Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.08 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/08/08

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.)

Working in the DC1 Docking Compartment, FE-1 Malenchenko, later joined by CDR Whitson, started a three-day maintenance activity on three Russian Orlan-M spacesuits (#25, #26, #27), first initiating discharge of 825M3 Orlan battery pack #1, then scrubbing and degassing the Orlan water loops, followed by the coolant loops in the DC1 and SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) BSS Orlan Interface Units. (Functional inspection & checkout of the suits and their spare parts, including bladder leak tests, are scheduled tomorrow & Thursday.)

FE-2 Tani undertook the monthly (Week 11) potable water sampling for microbial inflight and post-flight chemical analysis, using jointly approved Russian sampling procedures with the U.S. WS&A (Water Sampler & Archiver) kit for collection. Later, Dan performed the in-flight analysis using the WMK (Water Microbiology Kit) and its MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) for coliform detection. (Three samples (225 mL each) were taken in the SM -- at the potable water SRV-K hot port, SRV-K warm port & SVO-ZV tap for inflight analysis, plus two chemical post-flight samples (750 mL) for return on 1E from SRV-K warm & SVO-ZV. Note: Flush water is being reclaimed by mopping it up with towels which are then hung up in the Russian segment (RS) for evaporation, collection and condensation in the SKV2 air conditioner, thus reducing the amount of water to be transferred from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) condensate tank to the RS for 'Elektron' processing (demineralizing). )

The FE-1 serviced the SM's ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables, performing the periodic replacement of the toilet's urine receptacle (M-P) and filter insert (F-V), plus associated hoses and a sensor, and stowing the old units for disposal.

The FE-2 performed his 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.)

In the SM, Malenchenko conducted his second periodic repositioning of the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS) by rotating its AST spectrometer 90 deg in its place to face in another direction, then swapping the AST's PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) storage card #941 with #938. The activity was photo-recorded, with imagery downlinked afterwards. (ALTCRISS uses the AST spectrometer to monitor space radiation at different points in the RS.)

Later, Yuri completed today's routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables, the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP.

Working off his voluntary 'time permitting' task list, the FE-1 also 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).

At ~11:55am EST, Peggy Whitson conducted a teleconference with ground specialists on her upcoming R&R (Removal & Replacement) of a suspect ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) pressure relief valve in EXPRESS Rack 1 (ER1). (A fluid leak in ER1 was identified in late 2005, and the valve is the most likely suspect. The rack's anomaly has significantly impacted the science community. A spare valve was delivered on 12A.1. The suspect valve was not designed as an ORU (Orbital Replacement Unit), but its R&R can restore full functionality to the rack. The IFM (Inflight Maintenance) is scheduled on 1/10 (Thursday) for several hours, and the valve will be inspected for leaks; if none are found, the hardware will be reinstalled. ER1, with 8 lockers and 2 drawers, containing SAMS (Space Accelerations Measuring System) & MAMS (Microgravity Accelerations Measuring System), has been inactive since 1/2.)

Dan Tani conducted the periodic (every two weeks) 15-min inspection of the RED (Resistive Exercise Device) canister cords and accessory straps as well as the canister bolts for re-tightening if required.

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

Afterwards, Dan 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).

With the Russian O2 (oxygen) generator 'Elektron' turned off since 12/28/07, the FE-1 had time set aside for another 1-hour O2 repress of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-62/27P storage tankage, if required. Yesterday's repress added about 8 mmHg of O2 into the ISS as per plan. (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.)

As a new item added to her discretionary 'job jar' task list, CDR Whitson is to take the Sony PD100 camcorder on another narrated video 'tour' of the ISS compartments, with special attention to radial port stowage in both Nodes for fireport evaluation, for subsequent downlink to MCC-Houston. (Last time done by Suni Williams on 5/8/07). (The footage provides valuable situational insight in the current configuration of the station interior, including general stowage configuration and fireport observation (clearance), for the FCT (Flight Control Team) and will also be used for upcoming Expedition and Shuttle crews for pre-flight 'handover' training.)

Weekend Voluntary Science: For the next voluntary 'Saturday Science' program on 1/12, Peggy was offered, for her acceptance, two experiment runs with the InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) payload in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox).

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today again were Polar Mesospheric Clouds - PMC, Antarctica (IPY--PMC radar research station active. GMTs 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 ISS passes at the uplinked GMTs. But the crew was to feel free to look south during any night awake pass), Tigris-Euphrates Delta, Persian Gulf (looking to the right of track for the Tigris-Euphrates delta region. Like other deltas around the world, land use change in the region is affecting the existing ecosystems and hydrologic processes. Imagery of the coastline is requested to track these changes), Somalia Coast, Africa (weather was predicted to be clear over the Somalia coast for high resolution photography of existing land cover and land use. Nadir images of the coast, acquired along-track, were requested), and Volcano Colima, Mexico (a Decade Volcano, Colima is considered to be one of the most potentially hazardous due to human settlement in the region. Looking to the right of track for the volcano, distinctive because of two peaks. Near-nadir mapping of the summit and flanks of the cone is requested. This imagery is useful for identifying changes in vegetation density or slope material movement).

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