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November 02, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/02/11

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

· Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate Progress docking plus the associated workload, crew day was extended by one hour, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm EDT. Tomorrow’s crew wakeup will be lengthened by one hour, from 2:00am to 3:00am, and sleeptime kept at the regular 5:30pm, thus shortening tomorrow’s workday by an hour.

Yest kasaniya! At 7:41am EDT this morning, Progress M-13M/45P (#413) docked successfully to the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port (vacated by Progress 42P on 10/29) under precise automatic Kurs control. [Kurs antenna retraction was nominal. Kasaniya (contact) was followed by a final DPO post-contact thrusting burn, docking probe retraction and Sborka (hook closure, ~8:00am) after motion damp-out while the ISS was in free drift for 20 min (7:40am-8:00am). At “hooks closed” signal, RS (Russian Segment) MCS returned to active attitude control, maneuvering the ISS to LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal Torque Equilibrium Attitude). Attitude control authority had been handed over to Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at 5:45am; it returned to US Momentum Management at ~8:40am. Next came the standard 1-hr leak checking, opening of the hatches between DC1 & SU vestibule and SU & Progress (~10:30am-10:50am) and installation of the BZV screw clamps, followed by the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler, then powering down the spacecraft and installation of the ventilation/heating air duct, taking photographs of the internal docking surfaces for subsequent downlinking, and dismantling & removing the StM docking mechanism between the cargo ship and the DC1 nadir port.]

After wakeup at ~2:00am, FE-4 Volkov had 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 twice during the day and completing the scheduled lens change. [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.]

Automated approach & docking was monitored from the SM by FE-4 Volkov & FE-5 Furukawa on the TORU manual teleoperated rendezvous & docking system in case automated control was aborted.

After the cargo ship’s docking, Sergey & Satoshi shut off the TORU, and reconfigured the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops. [The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC-1 and USOS, and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM’s outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support].

The Russian flight engineer then started the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and the DC1 SU vestibule.

Later, Volkov opened the hatches and installed the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling.

Afterwards, Sergey powered down the spacecraft and installed the ventilation/heating air duct.

This was followed by the standard air sampling inside Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler.

Sergey, with Satoshi’s help, dismantled the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1 and attached the regular two handles (ruchek) on the hatch door. [The StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress' cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC-1.]

Satoshi tore down and removed the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) “scheme” setup of downlinking streaming video via Ku-band, then deactivated the conversion laptop. [The Ku-band video “scheme” for covering RS docking events converted the Russian video signal from the SONY HDV camera’s European PAL format to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from SM & Node-3/Cupola, for downlinking as MPEG-2 encoded “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. The activities were monitored on the T61p laptop at the SM CP (Central Post) with the NVIEWER application, and the RWS (Robotic Workstation) in the Node-3/Cupola was used for both the conversion from PAL to NTSC and the “streaming” MPEG2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoding for downlink via Ku-Band. The analog signal version of the digital Ku-band downlink was then sent to TsUP-Moscow via ESA Gateway at COL-CC (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Control Center) on a Tandberg Decoder. Shortly before the docking, Ku-band dropped out, and the final approach was monitored from the Progress TV camera, via VHF and RGS (Russian Groundsite).]

In the Cupola, Satoshi disabled UOP-1 (Utility Outlet Panel 1) power to the CUP RWS and disconnected the DCP (Display & Control Panel) bypass cable.

Immediately upon gaining access to the cargo ship, Sergey began with the unloading and transfer of time critical and first priority cargo items. [“Time critical” items were the KTsN BIO payloads BTKh-29 Zhenshen-2 (Ginseng-2) in the Bioecology container, BTKh-42 STRUKTURA (Structure) science experiment with its Luch-2 kit, three SIMBOLICA (Symbolics) kits with commemorative items, 10 SUBA SSD-305 General Light Assemblies, and an SSGO TZK-14 Thermal Protection Jacket for the Kazakhstan landing. “Time critical” U.S. items were 20 CHeCS-EHS (Crew Health Care-Environmental Health Systems) RAM (Radiation Areas Monitor) assemblies, one CEVIS isolator and a PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) consumable kit and cartridge bag. Of first priority cargos, there were 23 Russian items and 9 U.S. items.]

BTKh-29 was transferred by FE-4 to the MRM2 Poisk module and set up in its Bioecologia container for exposure and photography. Next came BTKh-42, which was relocated from Progress to the SM and set up in the work area, followed by removal of its 4 UBK biological crystallization cartridges #1-#4 for setup, photography and activation of the crystallization process, with date and time for each logged.

The CDR checked the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge. Later in the day Fossum performed additional checks on the payload, taking high-resolution photography of any crystals formed in the last 7 days, both in the clear Samples 6-9 and in the turbid Sample 10. Afterwards, Mike homogenized (mixed) a new sample, Sample 2, and set up the D2Xs camera with EarthKAM software running with the Intervalometer on SSC-13 for automated flash photography. [The camera is running for a total of 7 days, taking one photo each hour. 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.]

Other activities completed by CDR Mike Fossum included –
· Powering down the amateur/ham radio equipment in the SM & COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) before the docking to prevent RF (radiofrequency) interference during the approach & docking; later in the day, both stations were turned on again,
· Closing the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) windows before the docking to prevent their contamination from thruster effluents,
· Replacing the A31p laptop of the ER-5 (EXPRESS Rack 5) in the JAXA JPM with a new Lenovo T61p laptop (#1127) and then connecting it to the ER-5 video cable,
· Loading BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and EXPRESS Common Laptop Software 8.0 on the new ELC-5 (ER Laptop Computer 5) and configuring the ELC for ER-5 operations, followed by
· Completing the laptop replacement by loading the SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor) application software on ELC-5,
· Cleaning & reorienting the cone screen assembly filter in the IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) of PMA-1 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 1), and
· Removing & replacing (R&R) the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-U urine container in preparation of tomorrow’s scheduled ARFTA (Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) R&R operations.

FE-5 Furukawa unstowed and readied items required for next week’s scheduled deployment of the JSL (Joint Station LAN) Dual OCA Router.

Afterwards, Furukawa printed out an updated NINJA (Network Information for JSL Administration) access/password document for the new BCR/RFID (Bar Code Reader / Radio Frequency ID) readers and the Soyuz 29S crew.

Both Satoshi & Mike were subjects for their 4th onboard session with the 24S-delivered HMS (Health Maintenance System) Tonometry payload, originally set up and tested by Paolo Nespoli & Cady Coleman on 4/28. Today, CDR & FE-5 took turns as CMO to measure each other’s intraocular pressure, supervised via live S-band video by medical ground personnel. [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 are being used to assess the health of the crew’s eyes.]

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 had one hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations; these are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

At ~4:30am, Satoshi Furukawa held his regular tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC.]

CDR & FE-5 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Mike at ~10:00am, Satoshi at ~2:50pm EDT.
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, except for FE-4, worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-4, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (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),
  • 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
  • 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.

Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Islamabad, Pakistan (the Pakistani capital of 1.33 million is located on the Pothohar Plateau in the north of the country and is regarded as the most developed city in Pakistan. ISS had a midday pass with fair weather expected. As it tracked northeastward up the Indus River valley and entered the mountains at this time, the crew was to look just left of track for single frame views of the entire city), Castries, St. Lucia (this tiny capital city of only about 11,000 is located on the NW coast of the island of St. Lucia, located near the center of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. As ISS tracked northeastward in late morning light with fair weather, the crew was to look near nadir for this target), Volcan Colima, Mexico (ISS had a near-nadir pass in late morning with clear weather over this massive, 3,850-meter volcanic complex in southwestern Mexico. CEO has numerous photos of this target, but cloud-free, long-lens views of the twin-peaked summit area have eluded crews to date), Wells Creek Impact Crater, TN (this target is located in west-central Tennessee between Nashville and the long Kentucky Lake reservoir on the Tennessee River. ISS had a midday pass in clear weather with this feature just left of track. The crater is 12 km in diameter and is estimated to be about 200 million years old. Requested were overlapping context views with a long lens), Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (today’s sleep shift offers a rare opportunity to acquire imagery of this famous ecological feature off Australia’s NE coast. This midday pass was in fair weather with the southeastern part of the target area at nadir and the remainder left of track. Requested were a context mapping of the reef features from nadir to left of track), and Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati (Tarawa is an atoll in the Equatorial central Pacific Ocean. It is the capital of the Republic of Kiribati. At this time, as ISS approached from the SW in mid-morning light, the crew was to begin looking just right of track for the archipelago of Kiribati and try to locate the triangular shape of Tarawa, trying for detailed views).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:05am EDT [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 389.1 km
  • Apogee height – 403.9 km
  • Perigee height – 374.3 km
  • Period -- 92.34 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0021849
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -31.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 139 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,251
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4730 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4017 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-------------