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September 04, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/04/12

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

Sleep cycle shift:  To keep solar radiation exposure from a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) tomorrow within Flight Rule allowance, EVA-19 is scheduled to begin an hour earlier than EVA-18 (i.e., at ~7:15am instead of ~8:15am EDT).  Sunita Williams (EV1), Akihiko Hoshide (EV2) & Joe Acaba (IV/SSRMS) will therefore wake up one hour earlier (1:00am, instead of 2:00am) and begin their sleep period also an hour earlier tonight (i.e., 4:30pm instead of 5:30pm.)

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

Upon wakeup, FE-3 Acaba, FE-5 Williams & FE-6 Hoshide conducted their post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 36th for Joe, the 19th time for Sunita & Akihiko. [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-4 Malenchenko performed his first session with the MBI-29 IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS) equipment, using the SALIVA-I IMMUNO kit and the Reflotron-4 analyzer to collect saliva and venous blood samples which he then processed and cold-stored for return to Earth.  A second saliva sample was taken about 11 hrs later.

CDR Padalka completed his 3rd session with the Russian behavioral assessment TIPOLOGIA (MBI-20), setting up the workstation, connecting equipment, suiting up and launching the program on the RSK1 laptop. [Malenchenko provided assistance in donning the electrode cap, preparing the head for the electrodes and applying electrode gel from the Neurolab-RM2 kit. Data were recorded on a PCMCIA memory card and downlinked via OCA comm. MBI-20 studies typological features of operator activity of the ISS crews in long-term space flight phases, with the subject using a cap with EEG (electroencephalogram) electrodes. The experiment, which records EEGs, consists of the Lüscher test, “adaptive biological control” training, and the games Minesweeper and Tetris. The Lüscher color diagnostic is a psychological test which measures a person's psychophysical state, his/her ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. It is believed to help uncover the cause of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.]

FE-2 Revin serviced the BTKh-26 KASKAD experiment, extracting the top of the bioreactor (#6) from the TBU-V incubator (+29 degC), shaking it with “moderately strong” movements for 2 minutes without taking it out of the case and inserting it again in TBU-V. [Started on 8/23, this activity is being carried out for 21 days, once in the morning and once in the evening.]

With EVA-19 set for tomorrow, the USOS crew continued preparing for the spacewalk.  During EVA-19, Sunita Williams & Akihiko Hoshide will –
· Temporarily remove & stow the MBSU1 (Main Bus Switching Unit 1) near the worksite,
· Go through different inspection & cleaning techniques for the MBSU stanchion and coldplate, i.e. –
o Inspect with suit-mounted WVS (Wireless Video System) cameras,
o Inspect/clean H2 with a magnet,
o Check H1 tolerance by hand,
o Perform cleaning as required,
o Lubricate (grease) H1 stanchion, and
o Check thread quality of H2 bolt using a scavenged bolt (see below) by greasing/installing ACME bolt into H2 stanchion,
· Install the MBSU (it may have to be brought inside the station if not installable),
· Remove the failed SSRMS Boom B CLPA (Camera, Light, Pan/Tilt Assembly) and replace with spare CLPA,
· Do Get-aheads.
Sunita & Akihiko had another one-hour session of configuring EVA tools.    [In order to inspect & clean the threads of the bolt/posts on the S0 Truss, the crew has scavenged an ACME bolt from a spare PVCU MDM (Photovoltaic Controller Unit Multiplexer/Demultiplexer) bracket that is identical to the H2 bolt on the MBSU. The scavenged bolt will help to tell if the threads on the truss are damaged, and it will “chase” the threads to help remove any FOD (Foreign Object Debris). To turn the bolt and to perform cleaning, Joe, Sunita & Aki built a number of new hand-tools, such as a bolt interface tool, as well as cleaning & lubricating tools using a toothbrush, a wire brush for hand- or PGT use and the EVA grease gun. For in-hole cleaning, Aki build a “chimney-sweep” tool.]

Also in the A/L, Suni & Aki continued preparations of the E-LK (Equipment Lock), the EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) including LCVG (Liquid Cooling Ventilation Garments) with their biomed equipment, and other ancillary hardware.

Later in the day, Joe and the two spacewalkers had another one-hour block set aside for reviewing EVA-19 procedures.

The review was followed at ~11:10am by a 30-min teleconference by Williams, Hoshide & Acaba with EVA-19 specialists on the ground via S- and Ku-band.

Acaba & Hoshide had another OBT (Onboard Training) session with the DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphic) application and ROBoT (Robotics On-board Trainer) reviewing and rehearsing Robotics procedures using updated EVA-19/SSRMS “deltas”.     [These included new uplinked EMU cuff checklist pages, cautionary words regarding the need for eye protection if the MBSU (with potential metal shavings) is brought on board the “Quest” Airlock, etc.]

Malenchenko prepared three Russian Pille radiation dosimeters for use on Suni’s & Aki’s EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) suits.    [Pille #301 for Suni, #3014 for Aki, plus #307 for background control inside the ISS.]

Afterwards, Yuri dumped brine from the ARFTA (Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly) #2 which Joe removed yesterday from the Node-3 WRS (Water Recovery System) into the WDS (Water Distribution System) tank 2 of the ATV3 cargo vehicle for disposal, using the Russian pumping equipment with electric-powered compressor. [The Russian and US compressors are identical but the former was used after some discussion of allowable pressure settings (0.8 atm vs. 0.5 atm) to drain the ARFTA with the ATV tank empty.]

Next, FE-4 also used the compressor equipment to transfer urine from eight EDV-U containers (#895, #989, #945, #996, #988, #1001, #954, #1012) to the ATV3 WDS tank 2.

Sergei Revin conducted 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.]

FE-3 Acaba worked on a CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine), #2051, to “degas” it, i.e. to remove any free air bubbles that may have been ingested since its last use.    [The traditional procedure for “degassing” the container (by first draining, then refilling it with a fully charged water CWC) was replaced in 2004 by a rather ingenious new procedure developed and checked out on the KC-135 aircraft flying zero-G parabolas at JSC/Houston: Essentially, it involves the crewmember himself centrifuging the selected container by holding it away from the body and applying a slow rotation of ~15 rpm to himself, to separate air and water in the bag through centrifugal force, while simultaneously squeezing out the air by cinching down on bungee cords wrapped around the CWC.]

Afterwards, Joe used the pumping equipment to transfer the water from the degassed CWC-I #2051 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, with MCC-H monitoring, 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.]

Gennady Padalka & Yuri Malenchenko performed the periodic standard collection of several water samples into empty drink bags for return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-04M/30S (9/16). [The sample collection of KAV (condensate water) from the SRV-K2M Condensate Water Processor in the SM before (upstream of) the FGS gas/liquid mixture filter/separator and the BKO water purification (multifiltration) unit, started yesterday, was terminated today. Then, more KAV samples were taken from before the BKO and also from the SVO-ZV potable water tap & the BRP-M Modified Water Distribution & Heating Unit (after flushing out its TEPL warm port valve several times with water from an EDV container and catching it in a second EDV).  The SRV-K2M sample collector probe was replaced with a new unit.]

Later, Gennady & Yuri performed IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the BMP harmful impurities filtration system in the SM, removing & replacing its PKF catalytic thermal cartridge with a new unit.

Afterwards, the CDR worked in the Soyuz 30S spacecraft, stowing & preparing its return & disposal cargo.      [Return cargo is stowed in the Descent Module (SA), disposal cargo in the Orbital Module (BO).]

FE-4 meanwhile outfitted the MRM1 Rassvet, MRM2 Poisk & DC1 Pirs modules for PAO event/transmissions by installing special KSPE insert cables for high-density video, then took documentary photographs.

FE-2 Revin transferred the Russian BTKh-39 Aseptic payload from MRM1, where he had temp stowed it on 8/30 in its thermostat container after unloading it from Progress 48P, to the DC1 Docking Compartment and set it up for its activation tomorrow at 37 degC.

In the US Lab, FE-3 Acaba powered up the RWS DCP (Robotic Workstation Display & Control Panel) in preparation for his SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) support of EVA-19.

Afterwards, at ~11:55am EDT, Joe held an audio teleconference with Robotics personnel on the ground to discuss procedures, in particular “deltas” from EVA-18 on 8/30.

FE-5 Williams unstowed the Pro K pH kit and prepositioned it with controlled diet menu items and daily consumables in preparation for her 3rd (FD60) Pro K Controlled Diet activity, starting on Thursday, 9/6, with the first urine pH spot 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.]

FE-2 conducted 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).

The Russian crewmembers of Soyuz 30S, Padalka & Revin, had an hour set aside each for personal crew departure preparations which is standard pre-return procedure for homecoming crewmembers.

At ~5:15am, Aki Hoshide conducted the weekly JAXA crew conference via phone with staff at SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center) at Tsukuba, Japan.

Before Presleep (~2:30pm), Acaba turns on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts 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.]

FE-5 & FE-6 had their regular pre-EVA PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Suni at ~10:30am, Aki at ~11:55am EDT.

The crew worked out on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration stabilization (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR/2x, FE-2), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (FE-4/2x). [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.  Suni’s protocol for today showed CEVIS (int., 30 s.), with EVA-19, ARED/T2 or CEVIS (cont.), T2 or CEVIS (int., 4 m.) & T2 Kinematics for the next 4 days. Aki’s protocol for today showed ARED/CEVIS, with EVA-19 & T2 or CEVIS (int., 4 min.) for the next 2 days.]

Due to power limitations with the current three-MBSU jumper configuration, T2/COLBERT has been powered down because it is a big power draw on Channel 4. For the time being, T2 sessions have been rescheduled as CEVIS for Suni, Aki & Joe, and TVIS for Gennady.

Tasks listed for Revin, Malenchenko & Padalka on the Russian discretionary “time permitting” job for today were –
· 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), and
· A detailed & general view photo session with TEKh-52 Vizir of the flooding which occurred overnight on 8/21-22 at the Black Sea; [the disaster zone includes the towns Novomikhalovsky, Lermontovo and Tenginka, the Shapsukho & Nechepsukho river valleys and the adjacent mountain region. Novomikhalovsky is located on the Tuapse-Novorossiisk Highway, 33 km from Tuapse and 14 km from Dzubgi. The town is situated in the Nechepsukho river valley and its tributary Psebe, where Nechepsukho is falling into Mikhalovsky Bay in the Black Sea. As a result of torrential rain the Nechepsukho River flooded. 600 houses, a hospital and a school were in the disaster zone. Four people died, 1500 were affected, including 275 children. Municipal infrastructures need to be restored. Lermontovo is located on the shores of Tenginsky Bay of the Black Sea, at the inflow of Shapsukho River. The valley of that river is approx. 40 km in length, 5 km to the east of Dzubgi on the Tuapse-Novorosskiisk highway and 55 km from Tuapse. The Tenginka village is located 4 km upriver], and
· 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.

Conjunction Update: Continued tracking data have reduced the PC (Probability of Collision) of today’s 4:36pm EDT conjunction with Object 30188 (Fengyun 1C Debris) to the Green level (no concern).  NASA and Russian Ballistics have agreed that a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) is not required.   Flight Controllers are watching a new ISS conjunction, with Object 34309 (COSMOS 2251 Debris), with a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) tomorrow, 9/6, at 8:31am EDT. The object is well tracked, and the concern level is Low at this time based on the current uncertainty and miss geometry.  Observers are continuing to gather data and will update the team per nominal procedures. 

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:45am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 415.7 km
Apogee height -- 426.2 km
Perigee height -- 405.2 km
Period -- 92.88 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015425
Solar Beta Angle -- -42.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 93 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,035
Time in orbit (station) -- 5037 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4324 days.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/05/12 -- U.S. EVA-19 (egress ~7:15am EDT; duration 6h 30m)
09/xx/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/xx/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-------------