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November 29, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/29/11

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

At wake-up, CDR Burbank completed his 4th post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

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.

Before breakfast & exercise, Shkaplerov & FE-2 Ivanishin each completed a 10-min session with the periodic Russian MedOps test MO-10 "Hematokrit", which measures the red cell count of the blood, with one of them acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer, Russian: “Examiner”). Anton then stowed the equipment. It was the first session for both of them. [The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit's minicentrifuge, and its Hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time. After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).]

FE-1 concluded his first session of the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2-1 protocol, started yesterday. [After the ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed system, Anton doffed the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over the past 24 hours, recording data on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results were then downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. Later, the data were downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

Afterwards, it was Anatoly Ivanishin’s turn to start his first session of the PZE MO-2-1 protocol which monitors human cardiovascular performance in the space flight environment.

Dan Burbank set up the equipment for the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment and then began his first ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, after preparing the Actiwatches, electrode sites, attaching the harness and donning the Cardiopres.  At ~6:15am EST, the CDR observed the initial 10-min rest period under quiet, restful conditions before going about his business. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. Today, wearing electrodes, the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) for recording ECG (Electrocardiogram) for 48 hours, the ESA Cardiopres to continuously monitor blood pressure for 24 hours, and two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) for monitoring activity levels over 48 hours, Burbank started the ambulatory monitoring part of the ICV assessment. During the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

Later, Dan started another sampling run with the AQM (Air Quality Monitor), his 2nd, deactivating the system ~5 hrs later.[Consisting of the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

Anatoly Ivanishin 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).

Continuing the current round of the monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Anatoly spent ~2h 40m in the SM cleaning “Group B” fan screens, after taking documentary photography.

Before his regular workout on the T2/COLBERT treadmill, Burbank conducted the regular monthly maintenance/inspection of the advanced treadmill’s treadmill system and its components, checking pin alignment, rack centering and the snubber jam nut witness marks.     [Witness marks (12 total) are applied to the X-, Y- & Z-axis jam nuts on each (of four) snubber arm. Their inspection serves to determine to what degree and which jam nuts are backing off.]

After his T2 session, Dan closed down the T2 software on its laptop for data transfer, then turned off the T2 display.

Anton & Anatoly both took the (approx.) monthly O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, their first, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop.   [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There has been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Shkaplerov configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h5m session, his first, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

The three crewmembers performed a one-hour Emergency Egress Readiness OBT (Onboard Training) for Increment 30, Part 2 of the egress drill. [This is a standard training exercise conducted to familiarize new crewmembers with the location of emergency equipment (including hatches & passageways), focusing particularly on the passage along the emergency evacuation route. It includes checking out the position of valves used in emergencies in all ISS modules, an inspection of each hatch for drag-throughs and an audit of all cable cutters and flashlights at the hatches, plus a review of crew interactions in emergencies. The concluding debrief included a crew report on mechanical obstructions in open hatchways, location of all ammonia respirator kits, and Node-3 fire ports with obstructions.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Burbank supported ground controllers by powering off the JEMRMS BUC (JEM Robotic Manipulator System / Back Up Controller) from its UOP (Utility Outlet Panel) and then disconnecting the BDS (Backup Drive System) cable 1 from UOP.

Anatoly completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways.   [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Anton meanwhile had ~1h 10m allotted for more unloading of Progress 45P and transferring cargo to the ISS for stowage, guided by an uplinked loading plan. [Of the approximately 1166 listed entries on 45P, about 404 are USOS items. Progress M-13M is to remain docked at the DC1 for about 3 months, and its unloading continues as a long-term activity.] 

In preparation of tomorrow’s scheduled CUCU (COTS UHF Communications Unit) software & Dragon CCP (Crew Command Panel) firmware update, Burbank installed a USB thumb drive (#60) and readied a blank CD (#1675) in SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10).  The ground then uplinked a software patch and burned it on the CD.      [New software, version R3.2, will be loaded into the CUCU from a DVD delivered on ULF7 and a patch from the thumb drive.  CUCU is the SpaceX avionics box that is used for space-to-space communication with “Dragon” during rendezvous.  CUCU contains two completely redundant strings, and each string needs a software update to the RIO (Remote Input/Output (RIO) control modules, the radio and the 1553 card. In addition, the firmware on the CCP will need to be updated for both the primary and spare CCP.  The software update is done with a T61p laptop that will be booted to the Linux operating system from the ULF7 DVD.  After the software load, MCC-X (SpaceX’s Control Center in Hawthorne, CA) will be doing some checkouts of the box and then Dan Burbank will do a checkout of both CCPs.  Background:  The originally planned Demo 2 & 3 missions have been merged.  For the new “Dragon” Combined Demo, “Commanding from ISS” via the CCP will be demonstrated while the spacecraft flies 2.5 km under the ISS.]

Later, Dan conducted his 2nd periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling in Node-3 using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose, followed by the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Waste Water Bag). [After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

FE-2 Ivanishin completed his 2nd data collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

Working periodic maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), the CDR evacuated its cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration. Dan also performed the periodic inspection of the VIS (Vibration Isolation System) Y- & Z-axes rails & rollers and upper stops as well as the recently added rope knot of the ARED’s exercise rope for fraying or damage in the strands.

Later, Dan had another time slot set aside for making entries in his electronic Journal on his personal SSC (Station Support Computer). [Required are three journaling sessions per week.] 

Anatoly conducted the routine daily 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 theKTO 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.]

FE-2 also took 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).

The three crewmembers had about an hour of free time each 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.

FE-1 & FE-2 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Anton at ~11:15am, Anatoly at ~12:50pm EST.

Before Presleep, Burbank 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, Dan 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 ~10:35am, CDR Burbank supported a PAO TV downlink, responding to interview questions from Bay News 9 (Al Ruechel).

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), 2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2)

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for Shkaplerov & Ivanishin today suggested more preparation & downlinking of reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb).

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The new card (29-0008) lists 32 CWCs (552.7 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (6 CWCs with 251.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis, all containing Wautersia bacteria; 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 19.1 L), 7 empty bags; 3. Iodinated water (11 CWCs with 186.4 L; also 3 expired bags with 59.1 L); 4. Waste water (1 bag with 6.4 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.]]

PBA 1021 Issue:   During the Emergency Egress Equipment Readiness Drill on 11/20, the crew reported that PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) bottle #1021 in the A/L (Airlock) had a pressure gauge needle in the red zone (less than 3000 psia).  A second photo of the PBA was taken by the crew yesterday and is under review by ground engineers.  The PBA has been labeled “Not For Emergency Use.”  There are still sufficient PBA bottles and masks on board for ISS crew emergency response. 

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were 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 mid-morning pass in fair weather with possibly some dust in the air.  At this time as ISS approached from the NW, the crew was to look towards nadir and try for contextual views of this city within a single frame), Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE:   The capital of Equatorial Guinea is on the north coast of the volcanic island of Bioco, located in the northeastern Gulf of Guinea, and has a rapidly growing population approaching 200,000.  ISS had a mid-morning pass in partly cloudy weather.  As it approached the coast from the NW, the crew was to look towards nadir for views of the city within a single frame), Mbabane, Swaziland (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE:  ISS had a good pass over this tiny target area with its approach from the NW at midday and partly cloudy conditions expected.  This small capital city has a population of approximately 95,000 and lies in a wooded highland of the tiny, land-locked nation of Swaziland.  There are no images of this city in the CEO database), 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 mid-morning pass in fair weather as ISS tracked southeastward over western Hispaniola, the crew was to shoot towards nadir for this target area), Caracas, Venezuela(WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE:  ISS had a fair-weather, mid-morning pass with this target at nadir.  Like many Latin American cities in the tropics, Caracas with a population of 1.8 million lies at cooler higher altitudes inland from the coas.  At this time as the crew crossed the coast from the NW, they were to try for single-frame views of the city), and Ubinas Volcano, Peru (ISS had a late-morning pass in fair weather with this target at nadir.  At this time as the crew tracked southeastward down the spine of the Andes Mountains, they were to begin looking for this target.  Ubinas is easier to spot than many Andean volcanoes as it is an isolated peak lying on the flank of a very large canyon.  CEO staff requested 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).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 4:38am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 391.0 km
  • Apogee height – 411.8 km
  • Perigee height – 370.2 km
  • Period -- 92.38 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.003073
  • Solar Beta Angle -- -2.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours – 99 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,670
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4757 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) – 4044 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11:30/11 -- ISS Reboost (SM main engine)
12/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------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)
xx/xx/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-------------