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July 04, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 07/04/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. U.S. Independence Day.

Joe Acaba completed his (currently daily) sleep-shift session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, his 17th time. [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.]

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

FE-2 Revin & CDR Padalka had ~30 min set aside for a joint familiarization review of installation procedures for the new Russian SUBA BKIPN Payload Interface Control Unit/computer which will replace the BSMM Payload Matching Unit (Multiplex Bus Synchronization Unit) in the SM, and readying of tools & equipment for the IFM (Inflight Maintenance) which is scheduled tomorrow. [Since the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and VD-SU control mode will be turned off for the IFM, the following equipment must be deactivated to avoid operation in the absence of real-time telemetry: 1. Elektron (shutdown by crew or ground). 2. SKV air conditioning system (shutdown by crew or ground). 3. Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal unit (no telemetry if in automatic mode, no impact if in manual mode). 4. BMP micropurification unit (automatic shutdown). 5. SRV-K condensate water processor (can be shut down by crew or ground, usually not required). 6. BRI data conversion unit (smart router) is power cycled when VD-SU mode is cycled. 7. Due to the lack of telemetry, there is no dP/dt (pressure drop) detection in the RS. 8. Fire & smoke alarms (audio only) will annunciate onboard in the SM through the PSS (Caution & Warning) panel speaker. 9. Total pressure alarms (audio only) will annunciate onboard in the SM through the PSS speaker.]

Afterwards, Padalka 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.]

At ~10:10am, Joe Acaba powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 10:20am conducted a ham radio session with participants at the Cirqiniq Summer Camp, Kuujjuaq, Quebec (Nunavik), Canada.

Before Presleep, Acaba 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, Joe turns 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 TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-3), and VELO cycle ergometer with load trainer (CDR).

Tasks listed for 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).

JAXA Marangoni Experiment: The crew was advised of another Marangoni bridge building event tonight (7:00pm-1:00am), the 4th in 14 planned bridge buildings in Increment 31/32. The experiment is performed in the Kibo JPM during crew sleep (since the liquid bridge to be formed is sensitive to g-jitter), 4 days/week at most and 14 runs in total. After the liquid bridge has been formed, the ground imposes a temperature gradient on it to produce Marangoni convection. The crew, which will be informed regularly, has been asked to avoid any disturbances in this timeframe. Even disturbances in other modules can be transmitted and cause the liquid bridge in JPM to break up, resulting in science loss.

Progress 48P 4-Orbit Rendezvous: Plans are underway at TsUP-Moscow to attempt the upcoming resupply flight of Progress M-16M/48P (#416) with a new mission profile involving only 4 catch-up orbits around the Earth instead of the usual 34 orbits. If successful, this would save about 45 hrs (see launch/docking times, below). If after launch the mission profile is transitioned from 4 hrs to 34 hrs, docking time would change to the latter profile.

CEO targets uplinked for today were Aral Sea (the Aral Sea basins in southwestern Asia once contained the world’s fourth largest lake, but since the 1960’s the surface area [26,300 sq mi] has shrunk to just 10% of its original size due to diversions of its water inflow sources for large-scale irrigation projects. ISS had a fine, mid-afternoon pass in fair weather with much of what remains of this shrinking lake to the right of track. At this time, trying for contextual, short lens views of this target area to document the current state of the ongoing changes), Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala (ISS had a fair-weather nadir-viewing overpass of this large stratovolcano. A large crater on the SW flank of the volcano was caused by a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The most recent eruptive activity occurred in April of 2010. At this time as ISS tracked northeastward and approached the coast, the crew was to look just inland and try for overlapping mapping frames of the volcano - particularly of the Santiaguito lava dome on the southwestern flank), Sofia, Bulgaria (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: The Bulgarian capital city of Sofia is located in the western part of the country in a broad valley of the Balkan Mountains. ISS had a mid-afternoon pass with clear weather and approach from the WNW. At this time, as the crew tracked SE over the Balkan Peninsula, they were to look towards nadir for this metropolitan area of nearly 2 million, trying to acquire complete views of this city within a single frame), Andorra la Vella, Andorra (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: The capital of the tiny Co-principality of Andorra with a population of about 23,000 is situated in a small, high mountain valley of eastern Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. The near-nadir pass was in late-afternoon light with fair weather expected. Looking carefully for this small target as ISS tracked southeastward over the Pyrenees), Santa Barbara Coast, California (LONG TERM ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH SITE: ISS had a mid-morning, clear-weather pass for this target with its approach from the SW. The Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Environmental Research site is located in the coastal zone of southern California near Santa Barbara. It is bounded by the steep east-west trending Santa Ynez Mountains and coastal plain to the north and the unique Northern Channel Islands to the south. Point Conception, where the coast of California returns to a N-to-S orientation, lies at the western, and the Santa Clara River the eastern boundary. Looking near nadir and trying for a detailed mapping strip along the south-facing coast opposite the islands), and Slate Islands Impact Crater, Ontario (ISS had a midday pass for this target in fair weather with its approach from the WSW. The Slate Islands are located near the northernmost coast of Lake Superior. The islands mark the center of a 30 kilometer in diameter impact structure that was formed approximately 450 million years ago. At this time as the crew tracked along the north coast of Lake Superior, they were to look just right of track for detailed views.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
07/14/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S launch – 10:40:03pm EDT -- S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
07/17/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S docking -- ~12:50am EDT
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
07/18/12 -- ATV/ISS reboost
07/20/12 -- HTV3 launch (~10:18pm EDT)
07/22/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undock #1 ~4:22pm EDT
07/23/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P Kurs-NA Test
07/23/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P re-docking ~9:55pm EDT
07/27/12 -- HTV3 docking
07/30/12 -- Progress M-15M/47P undocking #2 ~2:11pm EDT
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P launch [4-orbit RDVZ] ~3:35pm EDT
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P launch [34-orbit RDVZ] ~3:38pm EDT
08/01/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P docking [4-orbit RDVZ] ~9:24pm EDT
08/03/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P docking [34-orbit RDVZ] ~6:14pm EDT
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-------------
09/25/12 -- ATV3 undocking
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-------------

Have a Happy & Safe Independence Day – wherever you are!