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November 23, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/23/11

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

After wakeup, FE-1 Shkaplerov performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

CDR Burbank 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 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.]

FE-2 Ivanishin completed the periodic routine maintenance in the SM (Service Module)’s ASU toilette facility, changing out replaceable parts with new components, such as a filter insert (F-V), the urine receptacle (MP), the pre-treat container (E-K) with its hose and the DKiV pre-treat & water dispenser. All old parts were trashed for disposal, and the IMS (Inventory Management System) was updated; [E-K 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], and

Preparatory to his first vascular echography session in the COL, Dan Burbank had ~30 min for reviewing the VIS (Vessel Imaging) procedure. [Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) evaluates the changes in central and peripheral blood vessel wall properties (thickness and compliance) and cross sectional areas of long-duration ISS crewmembers during and after long-term exposure to microgravity. An LBNP (Lower Body Negative Pressure) program will be run in parallel to Vessel Imaging. Flow velocity changes in the aorta and the middle cerebral and femoral arteries will be used to quantify the cardiovascular response to fluid shift. Vessel Imaging aims to optimize the countermeasures used routinely during long-duration space missions.]

Dan also performed troubleshooting on the ISSAC (ISS Agricultural Camera) at the Lab WORF (Window Observation Research Facility), inspecting circuit breakers of the camera setup, supported by POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville). [These troubleshooting activities are to help pinpoint which circuit breaker has tripped and why. Also, the power/data cable attached to the pointing assembly was to be disconnected before the ground did their commanding to confirm whether the problem lies in the PDC (Power/Data Controller) circuit breaker or not.]

Shkaplerov disassembled and stowed the three Russian thermostat-controlled containers, KRIOGEM-03, TBU and TBU-V.

Later, Anton conducted the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

Afterwards, FE-1 performed the regular transfer of U.S. condensate water from a CWC (Contingency Water Container) to the RS (Russian Segment) 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.]

Later, Anton 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.]

In the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), CDR Burbank performed an onboard science session with the ESA PASSAGES experiment, the 3rd onboard run and his first, setting up the VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) to cover the activities, operating the experiment from the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop. Afterwards, the PASSAGES PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card was inserted into the EPM laptop for downlinking. [After installing the experiment equipment (NeuroSpat light shield, trackball) on the MPL (Multipurpose Laptop) in front of the EPM, Dan conducted the science data collection as subjects (no glasses allowed). The CDR later stowed the equipment. The objective of the PASSAGES experiment is to study the effect of the absence of gravity on a body-related action such as the passage through a restricted opening. Participants estimate the "passability" in making verbal judgments as to whether they can fit through a doorway depicted in a virtual reality environment (by responding to “Yes/No” questions). Through this experiment, our aim is to better understand how astronauts must adjust perceptual strategies in order to efficiently perform simple tasks (such as passing through an open doorway). This experiment tests a fundamental hypothesis about human perception while at the same time helping researchers to understand how astronauts adjust to the novel conditions of space flight. These experiments may lead to training paradigms using virtual reality that could be used to better prepare astronauts for space. The first onboard run was performed by Paolo Nespoli on 1/3/11.]

Later, the CDR reviewed OBT (Onboard Training) reference material for an upcoming ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) session, his first.

Working from the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Anton took care of the daily IMS 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).

Soyuz 28S crewmembers Shkaplerov & Ivanishin had about an hour of free time for general orientation (adaptation, station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

The crew had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Daniel at ~10:15am, Anatoly at ~11:30am, Anton at ~11:45am EST.

At ~3:40am, Anton & Anatoly supported 4 Russian PAO TV events, downlinking messages of greetings to (1) the participants of the conference dedicated to opening of International School for Pediatric Neurotrauma (the school will open on 11/28 in the Moscow Science and Research Institute (NII) for Pediatric Emergency Surgery and Trauma; the sponsors are Moscow Department of Healthcare, Inter-regional Public Organization “Pediatric Neurosurgery Science Association”, NII for Pediatric Emergency Surgery and Trauma, N. N. Burdenko NII for Neurosurgery. Lead experts of NII for Pediatric Emergency Surgery and Trauma, pediatric neurosurgeons from Russia and the entire world will be participating in the conference); (2) on the 20th anniversary of the Russian State Social University (RGSU) which will hold a celebration meeting in November dedicated to the 20th anniversary of RGSU (the university is one of the largest leading institutions of Russia in the field of sociology); (3) for the Avtoradio Radio Station “The 80s Disco” International Festival; the Tenth International Music Festival “The 80s Disco”, traditionally held every year by the Federal Radio station Avtoradio, will take place on 11/26, on the stage the Olympic sports complex. This year the topic of 50th anniversary of human space flight will be in the script of the program; the representatives of Avtoradio will be present during the conference, and (4) to the 20th Anniversary TV greeting to AIST TV company in Irkutsk (AIST TV company in Irkutsk is turning 20 on 11/25. The TV company has asked that Anatoly Ivanishin, who was born and raised in Irkutsk, to wish happy anniversary to his home town residents.)

At ~9:35am, Dan conducted a PAO TV downlink, responding to interview questions for CBS News (Bill Harwood, Peter King).

Before Presleep, Burbank will activate 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, the CDR turns 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 their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

After the workout on the T2/COLBERT treadmill, Mike closed down the T2 software on its laptop for data transfer, then turned off the T2 display.

Conjunction Update: NASA/MCC-H had tracked a conjunction with Object 31907 (Fengyun 1C satellite debris) with TCA (Time of Closest Approach) today, a four-inch piece of debris which at first was predicted to move into the red zone due to the disturbances introduced by the undocking and attitude maneuvers, yielding at first a radial miss distanced around 2,800 ft. Later, tracking updates led to downgrading of the probability of a collision. The Chinese weather satellite debris moved back into the Green zone, ands the Shelter-in-Place (retreat into Soyuz 28S) considered for the ISS crew was not required.

Russian Prop Transfer: TsUP/Moscow-controlled propellant transfers continued, tonight at 4:06pm-4:15pm, today from the FGB K2 tank to the SM BO1 oxidizer tank. No crew involvement required.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked today were Cairo, Egypt (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: The Egyptian capital is a sprawling mega-city of over 12 million and located at the apex of the agricultural region of the Nile River delta. ISS had a late morning pass in fair weather with approach from the NW. At this time as the crew approached the coast, the crew was to begin looking just left of track for this target and try for single frame views), Niamey, Niger (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: The capital city of Niger, with a population of about 800,000, lies on a broad bend of the Niger River as it bisects a plateau in the extreme southwestern part of the country. Today ISS had a midday pass in fair weather. At this time as the crew approached from the NW, they were to look just left of track and try for views of this city within a single frame), Florida Coastal Everglades (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH [LTER] SITE: This site located in the region known as “The Everglades” of south Florida. Ongoing research is focused on understanding the ecosystems along the major drainage basins of the region known as “sloughs” where fresh water from the interior moves slowly to the sea. On today’s fair-weather, midday pass ISS approached the target area from the NW with near-nadir views. Trying for long-lens detailed mapping views of the south Florida peninsula, but inland from the large coastal cities), Port au Prince, Haiti (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: This capital city of less than 1 million is found on the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Gonave on the western side of the island of Hispaniola. On this midday pass in partly cloudy weather as ISS tracked southeastward over eastern Cuba, the crew was to look just left of track for this target area), Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico (DYNAMIC EVENT: ISS had a midday pass in fair weather over Mexico's second highest peak at 17,802 feet. “Popo” is a large, active volcano located 43 miles southeast of Mexico City. In fact an eruption on 11/20 sent a burst of ash 3 miles into the atmosphere. Today the crew was to look just right of track and survey the summit and surrounding area for evidence of this recent activity), and Major Hurricane Kenneth, Eastern Pacific Ocean (DYNAMIC EVENT: Since yesterday, this rare, late-season hurricane has exhibited explosive intensification and on 11/22 is a Category 4 storm with maximum winds estimated at 145mph with further strengthening possible. This makes Kenneth the strongest storm on record for this time of the year in the eastern Pacific. The ISS pass today is forecast to intersect the track of Kenneth providing a near-nadir view of the eye. The crew was to take advantage of this opportunity to acquire detailed views of the eye structure and possibly the eye interior).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:41am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 391.8 km
  • Apogee height – 412.6 km
  • Perigee height – 371.0 km
  • Period -- 92.39 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0030724
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -29.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.58
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 207 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,579
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4751 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) – 4038 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11:30/11 -- ISS Reboost
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)
xx/xx/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- (Under Review)
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-------------