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August 25, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/23/11

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

  • Progress M-11M/43P undocked nominally this morning at 5:34am EDT after hooks opened at 5:35am. An automated 15-sec separation burn with DPO-K2 thrusters followed at 5:41am (delta-V 0.70 m/s) and a retrograde phasing burn with the SKD engine at 8:46am (4.50 m/s). The cargo ship, loaded with trash, is now continuing to phase away from the ISS. It will perform five 4.50 m/s retrograde burns in the five days starting 8/27 and then a deorbit burn on 9/1 for destructive reentry, after having remained in orbit for nine days to conduct the Radar-Progress experiment, aimed at defining the density, particle sizes and reflectivity of the ionosphere environment around the spacecraft, which is caused by the operations of its liquid propellant engines."

As part of the regular Daily Morning Inspection, CDR Borisenko performed the routine checkup of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as well as the weekly checkup behind ASU/toilet panel 139 in the SM on a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

After wakeup, FE-4 Volkov conducted the routine verification of yesterday’s refreshes of the IUS AntiVirus program on all Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2. [Antivirus update procedures have changed since the recent SSCV4 software update. Before the recent (8/8) installation of the new automated procedure, the refresh was done manually on Mondays on RSS2, copying the files to the RSS2 service folder, then launching update scripts on the network laptops RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 and finally manually updating non-network laptops RSE-Med & RSE1. On Tuesdays, the anti-virus scanning results are regularly verified on all laptops. Nominally, Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday.]

Before undocking, FE-3 Garan powered down the amateur/ham radio stations in the SM and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to prevent RF interference with Progress proximity operations. Later in the day, FE-6 Fossum reactivated the amateur stations again.

After 43P departure, Fossum also opened the protective window shutters of the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment, so ground images can be captured today by ground commanding. At sleeptime tonight, Mike will close the shutters again. [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.]

As is standard practice after Russian undockings, FE-1 Samokutyayev took photographs of Progress 43P’s docking interface ring during separation to verify that no rubber seals were missing on the Progress docking interface, and to assess seal integrity. The JPEG images were downloaded to the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via OCA. [If a rubber seal is found to be missing, it could be stuck on the SM aft port interface and interfere with the next docking, Progress 44P. This has happened before, requiring intervention via EVA.]

After 43P departure, Samokutyayev also switched the SM nadir port hatch pressure equalization valve (PEV; Russian: KVD) to the closed position.

In preparation of Progress M-12M/44P docking (#412) docking on 8/26 (~10:40am EDT), FE-1 Samokutyayev & FE-4 Volkov worked through the standard 3-hr refresher training for the TORU teleoperator system, which provides a manual backup mode to the Progress’ KURS automated rendezvous radar system. A tagup with a TORU instructor at TsUP/Moscow via S-band audio supported the training. Before the session, Sergei swapped the RUD (translation) & RUO (rotation) hand controllers for Pilot mode; afterwards, he returned them to nominal mode. [The drill included procedure review, rendezvous, docking data and rendezvous math modeling data review, fly-around, final approach, docking and off-nominal situations (e.g., video or comm loss). Three different flight conditions were simulated on the RSK1 laptop. The TORU teleoperator control system lets a SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure. During spacecraft approach, TORU is in “hot standby” mode. Receiving a video image of the approaching ISS, as seen from a Progress-mounted docking television camera (“Klest”), on a color monitor (“Simvol-Ts”, i.e. “symbol center”) which also displays an overlay of rendezvous data from the onboard digital computer, the crewmember would steer the Progress to mechanical contact by means of two hand controllers, one for rotation (RUO), the other for translation (RUD), on adjustable armrests. The controller-generated commands are transmitted from the SM's TORU control panel to the Progress via VHF radio. In addition to the Simvol-Ts color monitor, range, range rate (approach velocity) and relative angular position data are displayed on the “Klest-M” video monitor (VKU) which starts picking up signals from Progress when it is still approximately 9 km away. TORU is monitored in real time from TsUP over RGS (Russian Ground Sites) and via Ku-band from Houston, but its control cannot be taken over from the ground. On 8/26, Progress KURS-A (active) will be activated at 9:02am EDT on Daily Orbit 1 (DO1), SM KURS-P (passive) two minutes later. Progress video will be switched on at a range of ~9 km, Progress floodlight at ~9 km. Progress TORU will activate at 3 km range. Flyaround to the SM aft port (~400 m range, in sunlight) starts at 10:15am, followed by station keeping at 170m at ~10:25am. Start of final approach: ~10:27am (DO2) in sunlight, contact: ~10:38am. SM Kurs-P is deactivated on mechanical capture. Sunset: 10:39am.]

Andrey Borisenko meanwhile did the daily routine inspection of the recently activated Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, checking for proper fan operation by testing the air flow from the ventilators BO A04 & BO A05 and verifying that both LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are lit. [Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (currently wheat) under spaceflight conditions in the LADA greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP).]

Afterwards, Andrey continued the collection of water samples in the SM started yesterday. Another sampling is scheduled on 8/25. [Samples were drawn into empty drink bags 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) and KAV condensate water from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor (Water Recovery System) upstream of the FGS gas/liquid mixture filter/separator. The samples will be returned on Soyuz 26S.]

After FE-3 Garan broke out and set up the appropriate equipment, FE-5 Furukawa acted as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for Ron’s 4th session with the periodic 30-min US PHS (Periodic Health Status)/Without Blood Labs exam. Afterwards, FE-3 logged the data and stowed the equipment. A subjective evaluation was part of the test. [The assessment used the AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack), stethoscope, oral disposable thermometer and ABPC (Automatic Blood Pressure Cuff) from the ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack). All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. The PHS exam is guided by special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop.]

Later, Ron had 1h20m reserved for the periodic cleaning of overhead CQ IMV (Crew Quarter / Intermodule Ventilation) fan inlets.

In the Lab, Satoshi Furukawa completed his first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Exercise Echo Scan as subject, assisted by Mike Fossum as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) who helped to operate the ultrasound scans with the new USND-2 (Ultrasound-2) on its first “spin”, taking scans during the pre-exercise, exercise and post-exercise periods. Ron Garan took documentary photography. On the ground, both the ICV & USND experiment teams stood by for support as required. [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Satoshi underwent the ultrasound scan for the Exercise Echo mode of ICV, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. Heart rate was tracked with the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor). After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. The ultrasound echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The ICV experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. 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).]

Andrey, Mike & Satoshi had several hours set aside for cargo activities – the CDR for IMS (Inventory Management System)-tracked unloading & transferring of cargo from Progress 42P, FE-5 & FE-6 for unpacking US equipment delivered on 42P. When finished, Mike & Satoshi were to continue unpacking ULF7-delivered equipment.

Samokutyayev & Borisenko continued loading Soyuz 26S, docked at MRM2 Poisk, with cargo slated for return to Earth, based on an uplinked itemized stowage list.

Aleksandr collected & downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has 11 sensors placed at various locations in the Russian Segment (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, MRM2, etc.), plus one, the “duty” dosimeter, in the Reader. The memory/flash card was then replaced Today’s readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. Automatic mode was then reactivated. [The dosimeters take their readings automatically every 90 minutes.]

Mike undertook the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on a review of all topics. At the end, FE-6 completed a self-assessment questionnaire. Answers were then 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.]

Ron Garan undertook another session with the VIABLE (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS) experiment, first reconfiguring bag placement for a minimum-width locker in the FGB, then touching and blowing the top of each of 4 VIABLE bags. [The bags are stowed in the FGB (loc.409) to collect environment samples. The reconfiguration was to ensure that the bags have the required spacing between them.]

Borisenko completed a 30-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining NIKON D3 photos with Nikkor 80-200 mm lens and the SONY HD video camcorder on oceanic color bloom patterns in the waters of the Central-Eastern Atlantic, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop.

Afterwards, the CDR transferred the video recorded yesterday of the Russian crewmembers exercising on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) to a G1 camcorder for downlink to MCC-Houston on ground command.

Furukawa performed another session of the psychological POMS (Profile of Mood States) experiment, completing his questionnaire for downlink to ground specialist.

Volkov conducted the regular transfer of U.S. condensate water from a CWC (Contingency Water Container) to the RS (Russian Segment) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron’s water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. [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. BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.]

Sergei also completed the periodic calibration & adjustment test of the O2 sensor of the SM SOGS (Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System) IK0501 gas analyzer (GA), using the BKGA/Gas Analyzer Calibration Assembly and IGZ/Analyzer Status Indicator (constituent meter), supported by ground specialist tagup. [IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed. Result for O2 channel output should be 3 volts.]

Furukawa performed the regular 30-day inspection of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the CHeCS rack. [AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient. It then can treat them through defibrillation, i.e., the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.]

FE-4 conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow. [SOZh servicing includes checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers].

Andrey 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).

Sergei made his way into the SA/Descent Module of the Soyuz TMA-02M/27, docked at MRM1 Rassvet, and removed the two "Klest" (KL-152) TV cameras and their two SG2-14V light units. The cameras were prepacked for return in the Soyuz 26S Descent Module, the light units transferred to the 26S Orbital Module for disposal.

CDR, FE-1 & FE-4 had their standard PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Andrey at ~9:55am, Sergei at ~1:45pm, Sasha at ~2:15pm EDT.

At ~8:55am EDT, FE-5 Satoshi Furukawa supported a JAXA PAO TV VIP event, responding to questions from the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Yoshiaki Takaki, Minister of MEXT (Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology) and six students, moderated by JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. [Question from Prime Minister Kan: “The disaster on March 11 seriously affected many areas. How do they look from the Space Station?” Questions from Minister Takaki: 1. “I hear you had worked as a physician before this flight. I’d like to know the main themes of your medical experiments.” 2. “Could you tell us your impression when you started your stay on the Space Station after twelve years of training?”]

Before “Presleep” period tonight, Ron turns on the MPC 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 was to 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.]

Shortly before bedtime, Sergei will initiate recharging the batteries for the Russian DZZ-12 RUSALKA (“Mermaid”) hardware for another run tomorrow. [RUSALKA is a micro spectrometer for collecting detailed information on observed spectral radiance in the near IR (Infrared) waveband for measurement of greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth atmosphere].

Working on the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill, Mike Fossum removed its two SBS (Series Bungee System) bungees, #1103 & #1104, and replaced them with new spares (#1155, #1156).

Afterwards, FE-6 uninstalled the 4 alignment guides from CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be activated before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.

Later, Mike performed his 2nd session of the new Treadmill Kinematics program on the T2/COLBERT treadmill, setting up the HD camcorder in Node-1, placing tape markers on his body, recording a calibration card in the FOV (Field of View) and then conducting the workout run within a specified speed range. [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-1, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-1, FE-6/Kinematics), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Semeru Volcano, Java, Indonesia (this target, at 12,060 ft, is the highest peak on the island of Java. Semeru rises abruptly from the coastal plains and has multiple calderas with lakes. On this early afternoon pass with an approach from the SW, fair weather was expected, providing near-nadir views of this massive volcano. Using the long lens setting for detailed views of the summit area), Nicosia, Cyprus (ISS tracked northeastward over the eastern Mediterranean towards this target in mid-afternoon with clear skies below. This capital city of about 400,000 is located in the north central part of the island. Looking just right of track for Nicosia and trying for views of the entire urban area in a single frame), and Hurricane Irene (DYNAMIC EVENT: The first hurricane of the 2011 season formed near the north coast of Puerto Rico early this morning and is forecast to continue strengthen to perhaps a Category 2 storm by the time of this pass. ISS approach was from the SW in mid-afternoon light with the possible storm an eye located well to the right of track. Generally short lens settings work best. Trying for views that include recognizable land areas whenever possible).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:19am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 386.2 km
Apogee height – 394.9 km
Perigee height – 377.4 km
Period -- 92.28 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0012965
Solar Beta Angle -- 32.3 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.60
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 50 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 73,141

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
08/24/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch (~9:00am)
08/26/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft) (~10:38am)
09/01/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P deorbit (5:43am)
09/07/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock (11:51pm)
09/08/11 -- Soyuz TMA-21/26S landing (~3:08am) (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch (9:34pm)D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
09/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2) (~10:19pm)
--------------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-------------
11/29/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/01/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock (à late January 2012?)
12/27/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch (à late January 2012?)
12/29/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1) (à late January 2012?)
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-------------