Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.01 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/01/08

Happy New Year! Crew off-duty day (of course!).

Peggy and Dan began the New Year with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & 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.)

Afterwards, the FE-2 connected the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper at the LAB1D6 rack in support of the ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) at ~5:50am EST.

Tani then performed the daily status check on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload, running by itself in Node-2 since 12/13/07 (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. Special uplink to Dan this morning: 'The BCAT team downloaded the new images and reports that they look fabulous. The team is very excited and looking forward to pressing ahead and making more progress in coming days.')

FE-1 Malenchenko conducted the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Russian 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.)

With the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator turned off since 12/28/07, Yuri performed another 1-hour O2 repress of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-62/27P storage tankage. (The Elektron will remain powered down until 1/9/08 to conserve hardware lifetime. During this time, the station will be periodically repressurized with oxygen from Progress 27P.)

In preparation of an upcoming new session with the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) payload in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), CDR Whitson, working off the discretionary 'job jar' task list, conducted a 30-min. familiarization review of descriptive material for the experiment and set up the video equipment at the MSG. (InSPACE, conducted last in June 2006 by Jeff Williams on Increment 13, obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The dispersed particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields of certain strength and frequencies.)

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, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Dan Tani copied the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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).

At ~2:10pm, 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).

Weekend Voluntary Science: For the voluntary 'Saturday Science' program on 1/5, Peggy and Dan were offered for their choice: (1) a session with the InSPACE-2 hardware (setup part 2 by Peggy, with Dan's assistance, else to be hard-scheduled on 1/4); (2) InSPACE-2 experiment runs 1 & 2 (for Peggy, 2h25m); and (3) NASA Biological Specimen Repository (Rep), for Dan (with possible assistance from Peggy. Objective of the Repository protocol is to develop an in-flight archive of human biological samples for future research activities to advance development of prognostics, markers, and therapeutics.) Selection is required ASAP.

Regenerative ECLS Update: Yesterday's work of installing & configuring the Regen ECLS (Regenerative Environmental Control & Life Support) modification kit #1 by Whitson & Tani was successfully completed. (Primary objective of the activity was to pre-position cabling that will be installed once the CHeCS (Crew Health Care System) rack is moved to Lab position S4 at a later time. This procedure included rotating four racks (D1, D2, D4, P1), removing & remounting the LAB1PD1 Smoke Detector, and relocation of the OGS WDS (Oxygen Generation System/Water Delivery System.)

Russian SKV-2 Air Conditioner Update: Malenchenko's intense efforts over the weekend to clean the SMOK condensate removal lines in the STR (Thermal Control System) for the SKV air conditioners of the 'rubbery, jelly-like' substance found on 12/27/07 were successful. SKV-2 was reactivated on 12/30 (Sunday) and has been running nominally since then. (SKV-2 troubleshooting began after SKV-2 and the SRVK condensate processing unit in the RS shut down on 12/23/07. SRVK and SKV-2 both remain operational, but were temporarily deactivated. SKV-1 has been inoperable for some time.)

CEO photo targets uplinked for today again were Polar Mesospheric Clouds - (PMC - also known as noctilucent clouds) over selected ground sites (12 minutes for each). (Southern spring is the season for relatively uncommon polar mesospheric clouds to form very high over Antarctica. PMC are being studied as part of the International Polar Year (IPY) investigation of climate change in high latitudes. PMC form in the stratosphere and higher, i.e. well above the lowest layer of the atmosphere (troposphere, or weather layer, characterized by clouds, and an orange tinge produced by brushfire smoke, smog, etc.). The AIM satellite (Aeronomy of Ice in the Atmosphere) has recently been launched to investigate how PMC form and why they are apparently becoming thicker and brighter. ISS/CEO imagery will complement images from AIM and from the ground. The collaborating IPY scientist is excited to receive any images ISS may acquire. Collaborating Swedish scientists are now working at a base in Antarctica (73S 13 W) for PMC observation.)

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