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September 28, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/28/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Day 75 for Williams, Malenchenko & Hoshide. ATV3 Undock Day 2.

  • Crew Sleep Cycle Shift: For tonight’s ATV3 undocking (5:46pm EDT), crew workday is extended by 4.5 hrs (2:00am-10:00pm), with a built-in “nap”/rest period of 3 hrs (10:10am-1:10pm) and an additional 30 min for a snack (1:10pm). Tonight’s sleep period is then extended by 4.5 hrs (10:00pm-6:30am), after which the work/sleep cycle returns to “normal” (2:00am-5:30pm).

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.

Next, Yuri completed the daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

CDR Sunita Williams & FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide completed their post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 26th for both of them. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

Williams had Day 3 of her 4th (FD75) suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period after start of pH testing. After recording her diet input today, Sunita will begin the urine collections tomorrow, Saturday (9/29), and blood sampling (fasted) on Day 5, Sunday (9/30), with Pro K photography. [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.]

The three crewmembers joined up for the standard 3-hr Soyuz Emergency Descent Drill, a regular procedure for each station crew. The exercise, which does not involve any command activation, uses computer simulation (Trenasher Spusk/”descent trainer”) on the RSK1-T61p laptop, with a descent hand controller (RUS) in manual mode to set up reentry conditions and switch between modes. Operators were Yuri & Sunita, each performing 3 runs, with max-g and deviation results logged. [The OBT (onboard training) session, supported by TsUP instructor tagup, included a review of the pertinent RODF (Russian Operations Data Files), specifically the books on Soyuz Insertion & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situation Procedures such as manual undocking.]

Afterwards, the CDR removed the failed RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) at loc. Lab P5 and replaced it with a new spare. [Preparations for the IFM (Inflight Maintenance) had been made by Suni on 9/26, gathering equipment and a spare RPCM for temporary stowage.]

For tonight’s undocking and separation of ATV3 “Edoardo Amaldi", Suni powered down the onboard amateur/ham radio stations to prevent RF interference with the departing spacecraft, and then closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & JPM windows against contamination by thruster effluents.

In the Kibo lab, FE-6 Hoshide took the buffer count of the JAXA MICB (MICROBE-3) experiment’s Particle Counter, then turned the counter off.

Malenchenko conducted 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.]

FE-4 also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance from the discretionary “time permitting” task list, 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).

Working in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Hoshide reconfigured stowage items in preparation of SpaceX-1 Dragon arrival, consolidating JAXA payload items and relocating disposal foam cushions for use in Dragon.

After the midday “nap” (10:10am-1:10pm EDT) and snack (2:00pm-2:30pm), Williams will break out and set up the urine collection equipment for tomorrow’s Pro K/pH session.

Before sleeptime (10:00pm EDT), Yuri starts the RSE-SLS A31p laptop for running the TEKh-39 LCS (Laser Communications System, Russian: SLS) overnight during crew sleep. [Purpose: To conduct another LCS space experiment session (no transmitter activation) of the external BTLS-N (LCS terminal) between 9:30pm-9:53pm and dump the log file.]

Starting at ~2:35pm and in the course of the afternoon, Yuri Malenchenko, Aki Hoshide & Suni Williams will be supporting the undocking by –
  • Setting up, activating & testing the KL-152 “Klest” television equipment in the SM for the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) “scheme” video, monitored from the SSC2 laptop with the ATV TV control console (BRTK-PU) and Simvol-Ts panel; [with Ku-band downlink via OCA of the MPEG-2 “streaming video” packets, which MCC-Houston then passes on to the ESA Gateway for COL-CC (Columbus Control Center) to forward the downlink to TsUP-Moscow],
  • Activating, testing & operating the SM ATV MBRL (PCE/Proximity Communications Equipment),
  • Completing a total systems status check prior to undocking;
  • Monitoring the fly-away from an SM window for situational awareness and safety,
  • On TsUP Go, switching the PrK-to-aft port vestibule PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve, KVD) manually to its Closed position, and
  • Observing proximity operations of the ATV from any aft window as “Edoardo Amaldi” ventures out on its independent flight phase prior to reentry.

After undocking and during separation, CDR Williams takes video & still photography of the ATV forward cone (~5:46pm), focusing the Nikon D2X camera at SM window #26 especially on the two TGM (Telegoniometer) sensor boxes and two VDM (Videometer) sensor boxes in front. Afterwards, at ~6:00pm, Suni will prepare the recorded image files for downlink via OCA or RSPI. [Purpose: To assess (a) presence & integrity of the rubber ring seals on the docking ring interface, (b) condition & possible leaks of the refill hydro-connectors, and (c) condition of the TGM/VDM and STR.]

For the undocking, ISS attitude control authority will be handed over from USOS momentum management to RS (Russian Segment Motion Control System) thrusters at ~3:20pm, followed by ISS maneuvering to undock attitude at ~3:25pm. After going to Free Drift at 5:41pm (to 5:49pm), ATV3 will separate from the SM aft port (5:46pm) and perform a maneuver burn of 331 s duration, for a delta-V of ~4.0- m/s. De-orbit will occur on 10/2 (~8:44pm) after the expired FAA NO-TAM (Notice to Airmen) period has been renewed.

At ~3:55am EDT, Yuri, Suni & Aki 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 ~9:45am, the three crewmembers joined for supporting two Russian PAO TV events, extending their greetings & congratulations to the participants of - (1) a celebration dedicated to the 55th Anniversary of the first Earth’s man-made satellite launch, and (2) the International Outreach Project “Dove of Harmony and World Beauty. 180 Days Around the Earth”. [(1) On 10/4/2012, a celebration event dedicated to the launch of Sputnik 1 will take place at the Mytishchi Arena sports and leisure center. Anatoly Alexandrovich Saveliev, producer of this event, was at TsUP-Moscow today for the downlink. (2) On 10/4, the International Social & Educational Outreach project “Dove of Harmony and World Beauty. 108 Days Around the Earth”, dedicated to the 55th Anniversary of the human space era, will take off at Peter-and-Paul Fortress. It is planned to release 108 white carrier pigeons (symbolizing the number of minutes in Y. A. Gagarin's flight). Among the guests will be representatives of St. Petersburg’s government, consulates located in St. Petersburg, university students, schoolchildren. The first stage of the project runs from 10/4 through 1/19/2013. In the course of these 108 days it should spread across Russia and other countries (first of all, all those countries visited by Yuri Gagarin after his flight). As the Project unfolds, the participants would be writing good wishes to humankind and the whole world on paper and on electronic image of a dove. Over 700 people have already joined the project by 9/20/12, among those are cosmonauts, astronauts, Charles Armstrong, and Natyalia S. Korolyova.]

At ~1:40pm, the crewmembers are scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (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 Day Off, with ARED/T2 (continuous), T2 (interval, 2 min.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) for the next 6 days. Aki’s protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with T2 (int., 2 min.), ARED/T2 (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/T2 (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) on the following 5 days.]

Tasks listed for FE-4 Malenchenko on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today, besides IMS maintenance, 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),
  • 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
  • Taking situational photography behind panels 327 & 428 in the SM to assess the feasibility of installing a KL-108/109Ts “Klest” unit (to be delivered on Progress 51P) for downlinking digital TV from the RS (Russian Segment).

WRM Update: A new WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked to the crew for their reference, updated with their latest CWC (Contingency Water Container) water audit. [The new card (32-0005B) lists 18 CWCs (208.43 L total), including 3 empty bags, for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (3 CWCs with 113.1 L) plus 1 empty bag; 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 14.0 L, plus 2 empty bags); 3. Iodinated water (8 CWCs with 71.65 L); and 4. Waste water (1 CWC with 9.68 L bag EMU waste water). Also one leaky CWC (#1024) with 8.5 L, stowed in ATV3 for disposal. No bags with Wautersia bacteria. Other CWCs are stowed behind racks and are currently not being tracked due to unchanging contents. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Harare, Zimbabwe (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a mid-morning pass over the capital and largest city of Zimbabwe, just left of track. Harare lies south of the Zambeze Lake and can be difficult to detect due to the low contrast surroundings. The city can be found just east of Lake Manyame. There was a possibility for a few clouds to move through the area at the time of ISS approach), Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Capital Cities Collection: The capital city of Kingstown is located on the southwestern coastline of the large island of St. Vincent. As ISS tracked SE over the Caribbean Sea, the crew was to look left of track to acquire long lens shots of this city. Overlapping mapping frames of the urban area were requested), Super Typhoon Jelawat (Dynamic Event: Super Typhoon Jelawat was a Category 4 storm as of 9/27, and was forecast to be a strong Category 3 at the time of today’s approach. The storm was forecast to start moving NE towards southern Japan, but will reach the island as a weakened tropical storm. As ISS tracked SE over Taiwan and the Philippine Sea, the crew was to look left of track to capture photographs of the eye of the storm and the storm bands. The light was lower at the time of ISS approach, but it should have made for some interesting photographs), Port Moresby, PNG (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a mid-morning pass over the capital city of Papua New Guinea. Clouds were forecast to move into the area as the afternoon approaches, but should be clearer in the morning. As ISS tracked SE over the island, the crew was to look right of track to acquire long lens imagery of the city, trying to capture the entire city in one shot), Dili, East Timor (Capital Cities Collection: The capital city of East Timor, with a population of almost 200,000, is located on the north coast of eastern Timor Island. As ISS tracked SE over the Banda Sea, the crew was to look left of track to capture long lens shots of this city), and Lake Eyre, S-AUS (Long Term Monitoring Site: This large, mostly dry lakebed is a landmark from space in South Australia. It is the lowest point of a basin that drains an area about one-seventh of the continent. This makes it a good indicator of long-term rainfall trends in east-central Australia. Nominal constraints of crew sleep make this a fairly rare target for ISS crews due to low light. At this time, as ISS approached the area from the NW in late morning light under clear skies, the crew was to aim right of track for the lakebed with perhaps a darker flow of water from the north. The ground would like to obtain both a context view of the whole lake and mapping strips along the exterior of the lake to monitor change).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:44am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 415.8 km
Apogee height – 428.2 km
Perigee height – 403.4 km
Period -- 92.88 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0018297
Solar Beta Angle -- 25.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 139 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,407
Time in orbit (station) -- 5061 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4348 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
09/28/12 -- ATV3 undocking -- (~5:46pm EDT)
10/02/12 -- ATV3 deorbit -- (~8:44pm EDT)
10/08/12 -- SpaceX-1 launch
10/10/12 -- SpaceX-1 docking
10/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin (6:51am EDT)
10/25/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking – (~8:40am EDT)
-------------- 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 -------------