Text Size

July 12, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/12/12

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

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

CDR Padalka terminated his 3rd 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, FE-2 Revin will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 3rd session with the Sonokard experiment.

FE-3 Acaba serviced the running EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) payload in the Lab WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack, replacing D2Xs camera batteries several times during nighttime passes, with the camera temporarily shut down. [For running EKAM, SSC (Station Support Computer)-11 had been switched from wired to wireless operation, using the new EarthKAM software which replaced the early version used for the KODAK DCS 760 camera. This is the 4th use of the NIKON D2Xs camera by EKAM and the 3rd time that any images will be taken from the WORF. EK has a week-long session starting with system checkout and targeting calibration. Students around the world, anxiously awaiting use of the higher resolution images, began their image taking today by remote commanding (121 schools/groups were already signed up to participate). D2Xs batteries (3 per day) need to be fully charged for camera operation. Students/teachers will capture images until EK deactivation on 7/14 (Saturday).]

FE-2 Revin had his turn today for the MBI-29 IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS) experiment, using the SALIVA-I IMMUNO kit and the Plazma-03 Centrifuge to collect saliva and, with Gennady’s help, venous blood samples which were then processed in the centrifuge and turned over to Joe Acaba for storage in MELFI-1 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 1), Dewar 2, Tray B (sect. 3-4) for return to Earth on Soyuz 30S. Later, Sergei conducted MBI-29 Session 2, with the 2nd saliva collection, the MBI-29 stress test plus filling out the associated questionnaire.

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), FE-3 Acaba supported JAXA/Tanegashima with another self-check of the HCP (HTV Control Panel) for the HTV3 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 3) arrival by testing the function of all LED (light-emitting diode) lights and panel backlight, then turning the HCP off.

The CDR completed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~5:15pm EDT. Bed #2 regeneration will be done tomorrow. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (last time: 6/23 & 6/24).]

With its battery freshly charged overnight, Sergei Revin installed the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9, using it to take spectral and photographic imagery of Earth’s surface and atmosphere (10:35am-10:55am EDT) under ground commanding. Later, FE-2 dismantled the equipment for stowage and dumped the data from Laptop 3 via the RSS1 terminal. [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.]

The three crewmembers joined in the ATV3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3) for several hours of cargo operation to prepare the ship for undocking by installing rack adapter plates – two on the top half of the Port 1 rack and four on the Starboard 2 rack. [Although the newly installed cabin fan is running and operational, it has a faulty delta-P transducer for monitoring the pressure difference within the air duct between inlet and outlet of the fan. The crew was cautioned to watch for any CO2 symptoms possibly resulting from the transducer failure and to use their hands to verify proper airflow from the ATV cabin air diffusers.]

After visually inspecting and then activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility (later deactivating it), Joe Acaba adjusted the video camera and conducted another session with the BASS (Burning and Suppression of Solids) experiment by conducting multiple flame test runs on samples, exchanging burner tubes between each test point, exchanging the digital tapes in the MSG VTR1 (Video Tape Recorder 1) & VTR2 and at the end performing a fan calibration to evaluate the air flow with the new fan flow constrictor installed. [BASS uses SLICE equipment but burns solid fuel samples instead of gaseous jets. Sample will either be ignited one time and then replaced with a new one, or burn multiple times. The four servicing procedures, ops prep, BASS ops, BASS fan calibration & BASS videotape exchange, are now no longer listed separately on the crew timeline but consolidated in one activity. BASS examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. It will also guide strategies for extinguishing accidental fires in micro-G. Results will contribute to the combustion computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems in space and on Earth.]

Padalka continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today working in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoj Blok). [Using a vacuum cleaner and soft brush, the CDR cleaned filter and fan grille of the TsV1 central circulation ventilator and replaced the PS1 & PS2 dust filter cartridges with fresh units.]

Later, Gennady completed the periodic (~monthly) maintenance on the temporarily deactivated Russian IK0501 GA (Gas Analyzer) of the SOGS Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System behind SM panel 449 by replacing its CO2 filter assembly (BF) with a new spare. The old unit was discarded as trash and the IMS updated. [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air, as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed.]

FE-2 Revin continued the current round of regular window inspection in the RS, today focusing on windows 3 & 5 in the SM. [Objective of the inspection, which uses a digital still camera (Nikon D2X w/SB-28DX flash) and voice recorder, is to assess the pane surfaces on RS for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains, bleed lines or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection. The new assessment will be compared to the earlier observations. Defects are measured with the parallax method which uses eyeball-sighting with a ruler and a right isosceles triangle to determine the defects' size and position with respect to the window's internal surface (parallax being the apparent change in an object's position resulting from changing the observer's position).]

FE-3 Acaba filled out his 8th FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop). [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MDLT 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.]

In the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Joe conducted the periodic cleaning of the JAXA CB (Clean Bench) facility, wiping the DC (Disinfection Chamber) clean and checking out its relief valve. The CB was then returned to stowed configuration. [The Clean Bench consists of two compartments; the DC and the OC. Air circulated inside is kept clean by HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. Crewmembers operate the experiment materials with gloves from outside to prevent contamination from the ambient air.]

After Sergei’s workout on the TVIS treadmill, Padalka performed the regular weekly maintenance of the aerobic exercise machine. [This is primarily an inspection of the condition of the SLDs (Subject Loading Devices) in contingency configuration, SLD cables for fraying and SPDs (Subject Positioning Devices), lubricating as required, plus recording time & date values.]

Acaba again 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, FE-3 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, Joe 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.]

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-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-3), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR).

At ~10:40am EDT, Joe conducted his regular IMS (Inventory Management System) stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

Tasks listed for 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,
· Earth photography of current flooding conditions in Russia’s Kuban region,
· 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],
· 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), 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).
WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The new card (32-0027A) lists 13 CWCs (203.1 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (4 CWCs with 133.6 L); 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (3 CWCs with 55.5 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.]

Progress 47P Prop Transfer & Supply Line Purges: At ~10:01pm tonight, Moscow conducts final propellant transfers from Progress M-15M/47P at the DC1 to the FGB BVDG(O) tanks (fuel & oxidizer). Later (with the protective shutters of Lab, Node-3/Cupola & JPM science windows closed by Joe Acaba at ~5:15pm to prevent their contamination with thruster effluents), TsUP/Moscow will perform the standard purging of the fuel (ZUG) supply line (1:03am) and oxidizer (ZUO) supply line (2:39am) of 47P in preparation for its (first) undocking on 7/22 (4:22pm). The shutters will be cleared for reopening several orbits later, after the vent cloud had dispersed in the space vacuum. [ISS attitude control authority was will be handed over to Russian MCS (Motion Control System) thrusters at 12:43am to keep the attitude stable during the venting, and will return to US momentum management at ~4:41am.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Plum Island Ecosystem, Massachusetts (LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEACH SITE: The Plum Island Sound is comprised of its estuary, its coupled Parker, Rowley and Ipswich River watersheds and the adjacent Gulf of Maine. Study here focuses on how several aspects of global change influence organic matter and nutrients from land, ocean and marshes and how they interact with external drivers [climate, land use, river discharge, and sea level]. ISS had a fair-weather nadir pass approaching from the SW in early morning light. At this time as the crew tracked over the coast NW of Cape Cod, they were to try for detailed mapping views of this area), Northern Temperate Lakes, Wisconsin (LONG TERM ENVIRONMENTAL RESEACH SITE: The small, numerous, fresh-water lakes of central Wisconsin are conspicuous, ecologically-important, and socially-valued components of the landscape there. Research aims to understand the ecology of lakes in relation to relevant atmospheric, geochemical, landscape and human processes. ISS had a fair-weather early morning pass with this narrow, N-S target area located at nadir and either side of track. At this time as ISS approached the area from the SW, the crew was to try for a contextual mapping strip of the area from just north of Madison to just west of Rhinelander), West Hawk Impact Crater, Manitoba (ISS had a nadir pass in fair weather and mid-morning light over this target area with its approach from the WSW. West Hawk Lake which fills the impact structure is about 100 miles east of Winnipeg, Manitoba 50 miles north of Lake of the Woods on the US/Canadian border. This 4.5 km-diameter crater was formed 350 million years ago. Despite several episodes of glacial erosion in the last 2 million years, it is still evident in the landscape. At this time as ISS tracked just south of Winnipeg, the crew began an overlapping mapping strip to try and acquire this small feature), Lake Faguibine, Niger River, Mali (ISS had a near-nadir pass in fair weather with perhaps some dusty air over this target located between the Sahel Region and the Sahara Desert of western Africa. During seasonal floods, the Niger River supplies water via a connector channel to the fertile floor of arrow-shaped Lake Faguibine. Today Faguibine is a dry Sahel lake, although it was probably a permanent water body ~16,000 years ago. The connector channel and lake floor are the areas of interest. The connector is often blocked by moving sand dunes, making the lake floor useless as major local cropland. At this time the crew was to begin a detailed mapping strip to acquire this target area), Fraser River Flooding, BC, Canada (DYNAMIC EVENT: This request is in response to an International Charter activation for flooding on the Fraser River in British Colombia dated 06/24/12. Weather is still holding off enough for views of this region along the lower Fraser River valley where the worst flooding was reported. ISS had a mid-morning pass in fair weather with the area of interest at nadir along the track. At this time as the crew began tracking over southeastern Vancouver Island, towards nadir, they were to try first for sediment plumes in the Straits of Georgia, and then try for a mapping strip along the course of the Fraser River inland from the city of Vancouver), and Coast Mountains, BC, Canada (ISS had a late-morning pass in fair weather over these beautiful snowcapped mountains rising above the forests of western British Colombia. The glaciers here have been in a well-documented, heavy retreat for the past couple of decades even though they are located in a moist, marine environment, with heavy winter snowfalls and elevations ranging from 10,000 to 13,000 feet. As ISS tracked eastward north of Vancouver Island, the crew was to look near nadir for context views of this target area).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:37am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.9 km
Apogee height – 404.0 km
Perigee height – 393.8 km
Period -- 92.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007553
Solar Beta Angle -- -27.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 78,196
Time in orbit (station) -- 4983 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4270 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------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----------------
07/18/12 -- ATV/ISS reboost
07/20/12 -- HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock #1 ~4:22pm EDT
07/23/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P Kurs-NA Test
07/23/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking ~9:55pm EDT
07/27/12 -- HTV3 docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking #2 ~2:11pm EDT
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P launch [4-orbit RDVZ] ~3:35pm EDT
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P launch [34-orbit RDVZ] ~3:38pm EDT
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P docking [4-orbit RDVZ] ~9:24pm EDT
08/03/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P docking [34-orbit RDVZ] ~6:14pm EDT
08/16/12 -- Russian EVA-31
08/30/12 -- US EVA-18
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/08/12 -- HTV3 reentry
09/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/25/12 -- ATV3 undocking
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-------------