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December 06, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/06/11

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.

At wake-up, CDR Burbank completed his 5th post-sleep session of the Reaction Self Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the ISS) protocol. [RST is done twice daily (after wakeup & before bedtime) for 3 days prior to the sleep shift, the day(s) of the sleep shift and 5 days following a sleep shift. The experiment consists of a 5-minute reaction time task that allows crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on ISS. The experiment provides objective feedback on neurobehavioral changes in attention, psychomotor speed, state stability, and impulsivity while on ISS missions, particularly as they relate to changes in circadian rhythms, sleep restrictions, and extended work shifts.]

FE-2 Ivanishin 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 installation on 8/8 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.]

After the three alignment guides of the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) at Lab bay S3 had been off overnight for ~8 hrs to allow ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment, Dan Burbank installed them in the morning to protect the CIR’s PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances) during the day.

Afterwards, at ~3:40am EST, the three station residents jointly undertook the standard 70-min. Depress OBT (on-board training) session for Inc-30, with procedures to refresh their proficiency in responding to a rapid depressurization emergency. The exercise was followed by a 10-min. segment for Anton to restore communications to their original configurations. An introductory tagup preceded the drill, and a joint debrief with ground specialists via S-band at ~6:10am wrapped up the exercise. [Objective of the exercise is to provide proficiency training for crew response during depressurization. The training exercise is performed under the most realistic emergency conditions possible. Instructors & OBT experts at the control centers (TsUP-Moscow, MCC-Houston, COL-CC/Oberpfaffenhofen and SSIPC/Tsukuba) stood by to send commands as required and respond to crew questions. The crew moved throughout the station in order to simulate emergency response actions per procedures at specific checkpoints; they communicated & coordinated simulated actions with the control centers as if this were a real event.]

At the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), the CDR checked out the video touch pad, first connecting it to the front panel of the video drawer, then verifying GUI (Graphic User Interface) functionality.

Afterwards, Dan downloaded the data from the two Actiwatch Spectrums from his first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session on 12/1 to the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1) via USB key and also copied the data from the two HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi CF Cards to the PC.

Ivanishin conducted his first onboard session of the Russian MedOps assessment MO-12, (“Study of the Veins in the Lower Extremities”), using the KARDIOMED (Cardiomed) complex with orthogonal leads which Oleg Kotov had installed in the SM in February 2010. [After loading the RSE-med laptop with the Cardiomed software, Anatoly set up the equipment, which involves KARDIOMED-TsB, KARDIOMED-KP, KARDIOMED-PMO and KARDIOMED-KRM assemblies with ECG (electrocardiogram) electrodes in a HOLTER monitor harness, a PLETISMOGRAF (Plethysmograph) instrument with calf measuring cuff, pneumatic hose, thigh occlusion cuff, hand pump & valve, and a DOPPLER complex. A Plethysmograph (sometimes called a “body box”) is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or the whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains).]

FE-2 also completed the periodic transfer of U.S. condensate water from CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1021) 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 to be 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.]

Shkaplerov had another 2 hrs 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 were 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.]

Dan worked on the WRS-2 (Water Recovery System 2) in Node-3, removing the ARFTA (Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) #0002, draining it into with the Russian Kompressor-M into an EDV-U container (#970), performing a leak check, cleaning it and replacing it in WRS-2. [The recycle tank was then to be filled via the refill method using the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) depress hose which was later removed again, along with the tank’s vent adapter.]

Preparatory to the assembly and setting up of the Amine Swingbed system in the Lab, Burbank configured jumpers, i.e., he disconnected the vacuum exhaust hose and connected the VES/VRS (Vacuum Exhaust System / Vacuum Resource System) jumper for offgassing prior to the initial assembly of the Swingbed hardware. [The Amine Swingbed is a prototype of the CO2and moisture control technology to be used in the Orion MPCV (Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle). It consists of two multilayer sorbent beds in one unit, with a single valve to alternate (“swing”) them between adsorbing from cabin air and desorbing to space vacuum. The system pulls air from the ISS atmosphere, dries it (and heats it) with a desiccant wheel, cools it back down, scrubs most of the CO2 and remaining water vapor out, then reheats the scrubbed air, rehumidifies it (and recools it) with the desiccant wheel, then returns the air to the cabin. Periodically (every 6 - 30 min) the sorbent beds are swapped to expose the freshly vacuum-desorbed bed to the process stream and start regenerating the CO2-laden bed. During bed swap transitions, additional air is saved by equalizing the bed about to be vented with a compressor-evacuated volume. This will be the first test of the Amine Swingbed payload. Its purpose is to determine if a vacuum-regenerated amine system can effectively remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ISS atmosphere using a smaller more efficient vacuum regeneration system. A similar technology (amine-based pressure swing adsorption) was used on the Shuttle Extended Duration Orbiter, in the form of the RCRS (Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System). The Amine Swingbed payload uses an amine with a significantly greater capacity for CO2 than the RCRS. Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with two “lone pair” electrons. They are derivatives of ammonia (NH3) wherein one or more of the hydrogen atoms (H) have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines, trimethylamine, and aniline. Inorganic derivatives of ammonia are also called ammonia, such as chloramine (NClH2).]

Anatoly 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.]

Ivanishin also took care of 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 addition, FE-2 completed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

Shkaplerov meanwhile conducted the periodic accuracy check of five MV manual vacuum pressure gauges, three in SM, one in the MRM2 Poisk module and one in Soyuz 28S Orbital Module (BO).

Afterwards, with STTS communication systems temporarily configured for crew presence (voice comm) in the MRM2, Anton reviewed & configured the equipment for another active session with the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), supported by ground specialist tagup. STTS was then reconfigured to nominal. Execution of the experiment is scheduled tomorrow. [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.]

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.

The CDR had another time slot set aside for making entries in his electronic Journal on his personal SSC (Station Support Computer). [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

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.]

At ~8:55am EST, the crew had their weekly teleconference with ISS Program Management at JSC/Houston via Ku-band/video & S-band/audio.

At ~11:55am, Shkaplerov & Ivanishin supported a Russian PAO TV event, downlinking messages of greetings & congratulations to (1) the Director General of Rosoboronexport on his 65th birthday, (2) the participants of National Heroes Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Battle for Moscow, and (3) the Deputy Director of the FSB (Federal Security Service)] on his 65th birthday. [(1) On 12/17, Anatoly Petrovich Isaikin, Director General of Rosoboronexport, is turning 65. During his career in the security agency, he participated in the military operations in Afghanistan three times and served as deputy commanding officer in the Vympel Special Forces detachment. He was awarded state war decorations, and his activity received many foreign partner citations. Currently, the Rosoboronexport Joint Stock Company under A. P. Isaikin’s leadership is involved in several international space programs; numerous projects were successfully implemented in the past ten years. (2) On 12/7, the “Law and Order-Shield” Fund with the Moscow City Government is hosting a meeting dedicated to Nation’s Heroes Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Battle for Moscow. The meeting will be at the Moscow City Palace for Youth Creativity at the Vorobyovy Hills. (3) On 12/3, Colonel-General Anatoly Pavlovich, the Deputy Director of the FSB (Federal Security Service), turned 65.]

FE-1 & FE-2 had their standard weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Anatoly at ~9:20am, Anton at ~12:20pm EST.

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), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2). [After the extensive chassis maintenance on 12/2 & 12/4 by Anton & Anatoly, TVIS was given the Go for use by ground specialists.]

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for FE-1 & FE-2 for 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

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 is continuing for about 14 days.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Calcutta at Night (as ISS tracked NE along the coastline of India, the crew was to look left of track for India’s third most populated metropolitan area of approximately 14.2 million people. So far, all of CEO’s night shots of Calcutta have been quite soft and hazy. The crew was to try to capture 180mm lens views of this area at night), India-Pakistan Borderline Cities at Night (ISS approached the India-Pakistan border from the SW; an interesting approach that CEO staff has little imagery on. As the crew approached from the Arabian Sea, they were to look straight ahead for contextual views of the borderline and surrounding cities with a shorter lens [30-50mm]. If possible, looking near nadir to capture some of larger cities, such as Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad with the 180mm lens), South Desolation Point, S. Chile (HMS BEAGLE SITE: Darwin and the Beagle navigated the treacherous Strait of Magellan on June 10, 1834 and passed South Desolation Point into the open Pacific where the long swell of the open ocean constantly rages. Desolation Island is on the south side of the Strait and marks the western end of Tierra del Fuego. As the crew tracked ESE, they were to look right of track for shots of this challenging target), and Nuku'alofa, Tonga (as ISS tracked SE over the South Pacific Islands, the crew was to look nadir on the north shore of Tonga's main island. Tonga is a small Pacific Ocean nation of ~104,000 people and consists of 176 islands, 36 of which are inhabited. The capital city, on Tongatapu Island, is home to more than half the population on the island).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:41am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 391.5 km
  • Apogee height – 410.9 km
  • Perigee height – 372.0 km
  • Period -- 92.39 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0028683
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 21.9 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 159 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,781
  • Time in orbit (station) -- 4764 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4051 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-------------