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December 01, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/01/11

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

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

Also during the morning Inspection, Anton conducted the periodic checkup of the circuit breakers & fuses in the DC1 Pirs Docking Compartment. [The monthly checkup in DC1, 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 DC1 concept and are very similar to it.]

After wakeup, CDR Burbank opened, after last night’s ISS reboost, the protective window shutters of the Lab WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) for the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) equipment, so ground images could be captured today 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],

Burbank then worked several hours on the PACE (Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment) science payload in the FIR FCF (Fluids Integrated Rack Fluids & Combustion Facility), configuring the hardware, cleaning out the AFC (Auxiliary Fluids Container), removing the old sample (#2001) and starting the processing of a new sample (#2002). [PACE is an interesting Technology experiment, designed to investigate the capability of conducting high magnification colloid experiments with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module) for determining the minimum size particles which can be resolved with it. Today’s activity steps included opening the FIR doors, taking out two cables between the CVB (Constrained Vapor Bubble) Control Box and the Optics Bench and the LMM AFC and installing one cable between the Optics Bench and the LMM AFC, then cleaning up oil from inside the AFC and removing PACE sample #2001 from the PACE Test Target. Next, Dan mixed the 2nd particle sample, #2002, with the BCAT magnet, mounted the PACE test target and installed the sample and the PACE oil dispenser into the LMM AFC. The AFC front door was closed and the oil started to be dispensed onto the sample. The LMM Spindle Bracket Assembly was then rotated to the Operate position and the rack doors were closed. The new experiment run, which uses the newly installed PACE LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Base to allow illumination from below the samples (or trans-illumination), will enable the ground to use the LMM microscope to examine tissue and particle samples and also characterize the microscope for ACE (Advanced Colloids Experiment) scheduled to begin in 2012. ACE Objective: To remove gravitational jamming and sedimentation so that it is possible to observe how order arises out of disorder and to learn to control this process. Small colloidal particles can be used to model atomic systems and to engineer new systems. Colloids are big enough (in comparison to atoms) to be seen and big enough that their evolution can be recorded with a camera. With a confocal microscope, templates, and grids, we can observe this process in 3-D and learn to control it.]

FE-1 Shkaplerov performed the periodic downloading of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer of the running TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) experiment in MRM1 (Mini Research Module 1) Rassvet to the RSE1 A31p laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

In the SM, FE-2 Ivanishin worked on the two Central Post Computers (CPCs), using the RS2 laptop to clone TsVM (Central Computer) software structure vers. 8.05 from DVD to KTsP2 (CPC2), and the RS3 laptop to copy TsVM & TVM (Terminal Computer) images on KTsP1 (CPC1). R2 was then turned off. [SM 8.05 updates primarily RS software, and final transition will be completed on 12/14.]

Afterwards, Anatoly performed periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), initializing & deploying new Bubble dosimeters detectors, supported by ground specialist tagup. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (A21, A22, A27, A28, A33, A34, A35, A36) were initialized in the Bubble dosimeter reader in the SM and positioned at new exposure locations. The deployment locations of the detectors were photo-documented with the NIKON D2X camera and also reported with initialization data to TsUP on log sheets via OCA. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Anton meanwhile continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS ventilation systems, today cleaning the numerous Group A ventilator fans & grilles in the SM, after photographing all fan screens for ground inspection.

FE-1 also executed the periodic data dump from the BRI (SSR/Smart Switch Router) control log to the RSS1 laptop for downlink to the ground via OCA.

Dan concluded his first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session, doffing the two Actiwatches and HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) about 24 hrs after the end of yesterday’s “midpoint” activity (~6:20am EST). The laptop was then powered off. The downloading of the two Actiwatch Spectrums and copying of data from the 2 HM2 HiFi CF Cards to the HRF PC was deferred to later. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres/BP is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink.]

Shkaplerov & Ivanishin had ~40 min to familiarize themselves with the onboard computer setup in the RS and the recovery of the SIGMA Ballistics & Navigation Support software vers. 8.6.1 software on the RSS2, RSK1 & RSK2 laptops. [VKS computer equipment in the RS includes the T61p laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p, RSK2-T61p, SSC2 (Central Post),SSC1 (Port CQ), SSC3 (Starboard CQ), CSL5 & CSL6, and the A31p laptops RSE-Med-A31p, RSE1, RSE-LCS-A31p,RSK1-A31p & RSK2-A31p.]

Anton also had another 1h allotted for more unloading of Progress 45P and transferring cargo to the ISS for stowage, guided by an uplinked loading plan. [Of the approximately 1166 listed entries on 45P, about 404 are USOS items. Progress M-13M is to remain docked at the DC1 for about 3 months, and its unloading continues as a long-term activity.]

Afterwards, Shkaplerov performed 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.]

Anatoly continued IMS (Inventory Management System)-logged cargo transfers from Soyuz 28S (#232), guided by an uplinked Cargo Loading manifest listing 147 items. [These transfers are being spread over the long-term, to maximize making use of Soyuz stowage room over time.]

Ivanishin also unstowed and readied the gear required for the periodic TVIS treadmill chassis inspection, on his schedule for tomorrow.

The three crewmembers again had about an hour of free time each for general orientation (adaptation, station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting residence, if they choose to take it.

Before Presleep, Burbank will turn on the MPC (Multi Protocol Converter) and start 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, Dan 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.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2), and ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2).

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for Shkaplerov & Ivanishin today suggested –
  • 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), and
  • 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).

CUCU Clarification: Yesterday’s software upload for the CUCU (COTS UHF Communications Unit), which the ground successfully checked out, supports the first SpaceX Dragon Demo flight early next year. The Combined Demo, which would merge Demo 2 & Demo 3, mentioned in yesterday’s report, continues to be under study and has not yet been approved for implementation. Yesterday’s planned firmware update and checkout of the two CCPs (Crew Command Panels) has been deferred due to insufficient time. They will be required for the Dryden frequency test – which currently has frequency clearance issues. [Currently the soonest the delayed Dryden frequency test can be performed is 12/6, followed by 30 days in which the test can be performed, to support the SpaceX Demo-1 flight, planned for early 2012.]

ISS Reboost Update: A one-burn reboost of the ISS was performed last evening as planned at 6:11pm EST using the two KD engines of the SM’s ODU (Integrated Propulsion System) for a burn duration of 1m 2.68s, achieving a Delta-V of 1.04 m/s (planned: 1.00 m/s), increasing mean altitude by 1.82 km (planned: 1.75 km). After the burn, ISS was at 392.14 km mean altitude, with 416.81 km apogee height and 367.48 perigee height. The purpose of the reboost, the first of 2, was to set up proper phasing for 29S launch & rendezvous. This was also the first time the US SIGI (Space Integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation System) accelerometers were used for closed loop guidance of the reboost, and all worked well. A 2nd reboost for 29S phasing is planned for 12/9.

Conjunction Update: The conjunction with Object 36438 (COSMOS 2251 debris), predicted for tomorrow at ~11:51am EST, moved yesterday into the Green zone and is at this time no longer of concern.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Asmara, Eritrea (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: Asmara, the Eritrean capital city of nearly 600,000 lies at elevation of 7,628 ft near a great escarpment that marks edge of the Eritrean Highlands with the shores of the Red Sea just 50 miles to the east. ISS had a mid-morning pass in fair weather for this target with approach from the NW. At this time as ISS tracked along the coast of the western Red Sea, the crew was to look inland, just right of track for a mapping strip to acquire this low-contrast urban area), Accra, Ghana (WORLD CAPITALS COLLECTION SITE: Ghana’s capital is the nation’s largest city with a population near 2 million and is located on the coast of the Guinea which is south of Lake Volta, the world’s largest reservoir. ISS had a mid-morning pass in partly cloudy weather with its approach from the NW. At this time as it neared the coast, the crew was to look towards nadir for this urban area on the coast), Volcan Colima, Mexico (ISS had a nadir pass in mid-morning light with clear weather expected over this massive, 3,850-meter volcanic complex in southwestern Mexico. CEO has numerous photos of this target, but cloud-free, long-lens views of the twin-peaked summit area have eluded crews to date. As the crew tracked southeastward near the coast of southern Mexico, they were to look for this target and use the long lens), and Chiloe Island, southern Chile (HMS BEAGLE SITE: ISS had a mid-day pass with fair weather expected. At this time, the crew was to look just right of track for this large, rugged and forested island as it approached the southern coast of Chile from the NW. Trying for context views of the island as a whole. Darwin and the Beagle arrived at this island on June 12, 1834, surveyed the west coast, gathered provisions and left the next day).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:02am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 392.1 km
  • Apogee height – 411.2 km
  • Perigee height – 373.0 km
  • Period -- 92.40 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0028225
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 5.6 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.58
  • Mean altitude gain in the last 24 hours -- 1460 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,702
  • Time in orbit (station) – 4759 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) – 4046 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
TBD -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
TBD -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
TBD -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
xx/xx/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- (Under Review)
xx/xx/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
TBD -- Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov --- (Target Date)
04/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docking (MRM2) --- (Target Date)
--------------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-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/xx/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------