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October 10, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/10/12

>>>As of 9:03am EDT this morning, the SpaceX CRS-1 Dragon cargo ship is safely attached to ISS.  The first commercially procured resupply capsule performed a nominal approach trajectory, reaching the 250m stationkeeping point at 5:11am. Dragon then continued inside the “Keep-out Sphere”, and arrived at the Capture point at approximately 6:42am. CDR Sunita Williams & FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide commanded Dragon into Free Drift mode and completed capture at 6:57am, 25 min ahead of nominal schedule.  Using the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), Suni & Aki then completed a perfect berthing of the ship. Hatch opening is scheduled tomorrow. SpaceX CRS-1 is delivering 400 kg of crew supplies, equipment, science items, etc. and will return ~760 kg of downmass after its departure on 10/28.<<<

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

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. 

Yuri also completed the periodic (daily) reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

CDR Williams started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, her 29th. [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.]

Akihiko Hoshide continued his current extended session of the ESA ENERGY experiment. No urine or water sampling scheduled today, but required were the special ENERGY breakfast plus logging of all ISS food & drinks consumed during ENERGY experiment performance from lunch and dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 10. [Aki wears an armband monitor, positioned on the right triceps where it started automatically on skin contact. The instrument must be worn for the entire 10-day ENERGY measurement period and removed only during showers or if needed during blood draws. Activities without the armband monitor on the triceps must be carefully logged. The monitor will be removed at the end of the 10-day period, then data will be downloaded from the device. Background: The observed loss of astronauts’ body mass during space flight is partly due to the systematic ongoing negative energy balance in micro-G, in addition to disuse. Unfortunately, the reason for such unbalanced match between intake and output is not clear, but appealing data suggest a relation between the degree of energy deficit and the exercise level prescribed as a countermeasure. In the ENERGY experiment, astronauts are invited to participate in a study that aimed to evaluate how much food is needed for astronauts during long-term space missions. To do so, the science team will measure every component or variable of the astronaut's energy expenditure reflecting his energy needs. Those variables will be measured twice: up to 4 months before flight and after at least 3 months in space but 3 weeks before landing. The changes in the astronaut's energy balance and expenditure will be measured, which will help in deriving an equation for energy requirements in weightlessness. This will contribute to planning adequate, but not excessive cargo supplies for food. Purpose of the ENERGY experiment is (1) to measure changes in energy balance during long term space flight, (2) to measure adaptations in the components of the Total Energy Expenditure TEE (consumption), and (3) to derive an equation for the energy requirements of astronauts. TEE is the sum of resting metabolic rate (RMR, measured), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT, measured oxygen-uptake minus RMR) and activity-related energy expenditure (AEE, calculated).]

Afterwards, Williams & Hoshide prepared ISS systems for Dragon capture & berthing, with –
  • Suni activating CUCU (COTS UHF Communication Unit) comm system, routing the Dragon CCP (Crew Control Panel) cabling from the Lab to the Node-3/Cupola and testing it, installing the CCR (Cupola Crew Restraint) for her perch in the Cupola, setting up the Cup RWS DCP (Robotic Workstation Display & Control Panel), and powering up the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) at the Node-2 nadir port,
  • Aki configuring the Lab & Cup RWS stations for monitoring Dragon approach, setting up the video minicam with the AVIU (Advanced Video Interface Unit) in the Cupola for viewing the berthing, and pre-gathering the equipment required later for pressurizing & leak checking the Dragon vestibule from Node-2.

Stationed side-by-side in the Cupola, Suni & Aki then monitored the approach of Dragon and captured it with the SSRMS after its nominal arrival at the Capture point (~10m from the station).

Subsequent activities included –
  • Suni derouting CCP cabling, powering down CUCU, tearing down the Cup RWS and returning the minicam plus AVIU to the US Airlock,
  • Aki deactivating the CBCS and pressurizing the Dragon vestibule for the standard one-hour leak check, and
  • Both crewmembers then opening the inner (Node-2) hatch, removing the CDC (Center Disk Cover) and working to outfit the vestibule with two power jumpers, two data cables and one ARS (Atmosphere Revitalization System) jumper.

FE-4 Malenchenko had ~3 hrs reserved to perform his 4th session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [Yuri donned the electrode cap, prepared the head for the electrodes, and applied electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

Afterwards, Yuri uninstalled the Freon leak analyzer unit (FIT) of the Russian gas analyzer (GA) and pre-packed it for return on  Dragon capsule.

With STTS communications configured for work in MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2), Malenchenko later conducted another session for the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), followed by downlinking the video footage obtained with a SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder via RSPI (Data Transmission Radio Link). [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS (Russian Segment): condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

Sunita completed the WRS (Water Recovery System) activity she started yesterday, using the pumping equipment to transfer the water from a degassed CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) Potable Water tank via “tee” hose and a freshly installed MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge as gas trap.  The MRF was left connected for future operations.    [Degassing removes any free air bubbles from the condensate.]

FE-4 worked with the CMS (Countermeasure System), a component of the SKDS GANK-4M suite, to check for CO (Carbon Monoxide), Formaldehyde and Ammonia contamination in the SM, recording the measurements. [CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure for numerous contaminants such as O-Xylol (1,2-Dimethylbenzol, C8H10), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Formaldehyde, Isopropanol, Methanol, Toluene, Mercaptan, Sulphur Dioxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, Phosgene, Ozone, Acetic Acid, Ammonia, Nitrogen Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides, Acetone, Benzene, Carbon Monoxide, etc.]

Afterwards, Malenchenko activated and took measurements with the Russian BAOK GANK Real-Time Monitoring Analyzer unit for measuring concentration of harmful contaminants in the air of the RS, leaving the system activated when finished. [The BAOK gas analyzer, a subsystem of the SKDS Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System, determines concentrations of CH4 (methane), NH3 (ammonia), CO (carbon monoxide), HCN (hydrogen cyanide), HF (hydrofluoric acid) and NO2 (nitric oxide) from air samples using electrochemical sensors, with measurements displayed on LCD (liquid crystal display) and stored on tapes],

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.]

Working from the Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list, FE-4 additionally 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 (~3:40pm), Suni 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.]

Before Sleeptime, Malenchenko will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start his 4th session with the Sonokard experiment, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

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 (CDR, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR), 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.. [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 T2 (int., 4 min.), with ARED/CEVIS (cont.) for tomorrow. Aki’s protocol for today showed T2 (cont.), with ARED (cont.) tomorrow.]

At ~2:15pm EDT, the CDR has her periodic exercise-oriented PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

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),
  • 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
  • A ~30-min. run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D3X digital camera with Sigma AF 300-800mm telelens and PI emission platform using the SKPF-U (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) to practice recording target positions on the surface of the Earth.

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 (32-0005C) lists 23 CWCs (305.93 L total), including 2 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 (13 CWCs with 166.65 L); 4. Waste water (1 CWC with 9.68 L bag EMU waste water), and 5. Special Fluid (OGS) (1 CWC with 2.5 L). 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 Kerguelen Islands, Indian Ocean (there were probably scattered clouds over Kerguelen at the time of the ISS midday pass today as it is seldom cloud-free. This glaciated and volcanic archipelago is located in the far south Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles southeast of the island of Madagascar. Of greatest interest is imagery for monitoring of the rarely photographed ice field and glaciers located on the western end of the main island.  Cook Glacier, and its ice field is your prime feature. With an area of ~403 km2, it is quoted as "France's largest glacier," since the islands are a French possession. At this time, as ISS tracked S of the islands, the crew was to look just left of track for detailed mapping views of this feature), Piccaninny Impact, WA-AUS (ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in fair weather for this target with approach from the SW. At this time the crew was to begin looking nadir and trying for a mapping strip to acquire views of this approximately 7-km diameter impact structure. The crater defines a roughly circular area on the landscape, but is fairly low contrast in relation to the surrounding area. The crater is located within an upland area with deep narrow canyons to the NW, just left of track), Semeru Volcano, Java, IDN (this target, at 12,060 ft, is the highest peak on the island of Java. Semeru rises abruptly from the coastal plains and has multiple calderas with lakes.  ISS had a late-afternoon pass with an approach from the SW with a few clouds in the sky, providing good, nadir views of this massive volcano.  Using the long lens setting for detailed views of the summit area. CEO database does not yet have detailed images of this volcano), Port Louis, Mauritius (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION SITE:  ISS had a mid-afternoon pass for this target with approach from the SW. This small capital city of ~150,000 people is located on the NW coast of the island of Mauritius. At this time, after passing the large, French island of Reunion, just ahead lied a similar island, Mauritius. Looking just right of track and trying to capture this urban area within a single frame), Woollya Cove, Chile (HMS BEAGLE SITE: This challenging target was located well right of track among small islands south of Tierra del Fuego. Charles Darwin visited here in 1834 as one of the first stops in his journey through this region. ISS had a mid-morning pass with, at best, partly cloudy conditions expected. At this time as ISS tracked eastward over extreme southern Patagonia, the crew was to shoot obliquely right of track and try for overlapping frames of the islands and inlets of Tierra del Fuego), and NW. Glaciers-NPIF (ISS had a midday pass today in partly cloudy weather with approach to this target area from the WSW. At this time the crew was to look towards nadir and try for detailed views of the less-frequently photographed glaciers on the NW side of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:15am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 414.8 km
Apogee height – 426.9 km
Perigee height – 402.7 km
Period -- 92.86 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0017784
Solar Beta Angle -- 42.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 130 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,593
Time in orbit (station) -- 5073 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4360 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
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 -------------