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June 28, 2011
ISS On-Orbit Status 06/28/11

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

Conjunction Alert:   Last night at ~6:00pm EDT, NASA Houston FTC (Flight Control Team) received notification of an upcoming “red threshold” conjunction of the ISS with a piece of orbital debris (Object 82618, UNKNOWN), with a TCA (Time of Closest Approach) this morning at 8:08am EDT, - which was too late to begin planning for a DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver).  Therefore, FTC and crew made preparations for crew sheltering in Soyuz 26S & 27S.  PC (Probability of Collision) at last tracking fix (7:20am) remained in the Red box, at ~0.003, with a miss distance of 0.25 km radial, 0.375 km downtrack, 0.570 m crosstrack.  The necessary reconfiguration procedures (USOS hatches closed, etc.) began 1.5 hrs before TCA (6:38am EDT), and the six crewmembers ingressed their Soyuz vehicles.  At 8:08am the object cleared the ISS with no impact, and shortly thereafter the crew was given the Go for returning to the ISS.   [The late notification occurred because of the high air resistance (drag) of the object (~175 times higher than ISS) which made its trajectory very sensitive to small errors in atmospheric density predictions at the current solar flux.  Due to the high drag, there is no chance of a recurrence of Object 82618).]

After wakeup, CDR Borisenko conducted the routine verification of yesterday’s refreshes of the IUS AntiVirus program on all Russian VKS auxiliary network laptops RSS1, RSS2, RSK1-T61p & RSK2. [Antivirus update procedures have changed since the recent SSCV4 software update.  Until a new automated procedure has been cleared for use, the refresh is done manually on Mondays on RSS2, copying the files to the RSS2 service folder, then launching update scripts on the network laptops RSS1, RSK1-T61p & RSK2 and finally manually updating non-network laptops RSE-Med & RSE1.  On Tuesdays, the anti-virus scanning will be verified on all laptops.  Nominally, Russian network laptops have software installed for automatic anti-virus update; fresh data is copied on RSK1-T61p & RRSK2 every time a computer is rebooted with a special login, and on RSS1 once daily. On Russian non-network laptops antivirus definition file update is done by the crew once every two weeks on Monday.]

FE-4 Volkov tended the current experiment with the Russian/German KPT-21 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, running in the MRM2 “Poisk” module, by checking the hermeticity of the evacuated EB vacuum chamber after wakeup and before bedtime (any pressure increase above the vacuum should stay within 5 mmHg).  The scheduled subsequent experiment run was deferred due to the Conjunction Alert.      [Main objective of PK-3 is to study crystallization dynamics at constant argon pressures (9, 10, 11, 12 & 14 Pa) exposed to alternating current low-frequency and varied voltage electrical field (20 V range), using 1.55μ particles. This session is run in semi-automatic mode.]

At ~4:25am, the entire crew held their first joint fire drill/OBT (on-board training), a mandatory periodic 70-min exercise (including post-training crew review).  The subsequent 15-min ground debrief conference at ~6:25am had to be cancelled due to the Conjunction Alert. [Primary goal of this Russian-led interactive exercise is to maintain crew skills in responding to a fire and to provide the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible. The drill is always conducted with the support of all MCCs (TsUP-Moscow, TsUP-Kazakhstan, MCC-Houston, COL-CC, SSIPC/Tsukuba) in close coordination. It should be performed every 2.5 months, but not later than 1 month prior to end of Increment. OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) browse through RS laptop and the Signal-VM fire detection system displays as well as the automated software (algorithms) response to the fire event; (c) practice crew communication necessary to perform emergency FRPs; (d) ensure familiarization with support equipment (CSA-CP compound specific analyzer-combustion products, PBAs portable breathing assemblies, PFE/OSP-4 portable fire extinguishers, and IPK-1M gas masks to be used for fire suppression). These exercises do not actually use any fire equipment but simulate such actions with comm channels, PBAs, CSA-CP and laptop displays to the maximum extent possible.]

FE-5 Furukawa & FE-6 Fossum both reviewed the 400mm- (Satoshi) and 800mm-lens (Mike) refresher videos of the RPM (R-Bar Pitch Maneuver) camera activities for their next training session, preparatory to Atlantis arrival on 7/10.

Furukawa conducted the periodic (approx. weekly) WRS (Water Recovery System) sampling using the freshly (6/24) calibrated TOCA (Total Organic Carbon Analyzer), after first initializing the software and priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose.   [After the approximately 2-hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to an SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged.]

Satoshi also started his first session (of 3) with the JAXA experiment “Biological Rhythms” (BIORHYTHMS), for which he donned the electrodes of the DWH (Digital Walk Holter) for ECG (Electro-Cardiogram) recording, then initiated the data take for the next 24 hrs.

Andrey Borisenko & Aleksandr Samokutyayev again had several hours set aside for unloading the Progress M-11M/43P cargo spacecraft, docked at SM (Service Module) aft end port, and transferring Russian, US & ESA cargo to the ISS for stowage, based on uplinked tabular listings. [Total Russian cargo items on 43P: 588; total US cargo items on 43P: 297.]

After yesterday’s preparations, Samokutyayev had ~3 hrs to conduct Part 2 (of two) of the periodic window inspection & photography in the SM, using a tool kit with ruler, adhesive tape, 90-deg equilateral triangle & measuring tape, the NIKON D2 X digital camera with 28-70 mm lens, a flash attachment, and sketches of the windows under scrutiny with previous detected flaws marked and flaw tables. Borisenko assisted as required. [Today’s inspections (w/repeats) were on windows 3, 5 & 9 in the SM.  (Other windows were inspected last on 6/3).  Observed defects were recorded in image and text files on the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via U.S. OCA assets. Objective of the inspection, which uses a digital still camera (Nikon D1X w/SB-28DX flash) and voice recorder, is to assess the window pane surfaces for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection. The new assessment will be compared to earlier observations. Defects are measured with the parallax method which uses eyeball-sighting with a ruler and a right isosceles triangle to determine the defects' size and position with respect to the window's internal surface (parallax being the apparent change in an object's position resulting from changing the observer's position).]

After yesterday’s work preparation in MRM2, Sergei Volkov today completed the installation of a new Progress-delivered contact device at the MGK hatch cover sealing drive mechanism of the ASP docking ring between MRM2 & Soyuz 26S.  Later, Russian STTS comm, which had been set for MRM2 occupancy, was reconfigured to nominal.

Garan & Fossum had ~2 hrs reserved for reviewing uplinked procedural material for their EVA during docked ULF7 (7/12).  The scheduled tagup with EVA ground specialists at ~10:00am had to be cancelled due to the Conjunction Alert.

Later, Ron worked in the US A/L (Airlock) configuring EVA tools & equipment for the ULF7 spacewalk.

Furukawa reviewed procedural & refresher training material for upcoming sessions with the SHERE (Shear History Extension Rheology Experiment) payload, then retrieved 3 CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) containing SHERE hardware from stowage.      [SHERE uses the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox. Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter under the influence of an applied stress (“preshearing” = rotation) which might be, for example, a shear stress or extensional stress. In practice, rheology is principally concerned with extending the "classical" disciplines of elasticity and (Newtonian) fluid mechanics to materials whose mechanical behavior cannot be described with the classical theories. SHERE is designed to study the effect of preshear (rotation) on the transient evolution of the microstructure and viscoelastic tensile stresses for solutions with long chains of monodisperse dilute polymer molecules in the MSG. Collectively referred to as “Boger fluids,” these polymer solutions have become a popular choice for rheological studies of non-Newtonian fluids and are the non-Newtonian fluid used in this experiment. The SHERE hardware consists of the Rheometer, Camera Arm, Interface Box, Cabling, Keyboard, Tool Box, Fluid Modules, and Stowage Tray.]

After removing & packing the Lab MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator) on 6/15 for return on STS-135/ULF-7, Satoshi today made further preparations at ER1 (EXPRESS Rack 1) to receive the new MERLIN arriving on ULF7, by swapping the locker at loc. D2 with vent closeout panels from D1.     [For the exchange, the PPFS (Portable Pulmonary Function System) and AQM (Air Quality Monitor) had to be temporarily removed from the rack front and later reattached.]

Ron Garan retrieved a spare RFTA (Recycle Filter Tank Assembly, #018) from PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) stowage and then changed out the RFTA in the Node-3 WRS-2 (Water Recovery System) Rack 2, stowing the expended unit.    [RFTAs collect the substances cleaned from the pretreated urine by the UPA (Urine Processor Assembly) as it turns it into water. They need to be replaced when filled and constitute an important resupply item from the ground.]

CDR Borisenko 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).

FE-4 Volkov 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.]

In the US Lab, FE-6 Fossum serviced the FCF (Fluids Combustion Facility) in the FIR (Fluids Integrated Rack), preparing the equipment for new research sessions (which are run autonomously through scripts and ground-based commanding. Crew time is required for the initial installation and check out in the FIR, sample change out, and removal from the FIR. [After configuring the Lab camcorder to cover activities for POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center/Huntsville), Mike opened the lower & upper FCF doors, took out the AFC compartment door, removed the Bio Kit Data Logger and the Bio kit from the LMM (Light Microscopy Module), then closed the upper and lower FCF doors, turned on two switches and notified POIC that FIR was prepared for ground-commanding of the RPC (Remote Power Controller).]

Sasha worked in the Progress 43P, replacing its SD1-7 light units with used spare units (one with one functional lamp instead of two) and stowing the removed new fixtures as spares.  The switches were to be logged in the IMS databases and the ID numbers of the removed units reported to TsUP-Moscow.

With its battery freshly charged overnight, Sasha used the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program with FSS science hardware at SM window #9 during a one-hour segment, taking pictures of targets along the flight track, including North Africa, offshore & coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea (Crete), Turkey, offshore & coastal areas of the Black Sea, the Volga river delta, and offshore & coastal areas of the Caspian Sea. [The FSS (Fotospektralnaya sistema) consists of an image recording module with lens and a spectroradiometer module with an electronics module. FSS includes the ME Electronics Module & MRI Image Recording Module. The FSS battery was set up for charging last night.]

Andrey relocated TVIS treadmill equipment (EBA/Electronics Box Assembly, TVIS Malfunction Kit, TVIS Assembly Kit, Jettison Stowage Bag) from the PMM to the MRM2 “Poisk” module.

Satoshi Furukawa conducted a video test in preparation for the STS-135/ULF7 mission, configuring two SSC (Station Support Computer) Client laptops in Node-3 to “wired” mode, then tearing down the old VSW (Video Streaming Workstation) A31p in Node-2 and setting up two T61p SSCs instead.  Next, FE-5 tested the setup by “streaming” two video signals on SSCs from Node-2 to the viewing SSCs in Node-3 in preparation for ULF7 Robotics. [The change became necessary because of the recent SSCV4 software upgrade.]

CDR, FE-1 & FE-4 had their weekly PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sasha at ~1:25pm, Andrey at ~1:40pm, Sergei at ~2:50pm EDT.

At ~11:10am, Garan & Fossum joined up in the Lab to support two NASA PAO TV interviews, one with WNYW-TV New York’s “Good Day New York” Program (Rosanna Scotto, Greg Kelly), the other with KWTX-TV, Waco, TX (Dan Ingham).

Before “Presleep” period tonight, FE-3 powers on the MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) and starts the 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, MPC will be turned 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 with their regular 2-hr physical exercise protocol on the CEVIS cycle ergometer with vibration isolation (FE-5), ARED advanced resistive exercise device (FE-3, FE-5, FE-6), T2/COLBERT advanced treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-4), and VELO ergometer bike with load trainer (CDR, FE-1, FE-4).  CEVIS exercise for Ron and T2 exercise for Mike fell victim to the Conjunction Alert in the morning.

ISS Reboost:   A one-burn reboost of ISS is scheduled tomorrow (6/29) at 8:15am EDT using Progress 43P propulsion (4 R&D thrusters).  Planned burn duration: 33 min 6 sec; delta-V: 2.1 m/s.  Purpose of the reboost is to gain altitude and set up phasing conditions for ULF7.

SPDM Relocation:    Beginning today at 12:55pm, the SSRMS SPDM (Space Station Remote Manipulator System / Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) will be relocated under ground commanding from MBS PDGF-2 (Mobile Base System Power & Data Grapple Fixture 2) to the Lab PDGF.  SSRMS will then grapple MBS PDGF-2.  For the relocation, Russian thrusters will be disabled from 4:15pm – 7:00pm.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) targets uplinked for today were Volga - Ural Delta (looking to the right of track for the Volga River delta.  Overlapping mapping frames of channels and wetlands in the delta are of particular interest for photography), St. Paul Rocks islets, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: Darwin and the Beagle briefly visited this isolated, equatorial Atlantic site in early February of 1832.  This tiny group of islets and rocks is also known as the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago.  A few clouds may have been present but the crew should have been able to photograph all of the islands in a detailed mapping pass), Dakar, Senegal (Weather was predicted to be relatively clear over Dakar, the capital city of Senegal and the westernmost city in Africa.  General context imagery of the city and Cape Verde Peninsula was requested), Vatican City (looking nadir as ISS crossed the coastline for images of Rome and the Holy See.  Urban areas appear gray.  The Vatican City lies on the Tiber River and appears as one of the smaller tree-filled parks), Lake Poopo, Bolivia (the effects of the past La Niña episode are being felt markedly in the high Andes.  Lake Poopo fluctuates greatly under the influence of the El Niño/La Niña cycle.  Comparative images show the changes in Lake Poopo during a prior La Niña.  Mapping image along orbit track documenting water levels in Lake Poopo were requested), and Charlevoix Impact Crater, Quebec, Canada (for this target ISS approach was from the WSW, fair weather was expected.  This ancient crater [345 million years old] has been heavily affected by the evolution of the St. Lawrence River Estuary, and then by repeated glaciations in the last 3 million years, so that only half the crater is visible.  With a diameter of 54 km, it is a comparatively large feature and easy to locate on the north shore of the estuary.  At this time, as ISS approached the St Lawrence River Estuary, the crew was to look left of nadir and try for a detailed mapping strip of this feature).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 8:00am EDT [= epoch])
Mean altitude – 381.2 km
Apogee height – 388.9 km
Perigee height – 373.6 km
Period -- 92.18 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0011322
Solar Beta Angle -- 22.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.62
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 35 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) – 72,267

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time and subject to change):
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
06/29/11 -- ISS Reboost (Progress 43P) – 8:15am EDT (2.1 m/s)
07/08/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis launch ULF7 (MPLM) – 11:27am
07/10/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis docking ULF7 (MPLM) ~11:09am
            07/12/11 -- EVA (Garan & Fossum)  ~8:50am, 6h30m
07/18/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis undock ULF7 (MPLM) – 1:59pm
07/20/11 -- STS-135/Atlantis landing KSC  ~7:07am
07/27/11 -- Russian EVA #29
08/29/11 -- Progress M-11M/43P undocking
08/30/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P launch
09/01/11 -- Progress M-12M/44P docking (SM aft)
09/08/11 – Soyuz TMA-21/26S undock/landing (End of Increment 28)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/22/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S launch – D.Burbank (CDR-30)/A.Shkaplerov/A.Ivanishin
09/24/11 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
10/25/11 -- Progress M-10M/42P undocking
10/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P launch
10/28/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P docking (DC-1)
11/16/11 -- Soyuz TMA-02M/27S undock/landing (End of Increment 29)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S launch – O.Kononenko (CDR-31)/A.Kuipers/D.Pettit
12/02/11 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S docking (MRM1)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
12/26/11 -- Progress M-13M/45P undock
12/27/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P launch
12/29/11 -- Progress M-14M/46P docking (DC-1)
02/29/12 -- ATV3 launch readiness
03/05/12 -- Progress M-12M/44P undock
03/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-03M/28S undock/landing (End of Increment 30)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S launch – G.Padalka (CDR-32)/J.Acaba/K.Volkov
04/01/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S docking (MRM2)
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
05/05/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – launch on Proton (under review)
05/06/12 -- Progress M-14M/46P undock
05/07/12 -- 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) – docking (under review)
05/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-04M/29S undock/landing (End of Increment 31)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/29/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S launch – S.Williams (CDR-33)/Y.Malenchenko/A.Hoshide
05/31/12 – Soyuz TMA-06M/31S docking
--------------Six-crew operations----------------
09/18/12 -- Soyuz TMA-05M/30S undock/landing (End of Increment 32)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
10/02/12 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S launch – K.Ford (CDR-34)/O.Novitskiy/E.Tarelkin
10/04/12 – Soyuz TMA-07M/32S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/16/12 -- Soyuz TMA-06M/31S undock/landing (End of Increment 33)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/30/12 -- Soyuz TMA-08M/33S launch – C.Hadfield (CDR-35)/T.Mashburn/R.Romanenko
12/02/12 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 -- Soyuz TMA-07M/32S undock/landing (End of Increment 34)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S launch – P.Vinogradov (CDR-36)/C.Cassidy/A.Misurkin
03/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-08M/33S undock/landing (End of Increment 35)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S launch – M.Suraev (CDR-37)/K.Nyberg/L.Parmitano
05/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-09M/34S undock/landing (End of Increment 36)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S launch – M.Hopkins/TBD (CDR-38)/TBD
09/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-10M/35S undock/landing (End of Increment 37)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S launch – K.Wakata (CDR-39)/R.Mastracchio/TBD
11/xx/13 – Soyuz TMA-12M/37S docking
--------------Six-crew operations-------------
03/xx/14 – Soyuz TMA-11M/36S undock/landing (End of Increment 38)
--------------Three-crew operations-------------