Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.02.15 - ISS On-Orbit Status 02/15/08

Mission 1E Flight Day 9 (FD9).

ISS crew goes to sleep one hour earlier than yesterday: 3:45am - 6:15pm, Shuttle crew half an hour later. 3:45am - 6:45pm.

Mission 1E's EVA-3 was completed successfully by Rex Walheim & Stan Love in 7h 25m, accomplishing all its objectives and get-aheads.
(During the spacewalk, Walheim (EV1) & Love (EV3) transferred the European SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory) and the EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility) to the COL EPF (Columbus Orbital Laboratory External Payload Facility), retrieved the failed CMG (Control Moment Gyro) for stowage in the Shuttle PLB for return, installed COL worksite interface fixtures and handrails, inspected a suspected sharp-edged MMOD impact site on an Airlock (A/L) handrail (#508), and inspected, photographed and took samples from the failed starboard SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) race ring and covers not yet inspected before. Official start time of the spacewalk was 8:07am EST, about 28 min ahead of timeline, and it ended at 3:32pm. Total EVA duration (PET = Phase Elapsed Time) was 7h 25min. It was the 104th spacewalk for ISS assembly & maintenance and the 76th from the station (28 from Shuttle, 54 from Quest, 22 from Pirs) totaling 465h 21min, and the 8th for Expedition 16 (totaling 57h 29min). After today's EVA, a total of 129 spacewalkers (97 NASA astronauts, 21 Russians, and 11 astronauts representing Japan-1, Canada-4, France-1, Germany-2 and Sweden-3) have logged a total of 653h 43min outside the station on building, outfitting and servicing. It was also the 126th spacewalk involving U.S. astronauts.)

CDR Peggy Whitson and FE-2-16 Leo Eyharts finished their IMMUNO (Integrated Immune Assessment) experiment, begun on 2/9, with dry saliva collections, first thing after wake-up and then four more times during the day. All samples were stored at ambient temperature. (Background: IMMUNO (Integrated Immune Assessment)is a 24-hr. test of human immune system changes, with the objective to investigate immune neuro-endocrine reactions in the space environment by studying samples of saliva, blood and urine using collection kits and the biomedical (MBI) protection kit, to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The dry samples are collected at intervals during the collection day using a specialized book that contains filter paper. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmember soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations. The on-orbit blood samples are collected right before undocking and returned on the Shuttle so that analysis can occur with 48 hours of the sampling. This allows assays that quantify the function of different types white blood cells and other active components of the immune system. For cold storage, samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.)

As part of ongoing COL commissioning, mostly by MS3 Hans Schlegel, CDR Whitson took time to verify that both C&W/MAL (Caution & Warning/Master Alarm Light) panels in the new module are functional.

With the larger part of her work schedule dedicated to the new FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory), Peggy Whitson first reviewed installation procedures, then set up FSL in its rack in the COL module and configured it for operation, including mating to UIP (Utility Interface Panel, or 'Z-panel'), removing front launch fixations, setting up VMU (Video Management Unit), and removing a front gap protection fixture. (Background: FSL is a multi-user facility, designed by ESA (European Space Agency) and built by Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, for conducting fluid physics research in microgravity conditions. It can be operated in fully- or in semi-automatic mode and can be controlled on-board by ISS crewmembers, or from the ground in telescience mode. FSL experiments will give insight into the physics of fluids in space, including aqueous foams, emulsions, convection, and fluid motions. Understanding how fluids behave in micro-G will lead to the development of new fluid delivery systems in future spacecraft. Under micro-G, fluids are subject to significantly reduced gravity-driven convection, sedimentation and stratification and fluid static pressure, allowing the study of fluid dynamic effects normally masked by gravity, including diffusion-controlled heat and mass transfer. The absence of gravity-driven convection eliminates the negative effects of density gradients (inhomogeneous mass distribution) that arise in processes involving heat treatment, phase transitions, diffusive transport or chemical reaction. Convection in terrestrial processes is a strong perturbing factor, the effects of which are seldom predictable with great accuracy and which dominate heat and mass transfer in fluids. Experiments are integrated into an FSL EC (Experiment Container). With a typical mass of 30-35 kg, and standard dimensions of 400x270x280 mm3, the EC provides ample space to accommodate the fluid cell assembly, including any necessary process stimuli and dedicated electronics.)

Afterwards, Peggy moved to the EDR (European Drawer Rack) to mate its umbilical connections to the COL UIP. (Background: EDR is a single six-post ISPR (International Standard Payload Rack) with 7 Experiment Modules (EMs), each with its own power & cooling, plus a VMU (Video Management Unit) which will send streaming video, images and high rate science data to Earth via the COL's high rate data link. It will also have the capability to store 72 GB of video temporarily. It assumes that the payloads onboard will be largely autonomous to minimize data transfer requirements. Cooling and power will be provided along with a way to transmit data back to earth. Data will be sent via the Video Management Unit (VMU) and the Rack Interface Controller (RIC) to the Columbus sending module and then to earth. There will be an air cooling system for each drawer, as well as access to water cooling, vacuum, venting and nitrogen, if necessary. The EMs come in two types: standard ISS locker and standard 8 PU ISIS drawer.)

Next item on Whitson's 'inspection tour' inside COL was to check out the EDR's fire warning system, by testing and verifying the functionality of the Rack Fire Indicators (RFIs).

FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko worked through a long list of standard maintenance/service tasks on Russian Segment (RS) systems, completing -

The current extended performance check of the KRIOGEM-03M refrigerator system, powered up on 2/12 to -22 degC, for once-daily monitoring of its displayed temperature for the next five days (through 2/17), in anticipation of upcoming experiment activities,
The daily monitoring, picture-taking & downloading on the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth & development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-12 greenhouse,
Taking the periodic readings of potentially harmful contaminants in the Service Module (SM) using the SKDS CMS (Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System/Countermeasure System) which uses preprogrammed microchips to measure Formaldehyde (H2CO, methanal), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Ammonia (NH3),
The periodic (generally monthly) service of the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS), removing its PCMCIA memory card (#942) from the AST spectrometer and replacing it with a new card (#943),
The periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatch openings (8) in the SM, FGB and DC1 (Docking Compartment),
Inspecting the Russian de-ionized water container (KOV EDV), used for supplying water to the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator for electrolysis, for bubbles and possible need for filling up with U.S. condensate from a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1070),
Setting up the KUBIK-3 thermally controlled incubator in the Soyuz TM- Orbital Compartment for monitoring it at a set temperature of +37 degC , then switching it to +6 degC for running overnight,
Completing the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, and
Performing the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) 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).
Yuri Malenchenko also performed his first session of the ETD (Eye Tracking Device) experiment, which studies the coordination of eye and head movements in zero-G, i.e. the adaptation of the human vestibular (balance) system, and takes place in the DC-1's central sphere. (After its initial calibration with the calibrating unit, the experiment investigates horizontal eye and head movement coordination, measures Listing's plane, and determines the orientation of the vestibulo-ocular coordinate system, using five target marks on a visual target board on the EV-2 hatch on the horizontal plane. For the experiment, Yuri first had to check the setup of the left and right video cameras, then establish his most comfortable and stable body position relative to the visual target (60 cm for the first part of the experiment, 100 to 150 cm in parts two & three). Each step requires another prior calibration run, using visual target cues or the calibration unit.)

CDR Frick and PLT Poindexter continued filling CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) in Atlantis and moving them to the ISS, today transferring the 10th CWC.

FE-2 Dan Tani had an hour reserved for unpacking STS-122/1E cargo, supported by an uplinked Unpack List and the IMS.

The FE-2 also configured and programmed the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System), verifying proper functionality of its RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) spread throughout the station and NCU (Network Control Unit), to measure structural dynamics disturbances (accelerations/vibrations) during tomorrow's scheduled reboost of the mated stack by the Shuttle. IWIS will be left in place to record dynamics data also during the Shuttle undocking on 2/18.

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).

Malenchenko later 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).

During today's spacewalk by Rex & Stan, PLT Alan Poindexter again provided IVA support, while MS1 Melvin, FE-2 Tani & FE-2-16 Eyharts operated the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) for the hardware transfers (SOLAR, CMG, EuTEF).

After the spacewalkers' ingress at 3:32pm, post-EVA activities by CDR Steve Frick, CDR Peggy Whitson, Love and Walheim in the A/L consisted of recharging the EMU/spacesuits with water from PWR (Payload Water Reservoir), then reconnecting the LTAs (Lower Torso Assemblies) to the EMUs and capping the UIA (Umbilical Interface Assembly), initiating and monitoring the regeneration of the METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 filter canisters, initiating the discharge/recharge process on the EMU batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), and reconfiguring EVA tools.

At ~4:30am EST, Hans Schlegel & Leo Eyharts conducted a brief private phone call/exchange with attendees at an ESA Council Meeting.

Transfers: As of today, 10 filled CWCs (Contingency Water Containers, contents ~45 L each) and 4 PWRs (Payload Water Reservoirs) were transferred from the Shuttle to ISS. Nitrogen transfer was completed, with 27 lbs N2 transferred to the station. Even with the additional mission extension by one day, ~70 lbs of oxygen (O2) will be available for transfer on FD10.

Reboost: Tomorrow morning's reboost of the mated stack by the Orbiter is scheduled for 7:17am, to establish the correct phasing conditions for Soyuz 15S landing, Soyuz 16S launch and the next Shuttle mission, STS-123/1JA. Nominal delta-V ~1.3 m/s, burn duration 36 min 0 sec. Expected altitude increase ~2.3 km/1.2 nmi.

Weekend Voluntary Science: For the voluntary 'Saturday Science' program on 2/16-17, Peggy and Dan were offered for their choice: (1) a session with the InSPACE-2 experiment; (2) an EPO (Education Payload Operation)-Demo of Science Research aboard ISS, and (3) SWAB (Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization) collections of air & surface samples. Crew selection is required ASAP.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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