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May 18, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/18/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.    First day of full crew complement of 6 for Expedition 31.  Sleep Cycle is back to “normal” – wake: 2:00am, sleep 5:30pm EDT.

After wakeup, FE-1 Padalka performed the routine inspection of the SM PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Upon wakeup, FE-5 André Kuipers, FE-6 Don Pettit & FE-3 Joe Acaba each completed a post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 41st for André & Don and the first for Joe. [For his first RST, Acaba completed pre-test questions, the reaction time test, and performance feedback.  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.]

Kuipers & Pettit had their last day with the ESA ENERGY experiment, with Don contributing a urine sample as Control Subject. [Collection of a water sample from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) in the Lab and urine sampling (on 2nd void of the day) were performed the last time, as was consumption of the special ENERGY breakfast and the logging of all ISS food & drinks consumed from lunch and dinner. André’s Sensewear Armband monitor, worn on the right triceps for the entire 10-day ENERGY measurement period, was removed and its data were downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) laptop internal hard drive for downlink, as were the ENERGY diet logs. Background: The observed loss of astronauts’ body mass during space flight is partly due to the systematic ongoing negative energy balance in micro-G, in addition to disuse. Unfortunately, the reason for such unbalanced match between intake and output is not clear, but appealing data suggest a relation between the degree of energy deficit and the exercise level prescribed as a countermeasure. Purpose of the ENERGY experiment is (1) to measure changes in energy balance during long term space flight, (2) to measure adaptations in the components of the Total Energy Expenditure TEE (consumption), and (3) to derive an equation for the energy requirements of astronauts. TEE is the sum of resting metabolic rate (RMR, measured), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT, measured oxygen-uptake minus RMR) and activity-related energy expenditure (AEE, calculated).]

CDR Kononenko supported the later ground-commanded activation of the Elektron oxygen generator by pressurizing the assembly’s BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen to ensure safe operation, i.e. prevent hydrogen (H2) presence in the O2 line. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

Later, Kononenko unstowed and set up the equipment required for the periodic Shumomer acoustics measurements, then used the SLM (Sound Level Meter) to take noise level measurements in the SM, first with the Elektron still off and later with the O2 generator activated.

Oleg also brought the RODF (Russian Operations Data Files) up to date by replacing books or inserting new pages delivered on Soyuz 30S, and prepacking old material for disposal in Progress 47P.      [Updated were 6 books, on Handover Operations (ISS-30/ISS-31 and ISS-31/ISS-32), RK experiment deactivation/activation, MO (Medical Operations) 1 & 2, GF (GeoPhysics) & FOTO plus 2 ODF disks.]

In the newly arrived Soyuz spacecraft, Gennady Padalka worked in the Orbital Module (BO), installing and connecting the electronic LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251M1B) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its TA765B/PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit from SM stowage, recycled from an earlier vehicle.

Later, FE-1 activated the BIO-8 PLAZMIDA payload in its Recomb-K #7 container and set it up in the TBU thermostat-controlled container (+37 degC), while FE-2 Revin took documentary photography.

Gennady also transferred the BTKh-35 MEMBRANA experiment kit from the Soyuz to the MRM2 Poisk module and the BTKh-43 KONSTANTA kit to the SM (panel 406).

Revin took care of the BIOEKOLOGIYA (Bioecology) experiment BTKh-44/CALCIUM, transferring the cases from 30S to the SM for exposure setup.

Afterwards, Sergei installed the newly delivered ID-3MKS dosimeter assemblies of the RBO-3-4 Matryoshka-R radiation payload in the #2 Kayuta (crew quarters) on its RL protective screen/curtain.

In one of the first crew handover activities, Don Pettit & Joe Acaba had ~1.5 hrs for jointly working in the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) to remove & replace the E-K Pre-Treat Tank. [E-K, a Russia-furnished component, contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in the DKiV dispenser and used for toilet flushing.]

With three additional persons on board, André Kuipers performed a one-hour inspection of the PEPs (Portable Emergency Provisions) and their locations, checking PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers, PBAs (Portable Breathing Apparatus), and EHTKs (Extension Hose Tee Kits). [PFEs: 2 in Node-1, 1 in A/L (Airlock), 2 in Lab,1 in Node-2, 1 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL, 1 in PMM. PBA O2 Bottles:  3 in FGB, 2 in Node-1, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL, 1 in PMM. QDMAs or Prebreathe Masks: 3 in FGB, 3 in Node-1, 2 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 2 in Node-3, 2 in JPM, 1 in JLP, 2 in COL, 1 in PMM. EHTKs: 2 in Node-1, 1 in Lab, 2 in Node-2, 1 in Node-3.]

In the US Lab, André set up the video camcorder for capturing his cabin activities, then performed more troubleshooting on the CSAC (Chip-Scale Atomic Clock) equipment of the SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) experiment. [Two SPHERES CSACs are installed for their part in SPHERES test sessions. An atomic clock uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave, optical or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms. The most accurate time and frequency standards known, they are used for international time distribution services, to control the wave frequency of television broadcasts and in global navigation systems such as GPS. CSACs represent the latest development of these atomic timekeeping systems. For the troubleshooting, André was to measure and record resistance between power, return and ground pins on the Reference Clock power connector to look for a possible short. If none found, he was to individually re-power Ref Clock and the two Atomic Clocks to verify their functionality.]

In the JAXA Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Don Pettit also was involved in troubleshooting – on the IPU (Image Processing Unit) which Dan Burbank had found to possibly have a short circuit in its power supply unit.    [Since the replacement of the unit is estimated to take ~12 hrs including rack rotation, Don today first double-checked on the possible short by measuring resistance of the new power supply’s power line in order to make sure that it has no defects, and of the IPU's upstream power line in order to eliminate other possibilities of the cause of the tripBased the results of his measurements, IPU power supply R&R will be scheduled in the near future.]

Later, FE-6 continued the ongoing investigation of the DECLIC (Device for the Study of Critical Liquids & Crystallization) payload at the ER-7 (EXPRESS Rack 7) in the Lab by returning the ELC (EXPRESS Laptop Computer), relocated yesterday from ER-5 to ER-7, back to ER-5 in the JPM and reconnecting it for operations to ER-5. [DECLIC had been transferred with its power & data cables from ER-4 to a locker in ER-7 on 4/16 by Dan Burbank. The French (CNES)/NASA-sponsored DECLIC is a multi-user facility to investigate low & high temperature critical fluids behavior, chemical reactivity in supercritical water, directional solidification of transparent alloys, and more generally transparent media under micro-gravity environment.

Gennady & Sergei had ~1 hr time set aside each for unloading & transferring cargo from the Soyuz 30S spacecraft to the ISS, supported by IMS (Inventory Management System).

The CDR conducted the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) 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.]

Next, Kononenko performed 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).

Later, Oleg completed the daily IMS 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 CDR also took care of 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.]

Joe Acaba powered on the ISS amateur/ham equipment in the SM and COL.

In the Lab, André Kuipers worked on the NanoRacks in ER-1, reconfiguring the module(s) inside the Platform 1002 “Tmpry” by removing Module-16 & Module-18 from P-1 & P-9 and preparing them for eventual return on 30S.

Later, André completed the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of the on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes.   [The current card (31-0005B lists 10 CWCs (44.4 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (no CWCs); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 3 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (2 CWCs with 30.4 L; and 4. Waste water (1 empty bag EMU waste water). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L). No bags with Wautersia bacteria. 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.]

In COL, Kuipers also supported a ground-conducted health check on ESA’s BLB BGB (Biolab Glovebox).

At ~9:40am EDT, all six crewmembers teamed up for the standard one-hour Crew Emergency Roles & Responsibilities Review (peredacha smeniy po bezopasnosti), to familiarize themselves with emergency roles & responsibilities as a 6-person crew, including escape routes. Later, the crew had a ~20 min tagup with ground specialists to discuss particulars. [Baseline emergency response actions are covered in the EMER-1 book. Emergencies may arise due to ammonia (NH3) leak, non-ammonia toxic spills, fire or rapid depressurization.  Each Soyuz CDR is responsible for his crew; the ISS CDR is responsible for the safety of the entire crew and the ISS, and he/she exercises overall direction of crew actions.]

At ~2:35am, Kononenko, Padalka & Revin powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 2:40am conducted a ham radio session with participants of a competition at the S.P. Korolev Museum in Zhitomir, Korolev’s birthplace, sponsored by the Junior Academy of Science.

At ~4:00am EDT, the six crewmembers held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Main 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 ~4:50am, Oleg, Gennady & Sergei linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~8:20am, Pettit & Acaba supported a PAO TV event, downlinking deferred release messages of greetings for a tribute to the end of Fleet Week activities at the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (home of the Shuttle Enterprise) in New York, and to Memorial Day for a variety of NASA applications.

At ~3:10pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

FE-1, FE-2 & FE-3 had their (currently) daily post-arrival PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Gennady at ~6:15am, Sergei at ~12:05pm, Joe at ~1:45pm EDT.

Don & Joe each had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in their electronic Journals on the personal SSC. [It was the first time for Acaba. 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, Don 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.]

Padalka, Revin & Acaba spent some time familiarizing themselves with the onboard exercise equipment (CEVIS, TVIS, ARED, T2). Gennady & Sergei then observed André’s workout on the ARED advanced resistive exerciser.  Joe installed his CEVIS PCMCIA memory card into the SSC (Station Support Computer) for his upcoming CEVIS cycle ergometer exercise. [These introductory sessions are a standard requirement for newcomers before start of onboard workouts.]

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

CEO (Crew Earth Observation):  The International Charter for Space and Major Disasters has been activated for severe floods in Paraguay.  This organization includes participation by fourteen international partners and certain US Federal agencies (e.g. NOAA, and USGS).  The ISS has now been included on the Disaster Charter activation list.  Many rivers have overspilled their banks and numerous basins flooded.  With the high interest now being given to this flood, ISS CEO targets today were requested to include the vast plains of western Paraguay:  Paraguay Floods (shooting nadir and left from nadir, overlapping frames for 2 mins, with 180 mm lens to cover the parts of this very large region nearer track), Podgorica, Montenegro (CAPITAL CITY COLLECTION.   Near nadir pass.  Podgorica lies inland of the Adriatic Sea coast, north of prominent Lake Scutari.  Being a small city, requested were also 400 mm images), Tirane, Albania (CAPITAL CITY COLLECTION.   Looking right of track, inland from the coast.  This capital city [metro area pop. 740,000] lies opposite a major headland, the visual cue), Jerusalem, Israel (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION.  Looking near nadir after crossing the coast, just uptrack of the Dead Sea.  The city is small enough to warrant the 400 mm lens), and Amman, Jordan (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION.  Aiming right as ISS crossed the River Jordan for the large gray mass of this city).

Conjunction Advisory: Flight Controllers are tracking a conjunction with Object 00831 (Unknown) with TCA (Time of Closest Approach) tomorrow night at ~11:50pm EDT. [It should be noted that if required the DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) for this object would occur after the planned SpaceX launch.  There are no constraints against performing an ISS DAM during SpaceX rendezvous. If required, the Go/NoGo decision for a DAM would be tomorrow morning (5/19) at 12:20am, for a DAM tomorrow evening at 9:32pm EDT.]

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:46am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.7 km
Apogee height – 406.0 km
Perigee height – 391.3 km
Period -- 92.53 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.001109
Solar Beta Angle -- -16.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 186 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 77,337
Time in orbit (station) -- 4928 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4215 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/19/12 -- SpaceX Falcon/Dragon launch (4:55am EDT)
05/22/12 -- SpaceX Dragon capture (~8:07am EDT)
--------------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)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock
07/24/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
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.Novitsky/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-------------