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July 27, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/27/12

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

  • At 8:23am EDT, JAXA’s HTV3 (H-IIB Transfer Vehicle 3) “Kounotori-3“ was successfully grappled by Joe Acaba & Akihiko Hoshide, assisted by Sunita Williams, with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System).  The SSRMS snares were closed and capture was completed (fully rigidized).  Later, at ~10:41am, the HTV-3 vehicle was successfully berthed to the nadir port of ISS Node-2.  Hatch opening and initial ingress into the vehicle are planned for tomorrow.

Prior to grappling HTV3, Suni, Aki & Joe worked their way through a number of preparatory steps involving –
  • Rebooting the JAXA SLT (System Laptop) in the Kibo module;
  • Setting up the RWS (Robotic Workstation) in the Node-3 Cupola, complete with CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint) for supporting the capture (later removing CCR again),
  • Verifying PCS (Portable Computer System) commanding plus confirming PROX link data
  • Configuring the Node-2 camcorder for subsequent HTV PCBM (Passive Common Berthing Mechanism) survey
  • Performing HTV & SSRMS preps for HTV approach monitoring,
  • Monitoring HTV final approach to 30m & confirming CP hold,
  • Capturing HTV and, if required, maneuvering to the expected HTV capture position,
  • Maneuvering the SSRMS to pre-install position.

Later, the crew –
  • Inspected the HTV PCBM for FOD (Foreign Object/Debris), using an internal camcorder out the Node-2 nadir CBM hatch,
  • Powered up the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) at the Node-2 nadir port,
  • Berthed & installed the HTV to the Node-2 nadir port (CBM Stage 1 & Stage capture, then fastened & torqued 16 ABOLTS) – (~11:20am),
  • Ungrappled the HTV,
  • Grappled the EP (Exposed Pallet) in the HTV’s flank with the SSRMS,
  • Cycled the Node-2 nadir hatch cycle to Latched,
  • Pressurized and leak-checked the HTV/Node-2 Vestibule
  • Opened Node-2 nadir hatch, removed the Center Disk Cover and mated power jumpers,
  • Inhibited the HCP (HTV Control Panel) and stowed it in JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) until it is needed again for HTV2 departure,
  • Powered down the two SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops used for additional monitors at LAB RWS, and
  • Deactivated the RWS video monitor system,

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

Padalka, Malenchenko & Revin completed the periodic pre-breakfast session of the Russian biomedical routine assessment PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement. Afterwards, Gennady, Yuri & Sergei were joined by Acaba, Williams & Hoshide in completing the PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement using the IMT mass measurement device, set up (and later cleaned up and stowed away) by Revin. [For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IMT "scales" for MO-8 measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed. MO-7 Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures.]

With Revin taking documentary photography, Padalka configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h15m session, his 3rd, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

FE-5 Williams downloaded the accumulated data from Aki Hoshide’s recent first (FD15) 24-hr ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session from two Actiwatch Spectrums and two HM2 HiFi CF Cards to the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1).  His Cardiopres data were downloaded earlier with Suni’s. The laptop was then powered off. [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.]

Yuri Malenchenko completed his first 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.]

FE-5 & FE-6 filled out their regular FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop). It was the 2nd for Aki & Suni. [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.]

Gennady & Yuri had ~1h55m for reviewing & studying procedural material for dismantling & removing the failed Kurs-NA system from Progress M-15M/47P after its re-docking, which is currently planned for tomorrow (Saturday, 7/28) at 9:00pm EDT.       [There is currently only agreement for one redocking attempt, although Moscow wants 7/31 as a backup date (not yet analyzed).  47P is about 500 km out on the positive V-bar and will stay there through HTV capture.  The re-rendezvous will be from above, on a non-standard but acceptable trajectory.  To save the Kurs-NA hardware inside 47P for investigation, the crew will re-enter 47P on Sunday & Monday and retrieve the equipment for later return.  Final undocking of 47P on 7/30 will be delayed for 2 revs to allow more time for this hardware retrieval.]

Sergei continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today cleaning “Group B” fan screens, replacing the SKPF1& SKPF2 dust filters and cleaning the GZhT gas/liquid heat exchanger fan grill in the MRM1 “Rassvet” module.

Afterwards, FE-2 performed 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.]

Revin also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Maintenance System) servicing, 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).

With the TTM-2 battery freshly charged, Padalka & Malenchenko conducted another 2h session with the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments, with Piren-V and TTM-2, conducting air temperature and humidity monitoring in areas behind FGB panels 314, 315 & 111 to populate the mapped RS data base.  Before sleeptime, Yuri initiated TTM battery recharge. [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 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, Yuri 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 and NIKON D3-U01 (f=80mm) imagery of color bloom patterns in the waters of the Central-Eastern Atlantic and coastal Africa, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

Sergei Revin continued the standard windows inspection and photography, today in the SM on windows #01 & #09. [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 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-4 Malenchenko had another 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.

Joe had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in his electronic Journal on the personal SSC (Station Support Computer). [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

Before Presleep, FE-3 turns 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.]

Yuri Malenchenko & 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.]

At ~4:00am EDT, the six 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 ~4:15am, Gennady, Sergei & Yuri 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.

The non-HTV-occupied crewmembers 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, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-3), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2, FE-4).

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, 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).

Update on External Camera Calibration:  The calibration of the external cameras P1LOOB (P1 Lower Outboard), S1LOOB (S1 Lower Outboard, and P1LOIB (P1 Lower Inboard) planned yesterday (as mentioned in the 7-26 OOS Report) did not take place.  The camera calibration was unsuccessful after two separate attempts, and it was not planned to reattempt camera calibration prior to HTV capture.    [Camera calibration is not required for HTV3 approach & capture. The camera calibration would have helped understand the small offsets detected from last week’s SSRMS Capture Volume checkout.]

Progress 47P Redocking:    TsUP-Moscow continues to plan 47P redocking for Saturday ~9:00pm EDT. The prime undocking time has moved 2 orbits later on Monday, 7/30, at 5:16pm EDT. The undocking was moved later by about 3 hrs to allow the ISS crew sufficient time to open the hatches to 47P, remove the Kurs-NA avionics equipment for eventual return to the ground for analysis and then reclose the hatches.

CEO targets uplinked for today were 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 7,000 is located on the north coast of the larger island of Malta on a peninsula between two natural harbors.  ISS approached from the NW at mid-morning in clear weather.  At this time as it tracked just south of Sicily, the crew was to look nadir for this target), Lilongwe, Malawi (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE:  ISS had a mid-morning pass for this target that lied just left of track in partly cloudy weather.  This capital city of nearly 1 million is located in a plateau region southwest of Lake Malawi.  At this time as ISS approached from the NW, the crew was to try to spot this urban area and acquire all of it within a single frame), Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, Texas (ISS had a mid-morning pass in partly cloudy weather over this target area with its approach from the NW.  The Bolivar Peninsula located northeast of Galveston Island is a component of the region’s barrier island system.  Much less developed than Galveston Island, the Bolivar was devastated by a 20-foot storm surge from Hurricane Ike in 2008.  CEO is seeking detailed mapping along the coastal region, with an emphasis on the central portion of the Bolivar peninsula.  Since the hurricane, no detailed imagery of this area has been acquired.  At this time, after tracking over Houston, the crew was to begin looking just left of track and try for a detailed, overlapping mapping strip of the Bolivar Peninsula in particular), and Bogota, Colombia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE:  The Colombian capital city of 9 million lies on a high plateau region of the west central part of the country at an elevation of 8,661 feet.  It is rarely clear here and photos are few.  ISS had a mid-morning pass in fair weather with its approach from the NW.  At this time, as it tracked over the rugged ranges of the northern Andes Mountains, the crew was to begin looking nadir for this sprawling urban area, trying for a complete view of the urban area within a single frame.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/28/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P redocking #2 (~9:00pm EDT)
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking #2 (5:16pm EDT)
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P launch [4-orbit RDVZ]
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P launch [34-orbit RDVZ]
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P docking [4-orbit RDVZ]
08/03/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P docking [34-orbit RDVZ]
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-------------