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December 29, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/29/11

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

After wakeup, FE-2 Ivanishin performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Oleg Kononenko terminated his first experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/Sonokard, taking the recording device from his Sonokard sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-Med laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [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.]

Also before breakfast & exercise, FE-4 Kononenko & FE-5 Kuipers 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”). Oleg 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).]

Kuipers began his first (FD15) suite of sessions with the medical protocol Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period. After recording his diet input today, André will begin the urine collections for pH value on Sunday (1/1) and blood sampling on Monday (1/2). [For Pro K, there will be five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day (science sessions are often referred to by Flight Day 15, 30, 60, etc. However, there are plus-minus windows associated with these time points so a “Flight Day 15” science session may not actually fall on the crewmember’s 15th day on-orbit). The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI dewar door openings.]

Ivanishin undertook his 2nd session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [Shkaplerov stood by to assist Anatoly in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes and applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

Afterwards, Anton Shkaplerov assisted Anatoly in his own MBI-20 TIPOLOGIA session, his 3rd run.

CDR Burbank & FE-6 Pettit continued with this week’s EPIC (Enhanced Processor & Integrated Communications) card testing and X2R10 software transition after a very successful start yesterday, which “made it look easy” (Flight Control congratulating). Today’s work also went very well. [Don continued with EPIC card testing (today: C&C-3, #102, and C&C-Spare, #104. Both cards passed the test with no errors. One EPIC card remains to be tested, C&C-1, #105, planned for tomorrow. Meanwhile, Dan installed an EPIC card (#106) into the C&C-2 MDM (Command & Control 2 Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) at Lab D5. Ground teams have reviewed data dumps from that MDM; all parameters look good, and we are ready for the C&C-1 EPIC MDM transition to Primary, planned for tomorrow. Since there are now both EPIC and non-EPIC C&C MDMs (with laptops equipped with the software upgrade), if an unexpected C&C transition were to occur, MCC-H will call the crew to inform them which type of PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop to connect. If no comm is available, the non-EPIC PCS should be tried first.]

In preparation for his upcoming first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, Don Pettit charged four power tool (Makita) batteries during the day. [Don’s ICV session starts on Saturday, 12/31.]

With the USND-2 (Ultrasound 2) hardware and video equipment for real-time downlink set up in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), André Kuipers underwent his first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo Scan in the US Lab, assisted by Pettit who served as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) to operate the USND scans. [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, André underwent the USND scan for ICV assessment, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. Heart rate was tracked with the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor). There are dietary constraints, and no exercise is allowed 4 hrs prior to scan. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. Later, the data from the two HM-2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi Cards and two Actiwatch Spectrums were downloaded. The USND echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The ICV experiment consists of two separate but related activities 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 are fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months).]

With the RS (Russian Segment) STTS communications system configured for working in the MRM2 Poisk module, Oleg Kononenko conducted a leak check on the EB vacuum chamber of the new KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload and then performed manual experiment operations. Oleg copied and downlinked data & log files, later returned the STTS comm system to nominal, and checked EB vacuum chamber hermeticity afterwards and before sleeptime (any pressure increase above the vacuum should stay within 5 mmHg). [Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

Anatoly Ivanishin configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h5m session, his 2nd, 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.]

In ESA’s COL, Dan Burbank set up the partial equipment for the VO2max PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) equipment for his next VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions) session, scheduled tomorrow. [The partial gear comprises PPFS power, data, front panel, and gas connections. The experiment VO2max uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle with vibration isolation, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

In the RS (Russian Segment), FE-4 Kononenko supported the ground-controlled shutdown of the Elektron O2 generator (~6:22am EST). [As part of the standard deactivation process Oleg purged the Elektron with N2 (nitrogen), controlled from laptop.]

Afterwards, Kononenko concluded his first session of the standard 24-hr. ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2-2 protocol, started yesterday. [After the ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed system, FE-4 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.]

Oleg also performed his first 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.]

André Kuipers had some time set aside to brush up on the ESA experiment NES/NeuroSpat (A Study of Spatial Cognition, Novelty Processing and Sensorimotor Integration) experiment at the EPM (European Physiology Module) in COL. [NeuroSpat uses MEEMM (Multi-Electrode Electroencephalogram Measurement Module) cables, free-floating & low-frequency head box #1, EEG (Electroencephalograph) cap with electrodes, etc. to investigate the ways in which crew members’ three-dimensional visual & space perception is affected by long-duration stays in weightlessness. It is composed of two principal experimental tasks: Visual Orientation and Visuomotor Tracking, plus additional, standardized EEG tasks performed as a means of assessing general effects of the space station environment on EEG signals. After hardware installation on Day 1, there will be EEG cap setup and science data acquisition & stowage on Day 2, and data handling & final stowage on Day 3. A second crew member sets up the EEG cap and takes pictures of the subject during Day 2. The EEG cap setup will be monitored on real-time TV by the science team.]

Afterwards, at ~7:10am, André conducted the weekly ESA crew conference via phone with COL-CC at Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany.

Anatoly completed the periodic transfer of US condensate water from CWCs (Contingency Water Containers, #1083, #1051) 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. Once filled, the EDV was to be connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The 40-minute 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.]

FE-2 also 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 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.]

Oleg 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).

Performing troubleshooting on the Russian SKV1 air conditioner (which shut down), Anton set up necessary equipment and then checked out a connector (KU 8073) on the SKV1 KU Compressor Unit, using the MMTs-01 MultiMeter to take phase resistance (pin continuity) measurements.

Afterwards, FE-1 worked in the FGB, relocating Russian equipment from a US stowage location to a Roskosmos designated area. [Per NASA/Roskosmos agreements, a stowage area in the FGB GA section belongs to NASA. Seven RussianSSGO Sanitary-Hygiene bags were moved from this area to another location in the FGB.]

Continuing the current round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, Anatoly
spent an hour each cleaning the V3 fan screens in the MRM2 Poisk and DC-1 Pirs modules, after taking documentary photographs.

Shkaplerov worked in the DC1 Docking Compartment to start the regular urine transfer from two EDV-U containers (935, 970) to the BV2 Rodnik water storage tank of Progress 45P (#413), docked at DC1, using the usual pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41). Afterwards, Anton drained the BV2 lines into an EDV. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

The Soyuz 29S crewmembers Kononenko, Pettit & Kuipers again 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.

Before Presleep, Dan 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.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-4, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).

The Roskosmos top management greeting to the ISS crew scheduled for 8:00am EST was called off.

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for Shkaplerov, Ivanishin & Kononenko today called for continued preparation & downlinking of more 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 (29-0008D) lists 30 CWCs (450.4 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (5 CWCs with 179.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis, all containing Wautersia bacteria; 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 19.1 L), 8 empty bags; 3. Iodinated CWCs with 186.4 L; also 2 expired bags with 38.8 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.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Shebelle River fan, Somalia (shooting nadir views of the lower Shebelle valley where seasonal changes in vegetation patterns reveal information about surface and groundwater in an area of extreme poverty. The valley parallels the coast for hundreds of km, just inland of a cordon of coastal dunes. Collaborators concerned with agricultural fertility for the next growing season have requested these images), and Tehran, Iran (looking right of track for this city of 13.4 million [greater Tehran]. This great capital city contrasts with the major mountain range landscapes immediately north, and with green agricultural fields around the city.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:47am EST [= epoch])
· Mean altitude – 391.3 km
· Apogee height – 407.6 km
· Perigee height – 374.9 km
· Period -- 92.38 min.
· Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
· Eccentricity -- 0.0024161
· Solar Beta Angle -- -28.0 deg (magnitude increasing)
· Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
· Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 82 m
· Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 75,140
· Time in orbit (station) -- 4787 days
· Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4074 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
01/18/12 -- ISS Reboost (set up phasing for 46P)
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 launch --- (target date)
02/10/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon berthing --- (target date)
02/14/12 -- Russian EVA
02/23/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon unberth --- (target date)
03/09/12 -- ATV3 launch --- (target date)
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-------------