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December 13, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/13/12

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

CDR Ford started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, his 12th. [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.]

After wakeup, FE-1 Novitskiy conducted the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-2 Tarelkin rebooted the Russian laptops RS1 & RS2 and RSS1 & RSS2.

Evgeny also performed maintenance on the BRI smart switch router (SSR), checking its temperature via DeviceControl on the RSS1 laptop to ensure nominal operation. [The BRI fan module consists of 4 individual fans. If one or several of these exhibit malfunction or rotation speed decreases, a combined warning is sent to the DeviceControl application on the RSS1 laptop to generate an emergency message and telemetry signal, “BRI1”. The fan module is an ORU (On-orbit Replaceable Unit).]

Ford closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) windows preparatory to subsequent Node-3 duct cleaning and the planned reboost maneuver (which had to be deferred).     [A Flight Rule (B17-157) requires closure of the Cupola window shutters to prevent thermal damage to the window seals without IMV cooling.]

Afterwards, Kevin cleaned IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) ducts in In Node-3, first removing two closeout panels and then working on two inlet screens with the vacuum cleaner to remove FOD (Foreign Object/Debris), with the Node-3 forward/starboard and deck/starboard IMV fans temporarily deactivated by ground commanding.

Oleg Novitskiy, again assisted by Tarelkin part-time, had another ~3 hrs for conducting an extensive periodic inventory/audit of equipment & tools in the RS (Russian Segment), continuing from yesterday.

Evgeny Tarelkin transferred two CWCs (Contingency Water Containers, #1092 & #1093) with US condensate to the RS for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container (#823). Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO. [The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.]

Kevin completed the periodic manual fill of the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) EDV-SV (condensate) flush water tank from the PWB (Potable Water Bus), after adjusting the flush flow rate valve. The WHC was not available during this time.

After recharging the battery of the new Russian Earth observation experiment TEKh-62 ALBEDO which uses the FSS Photo Spectrum System, Oleg Novitskiy ran another test session with TEKh-62 ALBEDO, using the FSS at an SM window.

Later, Oleg & Evgeny teamed up for another session with the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments for ~2.5 hrs, using the AU-1 Ultrasound Analyzer of the BAR instrument suite to take acoustic readings at locations in the FGB, MRM1 Rassvet and DC1 Pirs modules, checking for tiny leaks. The systematic measurements are made by placing a microphone at the front part of the object at a distance of 50 cm. Documentary photography was taken with the NIKON D2X camera with SB 800 flash. [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.]

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 also completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, working from the Russian 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).

The CDR completed the visual T+2 days (44 ± 4h) microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of the water samples collected by him on 12/11 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), using the WMK MCD (Water Microbiology Kit / Microbial Capture Devices) for microbial traces, and the CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) for inflight coliform indications (Magenta for Positive, Yellow for Negative).

After setting up the camcorder to provide a live view of CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) crew activities in the Lab, Kevin Ford performed IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) on the CIR, replacing the MDCA (Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus) Fiber Arm and both MDCA Igniter tips. [Steps include entering the CIR Combustion Chamber and completely removing the MDCA CIA, followed by removal of its Fiber Arm with crossed fibers (because it was dirty with combustion by-products). Next, both MDCA Igniter Tips were replaced for preventive maintenance, and finally a new Fiber Arm with cross fibers was installed on the CIA. Ground personnel can now continue with MDCA FLEX-2 Convective Flow and Quiescent test points.]

Later, Kevin performed the weekly 10-min. CWC inventory as part of continuing WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes, but this time the report was “no change” to the current card. [The current card (32-0028C) lists 19 CWCs (283.35 L total), including 2 empty bags, for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (3 CWCs with 105.9 L); 2. Condensate water (2 CWCs with 9.8 L; plus 1 empty bag); 3. Iodinated water (11 CWCs with 165.15 L); 4. Waste water (1 empty CWC), and 5. Special Fluid (OGS) (1 CWC with 2.5 L). 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.]

Tarelkin had time set aside for another 30-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of the South-Eastern Pacific (SEP), then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

Ford completed his 2nd 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.]

Before Presleep (~2:30pm EST), Ford powered 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, Kevin 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.]

At ~9:45am EST, CDR Ford supported a PAO TV downlink, conveying messages of greetings for two deferred release events, (1) a Christmas Greetings message for NASA TV (with 33S crewmembers Hadfield & Mashburn), and (2) a Notre Dame “Shout Out” for the BCS National Championship Game on January 7, to be televised on ESPN.

The three crewmembers worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1) and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2).

Tasks listed for Evgeny & Oleg 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.

Reboost Update:  Due to an inadvertent delay in latching the 3A BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) of the U.S. solar arrays before attitude control authority handover to Russian MCS (Motion Control System), the planned reboost maneuver to test the new PDAM (Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver) procedure could not be performed at the correct time and had to be aborted. It was deferred to 12/16. Since the attitude control handover was performed, the activity did provide a successful demonstration of the Russian cyclograms that manage activation and deactivation of the new Pulse Train and Yaw Bias functions during attitude control handovers.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Shark Bay Seagrass, W-AUS (Ecology Site: The Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project is an international research collaboration with the goal of understanding the dynamics of one of the world's most pristine seagrass ecosystems. As ISS tracked NE towards the coastline of western Australia, the crew was to look nadir and just left of track to take context shots [and if possible, detailed shots] of the bay. If they were able to acquire detailed shots with a longer lens, they were to focus on the seagrass that hug the coastlines in Shark Bay), and Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (Capital Cities Collection Site: Brunei, a small independent sultanate located on the north coast of the giant island of Borneo, has its capital city of 140,000 located on the north bank of the Brunei River estuary in the northern part of the country. As ISS tracked NE over Malaysia and Brunei, the crew was to shoot right of track towards Brunei Bay to acquire the city of Bandar Seri Begawan in one shot).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:34am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 410.7 km
Apogee height – 421.9 km
Perigee height – 399.4 km
Period -- 92.78 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0016574
Solar Beta Angle -- 18.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.52
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 54m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 80,585
Time in orbit (station) -- 5137 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4424 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-34: Three-crew operations -------------
12/16/12 -- ISS Reboost, including PDAM (Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver) test,
12/19/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – 7:12:36am ESTC.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/21/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking – ~9:12:39am EST
-------------- 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 -------------
03/28/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/30/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
04/15/13 – Progress N-17M/49P undock
04/18/13 -- ATV4 launch
04/23/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P undock
04/24/13 – Progress M-19M/51P launch
04/26/13 – Progress M-19M/51P docking
05/01/13 -- ATV4 docking
-------------- Inc-35: Six-crew operations -------------
05/14/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
-------------- Inc-36: Three-crew operations -------------
05/28/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/30/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
-------------- Inc-36: Six-crew operations -------------
07/23/13 – Progress M-19M/51P undock
07/24/13 – Progress M-20M/52P launch
07/26/13 -- Progress M-20M/52P docking
09/11/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
-------------- Inc-37: Three-crew operations -------------
09/25/13 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/O.Kotov(CDR-38)/S.Ryanzansky
09/27/13 -- 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/M.Tyurin
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
12/18/13 -- Progress M-20M/52P undock
-------------- Inc-38: Six-crew operations -------------
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
-------------- Inc-39: Three-crew operations -------------