Underway: Week 26 of Increment 16.
The crew's work/sleep cycle again was adjusted slightly, from yesterday's wakeup at 2:10am to 2:15am EDT (sleeptime tonight at 5:45pm). Tomorrow, work period will again be adjusted by 5 min (to 2:20am -5:50pm).
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 Garrett 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.)
CDR Whitson & FE-2 Reisman wrapped up their second session of the biomed experiment INTEGRATED IMMUNE (Validating Procedures for Monitoring Crew member Immune Function) by collecting one final wet saliva sample first thing after wake-up. (IMMUNE protocol requires the collection to occur first thing post-sleep, before eating, drinking and brushing teeth, and all samples are stored at ambient temperature. Along with NUTRITION (Nutritional Status Assessment), INTEGRATED IMMUNE samples & analyzes participant's blood, urine, and saliva before, during and after flight for changes related to functions like bone metabolism, oxidative damage and immune function to develop and validate an immune monitoring strategy consistent with operational flight requirements and constraints. The strategy uses both long and short duration crewmembers as study subjects. The saliva is collected in two forms, dry and liquid. The liquid saliva collections require that the crewmembers soak a piece of cotton inside their mouth and place it in a salivette bag; there are four of the liquid collections during docked operations.)
After yesterday's unstowing and setting up of the necessary hardware for the ESA/Russian biomed experiment 'IMMUNO', including the KRIOGEM-03M refrigerator, Plasma-03 accessories, CARDIOSCIENCE and SALIVA-IMMUNO kits and wipes, FE-1 Malenchenko today undertook the scheduled session (his last), starting with the first stress test (of two) plus saliva and blood sampling, assisted by CDR-17 Volkov where required for venous blood collection and blood sample processing (smear & in the Plasma-03 centrifuge). Samples were then secured in the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS) in cold packs in their KB-03 container. (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. Also included is a stress-test questionnaire to be filled out by the subject at begin and end of IMMUNO and based on the accompanying MO-3 stress test, performed during the subject's physical exercise regimen.)
CDR Whitson worked in the JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section), performing the periodical status and shell temperature check from the MKAM (Minimum Keep-Alive Monitor).
After briefly activating the JLP MKAM fan and moving the JLP's PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) from its location COL1PF in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) to the JLP endcone (JLP1F3), Whitson performed further troubleshooting on the wiring and fixture of the failed JLP GLA (General Luminaire Assembly) P2A, then deactivated the JLP MKAM fan again and returned the PBA to the COL1PF location.
In the COL, Garrett Reisman performed a similar activity, troubleshooting two failed MLU lighting fixtures, MLU1 & MLU7 (which correspond to the USOS GLAs), to determine the possible cause of their failure.
FE-2 Reisman also conducted 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, shown yesterday still as a discretionary activity on the US 'job jar' task list.
For their departure on 4/18, Yuri Malenchenko & Peggy Whitson spent an hour in the Soyuz TMA-11/15S Descent Module (SA) supporting a ground-commanded checkout of the Soyuz motion control system (SUD, Mode 2/'Docked') which included pressurization of the Combined Propulsion System (KDU) Section 2 and Tank 2, a test of the pilot's translational hand controller (RUD), and a hot firing of the DPO braking thrusters. KDU maneuver thrusters and DPO lateral thrusters were not fired. The thruster test was nominal, using 15 kg of propellant. (For the test, station attitude was handed over to Russian thruster control at 8:30am EDT, commanded to free drift at 8:38am, then back to LVLH XVV (Local Vertical Local Horizontal/x-axis in velocity vector) attitude. The one-minute firing started on Daily Orbit 3 at ~8:40am. Attitude control was returned to the U.S. segment (USOS) at 9:27am.)
Peggy also had another hour set aside for equipment prepacking and transfer to 15S.
Malenchenko, with Kononenko & Volkov observing, conducted his sixth recharging of the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone brought up on Soyuz 15S, a monthly routine job. (After retrieving it from its location in the TMA-11/15S descent module (BO) at ~6:25am EDT, Yuri initiated the recharging of its lithium-ion battery, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion at ~7:45am, the phone was returned inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed back in the BO's operational data files (ODF) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an 'undershoot' ballistic reentry). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap. The Iridium 9505A satphone uses the Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites to relay the landed Soyuz capsule's GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates to helicopter-borne recovery crews. The older Iridium-9505 phones were first put onboard Soyuz in August 2003. The newer 9505A phone, currently in use, delivers 30 hours of standby time and three hours of talk, up from 20 and two hours, respectively, on the older units.)
In the Lab, after inspecting, activating & configuring the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility, Garrett Reisman initiated a new series of vacuum draws on the sample chamber containing an SPU (Sample Processing Unit), by opening the vent and vacuum valves, for subsequent CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment ops. A second vacuum venting was initiated later in the day. (CSLM-2 examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid matrix. During this process, small particles shrink by losing atoms to larger particles, causing the larger particles to grow (coarsen) within a liquid lead/tin matrix. This study defined the mechanisms and rates of coarsening that govern the manufacture with metals from turbine blades to dental amalgam fillings.)
Reisman performed maintenance on the MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), modifying/replacing Mass Spectrometer Assembly ORU connections.
CDR-17 Volkov and FE-1-17Kononenko supported the successful activation of the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator using the new procedure without the EMI filter on the Elektron's current stabilizer (FPP ST-64) but with ATV 'Jules Verne' disconnected from the Service Module (SM) power system. (Sergei & Oleg first pressurized the BZh Liquid Unit with N2 (nitrogen) via laptop and later monitored the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating.)
Kononenko also conducted an ISS repressurization test with ATV oxygen by introducing 4.43 mmHg of O2 in the cabin today from ATV tankage. This was the first use of the ATV-1 GDS (Gas Delivery System).
In addition, the US OGS (Oxygen Generation System) production was increased to 100 % earlier this morning. (OGS deactivation will occur upon consumption of remaining water in the PWR reservoir, expected later today.)
The two new Inc17 crewmembers, Sergei & Oleg, prepared for their physical exercise activities by going through an 'orientation course' on procedures using the onboard exercise facilities.
Besides his extensive handover activities with Peggy Whitson and the two flight engineers, Volkov assisted SFP Yi in conducting her KAP (Korean Astronaut Program) science experiments, particularly in taking photo/video imagery of the VC14 activities where required.
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),
KAP03/Development of Bioreactor for use on the ISS,
KAP04/SFP medical monitoring (Holter cardiac recording equipment, experiment setup & start);
KAP05/Study of SFP facial changes using a Moire screen (preparation, experiment ops session),
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 D,E,F from oven & replacing with G.H; five temperature checks during the day),
KAP08/Synthesis of metal-organic porous materials in microgravity (oven temperature check),
KAP09/High-resolution telescope (ELT) and study of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) for next generation telescopes (equipment deactivation, video recording, filling out questionnaire),
KAP12/Study of molecular memory device characteristics in space habitation environment (preparation, first test);
KAP13/Measurements using the South-Korean developed SMMS (Small Mass Measurement System, calibration, measurements, later termination & cleanup),
KAP15/Recording scenes of daily life & activities of the SFP, using Samsung Gx-10 and Samsung NV11 cameras.
So-Yeon also had two regular daily tagup with her consultant team at TsUP-Moscow via VHF-1 (~4:05am EDT; ~10:15am) and her second live PAO TV broadcast interview with South Korean 8 O'clock News (~6:55am). (Anchor: 'Korea's first astronaut Yi So-yeon is also an honorary special correspondent from space. Today we will connect with Yi So-yeon, who is in the International Space Station, to hear from her what is going on in the station. Ms. Yi?' Yi: 'Yes, I'm here in the International Space Station. Right now, we are orbiting just outside of (name of a place).' Anchor: 'I see. Today is your fifth day in the ISS. How are you adapting?' Yi: '(After demonstrating another zero-gravity somersault, which she demonstrated during the first broadcast, she continues with the interview while upside down for about 2 minutes.) 'Did I turn better than I did during the first broadcast? My body is gradually adjusting to zero gravity. In space, you quickly learn to move around using your fingers. If you just softly push away from a wall inside the cabin, your body will fly across to the other side. Outside the station, we move around by holding onto a handrail along the cargo bay. There's really no need to use your legs except when you need to support your body.' Anchor: 'Do astronauts gain weight in zero gravity?' Yi: 'Astronauts do not gain a single gram of weight even if they eat all they want. Isn't that hard to believe? It's true, though. But it's not necessarily a good thing. Even if your body weight does not increase, body mass does. Mass is unrelated to gravity. So, if you weigh yourself after coming back to Earth, you might find you weigh more than you did before you left. However, most astronauts lose about a kilogram after one week aboard a space flight.' €¦)
Working off the voluntary Russian task list, So-Yeon was to transfer imagery and other data before sleeptime tonight from flash card to her RSK2 laptop HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for return to the ground.
With the temporary increase in crew size from three to six placing more emphasis on ventilation, CDR Whitson conducted the currently daily check of 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 BIOEMULSION (BTKh-14). (Completing bioreactor thermostatic shell ops & setting up bioreactor in thermostatic chamber, later unplugging thermostat shell (KT) from power outlet, disassembling and stowing.)
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.
Oleg completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard 'delta file' including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).
Sergei set up the Russian KPT-2 'BAR-RM' science payload and prepared it for subsequent operation by initiating battery charging. (BAR-RM is designed to develop a procedure for detection of air leakage from ISS modules based on environmental data anomalies (temperature, humidity, ultrasound emissions). The payload uses a remote infrared thermometer (Kelvin-Video), a thermohygrometer (Iva-6A), a heat-loss anemometer/thermometer (TTM-2), an ultrasound analyzer (AU-01), and a leak detector (UT2-03) to determine physical background signs of loss of ISS pressure integrity which could be indicative of leaks in the working compartments of the station. Measurements are taken in specific zones of ISS modules, both with lights & fans turned on and off. )
Volkov also conducted his first observation and aerial KPT-3 photography session of environmental conditions for Russia's Environmental Safety Agency (ECON) using the Nikon D2X digital camera with SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens, focusing on Dnepr and Volga River contamination.
So-Yeon Yi and the three Russian crewmembers had about two hours set aside for scheduled commemorative (Russian: 'symbolic') activities, a standard tradition for visiting guests and departing expedition crewmembers, today signing and stamping several dozen ISS-16, ISS-17 & VC14 envelopes for Roskosmos, preparing an ISS-16 & ISS-17 flag for Y.A. Gagarin High School No. 66, preparing UN flags and signing ISS-16, ISS-17 & VC14 Certificates, and making a photo/video record of everything.
Volkov, Kononenko and Yi had their standard periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.
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).
Afterwards, Garrett and Oleg 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).
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
At ~10:40am EDT, Whitson & Reisman participated in a live PAO TV interview with two clients,- FOX News Radio and WOI-TV, Iowa.
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 and today's test of the Soyuz MCS (Motion Control System (SUD), the standard descent OBT/drill will be conducted tomorrow (4/15).
IMV Update: Peggy's work on the Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) system over the weekend has increased airflow significantly.
Acoustic Dosimetry Update: The acoustic dosimeter worn by FE-1 Malenchenko overnight for 16 hrs with a microphone on the shirt collar has failed, despite a battery change by the crew. No data were acquired for calldown last night.
No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.