Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.02.04 - ISS On-Orbit Status 02/04/08


Underway: Week 16 of Increment 16.

This morning, Progress M-62/27P successfully undocked from the ISS DC1 at 5:32am EST 26P will remain in orbit in free flight until 2/15, continuing to phase out in front of the ISS (about 40 km per orbit) in order to support Russian Earth observation experiments. (The separation appeared smooth, with no anomalous behavior reported by the crew. TsUP-Moscow confirmed a 15 second first separation burn complete at approximately 5:35:07anm EST. The ISS returned to US Momentum Management (MM) at approximately 6:46am EST.)

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 sessions 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.)

FE-1 Malenchenko performed the periodic service of the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by 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 ~3:05pm 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 ~3:20am, 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 (~2:10pm), 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.)

FE-1 Malenchenko set up the "Chibis" garment , an extensive cardiovascular test of human pericardium (heart muscle) activity as well as of primary parameters of central and regional blood circulation at rest and under the effect of lower body negative pressure (LBNP, Russian: ODNT). Yuri and Peggy Whitson then conducted MBI-5 LBNP sessions. (The LBNP applies a lower than ambient pressure to the body from the hips down to simulate 1g loads normally experienced on Earth. This acts as an orthostatic stressor and can be used to study deconditioning of the human cardiovascular system in space. The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body's cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Yuri's & Peggy's orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after 7 weeks in zero-G. The MBI-5 protocol again consisted of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced ('negative') pressure, set at -25, -30, -35 and -40 mmHg for five minutes each, while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute. The body's circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood and body fluids 'down'. MBI-5 data output include blood pressure readings with the Tenzoplus Sphygmomanometer, today without telemetry data monitoring but reporting of heart rate and blood pressure to TsUP-Moscow.)

The CDR readied the PZE MO-9 equipment for another Russian 'Urolux' biochemical urine testing, scheduled tomorrow for all three crewmembers. (MO-9 is conducted regularly every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for US crewmembers for IMG (Integrated Medical Group) PHS evaluation as part of the "PFE w/o Blood Labs" exam. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. The data are then entered in the Medical Equipment Computer (MEC)'s special IFEP (In-Flight Examination Program) software.)

After the 27P undocking, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko manually closed the PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve; Russian: KVD) between the DC1 and its docking port vestibule.

FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko successfully replaced the Russian Navigation Computer Module (NVM-1). (During recent ASN-M testing, the NVM-2 experienced erratic behavior when commanded as the prime controller and switching unexpectedly to the backup controller NVM-2. The NVM is the hardware responsible for receiving state vector signals, processing raw measurements, and providing position, velocity, and time information. ESA (European Space Agency), NASA, and RSC-E (Rocket Space Corporation - Energia (RSC-E) jointly agreed that three healthy NVM-1 (one onboard spare) are required for ATV1 rendezvous. ATV1 is no go for docking until NVM-2 is replaced and confirmed as operational. The new unit was activated and will be monitored by ground specialists for approximately 48 hours. A new NVM will also be delivered on 28P.)

After Peggy Whitson prepared the auditory test equipment, she, Malenchenko & FE-2 Tani took the periodic (monthly) O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min. NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop application. It was the third session for the three crewmembers. (The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, Bose ANC headsets and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.)

CDR Whitson obtained sound level measurements in specific locations throughout ISS. The measurements included: 13 locations in the US Lab including inside the Temporary Sleep Station (TeSS), 6 locations in Node 2, and three in the SM Kayuta sleep stations. The crew also noted any non-nominal hardware or configuration that was excessive causing noise. The data will be downlinked for analysis.


Tani and Whitson changed the 4 AA batteries in the SB-28 flash. (Then, they homogenized and manually photographed BCAT-3 samples 1-6 with 5 being the last sample to homogenize then photograph--this will then have the setup ready for the next activity which is a long-term sample 5 run.)


The FE-1 completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables plus the weekly collection of the toilet flush counter (SPK-U) and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP/Moscow.


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

Whitson 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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