Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.25 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/25/08


Off-duty day for the station crew.

ISS work cycle today: Sleep 11:00pm (last night) -7:30am; wake 7:30am (this morning) -5:30pm.

STS-123/Endeavour and ISS are flying in separate orbits again (Flight Day 15/16 for STS-123/1J/A)

After final preparations on both sides of the hatches (closed yesterday on ISS side at 5:51pm EDT), Endeavour undocked last night at 8:25pm, 29 min late, from PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) after a total docked time of 11d 20h 36m. (For undocking, the station was turned from -XVV through ~180 deg to +XVV ZLV (+x-axis in velocity vector, z-axis in local vertical, i.e., flying Shuttle-leading again) at ~7:09pm, put briefly on free drift for the undocking, and then moded to 1J/A Stage attitude of +XVV TEA attitude. During pre-undock feathering & locking of the station's P6 solar arrays, latch #2 of the 2B BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) latched only at the third attempt, delaying the undocking by ~29 min.)

After separation, Endeavour completed a 360-deg flyaround and obtained imagery of the ISS with the newly-delivered JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) and SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator). (JLP added approximately 2000 cubic feet of internal volume and 18,490 lb mass to the ISS; the SPDM added another 3440 lbm.)

KSC landing is nominally expected on 3/26 (Wednesday) at ~7:05pm EDT. (If the landing occurs as planned, STS-123 mission duration will be 15d 16h 37m, i.e., the longest Shuttle mission to ISS so far. LĂ(c)opold Eyharts' total time in space will be 48 days, with 44 days on board ISS.)

Before and during the undocking, FE-1 Malenchenko stood by at a laptop with a stopwatch to monitor the proper performance of automatic undocking software for the PMA-2 departure under Russian thruster attitude control. (The procedure provides for the crewmember to take over the automatic operational attitude control sequence manually if the software does not resume control after the period of free drift a few minutes after physical separation.)

FE-2 Garrett Reisman used the Kodak 760 digital camera and PD-100 camcorder to document the undocking, backing away & separation of the Endeavour.

Before Shuttle departure, a final 3.3 mmHg O2 repress of the ISS stack was performed using Shuttle oxygen.

After undocking, CDR Peggy Whitson depressurized the PMA-2 to prevent humidity condensation and pressure fluctuations. Leak checking by the CDR followed after the standard one hour. Afterwards, the necessary testing equipment was torn down.

Later, the CDR also powered down the Cupola RWS (Robotics Workstation) laptop.

Reisman set up the ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2) payload in the ER2 (EXPRESS Rack 2), swapping the experiment's IMU (Interface Management Unit) with the ISIS (International Subrack Interface Standard) Drawer. (The transfers involved moving ELITE-S2 from ER5 to ER2 and the ISIS Drawer from ER2 to ER5. Cables were not yet connected by the crew, remaining stowed (loc. LAB1S4-B1) until needed to perform the experiment. 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 FE-1 completed the reconfiguration of the Russian telephone/telegraph subsystem (STTS) to its post-undocking settings, from its primary string back to nominal mode on the backup string. This also severed the VHS (UHF) channel to the receding Shuttle Orbiter and restored the RSA-2 S/G (Space-to-Ground) comm configuration on Panel 3. (The "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 Docking Compartment and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM's outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support.)

After briefly activating the MKAM (Minimum Keep Active Monitor) fan in the JLP, Peggy Whitson relocated the module's PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) from the JLP to Columbus (because of long-term JLP ventilation deactivation), then removed & stowed the VCP J01 video cap at the Node-2 video port S3 (camcorder port), to allow camcorder ops within Node-2.

Malenchenko performed the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS (Russian Segment) hatchways, including the FGB-to-Soyuz tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node passageway.

The crew went to sleep last night at ~11:00pm. After wake-up this morning (~7:30am EDT), the crew is having an off-duty day.

CDR Whitson started her day by completing another session with the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment's laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop, 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.)

For her VolSci (Voluntary Science) program tomorrow, Whitson has selected the USND (Ultrasound) and SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) experiments. In preparation for the activities, Peggy today moved the USND hardware & cooling stowage drawer to a lower location within the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack as a final troubleshooting step. SLAMMD files were loaded onto the HRF1 laptop already on 6/5/06. (The actual checkout of the equipment is scheduled tomorrow with the powered SLAMMD activities. SLAMMD provides an accurate means of determining the on-orbit mass of humans spanning the range from the 5th percentile Japanese female and the 95th percentile American male. The procedure, in accordance with Newton's 2nd Law of Motion, finds the mass by dividing force, generated by two springs inside the SLAMMD drawer, by acceleration measured with a precise optical instrument that detects the position versus time trajectory of the SLAMMD guide arm and a micro controller which collects the raw data and provides the precise timing. The final computation is done via portable laptop computer with SLAMMD unique software. To calculate their mass, crewmembers wrap their legs around a leg support assembly, align the stomach against a belly pad and either rest the head or chin on a head rest. For calibration, an 18-lbs. mass is used at different lengths from the pivot point, to simulate different mass values. Allowable crew mass range is from 90 to 240 lbs.)

Later today, Yuri will perform the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Working off his 'available time' task suggestions list, Malenchenko also is to -

Conduct the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing of its standard 'delta file' including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur),
Support 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,
Perform 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
Continue Progress 28P loading, with commensurate updates of the IMS.
Spaced over the day, the crewmembers are performing 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), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Peggy transfers 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).

Whitson & Reisman are scheduled for their standard periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Earlier today, at ~9:30am, Yuri Malenchenko had his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-9 laptop).

During crew sleep tonight, starting at 5:30pm, the ground will update the ISL (Integrated Station OpsLAN) Routers in the Lab & Node-2 with a new software configuration for both Switches A & B. They will be rebooted, taking the network temporarily off line.

Cabin Ventilation Update: After hatch closure, the CDR tore down the temporary 23-ft ventilation ducting from Node-2 to the Lab and reclosed panels. (The air duct had been assembled from three separate pieces to help improve Shuttle air flow directly into the Lab for CO2 removal.)

JLP Update: The JLP experienced a failure of a GLA (General Luminaire Assembly, P2A), one of four lighting fixtures. Crew troubleshooting determined it was the BBA (Baseplate Ballast Assembly) that failed. There are no spare BBAs onboard ISS. (Impact: 'Just a little darker'.)

ATV Update (Flight Days 14, 15, 16): ATV 'Jules Verne' continues nominal stationkeeping at the Parking point 2000 km in front of the ISS. Per the plan, the ATV did not perform any maneuvers. In addition, the SK2_1 & SK2_2 stationkeeping maneuvers that were planned for today (3/25) have been cancelled because they are not necessary for maintaining the Parking point. ATV is scheduled to leave the Parking point on 3/27 to start its ISS approach for its first Demo Day, with all demo objectives approved trilaterally (Europe, Russia, NASA). The IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) this morning gave its Go for Demo Day 1 on 3/29. ATV-CC/Toulouse continues to see higher than expected power consumption from the pressurized module shell heaters and is working to identify the reason.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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