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August 16, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/16/12

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.

FE-6 Hoshide began his 2nd (FD30) suite of sessions with the controlled Pro K diet protocol (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 after start of collections. After recording his diet input today, Akihiko will start the urine collections for pH value on Monday (8/20) and blood sampling on Tuesday (8/21). [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.]

FE-2 Revin performed standard service on the running experiment TEKh-22 “Identifikatsiya” (Identification) in MRM1 by downloading the new batch of structural dynamics measurements of the IMU-Ts microaccelerometer to the RSE1 laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [IMU-Ts is a part of the MRM1 SBI onboard measurement system, installed in PGO behind panel 104.]

After visually inspecting & activating the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility (later deactivating it), FE-3 Acaba adjusted the video camera and then started another session with the BASS (Burning and Suppression of Solids) experiment, conducting a single flame test run on a sample, and performing a fan calibration to evaluate the air flow with the new fan flow constrictor installed. [BASS uses SLICE equipment but burns solid fuel samples instead of gaseous jets. Sample will either be ignited one time and then replaced with a new one, or burn multiple times. The four servicing procedures, ops prep, BASS ops, BASS fan calibration & BASS videotape exchange, are now no longer listed separately on the crew timeline but consolidated in one activity. BASS examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. It will also guide strategies for extinguishing accidental fires in micro-G. Results will contribute to the combustion computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems in space and on Earth.]

FE-5 Williams performed regular extended IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), changing out its UR (Urine Receptacle) hose and IF (Insert Filter) with associated air hose, then vacuumed the entire WHC and cleaned it with disinfectant wipes and Braycote-601 lubricant. [Suni reported much “gooey & foamy stuff” before cleaning. The old items were double-bagged and stowed for disposal.]

Later, Williams prepared the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) in the Lab for payload use and then had ~4 hrs set aside for exchanging two cameras on the InSPACE-3 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment’s Optics Assembly, replacing them with MSG video cameras. [The InSPACE-3 experiment, assigned to Suni Williams & Joe Acaba, continues the earlier InSPACE-2 studies to determine the lowest energy configurations of the three dimensional structures of a magnetorheological (MR) fluid under the influence of pulsed magnetic fields. Purpose of the InSPACE micro-G investigations is to obtain fundamental data of the complex properties of an exciting class of smart materials termed magnetorheological (MR) fluids. MR fluids are suspensions of small (micron-sized) superparamagnetic particles in a nonmagnetic medium. These controllable fluids can quickly transition into a nearly solidlike state when exposed to a magnetic field and return to their original liquid state when the magnetic field is removed. Their relative stiffness can be controlled by controlling the strength of the magnetic field. Due to the rapid-response interface that they provide between mechanical components and electronic controls, MR fluids can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions, robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damping systems].

FE-6 Hoshide worked on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack). After configuring the Lab video camcorder for live monitoring of his activities on the Node-1 side of CIR, FE-6 opened both rack doors and replaced an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) in the CIR FCF (Fluid & Combustion Facility) I/O Processor (i.e., the CIR’s main software controller), afterwards closing the lower/upper doors, turning two switches on and notifying POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)/Huntsville) that the rack was prepared for command on RPC (Remote Power Controller).

Acaba activated the pumping equipment for transferring water from CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodinated) to the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) Potable Water tank using a “tee” hose and a fresh MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge as gas trap. [During the day, Joe checked transfer progress and purged gas from the MRF to allow water to flow from CWC-I to the Potable Water tank. Several hours later, Acaba terminated the procedure and left the equipment intact for subsequent use.]

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-Uurine containers and filling EDV-SV, KOV (for Elektron), EDV-ZV & EDV on RP flow regulator.]

FE-2 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, Sergei Revin conducted another 3-hr session with the KPT-2 payload suite of BAR science instruments, today using the AU-I Ultrasound Analyzer and ТТМ-2 Anemometer-Thermometer to conduct temperature and humidity monitoring of the ventilation system air flow and measure the noise level in the location of the Flow Indicator voltage convertor area. [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.]

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 tomorrow (8/17).

Pre-spacewalk activities performed by Padalka & Malenchenko in the DC-1, with STTS comm configured for crew presence, included –
  • Checking out the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) model of EVA-31,
  • Configuring the SM PkhO Transfer Compartment prior to tomorrow’s pressurized Orlan-MK suited translation training,
  • Transferring the two pressurized Orlan-MK spacesuits to PkhO with Revin’s help
  • Simulating opening & closing of the PkhO cone with the hatch tool,
  • Configuring PkhO to the initial state after the EVA training,
  • Re-filling & installing Orlan-MK drink bags,
  • Configuring the EVA Medical Kits (preparing the NP-2 Emergency First Aid Medical Kit, the SSCardiovascular Remedies Kit and the Replacement pack and setting them up in PkhO), and
  • Retrieving & gathering tools and equipment required for the spacewalk, with documentary photography.

At ~3:30am EDT, the six crewmembers assembled for an EVA-31 Safety Briefing, discussing critical details of the upcoming Russian spacewalk from the DC-1 Docking Compartment by Padalka & Malenchenko. The fact that the Soyuz 31S crew (Suni & Aki) will be isolated from the FGB forward to the US Segment, leaving them without an ISS CDR, requires some strategic considerations for emergency response. The 30S crew (Sergei & Joe) will be isolated in the MRM-2 Poisk with access to 30S. [Existing procedures are valid for all emergency cases. Variations of technique are required, but no modifications are necessary to support EVAs. Primary variation is the different location of Safe Haven for both crews, i.e., MRM2 for 30S and MRM1/FGB/PMA-1 & US Segment for 31S. It was suggested to the crew that they discuss amongst themselves roles and responsibilities in the highly unlikely event that an emergency occurs during the EVA. Additionally, in the unlikely scenario that 30S must undock and land prior to the reopening of all hatches, Gennady and Suni should briefly discuss CDR, responsibilities, and expectations - especially focused on emergency response to facilitate Suni assuming the ISS CDR role.]

Yuri Malenchenko initiated (later terminated) cabin atmosphere repress with O2 (oxygen) from ATV-3 tankage.

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

Aki filled out his 4th standard FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire) on the MDLT (Medical Laptop). [On the FFQs, USOS astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MDLT software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]

At ~3:20am, FE-6 powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 4:00am conducted a ham radio session with students at Wada Elementary School, Nagawa Town, Japan.

At ~1:45pm, Aki Hoshide had his regular weekly PMC (Private Medical Conference), via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

At 2:45pm, the six crewmembers were scheduled for the weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office/CB (Peggy Whitson), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

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-3), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-5), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-2, 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-5 was T2 (aerobic 4 min.) tomorrow.]

ISS/ATV Reboost Update: Yesterday’s premature termination of the ISS reboost using ATV3 OCS thrusters continues to be under investigation. A new reboost is under consideration for 8/22. The burn was aborted after ~22m 30s instead of reaching its goal of 31m 16s. Preliminary assessment shows an achieved delta-V of 2.91 m/s instead of 4.4 m/s. [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 takingKPT-3 aerial photography of environmental conditions on Earth using the NIKON D3X camera with theRSK-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 Moroni, Comoros (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Looking left for the main island in the archipelago as ISS crossed the Mozambique Channel. This small capital city is located on the western coastline of the island of Grande Comore. Moroni has served as the capital since 1958), Beirut, Lebanon (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: Looking right for Beirut [population estimated at >2 million] on a major promontory, the crew’s main visual cue, on the Lebanese coast), andDamascus, Syria (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION: The Syrian capital [population estimated at 1.8 million] is located about 50 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea. As a relatively small capital city, the ground requested use of the 400 mm lens. Looking for this low-contrast urban area on the western edge of a dark area of intensive agriculture).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:21am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 406.7 km
Apogee height – 411.3 km
Perigee height – 402.1 km
Period -- 92.70 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006773
Solar Beta Angle -- 41.8 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.53
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 200 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 78,739
Time in orbit (station) -- 5018 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4305 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
08/20/12 -- Russian EVA-31
08/22/12 -- ISS/ATV3 Reboost-2??
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-------------