Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.02.26 - ISS On-Orbit Status 02/26/08


Concluding his first session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, FE-2 Eyharts completed the all-day Part 2, by collecting urine samples for 24 hrs, to continue through tomorrow morning.

The samples were consecutively stored in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Blood collections were performed by Peggy on Leo yesterday. (The current NUTRITION/Repository 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.)

The CDR set up the camcorder equipment for taking video of Leo Eyharts' first PFE-OUM (Periodic Fitness Evaluation - Oxygen Uptake Measurement session on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation), filmed via VTR (Video Tape Recorder) from the ground. (The footage was downlinked afterwards for biomechanical evaluation of the exercising crewmember and assessment of the on-orbit setup of equipment during data collection and hardware status.)

Later, Whitson and Eyharts configured the PFE-OUM equipment at the HRF-2 (Human Research Facility 2) rack for Leo's workout on the CEVIS while wearing an HRM (Heart Rate Monitor), with Peggy, as operator, obtaining measurements of the subject. (The equipment includes the HRF PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module), Mixing Bag System and GDS (Gas Delivery System). After calibration of the DPFM (Differential Pressure Flowmeter), Peggy assisted in changing the loads on the ergometer and recording data. Later, the two crewmembers updated the evaluation protocol, deactivated & stowed the gear, and powered down the PFE-OUM laptop. Purpose of PFE-OUM is to measure aerobic capacity during exercise within 14 days after arrival on ISS, and once monthly during routine PFEs. The data allows exercise physiologists & flight doctors to assess the crew's health & fitness and to provide data for modifying & updating crew-specific exercise regimes. PFE-OUM is a collaborative effort between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).)

Afterwards, the CDR disassembled the video setup and stowed it, then gave the Go for the ground to downlink the VTR video.

Earlier, Yuri also downlinked the prerecorded video of 'Life aboard ISS' footage filmed by Peggy with the SONY HRV-Z1 high-definition camcorder on 2/22 for use on Russian television. (TsUP-Moscow had suggested scenes of Yuri working with the Matryoshka radiation detectors, filling the Elektron EDV container with US condensate water, and other scenes of interest to TV viewers including crewmembers washing their faces, brushing their teeth, exercising, cooking meals, conducting science research and servicing life support systems. More recorded footage is to be downlinked tomorrow.)

In the Columbus Module, Eyharts continued preparing the BLBG (Biolab Glovebox) for the upcoming experiment WAICO #1 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels). (Preparations include installing the first four ECs (Experiment Containers, #1-4) in the BLBG, supporting Glovebox sterilization by the ground, preparing the ECs for operation, and installing the video cassette for the first run. After starting these activities yesterday, they fell behind the original timeline, which has delayed the actual start-up of the experiment.)

FE-1 Malenchenko continued his test program with the new KPT-2 BAR-RM payload equipment begun on 2/13, today taking measurements with the AU-1 ultrasound analyzer at various locations in the RO1 (small diameter) section of the Service Module (SM) and later downlinking the data via BSR-TM channel. Measurements in the SM RO2 (large diameter) section were taken on 2/16. The data are being used for experimenting with ISS leak detection. (BAR-RM is designed to develop a procedure for detection of air leakage from ISS modules based on environmental data anomalies (temperature, humidity, ultrasound emissions) at possible leak locations. The payload, controlled from the RSK1 laptop, uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2), an ultrasound analyzer (AU-01), and a leak detector (UT2-03) to determine physical background signs of loss of ISS pressure integrity which could be indicative of leaks in the working compartments of the station. Measurements are taken in specific zones (13 in SM PkhO and 4 in DC1), both with lights & fans turned on and off.)

Whitson conducted 'Week 19' sampling of potable water for chemical and microbial analysis from the SVO-ZV tap and two SRV-K taps, the latter after preliminary heating of the water (four heating cycles) and flushing. (Peggy collected three 450 mL samples (for postflight microbial analysis) and two 750 mL samples (for postflight chemical analysis) from each of three ports (SRV-K hot, SRV-K warm, SVO-ZV) for return on STS-123/1J/A. The small amounts of water used for flushing the equipment were reclaimed from the flush bag.)

The CDR retrieved and stowed the two FMKs (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kits) deployed by her two days ago (2/24) in the Lab (below CEVIS cycle) and SM (most forward handrail on panel 307) 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.)

In preparation for tomorrow's scheduled activation of the US OGS (Oxygen Generation System) in the Lab for its next phase of checkout, FE-1 Malenchenko supported TsUP in deactivating the Elektron O2 generator. As part of the standard deactivation process the Elektron was purged with N2 (nitrogen), controlled from laptop.

Meanwhile in the US Lab Peggy worked with the ground in activating the SAMS ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System/Interface Control Unit), the control computer of the rack/drawer-based system for recording structural dynamics of the station.

Malenchenko transferred a control panel (PU) for the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) to its operational location in the SM for installation.

Yuri also had ~90 min set aside for the periodic equipment servicing in the SM's ASU toilet facility, changing out replaceable parts with new components, viz., two receptacles (PR & MP), four hoses, a T-connector, an elbow fitting, an indicator, a filter insert (F-V), the pretreat container (E-K) with its hose. All old parts were discarded as trash. (E-K contains five liters of pre-treat solution, i.e., a mix of H2SO4 (sulfuric acid), CrO3 (chromium oxide, for oxidation and purple color), and H2O (water). The pre-treat liquid is mixed with water in a dispenser (DKiV) and used for toilet flushing.)

Afterwards, the FE-1 completed the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the 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.)

In addition, working from the Russian voluntary 'time permitting' task list, the Russian flight engineer --

Performed 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);
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); and
Performed the daily monitoring, picture-taking and downloading on the 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.)
In the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok), the CDR did more preventive RS (Russian Segment) ventilation system maintenance, with the cleaning of the three SOTR (Thermal Control System) gas-liquid heat exchanger (GZhT4) grills not finished yesterday.

Peggy also worked on the long-term CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator, first powering it off and decabling it, then accessed its interior for removing some items, inserting a new plant habitat (Silicate Garden Habitat) on its CSI-02 (CGBA Science Insert #2) base, closing the incubator, reconnecting its cabling and powering it up. (The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth.)

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

Peggy then transferred the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlinking, 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).

As most every day after his arrival, when not busy with urgent Columbus commissioning work, Leo had another 60 minutes for himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization), as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

At ~8:45am EST (2:45pm in Paris), Leo Eyharts supported three interactive PAO interviews with TV/radio media in France of ~6.5 min each: TF1 French TV (Harry Roselmack), France 24 News Network (Ulysse Gosset), and Europe 1 French Radio (Alain Cirou). Questions for Leo were uplinked beforehand. ('What is life like on the station? What are the differences with Mir?'; 'Tell us about the docking of Columbus, and how are the experiments going?'; '2008 is a splendid year for Europe with a number of important space missions including yours. Is there still a competition in space now or would you say it was more about cooperation?'; 'Do you sleep well, and what do you dream about?'; 'Your German crewmate was not well. What would happen if you were to fall ill?')

At ~3:00pm, the crew had their eleventh weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio. (S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10)).

The three station residents had their standard periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Weekend Voluntary Science: Three optional activities for the voluntary 'Saturday Science' program for next weekend (3/1, 3/2) were suggested to Peggy for her choice. Selection is required by tonight. (The choices are: (1) InSPACE-2 - three experiment runs; (2) EPO - Careers Demo (Identify all the different steps crewmembers have taken to get to where they are today; identify all the different NASA careers that work together to prepare an astronaut for spaceflight (Objective: to motivate students to strive for a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to someday work for NASA); and (3) SWAB (Surface, Water and Air Biocharacterization) collections of air & surface samples.)

QD Leak in Lab: Yesterday, when the crew started to demate the MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) hose of US EXPRESS Rack 3 (ER3) in preparation for the upcoming relocation of ER3 to the Columbus Module, the QD (Quick Disconnect) leaked a small amount of coolant. The QD was immediately remated, and the leak stopped. Analysis is underway as part of ER3 relocation planning.

ISS Reboost Preview: Tomorrow night's ISS reboost with the SM main engine (2 KD thrusters & ODU props) is scheduled for shortly after midnight (00:21am EST), with a planned delta-V of (currently) 3.2 m/s. Some US systems will be powered down for the maneuver and afterwards reactivated.

SRK-V Condensate Feed Unit: Energia/Moscow is investigating an issue with the CFU (Condensate Feed Unit) of the Russian SRV-K (Condensate Water Processor) in the SM.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Mount Vesuvius, Italy (nadir pass. Vesuvius is wooded and thus easy to detect as a darker circular area in the middle of the coastline of the Bay of Naples (just east of Naples). Detailed imagery from low earth orbit reveals changes in topography of this active volcano. In the early 1980s an area of 80 square kilometers between the volcano and Naples was lifted up by tectonic forces, in places by 5.9 feet (1.8 meters), causing damage to houses and the harbor, and necessitating the relocation of 36,000 people. Vesuvius is famous for the catastrophic eruption in 79 A.D. that buried the towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii), South Tibesti Megafans, Chad (ISS track passed through the middle of this site. Mapping swaths left and right of track were requested. Two major rivers lead water and sediment off the southern slopes of the Tibesti Mts. In the past when central Saharan climates were wet, these now-dormant rivers flowed strongly, filling a large, permanent lake in the Lake Chad basin. In the process they created two extensive delta-like features (megafans) that have recently been recognized. Remnants of these ancient river courses may be sufficiently detailed in ISS/CEO imagery for past flow discharges to be calculated (from widths, sinuosity and other remotely sensed data)), and Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Is. (ISS track passed just north of Tenerife Island. Teide Volcano forms the entire southern part of the island. Detailed images of the high, central parts were requested. This dormant volcano has recently shown signs that it might be building for another eruption. Standing 3,715 m above sea level, Teide is the third largest volcano on the planet (only the enormous volcanoes Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are larger). Since Tenerife Island was settled in 1402, the volcano has erupted nine times. Over the last three hundred years, eruptions have occurred every century or so, in 1706, 1798 and 1909. A new eruption in the near future may be in the offing).

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