Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.02 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/02/08


CDR Whitson and FE-2 Tani started out 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 SLEEP 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.)

Peggy and Dan spent several hours getting 'the broom out of the closet', i.e., accessing the PMA-3 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 3) at the Node-1 nadir port and retrieving the spare BMRMM (Bearing Motor Roll Ring Module) for its planned installation at the Stbd (right-side) 1A BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) on the S4 truss in an upcoming EVA, replacing the failed BMRRM. The following steps were successfully executed to retrieve the spare part:

Pressurize the PMA-3 (normally kept at vacuum to avoid humidity condensation);
Perform leak check on pressurized PMA-3;
Open Node-1 nadir hatch;
Remove CBM CD (Common Berthing Module Center Disk) cover;
Dismantle Port and Fwd CBM CPAs (Controller Panel Assemblies);
Remove CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System);
Retrieve BMRMM from its securing tethers
Inspect Node-1 nadir hatch seal;
Reverse all access steps (i.e., reinstall components and close hatch);
Temporarily remove cargo stowed in A/L CL (Airlock Crewlock) that cannot go to vacuum, for using the depress pump to reclaim air from PMA-3;
Depressurize PMA-3;
After CL repress, restow cargo items back into CL;
Clean up.
FE-1 Malenchenko continued the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, first working in the DC1 (Docking Compartment) to clean the V1 & V2 fan grilles and VD1 & VD2 air ducts, then moving to the Soyuz TMA-11/15S at the FGB nadir port to clean the screen of its BVN fan/heater assembly.

The FE-1 conducted the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatch openings (8) in the SM, FGB and DC1.

Yuri also completed the periodic collection of cabin air samples, i.e. by using --

The SKDS CMS (Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System/Countermeasure System) to take readings of potentially harmful contaminants in the SM. (The CMS, part of the GANK-4M analyses (see below), uses preprogrammed microchips to measure Formaldehyde (H2CO, methanal), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Ammonia (NH3), taking one measurement per microchip. CMS is part of the GANK-4M analysis conducted today); and
The GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer system. (GANK tests for Methane (CH4), Ammonia (NH3), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Formaldehyde (HCHO), Nitrogen Oxides (NO, NO2), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl), Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), and Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN).)
Dr. Whitson broke out and set up the equipment for tomorrow's scheduled U.S. PHS (Periodic Health Status) with Blood Labs exam, her first clinical blood analysis. (The task today included an electronic function test and control analysis of the blood lab equipment, viz., the PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) which she then stowed temporarily.)

FE-2 Tani performed the periodic offloading of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier's condensate tank, filling a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1054) with the collected water slated for processing. No samples were required this time. (Estimated offload time before termination (leaving ~6 kg in the tank): ~40 min.)

Malenchenko conducted the third recharging of the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone brought up on Soyuz 15S, a monthly routine job. (After retrieving it from its location in the TMA-11/15S descent module (BO) at ~11:25pm EST, Yuri initiated the recharging of its lithium-ion battery, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion at ~12:35pm, the phone was returned inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the BO's operational data files (ODF) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an 'undershoot' ballistic reentry). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap.)

Working on the EXPRESS Rack 5 (ER5), Whitson unplugged the MSG MLC (Microgravity Science Glovebox Laptop Computer) from its LAN (Local Area Network) Ethernet connection and reset/recabled ER5 to its nominal configuration. (Last November, Peggy had temporarily configured the MSG MLC for LAN in support of Node-2 integration.)

After the ground-commanded deactivation of the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) at ~7:50am-12:50pm, Dan Tani disconnected the ITCS LTL QD (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop/Quick Disconnect) coolant jumper to the CDRA (LAB1D6) rack. (The deactivation is for cool-down in preparation for the major R&R (Removal & Replacement) of the expended CDRA Desiccant/Sorbent Bed #201 with a new spare, starting tomorrow. The entire IFM (Inflight Maintenance) will take two crewmembers approximately 9 hours (2h for CDRA removal from AR Rack, 5h for Bed 201 R&R, 2h for CDRA replacement in AR Rack), including removal of CDRA sock filters for inspection, cleaning and putting back in CDRA.)

The FE-1 performed the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Russian Vozdukh CO2 removal system's spare emergency vacuum valves (AVK), in the spare parts kit. (The AVKs are critical because they close the Vozdukh's vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP). During nominal operation, the AVK valves remain open.)

Yuri conducted another session of the Russian "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the Nikon D2X digital camera with 800 mm focal length lens. (Targets uplinked for today were Poland, with the Wisla river and the city of Torun, monitoring oil contamination under low Sun conditions.)

Malenchenko set up the hardware and conducted the first part of the onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') preventive health maintenance fitness test, on the VELO bicycle ergometer. Part 2, on the TVIS treadmill, is scheduled tomorrow. (Test procedure for MBI-8, which requires workouts on the VELO and TVIS, is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal procedure it uses the TEEM-100M gas analyzer with breathing mask, a blood lactate test with the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories, and a subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test (using the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale, viz., 10 steps from very light over hard and very hard to maximum). Results are entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data are transferred to the RSE-Med laptop, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results are also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP.)

With the Russian oxygen (O2) generator 'Elektron' 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.)

The CDR and FE-1 had about three hours set aside between them for more Progress 27P unloading & cargo transfers, along with IMS (Inventory Management System) tracking.

Later, Yuri 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).

Malenchenko also 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.)

Tani 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.')

In preparation of tomorrow's first session with the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) payload in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), CDR Whitson was 'hard' scheduled today for a 30-min. familiarization review of descriptive material for the experiment and set-up of 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 TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-2), RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1/MBI-8).

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 2:45pm EST, Peggy and Dan are scheduled to conduct the periodic VHF1 emergency communications check over NASA's VHF (Very High Frequency) stations, today at the Dryden (2:47-2:53pm) and White Sands VHF sites (2:49-2:56pm), talking with Houston/Capcom, MSFC/PAYCOM (Payload Operation & Integration Center Communicator) and Moscow/GLAVNI (TsUP Capcom) in the normal fashion via VHF radio from a handheld microphone and any of the U.S. segment ATUs (audio terminal units). (Purpose of the test is to verify signal reception and link integrity, and to ensure minimum required link margin during emergency (no TDRS) and special events (such as a Soyuz relocation).)

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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