Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.21 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/21/08


STS-123-1J/A Flight Day (FD) 11/12.

Crew sleep/wake cycle today: Sleep 5:00am -1:30pm; wake 1:30pm -4:00am tomorrow.

EVA-4 was completed successfully by Bob Behnken & Mike Foreman in 6h 24m, accomplishing most of its objectives.
During the spacewalk, Behnken (EV1) & Foreman (EV2) -

Demonstrated an on-orbit heat shield repair technique using the T-RAD (Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser) to demonstrate an Orbiter tile repair DTO (Development Test Objective) in space. (The spacewalkers tested STA-54, a pink putty-like material consisting of two compounds that are mixed together in a pressure-driven applicator gun just before they exit the nozzle. With Foreman working the applicator, the test was completed nominally, and the test samples were stowed in the TSA (Tool Stowage Assembly in the Orbiter PLB (Payload Bay) for return and analysis; results looked good);
Removed RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) S02B-D on the S0 truss and replaced it with a new unit. (Since the RPCM controls CMG-2 (Control Moment Gyroscope #2), circuitry had to be powered down and the CMG-2 removed from the steering law beforehand. After the successful R&R, the spacewalkers attempted several times to reconfigure the Z1 patch panel, a pre-requisite for powering the new RPCM, but were unable to do so due to tough-to-reach connectors which could not be unmated. The patch panel reconfiguration currently remains incomplete, but there are no impacts to current operations);
Inspected the Z1 truss toolbox for MMOD (Micrometeoroid/Orbital Debris) damage and noticed several 'pits'. (Video imagery will be assessed by specialists);
Released Node-2 Port ACBM (Active Common Berthing Mechanism) launch locks in preparation for berthing the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) module 'Kibo' on Flight 1J next May;
Removed the remaining SPDM OTCM-2 (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator/ORU Tool Changeout Mechanism #2) thermal covers, reconfigured some of the wrist blankets and flaps, and inspected the Shoulder Roll joint of SPDM Arm #2 for possible MLI (Multi-Layered Insulation) interference. None was seen. (WVS (Wireless Video System) helmet cam video was also obtained for ground analysis.)
Additionally, two get-ahead tasks were completed:

Searching for a misplaced PIP (Push-in-Place) pin that was lost during EVA-2 on Flight 10A in a CBM. (Ground controllers opened and closed the CBM petals, but the PIP pin was not located despite search of the entire location);
Releasing the Node-2 Nadir CBM launch locks in preparation for 'Leonardo' MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) docking later in the year (STS-126/ ULF-2).
Besides the aborted patch panel reconfiguration, also not accomplished was the get-ahead of removing the JLP (JEM Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) trunnion covers.

Official start time of the spacewalk was 6:04pm EDT, about 24 min ahead of timeline, and it ended at 12:28am. Total EVA duration (PET = Phase Elapsed Time) was 6h 24min. It was the 108th spacewalk for ISS assembly & maintenance and the 80th from the station (58 from Quest, 22 from Pirs, 28 from Shuttle) totaling 492h 47min, the 12th for Expedition 16 (totaling 84h 55min) and the 9th so far this year. After today's EVA, a total of 137 spacewalkers (105 NASA astronauts, 21 Russians, and 11 astronauts representing Japan-1, Canada-4, France-1, Germany-2 and Sweden-3) have logged a total of 681h 9min outside the station on building, outfitting and servicing. It was also the 130th spacewalk involving U.S. astronauts.

After crew wakeup at ~1:30pm EDT yesterday, ending the 8.5-hr sleep period, the Airlock Crewlock (A/L CL) hatch was cracked at ~2:55pm for a hygiene break/with mask prebreathe for Behnken & Foreman after spending the night on 10.2 psi campout. Around 3:05pm, the hatch was closed again by Peggy Whitson, the IV (Intravehicular Crewmember) in charge, for EVA preparations in 10.2 psi, followed by EMU purge & prebreathe. Afterwards, the IV supported CL depressurization and EV1/EV2 egress (EMUs switched to batteries at 6:04pm).

As part of pre-EVA activities, FE-1 Malenchenko powered down the ham radio equipment in SM (Service Module) and FGB at ~2:40am EDT to prevent RF interference with the EMUs during the spacewalk.

Before her breakfast and EVA-support activities as IV, 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. During the day, the ground downlinked the Actiwatch data file from the HRF-1 for medical analysis and planning report preparation.
(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-1 Yuri Malenchenko began his 'day' by attending to the current experiment session with the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3+ (Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+) payload, activating the turbopump in the Service Module (SM)'s Transfer Compartment (PkhO) for keeping the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO) evacuated. The turbopump was then deactivated again this morning at ~4:55am EDT before sleeptime. (Main objective of PK-3 is to study dust plasma wave propagation and dispersion ratio at a specified power of HF discharge, pressure, and a varied number of particles.)

Afterwards, Malenchenko terminated his MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session (his 12th), 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.)

FE-2-16 Garrett Reisman performed his second session with the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function), collecting wet saliva samples first thing in post-sleep. (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.)

In the SM, the FE-1 took another set of air readings to check for 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;

Later, Malenchenko transferred CWC (Contingency Water Container) #1053 to the Russian Segment (RS) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator's water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV thermal loops' EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing. (The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.)

CWCs with water from Endeavour's fuel cells were transferred to the ISS by Shuttle crewmembers.

MS3 Doi conducted cargo transfer activities between Shuttle and ISS, including updating the transfer list.

FE-1 Malenchenko completed his series of regular maintenance tasks for today, by -

Continuing transferring and stowing discarded equipment & trash on Progress 28P,
Performing routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables,
Conducting the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various 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).),
Completing the periodic collection & deletion of readings on the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) radiation sensor reader/display of the RBO-3-2 Matryoshka-R antroph-amorphous (human torso) "phantoms" located inside the station for sophisticated radiation studies, collecting radiation measurements every 15 minutes around the clock;
Continuing the transfer of potable water from the BV1 tank of Progress M-63/28P to EDV storage containers, begun earlier (filling of the empty Progress BV1 & BV2 tanks with urine will be scheduled later),
Supporting 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}), by monitoring the greenhouse, taking pictures and downloading them to the ground, and, working from the Russian 'available time' suggestions list,
Performing 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).
After return and ingress of Bob & Mike from EVA-4 this morning at 12:28am, CDR Whitson took charge of the usual post-EVA activities, i.e., photographing the EMU/spacesuit gloves and overgloves while still pressurized, recharging the EMUs with water from PWR (Payload Water Reservoir), then reconnecting the LTAs (Lower Torso Assemblies) to the EMUs and capping the UIA (Umbilical Interface Assembly), initiating and monitoring the regeneration of the METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 filter canisters, initiating the discharge/recharge process on the EMU batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), turning around the DCS-760 EVA camera (including downloading its EVSA and glove photographs), and reconfiguring EVA tools.

FE-2 Leo Eyharts conducted the periodic checkup on active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. (The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA continues to collect data every six seconds and downlinks the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.)

A new voluntary task item added to the U.S. 'job jar' task list for Peggy was to update the onboard reference 'library' of CDs with new disks for the 1J/A Stage and weed out outdated disks for discarding.

Eyharts & Reisman, the two rotating ISS-16 Flight Engineers, had another two hours set aside on their schedules for generic handover activities (where crewmembers are scheduled together to complete various designated standard tasks for familiarizing the new station resident with procedures, caveats, etc.).

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-2-16), TVIS treadmill (FE-1, FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2) 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). For Reisman, it was the first onboard CEVIS exercise session.

Sleeptime for the ISS crew began this morning at 5:00am, for the Shuttle crew at 5:30am. For both crews workday began today at 1:30pm EDT. Main activities of the ensuing day (FD12): Late Inspection (survey of Orbiter starboard & port wings plus nose cap), transferring the U.S. EXPRESS Rack 3 to the Columbus module, putting CMG-2 back into the steering law, preparations for EVA-5 on FD13 (Saturday, 3/22), and campout by Behnken & Foreman.

ATV Update (Flight Day 12): Yesterday (3/20), ATV 'Jules Verne' continued nominal stationkeeping at the Parking point 2000 km in front of the ISS. Per the plan, no ATV maneuvers were performed. The first two (of four) stationkeeping maneuvers to maintain the Parking point, SK1_1 and SK1_2, were to take place today (3/21) at 9:14:38am and 9:49:28am, respectively. ATV is planned to leave the Parking point on 3/27 (1:58:33am EDT). As reported yesterday, ATV power consumption is slightly higher (200-300 W) than predicted. The current hypothesis is that one or two MLI (Multi-Layered Insulation) blankets may have been lost during launch or venting activities. At this point, there is no impact to nominal operations. However, it is possible that contingency battery operations could be affected by the additional Pressurized Module shell heater load. ESA is investigating options for confirming whether the MLI blankets are loose or missing.

ASN-M Internal Transition Failure: RSC-Energia has conducted several tests of the newly installed BSK Common Power Switching timer of the SUBK Onboard Complex Control System, switching from the ASN-M Satellite Navigation System's NVM-1 Navigation Computer Module to the second string, NVM-2. The tests were successful. Today, the ASN will be switched back to the primary NVM-1. ASN-M is critically required for ATV docking, and both NVM computers must be functioning properly.

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 has undergone a number of shifts which started on 3/11. For the next four days, the wake/sleep shift schedule is as follows (all times EDT):

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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