Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.28 - ISS On-Orbit Status 03/28/08


As per his voluntary 'job jar' task list, after wakeup and before breakfast FE-2 Garrett Reisman completed his first session with the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and 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.

(To monitor the crewmember's sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Garrett 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.)

FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process was terminated before sleeptime, at ~4:30pm EDT. (Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. Filter bed 1 was regenerated yesterday.)

After reviewing the ATV rendezvous & docking timeline plus uplinked RODF (Russian Operations Data File) crew procedures, CDR Whitson & FE-1 Malenchenko used the onboard ATV Rendezvous, Docking & Undocking simulator software to conduct training runs.

Later, Whitson set up the video gear for Ku-band analog & digital video downlink, in support of engineers testing the ATV docking video transmission to the ground. Afterwards, the CDR deactivated the A31p laptop used for the downlink.

Peggy & Garrett had about half an hour reserved to work on the CMRS (Crew Medical Restraint System), stowed in the CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) rack, performing the periodic checkout and inspection of the system for upcoming standard CMO (Crew Medical Officer) proficiency training. (The crew inspected the CMRS for cracks in the board and/or metal fastener exposed on top of CMRS (found on the ground units), either of which could provide a high-voltage defibrillation ground path from the patient to ISS structure. The board-like CMRS allows strapping down a patient on the board with a harness for medical attention by the CMO who is also provided with restraints around the device. The device can be secured to the ISS structure within two minutes to provide a patient restraint surface for performing emergency medical procedures, such as during ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support). It can also be used to transport a patient between the station and the Orbiter middeck. It isolates the crew and equipment electrically during defibrillations and pacing electrical discharges, accommodates the patient in the supine zero-G positions, provides cervical spine stabilization and, for a three-person crew, can also restrain two CMOs during their delivery of medical care.)

Reisman also performed the regular inspection and checkout of the HMS RSP (Health Maintenance System/Respiratory Support Pack).

After setting up the Rodnik 'plumbing' gear on 3/22 and testing the Progress 28P's BV1 tank bladder for leak tightness, Malenchenko today transferred accumulated urine from two EDV containers (#381, #360) to the BV1 water tank. (Each of the two spherical Rodnik tanks consists of a hard shell with a soft membrane (bladder) composed of elastic fluoroplastic. The bladder is used to expel water from the tank by compressed air pumped into the tank volume surrounding the membrane.)

With the US ER3 (EXPRESS Rack 3) now located in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) as of 3/22, Garrett Reisman installed the cables for the rack's EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) facility, then configured the EMCS power switch to On and opened the gas valves, preparatory to the EMCS checkout scheduled tomorrow. (The EMCS rack contains a rotating centrifuge that can support a wide range of small plant and animal experiments under partial gravity conditions. The EMCS gas valves must be opened manually within 24 hours prior to EMCS facility powerup if the power up is performed via ground commanding.)

In the Lab, Whitson connected the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper at the LAB1D6 rack in support of ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) at 12:10pm-12:40pm EDT for troubleshooting the unit. Peggy supported the blower on/off activity by removing (later reinstalling) ducting between ASV (Air Supply Valve) 102 and absorbent bed 2.

Malenchenko conducted the periodic (monthly) functional closure test of the Vozdukh CO2 removal system's spare emergency vacuum valves (AVK), in the spare parts kit. (The AVKs are critical because they close the Vozdukh's vacuum access lines in the event of a malfunction in the regular vacuum valves (BVK) or a depressurization in the Vozdukh valve panel (BOA). Access to vacuum is required to vent CO2 during the regeneration of the absorbent cartridges (PP). During nominal operation, the AVK valves remain open.)

After preparing the auditory test equipment, Peggy, Yuri & Garrett each took the periodic (monthly) O-OHA (On-Orbit Hearing Assessment) test, a 30-min. NASA environmental health systems examination to assess the efficacy of acoustic countermeasures, using a special MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop application. It was the fourth session for the CDR & FE-1, the first for the FE-2. (The O-OHA audiography test involves minimum audibility measurements for each ear over a wide range of frequencies (0.25-10 kHz) and sound pressure levels, with the crewmembers using individual-specific Prophonics earphones, Bose ANC headsets and the SLM (sound level meter). To conduct the testing, the experimenter is supported by special EarQ software on the MEC, featuring an up/down-arrow-operated slider for each test frequency that the crewmember moves to the lowest sound pressure level at which the tone can still be heard. The baseline test is required not later than about Flight Day 14 for each new Expedition and is then generally performed once per month. Note: There have been temporary hearing deficits documented on some U.S. and Russian crewmembers, all of which recovered to pre-mission levels.)

For the Russian flight engineer, it was time today for his first orthostatic hemodynamic endurance test session with the Russian Chibis suit in preparation for his return to gravity on 4/19, conducting the MedOps MO-4 exercise protocol in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP/Lower Body Negative Pressure). With Peggy assisting her crewmate as CMO (Crew Medical Officer), the one-hour session was supported by ground specialist tagup via VHF at ~12:01pm EDT on DO1. (The Chibis provides gravity-simulating stress to the body's cardiovascular/circulatory system for evaluation of Malenchenko's orthostatic tolerance (e.g., the Gauer-Henry reflex) after 200 days in zero-G. Data output include blood pressure readings.)

In the US Lab, FE-2 Reisman set up the hardware associated with urine and blood collections for his first session of NASA's NUTRITION w/Repository experiment, scheduled on his timeline tomorrow, requiring Garrett to start his mandatory 8-hr fasting tonight for the blood draw. (The 24-hr urine sampling begins with the first void tomorrow morning and continues through the first void on Sunday morning. The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (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.)

CDR Whitson removed closeout panels in the Lab for IFM (Inflight Maintenance) of the port IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) valve of the THC (Temperature & Humidity Control) system, working with the ground to adjust the valve RMO (Remote Manual Override).

Yuri Malenchenko had another hour set aside for his end-of-increment cleanup and departure preparations. (Instructions on packing of return items and a keep vs. trash list were uplinked for assisting Yuri and Peggy in their preparing for their return in the severely downmass-limited Soyuz Descent Module. Trashed items will be stowed in the Orbital Module, to be separated along with the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module prior to atmospheric entry.)

Garrett Reisman spent ~60 minutes for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization), as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency

Afterwards, the FE-2 performed the regular monthly & quarterly maintenance of the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), inspecting the condition of harnesses, belt slats, corner bracket ropes, IRBAs (Isolation Restorative Bungee Assemblies) and gyroscope wire ropes for any damage or defects, lubricating as required plus recording time & date values.

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.)

Later, Yuri 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).

Working off his 'available time' discretionary task list, the FE-1 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).

Also from the voluntary task list, Yuri supported 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 checking status and taking photographs.

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, the CDR transferred the crew's exercise data file to the MEC 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).

After setting up and activating the VDS MPC (Video Distribution System/Multi-Purpose Converter) with its four downlinks to allow the ground to receive HDTV (high-definition TV) downlink, the crew at 11:00am sent down two PAO TV messages for recording and later playback, one for Yuri's Night at NASA ARC (Ames Research Center), the other for the annual 'VEISHEA' celebration at Iowa State University (ISU). Later (~11:35am), the MPC was powered off again. (The annual Yuri's Night Celebration, held around the world on 4/12, commemorates the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's launch on April 12, 1961 to become the first human in space, and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle 'Columbia' with John Young & Bob Crippen twenty years later - on April 12, 1981. ISU's 'VEISHEA' event is an annual celebration held each spring and one of ISU's oldest traditions. The name VEISHEA combines the first letters of the colleges at the origin of VEISHEA in 1922: Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, Agriculture. ISU also recognized Clay Anderson as a distinguished alumnus.)

At ~4:20am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~5:05am, the FE-1 linked up with TsUP-Moscow stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues and equipment locations.

At ~9:00 am, Whitson and Reisman had their weekly PFCs (Private Family Conferences) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-10 laptop).

At ~9:50am, the ISS crew held its weekly teleconference with ISS Program Management at JSC/Houston via Private S/G2, S-band/audio.

At ~4:20pm, the crewmembers will convene for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

WDS Update: An updated Water Delivery System 'cue card' was uplinked for the crew's reference, which includes the five CWCs that were transferred from Endeavour during 1J/A. (The new card (16-0018Z) lists 39 CWCs (~1551.8 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (871.5 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene), potable water (647.2 L), condensate water (27.3 L), waste/EMU dump and other (5.8 L). Of the 39 containers, 15 CWCs with technical water (640.5 L) cannot be used until cleared for Wautersia bacteria, and 4 CWCs with potable water (176.3 L) are not cleared for use pending analysis of samples returned on 1J/A.)

ATV Update (Flight Day 18): Early yesterday morning, ATV 'Jules Verne' departed its parking orbit 2000 km in front of ISS, beginning to phase back to the Rendezvous Initiation point in preparation for ATV Demo Day 1 tomorrow (3/29). The ATV performed the following three maneuvers, all of which were reported to be nominal:

TA1: start 1:59:37am EDT, delta-V: 1.50 m/s
TA2: start 2:44:45am, delta-V: 3.24 m/s
TA3: start 3:28:25am, delta-V: 1.55 m/s.
In addition, the ISS crew completed two of the ATV rendezvous on-board training sessions yesterday and another one today.
The ATV-CC continues to see higher than expected power consumption from the pressurized module shell heaters and is working to identify the reason. The spacecraft is being controlled by ESA's ATV-CC/Toulouse in France, working with TsUP-Moscow and MCC-Houston. On Demo Day 2 (3/31), the ATV begins approaching the ISS from two miles away, maneuvering with a series of engine firings to about 10 m (36 ft) from the station before the ISS crew sends an abort command to move the ATV away from the complex. These maneuvers will test all ATV systems that are required for a safe automated linkup to the ISS three days later (4/3) by means of the ASN PCE (Proximity Communications Equipment) in the SM, or manually as backup.

CEO photo target uplinked for today was Tropical Cyclone Pancho, NW Australia (DYNAMIC EVENT: Maximum sustained winds predicted to be 65kt, storm tracking almost due south. Looking right of track for the eye. Shooting obliques to acquire the very long cloud feeder bands, especially right of track. Short lens settings probably allowed most of the storm to be captured in single views), Patagonian Glaciers (there was a reasonable chance for clear weather on the dry side (east side) of the Southern Andes Mts. Looking left of track to shoot smaller glacier tongues), and Pilcomayo River dynamics, N Argentina (a mapping swath of 400-mm images was requested, looking left of track (for 30 -60 secs) -to show the highly complex modern and past stream channel patterns on this largest 'river fan' on Earth. These patterns have interesting similarities to 'channel' patterns on Mars, for which they are being used as analogs in ongoing research).

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