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November 14, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 11/14/12

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

After wakeup, FE-1 Novitskiy 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, and FE-4 Malenchenko rebooted the Russian RS1 & RS2 laptops.

Upon 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 plus software. Later, at ~8:20am EST, Kevin changed camera lenses, from 50mm to 180mm. 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.]

Ford also conducted Part 3 of the periodic (Week 8) acoustic measurement protocol, retrieving the crew-worn acoustic dosimeters of the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) from the three 32S crewmembers Novitskiy, Tarelkin & Ford, changing out their batteries and deploying them for static measurements in the station. [#1003 in Node-2, #1004 in JPM, #1005 in MRM1.]

CDR Williams recovered & reformatted the PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory cards for the TVIS treadmill protocol records for Aki, Kevin and herself.

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

FE-1 Novitskiy continued the current round of the periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today spending ~3 hrs in the SM to inspect & clean “Group B2” ventilator fans & grilles.

FE-4 Malenchenko, with Oleg by his side for handover, supported the overnight test of the TEKh-39 LCS (Laser Communications System, Russian: SLS) in the SM by copying the test data collected from the RSE-SLS A31p laptop to the RSS2 laptop for data downlink and log file dump.

In the MRM2 module, with Oleg taking documentary photography, FE-2 Tarelkin set up the Russian BTKh-35 MEMBRANA (Membrane) biotechnology payload, unstowing and installing its thermostatic container with Kit #1, then activating the heating cycle for the 2nd onboard run after vigorously shaking each capsule. Afterwards Evgeny removed the Kit #1 sample capsules from the thermostatic-controlled container for storage and closed out the equipment. [Objective of Membrane: Study of new technological capabilities to generate a porous structure with a high degree of uniformity of spatial distribution and working pore sizes based on the convection-turbulent-free process of phase changes in microgravity in a polymer solution. Expected outcome is the production of porous polymeric materials. These are filtering elements, membranes, sorbents having a high degree of structural homogeneity of working pores, acting as "molecular sieves" and possessing the improved selectivity characteristics (selective rejection) when they are used in the separation processes of complex mixtures of macromolecules. An example would be during extraction of valuable organic and bioorganic preparations in ground-based production.]

Afterwards, Evgeny had ~1h20m set aside for continuing loading excessed cargo & trash in Progress 48P (#416) for disposal.

Oleg worked on the 2nd Progress spacecraft, 49P (#417), continuing its unloading and transfer of deliveries to the ISS for stowage, logging moves in the IMS (Inventory Management System) database.

Kevin Ford completed 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 her 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, Ford 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.]

FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide had to abort the concluding 24h-part of his 4th and final ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session when problems with the Makita power tool batteries grew to the point where he had no charged battery left for the Cardiopres equipment. [Ground engineers are still at work tracking down the root cause(s) of the recharge failure which could be the batteries, the chargers or both.]

Hoshide had ~35 min of time scheduled for prepacking US items to be returned to Earth on Soyuz 31S next Sunday. The actual equipment loading & stowing on the Soyuz spacecraft was performed by Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko for ~2 hrs.

Time again for recharging the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone in the Soyuz Descent Modules, completed by Oleg Novitskiy for TMA-06M/32S (#707, docked at MRM2) and by Yuri Malenchenko for TMA-05M/31S (#706, docked at MRM1), a monthly routine job, 3rd time for 31S, first for 32S. [After retrieving the phones from their location in the spacecraft Descent Module (SA, spuskayemyy apparat), the crewmembers initiated the recharge of the lithium-ion batteries, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion, the phone was returned inside its sealed SSSP Iridium kits and stowed back in the SA’s ODF (operational data files) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an “undershoot” ballistic reentry, as happened during the 15S return). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule's GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put on board Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.]

After her 2nd session with the BLR48 (Biological Rhythms 48/BIORHYTHMS) experiment ended today, CDR Williams removed the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) and Actiwatch Spectrum from her body, and later saved the data from both ECG (electrocardiogram) Holters and Actiwatches (Aki/#9001, Suni/#9002) in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [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],

Malenchenko, with Tarelkin present for handover, verified proper function of the deployed Russian “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2) radiation detectors by taking readings and checking date/time from the LULIN-5 electronics box located in the MRM1 near the spherical “phantom”, then prepared the A29 memory card from LULIN-5 for return to Earth on 31S. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS (Russian Segment). The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.]

In the SM, Evgeny later serviced the Russian BTKh-44 “Calcium” payload, placing its four Bioekologiya cases in the work area for taking photographs of their contents and final operations, then stored them in the Soyuz spacecraft for return to Earth.

In Node-3, Kevin Ford performed routine maintenance on the WRS, changing out the TOCA WWB (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer Waste Water Bag) with a new one.

Sunita Williams continued the currently oingoing upgrading of JSL (Joint Station Local Area Network) with the new BelAir WAPs (Wireless Access Points). [Preparations for tomorrow’s scheduled WAP deployment, most of them accomplished yesterday by Akihiko Hoshide, include readying the two BelAir WAPs, deploying 120VDC-to-120VAC power converters, routing power cables and installing grounding straps & Ethernet cables. The outfitting requires a JSL software upgrade, to v3.7.]

Kevin Ford performed regular maintenance on the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), inspecting and greasing its VIS (Vibration Isolation System) Y- & Z-axes rails & rollers and upper stops. [Crew downlink: “The cable tethers (braided wire) that secure the VIS pins are fraying. I would recommend replacing them with a task list item when able. Perhaps with small rope or plastic tethers of some kind.”]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Kevin serviced the MOST AQH (Medaka Osteoclast Aquatic Habitat) payload, changing the water in the water bag after connecting it and the waste bag (for the “old” water) to the WCU (Water Circulation Unit). [The 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.]

Later, FE-3 Ford performed a ~3h 35m outfitting task in the US Lab, installing a sensor kit of the UBNT SDTO (Ultrasonic Background Noise Test / Station Development Test Objective) around the Lab fwd hatch, mostly using adhesive. [Connectivity between the sensors and SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop was checked, and the hatch nearest to the installation location was cycled to ensure that the cables do not prevent emergency hatch closure. The system uses four transducers, a data recorder, an antenna set, and a transceiver connected to the SSC with a USB cable. Ultrasound can detect tiny vacuum leaks.]

Hoshide serviced the VIABLE experiment (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS), touching and blowing the top of each of 4 VIABLE bags in the FGB (loc. 409) where they are stowed to collect environment samples. [This monthly investigation evaluates microbial biofilm development on space materials. Objectives are to determine the microbial strain producing the anti-biofilm product, evaluate the chemical nature of the anti-biofilm product, study the innovative materials which are chemo-physically treated, and address the biological safety issues associated with microbial biofilms. Background: Most surfaces are covered with microorganisms under natural conditions. The process by which a complex community of microorganisms is established on a surface is known as biofilm formation. Microbial biofilms can exist in many different forms by a wide range of microorganisms. The process of biofilm formation is a prerequisite for substantial corrosion and/or deterioration of the underlying materials to take place. VIABLE samples are composed by both metallic and textile space materials either conventional or innovative (Aluminum, Armaflex and Betacloth). They are placed inside four foam lined Nomex bags, specifically: Pouch 1 - untreated space materials; Pouch 2 - space materials pre-treated with biosurfactants; Pouch 3 - space materials pre-treated with hydrogen peroxide; Pouch 4 - space materials chemo-physically pre-treated with silica and silver coating.]

In the Lab, FE-6 afterwards installed the GLACIER 2 (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator 2) hardware in EXPRESS Rack 6 (loc. O4_J1) and powered up the unit.

Aki also performed his final muscle strength measurement protocol for the onboard DK (Diagnostic Kit) after attaching a handrail & temporary foot restraint for elbow extending & flexing, recorded with USB camera. Measurement data were saved to the medical laptop. [Purpose of the DK activities is to perform diagnostic measurements with medical equipment in order to evaluate the equipment for development of a future diagnostic system on board. DK includes: Medical laptop, USB Camera, Pulse Oximeter, Stethoscope, Sleep Monitor and Digital Walk Holter/Electrocardiograph and Electroencephalograph (for brain waves).]

Oleg 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).

Evgeny 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.]

FE-2 performed his first collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

In a brief Russian PAO “Symbolic” activity, Williams, Ford & Hoshide added their signatures to the two photographs of Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski, already signed and stamped by the Russian crew on 11/2. The activity was photographed for the record. [K.S. Stanislavski was a famous Russian actor and theater director. His system of acting, the “Method”, has received worldwide attention and acceptance by many famous international male & female stage actors. Stanislavski treated theater-making as a serious endeavor, requiring dedication, discipline and integrity.]

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

Kevin Ford’s time slot/placeholder for making entries in his electronic Journals on the personal SSC (Station Support Computer) has been moved to the discretionary “job jar” task list for today. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

At ~3:10am EST, Hoshide held the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

At ~5:15am, Sunita Williams powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted a ham radio session with students at Gujarat Science City, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

At ~7:50am, Aki supported a JAXA PAO Educational TV event, talking with Japanese University students at Tsukuba Space Center, Tsukuba, Japan.

At ~9:30am, Oleg, Evgeny & Yuri supported a Russian PAO TV event, responding to questions from Pavel Viktorovich Vinogradov, MC of the evening entertainment TV show Vecherniy Urgant on Channel One, who was at TsUP today. The clip with today’s exchange will probably be aired on 11/20-21.

Williams & Hoshide had their pre-descent PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Suni at ~6:30am, Aki at ~6:50am 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.]

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

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

T2/COLBERT Failure: The T2 advanced treadmill exerciser has failed, probably due to broken data connectivity in the DAU (Data Avionics Unit). The most likely cause of the T2 failure was powering off T2 during a data transfer. The repair to replace the DAU would take 17 hrs crew time which would seriously impact the crew’s preparation for return on 11/18. Until time is available to restore the machine, the TVIS treadmill in the RS will take over its aerobic function, with Russian agreement.

MT Translation: Between 2:10pm-5:10pm EST, the Mobile Transporter will be moved on its rails from WS3 (Work Station 3) to WS4, using String B IMCAs (Integrated Motor Controller Actuators). Russian thrusters will be disabled during this period.

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) target uplinked for today was Ganga River Sand Bars-East sector, India (looking right for the Ganges River. Conditions continue favorable to document detail of the very large, ever-changing sand bars in the bed of the Ganges River. Analysis of a recently acquired set of images has begun).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:53am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 412.7 km
Apogee height – 423.1 km
Perigee height – 402.4 km
Period -- 92.82 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015237
Solar Beta Angle -- -46.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 86 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,136
Time in orbit (station) -- 5108 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4395 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 -------------