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August 03, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/03/11

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

Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate today’s Russian EVA-29 (egress 8:50am EDT), crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, featuring today a lengthened work day (by 3 hrs) and tomorrow a shortened work day (by 4 hrs), returning to regular times thereafter.
· Wake – 2:00am EDT (this morning, regular)
· Snack – 5:50pm – 6:20pm
· Sleep – 8:30pm (tonight)
· Wake – 6:00am (8/4)
· Sleep – 5:30pm (8/4, regular).

The Russian Orlan EVA-29 by FE-4 Sergei Volkov (EV1) & FE-1 Aleksandr Samokutyayev (EV2) concluded successfully at 5:13pm EDT, with a total duration of 6h 23m (begin: 8:50am).  It was the 4th EVA to utilize the Orlan telemetry via S-Band matching unit, instead of executing the EVA on VHF over RGS (Russian Ground Sites).

Tasks completed by the spacewalkers were –
· Deployment of the small Radioskaf-5 satellite, equipped with an amateur radio transmitter (ARISSat-1) and a student-built experiment,
· Installation of the BTLS-N (Onboard Laser Communications Terminal) monoblock, mating it on the URM-D (Universal Work Platform) on the SM RO lg. (Service Module Work Compartment, large diam.), and jettisoning a bundle with its cover and an insulation flap  [this experimental high-speed laser comm system will allow science data transmission speeds up to ~100 Mb/sec],
· Removal of a rendezvous antenna (4AO-VKA) on the SM RO sm. (small diam.) used for MRM2 docking and now no longer needed,
· Photographing the WAL6 antenna of the PCE (Proximity Communications Equipment) antenna feeder unit on SM RO sm., which has shown degraded performance,
· Installation of the Biorisk-MSN platform with three containers on DC-1,
· Photographing the SKK #1 materials exposure container on MRM2 and the Komplast panel #11 on FGB, and
· Taking pictures of Gagarin, Korolev and Tsiolkovsky portraits.

The planned 3-hr relocation of the massive telescoping Strela-1 cargo boom assembly from DC-1 Docking Compartment to the MRM2 (Mini Research Module 2) has been deleted from the timeline and deferred to a later EVA.

In preparing the RS (Russian Segment) for the spacewalk by shutting down selected systems, CDR Borisenko also shut SM windows (##12-14, #6, ##8-9) and then supported TsUP in deactivating the Elektron O2 generator (~5:50am). As part of the standard deactivation process Andrey purged the Elektron with N2 (nitrogen), controlled from laptop.

After setting up the MRM2 module for their lockout, the CDR removed the air ducts from the DC-1 (leaving the V3 fan in place) and MRM2.

At ~8:40am, Ron Garan & Andrey Borisenko entered MRM2 for their ~8h 40m isolation period during the spacewalk.  FE-5 Furukawa & FE-6 Fossum were sequestered in the USOS with access to FGB/MRM1/27S.

During his lockout, Ron performed Part 1 of a laptop audit and consolidation on his SSC (Station Support Computer), reviewed uplinked EVA debrief questions and pored over briefing material on the upcoming five-day EPIC (Enhanced Processor & Integrated Communications) software transition on 3 C&C MDMs (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexers) and 2 GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control) MDMs (computers).

Satoshi closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science windows and powered down the amateur/ham radio stations to prevent RF interference with the Orlan Tranzit systems.

Mike Fossum checked out and tested the Nikon D2Xs cameras to be used out by Sasha & Sergei during the EVA.

During the spacewalk, CDR Borisenko & FE-3 Ron Garan were isolated (i.e., behind closed hatches) in the MRM2 Poisk module, providing them free access to the Soyuz 26S spacecraft in a depressurization contingency.  It also allowed for the use of the SM’s forward compartment as a backup airlock in case of a problem with the MRM2 airlock.  FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa & FE-6 Mike Fossum were isolated in the USOS (US Segment) with free contingency access to Soyuz 27S, docked at MRM1 Rassvet.

After conclusion of EVA-29 at 5:13pm, Sasha & Sergei –
  • Repressurized the SM PkhO transfer compartment,
  • Doffed their suits,
  • Conducted their second MO-9 “Urolux” biochemical urine test,
  • Reset STTS communications in the SM/PkhO,
  • Restored systems configurations in the SM to pre-EVA conditions, and
  • Set up the Orlan-MK suits, gloves, umbilicals and BSS interface units for drying out.

Andrey, who had remained isolated in the MRM2 during EVA-29 with Ron, –
  • Opened the MRM2-to-SM(SU) hatches,
  • Deactivated the Soyuz 26S spacecraft, including toilet,
  • Installed the air ducts in SM, MRM2 and DC-1, and
  • Conducted post-EVA MRM2 reconfiguration to nominal.

As part of the crew’s regular morning inspection tour, Borisenko completed the routine checkup of circuit breakers & fuses in the DC-1.  Andrey also tested the SM PSS Caution & Warning Panel. [The monthly checkup in DC-1, MRM1 & MRM2 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.  MRM2 & MRM1 were derived from the DC-1 concept and are very similar to it.]

Before breakfast & first exercise, Samokutyayev & Volkov took a full session each with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis.  A second session followed after crew ingress, with results emailed to their Russian flight surgeon. [MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam, also conducted today. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally by Boehringer (Mannheim/Germany) for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)’s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).]

Mike Fossum started his first 24-hr urine collections of the Generic HRF (Human Research Facility) urine sampling protocol, taking samples several times for MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) sample storage.  Later in the day, Mike set up the equipment for the associated blood collection, scheduled tomorrow with Ron Garan’s assistance. [Based on crew feedback, new cold stowage hardware, and IPV (International Procedures Viewer) capabilities, the generic blood & urine procedures for the HRP (Human Research Program) payloads were created to allow an individual crewmember to select their payload complement and see specific requirements populated. Individual crewmembers will select their specific parameter in the procedures to reflect their science complement. Different crewmembers will have different required tubes and hardware configurations, so they should verify their choice selection before continuing with operations to ensure their specific instruction.]

Before his isolation in MRM2, FE-3 gathered batteries for his SSC and the CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) with laptops for the audit/consolidation.

Ron also filled out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC 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.]

Activities completed during the day by busy FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa included –
  • Conducting the regular tagup with the Japanese Flight Control Team at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba at ~4:15am via S-band/audio [this conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC],
  • Reviewing OBT (Onboard Training) material and setting up equipment for the JAXA Lego Bricks payload, scheduled for building/assembly on 8/5,
  • Retrieving & stowing the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies, deployed by him on 8/1 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground [two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow],
  • Performing the periodic changeout of the TOCA WWB (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer / Waste Water Bag) in Node-3, followed by the (approx.) weekly WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA, after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose [after the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged],
  • Checking out the contents of a trash bag (JSB #21) in Node-3/Endcone, originally thought to have been disposed of on ATV-2,
  • Powering up the amateur/ham radio stations after the EVA-29,
  • Reconfiguring the EVA cameras used by the spacewalkers, and
  • Spending several cleanup hours in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) Leonardo to organize food packages and unpack cargoes delivered on ULF7 and the last two Progress ships.

Mike Fossum continued his support of the SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) payload for a new series of sample runs.       [Activities included activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) from its laptop, powering on the hardware and unstowing an FM (Fluid Module) from the CGBA (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus) for a dry run of the experiment, using the dry FM for the test.  FM was then restowed in CGBA, the experiment data were transferred to the MLC (MGS Laptop Computer) for downlink, and the MSG was powered down.  Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress (“preshearing” = rotation) which might be, for example, a shear stress or extensional stress. In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the "classical" disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. SHERE is designed to study the effect of preshear (rotation) on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for solutions with long chains of monodisperse dilute polymer molecules in the MSG. Collectively referred to as “Boger fluids,” these polymer solutions have become a popular choice for rheological studies of non-Newtonian fluids and are the non-Newtonian fluid used in this experiment. The SHERE hardware consists of the Rheometer, Camera Arm, Interface Box, Cabling, Keyboard, Tool Box, Fluid Modules, and Stowage Tray.]

Other activities completed by FE-6 Fossum were –
  • Assisting Samokutyayev & Volkov with airlock activities,
  • Activating the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) laptop inside the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) and opening the window shutter so ground images can be captured by ground commanding [ISSAC takes frequent visible-light & infrared images of vegetated areas on the Earth. The camera focuses principally on rangelands, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. The images may be delivered directly upon request to farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land. The images will also be shared with educators for classroom use],
  • Swapping the malfunctioning AVIU (Advanced Video Interface Unit) #1039 in Node-3 with a spare unit (#1023) and relabeling it,
  • Filling out his weekly FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MEC,
  • Working (with protective gloves) on the MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3) in the Lab to verify the contents of each of its dewars and reporting the results to POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center/Huntsville)  [recently there have been a few “disconnects” between what ground personnel think is in MELFI-3 and what the crew actually sees in the dewars], and
  • Performing the periodic evacuation of the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) cylinder flywheels to maintain proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

Before “Presleep” period tonight, Garan powers on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter)and starts the 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, MPC will be turned 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 non-EVA crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5, FE-6), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3).

Hurricane/BCC Planning:   With the opening of hurricane season, BCC (Backup Control Center) planning has been conducted for the case of JSC/MCC-Houston closure (as happened during Hurricane Ike in September 2008).  BCC and BAT (BCC Advisory Team), which will have different FCTs (Flight Control Teams), are not tied to MCC-H; all communications are routed through MSFC/Huntsville.  Action starts at Level 4 (= threat within 72 hrs), with BAT in control of ISS/USOS operations approximately 4 hrs before JSC is at Level 2 (= threat within 36 hrs).  IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) members will be notified when JSC goes to Level 4, and also if JSC closes down at Level 2 and ops are handed over to BAT.  IMMT meetings will be conducted during BCC ops.

RPCM R&R Preparations:   Last night, ground controllers successfully installed the CTC (Cargo Transport Container) on SPDM EOTP (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator / Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform).  The SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) is currently in a park configuration with the CTC (containing 5 spare RPCMs) on EOTP side 1 and RRM (Robotics Refueling Mission) on EOTP side 2. The ops originally scheduled for last night to prepare for the RPCM R&R (Remote Power Controller Module / Removal & Replacement) will be rescheduled for later this week or next week. Checkout of the CTC still needs to be completed prior to the RPCM R&R (which is currently planned for 8/15 & 8/16).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Tripoli, Libya (this capital city of 1.69 million has been occupied since its founding in the 7th century BC.  It lies on a gentle bulge in the Libyan coastline.  ISS approached it from the NW at mid-morning with clear weather expected.  Looking near-nadir for this target and trying to capture the urban area within a single frame), South African Fires (DYNAMIC EVENT:  ISS had a late morning pass for this event with smoky, but otherwise cloudless viewing conditions.  At this time, as the station tracked southeastward, the crew was to look obliquely right to document numerous fires and their prominent smoke plumes.  Generalized oblique views were requested by our Japanese colleagues.  This region, which includes the savanna biome between the rainforest to the north and the Kalahari semi-desert to the south, is one of the most fire-prone on Earth.  Fires are both natural and set by people to clear savanna woodlands for crop-growing and to help green up pastures),  Sevilleta Wildlife Area, New Mexico (the Sevilleta LTER [Long-Term Ecological Research] Project is located about 80 kilometers south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in and around the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge [NWR].  The Refuge, which is managed by the US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, and its surroundings, are positioned at the intersection of several major biotic zones: Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrub land to the south, Great Plains grassland to the north, Piñon-Juniper woodland in the upper elevations of the neighboring mountains, Colorado Plateau shrub-steppe to the west, and riparian vegetation along the middle Rio Grande Valley.  ISS had a mid-morning pass for this target in clear weather.  At this time, the crew was to look nadir for a north-south mapping strip along the Rio Grande River), and Typhoon Muifa, Western Pacific (DYNAMIC EVENT:  Typhoon “Muifa” is forecast to become a Category 4 storm with 115kt winds as in enters the East China Sea south of Japan in next 48 hours.  ISS had a mid-morning pass.  As it tracked southeastward over southern Japan, the crew was to begin at this time to look obliquely right of track for short lens context views of this well-defined storm system).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:25am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 386.8 km
Apogee height – 395.3 km
Perigee height – 378.3 km
Period -- 92.29 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0012559
Solar Beta Angle -- 32.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.60
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 9 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 72,830

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/08/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
09/24/11 – Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/25/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 -- Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/05/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/02/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------