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September 19, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/19/12

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

Happy Birthday, Sunita Williams!

After wakeup, FE-4 Malenchenko performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

CDR Williams set up the first of four Makita power tool batteries for recharge, following with the other three during the day, for another upcoming ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session (9/21).

Malenchenko, Hoshide & Williams donned their intravehicular Sokol pressure suits and performed the standard fit-check in their body-contoured Kazbek-U couches in the TMA-05M/31S spacecraft, docked at MRM1 Rassvet, a 30-min job. [This required them to get in their shock-absorbing seats and use a ruler to measure the gap between the top of the head and the top edge of the structure facing the head. The results were to be reported to TsUP. Kazbek-U couches are designed to withstand g-loads during launch and orbital insertion as well as during reentry and brake-rocket-assisted landing. Each seat has two positions: cocked (armed) and non-cocked. In the cocked position, they are raised to allow the shock absorbers to function during touchdown. The fit check assures that the crewmember whose body gains in length during longer-term stay in zero-G, will still be adequately protected by the seat liners for their touchdown in Kazakhstan. 31S return is scheduled for 11/12.]

Malenchenko installed the portable O2 repress tank (BNP-NU) #3, used for the recent Russian spacewalk, on the POV (EVA Support Panel) in the SM RO Work Compartment. Purpose: a leak check over the next two days, ground-monitored via Ku-band telemetry.

Afterwards, Yuri collected & downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has 11 sensors placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, MRM2, MRM1, etc.) and four in CQs. [The memory/flash card was then replaced. Today’s readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. The dosimeters were re-deployed at their locations. They take their readings automatically every 90 minutes.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Williams supported remote-commanded operations from the ground by reconfiguring the MRDL (Medium Rate Data Link) Ethernet cable of the IPU (Image Processing Unit), disconnecting it from the 180J07 plug on the Ryutai Rack and connecting it to the Saibo Rack UIP (Utility Interface Panel), then informed SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center), Tsukuba.

Preparatory to testing the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) at Node-2 Nadir, Sunita set up the Lab RWS (Robotic Workstation at loc. P5 (External Rack), powering up the DCP (Display & Control Panel).

Next, Suni unlatched the Node-2 Nadir hatch, to minimize possible effects of a hatch mechanism jam which would preclude opening the hatch.

Suni then conducted the testing of the CBCS on the Node-2 Nadir hatch for the SpaceX-1 “Dragon” vehicle arrival next month. Afterwards, the RWS DCP was powered off and the setup torn down. [Steps included installing CBCS and all related avionics for Dragon mating at Node-2 Nadir, performing a video system checkout by routing CBCS to the Lab RWS and the Ground. In the event of a good checkout, CBCS was to be left installed. Otherwise, String 3 will be tested in Node 1 before restow. Background: During HTV3 “Kounotori 3” release, the CBCS exhibited an anomaly, producing jittery video that was unusable for HTV3 unberth. Onboard troubleshooting did not recover CBCS functionality, so CBCS was not used for the unberthing. A FIT (Flight Investigation Team) meeting discussed root cause and forward plan on 9/17. The next planned use of CBCS is for SpaceX-1 berthing, planned for 10/7/12.]

Yuri prepared for the standard leak check of the ATV3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3) WDS (Water Delivery System)’s water tank bladder, draining out remaining contents, then starting the one-hour bladder leak check of the pressurized tank at ~9:00am EDT. Afterwards, the tankage was depressurized and the operations closed out.

FE-4 also completed the periodic routine maintenance in the SM’s ASU toilette facility, replacing the filter insert (F-V) and the urine receptacle (MP) with new spares.

Activities completed by Akihiko Hoshide included –
  • Performing the JAXA MICB (MICROBE-3) experiment in the Kibo lab by starting the ASD (Air Sampling Device) and particle counter attached on the bottom of the Kobairo Rack GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace), and later inserting the samples with the air filter from the ASD in a Ziploc bag in MELFI-4, Dewar 4, at 2 degC; [the ASD is part of the NASA/JSC SWAB (Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization) experiment equipment],
  • Rebooting the JAXA SLT (System Laptop) in the JPM,
  • Performing the periodic maintenance of the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine of evacuating its cylinder flywheels to re-establish proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration,
  • Completing routine maintenance on all four CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) units by replacing their batteries with new ones, then zero-calibrating all units before their de-activation; [CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger],
  • Conducting the continuing preventive inspection & cleaning of accessible AR (Atmosphere Revitalization) system bacteria filters in Node-1, Node-2 & Node-3, with photo documentation,
  • Taking his 4th session with the MedOps psychological evaluation experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MDLT laptop and going through the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application; [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies], and
  • Undertaking his first 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, Aki 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.]

Suni Williams completed the periodic manual fill of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV (condensate container) flush water tank from the PWB (Potable Water Bus) for about 19 min, a partial fill during which WHC was not available.

In preparation for Dragon arrival, the CDR set up the SSC-16 (Station Support Computer 16) laptop with a USB drive and blank CD disk for the ground to uplink CUCU (COTS UHF Communication Unit) software for the necessary CUCU Software vers. R3.3 update.

Suni Williams & Yuri Malenchenko updated the onboard SODF (Station Operations Data Files) Emergency Books with new covers and PCNs (Page Change Notices). [There are 6 EMER-1 Books, one copy each in Soyuz (2), SM, FGB, US Lab & Node-2, and 3 EMER-2 Books, one each in SM, FGB & US Lab. Replaced pages were discarded in the ISS common trash.]

FE-4 serviced the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), taking readings of the eight radiation detectors, then re-initializing and replacing the dosimeters in the RS. The completed registration document was loaded on the RSS2 laptop for transmittal to TsUP-Moscow through the high-speed RSPI Data Transmission Radio Link. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters (A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.]

Yuri also 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.]

In addition, working from the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, Malenchenko 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).

Later, FE-4 broke out and set up the equipment for another session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis, scheduled tomorrow for himself & Hoshide. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in
the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s /special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Williams & Hoshide set up their iPads for tomorrow’s planned emergency drill/OBT (Onboard Training).

At ~3:05am, FE-6 Hoshide powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 3:15am conducted a ham radio session with students at Zespol Szkol Technicznych w Kole, Kolo, Poland.

At 4:10am EDT, FE-6 held the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

At ~6:05am EDT, Sunita & Akihiko conducted a Dragon Prepack teleconference with ground personnel to discuss cargo prepacking for the Dragon vehicle.

At 12:20pm, Aki supported a JAXA PAO TV event, downlinking response to interview questions from Nippon Radio’s “All Night Nippon”, Yuraku-cho, Chuo-ward, Tokyo, Japan.

CDR, FE-4 & FE-6 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Aki at ~10:20am, Yuri at ~10:45am, Suni at ~3:25pm EDT.

Before Presleep (~3:30pm), Williams powers up 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, Suni 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 on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4). [CDR & 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 Suni on Friday, for Aki on Thursday. 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 her off day. Suni’s protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with T2 (int. 4min) for tomorrow. Aki’s protocol for today showed T2 (int. 4 min.) for today.]

Tasks listed for FE-4 Malenchenko on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • 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), and
  • 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.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Chisinau, Moldova (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a mid-morning pass in fair weather over this target as it tracked SE over central Europe. The Moldovan capital is located near the center of the country and inland about 120 miles from the northwestern coast of the Black Sea. At this time, as ISS approached from the NW, the crew was to look left of track for this urban area of nearly one million inhabitants and try for single-frame views), Konza Prairie, Kansas (Long Term Environmental Research Site [LTER]: This target is located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas. The vegetation is primarily native tall grass prairie. Today, ISS had a clear weather pass with approach from the NW. At this time, trying for a detailed mapping strip across the heart of this broad, indistinct target area. CEO imagery will help in the study of the effects of fire, grazing, and climate variability as well as help to document the grassland ecosystems), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, presently a city of more than 7 million, in April of 1832 and undertook an expedition inland. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with fair weather expected. At this time, as ISS tracked southeastward towards the Brazilian coast, the crew was to look just left of track and map the urban area around the prime visual cue, Guanabara Bay), Long Valley Caldera, CA (LTER Site: The large 17 x 32 km Long Valley caldera, east of the central Sierra Nevada Range, formed as a result of the voluminous Bishop Tuff eruption about 760,000 years ago. The caldera remains thermally active, with many hot springs and fumaroles, and has had significant deformation, seismicity, and other unrest in recent years. As ISS tracked SE over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, looking nadir and just left of track for this small caldera, SE of Mono Lake), Huachuca Mts., AZ-USA-MEX (Human Impacts Site: Looking left of track for the dark Huachuca mountainsides, just after crossing over Tucson, AZ. This roughly horseshoe-shaped cluster of mountains is situated on the US–Mexico border, about 70 miles SE of Tucson. CEO staff is seeking detailed mapping views of this target for baseline and change detection of a unique and threatened habitat), and Sierra el Tigre, MEX (Human Impacts Site: On this clear, late morning pass, as ISS tracked southeastward over northern Mexico, the crew was to begin looking for isolated mountain ranges marked by darker vegetation in contrast to the desert terrain of the Sonoran Desert. These features are known as “sky islands” because of their distinct flora/fauna and their isolation from similar areas. The Sierra el Tigre are a rugged, saucer-shaped, range of mountains situated in the northeastern part of the state of Sonora, Mexico, E of the valley containing the General Lazaro Cardenas Reservoir. CEO staff is seeking a set of detailed, overlapped mapping views of this small target and its immediate surroundings.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:28am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 416.8 km
Apogee height -- 429.2 km
Perigee height -- 404.5 km
Period -- 92.91 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0018185
Solar Beta Angle -- -12.9 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 83 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,268
Time in orbit (station) -- 5052 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4339 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
09/25/12 -- ATV3 undocking -- 6:35pm
09/26/12 -- ATV3 deorbit (burn 2) -- 10:31pm
10/xx/12 -- SpaceX-1 launch
10/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
-------------- Inc-34: 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
-------------- Inc-34: Six-crew operations -------------
02/11/13 -- Progress M-16M/48P undocking
02/12/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
02/14/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/15/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
-------------- Inc-35: 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
04/23/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P undock/landing
-------------- Inc-35: Six-crew operations -------------
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
-------------- Inc-36: 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
-------------- Inc-36: Six-crew operations -------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
-------------- Inc-37: 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
-------------- Inc-37: Six-crew operations -------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
-------------- Inc-38: 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
-------------- Inc-38: Six-crew operations -------------
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
-------------- Inc-39: Three-crew operations -------------