Having passed Day 180 of her flight, Dr. Peggy Whitson began her fourth session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository, for which she had to forego exercising and food intake for eight hours. Today's protocol consisted of two blood draws (for Serum & Heparin). Later, the CDR set up the equipment for the 24-hour urine collections which start with the first void early tomorrow morning and continue through Sunday morning. (Acting as operator, CMO (Crew Medical Officer)Garrett Reisman performed phlebotomy on Peggy Whitson, i.e., drawing blood samples (from an arm vein) which was first allowed to coagulate in the Repository for 20-30 minutes, then spun in the HRF RC (Human Research Facility/Refrigerated Centrifuge) and finally placed in MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). The RC was later powered off after a temperature reset to limit wear on the compressor, and cleaned. Background: NUTRITION is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight; this includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes. The Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile currently required on all U.S. Astronauts collects blood and urine samples preflight and postflight. NUTRITION expands this protocol by also capturing inflight samples and an additional postflight sample. Furthermore, additional measurements are included for samples from all sessions, including additional markers of bone metabolism, vitamin status, and hormone and oxidative stressor tests. The results will be used to better understand the impact of countermeasures (exercise and pharmaceuticals) on nutritional status and nutrient requirements. The Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L), first started on two Mir crewmembers and then on all ISS US crews, nominally consists of two pre-flight and one post-flight analysis of nutritional status, as well as an in-flight assessment of dietary intake using the FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire). The current NUTRITION project expands 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.)
To cover their subsequent ingress in the ATV1 "Jules Verne", CDR Whitson activated the VDS MPC (Video Distribution System/Multi-Purpose Converter) with its four downlinks to allow the ground to conduct HDTV (high-definition TV) playback and downlink operations. After the ATV activities the MPC was powered off again.
After opening the SM PrK (Service Module Transfer Compartment)-to-ATV vestibule hatches, Malenchenko and Whitson performed first "real" ingress in the European cargo module, which had its atmosphere "scrubbed" overnight since yesterday's partial ingress. (Message from Flight Control: "ESA congratulates Peggy and Yuri for the ATV hatch opening today and thanks you for the very good news from your first ingress in ATV.")
FE-2 Reisman prepared for the subsequent ATV1 thruster test by verifying that the protective shutters of the Lab science window were closed and setting up/programming the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) with its NCUs (Network Control Units) and RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) for acquiring structural dynamics data during the thruster firing. Also activated during the thruster test was the externally mounted SDMS (Structural Dynamics Measuring System).
For the ATV thruster test, ISS attitude control authority was handed over to the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at ~9:30am EDT. After the firing (~9:40am), attitude control was returned to US momentum management at ~10:20am.
FE-1 Malenchenko performed a final repress of the ISS cabin atmosphere with air from Progress 28P to adjust total pressure.
Russian thrusters were again disabled at ~10:55am for the removal & inspection of quick-disconnect screw clamps in the DC1-to-Progress 28P docking vestibule and closing of hatches in preparation for 28P undocking on 4/7 (4:49am).
These activities were performed by Yuri and Garrett in the usual sequence:
Transferring remaining trash and discarded equipment for stowage in Progress,
Reporting completion of trash loading to the ground for the final Go from TsUP/Moscow,
Activating the cargo ship,
Tearing down the ventilation air duct,
Removing the threaded BZV QDs (quick disconnect screw clamps) of the SSVP docking & internal transfer system,
Closing hatches between 28P and the transfer tunnel (PrK) to the DC1 after taking video of the mating surfaces/seals
Conducting the one-hour vestibule leak check and
Downlinking the video imagery of the SM/Progress hatch interface.
FE-2 Reisman worked on the EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) to check out the various connections associated with the facility's water flow system. The Japanese CW/RW (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) experiment is not working as planned, and troubleshooting will hopefully find the root cause of this problem and get the plants watered and growing. (CW/RW operates in the EMCS facility in eight special ECs (Experiment Containers) which Garrett recently (3/30) installed on the centrifuges of the facility. The EMCS rack contains two rotating centrifuges that can support a wide range of small plant & animal experiments under partial gravity conditions. On Rotor A, the new ECs for CW/RW are EC92 in position A1, EC95 at A2, EC94 at A3, EC96 at A4, on Rotor B - EC97 in position B1, EC99 at B2, EC98 at B3, and EC100 at B4. The removed ECs were stowed.)
In preparation for his return to gravity, Yuri also undertook his second 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 7:03am 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.)
At ~7:35am, Yuri Malenchenko had his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-9 laptop).
The FE-1 also 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 (CDR), TVIS treadmill (FE-2, FE-1), 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).
Columbus Update: All Columbus systems are running nominally. The WPA1 (Water Pump Assembly 1) to WPA2 switch-over conducted yesterday afternoon was successful. Columbus TCS (Thermal Control System) is now running on WPA2.
SLEEP Update: Peggy and Garrett were thanked for finishing off all the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment downloads for both. The Actiwatch was not stowed, leaving it for the upcoming South Korean (KARI) SFP.
Weekly Science Update (Expedition Sixteen -- Week 24)
ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Radiation measurements continue to be performed in the DC1/PIRS module. Card replacement performed on 3/31. Photos were taken by the crew of potential ALTCRISS FGB location for Inc17.
BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3): Reserve.
CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): Reserve.
CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.
CSI-2/CGBA (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus): In progress.
CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.
CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): In progress.
EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.
ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2): Planned.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.
ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Last session (4th) is currently planned just before Soyuz docked Ops.
EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): In progress.
Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL): The FSL Facility is awaiting further troubleshooting after 1J/A departure.
IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Second session is currently planned for 4/12 through 4/15.
InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): In progress.
Integrated Immune: "Peggy, thank you for unstowing Garrett's saliva kit and having it ready for him to begin his collections. Garrett, we appreciate your efforts during your early increment Integrated Immune session."
KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.
LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Complete.
MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.
MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 "Pirs".
MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.
NOA-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer): Planned.
NUTRITION/REPOSITORY: "Garrett, thank you for your attention to detail in completing your FD15 Nutrition/Repository session within timeline constraints! We appreciate your efforts and participation."
PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.
SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.
SAMPLE: Last crew sampling session is currently planned for 4/7.
SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): "Peggy, thanks for downloading 1 J/A FE2 and your Actiwatches, as well as initializing the KARI SFP Actiwatch. You also completed your last targeted week of sleep logging. Your only remaining scheduled activity is downloading all three Actiwatches and doffing your and KARI SFP Actiwatches. Thanks for all your additional sleep logging. The PI greatly appreciates it." "Garrett, you have competed your first two Sleep activities (Actiwatch Don and 1st download), and are in-process of completing your first week of sleep logging. Thanks for completing these activities. Any additional sleep logging is above and beyond, and the PI will greatly appreciate it."
SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): Planned.
SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): In progress.
Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.
TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.
ULTRASOUND: "Peggy, thank you for moving and checking out the Ultrasound - we were VERY excited to see if functioning nominally!"
WAICO #1 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Planned.
CEO (Crew Earth Observation): Through 4/1, the ground has received a total of 17,049 ISS CEO images for review and cataloging. Late this week imagery received included sessions with camera times corresponding to the following daily target requests: Lake Eyre, Australia; Patagonian Glaciers; Somalia Coast; Florida Coastal Everglades; Central Arizona-Phoenix; and Madrean Sky Islands, North America. We will be providing feedback on these acquisitions as we work through them in the coming week. This weekend your striking, oblique view of the rugged escarpments, ravines, and peaks of the Semien Mountains of northern Ethiopia will be published on NASA/GSFC's Earth Observatory site. Your perspective and illumination provides an excellent contextual view of this World Heritage Site."
No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.