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May 22, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/22/12

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

>>> SpaceX Falcon 9 launched smoothly this morning at 3:44am EDT from Launch Complex 40 at CCAFS (Cape Canaveral Air Force Station) in Florida on its nine Merlin engines, carrying the “Dragon” cargo capsule on its historic first mission to the ISS.  Post-launch activities including successful solar array deployment and GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control) bay door opening (putting the grapple fixture in place) plus subsequent Far Field demonstrations of Abort When Commanded and the ability for Free Drift and for navigating on Absolute GPS (Global Positioning System) were completed, the latter to be reviewed by NASA.  Capture by the ISS crew-operated Canadian SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) is scheduled for ~8:06am EDT on 5/25 for subsequent berthing at the Node-2 nadir port.  Dragon carries cargo up-mass of ~500 kg and will return a down-mass of ~600 kg (both loads considerably below its actual capability).   Congratulations to SpaceX, NASA COTS and everyone else who made (and is making) this possible!<<<

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

FE-2 Revin terminated his first experiment session, started last night with Kononenko’s assistance, 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.]

Upon wakeup, FE-3 Joe Acaba completed a post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, his 2nd. [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.]

CDR Kononenko started the day with his 5th MBI-24 “SPRUT-2” (“Squid-2”) test, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity, along with PZEh-MO-8 BMM (body mass measurement) using the IM device. [Supported by the RSS-Med A31p laptop with new software (Vers. 1.6) in the SM, the test uses the Profilaktika kit, with data recorded on PCMCIA memory cards, along with Oleg’s body mass values and earlier recorded MO-10 Hematocrit value, but skipping “fat fold” measurements. Experiment requisites are the Sprut securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs), and RSS-Med for control and data storage. The “Pinguin” suit or Braslet-M cuffs, if worn, have to be taken off first. Electrode measurements are recorded at complete rest and relaxed body position. The actual recording takes 3-5 minutes, during which the patient has to remain at complete rest.]

“Knowledge handover” activities by the Russian crewmembers today included –
  • Completing the routine verification of yesterday’s automated refreshes of the IUS AntiVirus program on all Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2, by Kononenko & Revin; [Antivirus update procedures have changed since the SSCV4 software update some time ago. Before the installation on 8/8/11 of the new automated procedure, the refresh was done manually on Mondays on RSS2, copying the files to the RSS2 service folder, then launching update scripts on the network laptops RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 and finally manually updating non-network laptops RSE-Med & RSE1. On Tuesdays, the anti-virus scanning results are regularly verified on all laptops. Nominally, Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday],
  • Taking care of the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM by Oleg, Gennady & Sergei; [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], and
  • Hooking up the KURS-P (passive) automated radar approach & docking system’s LF & HF cables in the SM to support vehicle dockings at the DC1 (-Y) and MRM1 ports, a routine activity, by Oleg & Gennady.

For his on-going first (FD14) Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Alternate experiment, FE-3 Acaba reached midpoint at about 10:05am EDT, after which he began the second 24h data collection period. [For the second 24 hr period, the Cardiopres was temporarily doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery were changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. 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. 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). (ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session.)]

During Postsleep, FE-6 Pettit had his blood samples drawn by FE-5 Kuipers for the CSA VASCULAR (Canadian Space Agency Vascular Blood Collection) protocol, his 2nd. Don then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) for spinning the coagulated samples prior to stowing them in the MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), after recording the blood tube bar codes. [Led by the Canadian University of Waterloo’s Dr. Richard Hughson, VASCULAR is studying the long-term effects of weightlessness on the cardiovascular system. Previous medical tests have shown that astronauts who live and work in space for long periods of time experience changes in their blood vessels that are like the aging on Earth. But in space these changes happen in months instead of years and decades. The blood vessels become stiffer and lose their elasticity. This can change blood pressure and affect blood flow to vital organs such as the brain and kidney. Six international astronauts are taking part in VASCULAR, each staying about 6 months on the station. Their blood samples will be returned to Dr. Hughson’s laboratory for measurements of unique protein and hormone markers that could accelerate vascular aging. The results of VASCULAR will offer a better understanding of the inner mechanisms of cardiovascular changes during long-duration space missions. The findings can also help people who suffer from premature cardiovascular aging right now back home on Earth.]

In support of POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)/Huntsville on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack), Don uninstalled & removed the three protective alignment guides from the rack, re-engaged the snubber pins and locked the safety pins to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be active before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.

Pettit also changed out the full RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) in the Node-3 WRS-2 (Water Recovery System) Rack 2, stowing the used unit. [RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine by the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) as it turns it into water. They need to be replaced when filled and constitute an important resupply item from the ground.]

Gennady Padalka completed 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.]

Oleg Kononenko took the periodic Russian PZE-MO-3 test for physical fitness evaluation, his 2nd, spending ~90 min on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (manual control) mode and wearing the Kardiokassette KK-2000 belt with three chest electrodes. [The fitness test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop, yields ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to the KK-2000 data storage device, later downlinked via the Regul (BSR-TM) payload telemetry channel. Before the run, the KK-2000 was synchronized with the computer date/time readings. For the ECG, the crewmember rests for 5 min., then works out on the treadmill, first walking 3 min. up to 3.5 km/h, then running at a slow pace of 5-6 km/h for 2 min, at moderate pace of 6.5 km/h for 2 min, followed by the maximum pace not exceeding 10 km/h for 1 min, then walking again at gradually decreasing pace to 3.5 km/h].

Acaba, Kuipers & Pettit each 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, Joe’s first, André’s 4th, Don’s 5th. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on a review of all topics. At the end, FE-3, FE-5 & FE-6 each 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.]

Time again for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone in the Soyuz Descent Module of TMA-03M/29S (#703, docked at MRM1), completed by Oleg Kononenko, a periodic routine job, 2nd time for 29S. [After retrieving the phones from their location in the spacecraft Descent Module (SA, spuskayemyy apparat), Oleg initiated the recharge of the lithium-ion batteries, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion, the phone was returned inside its sealed SSSP Iridium kits and stowed back in the SA’s ODF (operational data files) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an “undershoot” ballistic reentry, as happened during the 15S return). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule's GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put on board Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

Starting a new round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Sergei worked in the SM replacing the four PF1-PF4 dust filter cartridges with new units and updated the IMS (Inventory Management System) accordingly.

Afterwards, Revin broke out & readied the equipment for his and Gennady’s first session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), to be conducted tomorrow right after wake-up. [MO-10 measures the red cell count of the blood. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time.]

The CDR 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).

Afterwards, Oleg disassembled the KRIOGEM-03 temperature-controlled container with its BTKh-26 KASKAD payload and stowed it.

Sergei relocated 8 BIOEKOLOGIYA cases of the BTKh-44 CALCIUM payload from their stowage to the SM work area and took situational photography with subsequent downlink.

Working in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) on the FSL (Fluid Sciences Laboratory), André locked the FCE (Facility Core Element) by means of its locking bolts and took out the four AVM (Anti-Vibration Mount) brackets.

Afterwards, FE-5 relocated the IV-TEPC (Intra-Vehicular Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) from SM Panel 327 to the Lab at O3, activated it and tested communications & data transfer from the radiation instrument to an SSC (Station Support Computer) for later downlink to the ground.

The Soyuz 30S crewmembers Padalka, Revin & Acaba 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.

Joe had a time slot/placeholder 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, 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.]

Before sleeptime, Gennady Padalka will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start a session with his first Sonokard experiment, 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.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-1, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5, FE-6), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (CDR, FE-2). [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 involving resistive and aerobic (interval & continuous) exercise, 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. Today’s exercise called for T2 (aerobic/interval), with ARED+T2 (resistive+aerobic) and CEVIS (interval) following in the next 2 days. 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.]

ISS/ATV Reboost: Tomorrow night at 8:22pm EDT, a one-burn ISS reboost with ATV-3 “Edoardo Amaldi” OCS (Orbit Correction System) thrusters will be conducted for a duration of 6 min 11 sec and a delta-V of 0.9 m/s (2.95 ft/s), resulting in a predicted mean altitude increase of 1.51 km (0.81 nmi).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were B.P. Structure, Impact Crater, Libya (IMPACT CRATERS.  Nadir pass.  The general visual cue for this small feature is a region of dark rocks, situated between light-toned dune fields.  The local visual cue is an S-bend ridge which points toward the crater.  B.P. is an exposed impact crater 2 km in diameter, estimated at less than 120 million years in age), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION.    Looking just left of track during an expected window in the cloud cover for this city of 3.4 million.  Lead-in visual cues are:  lakes of the Rift Valley and, more locally, a few remaining forest patches next to the city), and Tropical Storm TS2E, Eastern Pacific Ocean (DYNAMIC EVENT.   Opportunity to track the life of a hurricane in the next few days.  Looking left as a mass of cloud becomes organized around the center of rotation.  Tropical Storm 2E is predicted to be a category 1 hurricane by late Tuesday, as it heads north towards the coast of southern Mexico).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:34am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.2 km
Apogee height – 405.7 km
Perigee height – 390.8 km
Period -- 92.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010982
Solar Beta Angle -- -1.0 deg (magnitude bottoming out)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 94 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 77,401
Time in orbit (station) -- 4932 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4219 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/25/12 -- SpaceX Dragon capture ~8:06am
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-------------