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April 20, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/20/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Don Pettit!

  • At Baikonur/Kazakhstan, the new cargo ship Progress M-15M/47P (#415) was launched this morning on time at 8:50am EDT on a Soyuz-U rocket fueled with 392 tons of LO2, over 80 tons of kerosene, and nearly 70 tons of LN2, H2O2 and other elements. Ascent was nominal, and all spacecraft systems were without issues. All arrays and antennas deployed nominally (2 solar arrays, 5 KURS antennas, 1 Rassvet-M antenna for TORU, 1 SBI/M-BITS onboard measurement / telemetry system antenna). Docking to the DC1 (Docking Compartment) Pirs nadir port is planned for Sunday, 4/22, at ~10:40am EDT), to deliver 1,988 lbs of propellant, 110 lbs of oxygen & air, 926 lbs of water and 2,703 lbs of spare parts & experiment hardware for a total of 2.8 tons of food, fuel and equipment to the six crew members on the orbital laboratory.

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.

It was FE-1 Shkaplerov’s turn today for the MBI-29 IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS) experiment, using the SALIVA-I IMMUNO kit and the Plazma-03 Centrifuge to collect saliva and, with FE-2 Ivanishin’s help, venous blood samples which were then processed in the centrifuge and stored by André Kuipers in MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1) for return to Earth on Soyuz 28S. Later, Anton conducted MBI-29 Session 2, with the 2nd saliva collection, the MBI-29 stress test plus filling out the associated questionnaire.

FE-4 Kononenko meanwhile completed the periodic calibration & adjustment test of the O2 sensor of the SM SOGS (Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System) IK0501 gas analyzer (GA), using the BKGA/Gas Analyzer Calibration Assembly and IGZ/Analyzer Status Indicator (constituent meter), supported by ground specialist tagup. [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed. Result for O2 channel output should be 3 volts.]

CDR Burbank re-installed the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab bay S3, engaged the snubber pins and locked safety pins to protect its ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances).

Later, Dan performed his final in-flight ESA Vessel Imaging (Echography) and ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) ultrasound scans, assisted by André Kuipers as Operator, using the Image Collector software, with VOX/Voice plus real-time video downlink during the activity. [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.]

Burbank also downloaded the accumulated data from his recent 5th (R-15) 24-hr ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session from two Actiwatch Spectrums and two HM2 HiFi CF Cards to the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1). The laptop was then powered off. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, 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/BP is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. 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.]

FE-6 Pettit unstowed & readied an INTEGRATED IMMUNE Saliva Collection kit, to be shared among Dan, André & himself tomorrow. [INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) samples & analyzes participant’s blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouths and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned to the ground so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types of white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.]

FE-6 Pettit started his day by collecting the periodic water sample from the WPA WWT (Water Processor Assembly / Waste Water Tank) via process line B for return to the ground. [Required were a 300 mL sample, after a 300 mL line purge (flush water recovered and purge bag trashed).]

Pettit also had another ~45 min for performing the continuing preventive inspection & cleaning of accessible AR (Atmosphere Revitalization) system bacteria filters in Node-1, Node-2, Node-3, Airlock and Lab.

Sitting ~2 hrs in the Soyuz 28S Descent Module (#232), Anton Shkaplerov & Anatoly Ivanishin conducted the nominal descent drill, a standard training exercise for every crew returning on this spacecraft, followed by a teleconference with the ground to discuss return cargo. Results of the exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display on the Neptun-ME console), were subsequently reported to ground control at TsUP/Moscow. Undocking from MRM2 Poisk is currently planned for 4/27 at ~4:19am EDT. [The session includes a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console. The training uses a Descent Simulator application (Trenasher Spusk =descent trainer”) on the RSK1 laptop.]

Later, Burbank joined Shkaplerov & Ivanishin for the regular 30-min fit check of their Kentavr anti-G suits for their return to Earth on 28S, followed by a 10 min teleconference with Kentavr specialists. [The “Centaur” garment (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Chibis" lower body negative pressure suit) is a protective anti-G suit ensemble to facilitate the return of a long-duration crewmember into the Earth gravity. Consisting of shorts, gaiters, underpants, jersey and socks, it acts as countermeasure for circulatory disturbance, prevents crewmembers from overloading during descent and increases orthostatic tolerance during post-flight adaptation. Russian crewmembers are also advised to ingest fluid-electrolyte additives, viz., three sodium chloride tablets during breakfast and after the midday meal, each time with 300 ml of fluid, and two pills during the meal aboard Soyuz before deorbit.]

In preparation of Progress M-15M/47P (#415) docking at the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port on 4/22, Shkaplerov & Kononenko tagged up with a TORU trainer at TsUP/Moscow at ~6:40am for an hour to discuss TORU teleoperator system specifics via S-band audio. [The TORU teleoperator control system lets a SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. During spacecraft approach, TORU is in “hot standby” mode. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM's TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 9 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over RGS (Russian Ground Sites) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground.]

The CDR terminated the maintenance discharge/recharge process on the 3rd set of EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries in the A/L BSA (Airlock Battery Stowage Assembly).

Dan also performed troubleshooting on 3 pairs of Bose headphones (#1001, #1006, #1011) and found all of them deficient (no red LED and no noise cancelling with AAA test battery).

In Node-3, Pettit installed the CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint) at the Cup RWS (Robotic Workstation) in preparation for the subsequent SSRMS OBT (Space Station Remote Manipulator System Onboard Training) session (later removing it again), and also set up the SSRMS DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) application. [DOUG is a special application running on the MSS (Mobile Service System) RWS (Robotics Workstation) laptops that provides a graphical birdseye-view image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation. CCR serves to stabilize an SSRMS operator at the worksite in micro-g, acting similar to a “seat belt”.]

André & Don then spent ~2h on the 2nd (of 3) Space-X Demo Offset Grapple OBT session, practicing SSRMS misaligned grapple approaches in preparation for the Dragon capture. [Objectives of the OBT are: Familiarization with robotic operations from the Cupola RWS, practice good hand controller techniques and successful grapple approaches, and execute a Hot Backup transition and CCP (Crew Command Panel) relocation to the Lab RWS. There are a total of three SSRMS Offset Grapples sessions in the OBT plan for Dragon capture. For the sessions, the robotarm is pre-positioned at the PMM FRGF (Permanent Multipurpose Module Flight Releasable Grapple Fixture) High Hover Position, and the crew is free to complete misaligned grapple approaches to the PMM FRGF in order to familiarize themselves with operations from the Cupola RWS (volumetric constraints, stabilization, camera lighting, CCP lighting, etc.). During the final session, Don & André have the opportunity to practice a full Hot Backup transition, including the CCP relocation to the Lab RWS in the 3rd session.]

Anatoly completed 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.]

For the Russian experiment BTKh-11 Biodegradatsiya ("Biodegradation”), Oleg collected the periodic bio samples from specific metallic equipment and structures for stowage in the 28S Descent Module for microbial analysis on Earth. Anatoly took documentary video/photography of Oleg’s activities, supported by ground specialist tagup. [Samples were collected in the SM behind panels 139 & 407, from the BKS cable system behind panel 221, from behind Elektron-VM panel 429, at the VV ventilation fan in the SM PrK Transfer Tunnel and in the DC-1 Docking Compartment behind panels 201 & 401. The activities were documented by Sergei with the Nikon D2X digital camera with SB 28DX flash attachment for downlink via OCA.]

In the Lab, André Kuipers accessed the NanoRacks Modules and collected data for subsequent transfer to the ER-1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) laptop.

Moving with the RSE1 A31p laptop to the MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet for the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification), Kononenko downloaded to the laptop the new batch of accumulated structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer, then returned it to the SM for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Kuipers downloaded the HLTA (Holter Arterial Blood Pressure) data his session yesterday with the ESA cardiological experiment CARD (Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease) to PCMCIAS memory card for return to the ground along with the blood samples in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) specimen. [CARD examines the relationship between salt intake and the cardiovascular system when exposed to the microgravity environment and explores whether blood pressure & volume can be restored to the same levels that were measured during groundbased measurements by adding additional salt to the crew’s food. Results from this may lead to new health safety measures for astronauts to protect them on long duration missions.]

At ~4:25am EDT, Ivanishin, Shkaplerov, Kononenko, Burbank, Kuipers & Pettit held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:00pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

Before Presleep, the CDR 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

Dan, Anton & Anatoly again had an hour each for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

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, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-4, FE-5), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-2, FE-5). [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. No exercise is being timelined for Fridays. 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.]

After André’s T2 session, Anatoly closed down the T2 software on its laptop for data transfer, then turned off the T2 display. [After the display shutdown, the T2 rack is power cycled (turned off/on) from the ground, and T2 is then ready for use. These power cycles allow for the T2 data to be transferred to the Server for downlink.]

Tasks listed for Shkaplerov, Kononenko & Ivanishin on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were �C
  • 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 Volcanoes Hudson, Aetna, Cordon-Kaul & Hierro, the glaciers of the Pamir, Terek River, Aral Sea, the Patagonian glaciers Upsala, Viedma and Chico, glacier Allalin, the Kerch Strait. Taman;
  • 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).

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 (29-0008T) lists 16 CWCs (183.3 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (2 CWCs with 47.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis, all containing Wautersia bacteria; 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (7 CWCs with 121.8 L; and 4. Waste water (1 empty bag EMU waste water). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L). 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 New Delhi, India (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: ISS had a near-nadir pass for this target in mid-afternoon light with approach from the SW. This capital city is actually one of nine districts in the Indian megacity of Delhi and is located east of the center of the metropolis and west of the Yamuna River. Trying for detailed mapping views of the New Delhi district. The city is usually low-contrast and seasonal haze may make it difficult to see this target until one is right on top of it), Kampala, Uganda (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: The Ugandan capital city of nearly 1.7 million is located in the south central part of the country near the north shore of Lake Victoria. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass today with partly cloudy weather expected as it approached from the SW. At this time as ISS passed Lake Victoria, the crew was to look towards nadir for this target and try for views of the entire city within a single frame), Arabian Haboob (dust storm) (DYNAMIC EVENT: This morning’s weather satellite imagery indicates the presence of a major Haboob (dust storm) that is poised to sweep over the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf Region over the next 24 hours. While the exact position relative to ISS’ mid-afternoon pass was uncertain, the leading edge of the dust front should still have been be visible anywhere from nadir to right of track. At this time the crew was to begin looking for this feature and acquire views with good contrast and recognizable landmarks, especially near the coasts), and Damascus, Syria (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: The Syrian capital with a population estimated at 1.8 million is located in the extreme southwestern part of the country on an arid plateau area about 50 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea. This nadir pass was in mid-afternoon with clear weather expected. At this time, the crew was to begin looking for this low-contrast urban area on the western edge of an area of intensive agriculture, trying to capture the entire area in a single frame).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:47am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude �C 392.0 km
Apogee height �C 397.1 km
Perigee height �C 386.8 km
Period -- 92.40 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007597
Solar Beta Angle -- 30.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.58
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 140 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 76,902
Time in orbit (station) -- 4900 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4187 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
04/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P docking (~10:40am)
04/27/12 -- Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock (4:19am EDT)
04/27/12 -- Soyuz TMA-22/28S landing (7:45am EDT; 2:45pm DMT/Moscow) (End of Increment 30)
04/28/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P deorbit burn (6:33am EDT)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/30/12 -- SpaceX Dragon launch (12:22pm EDT; target date)
05/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch �C 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 �C 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 �C 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 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 �C 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 �C 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 �C 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 �C 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-------------