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December 30, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/30/11

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 completed his 11th 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-5 Kuipers started his workday by continuing his first (FD15) suite of sessions with the medical protocol Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery), with diet logging after the urine pH spot test, for a 5-day period. FE-6 Pettit’s first Pro K session starts tomorrow. [For Pro K, there will be five in-flight sessions (FD15, FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180) of samplings, to be shared with the NUTRITION w/Repository protocol, each one with five days of diet & urine pH logging and photography on the last day (science sessions are often referred to by Flight Day 15, 30, 60, etc. However, there are plus-minus windows associated with these time points so a “Flight Day 15” science session may not actually fall on the crewmember’s 15th day on-orbit). The crewmember prepares a diet log and then annotates quantities of food packets consumed and supplements taken. Urine collections are spread over 24 hrs; samples go into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) within 30 min after collection. Blood samples, on the last day, are centrifuged in the RC (Refrigerated Centrifuge) and placed in MELFI at -80 degC. There is an 8-hr fasting requirement prior to the blood draw (i.e., no food or drink, but water ingestion is encouraged). MELFI constraints: Maximum MELFI Dewar open time: 60 sec; at least 45 min between MELFI Dewar door openings.]

FE-2 Ivanishin performed the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The process will be terminated at ~4:15pm EST. Bed #2 regeneration will be done tomorrow. [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently (last time: 12/8 & 12/9).]

FE-4 Kononenko tended the current experiment with the Russian/German KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, running in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, by checking the hermeticity of the evacuated EB vacuum chamber after wakeup and before bedtime (any pressure increase above the vacuum should stay within 5 mmHg). [Main objective of PK-3 is to study wave propagation and dispersion ratio in a dust plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber, at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.]

In ESA’s COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), after configuring the already partially (“starter kit”) deployed PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware including MBS (Mixing Bag System), Dan Burbank conducted his 2nd 3-4 hr session with the VO2max assessment, integrated with the Thermolab head sensors. After the session, which was supported by the VO2max team on the ground, Dan cleaned up & stowed or trashed the equipment, then downloaded the data to a PCS laptop. [The experiment VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions) uses the PPFS, CEVIS ergometer cycle with vibration isolation, PFS (Pulmonary Function System) gas cylinders and mixing bag system, plus multiple other pieces of hardware to measure oxygen uptake, cardiac output, and more. The exercise protocol consists of a 2-min rest period, then three 5-min stages at workloads eliciting 25%, 50% & 75% of aerobic capacity as measured pre-flight, followed by a 25-watt increase in workload every minute until the crewmember reaches maximum exercise capacity. At that point, CEVIS workload increase is stopped, and a 5-min cool down period follows at the 25% load. Rebreathing measurements are initiated by the subject during the last minute of each stage. Constraints are: no food 2 hrs prior to exercise start, no caffeine 8 hrs prior to exercise, and must be well hydrated.]

After breaking out the Russian BAR science hardware, Shkaplerov started the charging process on the battery of the TTM-2 heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer, terminating it ~5 hrs later and using it for airflow measurements (next item). [Objective of the Russian KPT-12/EXPERT science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind SM panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Besides the Piren-V Pyro-endoscope, the payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss thermoanemometer/thermometer (TTM-2) and an ultrasound analyzer (AU) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities generally include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Working with the TTM-2 for about 3 hrs, Anton took multiple measurements of the air flow in the ISS at RS (Russian Segment) hatchway perimeters, supported by ground specialist tagup. The TTM-2 battery was then recharged and the equipment closed out and restowed. [Air flow readings were obtained at the hatches between PMA1-FGB, FGB GA-PGO, FGB-SMPkhO, PkhO-SM RO, PkhO-DC1 & PkhO-MRM2.]

In preparation for his first ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session tomorrow, FE-6 Pettit initializes two Actiwatch Spectrums and formatted two Holter HiFi CF Cards. In a separate activity, Don removed the old, “reptilian”-banded Actiwatches from two HM2 (Holter Monitor 2) kits which are no longer used by ICV. [Charging of four power tool (Makita) batteries for the session was completed yesterday.]

After reviewing VIABLE OBT (Onboard Training) material, Kuipers serviced the VIABLE experiment (eValuatIon And monitoring of microBiofiLms insidE the ISS), touching and blowing the top of each of 4 VIABLE bags in the FGB (loc. 409) where they are stowed to collect environment samples. [This investigation evaluates microbial biofilm development on space materials. Objectives are to determine the microbial strain producing the anti-biofilm product, evaluate the chemical nature of the anti-biofilm product, study the innovative materials which are chemo-physically treated, and address the biological safety issues associated with microbial biofilms. Background: Most surfaces are covered with microorganisms under natural conditions. The process by which a complex community of microorganisms is established on a surface is known as biofilm formation. Microbial biofilms can exist in many different forms by a wide range of microorganisms. The process of biofilm formation is a prerequisite for substantial corrosion and/or deterioration of the underlying materials to take place. VIABLE samples are composed by both metallic and textile space materials either conventional or innovative (Aluminum, Armaflex and Betacloth). They are placed inside four foam lined Nomex bags, specifically: Pouch 1 - untreated space materials; Pouch 2 - space materials pre-treated with biosurfactants; Pouch 3 - space materials pre-treated with hydrogen peroxide; Pouch 4 - space materials chemo-physically pre-treated with silica and silver coating.]

After Dan Burbank’s EPIC (Enhanced Processor & Integrated Communications) card replacements and X2R10 software transition, which he completed successfully, Don Pettit today tested the final card. Both crewmembers were thanked by the ground for their hard work. [EPIC transition for the C&C MDMs (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) computers started at 9:45am EST, with C&C-1 (EPIC) becoming Primary, C&C-2 (EPIC) Backup, C&C-3 (Non-EPIC) Standby, available as an EPIC back-out option until its transition to EPIC on 1/5/12. During the Primary transition, all PCS (Portable Computer System) laptops were disconnected. After the transition, the crew successfully reconnected the three EPIC PCS machines, leaving the non-EPIC PCSs disconnected until the last C&C and GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control) MDMs are converted to EPIC next week.]

The CDR had another joint session of ~30 min with FE-6 for handover familiarization, which was then joined by FE-5 for another 45 min.

Also as a handover opportunity, Dan & André performed routine preventive maintenance on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), removing & replacing the EDV-U urine container to support UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) processing.

Anatoly Ivanishin had another 3h 35m for more unloading & transferring of cargo from Progress 45P to the ISS for stowage, guided by an uplinked loading plan, and logging in the IMS (Inventory Management System). [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.]

Anton Shkaplerov conducted the periodic audit/inventory of Russian SSVP Docking & Internal Transfer System accessories, spending about 1h 45m going through ~12 storage bags in Soyuz TMA-22/28S (#232), SM, FGB, DC1, MRM1 & MRM2, supported by ground specialist tagup.

Oleg Kononenko made his way into the SA/Descent Module of the newly arrived Soyuz TMA-03M/29S spacecraft and dismantled its two "Klest" (KL-152) TV cameras and their SG2-14V light units for return to the ground on Soyuz 28S for reuse, temporarily stowing them in the SM.

Afterwards, Kononenko had ~3h 40m for unloading cargo from the 29S spacecraft and transferring it to ISS for stowage, logging moves in the IMS.

André Kuipers completed his (now) weekly task of filling out his SHD (Space Headache) questionnaire which he started after Soyuz launch and continues on ISS (on an SSC/Station Support Computer) for every week after his first week in space.

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

Ivanishin 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 also took care of 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).

Next, FE-2 completed his 4th data collection session for the psychological MBI-16 Vzaimodejstvie (“Interactions”) program, accessing and completing the computerized study questionnaire on the RSE-Med laptop and saving the data in an encrypted file. [The software has a “mood” questionnaire, a “group & work environment” questionnaire, and a “critical incidents” log. Results from the study, which is also mirrored by ground control subjects, could help to improve the ability of future crewmembers to interact safely and effectively with each other and with Mission Control, to have a more positive experience in space during multi-cultural, long-duration missions, and to successfully accomplish mission activities.]

The Soyuz 29S crewmembers, Kononenko, Pettit & Kuipers, 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.

Before sleeptime, Anton Shkaplerov will conduct another ~20-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 Christmas Island (Kiribati) in nadir. [Christmas Island, in the Line Islands in the Northern Pacific, is the world's largest atoll. Based on a 1995 realignment of the International Date Line, Kiribati is now the easternmost country in the world, i.e., “seeing the Sun (and New Year) first”.]

At ~3:05am EST, the crew 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 ~4:00am, the three Russian Flight Engineers joined for a Russian PAO TV event, receiving & exchanging New Year’s greetings with RCC Energia, IMBP & GCTC top management (moved forward from 6:10am).

At ~12:15pm, Dan & André conducted the regular IMS stowage conference with Houston stowage specialists.

At ~2:10pm, the crew was scheduled for their regular weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H.

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, FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4).

FE-6 Don Pettit is currently following a special experimental “SPRINT” protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day regime and introduces special daily sessions, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory). No exercise is being timelined for Fridays. If any day is not completed, Don picks up where he left off, i.e., he would be finishing out the week with his last day of exercise on his off day.

The Russian discretionary “time permitting” task list for Shkaplerov, Ivanishin & Kononenko today called for continued preparation & downlinking of more reportages (written text, photos, videos) for the Roskosmos website to promote Russia’s manned space program (max. file size 500 Mb).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Etosha dry lake, N Namibia (Dynamic event. Looking well right for the prominent white floor of this large dry lake [130 km long]. The lake floor changes continually as water flows in from different source streams. Requested are images of the floor and the surrounding streams during this present wet season. The lake is the center of Namibia’s major nature park, known for vast flocks of flamingoes), and Sevilleta Wildlife Area, New Mexico (looking right for the Wildlife Area, 80 km south of Albuquerque, between the Rio Grande and the mountain range immediately beyond—the crew’s major visual cues. The Wildlife Area lies at the intersection of several major biotic zones: Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland to the south, Great Plains grassland to the north, Piñon-Juniper woodland in the upper elevations of the neighboring mountains, Colorado Plateau shrub-steppe to the west, and riparian vegetation along the middle Rio Grande Valley. Research topics are directed to population dynamics in this biome transition zone; climate change and disturbance effects on ecosystem processes; biospheric/atmospheric interactions; biotic and abiotic controls on landscape heterogeneity).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:28am EST [= epoch])
· Mean altitude – 391.2 km
· Apogee height – 407.5 km
· Perigee height – 374.9 km
· Period -- 92.38 min.
· Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
· Eccentricity -- 0.0024059
· Solar Beta Angle -- -32.7 deg (magnitude increasing)
· Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.59
· Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 69 m
· Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 75,156
· Time in orbit (station) -- 4788 days
· Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4075 days

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
01/18/12 -- ISS Reboost (set up phasing for 46P)
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)
02/07/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon launch --- (target date)
02/10/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon berthing --- (target date)
02/14/12 -- Russian EVA
02/23/12 -- SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon unberth --- (target date)
03/09/12 -- ATV3 launch --- (target date)
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-------------