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10-15-2012
October 15, 2012
ISS On-Orbit Status 10/15/12

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 16 of Increment 33 (three-person crew).

After wakeup, FE-4 Malenchenko performed the routine inspection of the SM (Service Module) PSS Caution & Warning panel as part of regular Daily Morning Inspection.

Next, Yuri completed the daily reboot of the Russian RSS1 & RSS2 laptops.

Also at wake-up, Malenchenko conducted the periodic checkup of the circuit breakers & fuses in the MRM1 Rassvet & MRM2 Poisk modules. [The monthly checkup in DC1, MRM1 & MRM2 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36. MRM2 & MRM1 were derived from the DC1 concept and are very similar to it.]

Additionally, FE-4 conducted the weekly checkup behind ASU/toilet panel 139 in the SM of a fluid connector (MNR-NS) of the SM-U urine collection system, looking for potential moisture.

FE-6 Hoshide started the day with another post-sleep session of the Reaction Self-Test (Psychomotor Vigilance Self-Test on the ISS) protocol, his 31st. [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.]

Akihiko Hoshide had Day 10, the last day, of his current extended session of the ESA ENERGY experiment. Scheduled today were the final samplings of urine or water, in addition to the special ENERGY breakfast, taking water only from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) and using the US toilet only, plus logging of all ISS food & drinks consumed during ENERGY experiment performance from lunch and dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 10. [Aki wears an armband monitor, positioned on the right triceps where it started automatically on skin contact. The instrument must be worn for the entire 10-day ENERGY measurement period and removed only during showers or if needed during blood draws. Activities without the armband monitor on the triceps must be carefully logged. The monitor will be removed at the end of the 10-day period, then data will be downloaded from the device. Background: The observed loss of astronauts’ body mass during space flight is partly due to the systematic ongoing negative energy balance in micro-G, in addition to disuse. Unfortunately, the reason for such unbalanced match between intake and output is not clear, but appealing data suggest a relation between the degree of energy deficit and the exercise level prescribed as a countermeasure. In the ENERGY experiment, astronauts are invited to participate in a study that aimed to evaluate how much food is needed for astronauts during long-term space missions. To do so, the science team will measure every component or variable of the astronaut's energy expenditure reflecting his energy needs. Those variables will be measured twice: up to 4 months before flight and after at least 3 months in space but 3 weeks before landing. The changes in the astronaut's energy balance and expenditure will be measured, which will help in deriving an equation for energy requirements in weightlessness. This will contribute to planning adequate, but not excessive cargo supplies for food. Purpose of the ENERGY experiment is (1) to measure changes in energy balance during long term space flight, (2) to measure adaptations in the components of the Total Energy Expenditure TEE (consumption), and (3) to derive an equation for the energy requirements of astronauts. TEE is the sum of resting metabolic rate (RMR, measured), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT, measured oxygen-uptake minus RMR) and activity-related energy expenditure (AEE, calculated).]

CDR Williams conducted another sampling run with the AQM (Air Quality Monitor), deactivating the system ~5 hrs later. [Consisting of the EHS GC/DMS (Environmental Health Systems Gas Chromatograph / Differential Mobility Spectrometer), the system is controlled with “Sionex” expert software from the SSC (Station Support Computer)-12 laptop. The AQM demonstrates COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) technology for identifying volatile organic compounds, similar to the VOA (Volatile Organics Analyzer). This evaluation will continue over the course of several months as it helps to eventually certify the GC/DMS as nominal CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) hardware.]

Sunita also supported POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center)/Huntsville on the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab (loc. S3) by uninstalling & removing the three protective alignment guides from the rack. [Also re-engaging the snubber pins and locking the safety pins to allow the PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) to be active before begin of ground-commanded CIR operations requiring a microgravity environment.]
annel 2B, Akihiko Hoshide unstowed the US A/L (Airlock), moving stowage goods to other locations.

For the upcoming EVA-20, Aki –
  • Started EVA battery recharge in the A/L BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly),
  • Configured EVA tethers; [building three safety tether packs using six 85-ft safety tethers (##23/24, 25/26, 27/29) that were inspected as part of the recent EVA Safety Tether inspection activity, and
  • Initiated METOX (Metal Oxide) cartridge regeneration.

Yuri Malenchenko collected regular air samples for return on Dragon, using a Russian AK-1M absorber in the SM for air & Freon, plus IPD-CO Draeger tubes, on a cartridge belt with a pump, to check the SM cabin air for CO (Carbon Monoxide) and subsequently also for NH3 (Ammonia).

FE-4 also collected & downloaded the periodic sensor readings of the Russian “Pille-MKS” (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has 11 sensors placed at various locations in the RS (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, MRM2, MRM1, etc.) and four in CQs. The memory/flash card was then replaced. Today’s readings were taken manually from all 11 deployed dosimeters and logged on a data sheet. Automatic mode was then reactivated and the dosimeters returned to their original locations. [The dosimeters take their readings automatically every 90 minutes.]

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Akihiko continued setting up the ELITE-S2 (ELaboratore Immagini TElevisive - Space 2) hardware, today routing the ELITE-S2 camera cables.

Also for ELITE, Sunita disabled the Phishing Filter in the IE (Internet Explorer) on the ELC (EXPRESS Rack Laptop Computer) and powered on Drawer-1 and the IMU (Interface Management Unit). [Background: This experiment evaluates differences in the way the brain controls conscious & unconscious motions such as breathing, sitting and standing in environments with and without gravity. ELITE-S2 investigates the connection between brain, visualization and motion in the absence of gravity. By recording & analyzing the three-dimensional motion of crewmembers, this study helps engineers apply ergonomics into future spacecraft designs and determines the effects of weightlessness on breathing mechanisms for long-duration missions. The experiment is a cooperative effort with the Italian Space Agency, ASI. The predecessor to this investigation, ELITE-S, was flown on EUROMIR in 1995.]

In Node-3, after securing the T2/COLBERT treadmill and removing the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment) Kabin enclosure temporarily, Sunita Williams powered off the Hydraulic Interface Control, ASU Fan Control & ASU Control panels for safety, removed the KTO solid waste container temporarily, and then took out the Pump/Separator ORU (Orbit-Replaceable Unit) and replaced it with a spare unit. [The Kabin was then re-installed and the T2 restored to nominal configuration. The old Pump/Separator hardware and the tools required for the R&R were stowed. Background: On 10/8, the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) failed during an attempted transition to Process Mode. Additional attempts of restart & transition have also been unsuccessful, and signatures indicated that the WPA Pump/Separator ORU (located inside WRS-2 rack at Node-3 D4) had failed.]

On MCC-H Go, Sunita opened the manual shutoff valve on the WPA (Water Processor Assembly) T-hose to allow water transfer from a degassed CWC-I (Contingency Water Container-Iodine) to the WPA water storage tank, until MCC-H gave the word to terminate the flow after about 100 mL. [An MRF (Microbial Removal Filter) cartridge can only be used three times to transfer water when stagnation (no-flow) time is more than 72 hours. In order to preserve lifetime (“reset the clock”) on the MRF and maximize this consumable, frequent water transfers of small amount have been performed.]

FE-6 completed another session with the Japanese psychological POMS (Profile of Mood States) experiment, filling out his questionnaire for downlink to ground specialist.

Working together, Suni & Aki had ~30 min to transfer DCB (double-cold bagged) biomed samples from ISS-based MELFI (Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS) to GLACIER 2 (General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator 2) on the SpX-1 Dragon capsule, docked at Node-2 nadir.

Later, Sunita performed the periodic status check on the Dragon-based GLACIER, ensuring that the freezer is operational and its temperature is as expected, and then removed cold-storage samples from the GLACIER for transfer to an ISS-based MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) freezer, afterwards stopping MPC.

With its battery freshly charged since this morning, Yuri installed the GFI-1 “Relaksatsiya” (Relaxation) Earth Observation experiment at SM window #9, configured it up for operation, and then used it to take spectral and photographic imagery of Earth’s surface and atmosphere under ground commanding. Later, the CDR closed out the experiment and dumped the data from Laptop 3 via the RSS1 terminal. [By means of the GFI-1 UFKFialka-MV-Kosmos” ultraviolet camera, SP spectrometer and SONY HVR-Z7 HD (High Definition) camcorder, the experiment observes the Earth atmosphere and surface from window #9, with spectrometer measurements controlled from Laptop 3. “Relaxation”, in Physics, is the transition of an atom or molecule from a higher energy level to a lower one, emitting radiative energy in the process as equilibrium is achieved.]

Hoshide supported the new JAXA experiment RST (Resist_Tubule/Mechanisms of Gravity Resistance in Plants – From Signal Transformation & Transduction to Response), preparing the payload for upcoming runs by injecting water into RST Chamber B (4), followed by MELFI insertion at +2 degC. [The sample has to be left in MELFI for between 72-120 hrs. RST clarifies the mechanisms of gravity resistance. Gravity resistance is a principal gravity response in plants and plays an important role in the transition of plant ancestors from an aquatic environment to a terrestrial environment (about 450 million years ago) and in the consequent establishment of land plants. The current study will study the mechanisms of gravity resistance, in particular the processes from signal transformation and transduction to response.]

FE-4 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.]

Malenchenko also took care of the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, working from the Russian 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).

Sunita Williams continued the new Dragon-delivered experiment Micro-6 (Genotypic and Phenotypic Responses of Candida albicans to Spaceflight), today accessing CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) and removing & deactivating all Micro-6 GAPs (Group Activation Packs). These were then inserted into CGBA-4, while YTSL (YouTube SpaceLab) GAPs 1,2,3,4,5,6 were transferred from CGBA-4 into CGBA-1 with the other Micro-6 GAPS. [Fundamental space biology experiments address basic questions of how life responds to gravity and space environments. The experiments probe the fundamental nature of life in order to enhance our understanding of how life responds to physical phenomena and physical forces on Earth and serve as the basic biological foundation in support of exploration. In particular, Micro-6 studies how microgravity affects the health risk posed by the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans. In our bodies, yeasts, especially the yeast Candida albicans help us maintain a healthy personal ecosystem. However, when our immune systems are stressed, Candida albicans can grow out of control. When that happens, yeast become so numerous that infections can result in the mouth, throat, intestines, and genitor-urinary tract. The equipment consists of GAPs stored in a flight-certified incubator at a temperature of 4 degrees centigrade. Each GAP contains eight FPAs (Fluid Processing Apparatuses) shaped like test tubes but designed to meet the unique requirement of mixing fluids in microgravity. Each FPA contains an isolated amount of the microbial culture of Candida, plus a growth medium and a termination reagent or fixative. During the three-week flight aboard the ISS, a crew member begins the experiment by increasing the incubator temperature to 30 degrees centigrade, and then activate the FPAs by pushing the plunger to mix the Candida with a growth medium. After 24 or 50 hours depending on the sample, the experiment will be terminated by pushing the plunger deeper into the FPA which combines a fixative agent to effectively stop the growth of the yeast cultures.]

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.]

Yuri made preparations for tomorrow’s scheduled leak check operation on the KVD Pressure Equalization Valve (PEV) between the FGB PGO (Instrumentation Cargo Compartment) and the SU Vestibule to the SM.

Before Presleep (~3:40pm), Suni powers up 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, Suni 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 (CDR), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation & stabilization (FE-4/2x), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (CDR), and T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (FE-6). [CDR & 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 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 ARED/CEVIS (cont.), with T2 (int., 30 sec.), ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) for the next 3 days. Aki’s protocol for today showed T2 (int., 30 sec.), with ARED/CEVIS (cont.) and T2 (int., 4 min.) on the following 2 days.]]

After Aki’s SPRINT workout on the T2 machine, Suni closed down the treadmill software on its laptop for data transfer, then turned off the T2 display. [After the display shutdown, the T2 rack is power cycled (turned off/on) from the ground, and T2 is then ready for use. These power cycles allow for the T2 data to be transferred to the Server for downlink.]

Tasks listed for FE-4 Malenchenko 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),
  • A ~30-min. run of the GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with the NIKON D3X digital camera with Sigma AF 300-800mm telelens and PI emission platform using the SKPF-U (Photo Image Coordinate Reference System) to record target sites on the Earth surface, 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.

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

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:22am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 414.3 km
Apogee height – 426.3 km
Perigee height – 402.4 km
Period -- 92.85 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.65 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0017565
Solar Beta Angle -- 26.2 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.51
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 134 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 79,670
Time in orbit (station) -- 5078 days
Time in orbit (crews, cum.) -- 4365 days.

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
-------------- Inc-33: Three-crew operations -------------
10/17/12 -- ISS Reboost (1-burn/two SM engines) – (11:23am EDT)
10/23/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitsky/E.Tarelkin (6:51am EDT)
10/25/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/32S docking – (~8:35am EDT)
-------------- Inc-33: Six-crew operations -------------
10/28/12 – SpX-1 Dragon unberthing (?)
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P launch
10/31/12 -- Progress M-17M/49P docking
11/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/31S undock/landing – (7:00pm/10:00pm EDT) (End of Increment 33)
-------------- Inc-34: 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
-------------- Inc-34: 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)
-------------- Inc-35: 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
-------------- Inc-35: Six-crew operations -------------
05/16/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
-------------- Inc-36: 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
-------------- Inc-36: Six-crew operations -------------
09/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
-------------- Inc-37: 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
-------------- Inc-37: Six-crew operations -------------
11/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-09M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
-------------- Inc-38: 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
-------------- Inc-38: Six-crew operations -------------
03/xx/14 -- Soyuz TMA-10M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
-------------- Inc-39: Three-crew operations -------------