Ahead: Week 19 of Increment 16.
For today's Voluntary Science program, Peggy Whitson continued her work with the InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), conducting runs #31, #32 and #33 to investigate low frequency behavior (0.66 Hz) at the highest particle concentration MR (magnetorheological) fluid, exchanging video tapes after each run, then removing the vial assembly and finally powering the MSG down. (InSPACE obtains basic data on MR fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The colloidal (dispersed) particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields at certain strength and frequencies. The desired strong dipolar interaction between the small colloidal particles can be achieved in micro-G simply with an external magnetic field being turned on and off. On the ground, the flow properties (rheology) of many materials, especially those making up consumer products like detergents, fabric softeners, toothpaste and paints, are similarly controlled, though not by magnetic fields but by adding a polymer. It now appears, for example, that new formulations of fabric softeners may perform better in space than on earth.)
During the InSPACE runs, Peggy took time for the periodic deployment of two passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (below CEVIS) and SM (Service Module, most forward handrail) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde (H2CO, methanal) on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. (Formaldehyde is an intermediate in the oxidation (combustion) of methane and other carbon compounds, e.g., forest fires, in automobile exhaust, and in tobacco smoke. Small amounts of formaldehyde are produced as a metabolic byproduct in most organisms, including humans.)
FE-1 Malenchenko 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.
Yuri also gathered weekly data on total operating time and 'On' durations of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM's SOGS air revitalization subsystem for reporting to TsUP.
In the Lab, FE-2 Eyharts set up the hardware associated with urine and blood collections for NASA's NUTRITION/Repository experiment. (To gain more time for Leo's planned work on the COL FSL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory/Fluid Science Laboratory) facility, his start with NUTRITION may be scheduled as early as tomorrow morning. The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by MELFI), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.)
Working from the Russian voluntary 'time permitting' task list, Yuri Malenchenko today --
Completed his seventh run of the Russian DZZ-2 "Diatomeya" ocean observations program, using the Japanese HDV (High Definition) video camera for nocturnal observations of the ocean to detect and record bio-luminescent glow of high-production water areas (Uplinked target zones in the Pacific Ocean were the Eastern coast of New Zealand, above the Eastern Pacific Upwelling, and in the Indian Ocean the geographical area above the West Indian underwater ridge and the Great Australian Bight));
Performed a session of the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the Nikon D2X digital camera with 800 mm focal length lens (Uplinked targets for today were pollution in the Caspian Sea, a general view of the Aral Sea, and the Pyrenees mountains (from DC1 window)), and
Conducted 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, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (CDR) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).
Eyharts and Whitson had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-9 laptop), Leo at ~11:15am, Peggy at ~12:50pm EST.
CDRA Troubleshooting Update: After Whitson's work, with the ground, on CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) troubleshooting over the past two days, CDRA was activated yesterday and is functional. However, the system still exhibits the same signature of an elevated differential pressure (dP) over the Precooler during Half-Cycle 1, although the troubleshooting cleared several suspected causes. CDRA was deactivated again today by ground commanding (~7:00am-12:00pm), and analysis continues.
RSE1 Laptop Upgrade Update: On 2/22, Yuri Malenchenko's attempt to upgrade the Russian laptop RSE1 with a new software application for ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) docking simulations, from a DVD on the RSS1 laptop, was aborted after the procedure failed, probably due to incompatibility of the old RSS1 software with the new load. After restoring RSS1 functionality with a spare hard drive, TsUP-Moscow was considering repeating the ATV OBT (Onboard Training) software load on 2/27 (Wednesday).
No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.