Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.02.11 - ISS On-Orbit Status 02/11/08

Mission 1E Flight Day 5 (FD5). Underway: Week 17 of Increment 16.

Mission 1E's EVA-1 was completed successfully by Stanley Love & Rex Walheim in 7hr 58min, accomplishing all its objectives.
(During the spacewalk, Walheim (EV1) & Love (EV2) prepared Columbus for unberthing and installation, hooking up electric cables, removing protective covers from the module's docking mechanism and equipping Columbus with the PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) required for grappling. They also started preparing the NTA (Nitrogen Tank Assembly) for removal, preparatory to replacement with a new NTA on EVA-2 (disconnecting electric cables and two ammonia flex hoses was deferred to Wednesday, but Walheim unfastened two of the four bolts holding down the NTA). Official start time of the spacewalk was 9:13am EST, about 25 minutes ahead of the timeline, and it ended at 5:11pm. Total EVA duration (PET = Phase Elapsed Time) was 7h 58min. It was the 102nd spacewalk for ISS assembly & maintenance and the 74th from the station (28 from Shuttle, 52 from Quest, 22 from Pirs) totaling 451h 11min, and the 6th for Expedition 16 (totaling 43h 19min.) After today's EVA, a total of 125 spacewalkers (94 NASA astronauts, 21 Russians, and ten astronauts representing Japan-1, Canada-4, France-1, Germany-1 and Sweden-3) have logged a total of 639h 33min outside the station on building, outfitting and servicing. It was also the 124th spacewalk by U.S. astronauts.)

In addition, ESA's Columbus Module was successfully installed on the Node-2 'Harmony' starboard dock at ~4:44pm. (FE-2 Dan Tani, MS1 Leland Melvin and MS-5 Leo Eyharts operated the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) to grapple, unberth, transfer and reberth Columbus at the Node-2 Stbd CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) with the SSRMS in 'limp' mode. All motorized bolts have engaged to firmly hold the science laboratory at its place, and leak checks are now being performed on the vestibule between Columbus and the Node-2 port. Ingress in Columbus is scheduled for tomorrow at ~ 2:55pm EST.)

After wakeup at ~4:45am EST, ending the 8.5-hr sleep period before the spacewalk, the Airlock Crewlock (A/L CL) hatch was cracked at ~5:20am EST for a hygiene break/with mask prebreathe for Walheim and Love, after spending the night on 10.2 psi campout. Around 6:30am, the hatch was closed again by IVs (Intravehicular Crewmembers) for EVA preparations in 10.2 psi, followed by EMU purge & prebreathe. Afterwards, IVs supported the CL depressurization and EV1/EV2 egress (EMUs switched to batteries at 9:13am).

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.)

Prior to EVA start, FE-1 Malenchenko verified powerdown of onboard ham radio equipment (Kenwood in SM & Ericsson in FGB) to prevent RF interference with the EMUs, as well as proper closure of the protective Lab window shutters.

At the Node-2 starboard hatch, FE-2 Tani powered up the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) which he had installed and checked out on 11/28/08 in preparation for today's Columbus berthing.

After last week's installation of the new EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) filter in the Elektron O2 (oxygen) generator system, Malenchenko worked with the ground on activating of the Elektron at 32 amps, first pressurizing the BZh Liquid Unit with N2 (nitrogen) via laptop and later monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. (During nominal operations a gas analyzer is utilized to detect hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) but is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. The new EMI filter, recently (2/9) installed on the Elektron's current stabilizer (FPP ST-64), prevents RFI (radio frequency interference) with the ATV/Automated Transfer Vehicle).)

The FE-1 conducted the fourth recharging of the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone brought up on Soyuz 15S, a monthly routine job. (After retrieving it from its location in the TMA-11/15S descent module (BO) at ~6:55am EST, Yuri initiated the recharging of its lithium-ion battery, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion at ~8:15am, the phone was returned inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the BO's operational data files (ODF) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an 'undershoot' ballistic reentry). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule's GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put onboard Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.)

In the Service Module (SM), Malenchenko installed the water sampler and performed part of the periodic water sampling for return to Earth, using empty drinking bags to collect condensate (KAV) samples upstream of the Water Purification Column Unit (SRV-K2M BKO).

Yuri also set up the hardware and conducted the first part of the onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') preventive health maintenance fitness test, on the VELO bicycle ergometer. Part 2, on the TVIS treadmill, is scheduled tomorrow. (Test procedure for MBI-8, which requires workouts on the VELO and TVIS, is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal procedure it uses the TEEM-100M gas analyzer with breathing mask, a blood lactate test with the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories, and a subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test (using the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale, viz., 10 steps from very light over hard and very hard to maximum). Results are entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data are transferred to the RSE-Med laptop, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results are also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP. Data from the previous session (1/3) were also to be transferred.)

Two more CWC (Contingency Water Container) bags were filled in the Atlantis with water from the Shuttle's fuel cells by CDR Frick & PLT Poindexter and transferred to ISS.

Malenchenko worked on the RBO-3-1 Matryoshka-M radiation equipment in the DC1 Docking Compartment and removed 16 radiation dosimeters from the 'Phantom' unit, packing 13 of the containers for return on the Shuttle and leaving three (##8, 13, 18) for continued support of the Bubble-Dosimeter experiment.

Also in the DC1, Yuri readied three smoke detectors (IDZ-2, 'Electroinductive Detector 2'), to replace the current units, scheduled for tomorrow.

CDR Whitson supported the ESA experiment WAICO (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels) by inserting four (of eight) Shuttle-delivered SED seed containers in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS), Dewar 4, Tray C/4. (WAICO, contributed by Leibniz Universit├Ąt in Hannover, Germany, will study the interaction of circumnutation (the successive bowing or bending in different directions of the growing tip of the stems and roots) and gravitropism (a tendency to grow toward or away from gravity) in microgravity and 1-g of Arabidopsis thaliana (commonly known as thale cress). MELFI exhibited an as-yet unexplained warm-up yesterday but its current temperature remains well within WAICO range, with WAICO samples being protected on both high and low side.)

Whitson also continued preparations of the Node-2 starboard hatch transfer section ('vestibule') for Columbus docking by installing the VAJ (Vacuum Access Jumper) equipment for vestibule pressurization. After Columbus berthing, the equipment will be used for the standard one-hour leak checking.

In the Joint Airlock (A/L), Dan Tani, Rex Walheim and Stan Love performed post-EVA activities, including charging the EMU/spacesuits with water from PWR (Payload Water Reservoir) and CWC (Contingency Water Container) #1059, then reconnecting the LTAs (Lower Torso Assemblies) to the EMUs and capping the UIA (Umbilical Interface Assembly).

They also initiated and monitored regeneration of the two METOX canisters used for the Campout in the A/L bakeout oven and set up EMU batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) for recharge.

After Columbus berthing, Peggy Whitson will uninstall and remove the CBCS (Centerline Berthing Camera System) in Node-2 for stowage.

Dan Tani meanwhile will download the DCS-760 imagery resulting from the EVA.

The FE-1 continued cargo transfer and stowage activities from Progress M-63/28P to the ISS, while Frick and Poindexter accomplished more cargo transfers between Atlantis and ISS.

Malenchenko completed the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the Service Module (SM). (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.)

Working off his discretionary 'time permitting' task list, 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 BIO-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.)

Also suggested on Yuri's Russian voluntary 'job jar' list for today was the regular checkup on the Japanese experiment GCF-JAXA (Granada Crystallization Facility) in the Russian TBU incubator, maintained at +20 degC, including a temperature check on its ART (automatic temperature recorder). (This is a daily monitoring/temp checking, carried on the Russian voluntary task list for the duration of Expedition 16.)

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

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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