Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.01 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/01/08

From the US voluntary 'job jar' task list, after wakeup and before breakfast CDR Whitson and FE-2 Reisman downloaded the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop, changed the lithium battery in Peggy's Actiwatch and initialized both their watches.

They also changed the battery of SFP (Space Flight Participant) Yi So-yeon's Actiwatch and initialized the unit for her. (To monitor the crewmember's sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their 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 Malenchenko began his activities with the routine checkup of DC1 (Docking Compartment) circuit breakers and fuses. (The monthly checkup in the 'Pirs' DC1 looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in Fuse Panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.)

Malenchenko also completed his first session of the 24-hour of ECG (electrocardiogram) recording under the Russian MedOps MO-2 protocol. (For the ECG recording, the Russian flight engineer yesterday donned the five-electrode Holter harness which read his dynamic (in motion) heart function from two leads over 24 hours and recorded data on the Kardioregistrator 90205 unit.)

Afterwards, the FE-1 went on to conduct the first part of the onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') preventive health maintenance fitness test on the VELO bicycle ergometer. Part 2, on the TVIS treadmill, is scheduled tomorrow. (Test procedure for MBI-8, which requires workouts on the VELO and TVIS, is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal procedure it uses the TEEM-100M gas analyzer with breathing mask, a blood lactate test with the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories, and a subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test (using the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale, viz., 10 steps from very light over hard and very hard to maximum). Results are entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data are transferred to the RSE-Med laptop, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results are also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP. Data from the previous session (1/3) were also to be transferred.)

In preparation for his return to gravity, Yuri also undertook his first preliminary session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the 'Chibis' below-the-waist reduced-pressure suit (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the VELO ergometer, assisted by Whitson as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). (The 45-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites (at 8:45am EDT), uses the Gamma-1 ECG equipment with biomed harness, skin electrodes and a blood pressure and rheoplethysmograph cuff wired to the cycle ergometer's instrumentation panels. The Chibis ODNT 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 several weeks in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced ('negative') pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg (Torr) for five minutes each while shifting from foot to foot at 10-12 steps per minute, while wearing a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The body's circulatory system interprets the pressure differential between upper and lower body as a gravity-like force pulling the blood (and other liquids) down. Chibis data and biomed cardiovascular readings are recorded. The Chibis suit (not to be confused with the Russian 'Pinguin' suit for spring-loaded body compression, or the "Kentavr" anti-g suit worn during reentry) is similar to the U.S. LBNP facility (not a suit) used for the first time on Skylab in 1973/74, although it appears to accomplish its purpose more quickly.)

The CDR set up the camcorder equipment for taking video of Garrett Reisman's first PFE-OUM (Periodic Fitness Evaluation - Oxygen Uptake Measurement session on the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation), filmed via VTR (Video Tape Recorder) from the ground. (The footage was downlinked afterwards for biomechanical evaluation of the exercising crewmember and assessment of the on-orbit setup of equipment during data collection and hardware status.)

Later, Whitson & Reisman configured the PFE-OUM equipment at the HRF-2 (Human Research Facility 2) rack for Garrett's workout on the CEVIS while wearing an HRM (Heart Rate Monitor), with Peggy as operator, obtaining measurements of the subject. (The equipment includes the HRF PFM/PAM (Pulmonary Function Module/Photoacoustic Analyzer Module), Mixing Bag System and GDS (Gas Delivery System). After calibration of the DPFM (Differential Pressure Flowmeter), Peggy assisted in changing the loads on the ergometer and recording data. Later, the CDR updated the evaluation protocol, deactivated & stowed the gear, and powered down the PFE-OUM laptop. Purpose of PFE-OUM is to measure aerobic capacity during exercise within 14 days after arrival on ISS, and once monthly during routine PFEs. The data allows exercise physiologists & flight doctors to assess the crew's health & fitness and to provide data for modifying & updating crew-specific exercise regimes. PFE-OUM is a collaborative effort between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).)

Afterwards, the FE-2 removed the experiment hardware, while the CDR disassembled the video setup and stowed it, then gave the Go for the ground to downlink the VTR tape.

Peggy Whitson performed the periodic calibration of the two CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen sensor) instruments #1041 & #1052, using a calibration tank with accurately known pressure (2100 psi). (Partial Pressure Oxygen (ppO2) readings were 21.7% before and 21.8% after calibration on #1041, 21.7%/21.8% on #1052.)

Reisman worked in the US Airlock, connecting EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) #3003 & #3004 to their SCU (Service & Cooling Umbilical) and initiated the standard 1-hr scrubbing process on the spacesuits' cooling water loops, filtering ionic and particulate matter (via a 3-micron filter). The cooling loops were afterwards reconfigured and the EMU water processing kit disassembled and stowed.

In preparation for ATV1 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 1) docking on 4/3, Yuri checked on the ready availability of the necessary hardware (adapters, T-pieces, hoses) for doing leak checks on the SM PrK (Service Module Transfer Tunnel) and ATV hatch interface in the event of a failure of the ATV depress valve's power unit (KSD BP).

Afterwards, Malenchenko performed regular maintenance on the SRVK-2M condensate water recovery system in the SM, replacing its end-of-life filter reactor (F-R).

FE-2 Reisman prepared the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS) for the next DCB (Double Cold Bag) sample stow activity, retrieving fourteen -32deg ICEPAC belts from stowage and inserting them in the various trays and sections of Dewar 3.

Yuri collected water samples from downstream of the BKO multifiltration unit in a drinking bag (paket dlya napitkov) for return to Earth, to monitor the quality of the water being fed from the KOV EDV container through the BKO to the Elektron-VM oxygen generator at the BKO's end-of-life.

Afterwards, Malenchenko worked with the ground on activating of the Elektron-VM at 32 amps, first pressurizing the BZh Liquid Unit with N2 (nitrogen) via laptop and later monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. (During nominal operations a gas analyzer is utilized to detect hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) but is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Earlier this year (2/9), an EMI filter was installed on the Elektron's current stabilizer (FPP ST-64) to prevent RFI (radio frequency interference) with the ATV1.)

Later, Malenchenko transferred CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) #1053 & #1072 with US condensate to the Russian Segment (RS) for the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron's water supply for electrolysis, filling the designated KOV EDV container. Once filled, the EDV was connected to the BPK transfer pump for processing through the BKO. (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.)

The FE-1 performed 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 at the SKV-2 air conditioner for the Elektron-intended water, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.)

Working off the discretionary 'time permitting' task list, 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).

Also from the 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).

Later today, before sleep time, Peggy will ready the equipment for the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by deploying crew-worn acoustic dosimeters to the crew, to be carried overnight with a microphone on the shirt collar. (Last time done: 2/8). (Tomorrow, after about 15 hours of measurements, dosimeter data will be downloaded and the hardware power-cycled for another data take. At that point, the crew will deploy the dosimeters statically in the station for the duration of the day, record measurements tomorrow noon and stow the instruments. Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.)

CDR Whitson performed more fine adjustment on the IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) valve's RMO (Remote Manual Override) actuator at the Lab aft port location (LAB1P7), then reinstalled the closeout panels 02, 03, 04 which she had removed on 3/28.

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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Peggy downloaded the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, 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).

At ~4:00am EDT, FE-2 Reisman powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, and power supply) and at 4:05am conducted a ham radio exchange with students at the Shanghai Youth Centre of Science & Technology Education in Xuhui/Shanghai, China. (Shanghai Youth Centre of Science & Technology (SYCSTE), an institution directly under the Shanghai Education committee, was founded on June 1, 1957, and is one of the earliest afterschool educational centers for teenagers in China. Questions to Garrett were uplinked beforehand but the time did not suffice for answering all of them. 'What does the Moon look like in space?'; 'Will humans grow taller and taller in the space station without gravity? If a baby is born there, will it grow taller than Yao Ming?'; 'Does your hair grow faster in the space station? Could you get a haircut?'; 'Does your biologic time change in space? How to set up your sleeping time?'; 'Have you ever seen aliens or UFOs in space?'; 'In the space station, what kind of method will you use to participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympics?')

At ~11:40am, the crew downlinked three PAO TV messages of greetings to TsUP/Moscow for Cosmonautics Day on April 14, the Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's launch in Vostok-1 47 years ago. (The first message was intended for a special event at the Rossiya State Central Concert Hall in Luzhniki on 4/14, the second for the citizens and guests at the 6th Festival 'Honorary Citizens' in St. Petersburg (commemorating movie actor Cyril Yurievich Lavrov, People's Artist of the Soviet Union, who portrayed Sergey Pavlovich Korolev in a highly popular movie), and the third for a special Cosmonautics Day event at the Siberian State Aerospace University in Krasnoyarsk. ' €¦Productive cooperation between Russia, USA, Canada, Japan and European countries in the matter of assembly and operation of the International Space Station in the interests of the entire world community promotes and strengthens trust, good neighborly relationship in space and on the Earth €¦')

SSRMS Update: In the period 11:50am-2:50pm EDT today, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System is being 'walked off' by ground operators to the Node-2 PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture), to collect FMS (Force/Moment Sensor) characterization data on its LEE A (Latching End Effector A) tomorrow and configure the SSRMS for the planned 1J pre-launch checkout in May. Engineers are also checking out a software patch for two SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) configuration files to correct the body roll polarity (+/-) reversal issue observed during 1J/A.

ATV Update (Flight Day 23): For yesterday's successfully completed Demo Day 2 rendezvous and demonstration activities, the ATV performed 13 maneuvers, all of which were reported to be nominal:

TV1: 12:44:13am EDT on 3/31; delta0-V: 2.65 m/s
TV2: 1:33:27am; delta-V: 2.67 m/s
IF1: 6:47:09am; delta-V: delta0-V: 0.33 m/s
IF2: 7:32:59am; delta-V: 0.02 m/s
IF3: 8:17:07am; delta-V: 1.49 m/s
HM1: 9:11:44am; delta-V: 1.56 m/s
HM2: 9:27:13am; delta-V: 0.33 m/s
HM3: 9:42:43am; delta-V: 0.34 m/s
HM4: 9:48:13am; delta-V: 2.20 m/s
CM1: 10:30:14am; delta-V: 1.46 m/s
CM2: 10:43:14am; delta-V: 0.41 m/s
CM3: 10:56:14am; delta-V: 0.34 m/s
CM4: 11:03:34am; delta-V: 1.48 m/s.
The ATV performed a nominal rendezvous scenario and approached to S41 (12 m). Per the plan, ATV-CC/Toulouse commanded a RETREAT/HOLD/RESUME sequence between 11:52:21am and 11:58:18am, and the crew commanded a RETREAT from S41 to S4 at 12:42:02pm. The demonstration activities completed with a successful crew-commanded ESCAPE maneuver that began at 12:52:21pm, with a delta-V of 4.00 m/s. As of last night 7:00pm EDT, Jules Verne was 7 km below and 275 km in front of ISS. ATV1 continued to phase in front of ISS at a rate of approximately 68 km per rev until this morning at 6:21:37am, when it began a series of maneuvers to bring it back to the ISS for Docking Day 3.
Visual confirmation of displaced MLI (Multi-Layer Insulation) aft of the vehicle's forward cone was obtained via the ISS cameras. This is not expected to impact docking operations on 4/3.
The ATV probe was successfully extended on 3/31 at 11:09:56pm EDT.

CEO photo targets (for discretionary picture taking) uplinked for today were Afar Rift Zone, Ethiopia (a swath of detailed images taken along track at nadir was requested for further analysis of volcanoes and fault lines in this unusual part of the planet. The Afar Rift Zone is one of the few places where 'sea-floor spreading' can be seen on land. The zone is located where the Red Sea is opening as part of the process of the African, Arabian and the new East African tectonic plates drifting apart), Chad basin dust (Dynamic event. Change-of-season dust storms have been detected in the Chad basin, east of Lake Chad. Looking left for the margins of any dust clouds. Dust from this basin, one of the most vigorous dust producers on the planet, reaches the Americas several times per year), Patagonian Glaciers (shooting pictures near nadir for smaller glacier tongues on the west (Pacific) side of the narrow Andes Mts., a region where we have least imagery coverage. There should have been some viewing between scattered clouds), and Saharan dust, E. Atlantic Ocean (Dynamic event. A major dust event is taking place with dust blowing into the Atlantic Ocean from the Western Sahara Desert. Looking left for the divide between the hazy dust-laden air mass and the clear oceanic air (with some cloud cover). The short focal-length lens may have permitted the acquisition of islands in any images as landmarks to assist image cataloging).

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