Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.08 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/08/08

Saturday -- off-duty day for CDR Whitson, FE-1 Malenchenko and FE-2 Eyharts except for housekeeping and voluntary work.

>>>Tonight's BIG EVENT: Launch of ATV Jules Verne (see Ascent Timeline below).

For his second run with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, FE-2 Eyharts completed the all-day session, collecting urine samples for 24 hrs (to continue through tomorrow morning) and blood samples (for Serum & Heparin). (Acting as operator and CMO (Crew Medical Officer), Peggy Whitson performed phlebotomy on Leo, i.e., drew blood samples (from an arm vein) which were first allowed to coagulate in the Repository, then spun in the HRF2 RC (Human Research Facility 2/Refrigerated Centrifuge) and finally placed in MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). The RC was later powered off after a temperature reset to limit wear on the compressor, and cleaned. Background: NUTRITION is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight; this includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes. The Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile currently required on all U.S. Astronauts collects blood and urine samples preflight and postflight. NUTRITION expands this protocol by also capturing in-flight samples and an additional postflight sample. Furthermore, additional measurements are included for samples from all sessions, including additional markers of bone metabolism, vitamin status, and hormone and oxidative stressor tests. The results will be used to better understand the impact of countermeasures (exercise and pharmaceuticals) on nutritional status and nutrient requirements. The Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L), first started on two Mir crewmembers and then on all ISS US crews, nominally consists of two pre-flight and one post-flight analysis of nutritional status, as well as an in-flight assessment of dietary intake using the FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire). The current NUTRITION project has expanded 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.)

For her chosen weekend VolSci (Voluntary Science) program today, the NASA/U.Nevada SWAB (Surface, Water & Air Biocharacterization) experiment, Dr. Whitson swabbed surface samples from several locations in the station interior plus from five random sites (selecting an air vent in the Lab, the hygiene station mirror in the Service Module {SM}, a panel in the FGB next to mirror 206, a ventilation grill in Node-2, and return ventilation air vents in Columbus). Afterwards, she also collected air samples at four locations in the Node and Lab. (The samples were sealed in special SWAB tubes, labeled as to their location origins and prepared for return to Earth on 1J/A. SWAB started on Increment 13 before 12A docking.)

The crew performed the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough station cleaning. ("Uborka", usually done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the SM dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the CDR's sleep station with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab.)

As part of the house cleaning, FE-1 Malenchenko conducted preventive maintenance cleaning on the FS5, FS6, FS9, VPkhO, VdPrK, & VPrK fan grilles in the SM, the V3 grille in the DC1 Docking Module, and the TsV2 fan inlet in the FGB (Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok).

After his second session with the ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2) payload yesterday (which inadvertently exceeded Flight Rule-dictated acoustic loads on the crew), Eyharts powered on the payload to allow downloading the accumulated results and later deactivated it again. (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.)

The Russian flight engineer worked a number of standard maintenance/service tasks on Russian Segment (RS) systems from the voluntary 'time permitting' suggestions 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);
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);
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), including recharging the water tank of the greenhouse as required;
Conducted the periodic collection and logging of accumulated data of seven Bubble Dosimeter detectors of the 'Matryoshka-R' radiation payload suite (RBO-3-2) installed at various exposure locations in the RS, using the special Bubble Dosimeter Reader (the complex Matryoshka payload suite is designed for sophisticated radiation studies);
Performed a session of the Russian GFI-8 "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the Japanese HDV (High Definition) video camera provided by SFP Charles Simonyi to shoot video of the Pyrenees, Mediterranean coastline, Sahara, the Nile river valley, Africa, the South-Eastern States of the USA including Cape Canaveral, Cuba, Jamaica, and Latin American countries with emphasis on the coastline; and
Completed another KPT-3 session to make observations and take aerial KPT-3 photography of environmental conditions for Russia's Environmental Safety Agency (ECON) using the Nikon D2X digital camera with SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens.
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), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, 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 ~9:00am, the crewmembers held their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week's "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

Weekly Science Update (Expedition Sixteen -- Week 20)

ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Radiation measurements continue to be performed in the PIRS module. Radiation measurements continue to be performed in the PIRS module. The latest memory card exchange occurred on 2/29.

ANITA: Completed.

BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3): Reserve.

CARDIOCOG-2: Completed.

CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): Reserve.

CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.

CSI-2/CGBA (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus): In progress.

CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.

CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): In progress.

EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.

ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2): Planned.

EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.

ETD (Eye Tracking Device): In progress.

EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): On 3/3 EuTEF was successfully rebooted and DHPU troubleshooting was successfully. Look-ahead plan for EUTEF science program week from 3/5 to 3/11: DOSTEL Mode 1 continuous, EXPOSE ON, DEBIE-2 ON, TRIBOLAB Stand-By mode, FIPEX activation of sensors, MEDET re-activation for continuous measurements, PLEGPAY experiment 2 run.

Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL): The FSL Facility commissioning is on hold pending restoration of a LAN (Local Area Network) cable connection.

GEOFLOW: GEOFLOW start is pending FSL LAN cable troubleshooting. 'Thanks Leo for the help with the video images of FSL!'

IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): In progress.

InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): In progress.

Integrated Immune: In progress.

KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Complete.

MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.

MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 'Pirs'.

MULTIGEN-1: Completed.

MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.

NOA-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer): Planned.


PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.

SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.

SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): 'Peggy, we have added the next download activity to be on your task list next week. The Actiwatch will stop taking data on 3/19 if not re-initialized. Thanks for your extra sleep logging.'

SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): On 3/4, the facility lost TM/TC control for the instruments at around 8:30am EST. Following power cycling of Feeder 1, control of the instruments' TM and TC was restored. On 3/5, during the transition to Pointing Mode, the SOLAR platform unexpectedly went into standby mode. Control of the platform was later restored, but SOVIM science acquisition activation was postponed. On 3/6, a second attempt to bring SOLAR platform back into pointing mode was also unsuccessful. Further troubleshooting is in work.

SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): In progress.

Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): In progress.

TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.

ULTRASOUND: In progress.

WAICO #1 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): After the start of the WAICO run on 2/28, all ECs (Experiment Containers) have been centrifuged at 1-g for 3 days to force the orientation of the plants to a preferential growth direction. On 3/2 after WAICO run start, all 8 ECs were tilted to their 45 position, and Rotor A was stopped to provide 0-g conditions for 4 EC's. Daily video dump is performed to assess the development pattern of the plant roots. Plant growth is nominal. The ECs show significant condensation. To achieve clearance of the EC windows by the end of the run, in order to allow for good high-resolution photos, relative humidity was decreased to 60% on 3/4 and daily BLB (BIOLAB) LSS Flushing is being performed. The end of the run is currently estimated for 3/10-11 based on plant growth. Since the BLB caution due to excessive O2 concentration at the start of WAICO run, gas composition and pressure controls are not available, but there is no immediate science impact. O2 sensors were switched back on 3/3 and show nominal values.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Through 3/6 the ground has received a total of 15,902 frames of ISS/CEO imagery for review and cataloging. 'A cursory scan of imagery received this morning indicates you have acquired imagery of some of our impact sites in both North America and Africa, promising imagery of Khartoum, Sudan, and dramatic views of what appears to be Tropical Cyclone Jockwe near Mozambique. There are probably more that we could not immediately recognize. Thanks for responding to our requests; we will provide more feedback on your imagery next week. Your recent striking image of a gigantic cumulonimbus cloud (possibly a super cell) over western equatorial Africa will be published in NASA/GSFC's Earth Observatory website this weekend. Your high oblique view with the long lens makes an excellent visual of the 3-dimensional aspect of weather systems and their structure in our atmosphere. Nice job!'

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Hyderabad, India (the frequently turbid atmosphere over India often makes it difficult to spot city targets. ISS had a nadir pass near midday as it approached from the NW. Using the long lens settings to map the urban edges of this sprawling city of nearly 7 million people), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (as ISS approached this target from the NW at midday, the crew was to look for the Ethiopian capital city to be just left of track. Using the long lens settings for a detailed mapping of urban edges, especially near the forest and agricultural areas), and Tropical Cyclone Jokwe (DYNAMIC EVENT: The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track has Jokwe making a glancing landfall on the northeastern coast of Mozambique in the early afternoon as a Category 2 storm. This course placed the storm just left of ISS track. As the station approached the system from the NW, the crew was to try for broad, short lens views of the extent of the storm, and when near nadir, try for long lens views of details of the cloud structure. Prompt downlink of DYNAMIC EVENT imagery increases its value to the media and disaster responders).

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