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06-15-2012
June 15, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/15/12

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

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.

Upon wakeup, FE-3 Acaba, FE-5 Kuipers & FE-6 Pettit completed their weekly post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 8th for Joe, the 48th for Don & André. [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.]

Don Pettit completed his final pH test and diet log entry for the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) plus Controlled Diet menu protocol activity.  In addition to closing out the associated 24-hr urine sample collections, Don also underwent the generic blood draw, assisted by André Kuipers as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the JPM MELFI (JEM Pressurized Module Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). [The operational products for blood & urine collections for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads were revised some time ago, based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV capabilities. Generic blood & urine procedures have been created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they must verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.  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.  Background on pH: In chemistry, pH (Potential Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a watery solution. Pure water is neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at 25 degC. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are “acidic” and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are “basic” or “alkaline”. pH measurements are important in medicine, biology, chemistry, agriculture, forestry, food science, environmental science, oceanography, civil engineers and many others.]

FE-1 Padalka & FE-2 Revin undertook their first MBI-24 “SPRUT-2” (“Squid-2”) tests, 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 Gennady’s & Sergei’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.]

Pettit had ~2h 35m for the periodic microbial surface sample collection/incubation, using the Microbiology SSK (Surface Sampling Kit) to collect samples at selected sites in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, Node-3, FGB, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and JPM.

Afterwards, Don also used the MAS (Microbial Air Sampler) kit to take the periodic microbiology (bacterial & fungal) air samples in the ISS (SM, Node-1, Lab, Node-3 & JPM). [After a 5-day incubation period, the air & surface samples will be subjected on 6/20 to visual analysis & data recording with the surface slides and Petri dishes of the MAS & SSK.]

In preparation for his return to Earth on 7/1, CDR Kononenko completed his first (preliminary) orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis-M (“Lapwing”) suit by conducting the MedOps MO-4 exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) on the TVIS treadmill, assisted by FE-1 Padalka as CMO.  Later, at ~1:40pm, Oleg & Gennady tagged up with ground specialists to discuss ODNT results. [The Chibis-M provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmember’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. Data output includes blood pressure readings. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by one cycle of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -25, -35, -40 and -45 mmHg for five min. each, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure and the REG SHKO Rheoencephalogram Biomed Cap. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis-M data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis-M suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

After switching STTS communications to MRM2 Poisk occupancy, Gennady Padalka continued equipment preparations for a run of the KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload, the first time for Expedition 31. [Activities included the frequent vacuum/pressure leak check of the Plasma Chamber & Electronic Box, and uploading of new software. Also included were data copying and Log File dumping from the Experiment Box, supported by ground specialists tagup via S-band, then closing out the hardware and reconfiguring STTS comm to nominal settings. The PK-3+ equipment comprises the EB (Eksperimental’nyj Blok) Experiment Module with a turbopump for evacuation, Ts laptop, video monitor, vacuum hoses, electrical circuitry, four hard storage disks for video, and one USB stick with the control application. The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.]

Afterwards, Gennady monitored & photographed the running “Physics-Phase” demo of the Russian educational experiment OBR-1/Fizika-Obrazovaniye, plus recording the activity on video. [Obrazovaniye (Education) is a suite of three educational demonstrations of physics in micro-G, viz., OBR-1-1/”Fizika-LT” (Motion), OBR-1-2/”Fizika-Faza” (Phase) and OBR-1-3/”Fizika-Otolit”. The current “Phase” demo studies a complete gas-liquid phase separation of fine dispersion particles in micro-G with diffusion and surface tension of the fluid. The experiment is conducted over several days, documented with photography.]

FE-3 Acaba performed extended maintenance on all 45P-delivered CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units (1042, 1044, 1050, 1051), replacing their batteries, recording their readings, then deactivating the units and deploying them at their nominal location.     [Due to a “lost” zero filter, no zero calibrations could be performed.]

With the video camcorder set up to view activities, Joe afterwards retrieved the partially assembled Amine Swingbed hardware from PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) and connected the previously assembled hardware outside of ER8 (EXPRESS Rack 8).  Joe then connected the VES/VRS (Vacuum Exhaust System / Vacuum Resource System) jumper, opened the manual vacuum valve (either A or B) as requested by POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville) to perform the evacuation, checking visually for loose beads and other activities after the vacuum check.  Later, Joe disassembled the hardware and restowed it. [The hardware consists of the Amine Swingbed, Controller with Vacuum Line, Amine Swingbed Mounting Plate, Amine Swingbed Mounting Hardware, Strain Relief Mounting Hardware, Electrostatic Symbol Decal and other items needed for assembly. Background: The Amine Swingbed is a prototype of the CO2 and moisture control technology to be used in the Orion MPCV (Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle). It consists of two multilayer sorbent beds in one unit, with a single valve to alternate (“swing”) them between adsorbing from cabin air and desorbing to space vacuum. The system pulls air from the ISS atmosphere, dries it (and heats it) with a desiccant wheel, cools it back down, scrubs most of the CO2 and remaining water vapor out, then reheats the scrubbed air, rehumidifies it (and recools it) with the desiccant wheel, then returns the air to the cabin. Periodically (every 6 - 30 min) the sorbent beds are swapped to expose the freshly vacuum-desorbed bed to the process stream and start regenerating the CO2-laden bed. During bed swap transitions, additional air is saved by equalizing the bed about to be vented with a compressor-evacuated volume. This will be the first test of the Amine Swingbed payload. Its purpose is to determine if a vacuum-regenerated amine system can effectively remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ISS atmosphere using a smaller more efficient vacuum regeneration system. A similar technology (amine-based pressure swing adsorption) was used on the Shuttle Extended Duration Orbiter, in the form of the RCRS (Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System). The Amine Swingbed payload uses an amine with a significantly greater capacity for CO2 than the RCRS. Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with two “lone pair” electrons. They are derivatives of ammonia (NH3) wherein one or more of the hydrogen atoms (H) have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines, trimethylamine, and aniline. Inorganic derivatives of ammonia are also called ammonia, such as chloramine (NClH2).]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) at F5, André Kuipers continued loading the ER-4 RIC (EXPRESS Rack 4 Rack Interface Controller) with new software.       [Steps included activating the A31p laptop, configuring it to disable the Watchdog Timer, activating the ER-4 T61p laptop and configuring it to automatically start the MCC RIC software load, confirming software load starts, and activating the AAA (Avionics Air Assembly) fan.  After the MCC RIC software load completed, André started the SERC RIC software load and then started the HRLC RIC software load.]

With its battery freshly charged yesterday, Oleg Kononenko installed the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9, using it to take spectral and photographic imagery of Earth (9:30am-9:45am EDT) under ground commanding.  Later, the CDR dismantled the equipment for stowage and dumped the data from Laptop 3 via the RSS1 terminal. [By means of the GFI-1 UFK “Fialka-MV-Kosmos” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and SONY HVR-Z7 HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from window #9, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

In the DC1 Docking Compartment, Sergei Revin closed out overnight Progress M-15M/47P Rodnik BV2 tank compression operations.  Afterwards, Oleg Kononenko configured the usual pumping equipment (compressor #41, hoses, adapters) and initiated the transfer of urine from 6 EDV-U containers (#991, #992, #993, #921, #955, #701) to the BV2 Rodnik storage tank of Progress 47P at DC1 Nadir.  The transfer equipment was removed to stowage. [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.]

The CDR also concluded his 2nd session with the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2-2 protocol, started yesterday.   [After the ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed system, Oleg doffed the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over the past 24 hours, recording data on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results were then downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. Later, the data were downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Acaba set up the configuration of the LEHX (Layer 2 Ethernet Hub & Multiplexer) HUB for changing LEHX HUB Port setting for the JAXA HREP (HICO/Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean & RAIDS/Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System) payload, connecting the MRDL (Medium Rate Data Link) Auxiliary Cable 1 between LEHX and SLT (System Laptop Terminal).      [Before its connection to the SLT, the USB memory stick was virus-checked using an SSC (Station Support Computer).]

Continuing the outfitting work in the MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet module, Sergei temporarily configured the RS (Russian Segment) STTS audio comm systems for crew research in the module, then had another ~2.5 hrs for installing new enclosures/containers (GK) for crew cargo items in the module. STTS was later reconfigured to nominal.

Later, Revin completed another 30-min. session for the DZZ-13 (Distantsionnoye zondirovaniye zemli/Remote Sensing of Earth-13) “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining SONY HDV-Z7E camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of the Central-Eastern Atlantic and coastal areas of Africa, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

FE-2 also completed 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).

FE-1 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.]

Acaba & Kuipers filled out their weekly FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), Joe’s 4th, André’s 18th.    [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

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.]

At ~4:20am EDT, Kononenko, Padalka, Revin & Kuipers 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 ~4:35am, 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 ~8:55am, André conducted the weekly ESA crew conference via phone with the EAC (European Astronaut Center) near Cologne /Germany.

At ~10:45am, Kuipers supported an ESA PAO TV event, addressing the European Heads of State meeting in a deferred message for the visit of the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at ESA/ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, accompanied by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for a tour of the facilities.  In a second downlink, André talked about the 3D imagery taken on board the ISS with the ESA ERB (Erasmus Recording Binocular) digital stereoscopic camcorder.

At ~12:40pm, Joe, André & Don conducted a teleconference with participants in the current NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) mission, taking place in the NOAA-owned “Aquarius” underwater laboratory near Key Largo, Florida, to study human survival in preparation for future space exploration.  (Check it out!)

At ~3:20pm, the crew had their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

At ~4:00pm, Pettit, Acaba & Kuipers held a teleconference with the Soyuz 31S crew, the next ISS crew, at Star City near Moscow,- Sunita Williams, Yuri Malenchenko & Akihiko Hoshide.

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 (CDR, FE-1), 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 Dodoma, Tanzania (World Capitals Collection Site: ISS had an early afternoon pass over the capital city of Tanzania in fair weather.  As ISS tracked NE over eastern Africa, the crew was to aim right of track for this city.  This capital city presents little contrast with its surroundings, but is located directly to the north of a grouping of small dark hills), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in good weather with a pass offering good, oblique views of this target area.  The Toshka Lakes formed in the late 1990's when record high water in the Nile River and Lake Nasser spilled out into desert depressions to the west.  Since then the lakes have persisted, but continue to slowly dry up.  Lake Nasser is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, holding an enormous 157 cubic kilometers of water, with a shoreline length of 7844 km.  At this time as the crew tracked northeastward to the east of the Nile, they were to shoot left of track for context views of the area) and Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS BEAGLE Site:  At this time the crew was to look just left of track for this small, remote island in the Equatorial Atlantic.  Their approach was from the SW with fair weather expected.  The island was visited by Charles Darwin in 1836, and today it is the location of Wideawake Airfield, an ESA tracking station, and a BBC World Service relay station. Trying for detailed views of the target within a single frame).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:58am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.1 km
Apogee height – 405.4 km
Perigee height – 390.7 km
Period -- 92.52 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0010812
Solar Beta Angle -- 56.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 78 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 77,775
Time in orbit (station) -- 4956 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4243 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-------------
07/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/20/12 -- HTV3launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock
07/24/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking
07/27/12 -- HTV3 docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
08/16/12 -- Russian EVA-31
08/30/12 -- US EVA-18
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
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-------------