Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.01.31 - ISS On-Orbit Status 01/31/08


Light duty day today for the crew following yesterday's successful EVA.

>>>>Today 50 years ago, the U.S. launched its first Earth satellite, Explorer 1, on a Redstone/Jupiter rocket built by the Wernher von Braun team for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). The satellite, developed by JPL and equipped with radiation sensors by Dr. James Van Allen, discovered the Van Allen Radiation Belts of Earth.<<<<

FE-2 Tani started out with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & 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 wears 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.)

After yesterday's successful EVA-14 spacewalk, CDR Whitson performed clean-up work in the Airlock (A/L), starting the discharge cycle on the 16V EMU batteries (~5-7 hrs), and later initiating their recharge.

To prepare for next week's (2/4) undocking of Progress M-62/27P, FE-1 Malenchenko dismantled and removed electronic equipment from the cargo ship, to be recycled. Removed were the US-21 matching unit, the cargo ship's LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit. (When a Progress is undocked and jettisoned, the valuable electronics are retained, to be recycled on a future vehicle.)

In the Service Module (SM), Malenchenko turned off the JAXA-3DPC (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency-3D Photon Crystals) crystal growth experiment, running since 1/22. (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.)

In the Lab, Whitson connected the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper at the LAB1D6 rack in support of ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly).

Yuri conducted the daily monitoring, picture-taking and downloading on the newly set up BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") 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. During the duration of the BI O-5 experiment, students of the Moscow City Palace for Youth Creativity of the Meshchansky inter-regional center #15 in Moscow) and the Prince of Oldenburg Lyceum in St. Petersburg will be cultivating plants in parallel on the ground and conducting comparative observation of plant growth and development under gravity and zero-gravity conditions. They are receiving the photo images taken by Yuri.)

The FE-2 reconfigured the DCS-760 digital camera used during the EVA for its return to monitoring 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 and EVA-14 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.)

After reviewing the video tape of their last (11/29/07) training session for the Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) picture-taking, Whitson and Malenchenko conducted another standard 30-min RPM imaging skill training, Peggy's fifth, Yuri's sixth, using DCS-760 digital still cameras in the SM to take photos of an Orbiter cut-out for practice, using the 400mm & 800mm telephoto lenses. (The skill training prepares crewmembers for the bottomside mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of STS-122/1E next week (2/9). During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the ISS crew will have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on the Atlantis from SM windows 6 & 8, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle.)

To provide access to the TORU panel for the subsequent refresher test, the FE-1 relocated the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) control panel in the SM. (TORU lets an SM-based crewmember perform the approach and docking of automated Progress vehicles in case of KURS failure.)

Yuri and Peggy then conducted a 40-min. refresher teleconference on the upcoming (2/7) Progress 28P docking using the TORU manual backup control system in a vehicle-to-vehicle test.

The CDR ran the periodic check of active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. (The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA continues to collect data every six seconds and downlinks the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.)

Whitson also powered down the A31p laptop in the A/L, required during the Campout.

As part of post-EVA cleanup activities, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko recorded the 'Pille' radiation readings from the EMU-worn (plus one background) 'Pille-MKS' dosimeters in a log table for subsequent downlink to the ground.

Other cleanup activities performed by Peggy and Dan during the day were -

Disconnecting the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) bypass power cables at the Lab RWS (Robotics Work Stations), used during the EVA for SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) video coverage,
Powering down the no-longer-needed A31p PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop in the Airlock (A/L), and
Initiating and monitoring regeneration of the used EMU METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters in the A/L bakeout oven.
Malenchenko switched the SM ham radio station to Repeater Mode. (Repeater mode allows radio amateurs to conduct ham radio sessions using ISS radio station during their pass. For example, amateur operator from Moscow can have a voice session with an operator in Paris. Voice radio contacts are typically conducted in auto mode without crew's involvement; however, the crew has a capability to participate in the exchange. This mode is distinguished by the fact that uplink should be set in one VHF frequency (i. e. 144-146 MHz), and downlink in another (430-440 MHz), and vice versa.)

Dan Tani worked on prepacking return items for STS-122/1E.

The CDR conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC audit as part of on-going WDS (Water Delivery System) assessment of onboard water supplies. (Updated 'cue cards' based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week (currently #16-0018O).)

In the Lab, CDR Whitson set up the NUTRITION/Repository hardware for upcoming urine and blood collections.

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.

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

Peggy 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.)

The crewmembers completed 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 resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Tani then transferred the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as the daily wristband HRM data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

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