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November 18, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/18/11

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

First thing in Post-Sleep prior to eating, drinking & brushing teeth, CDR Fossum, FE-3 Burbank & FE-5 Furukawa performed another liquid saliva collection of the INTEGRATED IMMUNE protocol (Day 2 for Dan, Day 3 for Mike & Satoshi). The collections are made every other day for six days.    [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

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.

Fossum, with Burbank joining as Handover “trainee”, 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.  The Handover included familiarization with the experiment. [After starting on 11/10, the camera is running for a total of 7 days, taking one photo every 2 hrs (changed today from 1 hr). 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.]

Again most of the work day was spent on Handover activities between the 27S & 28S crewmembers, to familiarize the new Expedition 29/30 residents with onboard equipment and procedures.

FE-1 Shkaplerov, FE-2 Ivanishin & FE-4 Volkov performed Day 2 service on the 28S-delivered Russian bioengineering experiments.
[In particular, Anton, Anatoly & Sergey –
· Prepared & operated the BTKh-43 KONSTANTA experiment,
· Removed the BIO-8 PLAZMIDA payload from the TBU-V thermostat-controlled container (+29 degC) and relocated it to the KRIOGEM-03 cooler (+4 degC),
· Relocated the BTKh-14 BIOEMULSIYA payload from the TBU thermostat-controlled container (+37 degC) to the KRIOGEM-03 (+4 degC), photographed by FE-4,
· Mixed a new sample of the BTKh-26 KASKAD experiment in the KT thermal enclosure in the GB/Glavboks-S (Glovebox-S) and transferred it to the TBU-V (+29 degC), and
· Inserted the BTKh-6,7 ARIL/OChB pack in the thermal container (+4 degC), and then tagged up with ground specialists.]

FE-5 Furukawa performed the Week 9 acoustic survey, using the SLM (Sound Level Meter) to take sound measurements in Node-3 and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) for different noise background conditions.  The SLM data were then transferred for downlink.      [A total of four sets of measurements were taken in Node-3 at 8 locations for WRS2 (Water Recovery System 2) and OGS (Oxygen Generation System) diagnostics, two with OGS active and UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) both activated & deactivated, and another two with OGS off and UPA activated/deactivated.  JPM acoustics were surveyed at 3 locations in two sets of measurements, one while the Stbd Fwd IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) fan activated and one with the fan turned off, both with the mesh cover of the Stbd fan installed.]

Carefully time-sequenced with Satoshi’s measurements, Mike Fossum worked on the OGS, deactivating the system by performing hydrogen purging with the HOPA (Hydrogen Sensor ORU Purge Adapter), then removing & replacing the OGS H2 (hydrogen) sensor, cleaning the AAA (Avionics Air Assembly) muffler & manifold filter, and then reconnecting the OGS QD (quick disconnect) for activation.    [The R&R was part of nominal H2 sensor end-of-life maintenance plan.]

At ~3:10am EST, Sergey Volkov & Satoshi Furukawa spent ~2h on a teleconference with ground specialists to discuss the upcoming Soyuz 27S descent procedures and changes to the previous procedures, covering an update test of the RO DK (manual attitude control by digital loop) mode after undocking, and responding to the performance anomaly of DPO-B rendezvous & docking thruster #14 observed during the descent of Soyuz 24S (the first digital spacecraft version).      [(1) An update/repeat of the RO DK test is necessitated by the fact that Soyuz 24S (#701) undocked from MRM2, while 27S (#702, the 2nd digital version of the spacecraft), will be undocking from MRM1.  This requires a 40-deg roll maneuver during the test after initiation of stationkeeping at 50 m.  (2) The off-nominal performance of thruster #14 on 24S during descent on 3/16/11 on orbit 17, a thrust underperformance of 40-60% nominal, had no impact on the nominal descent which uses the SKD main engine.  Updates were now introduced in the control system for the event of an SKD failure during the execution of the de-orbit burn.]

Volkov, with Ivanishin attending, completed the periodic calibration & adjustment test of the O2 sensor of the SM SOGS (Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System) IK0501 gas analyzer (GA), using the BKGA/Gas Analyzer Calibration Assembly and IGZ/Analyzer Status Indicator (constituent meter), supported by ground specialist tagup. [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed. Result for O2 channel output should be 3 volts.]

FE-1 Shkaplerov dismantled the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2) and transferred it to Soyuz 27S for return.  Afterwards, Anton & Anatoly also removed the 20 dosimeters of the spherical body-simulating FANTOM (“Phantom”) complex from MRM1 “Rassvet” (panel 205) and moved them to 27S.

Fossum uninstalled the three alignment guides from CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab bay S3 to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.     [During this time, the rack should not be touched.]

Afterwards, Mike & Dan worked in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), removing & replacing the E-K Pre-Treat Tank.     [E-K, a Russia-furnished component, contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in the DKiV dispenser and used for toilet flushing.]

Sergey & Anatoly performed the regular transfer of U.S. condensate water from a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1004) to the RS for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. When filled, the EDV was to be connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit.   [The 40-minute “separation” procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Ivanishin also completed the daily routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, his first. [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 & Burbank conducted 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. [The current card (29-0002E) lists 34 CWCs (639.9 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (7 CWCs with 292.7 L, for Elektron electrolysis, all containing Wautersia bacteria; 2. Condensate water (10 CWCs with 35.7 L); 3. Iodinated water (12 CWCs with 216.9 L; also 3 expired bags with 59.1 L); 4. Waste water (1 bag with 15.3 L EMU waste water); and 5. Special fluid (1 CWC with 20.2 L, hose/pump flush). Other CWCs are stowed behind racks and are currently not being tracked due to unchanging contents. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

The CDR and FE-3 each had ~1h set aside for unpacking U.S. cargo items delivered on 28S, working from an Unpack Summary listing 26 items.

Shkaplerov took documentary photography of the transport/launch container (TPK) with the new Chibis-M #2 microsatellite (MS) and visually inspected the TPK for damage before stowing it temporarily.

Afterwards, Anton worked on the MKSD Control & Data Acquisition Module of the GFI-17 Molniya-GAMMA (“Lightning-GAMMA”) experiment mounted externally since the Russian EVA-28, updating its “Photon-Gamma” software from a 16GB USB flash memory. [GFI-17 “Molniya” FOTON-GAMMA investigates atmospheric gamma-ray bursts and optical radiation in conditions of thunderstorm activity.]

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.]

Continuing the obligatory CMS (Countermeasures Systems) overview which is required of each new crewmember prior to the first physical exercised session, Anton Shkaplerov today observed Sergey Volkov using the TVIS treadmill, while Dan Burbank watched Satoshi Furukawa on the CEVIS cycle ergometer.

Afterwards, Dan inserted his CEVIS PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card into an SSC (Station Support Computer) so that the ground could uplink his exercise protocol to the CEVIS card.

Before sleeptime, FE-4 Volkov makes preparations for a microbial air sampling session scheduled tomorrow and later with the MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, initiating charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP). [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.  Because the Ecosphere battery can only support 10 air samples on one charge at one given time, the sample collection must be performed in two stages.  Sample collection to Kit #А24 (Petri dishes Media 1 and 2) is performed tomorrow, after which the ECOSFERA battery pack must be recharged (charging time is 8 hours). On 11/20, air samples are collected to Kit #А25 Petri dishes per procedure.]

Also before sleeptime, Ivanishin will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his first 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.]

Before Presleep, FE-5 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.]

At ~12:05pm EST, Dan Burbank had his 2nd PMC (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At ~3:55pm, Mike Fossum & Dan Burbank are scheduled for an audio/video CCE (Crew Choice Event).

Volkov & Furukawa 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) and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-5).   [CDR Fossum is currently following a special experimental “SPRINT” protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day regime and introduces special daily sessions. No exercise will is timelined for Friday. If any day is not completed, Mike picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE:  ISS pass for this target was at midday, in fair weather with approach from the NW.  This capital city of just over 300,000 is located in the valley of the Miljacka River within the Dinaric Alps.  At this time look towards nadir for this target), Pristina, Kosovo (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE:  Pristina is a small capital city of about 200,000 located in a broad north-south valley of the northern Balkan Peninsula of southeastern Europe.  ISS had a midday pass in fair weather with an approach from the NW.  At the uplinked time the crew was to look towards nadir for this small city), Dakar, Senegal (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE:  The Senegalese capital city of just over 1 million is mainland Africa’s westernmost city, located on the peninsula of Cape Verde.  ISS had a mid-afternoon pass today in fair weather with this target just right of track), St. Paul Rocks islets, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site:  Darwin and the Beagle briefly visited this isolated, equatorial Atlantic site in early February of 1832.  This tiny group of islets and rocks is also known as the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago.  The islands are of particular interest to geologists as they expose rocks associated with the Earth's mantle above sea level.  At this time looking just left of track for the islands as ISS approached the area from the NW.  With mid-afternoon light and a few clouds the crew should have been able to photograph all of them in a detailed nadir mapping pass), Coweeta Forest, North Carolina (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH SITE:  Coweeta Forest located in the eastern deciduous forest of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province of the southern Appalachian Mountains.  Here the research centers on the effects of disturbance and environmental gradients on biogeochemical cycling, and the underlying watershed ecosystem processes that regulate and respond to those cycles.  ISS had a fair-weather, nadir pass, at midday over this target area.  Trying for a simple overlapping-frame mapping strip as ISS tracked southeastward over this part of the Blue Ridge Mountains), and Sevilleta Wildlife Area, New Mexico (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEACH SITE:  The Sevilleta LTER Project is located about 80 kilometers south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in and around the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge [NWR].  Monitoring land use and vegetation changes are the main value of your imagery here.  On this midday pass in clear weather, looking just right of track for context views of the Sevilleta area).

ISS Reboost Update: Last night’s ISS reboost by the two KD engines of the SM’s ODU (Integrated Propulsion System) was performed on time (11:07pm EST) with a burn duration of 3 min 37 sec, yielding a delta-V of 3.55 m/s (planned: 3.40 m/s, i.e., a slight overburn but still within the tolerance range of +/- 5% of delta-V. The amount of propellant used was 468.6 kg.  Mean altitude gain: 6.22 km (planned: 5.95 km). Afterwards, ISS was at a mean altitude of 392.6 km, with 418.8 km apogee & 366.4 km perigee height. Purpose of the reboost was to set up phasing for 27S landing.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:54am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 392.7 km
  • Apogee height – 413.8 km
  • Perigee height – 371.6 km
  • Period -- 92.41 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0031192
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -52.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.58
  • Mean altitude gain in the last 24 hours – 6200 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,500
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4746 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4033 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29) (~5:57pm/9:25pm)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
xx/xx/12 -- 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-------------