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August 15, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/15/12

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

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

The CDR also conducted the periodic checkup of the circuit breakers & fuses in the MRM1 Rassvet & MRM2 Poisk modules. [The monthly checkup in DC1, MRM1 & MRM2 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36. MRM2 & MRM1 were derived from the DC1 concept and are very similar to it.]

Upon wakeup, FE-3 Joe Acaba, FE-5 Sunita Williams & FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide completed their weekly post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 29th for Joe, the 8th for Suni & Aki. [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-2 Sergei Revin performed the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways. [Inspected IP-1s are in the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Tunnel)–RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Compartment)–RO, PkhO–DC1, PkhO–FGB PGO, PkhO-MRM2, FGB GA-MRM1, FGB PGO–FGB GA, and FGB GA–Node-1.]

FE-4 Yuri Malenchenko undertook his first MBI-24 “SPRUT-2” (“Squid-2”) tests, part of Russian medical research on the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity, preceded by PZEh-MO-8 BMM (body mass measurement) using the IM device. Sergei shot documentary photography. [Supported by the RSS-Med A31p laptop with new software (Vers. 1.6) in the SM, the test uses the Profilaktika kit, with data recorded on PCMCIA memory cards, along with Yuri’s body mass values and earlier recorded MO-10 Hematocrit value, but skipping “fat fold” measurements. Experiment requisites are the Sprut securing harness, skin electrodes (cuffs), and RSS-Med for control and data storage. The “Pinguin” suit or Braslet-M cuffs, if worn, have to be taken off first. Electrode measurements are recorded at complete rest and relaxed body position. The actual recording takes 3-5 minutes, during which the patient has to remain at complete rest.]

FE-5 Williams conducted the approximately weekly WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose.   [After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Next, Williams performed the periodic water sample collecting in Node-3, taking 3 samples from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Ambient port for microbial inflight & TOCA analysis plus an archival post-flight sample for return on Soyuz 30S. [From Ambient: 1 TOCA in-flight sample (250 mL), 1 post-flight sample (500 mL), 1 microbial in-flight sample (125 mL), and 1 iodine in-flight sample (75 mL). The in-flight samples were subsequently 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.]

Acaba meanwhile had ~2 hrs set aside for using the US SLM (Sound Level Meter) instrument to conduct the periodic noise level measurements survey in the station interior.  The data were then downloaded to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer).    [A total of 66 acoustic measurements were to be obtained, specifically at 10 locations in the Lab, with WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) turned off, 12 locations in the SM, 5 in the JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), 1 in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), 10 in Node-2, 8 in Node-3, 2 in MRM1, 1 in MRM1, 2 in Node-1, 1 in PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module), 4 in ATV3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3), 3 in HTV3 (H-II Transfer Vehicle 3), 3 in Soyuz 30S (docked at MRM2 zenith port), 3 in Soyuz 31S (docked at MRM1 nadir port). The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) data dump or via OCA.  No exercise was allowed during the SLM survey, to avoid corrupting the acoustic measurements],

Later, Joe worked in the galley, resetting the circuit breaker for the “Filter Replace” light of the PWD.       [The Filter Replace light will cause the PWD to stop dispensing when its throughput equals 3182 lbs (estimated to reach this limit on 8/19).]

Williams performed her 2nd (FD30) ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Resting Echo Scan, assisted by Hoshide, serving as Operator/CMO (Crew Medical Officer) operating the USND (Ultrasound) scans after setting up the equipment and powering it on. Suni later downloaded the data and restowed the gear. Vessel Imaging was not performed today. [Wearing electrodes, ECG (Electrocardiograph) cable & VOX, Sunita underwent the USND scan for ICV assessment, with video being recorded from the HRF (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound and COL cabin camera. Heart rate was tracked with the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor). There are dietary constraints, and no exercise is allowed 4 hrs prior to scan. After confirmed file transfer, the gear was powered down and stowed. Later, the data from the two HM-2 (Holter Monitor 2) HiFi Cards and two Actiwatch Spectrums were transferred from the USND-2 (Ultrasound 2) hard drive to the USND-2 USB drive. Voice required last 5 minutes for crew to inform ground copy process is complete. The USND echo experiment uses the Image Collector software on the laptop and requires VOX/Voice plus RT Video downlink during the activity. Goal of the ICV experiment is to quantify the extent, time course, and clinical significance of cardiac atrophy and identify its mechanisms. The ICV experiment consists of two separate but related activities over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD14, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there are fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months).]

Sunita also conducted the 11th onboard JAXA HAIR experiment, collecting hair samples from Aki Hoshide, then inserting them into MELFI-1 set at -95 degC and closing out the activity.

Afterwards, Aki unstowed the Pro K pH kit and prepositioned it with controlled diet menu items and daily consumables in preparation for his upcoming 2nd (FD30) Pro K Controlled Diet activity, starting tomorrow with the first pH test and diet log entry. [For the Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) protocol, there are 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. 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. Background on pH: In chemistry, pH (Potential Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a watery solution. Pure water is neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at 25 degC. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are “acidic” and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are “basic” or “alkaline”. pH measurements are important in medicine, biology, chemistry, agriculture, forestry, food science, environmental science, oceanography, civil engineers and many others.]

Meanwhile, CDR Padalka & FE-4 Malenchenko pressed on with their preparations for EVA-31 on 8/20 (Monday), to be preceded by the usual spacewalk dry run on 8/17 (Friday).

Sunita Williams worked with Gennady & Yuri on installing REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery)-powered US EHIP (Extravehicular Mobility Helmet Interchangeable Portable) lights and the WVS (Wireless Video System) camera on the Russian Orlan-MK spacesuits.

Other tasks preparatory to the spacewalk conducted by Padalka & Malenchenko in the DC-1, with STTS comm configured for crew presence, included –
  • Setting up, with Suni’s help, the NASA gear to be used on the Orlan-MKs,
  • Configuring & staging four EVA medical kits,
  • Readying Orlan BRTK “Korona” and BSS (EVA Interface Unit) comm and telemetry equipment,
  • Setting up, running voice checks and testing biomedical parameter acquisition of the BETA-08 data output device (ISU) using the “Gamma-1M” med complex from the PKO med exam panel,
  • Installing Orlan-MK attached hardware (OTA) and taking photos of the outfitted Orlans for downlink [OTA equipment includes: right-hand swing arm with tool caddy, small trash bag, wire ties, tethers, camera, wrench and cutters],
  • Installing the portable O2 repress tank (BNP) in the RO Work Compartment, and
  • Resetting the STTS comm system in DC1 to nominal.

Later, Gennady, Yuri & Aki jointly reviewed DC1 airlock procedures from RODF (Russian Operations Data File) and tagged up with ground specialist via S-band.

Sergei Revin finished up on preparing the Progress M-16M/48P cargo ship at the DC1 nadir port for undocking if required in an EVA-31 ingress contingency. Steps included –
  • Installing the docking mechanism (StM, Stykovochnovo mekhanizma) between the cargo ship and the DC1 nadir port;  [the StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress' cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB, MRM2 and DC1],
  • Activating the spacecraft’s electronics and taking out the ventilation/heating air duct;
  • Closing the hatches;
  • Removing the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) which rigidized the joint,
  • Starting the standard one-hour leak checking of the SU docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC1, and
  • Downlinking Sergei’s formal report on loading completion and the video depicting the close-out activities, for review by ground specialists. [During hatch closure, leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters were inhibited due to load constraints from ~5:30am – 7:30am EDT.]

Later, Revin serviced the RS (Russian Segment) radiation payload suite “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2) in the MRM1 Rassvet module, verifying proper function of the deployed radiation detectors by taking readings and checking date/time from the LULIN-5 electronics box located near the spherical “phantom”, then replacing the dosimeters. The completed registration document was loaded on the RSS2 laptop for transmittal through the high-speed RSPI Data Transmission Radio Link. [A total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters (A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies.]

After configuring the Lab G1 camcorder to provide live viewing of his activity on the FIR FCF (Fluids Integrated Rack Fluid & Combustion Facility), Joe Acaba inspected and photographed the four samples (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) in the running ACE (Advanced Colloids Experiment) science payload in the FCF. [ACE is an interesting technology experiment, designed to conduct high magnification colloid experiments with the LMM (Light Microscopy Module).  The earlier onboard experiments PACE (Preliminary ACE) used the PACE LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Base to allow illumination from below the samples (or trans-illumination) to allow the ground to use the LMM microscope to examine tissue and particle samples and also characterize the microscope for the current ACE. 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.]

Later, Joe downloaded the accumulated data from Suni’s recent (8/12) 2nd 24-hr ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) Ambulatory Monitoring session from two Actiwatch Spectrums and two HM2 HiFi CF Cards to the HRF PC1 (Human Research Facility Portable Computer 1). The laptop was then powered off. [For the ICV Ambulatory Monitoring session, during the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute). After 24 hrs, the Cardiopres/BP is doffed and the HM2 HiFi CF Card and AA Battery are changed out to allow continuation of the session for another 24 hours, with the Makita batteries switched as required. After data collection is complete, the Actiwatches and both HM2 HiFi CF Cards are downloaded to the HRF PC1, while Cardiopres data are downloaded to the EPM (European Physiology Module) Rack and transferred to the HRF PC1 via a USB key for downlink.]

Acaba also conducted periodic maintenance of the ARED advanced resistive exercise machine, evacuating its cylinder flywheels to reestablish proper vacuum condition & sensor calibration.

FE-6 Hoshide printed out 35-page copies of uplinked EVA-18 procedures for an upcoming procedures review by crew and ground personnel.      [EVA-18 is scheduled on 8/30.]

FE-2 Revin completed 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.]

Sergei 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)

Later, FE-2 completed the periodic routine maintenance in the SM’s ASU toilette facility, replacing the filter insert (F-V) and the urine receptacle (MP) with new spares.

In the Lab, FE-5 Williams worked on MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS 3) at loc. S1, installing an EU (Electronic Unit) in the location on the MELFI rack for the spare unit.

Before sleeptime, Akihiko will start the 2nd session with the ESA/German experiment CRHYT (Circadian Rhythms), instrumenting himself with the Thermolab Double Sensors, mounting the Thermolab Control Unit in the belt, then connecting & powering on the control unit for the next 36 hours during which the equipment is worn. [The main objective of the experiment is to get a better basic understanding of any alterations in circadian rhythms in humans during long-term space flights. Such knowledge will not only provide important insights into the adaptations of the human autonomic nervous system in space over time, but also has significant practical implications by helping to improve physical exercise, rest- and work shifts as well as fostering adequate workplace illumination in the sense of occupational healthcare in future space missions. The Circadian Rhythms experiment is performed over 3 days (from Day 1 to Day 3) and involves: Instrumentation (Day 1); 36-hrs continuous measurement (Day 1 + 2 + 3), and De-instrumentation (Day 3). On-orbit measurements are planned for FD 15, FD30 and then at 30 day intervals until return. During day 1, the instrumentation is performed late in the afternoon. This consists of donning the Thermolab Double Sensors at the forehead and sternum positions. By powering on the Thermolab Control Unit the 36 hours measurement is started. During day 2, the Thermolab Control Unit will measure throughout the day. No interaction is required other than confirming the Thermolab Control Unit is measuring by checking the display from time to time.

Padalka & Malenchenko completed another collection session each 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. It was Gennady’s 7th time, Yuri’s 2nd time. [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.]

Acaba, Hoshide & Williams took turns as subjects for ocular research with the PanOptic eye test which requires application of eye drops (Tropicamide [Mydriacyl]) causing eye dilation for subsequent ophthalmic examination, performed by the three crewmembers on each other as operator with an ophthalmoscope. Aki was CMO (Crew Medical Officer)/Operator for Joe and for Suni, and the latter acted as CMO for Aki. 2nd time for Joe, first for Aki & Suni.  The procedure was transmitted to the ground via MPC. [The procedure, guided by special software on the T61p RoBOT laptop (#1026), captures still & video images of the eye, including the posterior poles, macula & optic disc with the optic nerve, for downlink and expert analysis. Prior to the test, Joe set up the equipment including video camera and afterwards downloaded the data, then disassembled & stowed the gear.]

FE-3 & FE-5 had their regular weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Joe at ~10:45am, Sunita at ~11:45am EDT.

At ~4:05am, Aki conducted the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

At ~4:30pm, the six crewmembers will have their weekly teleconference with ISS Program Management at JSC/Houston via Ku-band/video & S-band/audio.

Before Presleep, FE-3 Acaba turns 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 on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (FE-2, FE-3, FE-5), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR, FE-4). [FE-5 & FE-6 are 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 Thursday (FE-6) or Friday (FE-5). If any day is not completed, Suni & Aki pick up where they left off, i.e., they would be finishing out the week with the last day of exercise on theirs off day.  Today’s exercise for FE-6 was T2 (aerobic 4 min), with none on Thursday; for FE-5: today ARED/CEVIS (resistive/aerobic continuous) and T2 (aerobic 4 min.) tomorrow.]

ISS/ATV Reboost Update:   Today’s reboost at 12:00pm EDT using the ATV3 OCS thrusters was terminated prematurely,- after a burn time of ~22m 30s instead of 31m 16s.  Preliminary assessment shows an achieved delta-V of 2.91 m/s instead of 4.4 m/s.  The event is currently being investigated by ATV engineers, and further results were not yet available at this time.    [The reboost was intended as a part of the altitude strategy to utilize propellant delivered by ATV3, as well as to begin setting up the phasing conditions for the Soyuz 30S landing in mid-September.]

Tasks listed for Revin, Malenchenko & 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).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Harare, Zimbabwe (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION:  Looking left for this capital city of 1.8 million [greater Harare 2.8 million]. Cincinnati is its US twin city), Lilongwe, Malawi (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION:  Looking left of track in partly cloudy weather for this hard-to-see capital city of nearly 1 million. Lilongwe is located between Lake Malawi and a prominent forest margin), and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (looking left for Guanabara Bay, the major visual cue, with Rio de Janeiro to its west. Rio’s airport is located on the large island in the bay. Imaging opportunity existed between cloud masses).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
08/20/12 -- Russian EVA-31
08/30/12 -- US EVA-18
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/08/12 -- HTV3 reentry
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-------------
12/25/12 -- Progress M-16M/48P undocking
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-------------