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December 12, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/12/11

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 4 of Increment 30 (three-person crew).

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.

FE-1 also conducted the weekly checkup behind ASU/toilet panel 139 in the SM on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

CDR Burbank started another sampling run with the AQM (Air Quality Monitor), his 4th, 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.]

Dan also unstowed & set up the equipment for his 2nd (FD30) session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring assessment, scheduled tomorrow. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. 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 includes 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.]

In the SM, FE-2 Ivanishin worked on the TORU simulator equipment, replacing a faulty cable (broken wire) with a new spare to restore functionality to the TORU teleoperator control system trainer (Trenasher). [The failed cable, found by Sergei Volkov on 9/8, connects the BSST signal matching unit to the RUD rotational hand controller.]

Next, Anatoly spent ~4.5 hrs in the FGB using microbial growth wipes and Fungistat disinfectant to clean areas behind wall panels which have shown some microbial contamination. [Today’s treatment focused on panels 404 & 405. The activity will be continued tomorrow behind panels 204, 205 & 303. The time-consuming work requires clearing cargo out of the way, removing bungees, photographing enclosure spaces, etc. Areas of interest are accessible frame sections, attachments, mounting bracket, pressurized shell surface areas, panel internal surfaces, etc.]

Anton Shkaplerov meanwhile conducted the periodic 2-hr. inventory/audit of all medical kits in the RS (Russian Segment) including removing/replacing medications as required and checking on remaining food supplements (salt, Vitamin C, etc.).

Later, FE-1 checked out proper MKSD Control & Data Acquisition Module communications between the BSPN Payload Server and the RSS1 laptop, then copied science & service data, accumulated from the GFI-17 Molniya-GAMMA (“Lightning-GAMMA”) experiment mounted externally since the Russian EVA-28, over to external media (16 GB flash card). Later (~12:10pm EST), he initiated their downlink from the RSK1 laptop to the ground via OCA. [GFI-17 “Molniya” FOTON-GAMMAinvestigates atmospheric gamma-ray bursts and optical radiation in conditions of thunderstorm activity.]

Burbank completed the monthly maintenance of the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill, checking its components, 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.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Dan later performed the periodic reboot on the active PWS1 (Portable Workstation 1), noting state of battery charge for reporting to COL-CC (Control Center) at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany.

Burbank & Shkaplerov checked out and familiarized themselves with the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System). [The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who is also provided with restraints around the device. CMRS can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and can also restrain two CMOs at the same time during their delivery of medical care.]

Afterwards, Dan & Anton also checked out & familiarized themselves with the HMS RSP (Health Maintenance System Respiratory Support Pack), using RSP #1004 for the purpose, then stowing it in a drawer in the Lab.

Later, Dan conducted his 5th 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.]

On the Vozdukh carbon dioxide (CO2) removal system, Shkaplerov prepared for switching from the manual mode to automatic control for the air scrubber cycle between the two absorbent beds on TsUP/Moscow Go, in support of ground-commanded TVM (Terminal Computer) & TsVM (Central Computer) restart.

Ivanishin later supported the ground-commanded reactivation of the Elektron-VM O2 generator, first performing the usual buffer volume compression, then monitoring the external temperature of its BD secondary purification unit for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. Elektron-VM had been turned off earlier by the ground to allow activation of the SKV-2 air conditioner. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause dangerous overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

With the Lab camcorder configured to provide live views, Dan Burbank worked several hours on the PACE (Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment) science payload in the FIR FCF (Fluids Integrated Rack Fluids & Combustion Facility), configuring the hardware, cleaning out oil from the AFC (Auxiliary Fluids Container), removing the old sample (#2002) and starting the processing of tissue sample #2008. [PACE is an interesting Technology experiment, designed to investigate the capability of conducting high magnification colloid experiments with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) for determining the minimum size particles which can be resolved with it. Today’s activity steps included opening the FIR doors, then cleaning up oil from inside the AFC and removing PACE sample #2002 from the PACE Test Target. Next, Dan retrieved tissue sample #2008, mounted the PACE test target and installed the sample and the PACE oil dispenser into the LMM AFC. The AFC front door was closed and the oil started to be dispensed onto the sample. The LMM Spindle Bracket Assembly was then rotated to the Operate position and the rack doors were closed. The new experiment run, which uses the newly installed PACE LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Base to allow illumination from below the samples (or trans-illumination), will enable the ground to use the LMM microscope to examine tissue and particle samples and also characterize the microscope for ACE (Advanced Colloids Experiment) scheduled to begin in 2012. ACE Objective: To remove gravitational jamming and sedimentation so that it is possible to observe how order arises out of disorder and to learn to control this process. Small colloidal particles can be used to model atomic systems and to engineer new systems. Colloids are big enough (in comparison to atoms) to be seen and big enough that their evolution can be recorded with a camera. With a confocal microscope, templates, and grids, we can observe this process in 3-D and learn to control it.]

In the SM, Anton performed IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the Russian VB-3M VELO cycle ergometer, removing the right pedal crank arm and hub assembly of the exerciser and replacing it with a new unit. [The Progress 36P-delivered VB-3M exerciser was installed by Sasha Skvortsov & Misha Kornienko on 6/8/2010, replacing the older VB-3 cycle.]

Later, FE-1 Shkaplerov undertook the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on a review of all topics. At the end, Anton completed a self-assessment questionnaire. Answers were then provided at test conclusion. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

Ivanishin performed 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 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.]

Shkaplerov 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).

Dan Burbank 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.]

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 ~6:05am EST, the CDR powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 6:10am conducted a ham radio session with students at the Hirano Junior High branch of Kobe Youth Nurturing Council, Kobe-city, Hyogo-prefecture, Japan.

At ~7:50am, the three crewmembers held a 30-min. Handover audio conference with the next Soyuz crew, starting the process of passing on the lessons learned to the upcoming Expedition 30/31 crew, Oleg Kononenko, Andre Kuipers & Don Pettit. [The purpose is to begin the handover process prior to the arrival on orbit through audio- & videocons and data exchanges between the current crew and the upcoming crew.]

Before exercising on the TVIS device, FE-1 set up the G1 video camera in Node-3 to cover the workout sessions of himself & Anatoly on the treadmill, to meet the regular 30-day requirement for biomechanical evaluation of the on-orbit crewmembers, and evaluation of the hardware status.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), and ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for FE-1 & FE-2 for 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).

GHF Checkout: On 12/1, JAXA ground controllers continued the extensive checkout of the GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace) payload on the Kobairo Rack in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) which began on 12/1 and is continuing for about 14 days.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:41am EST [= epoch])
· Mean altitude – 393.1 km
· Apogee height – 410.1 km
· Perigee height – 376.1 km
· Period -- 92.42 min.
· Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
· Eccentricity -- 0.0025046
· Solar Beta Angle -- 28.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
· Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.58
· Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 50 m
· Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,876
· Time in orbit (station) -- 4770 days
· Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4057 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit --- 8:16:15am EST (7:16:15pm Baikonur)
12/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S docking (MRM1) --- 10:20am EST
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
01/24/12 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
01/25/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
01/27/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/07/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- (target date)
xx/xx/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
03/16/12-- Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov --- (Target Date)
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docking (MRM2) --- (Target Date)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
TBD -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
04/24/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
04/25/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P launch
04/27/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P docking
TBD -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
06/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/28/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/28/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/19/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/02/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/16/13 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 – 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-------------