Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.15 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/15/08


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.)

FE-1 Malenchenko serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated before sleeptime, at ~2:20pm EST. Regeneration of bed #2 follows tomorrow. (Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods.)

At ~3:15am, the FE-2 activated the VDS MPC (Video Distribution System/Multi-Purpose Converter) with its four downlinks to allow the ground to conduct HDTV (high-definition TV) playback and downlink operations. Later (~1:05pm), the MPC was powered off again.

The FE-1 used his standard ECOSFERA equipment, set up yesterday, to perform microbial air sampling runs for the MedOps SZM-MO-21 experiment, taking samples in the DC-1 Docking Compartment, followed by the standard pre-return sanitary-epidemiological incubation status checks (MedOps SZM-MO-22), collecting samples from cabin surfaces along with specimens from crewmembers for sanitation and disease studies. The samples will be returned to Earth on Soyuz. (The MO-21 equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger and power supply unit, provides samples to help determine microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies. The MO-22 equipment, similar to MO-21, complements the investigation.)

The FE-2 worked in the Airlock (A/L), continuing the lengthy troubleshooting procedure on the ATU-6 (Audio Terminal Unit #6) on the A/L Avionics Rack which still has not performed satisfactorily after the recent troubleshooting (1/9). (ATU-6 was installed by Clay Anderson on 10/11/07 in place of a failed unit, and the failed ATU-6 was returned on 10A. The new ATU-6 has been experiencing periodic lockups and PBIT (passive built-in test) faults. Of the 3 ATUs in the A/L, one of which must be functional for EVAs, so long as the suited VA crew has established UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio communication.)

Tani also removed and replaced an RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module, AL1A4AB) in the Airlock.

With ~2h10m set aside, Dan Tani continued the outfitting on the Service Module (SM) ventilation system started by Peggy Whitson on 1/4, cleaning four fans (VPO5, VPO6, VPO8, VPO9) behind panels before replacing their US-made noise suppressors (blue) with Russian acoustic mufflers (white).

Yuri Malenchenko transferred the newly arrived Russian payload TkhN-7 SVS (Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis) from Progress 27P, set it up in the SM with its camcorder and digital still camera gear and activated the experiment. (SVS uses its own camera, "Telescience" hardware from PK-3 (Plasma Crystallization) and the onboard Klest TV system for researching self-propagating high-temperature fusion of samples in space.)

CDR Whitson continued her work with the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) and the InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment, today conducting runs #12 and #13, exchange video tapes and finally powering the MSG down. (After activation of MSG and InSPACE & InSPACE-2 equipment, Peggy checked on alignment & focusing of MSG video cam #1, switched the magnetic field between runs, changed out the video recorder tape, turned off InSPACE & MSG and stowed the equipment. 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.)

In the Soyuz 15S spacecraft, docked at the FGB nadir port, Malenchenko turned on the gas analyzer, a periodic checkup activity.

Yuri also loaded new software on the BSMM (Multi-Channel Matching Unit) in preparation for upcoming HDD testing. After the software installation, communications between the BSMM computer and the RS1 laptop was to be checked. (BSMM is part of the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network), which also includes such items as the BSPN (Payload Server), OBC (Onboard Controller) for RokvISS, and GTS (Global Timing System).)

Malenchenko broke out and prepared the hardware for his first Russian blood chemistry analysis test PZE MO-11 on Increment 16, scheduled tomorrow. The exam will be performed with the kits and accessories of the Reflotron-4 blood analyzer and supported by tagup with ground specialists.

Dan Tani worked on the PFA (Portable Fan Assembly), installing a ground wire. (This item had been listed before on the discretionary "job jar" task list.)

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, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), 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).

At ~8:20am, the Expedition 16 crew conducted the standard teleconference with the Expedition 17 crew, via S-Band for audio and KU-Band for video.

At ~10:00 am, the crew participated in an interactive PAO TV downlink with WHO Radio, Des Moines, IA (Jim Boyd).

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Khartoum, Sudan (the Sudanese capital city is located at the confluence of the White and Blue Nile Rivers just north of a prominent agricultural region. This pass is in fair weather and mid-morning light. However, the nadir pass may be helpful in overcoming the effects of dust and smoke that typically cause loss of detail. Trying for mapping of the urban margins, especially along the river banks), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (this capital city is located near the center of the rugged Ethiopian Highlands. Using Lake Tana to the north-northwest and the Rift Valley lakes the south to help find this difficult target area. This region is often cloudy in the afternoon, so on this morning pass looking left of track for context views only), Heard Island (Heard Island is a bleak, uninhabited, and mountainous island located in the Southern Ocean; about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica. Its mountains are covered in glaciers and dominated by Mawson Peak, a 9,006 ft high complex volcano which forms part of the Big Ben massif. A long thin spit named "Elephant Spit" extends from the east of the island. The ISS pass was in mid-afternoon with weather satellite imagery suggesting clearing from the southwest. Looking well right of track and use the long lens for details), and S. Georgia/S. Sandwich (the South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous and glaciated island that lies about 860 miles east-southeast of the Falkland Islands. The South Sandwich Islands form a separate island group and are to the southeast. Weather was expected to be mostly cloudy with occasional partial clearing, but where possible, the crew was to try for detailed views of the glaciers on the north coast of South Georgia. ISS passed it in early afternoon,and the crew was advised to look well right of track).

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