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December 07, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/07/11

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.

CDR Burbank conducted Part 1 of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol, distributing crew-worn acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) to the Increment 30 crew, i.e., Anatoly, Anton & himself, for a 24-hr data take.

Working on the SODI-COLLOID (Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument – Colloid) hardware in the MSG WV (Work Volume) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Dan supported subsequent ground-commanded operations by exchanging the DSC (Diffusion Soret Coefficient) Flash Disk from the Colloid Flash Disk Container. [Colloid is part of the ESA triple experiment series of SODI (IVIDIL, DSC, Colloid) for advanced research in vibration effects on diffusion in liquids, diffusion measurements in petroleum reservoirs and the study on growth and properties of advanced photonic materials within colloidal solutions, respectively.]

Anton Shkaplerov conducted the regular (weekly) inspection of the replaceable half-coupling of the 4GB4 hydraulic unit of the KOB-2 (Loop 2) of the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, checking for coolant fluid hermeticity (leak-tightness).

Afterwards, FE-1 took a documentary photograph of the air duct fastening on SM panel 101, and also of fastening locations of the VN1 & VN2 fans on SM panels 219 and 305. Images were then transferred to OCA for downlink.

Ivanishin undertook his first session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [Shkaplerov stood by to assist Anatoly in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes and applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

With the Lab camcorder configured to provide live views, Dan Burbank 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 oil from the AFC (Auxiliary Fluids Container), removing the old sample (#2004) and starting the processing of tissue 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, then cleaning up oil from inside the AFC and removing PACE sample #2004 from the PACE Test Target. Next, Dan retrieved tissue sample #2002, 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.]

With the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides installed on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) yesterday to protect its PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) from external loading (dynamic disturbances), and the Lab camcorder adjusted to view CIR live from the Node-1 side, the CDR performed another bottle swap on CIR, removing & replacing 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 (oxygen) and 60% N2(nitrogen) at 1478 psia pressure remaining and replaced it with manifold bottle B #2015 containing 40% O2 (oxygen) and 60% N2, 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, Dan had ~1h set aside for unpacking & stowing US cargo delivered on Progress 45P.

Shkaplerov 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, Anton 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).]

Afterwards, with STTS audio comm systems temporarily configured for crew presence in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, Anton also conducted another active session for the Russian experiment KPT-10 “Kulonovskiy Kristall” (Coulomb Crystal), followed by downlinking the video footage obtained with a SONY HVR-Z1J camcorder over two RGS (Russian Groundsite) passes (10:56am & 12:25pm) and reconfiguring STTS to nominal. [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.]

Ivanishin continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, today first working in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok) cleaning the grilles of interior panels 201, 301 & 401 and the TsV1 fan guard screen, then moving to the DC1 Docking Compartment to replace its PF1 & PF2 dust filter cartridges and clean the V1 & V2 fan grills.

Later, FE-2 worked on the currently inactive Russian SKV1 air conditioner, going behind panels 120 & 123 to check and then reconnect power cable connections at the SKV1’s BP power supply pack (BP).

Anton meanwhile serviced the SM SRVK-2M condensate water processor system, replacing the BKV water conditioning unit’s purification column (BK BKV) with a new spare. The old unit (#909015) was pre-packed for disposal. [The SRVK-2M, with its BKO multifiltration unit, removes dissolved mineral and organic impurities from the condensate. Downstream from it, the condensate water is treated in the BKV water conditioning unit with salts for taste and silver ions for preservation, before it flows to the KPV potable water container.]

The CDR again had about an hour of free time 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.

Anton 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 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).

At ~11:10am EST, Dan conducted his regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~1:00pm, Burbank had his standard weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

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). [Crew Note from Dan Burbank: “After CEVIS, did 30 mins on T2. Should be good data for acoustic dosimeter. With T2 running, it's probably among loudest acoustic environments on station.”]

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).

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

JEMRMS Demos: JAXA/SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center/Tsukuba) yesterday successfully ground-commanded two Demos with the JEMRMS (Japan Experiment Module Robotic Manipulator System), mounted external to the Kibo JPM, the first Demo a wrist roll exercise, the second one a movement of the entire arm.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Kerguelen Is., S. Indian Ocean (there may have been a break in the cloud for nadir views of this glacier-capped island near the bottom of the orbit. Cook Glacier, on the high west side, is the focus of interest. With an area of ~403 km2 it is quoted as "France's largest glacier", since the islands are part of France. More than a century ago, for the 1874 transit of Venus, George Biddell Airy of the UK's Royal Observatory organized five expeditions to different parts of the world, three of which were sent to the Kerguelen Islands), St. Helena Island, Atlantic Ocean (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle arrived at St. Helena Island on July 8, 1836 and remained for 5 days to explore its geology. Begin looking for this target a little early, if possible. Due to its remoteness and small size [47 square miles], there will be no visual cues of the island during ISS approach. As ISS progressed on its descending pass from the NW, the crew was to look just left of track for this small island. There may have been a few high clouds in the region, but they were to try for detailed shots), and SW Glaciers of S. Patagonian Glaciers Field (ISS had an afternoon pass over this target area. The crew may have found sufficient breaks in the post-frontal cloud field for detailed views of these rarely-photographed glaciers near the southern end of this large ice field. As they approached the coast from the WNW at this time, they were to look right of track for these glaciers ending in long fjords).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:14am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 391.3 km
  • Apogee height – 410.8 km
  • Perigee height – 371.9 km
  • Period -- 92.38 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0028676
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 24.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 122 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,797
  • Time in orbit (station) -- 4765 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4052 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-------------
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov --- (Target Date)
04/03/12 -- 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)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
06/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
06/03/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/28/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/30/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/28/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/30/12 – 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-------------