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June 20, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/20/12

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

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

FE-1 Padalka & FE-2 Revin conducted their first onboard session each of the Russian MedOps assessment MO-12, (“Study of the Veins in the Lower Extremities”), using the KARDIOMED (Cardiomed) complex with orthogonal leads, installed in the SM by Oleg Kotov in February 2010. [After loading the RSE-med laptop with the Cardiomed software, Gennady set up the equipment, which involves KARDIOMED-TsB, KARDIOMED-KP, KARDIOMED-PMO and KARDIOMED-KRM assemblies with ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes in a HOLTER monitor harness, a PLETISMOGRAF (Plethysmograph) instrument with calf measuring cuff, pneumatic hose, thigh occlusion cuff, hand pump & valve, and a DOPPLER complex. A Plethysmograph (sometimes called a “body box”) is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or the whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains).]

Sergei Revin terminated his 2nd experiment session, started last night, 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.]

Before sleeptime, Gennady Padalka will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 2nd session with the 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.

Joe Acaba 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.     [No photo documentation required.]

Working in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-3 Acaba supported JAXA in checking out the JEMRMS (JEM Robotic Manipulator System) with its new software in preparation for upcoming HTV-3 (H-2 Transfer Vehicle 3) operations.  Today’s focus was on the BDS (Backup Drive System).       [Activities included connecting the BDS cable 1 to a UOP (Utility Outlet Panel), then activating the BUC (Backup Controller), checking out the BDS, later turning off RMS Monitors 1&2 and RLT2 (Robotics Laptop 2), cleaning up and reconnecting cables to restore the original configuration.]

Also in the Kibo module, Acaba continued servicing the ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) by installing and connecting the AmiA (Anti-Microbial Applicator) to replenish the OPA (O-Phthalaldehyde) levels in the JEM ITCS LTL (Low Temperature Loop), one of several jobs on his JPM ITCS task list.       [Afterwards, AmiA has to remain installed for at least 6 hrs to allow ITCS pressure equalization.  Other upcoming tasks are the second MTL accumulator refill and subsequent samplings, scheduled later in the week.]

FE-5 Kuipers returned to the JAXA JPM to continue setting up the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) for upcoming MI (Marangoni Inside [as opposed to “Surface”]) payload ops, following up on yesterday’s installation of the MS MWA I/F A & B (Marangoni / Maintenance Work Area / Interfaces A & B) with MI Core & MI Body on the MWA.       [Today, André installed the MI Cassette into the MI Core.  The Marangoni experiment studies thermo-capillary convection (also called Marangoni convection) in micro-G on board the ISS.  Marangoni convection is the tendency for heat and mass to travel to areas of higher surface tension within a liquid.  Surface tension is a property of a liquid that causes the surface portion of liquid to be attracted to another surface, such as a drop of mercury that forms a cohesive ball in a thermometer or droplets of water on a well-waxed car.  This phenomenon is named after Italian physicist Carlo Marangoni who first studied the phenomenon in the 19th century.  Marangoni negatively affects the quality of crystal growth such as semiconductors, optical materials or biotechnology materials.  The convection also occurs in a heat pipe for heat radiation devices in personal computers, and degrades the radiation performance.  JAXA has been promoting four Marangoni experiments to fully understand a surface-tension-driven flow in micro-G.  It will be completed in 2015.  To study how heat and mass move within a fluid in micro-G, investigators are using a larger bridge of silicone oil between two discs.  On Earth, that bridge could not exist.  One of the primary ways heat is transferred on Earth is by buoyancy, where warm air rises and cold air sinks; in space, there is no buoyancy. So investigators heat one disc higher than the other to induce Marangoni convection in that bridge of silicone oil.  They are looking at patterns of how fluids move to learn more about how heat is transferred in micro-G.  Since during bridge-formation there can be no disturbances from the outside, the experiment is performed during crew sleep.]

In preparation for their return on Soyuz 29S in 11 days, Oleg Kononenko, Don Pettit & André Kuipers donned their Sokol intravehicular pressure suits to perform the standard leak check in their spacecraft, a 45-min job. After doffing the suits, Oleg set them up along with their gloves for drying and then he stowed the gear.

At ~4:05am EDT, Don Pettit interrupted his 5th (R-15) ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, temporarily doffing the equipment for conducting the Sokol pressure integrity check, then put it, including the electrodes, back on to continue the 48-hr session, ending it later in the day.  The two Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) were then doffed, the laptop powered on and the data from the Actiwatch Spectrums downloaded, the data from the 2 HM2 HiFi CF Cards copied to the HRF PC and the Cardiopres data also transferred to the laptop.  The interruption necessitated a new card and battery for the HM2.    [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.]

In the MRM2 Poisk module, FE-1 Padalka continued the twice-daily checking of vacuum/pressure conditions in the Plasma Chamber of the Russian KPT-21 PK-3+ Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall-3 plus) Telescience payload for the subsequent session. [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.]

Later, after the vacuum/pressure integrity check, Gennady ran his 3rd experiment session with the KPT-21 payload.       [With the ZB vacuum chamber in the SM RO (Work Compartment) evacuated by the turbopump in the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment), FE-1 conducted the semi-automated (manually assisted) PK-3 operations while Oleg Kononenko monitored the TV downlink via MPEG-2 stream and Ku-band for proper function. The run was terminated after two hours and the accumulated data transferred from hard disk to USB stick for subsequent downlinking.  The KPT-21 activities were supported by ground specialists and monitored by them via video packet streaming over the network which temporarily slowed down wireless SSCs (Station Support Computers) in the ISS. Today’s experiment was performed on plasma with fine particles (1.55 µm) in neon, charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to study crystallization dynamics at constant argon pressures (10 Pa), exposed to thermophoretic force (superimposed electrical field of low-frequency and varied voltage).]

Don Pettit had several hours of his workday dedicated to the assembly & installation of the Amine Swingbed hardware in ER-8 (EXPRESS Rack 8), Lockers 3 & 4.  Video camcorder was set up to record audio & HD video to tape which then was downlinked as SD video during AOS (Acquisition of Signal).       [The hardware comprises 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).]

The CDR prepared the Soyuz 29S (#703) spacecraft for undocking (7/1) by loading discarded cargo on its BO Orbital Module for disposal and preparing the standard certificate of return cargo transfers (stowage locations, quantity updates) plus layout charts of containers & equipment stowed in the SA Descent Module.       [Discarded were 3 KTO solid waste containers, 1 EDV-U urine container, 3 Penguin-3 suits, 3 flight boots, and 2 TV camera lights (removed from 29S).]

Afterwards, Oleg retrieved, readied and installed a PP CO2 absorber (P-16) in the SM (behind panel 417) in preparation for its activation on 6/22 (Friday) in conjunction with the scheduled powering down of the Vozdukh CO2 scrubber.

Kononenko also completed the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWC (Contingency Water Container) to the RS (Russian Segment) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV is connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Joe & André 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.

FE-5 closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & Kibo JPM windows to prevent their contamination with thruster effluents during today’s ISS reboost at 9:55am EDT.

Later, André conducted the T+5d visual microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis & data recording of surface & air samples collected by him on 6/15 at selected sites in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, Node-3, FGB, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) with the SSK (Surface Sampler Kit) and MAS (Microbial Air Sampler). [The colony growth on the sampling slides is inspected visually after five days of incubation, using a special procedure to analyze the SSK media slides for bacterial & fungal colony growths.]

Don completed a software reload on SSC-17 (Station Support Computer 17) in two parts.     [First part – with the laptop connected to the OpsLAN via ISL Ethernet cable, second part – reconfigured for wireless operation and relocated back to the Node-3/Cupola after the ground-controlled reload from an Admin PC.]

Joe completed his 2nd session with the MedOps psychological evaluation experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MEC laptop and going through the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

In COL, FE-5 Kuipers tested three pressure relief valves of the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System), on its holding structure, by pushing a button on each of them for about 5-10 sec to make sure that the pressure or resistance is low.

Working from the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, FE-1 Padalka 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).

CDR Kononenko 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 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, Sergei will set up the battery of the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment for overnight charging. [By means of the GFI-1 UFKFialka-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.]

FE-3 & FE-6 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Joe at ~10:50am, Don at ~12:50pm EDT.

Performing major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the TVIS treadmill in the SM, Padalka & Revin replaced the two wire rope assemblies of the treadmill’s gyroscope.      [This involved removal of TVIS from the SM floor “pit”, partial disassembly, replacement of the wire ropes with associated maintenance, reassembly and subsequent temporary stowage in the “pit”.  Final installation of the exercise device is scheduled on 6/22 (Friday).]

Acaba conducted periodic maintenance of the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine, evacuating its cylinder flywheels to reestablish proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

Over the crew’s midday break, Joe also closed down the T2/COLBERT treadmill 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.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-1), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (FE-1, 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. 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 Update: A one-burn reboost of the ISS with the ATV-3 OCS (Orbit Correction System) thrusters was performed this morning at 9:55am EDT with a burn duration of 9 min 20 sec, achieving a delta-V of 1.32 m/s (planned: 1.35 m/s), increasing mean altitude by 2.36 km (planned: 2.42 km). After the burn, ISS was at 399.9 km mean altitude, with 411.1 km apogee height and 388.7 km perigee height.  Purpose of the reboost was to set up orbit phasing for Soyuz 29S landing (7/1).

BCC Planning: A checkout of the BCC (Backup Control Center) in Huntsville/Alabama will be performed early tomorrow morning at ~1:20am EDT, after “swinging” the TDRS (Tracking & Data Relay Satellite) forward link from MCC-Houston to BCC at 1:15a-1:20am.  The ground will conduct command and telemetry checks but no voice checks with the crew from 1:20am-2:00am, their wakeup time.  During this time, only the BCC/Huntsville Flight Director will have uplink audio with the crew, and all Centers will have downlink voice if the crew were to call down.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Mbabane, Swaziland (Capital Cities Collection Site:  ISS had a fair weather pass over this tiny target with its approach from the SW in late morning light with Mbabane left of track.  This small capital city has a population of approximately 95,000 and lies in a wooded highland of the tiny, land-locked nation of Swaziland.  CEO database has no images of this city), St. Helena Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at St. Helena Island on July 8, 1836 and remained for 5 days to explore its geology.  The crew was to begin looking for this target a little early, if possible.  Due to its remoteness and small size [47 square miles], there were no visual cues of the island during the station’s approach.  As ISS progressed on its ascending pass from the SW, the crew was to look nadir for this small island.  There may have been a few clouds in the region, but they were to try for detailed shots), Beirut, Lebanon (Capital Cities Collection Site: This capital city of over 2 million is located on the central Lebanese coast.  After tracking over northeastern Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, the crew was to look nadir towards the coast for this roughly triangular-shaped city on a peninsula jutting westward into the Mediterranean Sea), and Valletta, Malta (Capital Cities Collection Site: The Maltese islands of Gozo and Malta in the central Mediterranean Sea lie about 100 miles south of the large island of Sicily.  The capital city of Valletta, with a population of just over 6,000, is located on the north coast of the larger island of Malta).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing -- 12:53am EDT; land ~4:15am (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – 10:40:03pm EDT  -- S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking -- ~12:50am EDT
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
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
07/27/12 -- 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-------------