Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.07 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/07/08

Upon wake-up, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko terminated his MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session (his 11th), started last night, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground.

(SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.)

Before breakfast, CDR Whitson, FE-1 Malenchenko and FE-2 Eyharts began their workday with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement (fifth for CDR & FE-1, second for FE-2), using the IM mass measurement device which Yuri Malenchenko afterwards broke down for stowage. (Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember's mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.)

Whitson supported the second session of the ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2) payload by Eyharts by detaching the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) from the ER3 (EXPRESS Rack 3) and moving it out of the field of view of the cameras crucial to of the experiment, which she then set up for capturing Leo's movement protocol. After powering up the IMU (Interface Management Unit) and calibrating the work area for the cameras, the FE-2 had ~1.5 hrs to perform the test operations while Whitson took documentary photographs and later stowed the test camera. (The Italian (ASI) experiment ELITE-S2 is a human motion analysis facility for technological characterization and potential application for multifactorial movement analysis, to study the connection between brain, visualization and motion in micro-G. By recording and analyzing the three-dimensional motion of astronauts, this study should help engineers apply ergonomics into future spacecraft designs and determine the effects of weightlessness on breathing mechanisms for long-duration missions. For each of three protocols (e.g., MOVE, IMAGINE), a set of body landmarks are identified and reflective markers are applied on the subject who then performs prescheduled movements with the index finger tips then returns to the initial position (for example, the subject has to reach and brush, without exerting forces). The video cameras trace the trajectories of the body parts of the astronaut catching the light reflected by the markers, thus recording the kinetic and trajectory data of the movement.)

Continuing his work on the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) in the Columbus module, the French flight engineer was scheduled to install the 'ERNObox' structure for the FSL A31p laptop on the rack's starboard panel and established A31p power supply via SUP1 (Standard Utility Panel #1) and data connection via the UIP (Utility Interface Panel).

FE-1 Malenchenko meanwhile performed the monthly 30-min. maintenance/servicing of the toilet facility (ASU), changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.

After reviewing 400 & 800mm-lens 'refresher' imagery taken during the STS-122/1E Atlantis RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) on 2/9, Whitson and Malenchenko conducted another regular 30-min in-cabin RPM imaging skill training, Peggy's sixth, Yuri's seventh, using DCS-760 digital still cameras to take photos of an Orbiter cut-out for practice. The photos were later downlinked for ground analysis. (The skill training prepares crewmembers for the bottomside mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of STS-123/1J/A next week (3/13). During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the ISS crew will have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on the Atlantis from SM windows 6 & 8, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle.)

Afterwards, Peggy checked the DCS-760 cameras for detail & color fidelity by taking blank and white images to 'clean' and calibrate the CCDs (Charge-Coupled Devices). The test photos were stored on a 1GB Microdrive PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) and downlinked to MCC-Houston for determining which cameras will be used for the actual RPM activities before the Endeavour docking.

In the US Lab, FE-2 Eyharts set up the hardware associated with urine and blood collections for his second session of NASA's NUTRITION/Repository experiment, scheduled on his timeline tomorrow. (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.)

Continuing the current round of periodic preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, Yuri spent 90 min. in the DC1 (Docking Compartment), replacing the PF1,2 filter cartridges and cleaning the V1 & V2 fan grilles and VD1 & VD2 air ducts.

The Russian flight engineer also worked a number of standard maintenance/service tasks on RS systems, some from the voluntary 'time permitting' task list. Specifically, Yuri -

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);
Conducted 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);
Ran the regular daily 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), and
Performed the daily monitoring, picture-taking and downloading on the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment which researches growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-12 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP), today also recharging the water tank of the greenhouse as required.
Whitson and Eyharts spent an hour reviewing uplinked material on 1J/A EVA tasks, then conducted a 30-min teleconference with ground specialists to discuss the spacewalks. (Planned are five EVAs during the 1J/A docked period,- on FD4 (Linnehan & Reisman), FD6 (Linnehan & Foreman), FD8 (Linnehan & Behnken), FD11 (Foreman & Behnken), and FD13 (Foreman & Behnken). Major objectives are as follows:

EVA-1: Prep & install JLP (Japanese Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized Section) on Node-2; begin assembly of SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, 'Dextre');
EVA-2: Assembly & activate SPDM;
EVA-3: Assemble SPDM; transfer SSRMS yaw joint plus two DCSUs (Direct Current Switching Units) to ESP-2 (External Stowage Platform 2); transfer MISSE-6 (Materials ISS Experiment 6) to Columbus;
EVA-4: Replace RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module); conduct TRAD (Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser) demo;
EVA-5: Stow OBSS (Orbiter Boom Sensor System) on ISS S1 truss, install JLP trunnion covers, install TBA (Trundle Bearing Assembly) in starboard SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint.
'Critical path' tasks include - on EVA-1: OTCM (ORU Tool Changeout Mechanism) installation; on EVA-2: SPDM arms assembly; on EVA-3: SPDM OTP (ORU Temporary Platform)/THA (Tool Holder Assembly), SLP (Integrated Spacelab Pallet) prep for landing, MISSE 6 & ORU transfers; on EVA-4: Node-2 port ACBM (Active Common Berthing Mechanism) launch lock removal; and on EVA-5: OBSS stowage on ISS.
Also, after SPDM assembly, Dextre must be parked on the Lab PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) and the SLP must be returned to the Shuttle cargo bay.)

FE-1 Malenchenko had another hour for conducting stowage operations in Progress M-63/28P, transferring and packing cargo for disposal in the freighter-turned-trash can, to be undocked on 4/7 for destructive reentry over the Pacific.

New task items added to the discretionary U.S. 'job jar' task list for Peggy and Leo pertain to two audits - of onboard CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags), and of the 'stowage rack of the week' on the Lab -- using a new Audit function introduced last year on Increment 15 with the implementation of the laptop-based IMS 2.0 version. (This function allows the user to setup audits of bags, kits, stowage locations, just about anything that is considered a container, via a special Audit window with a linked Object Properties window.)

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, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Peggy transferred the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlinking, as well as the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~3:10am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~3:25am, FE-2 Eyharts had a 15-min. teleconference with ESA Management via the IP Phone.

At ~7:55am, Leo and Peggy conducted the regular weekly 20-min. audio tagup with ESA's Col-CC (Columbus Control Center) in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich/Germany. (S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10)).

At ~9:20am, Peggy, Yuri and Leo held their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~12:55pm, Yuri Malenchenko downlinked a phone message of greetings to TsUP-Moscow, congratulating the President of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil A. Tarpishchev, on an anniversary.

At ~2:51pm, the crew will have their 14th 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)).

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were South Tibesti Megafans (a series of large fanlike spreads of sediment, hundreds of km long and wide, extend southward from the Tibesti Mountains into the BodĂ(c)lĂ(c) depression of central Chad. A discontinuous overlapping pattern of stream channels, large and small, suggests that the entire surface of the megafans was formed by the action of rivers shifting across the surface. Since about 8000 years ago, the Sahara environment has dried significantly, leaving non-functioning rivers channels everywhere. Images of areas south of Tibesti are only available in low resolution: therefore crew imagery--continuous mapping swaths taken with 400- and 800 mm lenses--are needed to provide the detail to reveal evidence of stream process and the intersection of streams on different fan surfaces. As ISS approached the Tibesti Mountains from the NW at midday, the crew was to shoot just right of track for these features), Baltimore Ecosystem, Maryland (the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) aims to understand metropolitan Baltimore as an ecological system. The program brings together researchers from the biological, physical, and social sciences to collect new data and synthesize existing information on how both the ecological and engineered systems of Baltimore work. As a part of the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, researchers also seek to understand how Baltimore's ecosystems change over long time periods. ISS approach was from the NW in late morning. Looking right of track for the upper end of Chesapeake Bay and using the long lens settings to map the Baltimore urban area in detail), and Madrean Sky Islands (this target is located in the northern reaches of Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental which boast some of the richest biodiversity anywhere in North America. It is a veritable archipelago of cool, moist, higher-altitude pine-oak forested mountain ranges that dot the hot, lower Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southern Arizona and New Mexico and northwestern Mexico. These climatological islands are situated in remote and rugged areas and are vestiges of cooler, wetter periods during the ice ages. ISS approach was from the NW in early afternoon sun. Using the medium resolution lens for a nadir, contextual mapping strip across the heart of this region).

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