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August 23, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 08/23/12

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

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

Upon wakeup, FE-3 Acaba, FE-5 Sunita Williams & FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide completed their post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 33rd for Joe, the 14th 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.]

Before breakfast and other Postsleep activities, FE-4 Yuri Malenchenko set up the new Russian spectrometry experiment MBI-28 Xromatomass (Chromatomass) and conducted his 3rd session of collecting saliva and blood. MBI-28 was closed out afterwards.

FE-2 Revin conducted the periodic maintenance of the active Russian BMP Harmful Impurities Removal System, starting the “bake-out” cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. Sergei will terminate the process at ~5:15pm EDT. Bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. (Done last: 7/30 & 7/31). [Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hrs and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP’s regeneration cycle is normally done every 20 days.]

Revin also conducted the periodic accuracy check & calibration of seven Russian MV manual vacuum pressure gauges, four in SM, one in the MRM2 Poisk module and one each in the BO Orbital Modules of Soyuz vehicles 30S & 31S.

After disconnecting the thermostatically controlled Russian payload container TBU from its power outlet and activating instead the higher-temperature TBU-V, Sergei transferred the BTKh-26 KASKAD bioreactor from TBU (+4 degC) to TBU-V (+26 degC).� Later, before sleeptime, FE-2 will manually mix the cell culture in the bioreactor.������ [The biotechnology experiment KASKAD (Cascade) investigates cell cultivation of microorganisms, animals and human in microgravity conditions to obtain the concentrated biomass with a high content of cells providing the increased output of target bioactive substances (BAS).]

Next, Sergei 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.]

FE-3 Acaba retrieved & stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies which he had deployed on 7/21 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]

Joe also 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.

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-5 Williams turned on the ESA ERB2 (Erasmus Recording Binocular 2) system for ground-controlled operation for the next 1h 20m via Ku-band.������ [This started an internal clock in ERB-2 which shuts the system down after 80 minutes. Using the stereoscopic ERB-2, the first live 3-D video images in the 50-year history of spaceflight aboard the ISS were produced by Ron Garan in 2011, with imagery streaming live to ESA's Research & Technology Center in the Netherlands.]

Suni also worked on the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) in the US A/L (Airlock), initiating the maintenance charge/discharge cycle on the EVA batteries to be used on the upcoming EVA-18.

Then, after bypassing the A/L high-pressure O2 system to use oxygen from the low-pressure tank, Sunita installed the freshly charged LLBs (Long Life Batteries) in the EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) for EVA-18 and then prepared the A/L E-LK (Experiment Lock) and equipment for the subsequent EMU OFV (On-Orbit Fitcheck).

Later, Williams, Hoshide & Acaba had up to ~3h 45min allotted, depending on workload, for completing the EMU OFV and perform additional checkout objectives in preparation for EVA-18.����� [Task objective was to verify correct EMU sizing for Suni & Aki, including donning the biomedical equipment which, as ground analysis has suggested, may need adjustment of the generic signal conditioner.� This donning procedure was not the same as for an actual EVA since it excluded EVA-required ancillary hardware.��� Also, all workout/exercising by the crew had to be completed one hour before the OFV since spinal compression from exercise would have adversely affected the fitcheck.]

This was Day 2 of operations of Robonaut, the first “human-like” robot in space.� Joe Acaba set up the Node-2 camcorder & MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) for Lab site coverage of Robonaut operations for a live orthogonal view of the taskboard, swapped Panel B on the Taskboard with Panel A and powered up the robot for the subsequent ground-commanded operations.� Afterwards, Joe powered Robonaut down and decabled it.� He and Sunita Williams then disassembled and restowed it and the Taskboard.����� [Robonaut was in motion between ~7:25am and ~11:50am EDT.� The ground rotated the robotic manikin to face overhead, unstowed the arms, calibrated the fingers and turned Robonaut back to face the Taskboard. The ground then executed scripts to work with the various interfaces on Taskpanel A, using Robonaut’s vision recognition for the first time.]

Sergei Revin conducted the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh system’s spare AVK emergency vacuum valves, in the spare parts kit. [The AVKs are crucial because they close the Vozdukh's vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the PP absorbent cartridges.]

Later, FE-2 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.]

Sergei also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance from the discretionary “time permitting” task list, 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).

CDR Padalka concluded his 3rd session of the standard 24-hour ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps PZE MO-2-2 protocol which monitors human cardiovascular performance in the space flight environment. [After the ECG recording and blood pressure measurements with the Kardiomed system, Gennady doffed the five-electrode Holter harness that read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over the past 24 hours, recording data on the “Kardioregistrator 90205” unit. The examination results were then downloaded from the Holter ECG device to the RSE-Med laptop, controlled by the Kardiomed application. Later, the data were downlinked as a compressed .zip-file via OCA.]

FE-2 Revin started his first session of the 24-hr PZE MO-2-2 cardiovascular assessment.

Other activities completed by Sergei included –
  • Performing a refresh of the ISS cabin atmosphere with another 1-hr O2 repress from Progress M-16M/48P SRPK tankage on TsUP Go,
  • Changing out the cartridges of the four dust filters (PF1-4) in the SM and discarding the used cartridges,
  • Verifying proper function of the deployed Russian “Matryoshka-R” (RBO-3-2) radiation detectors by taking readings and checking date/time from the LULIN-5 electronics box located in the MRM1 Rassvet module near the spherical “phantom”; [a total of eight Bubble dosimeter detectors (dosimeters A41, A42, A43, A44, A45, A46, A47, A48) are deployed in the RS (Russian Segment). The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies],
  • Conducting the periodic checkout & performance verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS 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], and
  • Breaking out & readying the equipment for his, Gennady’s & Yuri’s session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), scheduled tomorrow right after wake-up; [MO-10 measures the red cell count of the blood. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time.]

In COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-6 Hoshide configured the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) hardware with power, data, front panel, and gas connections plus MBS (Mixing Bag System), and then conducted his 2nd session with the Sprint VO2max (Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake & Submaximal Estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions) assessment, including software & instrument calibrations, checking instruments, exercise protocol, cessation, and data downlink. These activities were executed several times. After the session, Akihiko powered down, cleaned up & partially stows the equipment, then downloaded the data to a PCS laptop. [The experiment Sprint VO2max 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. Sprint VO2max is a test that measures oxygen uptake, ventilatory threshold, and other physiological parameters for evaluation of Sprint exercise prescription. The in-flight exercise protocol consists of multiple stages. Both the VO2max and Sprint experiments require monthly max tests in-flight, but each use a different protocol to obtain the data. Joint VO2max/Sprint subjects use the VO2max protocol. Suni is performing the VO2max protocol, Aki the Sprint Max protocol. Suni is the last VO2max subject. Aki is the first Sprint subject not also participating in VO2max. The Sprint protocol requires less Portable PFS accessory hardware than the VO2max protocol. However, for consistency, both crew will complete the full hardware setup.]

Aki also closed the external shutters of the Lab, Node-3/Cupola & JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) to protect them during the ground-commanded robotics activities scheduled later overnight.������ [Activities will focus on the relocation of SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) with the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) from the MBS PDGF-2 (Mobile Base System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 2) to the Lab PDGF for clearance during EVA-18, followed by maneuvering the SSRMS to its translation configuration.]

Suni had a time slot/placeholder reserved for making entries in her electronic Journal on the personal SSC. [Required are three journaling sessions per week.]

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.]

Before Sleeptime, Gennady & Yuri will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start a session each with the Sonokard experiment, using a sports shirt from the Sonokard kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth.� It is Gennady’s 5th, Yuri’s 2nd MBI-12 session.� [Sonokard objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

At ~7:00am EDT, Akihiko Hoshide supported a Japanese PAO TV event, responding to interview questions from TV Asahi’s “Hodo Station” in Tokyo, Japan.

At ~8:35am, the three Russian crewmembers supported three Russian PAO TV events, downlinking messages of greetings to (1) the employees of the RussNeft oil company on the 10th Anniversary of their company in September; (2) the freshmen students of N.E. Bauman MGTU University for their rite of passage celebration on 8/30; (3) the participants in the celebrations of Day of Russian Boxing and the 20th anniversary of Russia’s Boxing Federation on 9/10 at the Krylia Sovyetov Universal Sports Center in Moscow; and (4) the opening of an exhibition in the Cultural Center of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in Vitanje, Slovenia, dedicated to the 120th birthday of Slovenian space ideologist Herman Poto�nik (pen name Hermann Noordung) who in 1929 published the book “The Problem of Space Travel – The Rocket Motor”.

At ~11:40am, Gennady, Yuri & Sergei conducted a 2nd amateur/ham radio session (after yesterday) with the participants of the International Exhibition and Conference on Innovative Information and Communication Technologies in Space Research «PeRuSAT-2012" at the National Engineering University (UNI), Lima and Cusco, Peru.����� [Based at the Peruvian National University of Engineering in Lima, the amateur radio ground station communication system was established in 2010. Teachers and students have conducted since several successful sessions with ISS.]

At ~6:00pm, during sleeptime, Joe Acaba has a 15-min CDE (Crew Discretionary Event) downlink on his schedule.

The crew worked out on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR, FE-4). [FE-6 & FE-5 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 Friday. 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 her off day.� Today, her SPRINT exercise continued with T2 (Kinematics, 2 min), with no exercise tomorrow.� While Aki was scheduled for SPRINT VO2max today, he will work out tomorrow on ARED (resistive)/T2 (aerobic continuous).]

Sunita Williams conducted today’s SPRINT session on the T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill with the Treadmill Kinematics protocol, her 2nd time, setting up the HD camcorder in Node-1, placing tape markers on her body, recording a calibration card in the FOV (Field of View) and then conducting the workout run within a specified speed range. The video was later downlinked by Suni via MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter). [Purpose of the Kinematics T2 experiment is to collect quantitative data by motion capture from which to assess current exercise prescriptions for participating ISS crewmembers. Detailed biomechanical analyses of locomotion will be used to determine if biomechanics differ between normal and microgravity environments and to determine how combinations of external loads and exercise speed influence joint loading during in-flight treadmill exercise. Such biomechanical analyses will aid in understanding potential differences in gait motion and allow for model-based determination of joint & muscle forces during exercise. The data will be used to characterize differences in specific bone and muscle loading during locomotion in the two gravitational conditions. By understanding these mechanisms, appropriate exercise prescriptions can be developed that address deficiencies.]
Plaque Hanging: At 3:30pm EDT, the traditional official plaque hanging will take place in ISS Mission Control/Houston for the Inc-31 Plaque with crew participation.

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 10:41am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 416.5 km
Apogee height – 426.6 km
Perigee height – 406.4 km
Period -- 92.90 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.001486
Solar Beta Angle -- 4.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 78,850
Time in orbit (station) -- 5025 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4312 days.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Kunene River Fan, Namibia (looking left for a mapping strip of this fan which appears as a broad plain crossed by numerous old river channels.� The channels are ancient courses of the Kunene River when it flowed inland in the recent geological past.� The Kunene now flows to the Atlantic Ocean. Extensive fans such as this are a possible analog for features seen on Mars), Beirut, Lebanon (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION:� Looking right on the coast, on a major promontory. This capital city has a population of over 2 million), Yerevan, Armenia (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION:� Looking right.� The Armenian capital of just over 1 million is located in a major agricultural valley between Mount Ararat, the uptrack visual cue, and Lake Sevan), Pilcomayo River Fan, Argentina-Paraguay (shooting obliques left of track. Despite strong flow, all water and sediment from the Pilcomayo River is deposited on the fan, with none exiting to the regional river [Parana River].� This retention of all discharge on land [with none reaching the ocean] may result from a recent tectonic downwarp producing a depression in the middle of the target area), and Bern, Switzerland (CAPITAL CITIES COLLECTION:� Looking left as ISS tracked down the spine of the Alps for this seldom photographed capital.� Visual cues are two lakes uptrack. This small city of 125,000 lies in the valley of the Aare River).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
08/30/12 -- US EVA-18
09/06/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/08/12 -- HTV3 reentry
09/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing – 5:56pm/9:20pm
(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-------------