Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.19 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/19/08


STS-123-1J/A Flight Day (FD) 9/10.

Crew sleep cycle today: Sleep 5:00am -1:30pm; wake 1:30pm -5:00am tomorrow.

Three more major mission steps were accomplished:

SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) 'Dextre', with repositioned arms, was successfully stowed on the U.S. Lab PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture) (and is looking very cool);
SLP (Spacelab Pallet) was returned to the Shuttle PLB (Payload Bay) for re-berthing; and
SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) was 'walked off' the Node-2 PDGF onto MT/MBS (Mobile Transporter/Mobile Base System) PDGF-3 and maneuvered into position for today's MT translation from Worksite 6 (WS6) to WS4.
(During commanding of the SPDM's body ('waist') roll joint to stowage mode, it rotated in the opposite direction than expected, due to a sign mistake (polarity inversion, i.e., a plus-sign instead of a minus-sign) in the DMCS (Dexterous Manipulator Control Software) configuration file. Flight Controllers worked around this in real time, and the crew was able to maneuver the SPDM LEE (Latching End Effector) onto the LAB PDGF without further ado. Work is underway at CSA/MDA to write a corrective software patch.)

After yesterday's wakeup at ~2:30pm EDT and before breakfast, CDR Peggy Whitson completed another session with the SLEEP experiment (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment's laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink, as suggested on her discretionary 'job jar' task list. (To monitor the crewmember's sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Peggy wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew's discretionary 'job jar' task list.)

FE-2-16 Garrett Reisman performed his first session with the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function), collecting wet saliva samples. Later in the day, FE-2 Leo Eyharts readied the equipment for his own saliva collection tonight. (IMMUNE protocol requires the collection to occur first thing post-sleep, before eating, drinking and brushing teeth, and all samples are stored at ambient temperature. Along with NUTRITION (Nutritional Status Assessment), INTEGRATED IMMUNE samples & analyzes participant's blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function 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.)

FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko continued preparations for operating the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 Plus (PK-3+) experiment payload. (After unstowing and setting up the hardware yesterday in the Service Module (SM), leak checking of the electronics box and evacuation of the vacuum work chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO) with the turbopump, Malenchenko today conducted more hardware testing and calibration, uploaded new software from a USB stick, checked out the software installation and verified the readiness of the experiment. After starting the turbo pump right after wake-up and conducting additional leak checking on the ZB during the 'day', the FE-1 deactivated the turbopump this morning at ~4:55am EDT. The resulting log file was then downloaded to laptop for downlink via BSR-TM. The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside the evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.)

Later, Malenchenko performed IFM (In-flight Maintenance) in the SM, removing an amplifier of the STTS audio subsystem behind comm panel 6 and replacing it with a spare unit. A functional test of the R&R afterwards was successful. (The old amplifier had been scavenged from SM comm panel #2 on 6/26/07.)

CDR Whitson and MS3 Doi conducted a brief EPO (Educational Payload Operations) demo for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), with Takao being photographed while taking payload samples (plant seeds, eggs, DVD) from a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) for demo, then restowing them in the bag.

Working in the JLP (JEM Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section), Takao Doi & Rick Linnehan assembled two JTVE (JEM Television Equipment) booms in preparation for Flight 1J (which delivers the JEM 'Kibo' Laboratory). The assembled booms were stowed for now in the JLP.

After the crew reported excessive noise from the CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner in Node-2, CDR Whitson took air flow and sound level measurements in the 'Harmony' module based on various fan speed settings. Engineers are assessing the data. (On 1/10, the Node-2 CCAA fan was reduced to 4000 rpm as a temporary measure to reduce the noise level, but higher fan speeds are necessary to move the air sufficiently once the crew quarters and exercise equipment are installed in Node-2.)

In the SM, Leo Eyharts set up the video equipment for filming his subsequent workout on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization) for biomechanical evaluation of his performance and assessment of the hardware status by ground engineers. The camera gear was torn down and stowed afterwards.

Yuri conducted the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment (RS) hatchways, including the FGB-to-Soyuz tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node passageway. (This is especially important when the ventilation/circulation system has to cope with a larger crew on board, currently ten persons, and one of the two Russian SKV air conditioners off (SKV-1).)

In the SM, the FE-1 took readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants with the CMS (Countermeasure System) part of the GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, which uses preprogrammed microchips to measure H2CO (Formaldehyde, methanal), CO and NH3 (Ammonia), taking one measurement per microchip;

Air samples were also collected by Peggy with a U.S. GSC (Grab Sample Container) at the center of the Lab, SM and Columbus.

Malenchenko completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists of replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of an EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine container, replacement of the KOV EDV for the Elektron-intended water, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.)

Before sleeptime this morning, Garrett 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).

Peggy performed the periodic offloading of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier's condensate tank, filling a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1054) with the collected water slated for processing. No samples were required this time. (Estimated offload time before reaching the tank's neutral point (leaving ~6 kg in the tank): ~30 min.)

Working from the Russian 'available time' suggestions list, Yuri Malenchenko performed 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).

A second task list item for the FE-1 for FD9 was the daily monitoring, picture-taking and downloading for 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}).

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).

Afterwards, Yuri 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).

The FE-1 also took the periodic sensor readings of the Russian 'Pille-MKS' (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has ten sensors placed at various locations in the Russian segment (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). (Nine of the ten dosimeters are read manually.)

The ISS crew began their sleeptime this morning at 5:00am, the Shuttle crew at 5:30am. For both crews, workday began today at 1:30pm EDT (but it's mostly a well-deserved off-duty day).

Tonight at ~7:08pm (8:08am tomorrow in Tokyo), crewmembers CDR Whitson, CDR Gorie and MS3 Doi are scheduled to receive a VIP call from Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, accompanied by Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology Kisaburo Tokai, JAXA Astronaut Chiaki Mukai, and five Junior High students.,

Later, at ~8:58pm, both flight crew will engage in an interactive PAO TV interview with three U.S. media clients,- CBS News (Meg Oliver), NBC News (Tom Costello) and WMUR-TV (Tom Griffith).

At ~3:43am tomorrow morning, Bob Behnken (EV1) and Mike Foreman (EV2) will begin their 'campout' in the A/L with hatch closure and depressurization of the CL (Crewlock) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi, followed by mask prebreathe. Sleep time for the ISS crew begins at ~5:00am. (For the Campout, fresh METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters will be installed in the A/L for CO2 control. EVA-4 will begin at ~6:28pm and last approximately 6.5 hrs, ending at ~12:58am. Its major objectives are: (1) Replace an RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module); (2) conduct TRAD (Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser) demo in the Shuttle PLB; (3) clean up worksite & ingress.)

MT Transfer: At 2:12pm-4:12pm, the Mobile Transporter, carrying the MBS and SSRMS, moves from WS6 to WS4 on the main truss on IMCA (Integrated Motor/Controller Assembly) string A.

Columbus FSL Update: Ground teams have attempted another FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) troubleshooting by swapping to the redundant Bus (MIL Bus B) and activating the FSL ISPR (International Standard Payload Rack). However, voltage and amperage checks during the RPDA (Remote Power Distribution Assembly) activation were off-nominal. Any further troubleshooting activities are on hold until next week, after the 1J/A joint mission. A new connector for FSL will be flown on Flight 1J (not on Soyuz 16S).

ASN-M Internal Transition Failure: RSC-Energia is troubleshooting a problem with the ASN-M Satellite Navigation System, critically required for ATV docking, which failed a switchover to its NVM-1 Navigation Computer Module (one of two). After first suspecting NVM-1 as failed, specialists now believe the problem is in the Common Power Switching timer (BSK DB2) of the Onboard Complex Control System (SUBK), but this needs to be confirmed ASAP. If so, the BSK will be replaced tomorrow or on Friday (3/21). Energia never had a similar failure in the ISS and 'hopes all functionality can be restored for supporting ATV operations'.

ISS Crew Sleep Shift Planning: To synchronize the ISS crew's timeline with STS-123/1J/A docking and subsequent docked activities, Peggy's, Yuri's and Leo's wake/sleep cycle is undergoing a number of shifts which started on 3/11. For the next six days, the wake/sleep shift schedule is as follows (all times EDT):

FD10 Wake: 1:30pm (3/19) - 5:00am (3/20)
Sleep: 5:00am - 1:30pm (3/20)

FD11
Wake: 1:30pm (3/20) - 5:00am (3/21)
Sleep: 5:00am - 1:30pm (3/21)

FD12
Wake: 1:30pm (3/21) - 4:00am (3/22)
Sleep: 4:00am - 12:30pm (3/22)

FD13
Wake: 12:30pm (3/22) - 4:00am (3/23)
Sleep: 4:00am - 12:30pm (3/23)

FD14
Wake: 12:30pm (3/23) - 3:30am (3/24)
Sleep: 3:30am - 12:00pm (3/24)

FD15
Wake: 12:00pm (3/24) - 3:30am (3/25)
Sleep: 3:30am - 12:00pm (3/25)

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

More... - Chronology...

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