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November 15, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/15/11

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

· Soyuz TMA-22/28S is in Day 2 of its flight to ISS, with docking scheduled early tomorrow morning at ~12:33am EST at the MRM2 Poisk module for a stay of 122 days, delivering Russian Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov (S/C CDR, ISS-29/30 FE) & Anatoly Ivanishin (ISS-29/30 FE), and US Astronaut Dan Burbank (ISS-29 FE/ISS-30 CDR). [This is the 117th mission to the ISS. With the first launch of the FGB “Zarya” module on a Proton-K (1A/R) on 11/20/1998, there have been a total of 36 US missions, 77 Russian missions (+ 1 failed), 2 European missions (ATV-1, ATV-2) and 2 Japanese missions (HTV1, HTV2). It is also the first post-Shuttle manned launch.]

· Sleep Cycle: To accommodate the post-midnight arrival of 28S, the ISS crew has a short workday today (1:00am – 11:00am EST), with rest/sleep until 8:00pm tonight.

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.

Also during the morning Inspection, Sergey conducted the periodic checkup of the circuit breakers & fuses in the MRM1 Rassvet & MRM2 Poisk modules. [The monthly checkup in DC1, MRM1 & MRM2 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36. MRM2 & MRM1 were derived from the DC1 concept and are very similar to it.]

CDR Fossum checked the running BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6)-Phase Separation experiment for camera & flashlight battery charge. The Nikon D2Xs camera with EarthKAM software running with the Intervalometer on SSC-18 (Station Support Computer 18) is taking automated flash photography of Sample 3. [After starting on 11/10, 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.]

Afterwards, Mike performed routine service on the WRS (Water Recovery System) using the LFTP (Low Flow Transfer Pump) to transfer one CWC-I (-Iodine) to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) and offloading it, using a particulate filter. [Estimated offload time: ~4 hrs; max. allowed quantity: 87%].

Volkov worked in the MRM2 module to prepare it for a test of its ASP (Passive Docking Assembly) right after Soyuz 28S docking. Preparation consisted of removing the drive cover from the MRM2 ASP’s MGK hatch sealing mechanism. [TsUP Flight Controllers will run an ASP performance test immediately after spacecraft SSVP hook closure to test the installation and adjustment of the UK Contact Device on the ASP hatch cover which Sergey performed on 10/10. If Sergey’s adjustment was correct, UK will enable hook opening with MRM2 & Soyuz hatches and PEV (Pressure Equalization Valves, KVDs) closed and Soyuz on standalone power. To test this, the MRM2 ASP hooks will be commanded remotely to close, will then be opened from the Soyuz 28S InPU panel and again be closed from the ground. If the test results are negative (i.e., hooks opening from Soyuz fails), Sergey needs to reverse his work of 10/10 by disconnecting the UK device from the onboard cable network and capping the latter’s connector.]

Furukawa printed out a “Welcome Message” from PLUTO (Plug-In Port Utilization Officer) at MCC-Houston and deposited a copy each in the CQs (Crew Quarters) of Anton, Anatoly & Dan. [The Welcome Message, a “shortcut” to the usual Crew Handover, provides a list of helpful details for the newcomers about what they need to know about OpsLAN, PiP (Plug-In Plan), SSC (Station Support Computer) applications (IP Communicator/Phone, NetMeeting, Russian Language Support, Email Management), Photo Management Information, Personal Data Storage & Downlink Reminders, CSL (Crew Support LAN, and the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System).]

Afterwards, Satoshi closed the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Lab and Cupola windows in preparation for the docking, to protect them against thruster effluent contamination.

FE-4 Volkov prepared the RS (Russian Segment) for the arrival of time-critical bioengineering payloads on Soyuz. [Activities involved unpacking & setting up the Russian GB/Glavboks-S (Glovebox-S) in the MRM2, readying the KT thermostatic enclosure with its Kryshka BUP container in the DC1 for the BTKh-26 KASKAD experiment, installing the thermostatic (temperature-controlled) containers TBU Universal Bioengineering Thermostat (set at +37 degC) in DC1, TBU-V (+29 degC) in MRM-1 at panel 104, and Kriogem-03 (+4 degC) in the SM at panel 234.]

Sergey 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 ~10:30am EST, Fossum powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 10:35am conducted a ham radio session with students at JSC/Houston for an educational event. [Ten students serving as interns and co-ops at JSC have been selected to ask questions of Mike Fossum during their 10-min ARISS contact. As part of the events surrounding the upcoming contact, students and other audience members will learn more about amateur radio technology and how ARISS contacts are conducted from JSC’s own ARISS expert, Kenneth Ransom. Teaching From Space (TFS), a NASA Education office, will help facilitate the event. TFS promotes learning opportunities and builds partnerships with the education community using the unique environment of space and NASA’s human spaceflight program. The students participating in the contact come from the Space Grant Program, the University Research Centers Program, the Undergraduate Student Research Project, and JSC’s internal co-op program operated through the JSC Human Resources Department. Each of these programs provides students the opportunity to have hands-on, real-life, career-related experiences that challenge, inspire, and provide practical application that complements and expands upon the students’ academic education.]

CDR & FE-5 again had time set aside for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers, Mike ~1 hr, Satoshi ~2 hrs.

Before Presleep, Mike activated 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 turned 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 an abbreviated physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5).

CEO targets uplinked for today were Podgorica, Montenegro (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: This small capital city of just over 150,000 is located at the confluence of the Ribnica and Moraca Rivers in the southern part of the country known as the Zeta plain. ISS had an early afternoon pass in clear weather. At this time as the crew approached from the NW, they were to look for this target just right of track), Skopje, Macedonia (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: ISS had an early afternoon pass in clear weather with this target at nadir. This capital city of about 700,000 is located in the valley of the Vardar River near the Sar Mountains of northwestern Macedonia. Approach was from the NW), Amman, Jordan (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: The Jordanian capital city of over 2 million is located in a hilly area of the northwestern part of the country about 25 miles northeast of the Dead Sea. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in fair weather with its approach from the NW. As it tracked southeastward over the Mediterranean coast, the crew was to look for the Dead Sea and then try this target, just right of track), and Southeastern Australian Cities at Night (CITY LIGHTS: Both the weather and timing of this pass offered good opportunities for oblique nighttime views of the major cities of southeastern Australia. At this time, as ISS tracked northeastward, the crew was to look left of track for Melbourne [4 million +] on the south coast, Canberra [358,000] inland, and then Sydney [4.6 million] on the east coast).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:22am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 387.1 km
  • Apogee height – 401.8 km
  • Perigee height – 372.3 km
  • Period -- 92.30 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0021786
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -65.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 173 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,454
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4743 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4030 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations (Increment 29)-------------
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-22/28S docking (MRM2 “Poisk”) (~12:33am)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~5:57pm/9:25pm)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/xx/11 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- (Under Review)
12/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit --- (Target Date)
12/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/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-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov --- (Target Date)
04/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/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-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------