Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.02 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/02/08


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.

Yi So-yeon, the South Korean SFP (Space Flight Participant), will participate in the experiment. (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.)

Also upon wake-up, CDR Whitson started Part 2 (of 5) of the periodic acoustic measurement protocol by recording post-sleep data of the crew-worn acoustic dosimeters, later deploying the dosimeters statically in Node-2, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), and SM (Service Module) near the Central Post for the duration of the day. (Acoustic data must be taken twice per Increment, each time for the duration of the 16-hour crew workday.)

FE-1 Malenchenko collected surface samples for microbial analysis from numerous locations in the FGB module. The test tubes were then stowed in Kit #297 for return on Soyuz TMA-11/15S. (The FGB hygiene station is currently suspected as the source of water contamination with Wautersia bacteria.)

Yuri also broke out the Biosamples Kit A2 of the Russian BTKh-11 Biodegradation ("Biodegradatsiya') experiment and conducted the periodic collecting of surface samples from specific equipment and structures in the station, for subsequent stowage in the Soyuz 15S Descent Module for microbial analysis on Earth. The activity was documented with the Nikon D1X digital camera with SB 28DX flash attachment.

FE-2 Reisman checked out the U.S. SLM (Sound Level Meter) instrument and then used it to conduct the periodic noise level measurements program in the station interior for a 2-hr acoustic survey, including transfer of the recorded data to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). (A total of 39 acoustic measurements were obtained at 13 locations in the Lab, six locations in Node-2, 11 locations in the SM, and seven locations in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory). The survey also includes two crew preference locations taken at their perceived loudest locations in the station. The SLM gives instantaneous noise levels and their frequency spectra, which are transferred to the MEC laptop via an RS232 cable and later downlinked with regular CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) data dump or via OCA.)

In the SM, Malenchenko took the periodic 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 (Carbon Monoxide) and NH3 (Ammonia), taking one measurement per microchip.

Afterwards, Yuri Ivanovich also completed the 2.5-hr Part 2 of his second onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') series of preventive health maintenance fitness testing, including ECG (Electrocardiogram), blood test and subjective rating. (Today's fitness test was performed on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (idle) mode, with free choice of speeds within the range permitted. The test investigates the action mechanism and efficiency of various countermeasures (currently VELO and TVIS) aimed at preventing locomotor system disorders in weightlessness. The test differs from the normal TVIS session by the use of the TEEM-100 gas analyzer (via a mask equipped with a pneumotachometer sensor), measurement of blood lactate level and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test. The lactate blood samples were taken twice at the end of the session, using the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories. Results were entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data were transferred to the RSE-Med laptop, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. The TEEM-100M kit was packed for stowage for use by Expedition 17, and the Profilaktika data kit was stowed in Soyuz 15S for return.)

At ~7:00am EDT, CDR Whitson closed the Lab science window shutter as protection from thruster effluents, before TsUP/Moscow commanded the propellant line purge of Progress M-63/28P at the DC1 in preparation for its undocking next Monday (4/7; 4:49am). The shutter was reopened after ~12:55pm, i.e., several orbits later to let the vent cloud disperse in the space vacuum. (ISS attitude control authority was handed over to Russian MCS (Motion Control System) thrusters at 7:25am to keep the attitude stable during the venting, and was returned to US momentum management at ~9:50am.)

The CDR worked in the COL, completing the checkout of the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) which was relocated from the US Lab to COL (loc. COL1F2) on 3/22, followed on 3/23 by having its power, data & fluid connectors mated and the rack activated. (Later, the MSG ground team afterwards started sending extensive commanding during a period of two to three hours in order to verify video & data connections. Afterwards, Peggy was to power down the MSG facility.)

In the Lab, Whitson cleared stowed equipment from the front of portside racks to allow rotation of the LAB1S6 rack for a subsequent IFM (Inflight Maintenance) on the MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) RFCA (Rack Flow Control Assembly) of Node-1, which is located in the Lab. After the RFCAs were swapped, both were powered nominally with no RPC (Remote Power Controller) trips. Subsequently, the racks were to be rotated back and the equipment restowed in front of them. (Peggy replaced the RFCA with the LTL (Low Temperature Loop) RFCA from Node-2, a two-hour activity. Swapping the RFCAs should help determine whether there is a problem with the MTL RFCA itself, which had suffered an RPC overcurrent trip on 2/24.)

FE-1 Malenchenko unstowed a Progress M-61 (26P)-delivered (EDV-OR container with disinfectant, set up the pumping equipment and initiated (later closed out) the transfer of all of the disinfectant solution to the SM's Rodnik BV1 tank.

The FE-1 and CDR again had an hour each for their 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.)

For the benefit of the new US flight engineer, CDR Whitson & FE-2 Reisman, with Malenchenko assisting part-time, went through the mandatory 60-min Emergency Event OBT (Onboard Training) drill for new crewmembers, for the case of rapid cabin depressurization or fire. Russian and US experts stood by at both control centers for consultation. The rule is that the Russian-led emergency exercise should be performed by every new station crewmember once within seven days after departure of the previous crew. (Background: Purpose of the drill for new station residents is to (a) familiarize them with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) familiarize them with the translation routes to the Soyuz vehicle, (c) work through the Russian Segment (RS) hardware deactivation procedures, (d) familiarize them with the particulars of the scenario and the results of the previous US Segment (USOS) fire drill, and (d) practice crew interactions in emergency situations. Referring to EMER book crew procedures, first Peggy and Garrett translated along the emergency egress path to the FGB nadir port (where Soyuz TMA-11 is currently docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the USOS the inspection focused on fireports in the Lab, Node and Airlock, readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBAs (portable breathing assemblies) and PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The exercise was topped off by a thorough debrief with the ground via S-band. During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.)

The FE-2 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.)

Afterwards, Reisman performed the periodic (currently daily) checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various station hatchways, including the FGB-to-Soyuz tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node1 passageway.

The FE-2 also continued EMU battery maintenance in the US Airlock, starting the discharge process on two EMU batteries, #2070 & #2065. (Discharging the 16V-batteries takes about 12-15 hours. The full maintenance discharge, done manually in the early days of ISS ops, is handled automatically by an SSC laptop equipped with a special DOS application.)

Peggy 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.)

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

Afterwards, Garrett 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).

The FE-2 had another 60 minutes for himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization), as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

At ~10:30am EDT, Yuri Malenchenko supported a PAO TV 'Telebridge' event, during which he participated in the taping of a TV show called 'I Trust, I Love, I Hope' for Cosmonautics Day (4/12) at the House of Officers in Moscow (Suvorov Square). (This is a new monthly show being broadcast on the Zvezda TV Channel, dedicated this year to the family: Year 2008 was declared Family Year in Russia, and show attendance were officers and their families, military 'dynasties', and Yuri Malenchenko's spouse, Ekaterina. Some subjects for discussion between 'Showmaster' Yulia Menshova, Ekaterina and Yuri: 'How is your daughter growing?', 'Yuri's Welcome Back party', 'Where does Yuri want to go with his family after his return?', 'How is work structured on the station? Do you have days off, holidays?')

PEP Update: As a result of Reisman's PEP (Portable Emergency Provisions) inspection on 3/31, the crew reported one of the PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) bottles (#1014, in the Airlock) showing its pressure gauge in the red zone, i.e., the bottle has become unusable. A replacement is being manifested on the ground.

CDRA Update: The troubleshooting of the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly on 3/28 yielded no blockage on the Return duct which could have caused the dP anomaly. More troubleshooting plans are under development.

SSRMS Update: The uploading of the software patch for two SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) configuration files (to correct the body roll polarity (+/-) reversal issue observed during 1J/A) originally planned for yesterday, was postponed until after the upcoming SSRMS ops.

ATV1 Update (Flight Day 24): Yesterday (4/1), the ATV1 began phasing back (by going higher, i.e., slowing down) to the rendezvous initiation point in preparation for docking. Jules Verne performed the following three maneuvers, all of which were reported to be nominal:

TA1: 6:20am EDT; delta-V: 1.90 m/s
TA2: 7:06am; delta-V: 6.82 m/s
TA3: 7:50am; delta-V: 1.00 m/s.
Prior to the maneuvers, at approx. 12:30am, ATV1 repressurized its propulsion system in preparation for docking. By 8:30am yesterday, ATV1 was 10 km above and 700 km in front of ISS, phasing back at approx. 100 km per rev, crossed directly above ISS at approx. 7:15pm last evening and continued on to about 1200 km behind where it will begin a series of 3 TB maneuvers today at ~2:00pm EDT to set up the rendezvous activities.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Somalia Coast (in the past Coastal Somalia has exhibited dramatic changes in vegetation greenness in response to ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) cycles. The ISS pass in mid-afternoon offered nadir viewing conditions as it paralleled the coast. Using the 180mm lens setting for a mapping strip northeastward from Mogadishu during this La Niña phase of the ENSO), East Haruj Megafans, Libya (this mid-afternoon pass was just left center of this remote target in the Libyan Desert. A mapping swath taken near nadir was requested. The almost featureless landforms of these 'desert flats' have been recently recognized as vast spreads of river sediment (megafans). The sediment has been transported hundreds of km from mountains far to the south. Now-dry river courses can be traced from the mountains. These rivers undoubtedly flowed during wet climate phases in the past), and Tenoumer Impact Crater, Mauritania (this young impact site is situated in northern Mauritania north of the large, well-known circular landmark feature known as the Richat Structure. It is small, only 1.9-km in diameter and just 10 thousand years old. The ISS pass approached from the SW in mid-afternoon sun. After noting Richat, the crew was to look left of track, trying to get an 800mm view of this feature).

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