Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.13 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/13/08


Day 4 of joint E16/E17 operations by CDR-16 Peggy Whitson, FE-1-16 Yuri Malenchenko, FE-2-17 Garrett Reisman, CDR-17 Sergei Volkov, FE-1-17 Oleg Kononenko and SFP/VC14 So-Yeon Yi.

Sunday. Ahead: Week 26 of Increment 16.

The crew's work/sleep cycle again was adjusted slightly, from yesterday's wakeup at 2:20am to 2:10am EDT (sleeptime tonight at 5:40pm). Tomorrow, work period will be adjusted by 5 min (to 2:15am -5:45pm).

Aboard ISS, the E16/E17 crew rotation/handover period went underway with full activity schedules for all six residents involved. Whitson, Volkov, Malenchenko and Kononenko had several hours crewtime between them for dedicated CDR/CDR & FE/FE handover activities. In addition, there are 'generic' handovers where crewmembers are scheduled together to complete various designated standard tasks.

From the US voluntary 'job jar' task list, after wakeup and before breakfast, FE-2 Reisman & SFP (Space Flight Participant) So-Yeon Yi again downloaded the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data from their Actiwatches to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. Yi is participating for NASA under a Space Act agreement with South Korea. (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.)

With the CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) operating, Whitson terminated the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters #0012 & #0013 in the US Airlock (A/L) oven. (Next on schedule for CDRA: a fan speed test tomorrow.)

Peggy also unstowed and deployed an acoustic dosimeter, to be worn by FE-1 Malenchenko for the next 16 hrs with a microphone on the shirt collar. Tonight (~5:20pm) the CDR will call down the data from Yuri's dosimeter and restow the instrument.

Today was the periodical water sample collection & processing day for the crew. CDR Whitson started with a procedures review after unstowing two newly arrived sampling kits. With the first kit, Whitson then collected water samples from the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) 'Jules Verne' (which took longer than expected due to initially confusing water tank labeling), the other was used by FE-2 Reisman for the nominal sampling in the SM (Service Module). (Garrett took potable water samples for microbial in-flight analysis at the SRV-K Hot port, SRV-K Warm port & SVO-ZV taps, plus two chemical/archival post-flight samples from SRV-K Warm & SVO-ZV, using jointly approved Russian sampling procedures with the U.S. WS&A (Water Sampler & Archiver) kit for collection.)

Later, Reisman performed the in-flight analysis using the WMK (Water Microbiology Kit) and its MCDs (Microbial Capture Devices) with Coliform Detection Bags. (Four samples (one ATV, three SM) were processed. Two chemical post-flight samples from SRV-K Warm & SVO-ZV will be returned on the STS-124/1J flight. Note: Flush water is being reclaimed by mopping it up with towels which are then hung up in the Russian segment (RS) for evaporation, collection & condensation in the SKV2 air conditioner, thus reducing the amount of water to be transferred from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) condensate tank to the RS for 'Elektron' processing (demineralizing). Also: there is no cold water tap on ISS, but water can be cooled by placing it at certain naturally cold locations.)

In preparation for his return to gravity, Yuri also undertook his fourth 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 60-min assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites (at 8:16am 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 -25, -30, -35 and -40 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.)

Continuing the extended leak checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, Malenchenko, with Volkov & Kononenko observing, charged the unit once again with pressurized N2 from the BPA Nitrogen Purge Unit (#23) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2). The last test pressurization was on 3/14. (During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.)

Working on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation & Stabilization), Peggy Whitson prepared the new PCMCIA memory/storage cards for CDR-17 Sergei Volkov and FE-1-17 Oleg Kononenko with their physical exercise protocol.

Peggy also unstowed a spare A31p laptop (#1096) plus 60GB HDD (Hard Disk Drive, #1188) and prepared the computer with BIOS settings updated for use as a Russian C&C SSC (Command & Control/Station Support Computer) anywhere in the SSC power chain.

In preparation for his final session of the ESA/Russian biomed experiment 'IMMUNO', Yuri Malenchenko set up the IMMUNO urine collection hardware and took air samples with the IPD-NH3 Draeger tubes sampler (Tube #6), testing for ammonia (NH3) in the SM. (IMMUNO is a 24-hr. test of human immune system changes, with the objective to investigate immune neuro-endocrine reactions in the space environment by studying samples of saliva, blood and urine using collection kits and the biomedical (MBI) protection kit. Samples are secured in the MELFI (Minus-Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS). Also included are entries in a fluid/medications intact log, and a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end. Urine is collected during a 24-hour period, conventionally divided into two twelve-hour phases: morning-evening and evening-morning.)

The FE-1 also closed out the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") experiment, securing the grown beans from the plants in a bag, retrieving the dry plants and pre-packing the payload equipment for return on Soyuz TMA-12. (Rasteniya-2 researches growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-12 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems {Russian: IMBP}.)

Besides his extensive handover activities with Oleg Kononenko, FE-1 Malenchenko assisted SFP Yi in conducting her KAP (Korean Astronaut Program) science experiments, switching the KRIOGEM-03 refrigerator to -22 degC and installing Yi's cold packs from К'-03, also taking photo/video imagery of the VC14 activities where required, particularly for KAP15.

So-Yeon Yi's busy schedule today included work on -

KAP01/Growth &mutation of plant seeds (monitoring, photography, filling out questionnaire),
KAP02/Identification of fruit fly genes responsive to gravity and responsible for aging (monitoring, video recording, later stowing),
KAP06/Study of the possibility of using traditional Korean food in onboard food rations (testing during crew Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, with video coverage),
KAP07/Growth of Zeolite crystals, super crystals, and crystal layers in microgravity (equipment transfer, assembly, setup in SM, removing samples A,B,C from oven & replacing with D,E,F; five temperature checks),
KAP08/Synthesis of metal-organic porous materials in microgravity (hardware transfer, assembly and setup, installation of first sample, oven activation, and temperature check, sample retrieval & new setup in oven),
KAP09/High-resolution telescope (ELT) and study of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) for next generation telescopes (re-mounting equipment at SM window 9, activation, video recording, filling out questionnaire),
KAP12 Study of molecular memory device characteristics in space habitation environment (preparation, first test);
KAP14/Educational experiment (three demos: 'Space Pen', 'Newton's Laws', Momentum, Acceleration & Gravitation'),
KAP15/Recording scenes of daily life & activities of the SFP, using Samsung Gx-10 and Samsung NV11 cameras.
So-Yeon also had a regular daily tagup with her consultant team at TsUP-Moscow via VHF-1 (~11:25am), a telephone conversation via VHF-1 with a Korean radio station (~5:15am), and a VC14 ham radio session (~6:50am).

With the temporary increase in crew size from three to six placing more emphasis on ventilation, CDR Whitson was scheduled to check on the function of the important IP-1 airflow sensors in the various Russian segment (RS) hatchways. (The inspection includes the passageways PrK (SM Transfer Compartment) -ATV, PrK -RO (SM Working Compartment), PkhO (SM Transfer Tunnel) -RO, PkhO -DC1, PkhO -FGB PGO, FGB PGO -FGB GA, FGB GA -Node-1.)

Major science activities in the Russian segment (RS) by Kononenko, with Volkov taking photo/video imagery, today focused on the biotechnological experiments KONYUGATSIYA (BTKh-10) and BIOEMULSION (BTKh-14). (KONYUGATSIYA and BIOEMULSION (#02): transfer samples from KRIOGEM-03 to KRIOGEM-03M and setting -03 to -22 degC. For BTKh-14, placing ICEPACs in -03 and activating mixing mode for other samples.)

CDR-17 Volkov dismantled the ATV control panel in the SM and stowed it for future use.

Oleg Kononenko deinstalled the BUAP Antenna Switch Controller for the ATV approach & docking procedures, photographed the equipment and also put it away in stowage, supported by ground specialist tagup.

Sergei Volkov then worked in the Soyuz TMA-12/16S Descent Module, dismantling the two "Klest" (KL-152) TV cameras and their light units for return to the ground on 15S, temporarily stowing them in the SM.

CDR Whitson 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.)

Peggy 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.

The crewmembers completed 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/fulltime), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).

Working off the Russian 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), and

Suggested on the US 'job jar' task list for Garrett Reisman's discretionary performance was the periodic inspection of the ELPS (Emergency Lighting & Power Supply) subsystems in Node-2, A/L (US Airlock), COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), and Node-1.

Handover Update: Handover activities between E16 & E17 crewmembers are designed to cover a large variety of onboard systems & operations, including Safety, Communications, Video & Audio, Life Support (SOZh), US Segment, TORU/Teleoperator Control, EVA Tools, ATV Status, Science Hardware, Medical Equipment, Iridium-9505A phone, CISN (Crew Informational Support System), BVS/Onboard Computer System, etc. FE-1 Malenchenko has 13:15 hrs scheduled for equipment preparation for return & disposal stowage on Soyuz 15S, with 3 hrs of assistance by Sergei Volkov.

Return Procedures Preps: After the Soyuz TMA-11 descent review on 4/7, a test of the Soyuz MCS (Motion Control System (SUD) is scheduled for 4/14, followed on 4/15 by the standard descent OBT/drill.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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