Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.22 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/22/08

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.)

At ~2:55am EST, the FE-2 again 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 (~12:15pm), the MPC was powered off again. (The end-to-end test of the system, conducted by the crew and ground specialists on 1/17 to verify the MPC HDTV (Multi-Purpose Converter/High-Definition TV) capability all the way to the NASA TV satellite, was very successful, yielding an overall end-to-end audio latency (delay) for the MPC System of 3.2 seconds. This is the delay from the crewmember to JSC/MCC-H to NASA Headquarters and out to the NASA TV satellite in high definition (including, but are not limited to, CNNHD, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Discovery HD Theater), i.e. the sum total of the audio delay the interviewer and interviewee will "feel" during an interactive event. This Japan/JAXA originated system will be utilized soon for downlink messages and in-flight interviews based on client capability.)

In Node-2, the CDR terminated the overnight leak check on the N2 (nitrogen) recharge system. An overnight leak check of the ISS oxygen recharge line verifies the integrity of the Node-2 N2 recharge system installation. (Node-2 N2 recharge system fine leak checkpass criteria requires real-time analysis to confirm that the N2 supply pressure decay remains less than 124 kpa (18 psia) over 10 hours.)

Using the SKDS CMS (Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System/Countermeasure System), the FE-1 took the periodic readings of potentially harmful contaminants in the Service Module (SM). The hardware was then returned to initial stowage. (The CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure Formaldehyde (H2CO, methanal), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Ammonia (NH3), taking one measurement per microchip.)

Dan Tani conducted the periodic checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian segment) hatch openings (8) in the SM (Service Module), FGB and DC1 (Docking Compartment).

Dan also terminated the depressurization of the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) in front of Node-2 with the depress pump set up yesterday after the successful completion of vestibule outfitting for the upcoming 1E Flight, and performed the standard ~1 hr leak check.

The CDR closed the Lab science window shutters as protection against today's planned thruster firings.

TsUP-Moscow conducted the second of four days of ASN-M Satellite Navigation System testing, with FE-1 support. (Today's tests centered on an ISS attitude maneuver, controlled from the ground with ASN-M activated, with subsequent attitude hold, designed to rehearse for ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) approach. FE-1 transferred data from the АСН-M to the Russian laptop. For the Russian thruster firings, attitude control authority was handed over to Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at ~7:55am EST, to be returned to U.S. momentum management at ~3:20pm. The data will be downlinked tomorrow and Friday so that TsUP-Moscow can perform an analysis on the data and determine how the test is proceeding. The purpose of the week long testing is to confirm the ASN-M hardware readiness for the upcoming ATV 'Jules Verne' vehicle docking.)

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 FE-1 also 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).

In the SM, Yuri readied the newly installed Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, planting its root module with pea seeds (6 seeds 1cm deep in each root module row), charging the water canister, loading new software and running a hardware test, then starting the experiment. (Rasteniya-2, researches growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-12 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.)

With the Elektron-VM O2 (oxygen) generator currently off, a 5-min cabin air refresh is to be performed by the FE-1 from Progress M-62/27P storage (SrPK) as required.

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 #21 and #22, then powered down the payload and switched the MSG to standby. At her option, she may also continue with runs scheduled for tomorrow. (After activation of MSG plus InSPACE & InSPACE-2 equipment, Peggy checked on alignment & focusing of MSG video cams, switched the magnetic field between runs, today, for #22, pulsing the field at 20 Hz (Hertz) instead of 2 Hz as she did previously. Peggy also repositioned the sample vial (VA-004) by 90 deg, used camera 2 & recorder 2 in the vial position 2 starting with run #19, changed out video recorder tapes and later deactivated InSPACE & 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.)

In the SM, Malenchenko initiated the JAXA-3DPC (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency-3D Photon Crystals) crystal growth experiment. (The purpose of this investigation is to grow photonic crystals in microgravity using particles in electrolytic solutions that will be fixed using ultraviolet light in a process referred to as photocuring, after self-organization and ordering of colloid nanoparticles in an electrolyte solution with subsequent fixation in an elastic gel matrix.)

The CDR and FE-1 completed the mandatory monthly 30-min. CBT (computer-based training with video and audio) to refresh their CMO proficiency/rating. (To maintain proficiency in using HMS (health maintenance systems) hardware including ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) in contingency situations where crew life is at risk, these training sessions are performed once a month to review equipment and procedures via CBT. Besides ACLS, procedures include airway obstruction management, i.e., review of suction device, nasal airway, intubating laryngeal mask airway (ILMA) with endotracheal tube, and cricothyrotomy (incision to re-enable breathing air inflow).)

Dan Tani 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.)

The two Flight Engineers worked in the Progress M-62/27P vehicle, dismantling the Kurs-A rendezvous & approach radar system of its motion control & navigation system (SUDN) and removing it from the logistics drone, a 3-hr. job. These valuable components, stowed in the FGB, will be returned to Earth on the Shuttle for reuse. (KURS-A is the active half of the Russian space program's proven S-band radar system for automated flight, which measures relative motion parameters between Progress (or Soyuz) and the ISS during rendezvous operations, to enable the autopilot's calculation of corrective impulses. The system's passive transponder counterpart (KURS-P) is on the Service Module (SM), with one antenna each at the tip of the two solar array wings.)

Whitson conducted the periodic (monthly) CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products) maintenance/checkout, today on all four units, then picked a new prime instrument and returned the backup units & sampling pump to their original locations. (The CSA-CP is a passive cabin atmosphere monitor that provides quick response capability during a combustion event (fire). Its collected data are stored on a logger. Peggy changed out the batteries on the units, then zero-calibrated the instruments (to eliminate drift in the combustion sensors). Following zero calibration, the backup units was stowed in the Node (next to the sampling pump), while the prime unit's datalogger function was turned on to collect data at the SM Central Post as a spot check. After one hour, the datalogger was deactivated, with the prime CSA-CP remaining on for continuous passive sampling.)

The CDR also was scheduled to conduct the periodic SM window inspection & photography, using a tool kit with ruler, adhesive tape, 90-deg equilateral triangle & measuring tape, the NIKON D2 X digital camera with 28-70 mm lens, a flash attachment, and sketches of the windows under scrutiny (##3,5,6,7,8) with previous detected flaws marked and flaw tables. (Purpose of the activity is to assess the condition of the window panes for deterioration as compared to the data from previous increments (appearance of new cavities, scratches, discolorations, or spots reducing transparency, or an increase in the size of old flaws), plus photography.)

FE-1 Malenchenko used the Russian MO-21 'Ecosfera' air sampler & incubation equipment for another check on the station's sanitary-hygiene status, conducting the standard 45-min. microbial analysis (T+7 days) on the air samples collected on 1/15 and incubated since then in the MO-21 equipment in Medium 2 (MON-2). (MO-21 determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.)

Whitson performed the regular monthly & quarterly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), inspecting the condition of harnesses, belt slats, corner bracket ropes, IRBAs (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assemblies) and gyroscope wire ropes for any damage or defects, lubricating as required plus recording time & date values.

A new addition to Peggy's voluntary 'job jar' task list was to continue the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems by cleaning the detachable VT7 fan screens 1, 2 & 3 of the three SOTR (Thermal Control System) gas-liquid heat exchangers (GZhT4) in the FGB.

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

Afterwards, Peggy 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 ~5:30am, Yuri Malenchenko conducted a periodic private teleconference with his physical exercise specialist at TsUP.

Robotics Preview: On 1/25, the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), currently based on Node-2, will be 'walked off' inchworm-style to the MT MBS (Mobile Transporter/Mobile Base System), detached from Node-2 and re-based on MBS PDGF-1 (Power & Data Grapple Fixture 1). On 1/26-27, the SSRMS will be maneuvered to the subsequently planned Stbd SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) inspection.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today. (Due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday yesterday, the next CEO observations will be conducted tomorrow (targets uplinked today).)

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