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September 05, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 09/05/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Congratulations, Suni, to setting a new EVA record!

Sleep cycle shift: To keep solar radiation exposure from a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) tomorrow within Flight Rule allowance, EVA-19 began an hour earlier than EVA-18. Thus, Suni Williams, Aki Hoshide & Joe Acaba woke up at 1:00am EDT instead of 2:00am, and they begin their sleep period also an hour earlier tonight (i.e., 4:30pm instead of 5:30pm). For the Russian crewmembers, wake/sleep times remain unchanged.

EVA-19 by FE-4 Sunita Williams & FE-6 Akihiko Hoshide began at 7:06am EDT and ended after 6hr 28min, with all objectives accomplished – and with the newly installed MBSU up and running.

Supported by FE-3 Joe Acaba as IV (intravehicular crewmember) plus FE-4 Yuri Malenchenko & Acaba on the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) during the spacewalk, Williams (EV1) & Hoshide (EV2) –
  • Temporarily removed the new MBSU (Main Bus Switching Unit) from its coldplate stowage on the S0 truss and tethered it with a MUT (Multi-Use Tether) to Aki’s position on the SSRMS,
  • Inspected/cleaned/lubricated the bolts and receptacles, i.e. –
    • Inspected with suit-mounted WVS (Wireless Video System) cameras,
    • Inspected/cleaned with a magnet,
    • Checked H1 tolerance by hand,
    • Performed cleaning as required,
    • Lubricated/greased,
    • Checked & “chased” thread quality of H2 bolt using a scavenged ACME bolt,
  • Installed the new MBSU using different techniques than were used during the previous EVA,
  • Removed the failed SSRMS Boom B CLPA (Camera, Light, Pan/Tilt Assembly) and replaced it with a spare CLPA, and
  • Cleaned up & Ingressed.
[As they did for EVA-18, instead of going through the usual overnight Campout procedure, EV1 & EV2 used the new ISLE (In-Suit Light Exercise) protocol for denitrogenation, designed to create efficiency in spacewalk preparation and tested by Fincke & Feustel on ULF6/EVA-3. For ISLE, Suni & Aki performed light exercise for 100 minutes, starting at ~2:15am EDT while partially suited, using masks to breathe pure O2 (oxygen) to facilitate purging of N2 (nitrogen) from blood stream and tissues. This eliminated the need for campout. Afterwards, the EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) were purged, continuing with more ISLE with in-suit prebreathe while collecting data and swapping METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters for CO2 absorption. Depressurization of the A/L C-LK (Airlock Crewlock) followed at ~6:40am for about 30 min. With EV1 & EV2 switching to suit power, EVA-19 began at 7:06am. It ended at 1:34pm, lasting 6h 28 min. It was the 165th spacewalk for ISS assembly & maintenance (total time: 1042h 43m), the 4th this year, and the 354th worldwide, i.e., for all Astronauts & Cosmonauts, since 1965. During the spacewalk, Sunita Williams broke the EVA record for women of 39h 46m, held by Peggy Whitson, setting a new record of 44h 02m. Suni now has 6 EVAs to her credit.]

Before the EVA, FE-3 Acaba –
  • Set up the Cupola RWS (Robotic Workstation) and DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) peripherals with the SSC-8 (Station Support Computer 8) T61p laptop, to support SSRMS ops,
  • Activated an SSC in the Lab for additional monitoring,
  • Performed functional testing on the two EVA cameras, and
  • Configured the ACS (Atmosphere Control & Supply) high-pressure O2 tank bypass to use O2 from the low-pressure tank.

FE-3 Acaba supported the spacewalkers on their ISLE protocol, ISLE prebreathe & EMU preps, operated the SSRMS, assisted by FE-4 Malenchenko, to “fly” Aki Hoshide for worksite translations with the MBSU, and supported Suni & Aki during post-EVA activities.

Malenchenko configured the internal RS (Russian Segment) STTS communications connections, setting up the IAS (Internal Audio Subsystem) to work with USOS (US Segment) comm in support of the EVA.

Before starting her own suit-up preparations, FE-5 Williams completed the IV (Intravehicular) portion of the EVA “inhibit pad” by deactivating the CUCU (COTS UHF Communications Unit) equipment because of the US WVS (Wireless Video System) carried on the EMUs, and powering down the amateur/ham radio equipment in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) and SM to prevent RF interference during the spacewalk.

After return onboard from the spacewalk, Suni, Aki, Joe & Yuri completed initial post-EVA activities in the A/L (Airlock) for about an hour, including –
  • Doffing backpacks, harnesses, tethers and EMUs,
  • Inspecting & taking photography of the EMU gloves,
  • Returning Orlan PILLE radiation dosimeters #309 (Suni) & #310 (Aki) to Yuri for data take & stowage,
  • Reconfiguring IAS/STTS communications in the RS,
  • Downlinking spacewalk camera imagery, and
  • Downlinking the glove photographs for analysis.

After wakeup (2:00am EDT) 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.]

In the DC1, Sergei afterwards performed the first session with the BTKh-39 ASEPTIK experiment which he had installed in the TVU incubator yesterday. [With the thermostat incubator activated at +37 degC temperature, FE-2 prepared the Russian Glovebox-S, photographed the nutrient medium and downlinked the images, then prepared for and conducted surface & air sampling in the Glovebox, followed by sample setup in the TVU for incubation. Objective of ASEPTIK: Development of methods and onboard equipment to provide aseptic conditions to conduct biotechnological experiments in a space flight. Asepsis is the state of being free from microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, or preventing contact with microorganisms.]

CDR Padalka performed major IFM (In-Flight Maintenance) in the SM, uninstalling & removing several components from a Kurs-NA system container (K1-753A). [Dismantled & packed for return on Soyuz 30S were the unit boxes G1-753A & V1-753A, while the remaining components of the K1-753A container were disposed off as trash, with changes logged in the IMS database.]

Later, Gennady removed the BS1 component from the prime central processor subsystem (PTsB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system which he had dismantled on 8/27 in troubleshooting the BITS.

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.]

Revin 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 verified 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.]

Afterwards, Sergei shot the periodic photographs of the external SKK (Removable Cassette Container) #9 on the SM through the VL1 (EV) window 1 of the DC1 Docking Compartment.

FE-5 & FE-6 are scheduled for their standard post-EVA PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Suni at ~3:40pm, Aki at ~4:00pm.

Before sleeptime, Hoshide & Williams will perform one session with the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, the 21st time for both. [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.]

Also before Sleeptime, Gennady will prepare the Russian MBI-12 payload and start a session with the 5th 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. [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.]

The Russian crew worked out on TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (CDR, FE-2/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (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 their off day. Suni’s & Aki’s protocols for today were replaced by EVA-19.]

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.]

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:32am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 415.6 km
Apogee height -- 426.0 km
Perigee height -- 405.1 km
Period -- 92.88 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015423
Solar Beta Angle -- -44.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 134 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,051
Time in orbit (station) -- 5038 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4325 days.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Athens, Greece (Capital Cities Collection: The capital of Greece is an ancient city that dominates the south coast of region known as Attica in the southeastern part of the mainland. ISS had a late morning pass in clear weather over this sprawling urban area of more than 3 million. As it approached the coast from the SW, the crew was to look left of track for this target), Kiev, Ukraine (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had have a clear weather pass over the capital city of Ukraine with approach from the SW. At this time the crew was to begin looking just left of track for the major city with a population of 2.6 million. Kiev is located on the Dnieper River, just south of the Kiev Reservoir. Trying to capture the entire city within a single frame), Prague, Czech Republic (Capital Cities Collection: The Czech capital of about 1.3 million has been an important European city for over a millennium. ISS had an early afternoon pass approaching from the WSW with good weather expected. Prague is situated on a great looping bend in the Vltava River, and was right of track), London, England (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a near nadir pass over London, the largest metropolitan area in the European Union and as such one of CEO’s designated "megacities". As ISS passed over this capital city in high noon light, the crew was to shoot near nadir and just right of track to capture the entire city in one context shot), Tbilisi, Georgia (Capital Cities Collection: Tbilisi is located in the southern Caucasus region on the banks of the Kura River and is the largest city of Georgia with over 1.4 million inhabitants. As ISS tracked SE between the Black and Caspian Seas, the crew was to aim right of track and take overlapping mapping frames of the urban and surrounding areas of this capital city), 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 ISS tracked SE over the northern Balkan Peninsula, the crew was to aim left of track for this metropolitan area of nearly 2 million, trying to acquire complete views of this city within a single frame), Damascus, Syria (Capital Cities Collection: The Syrian capital with a population estimated a 1.8 million is located in the extreme southwestern part of the country on an arid plateau area about 50 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea. ISS had a nadir pass in mid-afternoon light with clear weather expected. At this time, the crew was to begin looking for this low-contrast urban area on the western edge of an area of intensive agriculture, trying to capture the entire area in a single frame), and Mount St. Helens, WA-USA (ISS had a late morning, good weather pass with a near-nadir view of this famous stratovolcano located in the Cascade Range of southern Washington. Evidence of the explosive eruption of 1980 is still visible today. As ISS tracked northeastward toward the forest-covered slopes of the Cascades, the crew was to aim for this large, western-most peak and acquire detailed views of the summit area).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/12/12 -- HTV3 undocking (tent.)
09/14/12 -- HTV3 reentry (tent.)
09/14/12 -- ISS/ATV reboost
09/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/30S undock/landing – 7:11pm/10:55pm
(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-------------