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May 31, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 05/31/12

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

  • Sleep Cycle Shift: Due to this morning’s early unberthing (4:05am EDT) & release (5:35am EDT) of the SpaceX Dragon capsule, the ISS crew has a shorter workday (by 2 hrs), followed by a longer sleeptime to adjust back to regular tomorrow:
    • Wake – 12:00am midnight (this morning)
    • Sleep – 3:30pm (today)
    • Wake – 2:00am (6/1, return to normal).

Dragon Update:   After hatch closure, vestibule depressurization and Node-2 nadir port CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) demating, i.e., removing CBM bolts & deploying latches, André Kuipers & Joe Acaba, operating the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), unberthed the SpaceX Dragon capsule at 4:07am EDT.  The commercially procured resupply ship spent 5d 16h 5m linked to the ISS.  Dragon carries a downmass of about 1,300 lbs of science experiments, hardware and cargo.  The history-making capsule was released by the SSRMS at 5:49am, to initiate a series of departure burns & maneuvers to move beyond the 656 ft (200 m) “keep out sphere” around the station and begin its return trip to Earth, with splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 11:42am, a few hundred miles west of Baja California.

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

Joe Acaba had Day 4 of his first (FD15) suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol (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, Joe began the urine collections for his first Nutrition/Repository/Pro K 24-hour protocol and prepared the equipment for the associated blood sampling tomorrow (6/1). [For Pro K, there are 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. On Days 4 & 5, 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.]

In the DC1 Docking Compartment, with Sergei Revin assisting for handover, Oleg Kononenko configured the usual pumping equipment (compressor #41, hoses, adapters) and initiated the transfer of urine from 3 EDV-U containers (#991, #992, #993) to the BV1 Rodnik storage tank of Progress M-15M/47P at DC1 Nadir. The transfer equipment was removed to stowage for subsequent use to pump urine to 47P BV2. [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.]

Also for “knowledge handover”, Oleg & Sergei started preparations for the upcoming outfitting of the MRM1 Rassvet module with GK cargo containers, including reviewing an instruction video and tagging up with ground specialist via S-band.

In a second handover activity, Kononenko, Revin & Padalka worked with the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to check for CO (Carbon Monoxide) and Formaldehyde contamination in the SM, recording the measurements. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur Dioxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, Ozone, Acetic Acid, Ammonia, Nitrogen Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides, Acetone, Benzene, Carbon Monoxide, etc.]

Next, the CDR & FE-2 jointly set up the A-R water transfer hose with BP pumping equipment and transferred water from Tank 1 of the ATV-3 WDS (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3 Water Delivery System) to a KOV EDV container (#823).  They also transferred ATV water to an EDV-SV condensate container (#1041). [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed for gas/liquid separation, i.e., to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the Elektron’s BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

FE-5 Kuipers retrieved & stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies which he had deployed on 5/29 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

After monitoring Dragon departure from the Lab & Cupola RWSs (Robotic Workstations), the crew derouted Dragon CCP (Crew Command Panel) cabling and deactivated the CUCU (COTS UHF Communications Unit) equipment.

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 (31-0005E) lists 9 CWCs (89.9 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 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (4 CWCs with 75.9 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.]

Gennady Padalka & Sergei Revin used the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments suite for about 2 hrs of conducting air temperature and humidity monitoring behind FGB panels plus measuring pressurized shell surface temperatures [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.]

Later, Gennady continued his SPOPT (Fire Detection & Suppression System) IFM in the FGB started yesterday, accessing & removing three OSP-4 fire extinguishers and replacing them with new units.     [The removed items were discarded, and the IMS (Inventory Management System) database was updated accordingly.}

Oleg took the periodic photographs of the open SKK-2 Removable Cassette Container, mounted externally on the DC-1, from window #6 in the SM RO (Work Compartment).

Joe Acaba & André Kuipers completed their weekly task of filling out their SHD (Space Headache) questionnaires which they started after Soyuz launch on a daily basis and continue on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) for every week after their first week in space.

Afterwards, André deployed 23 new RAMs (Radiation Area Monitors) throughout the ISS, as specified in an uplinked table, and collected 21 RAMs in a Ziploc bag for return on Soyuz 29S.  Each newly installed RAM was photo-documented.

The CDR 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.]

Kononenko also conducted 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).

Padalka & Revin 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.

At ~7:35am EDT, André conducted the weekly ESA crew conference via phone with the EAC (European Astronaut Center) near Cologne /Germany.

Joe & Don had a time slot/placeholder reserved each for making entries in their electronic Journals on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-3, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5, FE-6), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (CDR, FE-1). [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. 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. 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 his T2 session, Don 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 Kononenko, Revin & Padalka on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • 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 (Oleg+Gennady), 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) (all).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Port Louis, Mauritius (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION:  This small capital city of ~150,000 people lied left of track on the NW coast of the island), Sevilleta Wildlife Area, New Mexico (looking right for the green strip of the vegetated Rio Grande floodplain.  The Sevilleta LTER Project is located at a prominent kink in the Rio Grande, ~80 km south of Albuquerque.  The refuge has high scientific interest since it is located at the intersection of several major biotic zones: Chihuahuan Desert grassland/shrub land to the south, Great Plains grassland to the north, Piñon-Juniper woodland in the upper elevations of the neighboring mountains, Colorado Plateau shrub-steppe to the west, and riparian vegetation on the Rio Grande floodplain), and Whitewater–Baldy Wildfire, SW New Mexico (DYNAMIC EVENT.   Looking right further off track than the simultaneous Sevilleta target.  Smoke should have been visible emanating from the dark green forested mountain sides of the eastern Mogollon Rim.  Transport winds are expected to blow smoke southwest and south of the fire on Thursday.  The fire has affected more than 150,000 acres of woodland north of Silver City, NM.  The Whitewater–Baldy fire will continue to put up visible smoke for several week.  More than 1000 personnel are battling the fire, with 9 helicopters and 50 engines).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:55am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 399.1 km
Apogee height – 406.0 km
Perigee height – 392.2 km
Period -- 92.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010212
Solar Beta Angle -- 40.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 50 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 77,540
Time in orbit (station) -- 4941 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4228 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------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-------------