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August 14, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/14/12

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

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

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.]

FE-3 Joe Acaba completed his 4th regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on a review of all topics. At the end, Joe completed a self-assessment questionnaire. Answers were provided at test conclusion. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

Acaba & Williams spent time in PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) in a 2-hr operation to retrieve the spare EVA CLPA (Camera, Light, Pan, Tilt Assembly) which Sunita & Akihiko will install during EVA-18 on 8/30 instead of the failed camera as one of the spacewalk get-aheads in case of sufficient time. [To access PMA-2, Joe & Suni temporarily relocated stowage at Node-2 fwd endcone, then opened the Node-2 fwd hatch, ingressed PMA-2 (after allowing time for ventilation) and removed the CLPA. Next, additional stowage was transferred to PMA-2 from the HTV3 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 3) and the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module), followed by Node-2 hatch closure and return of temp stowage hardware to the Node-2 fwd endcone.]

FE-6 Hoshide had ~3h 50m on his timeline for setting up and configuring the new Japanese AQH (Aquatic Habitat) payload. [Steps included adjusting the G1 camcorder for covering the activities, opening the MSPR WV (Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack) work volume door in Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), installing a water circulation unit, the AQH controller, pH/oxygen sensors, cameras & lights, closing the MSPR WV door and closing out the G1. The MSPR laptop was then set up for AQH activities. Background: The JAXA AQH is a closed-water circulatory system, which provides a new facility option ISS-based research. Scientists will use the habitat to study small, freshwater fish on orbit. For the first investigations, they plan to examine the Medaka (Oryzias latipes) fish, looking at the impacts of radiation, bone degradation, muscle atrophy, and developmental biology. The investigations could last up to 90 days and provide data that may lead to a better understanding of related human health concerns here on Earth. Medaka fish are ideal specimens for many reasons. They are transparent, making it easy to view the inner workings of their organs. They also breed quickly and easily in micro-G environments, enabling multi-generation studies. Researchers can take advantage of a variety of genetic modifications to these fish, as well. Also, scientists already have all of the Medaka genome identified, which makes it easier to recognize any alterations to the fishes’ genes, due to factors like space radiation.]

FE-2 Revin had 2h 50m 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.]

Later, Revin unstowed and set up the educational experiment OBR-1-2/Fizika-Obrazovaniye, then started another session with the “Physics-Phase” (FAZA) demo, several times taking photographs of the experiment and recording the activity on video, supported by ground specialist tagup. [Obrazovaniye (Education) is a suite of three educational demonstrations of physics in micro-G, viz., OBR-1-1/”Fizika-LT” (Motion), OBR-1-2/”Fizika-Faza” (Phase) and OBR-1-3/”Fizika-Otolit”. The current “FAZA” demo studies a complete gas-liquid phase separation of fine dispersion particles in micro-G with diffusion and surface tension of the fluid. The experiment is conducted over 7-10 days, documented with photography once a day.]

Meanwhile, CDR Padalka & FE-4 Malenchenko pressed on with their preparations for EVA-31 on 8/20 (Monday), to be preceded by the usual spacewalk dry run. [Tomorrow (8/15), Gennady & Yuri will continue preps with airlock procedures review & ORU installations, and on 8/17 with the suited dry-run.]

Today, Gennady & Yuri worked on their Orlan-MK space suits, adjusting them to their sizes (center-line adjustment strap, lateral adjustment strap, hip adjustment straps, lower leg adjustment straps, forearm adjustment straps, etc.) and if necessary with their GP-10KM pressure glove palm bars.

Afterwards, the crewmembers performed spacesuit and BSS (Orlan Interface Unit) leak checks and Orlan valve tests, checked pressures of the BK-3M oxygen bottles located in the DC1 Docking Compartment and SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment), and installed batteries in the BRTA-2 radio telemetry units of their suits (CDR: Orlan #5 w/red stripe, FE-4: Orlan #6 w/blue stripe).

Also for EVA-31 from the DC1 airlock, Padalka & FE-2 Revin prepared the Progress M-16M/48P cargo ship, docked at DC1, for unscheduled (contingency) undocking by ground commanding if required, by removing the two handles (ruchek) from the Progress hatch door and installing the StM docking mechanism in the port.

Joe Acaba replaced batteries in the two portable handheld HRD (High Rate Dosimeter) instruments (4 AAA Alkaline batteries each) and accessed Memory Mode to take baseline dose readings for reporting to the ground. [The memory registers to be recorded as part of this procedure represent the dose and bias voltage readings from each of the 3 channels in both the gamma and neutron detectors in the HRD as well as the combined cumulative doses from both detectors.]

In support of the Russian EVA-31, FE-3 afterwards configured two NIKON D2Xs cameras for the spacewalk dry-run on 8/17. Prior to the actual EVA, batteries will be charged and swapped.

In preparation for their spacewalk, Malenchenko & Padalka undertook a session each with the MedOps protocol PZE MO-5, “Cardiovascular Evaluation during Graded Exercises” on the VELO cycle ergometer, a standard Russian physical fitness test for pre-EVA conditioning, assisting each other as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) in turn. [The 50-min assessment (per person), supported by ground specialist tagup via VHF and telemetry monitoring from RGS (Russian Ground Site, 7:17am EDT for CDR, 11:56am for FE-4) uses the Gamma-1 ECG (electrocardiograph) equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. For the graded exercise, the subject works the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each. Data output involves a kinetocardiogram, rheoplethysmogram, rheoencephalogram and a temporal pulsogram.]

Working in the US A/L (Airlock), Sunita Williams serviced & checked out the two EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) spacesuits which she and Akihiko will be wearing for EVA-18 on 8/30. [After bypassing the A/L high-pressure O2 system to use O2 from the low-pressure tank, Suni initiated autocycle recharge of the EMU Li-Ion (lithium ion) LLBs (Long Life Batteries) in the EMU Li-Ion battery charger, recharged the EMU water tanks with iodinated water, filled the empty LCVGs (Liquid Cooling Ventilation Garments) with water and initiated the regular scrubbing of the LCVG & EMU cooling loops, along with EMU checkouts, filtering ionic & particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter). The oxygen ACS (Atmosphere Control & Supply) was then reconfigured.]

Aki Hoshide broke out and set up the HMS USND-2 (Health Maintenance Systems Ultrasound 2) equipment, then performed an eye scan on Acaba, before being the Subject for Suni Williams as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who afterwards was the Subject of the eye scan for Joe as Operator. Acaba later stowed the equipment. [Objective of the Ultrasound scans, the 2nd for Joe, the first for Suni & Aki, was an eye examination for the three subjects, using the 12L-RS Ultrasound Scanning Probe, USND Echo gel, and the G1s camcorder (VCA2/Video Camera Assembly 2) to document the measurements.]

Sergei Revin 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 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).

Before Presleep, FE-3 Acaba turns on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts 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.]

Before sleeptime, Sergei will conduct 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 is Sergei’s 6th 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.]

CDR, FE-2 & FE-4 had their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Gennady at ~11:30am, Sergei at ~12:10pm, Yuri ~2:45pm EDT.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (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, FE-5), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2, FE-4). [FE-5 & FE-6 are 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 Thursday (FE-6) or Friday (FE-5). If any day is not completed, Suni & Aki pick up where they left off, i.e., they would be finishing out the week with the last day of exercise on theirs off day. Today’s exercise for FE-6 called for ARED/CEVIS (resistive/aerobic continuous), with T2 (aerobic 4 min) following tomorrow, none on Thursday; for FE-5: today T2 (aerobic 30 sec), with ARED/CEVIS (resistive/aerobic continuous) and T2 (aerobic 4 min.) in the next two days.]

ISS/ATV Reboost: Tomorrow (8/15), the ISS is scheduled to perform a nominal reboost at 12:00pm EDT using the ATV3 OCS thrusters. This reboost is a part of the altitude strategy to utilize propellant delivered by ATV3 as well as begin to set up the phasing conditions for the 30S landing in mid-September. Burn duration: 31 min 16 sec. Expected delta-V: 4.4 m/s; expected mean altitude increase: 7.65 km.

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 uplinked for today were Dili, East Timor (Timore Leste) (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Looking just left on the coastline of the island of Timor for this small capital city of 200,000 people), Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (looking right, roughly midway between the large Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean. CEO recently successfully imaged this small target, Africa’s highest mountain. To map the change in ice-field area, at least an 800 mm lens view was requested), Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS BEAGLE SITE: Nadir pass. Darwin and HMS Beagle arrived at this remote, volcanic island in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean on July 19, 1836. Darwin stayed four days and climbed the Green Hill Volcano [2,817 ft]. The rocky lava slopes are dry [only 5.6 inches of rainfall per year], but the peak of the volcano is cool and wet enough to support green vegetation. The vegetation is a lush “halo” of bamboo around the summit, with stands of Norfolk pines), and La Paz, Bolivia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Looking just left for La Paz [population 880,000, with 2.36 million in the metro area]. The more visible part of the city lies on the high, flat Andean plain [altitude 11,975 feet], with the airport as its most prominent visual feature. Less obvious neighborhoods extend over the lip far down the steep slopes of neighboring canyons.)

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:06am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 401.7 km
Apogee height – 402.8 km
Perigee height – 400.5 km
Period -- 92.60 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0001715
Solar Beta Angle -- 50.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.55
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 57 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 78,709
Time in orbit (station) -- 5016 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4303 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
08/15/12 – ISS/ATV3 Reboost
08/20/12 -- 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-------------
12/25/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P undocking
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-------------