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December 14, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/14/12

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

After wakeup, FE-2 Tarelkin conducted the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

FE-1 Novitskiy rebooted the Russian laptops RS1 & RS2 and RSS1 & RSS2.

Oleg 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).]

CDR Ford supported POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)/Huntsville on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab (loc. S3) by uninstalling & removing the three protective alignment guides from the rack. [Also re-engaging the snubber pins and locking the safety pins to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be active before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.]

The CDR also performed regular maintenance on the JAXA MOST (Medaka Osteoclast [killifish]) AQH (Aquatic Habitat) Aquariums 1 & 2, testing their water quality using nitrate & nitrite test strips from the Lab MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3) Dewar 4 to measure the concentration of ammonium, nitrate and nitrite in water samples from the WCU (Water Circulation Unit) and supplying fresh water to the WCU. The test strips were then returned to MELFI-3.

Afterwards, Kevin checked out the transceiver installed on the SSC (Station Support Computer)-16 laptop in the Lab and downloaded a summary data file from the UBNT (Ultrasonic Background Noise Test) data recorders onto it for subsequent downlink to the ground. The transceiver kit was then restowed on the O3 rack front.

Novitskiy had another ~1h25m set aside for continuing his extensive periodic inventory/audit of equipment & tools in the RS (Russian Segment), continuing from 12/13 (yesterday) and 12/12.

Tarelkin started his first session with the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2-1 protocol which monitors human cardiovascular performance in the space flight environment. [After 24 hrs of ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed (CDM) system, Evgeny will doff the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads and recorded on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results will then be downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. Later, the data will be downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

After activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) plus video cameras, monitor and ancillary equipment, Kevin Ford worked with the payload InSPACE and InSPACE3 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 3), conducting another run of the experiment (#26), with live ground monitoring from POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center) via Ku-Band and recording during LOS (Loss-of-Signal). [Steps included turning on MSG video cameras & monitor, verifying optical alignment of the cameras and configuring the MSG video recorders. Then, after switching the magnetic field to STEADY mode, Kevin swept & focused the field of view, later removed & stowed the video tapes from the MSG video recorders and inserted new blank tapes, then powered down the hardware and video drawers. Background: InSPACE-3 continues the earlier InSPACE-2 studies to determine the lowest energy configurations of the three dimensional structures of a magnetorheological (MR) fluid under the influence of pulsed magnetic fields. Purpose of the InSPACE micro-G investigations is to obtain fundamental data of the complex properties of an exciting class of smart materials termed magnetorheological (MR) fluids. MR fluids are suspensions of small (micron-sized) ellipsoid-shaped “superparamagnetic” particles in a nonmagnetic medium that change the physical properties of the fluid in response to magnetic fields. These controllable fluids can quickly transition into a nearly solidlike state when exposed to a magnetic field and return to their original liquid state when the magnetic field is removed. Their relative stiffness can be controlled by controlling the strength of the magnetic field. This investigation aims to provide information for a better understanding of the interplay of magnetic, surface, repulsion forces, and shape between particles in magically responsive fluids. Technology developed through this investigation has Due to the rapid-response interface that they provide between mechanical components and electronic controls, MR fluids can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions, robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear and vibration damping systems which promise to improve the ability to design structures, such as bridges and buildings, to better withstand earthquake forces.]

Later, Ford conducted the periodic session with the U.S. HMS VIS (Health Maintenance Systems / Visual Acuity) testing program which uses an eye chart for both far & near visual acuity and an eye questionnaire (DCT/Data Collection Tool), to be filled out with test data and downloaded on a laptop for ground access. It was the 2nd time for the CDR.

Kevin also took his 2nd session with the MedOps psychological evaluation experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), logging in on the MDLT (Medical Laptop Terminal) and going through the psychological evaluation exercise on the PC-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]

Oleg 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.]

Evgeny performed 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).

FE-2 had 1h20m scheduled for IMS-tracked transfers & loading of excessed Russian & US equipment and trash on Progress 48P for disposal (incineration during atmospheric entry).

FE-1 spent ~1h30m unloading Progress 49P and transferring Russian & US cargo to the ISS for stowage.

Supporting the ground in the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Kevin Ford worked on the CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment), starting the Argon gas supply and later conducting an inventory/audit of the HRF (Human Research Facility) supply kit (green), transferring items to a CBT (Cargo Transfer Bag, #1060) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to make room for the gas resupply activities.

FE-1 & FE-2 teamed up to service the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in the MRM1 Rassvet module by downloading the new batch of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via RSPI (High-speed Data Transmission Radio Link). [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

In preparation of the upcoming Soyuz 33S docking plus future visiting vehicles undocking & docking, Novitskiy & Tarelkin set up the MPEG2 Multicast TVS video server2 application on the Central Post SSC-2 laptop. [Purpose: to generate and monitor onboard streaming video as a test of using the Russian TVS with downlink to MCC-Houston over OCA2 via Ku-band during times when MCC-Moscow is outside RGS (Russian Groundsite) coverage.]

Working in Node-3 on the WRS (Water Recovery System), Kevin performed the periodic offloading of the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) storage tank from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port to a CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine) bag to assist with water balance, using the H2O transfer common hose and checking WPA safing. Later, the equipment was torn down again. [Estimated offload time: ~16 min; quantity: >8.9L.]

Evgeny Tarelkin collected regular air samples for return on Soyuz, using a Russian AK-1M absorber in the SM and FGB for air & Freon, plus IPD-CO Draeger tubes, on a cartridge belt with a pump, to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide).

Later, FE-2 verified proper functioning 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”. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS). The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.]

Kevin conducted the weekly task of filling out his SHD (Space Headache) questionnaire [which he started after the Soyuz launch on a daily basis and continues on ISS on an SSC (Station Support Computer) for every week after his first week in space.]

Evgeny & Oleg had ~1h20m reserved for another round of filming onboard “Chronicle” newsreel footage using the SONY HVR-Z7E camcorder and the NIKON D2X & D3 still cameras, part of the ongoing effort to create a “Life on the Station” photo & video documentary database on the flight of ISS-34 (“Flight Chronicles”) for Telecanal Roskosmos. [Footage subjects generally include running experiments, current activities at the station, repair activities behind panels, exercise, cosmonauts looking out the window at the Earth, Earth surface, station interior, cosmonaut in zero gravity, leisure, life on orbit, personal hygiene, meals, station exterior, comm. passes with the ground, ham radio passes, station cleaning, spacesuits, space hardware, MRM1, MRM2, DC1, FGB, Soyuz & Progress, intermodular passageways, meeting a new crew, crewmember in space, medical experiments, handover activities, crew return preparations, farewell ceremonies, etc. The photo/video imagery is saved digitally on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) for return to Earth on Soyuz.]

At ~2:45am EST, Novitskiy, Tarelkin & Ford held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Main Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:00am, Evgeny & Oleg linked up with TsUP/Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~11:00am, Kevin Ford conducted the regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~2:10pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-Houston.

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

The three crewmembers worked out on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1).

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.

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 (32-0028D) lists 19 CWCs (251.41 L total), including 5 empty bags, for the four types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (2 CWCs with 85.9 L; plus 1 empty bag); 2. Condensate water (4 CWCs, all empty); 3. Iodinated water (11 CWCs with 165.15 L); and 4. Waste water (1 CWC with 0.36 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.]

Conjunction Advisory: Flight Controllers are monitoring a conjunction with Object 15876 (Ariane 1 Rocket Body) with TCA (Time of Closest Approach) on 12/15 (tomorrow) at 6:19pm EDT. [The object is in an orbit of high apogee (24415 x 377 km) and low inclination (7.6 deg) which makes tracking more difficult, resulting in higher uncertainty at this time. There are more opportunities for tracking prior to the decision point for Go/No-Go for cyclogram development. If required, the DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) would be at ~3:59pm tomorrow. Status will be updated as needed.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Meteor Shower Viewing (the Geminid viewing geometry from ISS looks very good 12/13-14. There should be no lunar interference. Meteors should be visible below ISS from about 5 minutes after orbital sunset until orbital sunrise. CEO staff tries to correlate meteors seen from orbit with meteor camera networks in the US and Canada. The best passes for correlation purposes occur 12/14 at 00:55am – 1:15am and 2:30 – 2:45am EST. During the Lyrid meteor shower in April 2012, Don Pettit set up three limb looking cameras in the cupola which took sequences of exposures. During the best pass over the US the cameras captured 70 meteors. The camera settings he used were the following: Nikon D3S, 28mm f/1.4D lens, 5 second exposures, ISO1600, RAW image format), Porto-Novo, Benin (Capital Cities Collection Site: The capital city of the West African nation of Benin has a population of about a quarter of a million and is located near the coast in the south of the country. As ISS approached the coast of the Gulf of Benin from the SW, the crew may have spotted first the mega-city of Lagos. Porto-Novo lies about 50 miles to the west of Lagos and just east of Lake Nokoue), Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Capital Cities Collection Site: The capital city of Kingstown is located on the southwestern coastline of the large island of St. Vincent. As ISS tracked NE over the Caribbean Sea, the crew was to look right of track to acquire long lens shots, if possible, of this city. There may have been some clouds in the area. Overlapping mapping frames of the urban area were requested), Castries, St. Lucia (Capital Cities Collection Site: This tiny capital city of only about 11,000 is located on the NW coast of the island of St. Lucia, positioned near the center of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. As ISS tracked northeastward at this time, the crew was to try to capture the island and the city within a single frame to the right of track), and Tropical Cyclone Evan (Dynamic Event: Tropical Cyclone Evan is thought to be one of the most powerful cyclones to hit Samoa in 20 years, causing closures in the airports and forecasts of more than 3 meters of storm surge! As ISS tracked NE northeast over New Zealand and towards the open Pacific, the crew was to aim left of track to take contextual views of the storm).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:12am EST [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 410.6 km
Apogee height – 421.8 km
Perigee height – 399.4 km
Period -- 92.78 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0016542
Solar Beta Angle -- 15.0 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) -- 80,602
Time in orbit (station) -- 5138 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4425 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 -------------