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

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday – Crew off duty. Ahead: Week 11 of Increment 32 (six-person crew).

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

Also after wakeup, 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.]

FE-4 Malenchenko completed the routine daily & weekly servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM and FGB. [This included the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings of SM & FGB for calldown to TsUP-Moscow, as well as the weekly checkup on the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM’s & FGB’s SOGS air revitalization subsystem, gathering weekly data on total operating time & “On” durations for calldown. SOZh servicing includes checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers as required.]

FE-5 Williams had Day 4 of her 3rd (FD60) 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 her diet input today, Suni began the urine collections for her Nutrition/Repository/Pro K 24-hour protocol and then prepared the equipment for the associated blood sampling tomorrow (9/10) with Pro K photography. [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-3 Acaba began Day 1 of his 4th (FD120) and final 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 pH testing. After recording his diet input today, Joe will begin the urine collections on Day 4, Wednesday (9/12) and blood sampling (fasted) on Day 5, Thursday (9/10), with Pro K photography.

Joe also set up the equipment for the ESA ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment for his 4th (FD135) and last session of the Ambulatory Monitoring assessment, scheduled tomorrow. [ICV activities consist of two separate but related parts over a one-week time period: an ultrasound echo scan & an ambulatory monitoring session. The sessions are scheduled at or around FD15, FD30, FD75, FD135 and R-15 (there will be fewer sessions if mission duration is less than six months). The FD75 echo scan includes an exercise component with a second scan (subset of the first) completed within 5 minutes after the end of exercise. The primary objective of the accompanying CCISS (Cardiovascular Control on return from the ISS) experiment is to maximize the information about changes in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function that might compromise the ability of astronauts to meet the challenge of return to an upright posture on Earth.]

FE-6 Hoshide broke out his Pro K pH kit and prepositioned it with controlled diet menu items and daily consumables in preparation for his 3rd (FD60) Pro K Controlled Diet activity, starting tomorrow, 9/10, with the first urine pH spot test and diet log entry.

CDR Padalka closed a two-months-old IFM (In-Flight Maintenance task by measuring the length of attachment screws used to install the new SUBA BKIPN (Payload Interface Control Unit) computer which replaced the Russian BSMM Payload Matching Unit (Multiplex Bus Synchronization Unit) in the SM on 7/5. [The attachment screws were placed next to a ruler and photographed for ground inspection.]

Aki Hoshide completed his first OOHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-minute NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures and monitor crew hearing status on-orbit, using a special software application on the SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop. [The self-administered OOHA test is a variation of conventional audiometric testing, in which the crewmember determines minimum audibility for tones, over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, in each ear. While wearing custom-made Prophonics earphones and Bose active noise reduction headsets, the crewmember uses special EarQ software on the SSC to determine the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The first on-orbit test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per 45 days thereafter. Results are then reviewed by medical personnel and compared to pre-flight OOHA data and also to previous on-orbit OOHA results. Note: There have been temporary shifts in hearing sensitivity documented on some crewmembers, most of which have recovered to pre-mission levels.]

FE-3 & FE-4 conducted their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop), Joe at ~3:30am, Yuri at ~10:40am EDT.

At ~4:40am, Suni Williams powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and at 4:50am conducted a ham radio session with students at the Tara Anglican School, North Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

At ~11:00am, Gennady, Sergei & Yuri supported a Russian PAO TV downlink, extending video greetings via RSPI Data Transmission Radio Link to (1) the participants of the Sergei Ivanovich Gritsevets Memorial Days in Moscow & Minsk, and (2) the 47th Scientific Readings dedicated to the memory of Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskiy on 9/18-20 in Kaluga. [(1) The first two-time Hero of the Soviet Union S.I. Gritsevets became part of Soviet heroic history for his feats as a fighter pilot during the Spanish revolutionary war and the Soviet-Japanese conflict at the river Khalkin-Gol in Mongolia, in particular as the man who rescued his commander, shot down in enemy territory (Manchukuo), by landing and evacuating him in his single-seat I-16 aircraft. (2) Starting from 1966 the State Museum of History of Cosmonautics named after Tsiolkovskiy K.E. in Kaluga jointly with Russian academic & scientific-social organizations hold annual scientific Readings dedicated to development of scientific heritage and ideas of Tsiolkovskiy (9/17/1857 – 9/19/1935).]

The crew worked out on the TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-2, FE-4), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-2, FE-3), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR/2x, FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), 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 Suni on Friday, for Aki on Thursday. 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 T2 (int., 2 min.), with ARED/T2 (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/VO2max, T2 (int., 4 min.) and ARED/CEVIS (cont.) for the next 5 days. Aki’s protocol for today showed T2 (int., 2 min.), with CEVIS (cont.), T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) on the following 4 days.]

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 disastrous flooding which occurred overnight on 8/21-22 at the Black Sea,
· A 10-min. photography session for the DZZ-13 “Seiner” ocean observation program, obtaining HDV (Z1) camcorder footage of color bloom patterns in the waters of Central-Eastern Atlantic and coastal Africa, then copying the images to the RSK-1 laptop, 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, and
  • An audit/assessment of spaces in the MRM1 module preparatory to the installation of the Sharovoi Fantom (Ball Phantom) experiment.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Luxembourg, Luxembourg (Capital Cities Collection: Weather conditions are predicted to be clear over central Europe at the time of the ISS overpass. Looking just left of track for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. The country is landlocked and borders Belgium, France, and Germany. Overlapping and mapping frames were requested), 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 a mid-morning pass approaching from the WSW in good weather. Prague is situated on a great looping bend in the Vltava River, right of track), Warsaw, Poland (Capital Cities Collection: The Polish capital lied left of track on the pass east-northeastward over the Northern European Plain in good weather. This city of 1.7 million is located in the east central part of the country and sits astride the Vistula River), Brussels, Belgium (Capital Cities Collection: ISS had a late morning nadir pass today with fair weather for this capital city target. Brussels has a population of nearly 2 million is located in central Belgium about 70 miles inland from the North Sea and about 25 miles from Antwerp. As ISS tracked E and inland at this time, the crew was to look right of track for this major city), Zagreb, Croatia (Capital Cities Collection: The Croatian capital city is located in the NW of the country and lies in the valley of the Sava River on the southern slopes of Medvednica Mountain. ISS had a fair weather pass in early afternoon light with approach from the NW. At this time, looking nadir for this target for a context view of the entire city in a single frame), Flooding in Extreme North Cameroon (International Disaster Charter Site: Continuous rains and the release of the Lagdo Dam have resulted in extreme flooding conditions along the Benue River and other flood-prone areas like the Chari River of Northern Cameroon, forcing the rescue and evacuation of more than 2,500 people in the region. As ISS tracked SE over central Africa, the crew was to look far left of track to obtain oblique views of the flooding around this area), Hurricane Leslie (Dynamic Event: Hurricane Leslie was downgraded to a tropical storm on Day 251, but is forecasted to become a Category 1, and soon a Category 2, storm over the weekend. As ISS tracked SE over the Atlantic Ocean, shooting right of track to capture more oblique views of this larger storm. It was hoped that an eye will have formed by the time of the pass), and Middlesboro Impact, KY (Terrestrial Impact Craters: ISS had a late afternoon pass over this 6 km diameter impact structure. The crater is partially covered by the Middlesboro, KY urban area, but the crater rim can be perceived by vegetation patterns and topography to the east. Looking left of track to obtain overlapping frames as ISS passed by the target).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 9:33am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude -- 415.2 km
Apogee height -- 425.9 km
Perigee height -- 404.5 km
Period -- 92.87 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0015741
Solar Beta Angle -- -44.7 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.50
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 77 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,113
Time in orbit (station) -- 5042 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4329 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/12/12 -- HTV3 undocking
09/14/12 -- HTV3 reentry
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-------------
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
10/31/12 -- 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-------------
02/11/13 -- Progress M-16M/48P undocking
02/12/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P launch
02/14/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P docking
03/15/13 -- 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
04/23/13 -- Progress M-18M/50P undock/landing
--------------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-------------