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December 09, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/09/11

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.

Anton also completed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. FE-1 will terminate the process at ~4:15pm EST. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. (Done last: 11/19 & 11/20). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hrs and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

CDR Burbank conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) inventory as part of the on-going WRM (Water Recovery & Management) assessment of onboard water supplies. Updated “cue cards” based on the crew’s water calldowns are sent up every other week for recording changes. [The current card (29-0008A) lists 32 CWCs (535.7 L total) for the five types of water identified on board: 1. Silver technical water (6 CWCs with 234.5 L, for Elektron electrolysis, all containing Wautersia bacteria; 2. Condensate water (3 CWCs with 19.1 L), 7 empty bags; 3. Iodinated water (11 CWCs with 186.4 L; also 3 expired bags with 59.1 L); 4. Waste water (1 bag with 6.4 L EMU waste water); and 5. Special fluid (1 CWC with 20.2 L, hose/pump flush). Other CWCs are stowed behind racks and are currently not being tracked due to unchanging contents. Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]

FE-2 Ivanishin conducted the periodic service of the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2), collecting eight Bubble dosimeters (A21, A22, A27, A28, A33, A34, A35, A36) to read their recorded radiation traces in a special Reader; afterwards, the dosimeters were initialized for new measurements and redeployed. [The complexMatryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.]

Afterwards, Ivanishin had ~5 hrs set aside for the periodic Russian SPOPT (Fire Detection & Suppression System) IDZ-2 smoke detectors maintenance in the FGB, where Anatoly dismantled each of ten IDZ-2 units, cleaned their ionizing needles and then reinstalled the sensors. The FGB FDS (Fire Detection System) was deactivated by the ground during this period.[Part of the job is to inspect surrounding areas behind panels and to clean those surfaces and the inlet grille with microbial growth wipes.]

Dan Burbank supported ground controllers at COL-CC (Columbus Orbital Laboratory-Control Center) on the ERB2 (Erasmus Recording Binocular) experiment in COL by powering the payload on and checking it out for ground-commanded operations. [After this step an internal clock started running in ERB2, and all following activities till payload shutdown had to be performed within 1h20m. ERB uses a three-dimensional (3-D) video camera, the Sony DSR PD150P camcorder and a Nikon SSM-3DC-101 D photo camera for taking imagery of the environment onboard the ISS for an accurate map of the station’s interior. The images are transferred by a computer application into a 3D model to be viewed in the Virtual Reality Theater of ESA’s Erasmus Center],

The CDR also conducted Part 3 of the periodic personal acoustic measurement protocol, downloading the recorded data from the acoustic dosimeters from the SMK (Sound Measurement Kit) deployed yesterday for static measurements in the station, then stowing the recorders. [#1004 in SM above TVIS treadmill, #1003 in Node-3, #1005 in Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module).]

Later, after setting up the Lab camcorder for live ground observation, Dan continued the troubleshooting of the ISSAC (ISS Agriculture Camera) system at the WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) which cannot be pointed properly by ground command. [Activities included inspection for obstructions, checking two cables, reconnecting the power cable to the gearbox and manually pointing the gearbox, then observing camera motion on ground commanding, and finally closing the WORF hatch.]

Dan also closed the protective shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola and Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) windows to prevent their contamination from thruster effluents during the reboost later today (2:50pm EST).

Meanwhile, Shkaplerov built a new EDV container from a bucket and lid, then configured the pumping equipment with the electric compressor (#41) and transferred the remaining water from the Progress 45P (#413) BV2 tank to the EDV. Next, Anton replaced the usual A-R water transfer hose with a T2PrU air line and started the standard bladder compression & leak check of the BV2 water tank to get it ready for urine transfer. [Each of the spherical Rodnik tanks BV1 & BV2 consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane and is leak-tested before urine transfers, i.e., with empty tanks, the bladders are expanded against the tank walls and checked for hermeticity.]

Later, FE-1 prepared the BTKh-43 KONSTANTA payload and executed experiment session #3 using Cassette #2-4, with documentary photography with the NIKON D2X and HVR-Z7E video camcorder. [Objective: To identify if there is an effect of the space environment on the activity of a model enzyme relative to a specific substrate,- with two sessions.]

FE-2 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.]

Working off the voluntary Russian “time permitting” task list, Anatoly 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).

After installing the three PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) lock-down alignment guides on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) 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 #2015 containing 40% O2 (oxygen) and 60% N2 (nitrogen) at 570.14 psia pressure remaining and replaced it with manifold bottle B #2001 containing 30% O2 (oxygen) and 70% He (helium), 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.]

Burbank also performed the periodic water sample collection in Node-3 from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Hot port for microbial inflight & TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) analysis. [After the TOCA analysis, the samples were processed in the MCD (Microbial Capture Device) and CDB (Coliform Detection Bag) from the U.S. WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing after no more than 6 hours of the collection. After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to the SSC-5 (Station Support Computer 5) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

With STTS audio comm systems temporarily configured for crew presence in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, FE-1 Shkaplerov 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 (12:08pm & 1:43pm) 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.]

CDR Burbank undertook the regular monthly session of the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) emergency medical operations OBT (On-Board Training) drill, a 30-min. exercise to refresh his CMO (Crew Medical Officer) acuity in a number of critical health areas. The video-based proficiency drill today focused on a review of all topics. At the end, Dan completed a self-assessment questionnaire. Answers were then provided at test conclusion. [The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS and ACLS CBT (computer-based training). The training drill, each crewmember for him/herself, refreshes their memory of the on-orbit stowage and deployment locations, equipment etc. and procedures.]

After yesterday’s preparations, the CDR today connected the power strings for upcoming ROBoT activities and removing the T61p laptop from its UOP8 (Utility Outlet Panel 8) connection to storage. [ROBoT is a computer-based Robotics Onboard Trainer.]

Burbank also 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.]

At ~3:15am EST, the three crewmembers held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU/Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP-Moscow via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:30am, Anton & Anatoly linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing inventory & stowage issues, equipment locations and cargo transfers.

At ~11:35am, Dan supported an Educational PAO TV event, conferring with students at Westchester Intermediate School in Chesterton, IN. [Students at Westchester had participated in a series of STEM-related activities leading up to the downlink. This downlink was scheduled at the request of Representative Peter Visclosky (D-IN).]

At ~2:15pm, the crew is scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

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-1).

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).

Amine Swingbed Deferral: Yesterday’s planned assembly & checkout of the Amine Swingbed hardware by CDR Burbank could not be completed. During assembly, Dan had difficulties aligning and attaching the Controller unit to the Swingbed vacuum outlet. The purpose of the activity was to verify that the Amine Swingbed was not damaged during launch, compromising the sorbent bead containment, and to purge the ammonia that has built up within the hardware during its storage. Because assembly of the hardware took longer than planned and the ground commanding was sequenced at a specific time for commanding coverage, Ground controllers were not able to complete the commanding activities that needed to take place prior to the crew starting the bead check. Also, erroneous data from the Swingbed payload caused a false fire advisory in the US Lab. The hardware was partially disassembled and temporarily stowed in the PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module). Specialists will develop a forward plan to complete the checkouts. [Background: The Amine Swingbed is a prototype of the CO2 and 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).]

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.

Reboost: After handover of attitude control authority to the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at 1:05pm, a one-burn reboost of the ISS will be performed today at 2:50pm EST using the two KD engines of the SM’s ODU (Integrated Propulsion System) for a burn duration of 1m 22s and a planned Delta-V of 1.05 m/s. Return of attitude control to US CMGs (Control Moment Gyroscopes) is scheduled for 3:40pm. The newly incorporated US SIGI (Space Integrated GPS/Inertial Navigation System) accelerometers will be used for the 2nd time for closed loop guidance of the reboost. Purpose of the reboost is to set up proper phasing for 29S launch & rendezvous.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Hawaiian Islands at Night (as the crew tracked SE over the North Pacific Ocean, they were to look just left of track for the Hawaiian Islands. CEO researchers have only have one photograph of these islands at night, and would like to update their collection. Trying to take overlapping images to map the islands at nighttime. Bigger cities like Honolulu and Hilo should stand out well), and Nuku'alofa, Tonga (as ISS moved SE over the South Pacific Islands, the crew was to look just right of track 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, 7:56am EST [= epoch])
  • Mean altitude – 391.1 km
  • Apogee height – 410.6 km
  • Perigee height – 371.7 km
  • Period -- 92.38 min.
  • Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
  • Eccentricity -- 0.0028733
  • Solar Beta Angle -- 27.3 deg (magnitude increasing)
  • Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
  • Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 148 m
  • Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 74,828
  • Time in orbit (station) -- 4767 days
  • Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4054 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----------------
01/24/12 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
01/25/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
01/27/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
xx/xx/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon --- (Under Review)
xx/xx/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
03/16/12-- Soyuz TMA-22/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov --- (Target Date)
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S docking (MRM2) --- (Target Date)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
TBD -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
04/24/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
04/25/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P launch
04/27/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P docking
TBD -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
06/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
09/28/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/26/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
11/28/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/19/13 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
04/02/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
04/04/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/16/13 – Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/31/13 – 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-------------