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03-21-2012
March 21, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 03/21/12

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

Upon wakeup, CDR Dan Burbank, FE-5 André Kuipers & FE-6 Don Pettit each completed another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 36th for Dan, the 30th for André & Don. [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 breakfast, FE-1 Shkaplerov performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Burbank completed the visual T+2 Days (44 ± 4h) microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) water samples collected by him on 3/19, using the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit / Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).

Afterwards, Dan inspected the BCAT-6 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6) payload, using the LED (light-emitting diode) Mini-MagLite to look for crystals in Samples 6-10. [The BCAT-6 sample module has been undisturbed for a while (since 3/3), and payload developers are hoping that granularity in the Procter & Gamble Sample 1 and phase separation in the Harvard Sample 5 can be seen/captured.]

Anton Shkaplerov collected & downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has 11 sensors placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, MRM2, MRM1, etc.) and four in CQs.    [The memory/flash card was then replaced. Today’s readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. The dosimeters take their readings automatically every 90 minutes.]

Working with the Lulin-ISS radiation hardware set up yesterday for a checkout to allow extending its operations warranty, Anatoly took readings of the 4 deployed Lulin dosimeters (dose rate, particle flux & cumulative dose), logged the data for downlink and reset the dosimeters, then took their readings 4 times spaced 30 minutes apart and finally closed out Lulin.    [Lulin-ISS is a part of the complex Matryoshka suite designed for sophisticated radiation studies.]

Later, FE-2 also performed periodic service of the RS radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), verifying proper function of the radiation detectors by taking readings from the LULIN-5 electronics box located in the MRM1 Rassvet module near the spherical “phantom”. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters (A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

In COL, after connecting the MPPL (Multi-Purpose Payload Laptop) 28VDC power cable to the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop, activating EPM & laptop and configuring VCA1 (Video Camera Assembly 1) for coverage, André Kuipers began Day 1 of his two-day CARD (Long Term Microgravity: Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) activity. [For the session, André first set up the PFS (Pulmonary Function System) with PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module) and GDS (Gas Delivery System), which requires a 45-minute warm up of the PFM/PAM prior to use for the CARD rebreathe exercises. FE-5 then donned & activated the HLTA BP (Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) instrument, to run for the next 24-hrs, collecting BP and HR (heart rate) data every hour during the day and every two hours during sleep, then calibrated the PAM for the subsequent rebreathing exercises with mixing bag, and started urine collections. The CARD protocol included a 24h urine collection on Day 1, a 24h blood pressure monitoring with the HLTA, a blood draw (in the morning of Day 2), and five cardiac output measurements performed with the HRF-2 PFS via re-breathing technique (three double re-breathing sessions with the 4L Re-breathing Bag on Day 1 and two on Day 2).]

Using a new ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) rendezvous overlay for the ATV Simvol-Ts (“symbol center”) rendezvous simulator on an SSC (Station Support Computer at the SM Central Post, Oleg Kononenko & André Kuipers spent ~2 hrs on an OBT (Onboard Training) drill to get ready for the arrival of the European cargo ship which will dock at the SM aft end port.     [Activities of the drill included ~30 min of reviewing the new Simvol-Ts system, ~30 min for the rendezvous & docking simulations, and another ~60 min for rendezvous & docking malfunctions exercises.  The crew performed the OBT unaided, but an ATV instructor stood by on the ground.]

Also in preparation for ATV3 arrival, André & Oleg tested the functionality of the MBRL (PCE/Proximity Communications Equipment), AFU Antenna Feeder Unit, and ATV Hand Controller on the PU Control Panel, with ground specialist tagup. [MBRL has been tested successfully by Anton Shkaplerov back in December 2011, a requirement for the ground fueling of the ATV3 tanks, which occurs approximately two and a half months prior to ATV3 launch.  Tanking depends on functioning onboard MBRL systems.]

Anatoly Ivanishin conducted the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of cooling loop KOB-2, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

FE-2 also 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.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Don Pettit performed his 2nd leg self scan as part of the SPRINT protocol he is currently on, with remote monitoring from the ground.     [After setting up the video camera for ground viewing and configuring the USND2 (Ultrasound 2) equipment, FE-6 placed reference markers on thigh and calf of his right leg and donned the SPRINT Thigh and Calf guides, assisted by André Kuipers, then performed the USND scan.]

Continuing troubleshooting/maintenance on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) in Node-3, CDR Burbank first replaced the pre-treat/water pump with a spare with a subsequent checkout, and then also replaced the pre-treat tank with a spare.     [Purpose of the troubleshooting was to determine whether the main problem has been the pump (therefore the checkout).  The tank would still have to be replaced, since it will be empty soon.]

Afterwards Dan undertook the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill (deferred from yesterday), 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, the CDR completed a self-assessment questionnaire. Answers were 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.]

Anton Shkaplerov spent another ~2 hrs with the KPT-2 payload and its BAR science instruments suite, using the AU-1 (Ultrasound Analyzer 1) to measure background noise behind panels in the SM, with and without lights on.. AU-1 can detect and locate tiny leaks by listening for “hissing” noise. [KPT-2 monitors problem areas, necessary to predict shell micro-destruction rate and to develop measures to extend station life. Data are copied to the RSE1 laptop for downlink to Earth via OCA, with photographs, and the activities are supported by ground specialist tagup as required. Objective of the Russian KPT-2/BAR science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind RS (Russian Segment) panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Piren-V is a video-endoscope with pyrosensor, part of the methods & means being used on ISS for detecting tiny leaks in ISS modules which could lead to cabin depressurization. Besides KPT-2 Piren-V, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU-1) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Afterwards, FE-1 conducted a 3-hr audit/inventory of SIZ individual protection gear in the RS for the 722IMS (Inventory Management System), guided by an uplinked itemized list.

Anatoly completed his 10th 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.]

Don Pettit reconfigured ER-4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) for tomorrow’s loading of software on the ER-4 RIC (Rack Interface Controller) for which he had reviewed procedures yesterday.      [On ER-6 (at Lab O4), Don disconnected the ER-4 laptop, installed instead the ER-6 laptop, returned the ER-4  laptop to ER-4 (in JPM F5), reconfigured ER-4 for nominal operations, installed the PCMCIA Harness/Card into the ER-4 laptop and connected four RS-232 ports, then deployed an A31p laptop close to the ER4 laptop.]

Anatoly 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.]

Anton Shkaplerov took on 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).

Before sleeptime, Anton will initiate battery charging for the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with FSS science hardware. [The FSS system consists of an image recording module with lens and a spectroradiometer module with an electronics module. FSS includes the ME Electronics Module & MRI Image Recording Module.]

FE-6 again had a time slot reserved for making entries in his electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep, Pettit 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 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.]

Before sleeptime, Oleg Kononenko will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 4th 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.]

CDR & FE-6 had their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Dan at ~8:45am, Don at ~10:25am EDT.

At ~10:00am, Don Pettit powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 10:10am conducted a ham radio session with students at  Salem Elementary School, Apex, NC.

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-5, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4). [FE-6 is on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL.  Today’s exercise called for ARED+T2, with CEVIS following tomorrow. If any day is not completed, Don 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.]

Tasks listed for Shkaplerov, Kononenko & Ivanishin on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • A ~30-min. run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D3X digital camera with Sigma AF 300-800mm telelens, focusing on the volcanoes Cleveland, Galeras, Karymski and Hudson;
  • A ~30-min. session for Russia's EKON Environmental Safety Agency, making observations and taking KPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera with the RSK-1 laptop, and
  • 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Zagreb, Croatia (World Capitals Collection Site: The Croatian capital city is located in the NW of the country and lies in the valley of the Sava River on the southern slopes of Medvednica Mountain.  ISS had a fair weather pass in morning light with its approach from the WNW.  At this time, looking just right of track for a detailed view of the city), Sofia, Bulgaria (World Capitals Collection Site: The Bulgarian capital city of Sofia is located in the western part of the country within a broad valley of the Balkan Mountains.  ISS had a mid-morning pass with fair weather and approach from the WNW.  As ISS tracked SE over the Balkan Peninsula, looking for this metropolitan area of nearly 2 million.  Trying to acquire detailed views of this city), B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (Terrestrial Impact Crater Collection: As ISS tracked SE over northern Africa, the crew was to look nadir for this impact crater.  B.P. is an exposed impact crater that is 2 km in diameter and is estimated to be less than 120 million years in age.  Although small, it is somewhat distinctive because of its circular shape.  A local visual cue is an S-bend ridge near the crater), and Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire (Long Term Ecological Site: ISS had a late morning pass over this LTER site in fair weather.  The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest [HBEF] is a 3,160 hectare reserve located in the White Mountain National Forest, near Woodstock, New Hampshire.  The on-site research program is dedicated to the long-term study of forest and associated aquatic ecosystems.  As ISS approached from the WNW, the crew was to look nadir to acquire context views of Hubbard Brook).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:09am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 389.3 km
Apogee height – 400.4 km
Perigee height – 378.2 km
Period -- 92.34 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0016439
Solar Beta Angle -- -20.6 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 80 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 76,433
Time in orbit (station) -- 4870 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4157 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
03/23/12 -- ATV3 launch (12:34am EDT)
03/28/12 -- ATV3 docking (~6:34pm EDT)
04/19/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
04/20/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P launch
04/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P docking
04/30/12 -- SpaceX Dragon launch (12:22pm EDT; target date)
04/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/S.Revin
05/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
07/20/12 -- HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/01/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
11/03/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/05/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/26/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
12/28/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
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-------------