Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.06 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/06/08


Sunday -- off-duty day for CDR Whitson, FE-1 Malenchenko and FE-2 Reisman except for housekeeping and voluntary work.

Ahead: Week 25 of Increment 16.

Having passed Day 180 of her flight, Dr. Peggy Whitson ended her fourth session with the NASA/JSC experiment NUTRITION w/Repository by collecting a final urine sample upon wakeup for storage in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). The sampling kit was then stowed away. (The current 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.)

Today FE-1 Malenchenko was the subject for the BRASLET experiment (SDTO/Station Development Test Objective), holding still for his first ultrasound scanning session by Peggy as operator (for which Yuri had to abstain from caffeine 12 hrs prior to the scan session, heavy meals 4 hrs before and any food at all 2 hrs prior to the scan, plus no exercise 2 hours before and no liquids 30 mins before). Afterwards, Peggy powered down the HRF USN (Human Research Facility) Ultrasound, closed the Image Collector Software on the HRF PC, stowed the hardware and transferred still images from the still camera to the OpsLAN. (The SDTO-17011 'Validation of On-Orbit Methodology for the Assessment of Cardiac Function and Changes in the Circulating Volume Using Ultrasound and Braslet-M Occlusion Cuffs (Braslet)' is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Russian FSA (Federal Space Agency), with the goal to establish a valid ultrasound methodology for assessing a number of aspects of central and peripheral hemodynamics and cardiovascular function, specifically in rapid changes in intravascular circulating volume. Braslet uses Braslet-M occlusion cuffs, i.e., the Russian-made operational countermeasure already pre-calibrated and available onboard for each ISS crewmember. Braslet employs multiple modes of ultrasound imaging and measurements, in combination with short-term application of Braslet-M occlusive cuffs and cardiopulmonary maneuvers (Valsalva, Mueller) to demonstrate and to evaluate the degree of changes in the circulating volume on orbit. This will be accomplished by performing echocardiographic examinations in multiple modes (including Tissue Doppler mode), ultrasound measurements of lower extremity venous and arterial vascular responses to Braslet-M device under nominal conditions and also during cardiopulmonary Mueller and Valsalva maneuvers. Identical measurements will be repeated without Braslet-M, with Braslet-M applied, and immediately after releasing the occlusion device.)

Afterwards, CDR Whitson retrieved USN error logs off the laptop, winding up troubleshooting of her earlier VolSci Ultrasound activities. The USN now is back in commission.

The crew conducted the regular weekly three-hour task of thorough house cleaning. ("Uborka", normally done on Saturdays, includes removal of food waste products, cleaning of compartments with vacuum cleaner, damp cleaning of the Service Module (SM) dining table, other frequently touched surfaces and surfaces where trash is collected, as well as the FE's sleep station with a standard cleaning solution; also, fan screens and grilles are cleaned to avoid temperature rises. Special cleaning is also done every 90 days on the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bacteria filters in the Lab. Additionally, as part of the weekly cleaning, Malenchenko performs an inspection of structural elements, cables and instruments behind SM panels for moisture.)

As part of today's uborka, the crew replaced the four dust filters (PF1-4) in the SM, two dust filters (PS1, PS2) in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB) and cleaned the mesh screens of the FGB's central ventilation fans (TsV1 & TsV2), with the fans running.

Malenchenko performed the monthly 20-min. maintenance/servicing of the toilet facility (ASU), changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.

The FE-1 conducted the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables and the weekly collection of the toilet flush (SP) counter and water supply (SVO) readings for calldown to TsUP. (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.)

Yuri also gathered weekly data on total operating time & 'On' durations of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SM's SOGS air revitalization subsystem for reporting to TsUP.

CDR Whitson completed the periodic deployment of four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. (Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.)

At ~8:25am EDT, the crewmembers held their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week's "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-H and TsUP/Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.

Whitson & 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-9 laptop), Peggy at 10:45am, Garrett at 12:25pm.

Working off the discretionary 'time permitting' task list, Yuri conducted his second session of the ETD (Eye Tracking Device) experiment, which studies the coordination of eye and head movements in zero-G, i.e. the adaptation of the human vestibular (balance) system, and takes place in the DC-1's central sphere. (After its initial calibration with the calibrating unit, the experiment investigates horizontal eye and head movement coordination, measures Listing's plane, and determines the orientation of the vestibulo-ocular coordinate system, using five target marks on a visual target board on the EV-2 hatch on the horizontal plane. For the experiment, Yuri first had to check the setup of the left and right video cameras, then establish his most comfortable and stable body position relative to the visual target (60 cm for the first part of the experiment, 100 to 150 cm in parts two & three). Each step requires another prior calibration run, using visual target cues or the calibration unit.)

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).

A third task list item for Malenchenko today was to service 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 CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Before sleeptime, the CDR closed the protective shutters of the Lab science window in preparation for tomorrow morning's undocking of Progress M-63/28P. Separation of the cargo drone-turned-trash cash can from DC1 nadir port will take place at 4:50am EDT.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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