal growth detection runs” #3, which are on-going. In-between the “Crystal growth detection runs” #1 and #2, the “Reference Cell Run” was performed on 10/25. The science team could define the phase separation temperature to be used for the “Demixing runs” that will be performed at the very end of the COLLOID#2 experiment.

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory, ESA): Sun Visibility Window #46 started on 10/20. On 10/22 SolACES instrument temperature was brought back to nominal level after being heated for the reboost on 10/19. On 10/24 SolACES heating was initiated again for the Propellant Line Purge the next day (10/25) and is currently still in warmed up configuration for the upcoming thruster events (reboost on 10/26 and 42P undock on 10/29). Sun measurements were performed without any issues until 10/25 when SOLAR experienced a tracking anomaly similar to the one experienced for the first time during the previous Sun Visibility Window. The platform did not start tracking the Sun after 4 consecutive trials. Therefore, the SOLSPEC Sun measurements had to be aborted (SolACES was in warmed-up configuration and not measuring). On 10/26 troubleshooting activities to recover from the Sun tracking anomaly caused a Sun sensor failure and the sensor was powered off. However, on 10/27 a SOLAR power cycling finally brought the sensor back alive, but SOLAR is currently still suffering from this tracking anomaly. Due to the shadow of a robotic arm in parking position (by 10/23) the Sun tracking duration is reduced by ~2-3 minutes at the end of the tracking. This shadowing affect has science impact for SolACES since for some measurements a full Sun tracking period is needed. There is no impact on SOLSPEC science measurements.

SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): No report.

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: “Mike, great job on your Sprint scan Wednesday! Image analysis will begin soon. Thank you for continuing to find the best setup for protecting the science. We will pass this on to future crewmembers. We hope to see you again for one more session around R-7.”

SS-HDTV (Super Sensitivity High Definition Camera, JAXA): On 10/22 and 10/24, Satoshi completed video recording Take P3 and P4, both targeting Sprites and Lightning.

STP-H3 (Space Test Program – Houston 3): MHTEX is currently being reprimed prior to beginning the next test objective. Canary took data during the ISS reboost on 10/26 and saw plasma signatures. VADER is currently planning a new series of tests of the VEDs. DISC has taken more images 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): No report.

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

TREADMILL KINEMATICS: “Thank you, Mike and Satoshi!”

TRIPLELUX-B (ESA): No report.

ULTRASOUND: Planned.

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

VASCULAR (CSA): “No report.

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

VESSEL ID System (ESA): Nominal measurements with NORAIS receiver.

VESSEL IMAGING (ESA): “Thanks, Satoshi, for your great job during your first VESSEL IMAGING session on 10/21. The science team was really happy with the images they received.” [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): “Mike, congrats on completing the inflight portion of the VO2max experiment! We have really enjoyed working with you on-orbit. Data analysis for this session will begin soon. See you on R+1!”

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.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Through 10/24, the ground has received 23,487 CEO frames for review and cataloging. “We are pleased to report your acquisition of imagery this week with times corresponding to those of our CEO Daily Target Lists for the following targets: Johannesburg, South Africa - only a couple of frames were acquired near the edge of the urban area - we will keep requesting this one; Pilcomayo River Floodplain, South America - preliminary review suggests you nailed this target area with over 40 frames - these are under further review for coverage and content; and S. Asian Cities at Night - another nice automated session has been converted to a video for release soon on our website. Your spectacular late-September view the Midwestern USA at Night with Aurora Borealis was posted this past weekend on NASA/GSFC's Earth Observatory website. This image is one of a long series of still images which have been converted into a time-lapse video that gives a sense of flying across the Midwest at night-with the camera facing forward along the line of flight. It includes St. Louis, Chicago, Omaha, and Minneapolis-St. Paul along with a beautiful auroral display over northeastern Canada. Thanks for acquiring this wondrous imagery!”

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou, the capital and largest city of Burkina Faso with 1.5 million inhabitants, is located near the center of this land-locked country. This clear-weather nadir pass was at midday. This is a low-contrast target), Ubinas Volcano, Peru (ISS had a late-morning pass in fair weather with this target just left of track. Beginning looking for it immediately after crossing the coast from the SW. Ubinas is easier to spot than many Andean volcanoes as it is an isolated peak lying on the flank of a very large canyon. Requested were detailed overlapping frames of the volcano summit and flanks. The caldera contains an ash cone, and debris avalanche deposits extending 10 km from the southeast flank of the volcano), Chihuahuan & Big Bend Deserts, Rio Grande (this near-nadir pass for this target area was at midday with clear weather expected. This is an international wildlife preservation site, where many endemic animal and plant species have created niches in a harsh desert environment. As ISS approached from the SW, the crew was to try to spot the Rio Grande River and try for a mapping strip along the most visible course of the river itself), and Santa Barbara Coast, CAL (ISS had an early afternoon, clear-weather pass for this target with its approach from the SW. The Santa Barbara Coastal LTER [Long Term Environmental Research] site is located in the coastal zone of southern California near Santa Barbara. It is bounded by the steep east-west trending Santa Ynez Mountains and coastal plain to the north and the unique Northern Channel Islands to the south. Point Conception, where the coast of California returns to a north to south orientation, lies at the western boundary, and the Santa Clara River the eastern boundary. Looking just right of track and trying for a mapping strip along the south-facing coast opposite the islands).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:55am EDT [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 389.7 km
  • Apogee height – 404.4 km
  • Perigee height – 375.0 km
  • Period -- 92.35 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0021732
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -12.5 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 59 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,18870
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4726 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4013 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations (Increment 29)-------------
10/30/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch (6:11am)
11/02/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking (~7:40am)
11/13/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin (11:14pm)
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2) (~12:45am)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~9:21pm)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
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-------------