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11-11-2012
November 11, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/11/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.   Sunday – Crew off duty. Ahead: Week 8 of Increment 33 (six-person crew). 

· Happy Veterans Day – and thank you, Captain Sunita Williams and Colonel Kevin Ford, for your service in our military!

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.

FE-2 Tarelkin completed the daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

CDR Williams, FE-6 Hoshide & FE-3 Ford started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, Suni’s 37th, Aki’s 38th, Kevin’s 4th. [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 had Day 5 of his 5th and final (FD180) 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 collections. In addition to closing out the associated 24-hr urine sample collections, Aki today also underwent the generic blood draw, assisted by Kevin Ford, then set up the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) for spinning the samples prior to stowing them in the JPM MELFI (JEM Pressurized Module Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Later, Aki stowed the equipment used for the urine and blood collections. [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.]

At about 12:10pm EST, Suni concluded her 4th (FD135) session of the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring assessment, doffing the two Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) in COL about 24 hrs after the end of yesterday’s “midpoint” activity (~11:40am).  Powering on the laptop and downloading the data from the two Actiwatch Spectrums are scheduled tomorrow. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres/BP is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink.]

Malenchenko performed a handover activity with Novitskiy on the Russian Elektron oxygen generator, demonstrating onboard support of ground-commanded activation by pressurizing the assembly’s BZh Liquid Unit with nitrogen to ensure safe operation, i.e. prevent hydrogen (H2) presence in the O2 line. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup.]

Aki Hoshide & Kevin Ford filled out their standard FFQs (Food Frequency Questionnaires) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop Terminal). It was the 15th time for FE-6, the 2nd time for FE-3. [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MDLT software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

Oleg completed the routine daily & weekly servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM and FGB. [This included the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings of SM & FGB for calldown to TsUP-Moscow, as well as the weekly checkup on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s & FGB’s SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for calldown. SOZh servicing includes checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers as required.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Aki serviced the MOST AQH (Medaka Osteoclast Aquatic Habitat) payload, retrieving two Fish Fixation Apparatus A units from MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3), removed their old chemical fixative (Paraformaldehyde) and replaced it with a buffer solution. The devices were then returned to MELFI.     [The JAXA AQH is a closed-water circulatory system which provides a new facility option ISS-based research. Japanese & Russian scientists are using the habitat to study small, freshwater fish on orbit. For the first investigations, they are examining the Medaka fish (Oryzias latipes), looking at the impacts of radiation, bone degradation, muscle atrophy, and developmental biology. The investigations can 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 (Killifish) 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.]

Yuri set up the equipment for his 5th session with the MBI-24 Sprut-2 (“Squid-2”) test, scheduled tomorrow, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity, along with PZEh-MO-8 BMM (body mass measurement) using the IM device. [Supported by the RSS-Med A31p laptop with new software (Vers. 1.6) in the SM, the test uses the Profilaktika kit, with data recorded on PCMCIA memory cards, along with Yuri’s body mass values and earlier recorded MO-10 Hematocrit value, but skipping “fat fold” measurements. Experiment requisites are the Sprut securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs), and RSS-Med for control and data storage. The “Pinguin” suit or Braslet-M cuffs, if worn, have to be taken off first. Electrode measurements are recorded at complete rest and relaxed body position. The actual recording takes 3-5 minutes, during which the patient has to remain at complete rest.]

In the Lab, Ford continued preparing Ice Brick units in MELFI-1 for upcoming preservative storage needs, retrieving 5 green (-32 degC) Bricks and inserting them in Dewar 2/Tray B for chill-down.

CDR, FE-1 & FE-3 had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) on their schedule, via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Oleg at ~6:55am, Suni at ~11:50am, Kevin at ~1:25pm EST.

At ~9:00am, Yuri, Oleg & Evgeny supported a Russian PAO TV event, responding to questions from Ekaterina Beloglazova, Editor of Rossiyskiy Kosmos Magazine, an old friend of ISS cosmonauts. [“Oleg and Evgeny, I hope you still remember your emotions during the launch, Soyuz flight, docking. How did you deal with zero gravity? What do you think about the new flight plan? Would you personally prefer to get to the station as soon as possible or rather adapt to zero gravity in the course of two day, as it is done now?  How did the station look like?  Who was your tour guide? What impressed you the most? Yura, did you show, teach, handed over everything to the guys? How did these 2.5 weeks go? You have managed to see off commercial vehicle Dragon and to welcome Progress M-17M.  What did it bring? Any surprises, what kind of equipment? Yura, your flight is nearing the end. What emotions do you experience while getting ready for return to Earth?  How much time do spend for the prep? Please tell us about the flight plan for the next month.”]

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-3, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-3, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2). [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 (interval, 2 min.), with ARED/CEVIS (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/T2 (cont.), T2 (int., 4 min.), none, ARED/T2 (cont.) and T2 (2 min) for the next 7 days. Aki’s protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.), none, T2 (int., 4 min.), ARED/T2 (cont.), T2 (int. 2 min.) and ARED/CEVIS on the following 7 days.  Explanation: After 10 min. warmup (active, i.e., motorized): Aerobic “T2 30 sec” (passive, i.e., nonmotorized) = 7-8 sets of exercise at HRmax (max. heart rate) for 30 sec, with 15 sec rest in between.  Aerobic “T2 2 min” (motorized) = 6 sets of 2 min each at 70%, 80%, 90%, 100%, 90%, 80% HRmax.  Aerobic “T2 4 min” (motorized) = 4 sets of 4 min, with 3 min rest period in between. ]

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),
  • Shooting a video for the Roskosmos TV studio in its joint production with Channel Russia 24 for the weekly program “Space”,
  • A 10-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining SKPF-U (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of color bloom patterns in the waters of Central-Eastern Pacific (CEP) and South-Eastern Atlantic (SEA), then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop,
  • 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 to record target sites on the Earth surface, 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 Brahmaputra River Sand Bars–West sector, India (looking at nadir and right for the Brahmaputra River: present low-water conditions allow the crew to document the enormous white sand bars that move slowly downstream during each wet season, an issue of great interest to populations living on and near these bars, and also to the science of sedimentology. The crew has already acquired all necessary context images  for the east & west sectors. More detailed images are now requested for precise measurements of bar shape and position change. Analysis of the recently acquired broader set of images has begun. This target occurs close to the time of the neighboring Ganges–East sector target), Brahmaputra River Sand Bars–East sector, India (looking left for the Brahmaputra River; see target above for description and image), Irrawaddy River Sand Bars-North sector, Myanmar/Burma (looking left & right of nadir for sand bars in the Irrawaddy River, the major river of Burma’s central valley. Here too low-water conditions allow the crew to document the enormous sand bars. Context images [180 mm] were requested. This target occurs at the same time as the neighboring Irrawaddy R. Sand Bars-South sector target), Irrawaddy River Sand Bars-South sector, Myanmar/Burma (looking right for sand bars of the Irrawaddy River-South sector.  See target above for description and image, and NE United States—Storm Sandy Aftermath (International Disaster Charter activation. A second storm has caused further flooding in the Northeast USA. Weather is predicted partly cloudy for New Jersey and New York coastlines tomorrow: looking right to shoot images of the coastlines of Long Island Sound, Long Island, Manhattan and New Jersey shores).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
11/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/deorbit/landing – 5:26pm/7:58pm/8:53pm EST (local: 11/19, 7:53am) 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 -------------