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November 13, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/13/12

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.

FE-1 Novitskiy completed the daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops, and FE-2 Tarelkin rebooted the Russian RS1 & RS2 laptops.

Oleg also conducted the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. FE-1 will terminate the process at ~4:05pm EST. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. (Done last: 10/22 & 10/23). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hrs and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

Right after wake-up, FE-3 Ford swapped out the battery of the EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) equipment at the Lab WORF (Window Observation Research Facility) rack, then re-activated the NIKON D2Xs (50mm lens) plus software. Battery replacement was performed two more times during the day, the last time just before sleeptime. [This is the 5th use of the NIKON D2Xs camera by EKAM and the 4th time that any images are being taken from the WORF. EKAM will have a week-long session (until 11/17) which started on 11/12 with system checkout and targeting calibration. Students around the world, anxiously awaiting use of the higher resolution images, will begin taking their images today by remote commanding. D2Xs batteries (3 per day) need to be fully charged for camera operation.]

CDR Williams conducted another sampling run with the AQM (Air Quality Monitor), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [Consisting of the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

FE-6 Hoshide performed Part 2 of the periodic noise measurement protocol, distributing crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) to the Soyuz 32S crew, i.e., Oleg (#1003), Evgeny (#1004) & Kevin (#1005), for a 24-hr data take.

FE-4 Yuri Malenchenko completed his 3rd preliminary (predvariteljnaya) orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test run with the Russian Chibis suit in preparation for his return to gravity on 11/18 with Soyuz 31S (along with Sunita Williams & Akihiko Hoshide), conducting the ODNT exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure) on the TVIS treadmill. FE-2 Tarelkin acted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for Yuri. FE-4 was supported in his one-hour session by ground specialist tagup. [The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body’s cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of the crewmember’s orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after his long-term stay in zero-G. The preparatory training consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced (“negative”) pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure and the REG ShKO Rheoencephalogram Biomed Cap, supported by the Gamma-1M biomed data control system. The body’s circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian “Pinguin” suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Akihiko Hoshide configured the equipment for the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring experiment and then began his 4th and final (FD135) inflight session, after preparing the Actiwatches, electrode sites, attaching the harness and donning the Cardiopres with the assistance of Suni Williams. At ~10:25am EST, Aki observed the initial 10-min rest period under quiet, restful conditions before going about his business. As usual, the session is continuing overnight, with Makita batteries for the Cardiopres recharged throughout the day as required. [The goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. Each experiment session consists of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The FD75 echo scan session will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. Today, wearing electrodes, the HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) for recording ECG (Electrocardiogram) for 48 hours, the ESA Cardiopres to continuously monitor blood pressure for 24 hours, and two Actiwatches (hip/waist & ankle) for monitoring activity levels over 48 hours, Aki started the ambulatory monitoring part of the ICV assessment, switching Makita batteries for the Cardiopres as required. 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 is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours. 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. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan will include an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

With T2/COLBERT powered down by ground commanding, Sunita had ~3h40m set aside for performing the 6-month and annual inspection & maintenance of the advanced treadmill. Kevin participated for some time as handover.    [Steps include cleaning closeout panels with the vacuum cleaner, replacing missing closeout panel fasteners and inspecting treadmill motor carriage bolts, drive belt, treadmill mounting screws, tread belt slats & screws, also vacuum-cleaning inside the T2 rack space and the filter screen, plus greasing axles and securing RPS (Rack Power Switch) and snubber knobs.]

After reactivation of T2 by the ground, Ford performed an ACO (Acceptance & Checkout) session run with photo/video documentation, taking the machine through an unmanned speed characterization test.

Hoshide had ~2.5 hrs to prepare for the upcoming installation of two new BelAir WAPs (Wireless Access Points) for upgrading the JSL (Joint Station Local Area Network/LAN), scheduled for 11/15, which required power cable reconfigurations.   [Aki modified power cables by constructing additional grounding straps and wrapping the BelAir WAP cables with an extra layer of insulation, then connecting them.]

Also in preparation for the WAP deployment, Kevin Ford later relocated Node-1 & Node-2 Netgear WAP ISL (Integrated Station LAN) Ethernet cables to different ports so they will function after the JSL v3.7 software upgrade (which reconfigures these ports for use with BelAir WAPs).

Novitskiy & Tarelkin continued their work with the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments for another 2 hrs, with Oleg using the AU-1 Ultrasound Analyzer of the BAR instrument suite to take acoustic readings at a large number of locations in the MRM1 Rassvet module, and Evgeny meanwhile using the Iva-6A Thermo-Hygrometer kit to monitor temperature & humidity parameters in the crew working environment.   [KPT-2 monitors problem areas, necessary to predict shell micro-destruction rate and to develop measures to extend station life. Data are copied to the RSE1 laptop for downlink to Earth via OCA, with photographs, and the activities are supported by ground specialist tagup as required. Objective of the Russian KPT-2/BAR science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind RS panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Piren-V is a video-endoscope with pyrosensor, part of the methods & means being used on ISS for detecting tiny leaks in ISS modules which could lead to cabin depressurization. Besides KPT-2 Piren-V, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer / thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU-1) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times (AU-1 Ultrasound readings can be used for detecting tiny leaks to vacuum). Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Working on the ALTEA SHIELD (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts Shield), FE-3 Ford disassembled the shielding tiles used and stowed them away in COL.     [The first shielding tiles had been exchanged by Aki on 8/9 with a second set. The two materials being investigated for their shielding capacity on-board are polyethylene (session#1) and Kevlar (session#2). By 11/10, the session #2 had progressed nominally, with 89 cumulative days (of minimal 40 / preferred 60 days) of science acquisition, and the Science Team has formally confirmed the validity of the session#2 data. Though the preferred amount of data acquisition was reached, measuring was continued until today. Further data collection is expected to support statistical analyses later on.]

Afterwards, Kevin performed periodic maintenance on the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) by cleaning & lubricating its beverage adapter to restore functionality.

Oleg continued the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, working in the MRM2 Poisk module to change out the PF1 & PF2 dust filter cartridges and clean the V1 & V2 fan screens.

Yuri, Oleg & Evgeny, working together for handover, performed the periodic standard collection of several water samples into empty drink bags for return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-05M/31S (11/18).      [The sample collection of KAV (condensate water) from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor in the SM before (upstream of) the FGS gas/liquid mixture filter/separator and the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit, started yesterday, was terminated today. Then, more KAV samples were taken from before the BKO and also from the SVO-ZV potable water tap & the BRP-M Modified Water Distribution & Heating Unit (after flushing out its TEPL warm port valve several times with water from an EDV container and catching it in a second EDV). The SRV-K2M sample collector probe was later replaced by Yuri with a new unit.]

For more “knowledge handover”, Novitskiy, Tarelkin & Malenchenko later completed periodic routine maintenance in the SM’s ASU toilette facility by replacing the filter insert (F-V) and the urine receptacle (MP) with new spares.

The three Russian crewmembers also changed out the filter in the gas analyzer of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system (installing #034 and trashing #033).

Kevin completed his first OOHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-minute NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures and monitor crew hearing status on-orbit, using a special software application on the SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop. [The self-administered OOHA test is a variation of conventional audiometric testing, in which the crewmember determines minimum audibility for tones, over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, in each ear. While wearing custom-made Prophonics earphones and Bose active noise reduction headsets, the crewmember uses special EarQ software on the SSC to determine the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The first on-orbit test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per 45 days thereafter. Results are then reviewed by medical personnel and compared to pre-flight OOHA data and also to previous on-orbit OOHA results. Note: There have been temporary shifts in hearing sensitivity documented on some crewmembers, most of which have recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Next, FE-3 serviced the WRS (Water Recovery System), replacing the MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge, used as a gas trap, with a new one.

Later, Kevin had ~2 hrs set aside to also R&R (Remove & Replace) the MCV ORU (Microbial Check Valve Orbit Replaceable Unit) on the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) in Node-3.     [In support of the activity, WPA was temporarily configured by the ground to “Hot Service” just before the R&R.]

Malenchenko continued packing operations, today stowing three filled EDV-U urine collection containers and two filled KTO solid waste containers on the Soyuz 31S BO (Orbital Module) for disposal, logging the moves with serial numbers in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Later, Yuri completed the daily IMS 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).

Tarelkin took care of 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.]

Sunita Williams serviced the NanoRack payload, activating mixing tubes 7, 8 & 9 (#1005) and 6 (#1006), then shaking tube 1 (#1005). Afterwards, she deactivated tube 12 (#1006).

Suni also terminated Part 1 of her first JAXA BLR48 (Biological Rhythms 48/BIORHYTHMS) session after 24 hrs, exchanged the MMC (Multimedia Memory Card) and then restarted for the 2nd 24-hr measurement run.      [Objective of this study for Aki & Suni is to examine the circadian variation of astronaut’s digital electrocardiograph during space flights using the cardiac autonomic function of the “Digital Walk Holter ECG” with its electrodes attached to the chest and the wrist-worn Actiwatch Spectrum activity monitor to supplement circadian rhythms data. For Aki only, the objective is also the long-term ODK2 (Onboard Diagnostic Kit 2) evaluation of a remote healthcare system’s operability and accuracy with the collected data, in order to develop a computerized remote healthcare system for astronauts.]

Oleg set up the hardware for the new Russian experiment TEKh-52 “Vizir” (Viewfinder) at SDM window #6 and activated it for a validation run with subsequent data downlink and ground specialist tagup. [For today’s tests, Novitskiy used easily identifiable earth targets for obtaining images which will then be processed by the ground for equipment alignment and precision characterization. Vizir uses the SKPF-U hardware, a photo image coordinate reference system using ultrasound sensors, a NIKON D3X photo camera with SIGMA AF 600mm (f/4) for detailed photography, a NIKON D3X with AF300-800mm lens for general target views, and the RSK1 laptop with new software (Vers. 3.4), installed on 8/13.]

Ford continued preparing Ice Brick units for upcoming preservative storage needs, today retrieving 2 green (-32 degC) Bricks from stowage and inserting them in MELFI-3 Dewar 1 in the Lab for chill-down.

Supporting the Russian BTKh-39 ASEPTIK experiment in the DC1 Docking Compartment, Evgeny took the periodic post-incubation photographs of the culture medium samples in the “Poverkhnost” (Surface) & “Vozdukh” (Air) collection devices and their stowage, later edited the images and downlinked them to Earth via RSPI high-speed data link.

Before sleeptime tonight, Yuri & Oleg, for handover, will turn on the RSE-LCS laptop to commence overnight recording for the TEKh-39 LCS (Laser Communication System).

Yuri, Suni & Aki had an hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which is standard pre-return procedure for homecoming crewmembers.

The CDR had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in her electronic Journals on the personal SSC (Station Support Computer). [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

FE-1, FE-2, FE-3 & FE-4 held their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Evgeny at ~9:15am, Kevin at ~10:10am, Oleg at ~10:50am, Yuri at ~12:40pm EST.

Before Presleep (~2:30pm EST), Suni powers up the MPC 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.]

Kevin performed more troubleshooting on the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine which after yesterday’s rope replacements needed more rope adjustments to keep the cable arms in their detents.     [The uplinked objective was, first, to “detension” the cable arm ropes and inspect the rope routing throughout the pulley system, then perform a pull test and afterwards re-tension the cable arm ropes.]

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-3, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-6) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1). [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/T2 (cont.), with T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/T2 (cont.), T2 (int., 4 min.), none, ARED/T2 (cont.) and T2 (2 min) for the next 6 days. Aki’s protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with no exercise, T2 (int., 4 min.), ARED/T2 (cont.), T2 (int. 2 min.) and ARED/CEVIS on the following 5 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),
  • 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.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 5:57am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 412.8 km
Apogee height – 423.2 km
Perigee height – 402.5 km
Period -- 92.82 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015243
Solar Beta Angle -- -51.0 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 80 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,120
Time in orbit (station) -- 5107 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4394 days.

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 -------------