Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.04 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/04/08


After yesterday's successful ATV1 docking, CDR Whitson and FE-1 Malenchenko today performed first ingress of the European cargo carrier by executing a number of prescribed steps.

This included conducting a 30-min OBT (Onboard Training) procedures review for Docked ATV Operations,
Completing a one-hour leak check of the SM PrK (Service Module Transfer Compartment)/ATV vestibule interface,
Preparing the necessary equipment for the first ingress (including GSC (Grab Sample Container), IPD-CO air sampler for CO (Carbon Monoxide), AK-1M air sampler, a manual sampling pump, goggles, a dusk mask, an A-2 air scrubber filter, etc.)
Donning the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) i.e.,safety goggles, dust mask) (keeping PPE on until after ATV closeout operations and egress),
Opening the hatches for partial ingress (~6:20am EDT),
Installing the QD BZV (quick disconnect screw clamps) of the SSVP docking & internal transfer mechanism to rigidize the coupling,
Taking copious air samples from the ATV interior, and
Starting the air scrubber, equipped with an FPP electronic/EMI interference filter, to run for about 8h 20m with hatches closed.
For the second ingress, scheduled tomorrow (Saturday, 4/5, at ~4:00am EDT), the air scrubbing in the ATV will make the PPE unnecessary. ATV1 will then be readily accessible to the crew for nominal operations. Also scheduled for tomorrow is an ATV thruster test.

FE-2 Reisman meanwhile set up the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures-2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), installing the ECU (Electronics Control Unit), first SPU (Sample Processing Unit) and SAMS RSU (Space Acceleration Measurement System/Remote Sensor Unit) hardware in the MSG WV (work volume) and connecting CSLM-2 power & data cables to the MSG A31p laptop. The MSG Facility and the A31p were then powered down again. (The CSLM-2 experiment will begin in approximately ten days.)

In the US Lab, Peggy Whitson set up the hardware associated with urine and blood collections for her fourth & final session of NASA's NUTRITION w/Repository experiment, scheduled on his timeline tomorrow, requiring Peggy to start her 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.)

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Garrett worked on the two VCAs (Video Camera Assemblies) to perform an adjustment on the VCA lens flange back. (To verify the quality of the video image, the FE-2 used the VMN video monitors.).

Reisman also performed troubleshooting on the COL delta-pressure sensor/Block 2 Columbus Delta Pressure Sensor Block 2, coordinate with COL-CC.

The FE-2 filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his third, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). (On the FFQs, NASA/ESA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.)

To prepare for next week's (4/7) undocking of Progress M-63/28P, FE-1 Malenchenko dismantled and removed electronic equipment from the cargo ship, to be recycled. Removed were the US-21 matching unit, the cargo ship's LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit. (When a Progress is undocked and jettisoned, the valuable electronics are retained, to be recycled on a future vehicle.)

Completing preparations for Progress 28P undocking, FE-2 Reisman & CDR Whitson installed the StM Docking Mechanism between Progress and the DC1. (StM is the "classic" probe-and-cone type, consisting of an active docking assembly (ASA) with a probe (SSh), which fits into the cone (SK) on the passive docking assembly (PSA) for initial soft dock and subsequent retraction to hard dock. The ASA is mounted on the Progress' cargo module (GrO), while the PSA sits on the docking ports of the SM, FGB and DC1.)

Peggy Whitson conducted another CO2 survey, using the CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitor Kit) to take CO2 data. (ppCO2 measurements were 0.47 in COL, 0.47 in the Lab, and 0.47 in the SM. Purpose of the 15-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements.)

Garrett worked in the Airlock, terminating the EMU battery discharge process on the second batch of two EMU batteries, #2066 & #2071. (Discharging the second batch of 16V-batteries took about 27-30 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.)

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.

Peggy Whitson spent about an hour on 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.)

Yuri 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.)

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), and TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1/full time), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2).

Afterwards, Reisman 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 ~7:00am EDT, 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 ~7:15am, 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 ~7:45am, 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.

SPDM Update: Robotics ground controllers powered up the RWS (Robotics Workstation) and SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) to check out the body roll polarity software patch uplinked earlier this week. All operations were nominal and the patch successfully corrected the SPDM body roll polarity (+/-) issues raised during Flight 1J/A.

COL Update: Today COL ground teams performed a standard maintenance activity including a switchover from WPA1 (Water Pump Assembly 1) to WPA2. Since this was the first WPA switchover on orbit, there was a slight possibility for the water transfer to affect COL accumulator quantities and trigger a false ammonia (NH3) leak alarm. For this reason, COL NH3 leak monitoring was disabled during the switchover and the crew was prepared for NH3 leak detection in the COL. All switchover operations were nominal.

CEO photo targets (for discretionary picture taking) uplinked for today were Tigris-Euphrates Delta (a broad image was requested to show the context of the numerous, detailed images already acquired of offshore sand bars and islands), Galapagos Islands, E. Pacific (Dynamic event. Looking right of track for this archipelago of desertic islands. In the present weak La Niña phase, rainfall is depressed even below that of the normally dry climate. The crew was to document the islands for vegetation status (generalized color of the volcano flanks)), and Volcán Colima, Mexico (although CEO researchers have good 400-mm images, no 800-mm shots of Colima's summit exist. The Colima volcanic complex consists of two volcanoes, the 3850-m-high historically active Volcán de Colima at the south, the volcano of interest; and Nevado de Colima, the 4320-m high point of the complex, in the north. Volcán de Colima is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera. Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater -subsequently slowly refilled and then overtopped by the growth of a lava dome).

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