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December 04, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/04/11

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – Crew off day. Ahead: Week 3 of Increment 30 (three-person crew).

  • Today 13 years ago (1998), the US-built Node-1 “Unity”, 2nd component of ISS, was launched on STS-88/Endeavour, crewed by CDR Bob Cabana (today Director of NASA/KSC), PLT Fred Sturckow, and Mission Specialists Jerry Ross, Nancy Currie, Jim Newman & Sergey Krikalev (today Director of GCTC/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia). “Unity” was mated to the Russian-built FGB “Zarya” by Currie on 12/6, and Bob & Sergey entered the rudimentary space station jointly.

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.

Anton also conducted the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. This included the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP-Moscow, as well as the weekly checkup on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s & FGB’s SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for calldown. [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].

CDR Burbank took the (approx.) monthly O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, his first, a 30-min NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special software application on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop. [The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, new Bose ANC headsets (delivered on 30P) and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There has been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.]

Later, Dan performed the VolSci (Voluntary Weekend Science) activity selected for today, an EPO (Educational Payload Operations) demo of 3 student-designed games,- Save the World, Alligator Clip Capture, and Independence Day. The demos were filmed with the G1 camcorder for subsequent downlink via HD MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) on Ku-band.[EPO Demos are educational videos conducted by crewmembers on-board the ISS. Today’s video is intended to be edited on the ground and will be seen by grade 5-8 students and educators. Demo 1: Using a dartboard, Dan demonstrated “sports in space”, showing how Newton’s Laws of Motion are applied to games in microgravity space. This video will be used on the Space Out Sports Website at http://education.ssc.nasa.gov/spacedoutsports.asp . Demo 2: Crewmember was to release 5 alligator clips in the cabin, allowing them to float, then floated up to capture each alligator clip, from underneath and above the clip (created by students at Kinser Elementary {Department of Defense} School in Okinawa, Japan. Demo 3: Earning points by successfully tossing a baton-like object through a floating ring, cut from a sheet of paper and pasted appropriately. Crewmember then was to repeatedly toss unsharpened pencil (or like object) through the floating paper rings (created by students at Manhattan Beach Middle, Manhattan Beach, CA.]

Anton & Anatoly finished up their lengthy IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the TVIS treadmill, performing the long-term periodic chassis Inspection which they had been unable to finish on 12/2. Afterwards, Anatoly was to perform the speed characterization test while recording acoustic survey data, which of course was also not done on 12/2. [The inspection included the belt slats, weld nuts, treadbelt, drum set screws, 50 truss blue roller assemblies, side black rollers, and bottom black rollers. The crew also replaced 3 misaligned belt slat screws.]

At ~4:45am EST, Anton Shkaplerov & Anatoly Ivanishin participated in an event set up for them in Moscow to cast their ballot in the Elections to the 6th State Duma of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly and Moscow Regional Duma Elections, formally authorizing their proxy agent Dmitry Alexandrovich Zhukov to fill out the ballot for them, with the required confidentiality being observed. [Alexander Ivanovich Popkov, chairman of the local election committee of Korolev City, Moscow Region, explained the ballot procedure and read out the ballot bulletin, then asked “Dear Anton Nikolayevich and Anatoly Alexeyevich, do you authorize Dmitry Alexandrovich Zhukov to fill out ballot bulletins thus giving effect to your will?” After filling out the forms in secrecy, D. A. Zhukov invited the participants to the voting room and dropped the ballots in a portable box while providing voice commentary of his actions to Anton & Anatoly, who thanked them thusly: “Participation in Russia’s political life is a crucial right of every citizen of the country! By casting our vote we shape the direction our nation will take in the future. Our future depends on our vote!” Besides a group of political and communal VIPs, assembled media included “Novosti Cosmonavtiki” magazine; “Russia Today” TV company; ZVEZDA TV Channel; ITAR-TASS news agency; Branch of “Podmoskovye” TV Channel (City of Losino-Petrovsky); NTV TV company; Channel 1 TV company; and RIA Novosti.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (CDR), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-1, FE-2).

Three new jobs added to the discretionary “job jar” task list for Dan Burbank are –
  • Locating two handrail extenders for use with the SPHERES experiment (listed for the week);
  • Conducting an audit of the ZSR rack in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) at loc. O2 (broken down in 4 parts, listed for the Increment), and
  • Doing an audit/inventory of Thermolab hardware.

Tasks listed for Shkaplerov & Ivanishin on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • 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, aiming for Darwin Island, Vulcan Cordon-Kaul, and the glaciers of Patagonia,
  • A 10-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of the South-east Atlantic, South-Eastern Pacific, and the south-west Atlantic, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop,
  • 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
  • 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.

GHF Checkout: On 12/1, JAXA ground controllers began an extensive checkout of the GHF (Gradient Heating Furnace) payload on the Kobairo Rack in the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) which will continue through about 14 days.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 6:11am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 391.8 km
  • Apogee height – 411.1 km
  • Perigee height – 372.5 km
  • Period -- 92.39 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0028564
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 16.2 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.58
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 176 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,749
  • Time in orbit (station) -- 4762 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4049 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/09/11 -- ISS Reboost B
12/21/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit --- 8:16:15am EST (7:16:15pm Baikonur)
12/23/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S docking (MRM1) --- 10:20am EST
--------------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-------------