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June 27, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/27/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

>>>Today 17 years ago (1995), Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off, becoming not only the 100th human spaceflight mission but also the first of 9 Shuttle missions to dock at the Soviet space station Mir.  It delivered to it Russian Cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyev & Nikolai Budarin and returned from it US Astronaut Norm Thagard and Cosmonauts Vladimir (“Velodya”) Dezhurov (whose mother died while he was on Mir) & Gennady Strekalov.<<<

After wakeup, Gennady Padalka performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Joe Acaba, André Kuipers & Don Pettit completed their weekly post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 11th for Joe, the 50th for Don & André. [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-6 Pettit performed an early-morning inspection on the proper auto-operation of the camera of the running MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity) experiment, changing camera batteries and checking whether the camera’s counter display is incrementing.  Later in the day, Don closed down and stowed the MFMG payload.      [Goal of MFMG is to determine if interfacial phenomena seen with immiscible fluids can be seen with miscible fluids in micro-G.  Honey and water are used as the fluids, and a blob of dyed water was injected into honey. The drop of water was then imaged for several hours to determine if the water assumes a spherical shape as would be observed for immiscible fluids.  See also yesterday’s Background description.]

With the protective shutters of the Kibo JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Lab and Cupola windows closed by Don Pettit, Oleg Kononenko & André Kuipers prepared for Soyuz 29S undocking & deorbit on 7/1 by spending an hour in the TMA-03M/29S Descent Module (SA) on MRM1 Rassvet, supporting, at 5:49am-6:14am EDT, a ground-commanded thruster test and checkout of the Soyuz MCS (Motion Control System) SUDN Mode 2/“Docked” which included pressurization of the KDU (Combined Propulsion System) Section 2 and Tank 2, a test of the pilot’s rotational & translational hand controllers (RUD & RUO), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters while ISS was in free drift. DPO retrograde thrusters were not fired. [For the RST (rasstjkovkoy / undocking) test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 5:44am. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 1 during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) pass. Attitude control was returned to the USOS (U.S. Segment) at 6:45am.]

Next, after the CDR had activated the Soyuz 29S ASU toilet facility, André & Don joined Oleg in the Soyuz 29S Descent Module to conduct the standard 3-hr Soyuz descent drill #2, a training exercise for every crew returning on this spacecraft, supported by ground tagups. Each of the three crewmembers had three runs. Results of the exercise, which strictly forbids any command activation (except for switching the InPU display on the Neptun-ME console), were subsequently reported to ground control at TsUP/Moscow. Return equipment list and stowage were also discussed with the ground. [The session included a review of the pertinent ODFs (operational data files), specifically the books on Soyuz Ascent & Descent Procedures, Emergency Descents, and Off-Nominal Situations, crew responsibilities when executing the flight program, visual crew recognition of SUS (Entry Control System) failures, spacesuit procedures, etc., with special emphasis on operations with the Neptune-ME cockpit console. The training uses a Descent Simulator application (Trenasher Spusk =descent trainer”) on the RSK1 laptop. 29S will undock from MRM1 on 7/1 at ~12:48am EDT (DO14) and land in Kazakhstan at ~4:14am EDT (~11:14am Moscow/DMT; ~2:14pm local Kazakhstan time), ~218 km from Dzhezkazghan.]

Meanwhile, Gennady, Sergei & Joe teamed up for the standard one-hour Crew Emergency Roles & Responsibilities Review (peredacha smeniy po bezopasnosti), to familiarize themselves with their new emergency roles & responsibilities as Expedition 32 three-person crew, including escape routes. [Baseline emergency response actions are covered in the EMER-1 book. Emergencies may arise due to ammonia (NH3) leak, non-ammonia toxic spills, fire or rapid depressurization, and one or more members of the 30S crew could become incapacitated during such an emergency response.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-6 Pettit worked on the PWS (Portable Workstation) laptops, shutting down PWS-2 and rebooting PWS-1.      [If PWS-1 failed to reboot and reconnect, COL-CC (Control Center) was to provide further troubleshooting advice.]

With the KPT-2 TTM battery freshly charged overnight, Gennady & Sergei used the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments, with Piren-V and TTM-2, for another 2h session of conducting air temperature and humidity monitoring, today behind SM panels 247, 249, 251, 241 & 244, to populate the mapped RS (Russian Segment) database. [KPT-2 monitors problem areas, necessary to predict shell micro-destruction rate and to develop measures to extend station life. Data are copied to the RSE1 laptop for downlink to Earth via OCA, with photographs, and the activities are supported by ground specialist tagup as required. Objective of the Russian KPT-2/BAR science payload is to measure environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, air flow rate) and module shell surface temperatures behind RS panels and other areas susceptible to possible micro-destruction (corrosion), before and after insolation (day vs. night). Piren-V is a video-endoscope with pyrosensor, part of the methods & means being used on ISS for detecting tiny leaks in ISS modules which could lead to cabin depressurization. Besides KPT-2 Piren-V, 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-1) to determine environmental data in specific locations and at specific times. Activities include documentary photography with the NIKON D2X camera and flash.]

Gennady Padalka collected the “3-days-prior-to-landing” condensate water (KAV) sample in the SM from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor (Water Recovery System), taking it upstream of the FGS gas/liquid mixture filter/separator and the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit. FE-1 then removed sampler & separator and disposed of flush water.  (Deferred yesterday).

After reviewing Robonaut procedures and instructional video, FE-3 Acaba supported today’s activities with the first “human-like” robot in space, first setting up the Node-2 camcorder and MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) for coverage, then powering on Robonaut and executing scripts to manipulate items on Taskboard Panel B, followed by an initial test of the machine vision software. Afterwards, Joe powered the robot down, but left it assembled overnight for tomorrow’s activities.

FE-6 Pettit had another ~45 min for performing the continuing preventive inspection & cleaning of accessible AR (Atmosphere Revitalization) system bacteria filters in Node-1, Node-2 & Node-3. [No photo documentation required.]

In the MRM2 module, with FE-2 Revin taking documentary photography, Padalka set up the Russian BTKh-35 MEMBRANA (Membrane) biotechnology payload, unstowing and installing its thermostatic container with Kit #1, then activating the heating cycle.  Afterwards Gennady removed the Kit #1 sample capsules from the thermostatic-controlled container for storage and closed out the equipment. [Objective of Membrane: Study of new technological capabilities to generate a porous structure with a high degree of uniformity of spatial distribution and working pore sizes based on the convection-turbulent-free process of phase changes in microgravity in a polymer solution. Expected outcome is the production of porous polymeric materials. These are filtering elements, membranes, sorbents having a high degree of structural homogeneity of working pores, acting as "molecular sieves" and possessing the improved selectivity characteristics (selective rejection) when they are used in the separation processes of complex mixtures of macromolecules. An example would be during extraction of valuable organic and bioorganic preparations in ground-based production.]

With Gennady taking documentary photography, Sergei configured the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, then conducted the 1h 15m session, his 2nd, which forbids moving or talking during data recording. The experiment is controlled from the RSE-med A31p laptop and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure.  The experiment was then closed out and the test data were downlinked via OCA. [PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) attempts to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember’s electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.]

In the JAXA Kibo laboratory, Joe Acaba performed troubleshooting on the TCA L PPA (Thermal Control Assembly for Low Temperature Loop / Pump Package Assembly), first disengaging cabin ducts and rotating the ECLSS/TCS1 (Environment Control & Life Support System/Thermal Control System 1) rack down with Don Pettit’s assistance, then performing electrical resistance (continuity) measurements to locate the shorted circuit in the power feed path from the TCS1’s PDB (Power Distribution Box) to TCA L PPA.

In preparation for upcoming sessions with the Russian MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, CDR Kononenko initiated charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP) and set up the refrigerator.  FE-1 took documentary photography. [The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies. Because the Ecosphere battery can only support 10 air samples on one charge at one given time, the sample collection must be performed in two stages.]

FE-1 took care of 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.]

FE-2 conducted 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).

The 29S crew, Kononenko, Pettit & Kuipers, had another hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which are standard pre-return procedures for crewmembers.

FE-1, FE-2, FE-3, FE-5 & FE-6 had their PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sergei’s, at ~4:30am, & Gennady’s, at ~5:25am, focused on their physical exercise regime, André’s PMC, at ~1:40pm, & Don’s PMC, at ~8:45am,  dealt with their upcoming descent, and Joe’s, at ~8:05am, was the regular weekly PMC.

At ~7:40am EDT, the three Russian crewmembers supported a Russian PAO TV downlink, transmitting TV messages of greetings to three events.        [(1) 10th Rally of Culture/Art Professionals in the “Crane Gatherings-2012” jubilee taking place from 6/29 through 7/1 at the Gorky Leninskiye country estate grounds, an event packed with various cultural and sporting events.  (2) The 6th Inter-Regional Economic Forum "Samara Initiative: Cluster-Based Policy is the Foundation of National Economy”, to be held 7/5-6 in the Samara Region (the Forum is the main public event in a cluster-based policy in the Russian Federation, an effective communication platform for a professional discussion of relevant issues in development of nationally and inter-regionally significant innovative geographical clusters).   (3) To legendary test-pilot Lt-Gen. Stepan Anastasovich Mikoyan on his 90th birthday on 7/12, at a celebratory event hosted by Kachin military school veterans on Poklonnaya Gora (S. A. Mikoyan is a prominent Soviet Air Force pilot -- and son of longtime Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan -- a man dedicated to flying, first in defense of the Soviet Union in World War II, and later testing a new generation of Russian jet fighters during the Korean and Vietnam wars and throughout the Cold War period.  Mikoyan's flying career began in 1941 when, after graduating from the Kacha Military Aviation Fighter-Pilot School, he joined the 11th Fighter Regiment in the defense of Moscow and Stalingrad.  After World War II he studied at the Military Aviation Engineering Academy and became a test-pilot at the Research Flight-Test Institute of the Soviet Air Force, testing such early jet fighters as the MiG 15 and 17, analyzing their combat worthiness in comparison to the West's Sabre and other new designs.  Beginning in 1959 he headed the fighter testing division of the Institute and in 1965 he became the Institute's second-in-command.]

The crew worked out with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-3), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR/2x, FE-1, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5, FE-6), and VELO bike ergometer with load trainer (FE-1, FE-2).   [FE-6 is on the special experimental SPRINT protocol which diverts from the regular 2.5 hrs per day exercise regime and introduces special daily sessions involving resistive and aerobic (interval & continuous) exercise, followed by a USND (Ultrasound) leg muscle self scan in COL. 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. 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.  Today’s exercise called for ARED+T2 (resistive+aerobic/continuous), with CEVIS (aerobic/interval) following tomorrow.]

Tasks listed for Kononenko, Revin & Padalka on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
  • A ~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, and
  • 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).

Update on 800A Battery TLM Cables:  Ground evaluation of the documentary photos taken by Kononenko yesterday of the BITS2-12 telemetry cable behind SM panels 226 & 227 showed that the telemetry cable branches are undamaged.  At the opening of the panel, the 800A main battery temperature control sensors started reading nominally again.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Athens, Greece (Capital Cities Collection: The capital of Greece is an ancient city that dominates the south coast of region known as Attica in the southeastern part of the mainland.  As ISS approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to look right of track for this target.  ISS had a mid-afternoon pass in clear weather over this sprawling urban area of more than 3 million), Lagoon of Venice (ISS had a mid-afternoon, nadir pass over the Lagoon of Venice in clear weather.  The lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea, and holds the historic city of Venice.  The combination of both regional land subsidence and recent slight rises in sea level pose a significant threat to this city over time.  As ISS tracked NE over northern Italy, the crew was to shoot nadir to capture long lens shots and mapping strips of the lagoon.  CEO is interested in ISS imagery to monitor the effects these two threats have had over the years), Ljubljana, Slovenia (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a mid-afternoon pass over the capital city of Slovenia with fair weather expected.  Ljubljana is located in the center of the country in the Ljubljana Basin and has a population of about 272,000.  As ISS tracked over northern Italy and the Lagoon of Venice, the crew looked nadir to capture context views of this capital city), Ubinas Volcano, Peru (ISS had a mid-morning pass in clear weather with this target.  At this time as the crew tracked northeastward over the coastline of Peru, they were to begin looking just right of track for this target.  Ubinas is easier to spot than many Andean volcanoes as it is an isolated peak lying on the flank of a very large canyon.  Requested were detailed, overlapping frames of the volcano summit and flanks.  The caldera contains an ash cone, and debris avalanche deposits extending 10 km from the southeast flank of the volcano), Chihuahuan & Big Bend Deserts, Rio Grande (this is an international wildlife preservation site, where many endemic animal and plant species have created niches in a harsh desert environment.  As the crew approached from the SW, they were to try spotting the Rio Grande River and try for a mapping strip along the most visible course of the river itself), and Brent Impact Crater, Ontario, Canada (Terrestrial Impact Craters: This target is located in southeastern Ontario and just east of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  ISS approach was in mid-afternoon from the SW in fair weather.  Brent impact crater is 3.8 kilometers in diameter and is one of the older craters, dated at approximately 396 million years.  As with many craters in Canada, this one is highlighted by lakes that partially fill the crater.  Looking slightly right of nadir using a long lens to capture this impact crater.  Recent satellite imagery suggests that there may still be ice on the lakes in this area).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 11:58am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 399.7 km
Apogee height – 405.5 km
Perigee height – 394.0 km
Period -- 92.56 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0008468
Solar Beta Angle -- 1.4 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.56
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 57 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 77,964
Time in orbit (station) -- 4968 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4255 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/29S undock/landing -- 12:48am EDT; land ~4:14am (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – 10:40:03pm EDT  -- S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking -- ~12:50am EDT
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/20/12 -- HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock
07/24/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking
07/27/12 -- HTV3 docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking/deorbit
07/31/12 -- Progress M16M/48P launch
08/02/12 -- Progress M16M/48P docking
08/16/12 -- Russian EVA-31
08/30/12 -- US EVA-18
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/15/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin
10/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/01/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
11/03/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/12/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
12/05/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/07/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
12/26/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
12/28/12 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
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-------------