Work period will shift again tomorrow (6:20am -5:50pm) and on 4/12 (2:10am -5:40pm).
Yest kasaniya! Soyuz TMA-12/16S docked smoothly at the DC1 port at 8:57am EDT, five minutes ahead of time, with Expedition 17 crewmembers CDR Sergei Volkov and FE-1 Oleg Kononenko, plus Korean SFP (Spaceflight Participant) So-Yeon Yi, 14th Visiting Crewmember (VC). After about 1.5 hrs spent in Soyuz on pre-transfer activities, the crew opened hatches, followed by crew transfer, the traditional joyful welcome event and the installation of the BZV QD (quick disconnect) clamps by Volkov and Kononenko at ~12:10pm. (After successful "kasaniya" (contact), automatic "sborka" (closing of Soyuz & DC1 port hooks & latches) took place shortly thereafter (~9:07am) while ISS was in free drift. Attitude control authority had been handed over to the Russian MCS (Motion Control System) at ~5:25am and was returned to US CMG control at ~10:05am. For the 16S docking, Russian thrusters were disabled during Soyuz volume pressurization and clamp installation; they were afterwards returned to active attitude control (~12:30pm). Before hatch opening, the crew performed leak checks of the Soyuz modules and the Soyuz/ISS interface vestibule. They then doffed their Sokol suits and set them up for drying (~1:05pm), deactivated the Atmosphere Purification Unit (BOA) in the Descent Module (SA), replaced the Soyuz ECLSS LiOH cartridges, equalized Soyuz/ISS pressures, and put the spacecraft into conservation mode on ISS integrated power.)
Before the docking, CDR Whitson prepared for the arrival by activating the video system with the Japanese SONY HDV camera (backed up by the U.S. SONY PD100 camcorder) in the RS (Russian Segment) for transmitting over the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder from DC1 & SM to downlink via U.S. OpsLAN and Ku-band in 'streaming video' packets. (Later in the day, Peggy deactivated the equipment again and disassembled it, including the hook-up of the UOP DCP (utility outlet panel/display & control panel) power bypass cable at the CUP RWS (Cupola Robotic Work Station).)
FE-2 Reisman set up the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System), verifying proper function of the RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) and NCU (Network Control Unit) for recording structural dynamics (vibrational) data during the docking. Later in the day, Peggy Whitson downloaded the accumulated data to an SSC (Station Support Computer) for subsequent dump to the ground.
FE-1 Malenchenko activated the KRIOGEM-03M refrigerator in the SM to +4 degC for time-critical payload hardware arriving on Soyuz (e.g., BIOEMULSIYA bioreactor, KONYUGATSIYA, BIO-8 PLAZMIDA/Recomb-K).
The FE-1 also configured station comm (STTS) for the docking and later reconfigured it for post-docking nominal hardline mode (MBS).
The CDR also prepared for the arrival by connecting the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper connection to the LAB1D6 rack in support of the ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), and Houston lowered the temperature setpoint to the regular 9.4 degC. (CDRA activation took place at 10:01am-11:01am.)
Later tonight, with the CDRA running, Whitson is scheduled to start the regeneration of two METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters in the Airlock's bake-out oven (#0020, #0021).
Upon docking, on TsUP Go, Malenchenko switched hatch KVDs (Pressure Equalization Valves) between DC1 and Soyuz to electric control mode.
After the arrival, hatch opening, and crew welcome, CDR-17 Sergei Volkov immediately began with payload transfers (e.g., Recomb-K) from Soyuz to ISS and setups.
As part of Soyuz deactivation after the docking, Volkov installed the intermodular air exchange ducting between the Soyuz (through both Orbital & Descent Modules) and the DC1 Docking Compartment. (The two optional modes for the ducting configuration are with & without air heating.)
Later, Volkov and FE-1-17 Oleg Kononenko went through the procedures of setting up and drying out the Sokol spacesuits and gloves worn by the Soyuz travelers.
High-priority payload transfers to the Service Module (SM) for the E-16/E-17 crew rotation period involve
BIOEMULSIYA bioreactor (set up in the KRIOGEM-03M cooler, with photography); (BTKh-14 investigates the design and improvement of a closed-type autonomous (thermostat-controlled) bioreactor for obtaining biomass of organisms and bioactive substances (BAV) without additional ingredients input or removal of metabolism products, for bacterial, enzymatic, and pharmaceutical preparations;)
KONYUGATSIYA (BTKh-10) in its Biokont-T container (also in KRIOGEM); (BTKh-10 deals with the processes of genetic material transmission using bacterial conjugation, in the Biokont-T container and Rekomb-K hardware in the KRIOGEM-03M;)
ANTIGEN (set up in Bioecology container #13);
LAKTOLEN & ARIL (in Bioecology containers #6-1 & #18); (BTKh-5, ARIL studies the effects of space flight on cultures of Lactolen- and Interleukin ARIL producing cells.)
The three new arrivals received the obligatory standard Safety Briefing by CDR Whitson to familiarize them with procedures and escape routes in case of an emergency. (The Briefing included pointing out the location of the 'Emergency Response/Visiting Crew' books, showed how to move about the station without getting hurt or accidentally disturbing air flow meters/sensors (PP IP-1) and familiarized the Korean with her switch to a different Soyuz for return.)
Yuri Malenchenko also took So-Yeon Yi on a one-hour guided tour of the ISS. (The tour was to acquaint the SFP with both station segments, her living quarters in the RS, her work station in the DC1 Docking Compartment, other work locations, the sites for her scheduled twice-a-day VHF conferences with her Korean advisory group and her ham radio sessions, location of her RSK2 laptop (delivered on TMA-12), stowage of her KAP (Korean Astronaut Program) experiments, uplink printouts and camera equipment for her use, email ops, and PFC (Private Family Conference) using the IP (Internet Protocol) phone.)
Assisted by Yuri, SFP Yi later transferred and photographed her experiments KAP01 (Growth and mutation of plant seeds), KAP02 (Identification of Drosophila genes responsive to gravity and responsible for aging); and KAP03 (Development of Bioreactor for use on the ISS), checked out the installed removable HDD (Hard Disk Drive) on her RSK2 A31p laptop in the DC1, and donned the Actiwatch for the U.S. SLEEP experiment (in which she participates pursuant to a Space Act agreement with NASA).
FE-2 Garrett Reisman conducted his second session with the ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2) payload, assisted by Whitson, first detaching the CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation) from the ER3 (EXPRESS Rack 3) and moving it out of the field of view of the cameras crucial to of the experiment, which he set up for capturing his movement protocol. After powering up the IMU (Interface Management Unit) and calibrating the work area for the cameras (half of the work area facing one way, the other half facing the other way), the FE-2 had ~1.5 hrs to perform the test operations, with Whitson taking documentary photographs. Peggy later stowed the test camera and re-installed the CEVIS, while Garrett turned off the IMU. (The Italian (ASI) experiment ELITE-S2 is a human motion analysis facility for technological characterization and potential application for multifactorial movement analysis, to study the connection between brain, visualization and motion in micro-G. By recording and analyzing the three-dimensional motion of astronauts, this study should help engineers apply ergonomics into future spacecraft designs and determine the effects of weightlessness on breathing mechanisms for long-duration missions. For each of three protocols (e.g., MOVE, IMAGINE), a set of body landmarks are identified and reflective markers are applied on the subject who then performs prescheduled movements with the index finger tips then returns to the initial position (for example, the subject has to reach and brush, without exerting forces). The video cameras trace the trajectories of the body parts of the astronaut catching the light reflected by the markers, thus recording the kinetic and trajectory data of the movement.)
Peggy Whitson worked on the IMV (Intermodule Ventilation) system between Lab and Node-2, cleaning the duct and diffuser grille and troubleshooting the airflow by checking out the downstream side of the silencer for possible caked FOD (Foreign Object/Debris).
Later today, the CDR will take airflow measurements on the THC (Temperature & Humidity Control) IMV from the Airlock to Node-1 at the IMV fan location, using the Velocicalc instrument.
With the increase in crew size from three to six placing more emphasis on ventilation, Peggy is also scheduled to check on the function of the important IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment hatchways, including the SM-to-DC1 tunnel, and the FGB-to-Node & FGB-to-Soyuz passageways.
At ~4:40pm EDT, Volkov and Malenchenko will swap out Yi's and Reisman's IELK (Individual Equipment & Liner Kit, Russian: USIL) between the two Soyuz vehicles, TMA-11/15S & TMA-12/16S, including their tailored Sokol spacesuits. The IELKs of Volkov & Kononenko are already in the 16S spacecraft that has now become the Expedition 17 CRV (Crew Return Vehicle), good for a maximum of 200 days in space, while Whitson's and Malenchenko's IELKs remain in 15S for the return on 4/19. (A crewmember is not considered transferred until her/his IELK, AMP (Ambulatory Medical Pack) and ALSP (Advanced Life Support Pack) drug kit are transferred. After today's installation of the VC14 IELK, Yi is now considered a 15S crewmember, and Expedition 17 has technically begun its residence aboard ISS, with Peggy Whitson passing her CDR-baton to Sergei Volkov. TMA-11 has been docked at ISS since 10/12/07. By the time of its return on 4/19, the spacecraft will have spent 192 days in space, 8 days short of its 'warranty' life.)
The CDR is scheduled to conduct 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.)
On the IMS (Inventory Management System), Yuri will update/edit its standard 'delta file', including locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).
Working off the discretionary 'time permitting' task list, Malenchenko 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).
The crewmembers are scheduled for 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, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).
Afterwards, Peggy is to download 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).
CEO photo targets uplinked for today were South Tibesti Megafans, Chad (relict channels of an extensive megafan river system occupy a large area, probably dating from the last wet period in the Sahara Desert (~10,000 years ago). These channel networks appear to be good analogs for river-like lines on Mars. Overlapping images immediately right of track were requested: the relict stream beds are located on the light-toned flats below the dark volcano slopes of the Tibesti Mts. (the black volcano slopes are visual cue for the ISS crew), Lima, Peru (Nadir pass), London, England, Great Britain (looking left of track. The River Thames is the visual cue for the ISS crew), and Moorea Coral Reef, Tahiti (looking right of track for this coral reef. The Moorea Coral Reef LTER is located 15 km northwest of the main island of Tahiti. Moorea is a high, 1.2 million-year-old volcanic island surrounded by a well developed coral reef and lagoon system).