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07-31-2012
July 31, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/31/12

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

  • Progress M-15M/47P undocked last evening on time at 5:19pm EDT for the second & last time from the SM DC1 (Service Module Docking Compartment-1) nadir port. The first separation burn was successfully completed at 5:22pm EDT. 47P will remain in orbit and perform stand-alone Radar-Progress experiment burns until 8/20, followed by destructive reentry into the atmosphere.

At wakeup (nominal, 2:00am), Gennady Padalka performed the routine inspection of the SM PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-5 Sunita Williams had Day 2 of the pH test and diet log entry for the Pro K pH plus controlled diet menu protocol of her first (FD15) Pro K Controlled Diet activity. Suni will start the associated urine collections on 8/2, followed by blood sampling on 8/3. [For the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) protocol, 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. The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. 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.]

Padalka 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: 7/12 & 7/13). [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-2 Sergei Revin conducted the routine verification of yesterday’s automated refreshes of the IUS AntiVirus program on all Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2. [Antivirus update procedures have changed since the SSCV4 software update some time ago. Before the installation on 8/8/11 of the new automated procedure, the refresh was done manually on Mondays on RSS2, copying the files to the RSS2 service folder, then launching update scripts on the network laptops RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 and finally manually updating non-network laptops RSE-Med & RSE1. On Tuesdays, the anti-virus scanning results are regularly verified on all laptops. Nominally, Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday.]

Afterwards, Sergei completed standard service on the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1, downloading the new batch of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 laptop of last night’s 47P undocking 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-4 Acaba had time set aside to review reference material & procedures for upcoming BCAT-C1 payload operations.      [Objectives of BCAT-6 are to examine different conditions that result in entropically-driven colloidal crystallization, melting, self-organization, and phase separation of systems. The long-duration low-gravity environment provided on the ISS allows such structures to form and persist for sufficient time to establish the evolution toward equilibrium through time-sequenced images taken with the EarthKAM software on the ISS (and eventually with the use of the new lower-noise, higher-resolution ISS camera). These experiments cannot be done on Earth because of problems caused by sedimentation, convection, and jamming.  Being able to track the time evolution allows scientists to see the underlying physics, which is of particular relevance to product manufacturers for the pharmaceutical, food, and cleaning industries (in terms of shelf life and mechanical and thermodynamic properties).  Two types of samples will be studied: Phase Separation (samples 1-5) & Crystal (samples 6-10).]

FE-4 Yuri Malenchenko set up the new Russian spectrometry experiment MBI-28 Xromatomass (Chromatomass) and conducted his 2nd session of collecting saliva and blood, with the CDR taking documentary photography.  MBI-28 was closed out afterwards.

Joe Acaba & Suni Williams spent more time in HTV3 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 3) cargo transfers, after having made considerable progress yesterday and last Saturday.  FE-3 tagged up with ground specialists at ~8:50am to report on unloading status.     [On 7/28, Joe & Suni successfully accomplished an estimated 20 hrs of cargo operations in 13 hrs. Yesterday, they completed an estimated 18 hrs of cargo operations in less than 9 hrs.  Congrats!]

Padalka worked on the Russian SRV-K2M condensate water processor, replacing its F-R filter reactor (catalyst), a periodic task.

Gennady also conducted the periodic inspection of the SRV-K2M’s sediment trap insert (VU) in the SM. [The VU insert was last inspected on 10/31/11 and before that replaced with a spare on 6/3. The Russian SRVK-2M converts collected condensate into drinking water and dispenses the reclaimed potable water.]

FE-3 Acaba set up the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) equipment in COL in front of the HRF-1 rack, with Calibration Arm and Calibration Mass to perform control run for calibration.  Afterwards, Joe measured his body mass, followed in suit later by Akihiko and Sunita. Afterwards, Suni powered off, disassembled and stowed SLAMMD hardware including the SLAMMD Accessories Kit. [SLAMMD, performed first on Expedition 12 in December 2005, provides an accurate means of determining the on-orbit mass of humans spanning the range from the 5th percentile Japanese female to the 95th percentile American male. The procedure, in accordance with Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, finds the mass by dividing force, generated by two springs inside the SLAMMD drawer, by acceleration measured with a precise optical instrument that detects the position versus time trajectory of the SLAMMD guide arm and a micro controller which collects the raw data and provides the precise timing. The final computation is done via portable laptop computer with SLAMMD unique software. To calculate their mass, crewmembers wrap their legs around a leg support assembly, align the stomach against a belly pad and either rest the head or chin on a head rest. For calibration, an 18-lbs. mass is used at different lengths from the pivot point, to simulate different mass values. Crew mass range is from 90 to 240 lbs.]

In preparation for Progress M-16M/48P (#415) docking at the DC1 (Docking Compartment) nadir port tomorrow at ~9:24pm EDT (assuming 4-orbit rendezvous mode), Gennady Padalka & Yuri Malenchenko worked through an abbreviated 2-hr refresher OBT (Onboard Training) for the TORU teleoperator system, which provides a manual backup mode to the Progress’ KURS automated rendezvous radar system.  The drill was supported by ground specialist tagup. [The drill included procedure review, rendezvous, docking data and rendezvous math modeling data review, fly-around, final approach, docking and off-nominal situations (e.g., video or comm loss). Three different flight conditions were simulated on the RSK1 laptop. The TORU teleoperator control system lets a SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. During spacecraft approach, TORU is in “hot standby” mode. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM's TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 9 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over RGS (Russian Ground Sites) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground.]

FE-6 Hoshide set up the USND (Ultrasound) with video camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter), placed reference markers on the thigh and calf of his right leg and donned the SPRINT thigh and calf guides and then, with the help of Suni Williams, performed a SPRINT leg scan with remote guidance from ground teams, his first. [SPRINT (Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study) evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in ISS crewmembers during long-duration missions.]

Hoshide also completed a session with the Japanese psychological POMS (Profile of Mood States) experiment, completing his questionnaire for downlink to ground specialist.

In preparation for his upcoming first ESA Ultrasound VI (Vessel Imaging) session, Aki afterwards reviewed briefing material, refreshing himself on Echography operational procedures, VI inflight remote guidance echo protocol, etc.

With the G1 video camera set up for recording, Sunita serviced the YTSL (YouTube SpaceLab) spider habitats, first deactivating & de-cabling CGBA-4 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 4), taking photographs, feeding SpiderHab1, photographing again, then swapping SpiderHab1 with SpiderHab2 and finally reactivating CGBA-4.     [Yesterday, Suni installed six YouTube GAPs (Group Activation Packs) in CGBA-5. These GAPs will be activated on 8/4 (Saturday). YTSL is a world-wide contest for students 14-18 years old for which entries were submitted via a 2-minute YouTube video in the areas of physics or biology. Of the 2000 entries received from around the world, the top 2 winners were selected. These experiments examine the predatory behavior of a jumping spider and the anti-fungal properties of Bacillus subtilis, a naturally occurring bacterium that is commonly used as an anti-fungal agent for agricultural crops.]

Joe Acaba configured the Lab camcorder to provide live viewing of his work on the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack) FCF, then worked on the ACE (Advanced Colloids Experiment) science payload in the FIR FCF, inspecting samples #2001, #2002, #2003, #2004 & #2005. [ACE is an interesting Technology experiment, designed to investigate the capability of conducting high magnification colloid experiments with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) for determining the minimum size particles which can be resolved with it.  ACE Objective: To remove gravitational jamming and sedimentation so that it is possible to observe how order arises out of disorder and to learn to control this process. Small colloidal particles can be used to model atomic systems and to engineer new systems. Colloids are big enough (in comparison to atoms) to be seen and big enough that their evolution can be recorded with a camera. With a confocal microscope, templates, and grids, we can observe this process in 3-D and learn to control it.]

Acaba also set up the equipment for his 3rd Ambulatory Monitoring session of the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment, scheduled tomorrow.

Sergei performed the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) to the RS 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.]

Afterwards, FE-2 completed 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) 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).

Aki Hoshide inserted two JAXA experiments in MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS, +2 degC): Medaka Osteoclast experiment items (fish fixation, test strips, etc.), and 7 Microbe-2 MDS (Microbial Detection Sheets) with yeast and mold samples.     [Background: The assumed cause of decreasing bone mineral density in space is the enhancement of the osteoclast (bone resorption cell) in micro-G.  The Medaka fish is a model animal for the life science research, and JAXA is using it on board the Kibo module to study the effects of micro-G on the osteoclast activity and the gravity sensing system of the vertebulate.]

Sergei Revin completed another collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. It was Sergei’s 5th time. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

Gennady took the periodic documentary photographs of the removable cassette SКК #2-SO through the DC1 VL1 (EVA hatch window 1) and of DC1 MLI (Multi-Layer Insulation). [SKK #2 is installed on the DC1 where spherical and cylindrical DC1 rings meet to form a joint between bulkheads 2 & 3, and between planes III & IV on H/R (Handrail) 3032.]

Sergei had ~1h 40m 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.]

Suni Williams powered up the amateur/ham radio equipment in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and SM which was switched off for last night’s 47P departure.

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

Aki 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.

CDR, FE-2 & FE-4 were scheduled for their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sergei at ~11:45pm, Gennady at ~12:00pm, Yuri ~1:45pm EDT.

At ~1:20pm, Malenchenko conducted his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

Gennady & Yuri had ~2h for a Russian PAO TV event, recording their responses to questions from Roskosmos TV 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.]

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.]

At ~4:15am EDT, Aki conducted the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

Joe, Suni & Aki had special 30-min time slots added to their timeline for generic activities from the “job jar” task list at their discretion.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2, FE-4).

Tasks listed for Revin, Malenchenko & 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uploaded for today were Kunene River Fan, Namibia-Angola (ISS had an off-nadir pass in clear weather and mid-morning light with approach from the NW.  This large alluvial fan lies between the Kunene River in Angola and Namibia’s Etosha Pan and is subject to periodic flooding from the north.  At this time the crew was to look just right of track and begin a detailed mapping strip of the fan.  Recent floods reached down the length of the fan to Etosha Pan, the low point of the basin.  Open water may still be visible in many parts of the fan), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS BEAGLE SITE:  Darwin and the Beagle arrived at this remote, volcanic island in the Equatorial Atlantic on July 19, 1836 and visited for four days while he climbed the Green Hill Volcano [2,817 ft].  ISS had a mid- morning pass in fair weather with the island just right of track.  At this time the crew was to begin looking as they approached from the NW for detailed, long-lens views), West Cuba (ongoing research at Florida International University is seeking imagery to document and analyze land cover change in western Cuba.  Today, ISS had a nadir, fair-weather pass in mid-morning light over this target area.  As ISS approached the western tip of Cuba from the NW, the crew was to look either side of track and attempt a mapping strip of overlapping imagery just inland along the southern coast from the Guanahacabibes Peninsula to a point due south of Havana), and Majuro, Marshall Islands (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE:  This tiny capital city [population <30,000]  of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is located on a large coral atoll of the same name.  ISS had an early morning pass in partly cloudy weather with its approach from the NW.  At this time the crew was to begin looking towards nadir for the east-west oriented atoll of Majuro and then concentrate on the capital city of Majuro on the SW side).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
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] ~6:15pm 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-------------