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July 13, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/13/12

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

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

Joe Acaba serviced the EKAM (EarthKAM/Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) by swapping it to a fully charged battery, then restarting the camera & EKAM software at the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) window. [This was repeated twice more during orbit night when the system wasn’t capturing images.]

Sergei Revin 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.]

CDR Padalka & FE-2 Revin undertook their 2nd 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.]

Afterwards, Gennady conducted the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The CDR will terminate the process at ~5:15pm EDT. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. (Done last: 6/23 & 6/24). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hrs and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

FE-3 Acaba had ~3 hrs set aside for the cleaning of the Stbd CQ (Crew Quarters) in Node-2, originally scheduled on 6/4 for Don Pettit but deferred due to time constraints.

Padalka & Revin completed their 2nd OOHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-minute NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures and monitor crew hearing status on-orbit, using a special software application on the SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop. [The self-administered OOHA test is a variation of conventional audiometric testing, in which the crewmember determines minimum audibility for tones, over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, in each ear. While wearing custom-made Prophonics earphones and Bose active noise reduction headsets, the crewmember uses special EarQ software on the SSC to determine the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The first on-orbit test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per 45 days thereafter. Results are then reviewed by medical personnel and compared to pre-flight OOHA data and also to previous on-orbit OOHA results. Note: There have been temporary shifts in hearing sensitivity documented on some crewmembers, most of which have recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Gennady 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.]

Sergei 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).

FE-2 Revin continued the current round of regular window inspection in the RS, today focusing on windows 3 & 5 in the SM (deferred from yesterday). [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).]

In preparation for Soyuz TMA-05M/31S (#706) arrival on 7/17, Padalka up the Ku-band video “scheme” for a 40-min communications test of converting the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HDV camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from SM & Node-3/Cupola, for downlinking as MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoded “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band. [Steps included connecting the SM TVS (television system) to the T61p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop at the SM CP (Central Post), activating Soyuz TVS, turning on MPEG-2 video Server 2, and monitoring the SM’s TV signal from the ground (Moscow) via Ku-band and the Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation). The analog signal version of the digital Ku-band downlink is sent to TsUP-Moscow via ESA Gateway at COL-CC (Columbus Orbital Laboratory Control Center) on a Tandberg Decoder.]

For the Russian TVS MPEG2 multicasting test, Acaba worked on the wireless SSC laptops (SSC-1,-3,-5,-6,-7,-9,-11,-13,-14,-17,-18,-19,-20,-21) for their outage period, either not using them during the critical period or switching them to wired ops. Afterwards, the SSCs were to be reconfigured to their nominal wireless setting. [Network video streaming slows down applications on laptops connected to WAPs (Wireless Access Points).]

FE-2 performed standard service on the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in the MRM1 Rassvet, downloading the new batch of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

FE-3 performed an audit/inventory on a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag, #1020) listed to contain nine Icepac Belts (+4 degC).

Afterwards, Acaba consolidated the HRF (Human Research Facility) supply kit, removing expired limited life items and supplying it with new consumables, then taking documentary photography for the ground.

On the HRF, Joe also moved the temporarily stowed Actiwatch to stowage, removed the T61p USB-to-Serial cable from the Actiwatch reader, then stowed cable and reader in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory).

Sergei & Gennady Padalka had ~1h reserved for another round of filming onboard “Chronicle” newsreel footage using the SONY HVR-Z7E camcorder and the NIKON D2X & D3 still cameras, part of the ongoing effort to create a “Life on the Station” photo & video documentary database on the flight of ISS-32 (“Flight Chronicles”) for Telecanal Roskosmos. [Footage subjects generally include running experiments, current activities at the station, repair activities behind panels, exercise, cosmonauts looking out the window at the Earth, Earth surface, station interior, cosmonaut in zero gravity, leisure, life on orbit, personal hygiene, meals, station exterior, comm. passes with the ground, ham radio passes, station cleaning, spacesuits, space hardware, MRM1, MRM2, DC1, FGB, Soyuz & Progress, intermodular passageways, meeting a new crew, crewmember in space, medical experiments, handover activities, crew return preparations, farewell ceremonies, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

Starting a new round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russia Segment) ventilation systems, the CDR worked in the MRM2 Poisk module, replacing the PF1 & PF2 dust filters with new units and cleaning the VD1 & VD2 air ducts and V1 & V2 fan/vent grills.

At ~4:05am EDT, the three crewmembers 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 ~5:30am, 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 ~6:20am, the two Russian crewmembers supported a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking their responses to questions from Roskosmos TV Studio Correspondent Yulia Khalyukina for the “Lesson from Space” project. [Roskosmos TV studio along with Ministry of Education are working on the “Lesson from Space” project, to be shown in Russian schools on October 4, launch day of Sputnik 1, the first man-made Earth satellite. The TV studio is also recording a footage for the “Kosmonavtika” show on the Rossia 24 news channel.]

At ~2:05pm, Joe held the regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~3:10pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

Joe conducted his session on the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill with the Treadmill Kinematics protocol, setting up the HD camcorder in Node-1, placing tape markers on his body, recording a calibration card in the FOV (Field of View) and then conducting the workout run within a specified speed range. The video was later downlinked by Joe via MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter). [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-3), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3), and VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer (FE-2).

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.]

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, 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).
Soyuz TMA-05M/31S Update: Yesterday morning at the usual time, the Soyuz launch vehicle was rolled out to the launch site and erected on the pad, starting L-2 launch activities. Earlier today, the State Commission held its meeting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to approve the primary and backup crews for Soyuz TMA-05M/31S and confirm the readiness of the space launch system. Prime crew: Yuri Malenchenko (Roskosmos/Russia; ISS-32 Flight Engineer, Soyuz TMA-05M CDR), Sunita Williams (NASA/USA), Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA, Japan). Backup crew: Roman Romanenko (Roskosmos/Russia); Christopher Hadfield (CSA, Canada), Thomas Marshburn (NASA, USA). The members of the primary and backup crews reported their readiness for the mission.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Aral Sea (the Aral Sea basins in southwestern Asia once contained the world’s fourth largest lake, but since the 1960’s the surface area [26,300 sq mi] has shrunk to just 10% of its original size due to diversions of its water inflow sources for large-scale irrigation projects. ISS had a fine, midday pass in fair weather with much of what remains of this shrinking lake visible from nadir to the right of track. At this time, the crew was to try for contextual, short lens views of this target area to document the current state of the ongoing changes), Skopje, Macedonia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: This capital city is located in the north central part of the Balkan Peninsula. ISS had a midday pass in fair weather with an approach from the NW. Skopje, with its population of about half a million, accounts for fully a third of the population of land-locked Macedonia. At this time the crew began nadir mapping strip to try and acquire this urban area within a single frame), Amman, Jordan (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE: ISS had a fine fair-weather pass today for this target in mid-afternoon light. The Jordanian capital city of over 2 million is located in a hilly area of the northwestern part of the country about 25 miles northeast of the Dead Sea. At this time as ISS approached from the NW, the crew looked near nadir for this sprawling, but low-contrast urban area, to acquire it within a single frame), Brent Impact Crater, Ontario, Canada (this target is located in a remote, rugged area of southeastern Ontario and just east of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. ISS approach was in early morning light from the SW in fair weather. Brent impact crater is 3.8 km in diameter and is one of the older craters, dated at approximately 396 million years. As with many craters in Canada, this one is highlighted by lakes that partially fill the crater. At this time the crew was to look near nadir using the long lens settings for this feature just north of Cedar Lake), Mount Rainier, WA (ISS had a fair weather pass for this target with approach from the SW. Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles southeast of Seattle. With an elevation of 14,411 feet, Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley. At this time as ISS tracked over Seattle, the crew was to look just right of track and try for a detailed mapping session of the summit area), and Coast Mountains, BC, Canada (ISS had a mid-morning pass in fair weather over these beautiful snowcapped mountains rising above the forests of western British Columbia. 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 mapping views of this target area.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:38am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 398.8 km
Apogee height – 403.9 km
Perigee height – 393.8 km
Period -- 92.54 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007515
Solar Beta Angle -- -25.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 81 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 78,209
Time in orbit (station) -- 4984 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4271 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----------------
07/19/12 -- ATV/ISS reboost
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-------------
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-------------