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October 12, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/12/11

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

FE-4 Sergey Volkov performed the routine checkup of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of the regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Also at wake-up, Volkov terminated his 5th experiment session, started last night, for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/Sonokard, taking the recording device from his Sonokard sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-Med laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

CDR Mike Fossum serviced the running BCAT-5 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5) experiment, checking camera operations during the day and changing the camera battery in the morning and before sleeptime (change required after 8 hrs).     [The current experiment session is with a Harvard University mixed sample no. 5 which requires an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop with EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) timing software, power cables and camera USB cable. Illumination is provided by Mini-MagLite and Flash, and the camera needs freshly charged battery every 8 hrs for its automated photography, triggered by the EarthKAM software.  This requires camera battery changes twice a day and image check with a battery change once per day.  In micro-G, the mixed (alloyed) colloid sample will develop over time an increasingly coarse structure of its colloid particles which are like tiny spheres evenly dispersed in a fluid, gas or solid to help stabilize the mixture.  Over time, these colloids can move around -- known as “coarsening” -- causing changes in the concentrations and properties of the substance.  On Earth, gravity complicates this research by causing heavy components to sink and lighter ones to float.  In space, however, these forces are minute, revealing the natural movement of the colloids. The on-orbit samples' aging process works more slowly and evenly, making it easier to study.  BCAT-5 was started by Mike on 9/21 with phase separation sample no. 4.]

Having yesterday temporarily removed stowage in the ESA COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) from the front of the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1) to gain rack access, Fossum today first replaced the two AA batteries in the Thermolab Unit, then configured the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware including MBS (Mixing Bag System).  For the next 3-4 hrs, Mike conducted another session, his 6th, with the VO2max assessment, integrated with the Thermolab head sensors. After the session, Mike powered down, cleaned up & partially stowed the equipment, then downloaded the data to a PCS laptop. The relocated stowage bags were returned to their nominal location. [The experiment VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions) uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle with vibration isolation, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

In the US Lab (loc. S3), after installing the three CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) alignment guides to protect PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances), CDR Fossum worked on CIR to configure it for another ground-controlled experiment/research run. With the Lab camcorder adjusted to view CIR live from the Node-1 side and after verifying the main & auxiliary RPCs (Remote Power Controllers) to be open plus touch temperatures within limits, Mike removed/replaced a manifold bottle on one of four manifolds (B) in front of the Optics Bench. [Steps included opening the upper doors, removing CIR manifold bottle B #2017 containing 40% O2, 60% He (helium), and replacing it with manifold bottle B #2018, containing 40% O2 (oxygen), 20% He, 40% N2 (nitrogen), then placing the manual vent valve in VENT position, GIP valve lever in Up (open) position, closing the upper rack doors again, turning on two switches, and notifying POIC of rack readiness.]

Afterwards, Mike removed the three CIR alignment guides again to allow the PaRIS to be activated before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.

Preparatory to the departure of Progress 42P and arrival of Progress 45P, Sergey & Satoshi set up the Ku-band video “scheme” for a communications test of converting the RS (Russian Segment) video signal from the SONY HVR-Z7E camera and external Klest Kl-154 “+X” camera to U.S. NTSC format and Ku-band from FGB & SM, to downlink “streaming video” packets via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band.      [This activity tested MPEG2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoding capability using a JSL connected T61p SSC (Station Support Computer) in the RS (Russian Segment).  This test consisted of four parts: Test 1 & 2 were activities in the SM using the SSC located at the CP (Command Post); Test 3 was executed in MRM1, and Test 4 was conducted in MRM2.  The SSC at the CP was utilized as an encoding and decoding (viewing) SSC during tests 1 & 2 (it can perform both operations simultaneously), and was utilized as decoding SSC only during tests 3 & 4.  SSC-10 in the Airlock was used for decoding purposes only.  For the test the crew used two procedures, a Russian radiogram that acted as main driver of the activity, and a Photo/TV procedure containing all of the steps to perform encoding & decoding on the SSCs.]

FE-5 Furukawa completed the visual T+2 Days (44 ± 4h) microbial (bacterial & fungal) analysis of PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) water samples collected by him on 10/10, 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).

Satoshi also retrieved & stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies, deployed on 10/10 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.]

After configuring STTS communication systems temporarily for crew presence in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, Volkov configured & conducted another active session with the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), supported by ground specialist tagup. STTS was then reconfigured to nominal. Sergey later set up the two SONY HVR-Z1J video camcorders for replaying and downlinking their recorded footage via VHF over two RGS (Russian Groundsites) at 11:44am-12:09pm EDT and at 1:19pm-1:42pm, followed by disassembly of the equipment. [KPT-10 studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in the magnetic trap, investigating the following processes onboard the ISS RS: condensed dust media, Coulomb crystals, and formation of Coulomb liquids due to charged macroparticles. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.]

Later, Sergey completed the daily inspection of the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse, verifying proper watering of the KM A32 & A24 root modules. [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).]

FE-4 also continued the GKM MVP photo/video documentation of selected Resurs plates inside the SM, today on the inside shells of Zvezda’s RO-1 & RO-2 (large & small diameter) sections.       [Objective: To evaluate access to Resurs system plates to measure electrical conductivity using the MVP-2K device.]

Furukawa had ~1h20m for reviewing procedural material for new EPO (Education Payload Operations) demos, gathering equipment and preparing for today’s EPO activity with Mike Fossum.

After setting up the camcorder for standard definition downlink and HD recording, Satoshi & Mike spent ~40 min on the new NASA EPO demo “Sleep 2”, discussing the importance of sleep and demonstrating how astronauts sleep in microgravity.      [The real-time standard video was timed so EPO ground specialists could communicate with the crew during the demo, giving feedback.]

Later, Furukawa activated MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) routing for HD downlink of the NASA “Sleep 2” EPO and previous “Eye in the Sky” footage.

Sergey conducted 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.]

Working off the discretionary Russian “time permitting” task list, FE-4 also completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Furukawa conducted OBT (Onboard Training) self-study to familiarize himself with COL WOOV (Water On Off Valve) inspection, cleaning, disinfecting and encapsulation for WOOV-3, -4 & 5, followed by tagup with ground specialists.

Later, Satoshi printed out new SODF (Station Operations Data File) procedures for the Leak Pinpoint & Repair Kit, updated the kit’s instructions and then restowed it in PMA-1 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 1).

Before “Presleep” period tonight, the CDR turns on 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, Mike will turn 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 ~4:55am EDT, Satoshi conducted the regular tagup with Japanese Program Management at SSIPC/Tsukuba via S-band/audio. [This conference is scheduled once every week, between the ISS crewmembers and SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center).]

At ~8:40am, FE-4 held a Crew Handover conference with A. Shkaplerov & A. Ivanishin, who will launch on Soyuz 28S on 11/14.

At ~10:20am, Mike & Satoshi supported two US PAO TV events, responding to interview questions from stations KRGV-TV, Weslaco, TX, and KVEO-TV, Brownsville, TX

At ~12:50pm, the CDR conducted his regular IMS (Inventory Management System) stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~1:50pm, Sergey Volkov supported two Russian PAO TV events, downlinking greetings to (1) the participants of the Robotics 2011 Festival, and (2) the participants of the XIX International Space Olympiad.       [(1) The Siberian Robotics Festival will take place on 10/20-22 in Krasnoyarsk.  This festival is the youth event in mechatronics, robotics, and innovation technology. The Krasnoyarsk Territory Government is the sponsor of the Festival.  It will feature round-table discussions and work shop sessions by Russia’s experts and professionals, various robotics competitions, training sessions, learning programs, and many other events. An award ceremony of the winners in robotics competition and the best innovation projects will take place at the festival closing final day.   (2) The Korolev Municipal Committee for Education with RSC Energia conducts the XIX Annual International Space Olympiad for high school students from 10/19-29.  This year it is dedicated to the 65th anniversary of RSC Energia.  The participants of the Olympiad are schoolchildren from Korolyov, and their mates from the Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Israel, China, USA, and Sweden.]

CDR & FE-5 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Furukawa at ~10:40am, Fossum at ~12:05pm EDT.

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

Tasks listed for Sergey Volkov on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • Continuing the preparation & downlinking of more reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb), and
  • Another ~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.

RS Propellant Transfer Update:    Propellant transfer from FGB to SM is underway this week in preparation for the reboost on 10/19.   Yesterday, 128 kg of oxidizer was transferred from FGB tanks to SM tanks.  Fuel transfer started today.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:19am EDT [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 385.9 km
  • Apogee height – 396.7 km
  • Perigee height – 375.0 km
  • Period -- 92.27 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0016
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 43.0 deg (magnitude leveling off)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.60
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 127 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 73,923
  • Time in orbit (station) -- 4709 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 3996 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations (Increment 29)-------------
10/19/11 -- ISS Reboost
10/29/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking  (5:01am EDT)
10/30/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch   (6:11am)
11/02/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking   (~7:42am)
11/13/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin   (11:14pm)
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)   (~12:45am)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)   (~9:21pm)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- Target date
12/26/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit --- (date “on or about”)
12/28/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1) --- (date “on or about”)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
    TBD    -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
    TBD    -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
    TBD    -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
    TBD    -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/xx/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/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/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-------------