Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.26 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/26/08

Off-duty day for the Station crew.

ISS crew is back on its regular work cycle: 2:00am - 5:30pm EDT.

For her VolSci (Voluntary Science) program today, CDR Peggy Whitson set up the SLAMMD (Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device) equipment on the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack, performed the scheduled checkout/control run and took a body mass measurement, documenting the activities with digital still & video imagery for ground evaluation and finally disassembling the equipment again. (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.)

As second VolSci activity on her off-duty day, Whitson powered on the USND (Ultrasound) LITE gear with its TDI (Tissue Doppler Imaging) equipment & the Cooling Stowage Drawer on HRF-1 and performed a functionality checkout, monitored by the ground via Ku- & S-band. The payload was then deactivated again and stowed away.

After setting up the ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2) payload in the ER2 (EXPRESS Rack 2) yesterday, FE-2 Reisman today reviewed updated crew procedures for the experiment and discussed particulars of the upcoming ops in conference with the PD (Payload Developer & POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center). Afterwards, Garrett & Peggy routed the connecting data & power cables, configured the supporting laptop, set up the video cameras for calibrating the work area, and activated the experiment's IMU (Interface Management Unit), later powering it off 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.)

Yuri Malenchenko & Peggy Whitson updated the relevant crew procedures documentation for the upcoming ATV activities, printing out new ATV ODF (Operations Data File) pages for replacing corresponding pages in two procedures books (ATV Rendezvous Docking & Undocking Book & Systems Operations Book).

After Houston flight controllers deactivated the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) during last night (10:30pm-3:30am EDT) and cooling is no longer required, Garrett Reisman disconnected the ITCS LTL QD (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop/Quick Disconnect) jumper to the CDRA rack (loc. LAB1D6).

In the Service Module (SM), Malenchenko 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;

Reisman 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.)

Afterwards, Garrett also 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.)

The crewmembers performed 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).

Working off his 'available time' task suggestion list, Malenchenko performed the daily monitoring, picture-taking and downloading on the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment. Today's task was extended to include recharging the water tank of the greenhouse. (Rasteniya-2, researches growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-12 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. During the duration of the BIO-5 experiment, students of the Moscow City Palace for Youth Creativity of the Meshchansky inter-regional center #15 in Moscow) and the Prince of Oldenburg Lyceum in St. Petersburg will be cultivating plants in parallel on the ground and conducting comparative observation of plant growth and development under gravity and zero-gravity conditions. They are receiving the photo images taken by Yuri.)

Also listed for the FE-1 as a voluntary task was 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).

At ~6:35am EDT, Garrett Reisman powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset & power supply) and conducted at 6:40am a ham radio exchange with students at the NPO (Non-Profit Organization) 'The Child Support Project' in Kyoto, Japan. Questions to Garrett were uplinked by ARISS (Amateur Radio on ISS) beforehand. ('Is there a temperature in space?'; 'Why is it dark in space when the sun is there?'; 'What is it like to have many mornings and nights in a day?'; 'Is space food delicious?'; 'How do you take pictures from space? Can you use an ordinary digital camera?')

STS-123/Endeavour Landing Look-ahead (today, EDT):
1:58pm: Deorbit Prep begins
2:13pm: Radiator Stow
3:04pm: Final payload deactivation
3:18pm: Payload bay door closing
4:50pm: IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) align
3:28pm: Mission Control 'Go' for Ops 3 software transition
3:38pm: GPC (General Purpose Computers) transition to Ops 3 for entry
4:33pm: Suit up
4:58pm: Seat Ingress
5:11pm: OMS (Orbital Maneuvering System) engine gimbal checks
5:25pm: APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) prestart
5:38pm: Mission Control 'Go-No Go' for the deorbit burn
5:47pm: Maneuver to the Deorbit Burn Attitude
5:53pm: Single APU start
5:58pm: Deorbit burn (duration 2 min 51 sec/delta-V = 306.5 ft/sec)
6:33pm: Entry Interface (400,000 feet - range 4,959 st. mi.)
6:38pm: First Roll Command (to the left)
6:52pm: C-Band radar acquisition
6:54pm: First Roll Reversal (left to right)
7:02pm: HAC (Heading Alignment Circle) intercept (195 degree left overhead to Runway 15)
7:05pm: LANDING (249 orbits)

ATV Update (Flight Day 17): 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. 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). ATV-CC/Toulouse continues to see higher than expected power consumption from the pressurized module shell heaters and is working to identify the reason. Tomorrow and Friday, Yuri & Peggy are scheduled for two days of OBT (Onboard Training) to handle the ATV Approach & Docking next week (4/3): (1) tomorrow a thorough 2-hr review of OBT objectives (main rendezvous steps, possible malfunctions, new Rendezvous, Docking & Undocking RODF), including a crew debriefing with the ground, and (2) on 3/28 a series of simulation runs with a sophisticated simulator software on a laptop, covering a selection of 10 scenarios of the approach & docking, quite similar to the SIMVOL control display used for KURS and TORU training.

Weekend Voluntary Science: For the next VolSci (Voluntary Science) program on Sunday (3/30), one option was proposed to Peggy & Garrett for their choice: to perform five surface sample analyses with the LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development - Portable Test System).

CEO photo target uplinked for today was Mozambique (this target area is in the coastal plains of far southern Mozambique just north of the capital city of Maputo. Rapid development of this area is now being planned. To better monitor this change CEO researchers are seeking baseline, pre-development imagery. ISS approached from the SW in late afternoon light. Clear-to-partly cloudy weather was expected, and requested was an oblique mapping pass to the left of the orbit track using only short lens settings for contextual information. There are very few strong landmarks or visual features to guide the crew.

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