Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.04 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/04/08


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.)

Also before breakfast, Peggy Whitson, Yuri Malenchenko and Dan Tani performed the periodic Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement (5th for CDR & FE-1, 4th for FE-2), using the IM mass measurement device which Malenchenko afterwards broke down for stowage. (Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember's mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.)

Dr. Whitson activated the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) via its A31p laptop and later in the day completed Part 2 of hardware setup & installation for the InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment. (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. For the new run, the CDR set up CA2-001, VA-001 (Vial Assembly 1), connected a fiber optics cable with its light guide tool to the CA, and inserted video tapes.)

FE-1 Malenchenko inspected the KRIOGEM-03 refrigerator behind SM (Service Module) panel 229a and took photographs for downlink to TsUP-Moscow via BSR-TM, to check on adequacy of air vents for the unit.

FE-2 Tani had more time reserved for finishing up the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) maintenance conducted yesterday, as required. (Yesterday's replacement work by Whitson & Tani concerned the second (#201) of the two CDRA desiccant/sorbent beds, the first bed having been replaced during Flight 12A.1 in December 2006. The expended CDRA bed #201, to be returned for refurbishment, was found to contain significant amounts of Zeolite in the air selector valve and at the outlets of both the desiccant and sorbent beds. Its replacement has a modified (updated) design that precludes the breach of Zeolite that had been causing CDRA subcomponent contamination and failure. The crew then connected the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System Low Temperature Loop) for cooling, after which CDRA was activated. Ground teams are closely monitoring the operations of the system over the next few days to verify nominal functionality. Note: During the R&R Tani reported finding a 14mm spherical fisheye camera lens in the depths of the Lab that had been missing for a long time.)

The two flight engineers later performed outfitting in the DC1 (Docking Compartment), removing old protective guard cages from SD1-7 lighting fixtures and replacing them with new guards delivered on Progress 27P. The old guards were trashed.

CDR Whitson set up the NUTRITION/Repository hardware for urine and blood collections, to be conducted tomorrow by Dan Tani as part of his Voluntary Weekend Science initiative.

Afterwards, Peggy powered on the ELITE-S2 payload to allow ground verification of proper IMU (Interface Management Unit) function. Later, the CDR turned it off again (IMU can only be powered 2.2 hours per day to avoid violating an acoustic constraint). (The Italian (ASI) experiment ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2) is a human motion analysis facility for technological characterization and potential application for multifactorial movement analysis, to study the connection between brain, visualization and motion in micro-G. By recording and analyzing the three-dimensional motion of astronauts, this study should help engineers apply ergonomics into future spacecraft designs and determine the effects of weightlessness on breathing mechanisms for long-duration missions.)

Yuri Malenchenko set up new Bubble dosimeters for recording radiation traces as an additional component of the RS (Russian segment) radiation payload suite 'Matryoshka-R' (RBO-3-2), initializing and deploying the detectors. (With two new Bubble dosimeter detectors added, a total of eight were initialized in the Bubble dosimeter reader in the SM and positioned at their exposure locations, near the 'Phantom' unit on the DC1 panel and in the starboard crew cabin on both sides of the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) dosimeter detector unit. The setup was photo-documented and also reported to TsUP via log sheet on the BSR-TM payload channel. The complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies. Note: Matryoshka is the name for the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.)

Checking up on potential spillage after his work on the SKV2 air conditioner (see below), Malenchenko had ~2 hrs scheduled for the periodic/long-term inspection of the pressure hull in the SM RO (Service Module Working Compartment), looking for any moisture, deposits, mold, corrosion and pitting behind panels 130, 134, 135, 138, 139 and underneath the TVIS treadmill. (Last time done: 11/2/07).

With about 3 hrs set aside, CDR Whitson performed outfitting on the SM ventilation system, cleaning four fans (VPO10, VPO11, VPO12, VSZP1) behind SM panels before replacing their US-made noise suppressors (blue) with Russian acoustic mufflers (white).

Dan took air samples for the periodic (weekly) atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the hand-held CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), CSA-O2 (CSA -Oxygen sensor) and CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit). Batteries were to be replaced if necessary. (Purpose of the 15-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements. CSA-CP sensors (and readings) employed in the SM were #1051 (22.6%) & #1044 (22.7%) & #1045 (21.8%). O2 sensor checks used #1042 (22.2%), #1063 (22.3%), #1052 (22.1%), #1041 (22.1%). CDMK CO2 level in Lab was 0.22% and 0.21% in the SM.)

The FE-1 completed of the routine 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 and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.)

Later, Yuri conducted the daily 20-min. 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).

The FE-2 filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his 9th, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). (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.)

Tani also 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.')

With the Russian oxygen (O2) generator 'Elektron' turned off since 12/28/07, Yuri had time reserved for another 1-hour O2 repress of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-62/27P storage tankage, if required. (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.)

Dan Tani updated the three deployed Post Node-2 Warning books, in their 'EVA Hazards' section, with the current new Directed Position angles of the Port SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) for +XVV and -XVV attitude. (From 340 deg (+XVV) & 20 deg (-XVV) to 320 deg & 40 deg, resp.)

The CDR and FE-2 had more Progress 27P unloading & cargo transfers, as necessary, along with IMS tracking, added on their discretionary 'job jar' task list.

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 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).

At ~4:15am EST, Yuri linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues and equipment locations.

At ~7:20am, 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 ~8:45am, the station residents convened for their weekly teleconference with ISS Program Management at JSC/Houston via S-band/audio.

At ~2:10pm, the crew is scheduled for their eighth 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)).

SKV2 Update: After the recent troubleshooting of the Russian SKV2 air conditioner, the system continues to run nominally. With SKV1 nonfunctional since quite some time, SKV2 remains the only RS system that collects and condensates humidity from the air. The unit is slated for replacement in the May 2008 timeframe. (In the USOS (US segment), the CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) in the Lab is serving this function. Humidity level and air temperature need to be controlled carefully to prevent harmful condensation on hardware systems.)

CEO photo targets uplinked for today again were Lake Eyre, Australia (ISS orbit track got close to the northeastern shoreline of this large lake. Lake Eyre is very responsive to changes in local climate (as expressed by changes in precipitation). Imagery of the current water levels and surrounding vegetation is requested to add to a time series for change analysis. Looking to the right of track for the Lake), Polar Mesospheric Clouds - PMC, Antarctica (IPY--PMC radar research station active. Uplinked GMT times for this and subsequent PMC opportunities were chosen for closeness to the Antarctic PMC radar research site at 73S 13W. Radar is switched on during the ISS passes at the given GMTs. But the crew was also to look south during any night awake pass. The usual indicators apply to this and PMC opportunities below: Looking right, well above the limb -- i.e. above the horizon, SW thru SE), and Somalia Coast, Africa (weather was predicted to be clear for high resolution mapping of the Somalia coast. Baseline imagery of the coastal region is useful for later comparison of expected land cover/land use change following petroleum infrastructure development. Nadir mapping with overlapping frames, taken along track, was requested).

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