Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.02.07 - ISS On-Orbit Status 02/07/08


The crew's work/sleep cycle was shifted preparatory to Atlantis 1E arriva, to 3:30am-8:30pm.

Yest kasaniye! Progress M-63 (28P), approaching from below the station, docked flawlessly at the DC1 Docking Compartment nadir port at 9:38am EST, followed by docking probe retraction and hook closure ('sborka') after motion damp-out, while the ISS was in LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) attitude. All Progress systems operated nominally from Automated Rendezvous start. (Launched on 2/5 (8:02am EST), the 28P resupply drone delivered about 2.5 tons of cargo for the ISS crews, including propellants for the Russian thrusters, fresh water, oxygen, food, spare parts, repair gear, life support and science experiment hardware.)

STS-122/Atlantis lifted off flawlessly right on time at 2:45pm EST on Mission ISS-1E with all systems performing nominally. The Orbiter will dock to the ISS on 2/9 (Saturday) at approximately 12:24pm EST and is currently catching up with the ISS, carrying the seven-member crew of Commander Stephen Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Hans Schlegel, Leland Melvin, LĂ(c)opold Eyharts, Stanley Love and Rex Walheim. STS-122 is the 121st space shuttle flight, the 29th flight for the Atlantis, and the 24th flight to the station. Its primary payload is the European Columbus module. We are off to another great mission!

After wakeup and before breakfast, FE-2 Dan Tani completed his daily access of the SLEEP experiment (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment's laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink. (To monitor the crewmember's 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.)

Also upon wake-up, CDR Whitson started Part 2 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by recording post-sleep data of the crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, later deploying the dosimeters statically in the Service Module (SM) (Panel 404 near SM air conditioner, SM Central Post, & Vozdukh) for the duration of the day. (Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.)

At ~5:55am, 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.)

The crew monitored the 28P docking and recorded it with the HD (High Definition) video camera and then downlinked the video to the ground for viewing.

Earlier today, FE-1 Malenchenko and CDR Whitson had completed final preparations for Progress arrival, including turning off amateur (ham) radio equipment in the ISS to prevent any interference with Progress/KURS radio traffic, and activation of the SSC6 (Station Support Computer 6) A31p laptop in the FGB for handling the video transmission from the Russian segment (RS) via the Ku-band assets in the USOS. (The A31p used for the routing from the SM is located in the FGB since available cables are not long enough to extend to the Node. The video signal is fed from there via coaxial cable to the SSC Operations LAN (local area network) and from there into the Ku-band system for subsequent conversion from the Russian SECAM format to the American NTSC format on the ground. The newly set up VSW (Video Streaming Workstation) failed to convert and/or downlink analog video of the docking to MCC-Houston and thence to TsUP-Moscow. A second video stream, a digital MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) transmission originating in the RS by the Russian/ESA encoder, passed without problem via the ISS JSL (Joint Station LAN) through Ku-band to both MCCs. )

Malenchenko and Whitson then monitored the docking process from the TORU (teleoperated approach & docking system) station in the SM, in 'hot standby' mode, and took photography of the Progress approach and linkup. (Yesterday, it was reported here that one of the two VHF receivers of the TORU system has failed aboard the Service Module (SM). This was in error since the failed VHF receiver is on the Progress, not on the SM.)

After the docking, the crew shut off TORU and began reconfiguring the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops. (The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM's outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support.)

The FE-1 then conducted the standard one-hour leak checks of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and DC1. During leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters were inhibited (as they were during docking).

The new Progress provided the ISS cabin with a 12.2 mmHg air repress. This repress sets the initial ISS pressure profile for the 1E mission.

After opening the two hatches, Yuri and Peggy first installed the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling, and the FE-1 removed the PkhO/DC1 (SU) hatch cover, reinstalled the IP-1 airflow sensor and assembled the ventilation/heating air duct. The crew obtained a photo of a mark left on the passive mechanism receiving cone by the active docking mechanism probe and downlinked the data.

Next, Malenchenko performed the standard air sampling inside the Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler, then deactivated the cargo ship.

Peggy and Yuri then began Progress unloading and cargo transfer to the ISS, accompanied by IMS (Inventory Management System) logging.

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 and EVA-14 photo support). Later, Dan was instructed by POC (Payload Operations Center) to disassemble and stow the BCAT-3 payload. (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.)

On the RED resistive exerciser, Dan Tani completed the periodic cable replacement with spare cables that arrived today on 28P. The replacement was followed by a calibration procedure that is required to allow the ASCRs (Astronaut Strength, Conditioning, & Rehabilitation Specialists) to update crew exercise protocols as necessary and track RED hardware status.

In the FGB, Malenchenko replaced the OSP-4 fire extinguisher with a new spare.

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 #16-0018Q).)

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 TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (CDR), 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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