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More Details for 2007-12-28
ISS On-Orbit Status 12/28/07

CDR Whitson and FE-2 Tani began the day with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data accumulated during the night, for logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment's session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink.

(To monitor the crewmembers' sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dan and Peggy wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew's discretionary 'job jar' task list.)

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko terminated his fifth MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session, started last night, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. (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.)

As part of his standard fitness evaluation, Malenchenko also undertook the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of Cardiovascular Evaluation during Graded Exercises on the VELO cycle ergometer, with CDR Whitson assisting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). (The 50-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup via VHF (~3:55am EST) and telemetry monitoring, uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. For the graded exercise, the subject works the pedals after a prescribed program at load settings of 125, 150, and 175 watts for three minutes each. Data output involves a kinetocardiogram, rheoplethysmogram, rheoencephalogram and a temporal pulsogram.)

After Peggy Whitson prepared the auditory test equipment, she, Malenchenko & FE-2 Tani took the periodic (monthly) O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min. NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop application. It was the second session for the three crewmembers. (The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, Bose ANC headsets and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.)

Whitson and Tani set up and activated the OUM-PFE (Oxygen Uptake Measurement - Periodic Fitness Evaluation) equipment at the HRF-2 (Human Research Facility 2) rack for another session, requiring a CEVIS cycle ergometer workout. Both crewmembers then completed the evaluation protocol, wearing HRMs (Heart Rate Monitors), with each one in turn acting as subject and operator, obtaining measurements on each other during the workout. (The equipment includes the HRF PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module), Mixing Bag System and GDS (Gas Delivery System). In a change to previous procedures, the calibration of the DPFM (Differential Pressure Flowmeter) was done manually for the first time. Later, Peggy and Dan updated the evaluation protocol, deactivated & stowed the gear, and powered down the OUM-PFE laptop. Purpose of OUM-PFE is to measure aerobic capacity during exercise within 14 days after arrival on ISS, and once monthly during routine PFEs. The data allows exercise physiologists & flight doctors to assess the crew's health & fitness and to provide data for modifying & updating crew-specific exercise regimes. PFE-OUM is a collaborative effort between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).)

Yuri Malenchenko worked on the Russian SOTR Thermal Control System, rerouting and connecting jumpers between the KMTK Triple Channel Matrix Commutator switch and the PUVN Cabin Air Heater Control Panel, to ensure continued thermal control loop operation in case of loss of communication between the Terminal & Central Computers.

Later, the FE-1 performed the periodic communication check and time synchronization between the BSPN payload server and the ISS 'Wiener' power laptop, using the RSC-E 'PingMaster' program, used for network checkouts.

In the Lab, Dr. Whitson serviced the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) by terminating the overnight vacuum draw on the SPU10 (Sample Processing Unit 11), opening the vent and vacuum valves for a six-hour vacuum draw on the work chamber, and setting up final operations tomorrow by installing SPU13 and initiating a last vacuum draw on it. (CSLM-2 examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid matrix. During this process, small particles shrink by losing atoms to larger particles, causing the larger particles to grow (coarsen) within a liquid lead/tin matrix. This study defined the mechanisms and rates of coarsening that govern the manufacture with metals from turbine blades to dental amalgam fillings.)

Continuing the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of ventilation systems in the RS (Russian Segment), Dan Tani spent half an hour in the DC1 (Docking Compartment) to replace the PF1 &PF2 air filter cartridges with fresh units.

The FE-2 also filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his 8th, on the MEC. (By means of these FFQs, U.S. astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. At TsUP/Moscow, food specialists are currently preparing the Russian food 'menu' for delivery by Progress M-63/28P next February. 28P will carry 'bonus food' for Peggy and Yuri, plus about 15 kg of fresh food items (apples, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, garlic) in two containers.)

Peggy connected the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper to the LAB1D6 rack, to support the ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) at ~12:30pm in support of tomorrow's SPHERES experiment by Dan. (The experiment's floating 'satellite' spheres use CO2 gas as propellant.)

The CDR also replaced procedures pages in Russian ODF (Operation Data File) books with new updates delivered on Progress 27P. (Changes involve the books on SOZh Life Support, Medical Ops 1, 2 & 3, Technical Experiments, Medical Experiments 1 & 2, and Progress M-62/27P Transfer Ops.)

Peggy and Dan had almost four hours set aside between them to finish unloading the 27P resupply ship, transferring its cargo to the ISS and updating the IMS (Inventory Management System) accordingly.

Yuri completed of the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of 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.)

Later, Malenchenko also conducted the daily 20-min. IMS 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).

The CDR performed the daily status check on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload, running by itself in Node-2 since 12/13 (briefly interrupted for EVA-13 photo support). The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. (The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.)

The crew worked out in their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (CDR/OUM, FE-2/OUM), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1/MO-5).

Afterwards, Tani copied the exercise data file to the MEC laptop for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

For the thruster test firing later tonight, the CDR verified proper closure of the protective shutters on the Lab science window, to remain closed until two orbits after returning to US Momentum Management control.

At ~3:25am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~4:30am, Yuri linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues and equipment locations.

At ~2:55pm, the crew is scheduled for their seventh weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. (S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10)).

At ~3:40pm, Dan Tani will have a PFC (Private Family Conference), via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-10 laptop).

27P Dynamic Thruster Testing: To verify proper integration of the Progress 27P cargo ship's propulsion system (used for reboosts & debris avoidance maneuvers) into the RS MCS (Motion Control System) Russian ground controllers will conduct the standard firing tests of the Progress DPO (Approach & Attitude Control) thrusters later tonight, at 7:05pm (Manifold 1) with three firings of 10 sec duration each, and at 8:41pm (Manifold 2) for a second set of three 10-sec firings. ISS attitude control will be handed over to the RS MCS at 6:20pm and returned to USOS (US Segment) CMG Momentum Management at 9:10pm.

GNC MDM Software Patch Update: An attempt yesterday by ground controllers at MCC-Houston to upload a software patch to the GNC MDMs (Guidance, Navigation & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexers) was unsuccessful when the backup & prime GNC MDMs could not be synchronized. This morning, the backup MDM was returned to its nominal (pre-patch) configuration by reloading its original software without the patch. Engineers are assessing when to reattempt the patch load. Activation of the software patch, designed to allow for limiting CMG (Control Moment Gyroscope) gimbal rate acceleration to help protect the CMGs, is not planned until after Flight 1E.

Russian SKV Air Conditioner Update: Yesterday the FE-1 removed the NOK-2 condensate evacuation pump that pulls condensate from the SKV-2 air conditioner. Finding a 'rubbery, jelly-like' substance inside the inlet line, Yuri removed as much of it as he could, and TsUP specialists directed him to clean the remainder of the line in an upcoming maintenance session. The FE-1 temporarily installed the replacement NOK-2 and will permanently install it once condensate & inlet line cleaning is complete. (These activities are in support of SKV-2 troubleshooting that began after SKV-2 and the SRVK condensate processing unit in the RS shut down on 12/23 (last Sunday). SRVK and SKV-2 both remain operational, but are currently deactivated. SKV-1 has been inoperable for some time.)

CEO photo targets uplinked for today again were Yangtze River Delta (patchy overcast, so the crew may have seen some or all of this very large river delta at nadir and right), Shanghai, China (patchy overcast, so the crew may have been able to see some or all of this city at nadir and right), Polar Mesospheric Clouds - PMC, Antarctica, (looking right), Lahore, Pakistan (Lahore is on the short list of Asian cities for research. The crew was to shoot city margins on this nadir pass), Delhi, India (looking right for this large city, which can be difficult to detect, on the banks of the large Yamuna River, which is the main visual cue from ISS), Santorini volcanic complex, Mediterranean (scattered cloud forecast. The crew should have seen some of the islands in this group, well left of track), and South Tibesti Megafans, Chad (looking right for a general view of a wide plain covered with darker lines (immediately at the foot of the dark rocks of the Tibesti Mountains). The dark lines are river courses of an ancient megafan (inland delta) created when the Sahara was much wetter several thousand years ago. New research shows that many features of this pattern are replicated by river-like features seen on Mars. ISS/CEO imagery is far more detailed than anything available of this remote region of the Sahara).

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