Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.16 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/16/08

Day 7 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.

Day 189 in space for Peggy & Yuri.

The crew's work/sleep cycle again was adjusted slightly, from yesterday's wakeup at 2:20am to 2:15am EDT (sleeptime tonight at 5:45pm). Tomorrow, work period will be adjusted again (to 2:00am -12:00pm).

Aboard ISS, crew rotation/handover activities continued for all six residents involved. Whitson, Volkov, Malenchenko and Kononenko had several hours scheduled between them for dedicated ('functional') 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.)

After wake-up, FE-1-17 Kononenko terminated his MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session (his first), started last night, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. (SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.)

CDR Whitson & FE-2 Reisman finished 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.)

FE-1 Malenchenko, with Kononenko observing, performed the periodic servicing of the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System) by starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated before sleeptime, at ~3:30pm EDT. Regeneration of bed #2 follows tomorrow. (Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods.)

FE-2 Reisman set up the ROBoT trainer, including the Node-1 camcorder for recording, and used it with CDR-17 Volkov as handover for a proficiency drill for the upcoming SSRMS/Robotics ops. Later, Garrett tore down the setup and stowed it. (ROBoT uses DOUG (Dynamic Operations Ubiquitous Graphics) software, a hand controller and two laptops (one for graphics, one for the simulation) for on-orbit training of MSS (Mobile Service System) and SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) operations. The training should be performed once every four weeks (unless crewmember actually performs arm ops). This OBT (Onboard Training) lesson is designed to refresh cognitive skills related to SSRMS operations. Degradation of these skills could affect mission success and safety of the crew.)

Malenchenko & Kononenko completed the periodic (about twice a month) replenishing of the Elektron oxygen generator's water supply for electrolysis, filling the KOV EDV container with water collected in CWC (Contingency Water Container) #1065 from the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier. (The 40-minute procedure is specially designed to prevent air bubbles larger than ~10 mm from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.)

Oleg completed his first radiation data monitoring & logging session for flow & dose power data with the MATRYOSHKA-R radiation payload and its LULIN-5 electronics box. (Data were downloaded, accumulated readings were recorded on a log sheet for subsequent downlink to TsUP/Moscow via the BSR-TM payload data channel, and the memory storage card was replaced).

In preparation for their return to gravity, Yuri Malenchenko undertook his fifth and final training session of the Russian MO-5 MedOps protocol of cardiovascular evaluation in the below-the-waist reduced-pressure device (ODNT, US: LBNP) on the Russian VELO ergometer, assisted by CDR Whitson as CMO (Crew Medical Officer). A second session is scheduled tomorrow. (The one-hour assessment, supported by ground specialist tagup (VHF) and telemetry monitoring from Russian ground sites (at 6:11am 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 months in zero-G. The preparatory training generally consists of first imbibing 150-200 milliliters of water or juice, followed by two cycles of a sequence of progressive regimes of reduced ('negative') pressure, set at -20, -25, -30, and -35 mmHg for five min. each, then -25, -30, and -35 mmHg (Torr) for 10 min. each plus 30mmHg for 5 min. 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.)

Peggy Whitson collected ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) fluid samples in the Lab and in COL (Columbus Orbital Facility) for return to the ground for analysis. (The ammonia coolant samples were collected in special bags, which were then packed in a Ziplock bag (#1009).)

FE-1-17 Kononenko gathered water samples in the Russian Segment from the Service Module (SM) SVO-ZV Water Supply System, BRP-M Water Distribution & Heating Unit (Hot tap) and SM Rodnik BV1 water storage tank. All samples were prepared for return on TMA-11.

The FE-1 took the periodic sensor readings of the Russian 'Pille-MKS' (MKS = ISS) radiation dosimetry experiment which has ten sensors placed at various locations in the Russian segment (DC1, SM starboard & port cabin windows, ASU toilet facility, control panel, etc.). The flash card with the stored data was removed for return on TMA-11 and replaced with another memory card. (Nine of the ten dosimeters are read manually.)

In the SM, Yuri & Oleg took the periodic readings of potentially harmful atmospheric contaminants with the CMS (Countermeasure System) part of the GANK-4M Real-Time Harmful Contaminant Gas Analyzer suite, which uses preprogrammed microchips to measure H2CO (Formaldehyde, methanal), CO (Carbon Monoxide) and NH3 (Ammonia), taking one measurement per microchip.

The Russian flight engineers printed out two copies of the formal Russian handover protocol document certifying RS handover/acceptance as part of the standard Change-of-Command procedures scheduled tomorrow. (Two copies of the ISS RS Handover Protocol were printed out for signature by Malenchenko, Kononenko and Volkov. The first copy remains on ISS, the second copy will be returned to the ground on Soyuz TMA-11.) Using the vacuum cleaner and other tools, Garrett performed the periodic US segment (USOS) hatch seal inspection (Node-1 forward, aft & starboard, Lab aft & forward, Node-2 aft, and Joint Airlock, Node-2 aft & starboard) in support of ACS (Atmospheric Control System) maintenance (last time done: 2/6).

Reisman also conducted the hatch seal inspection in the JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section) module for the first time.

In the Lab, the FE-2 later continued his support of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility, terminating the final vacuum draw started yesterday and initiating the first sample run, for SPU-4 (Sample Processing Unit 4). (SPU-4 will process for 10h 30min, to be followed by the next activity tomorrow. 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.)

In preparation for a microbial air sampling session scheduled tomorrow, tonight before sleep time Malenchenko will unstow and set up the MedOps SZM-MO-21 ECOSFERA equipment, initiating charging on the Ecosphere power pack (BP). (The equipment, consisting of an air sampler set, a charger, power supply unit, and incubation tray for Petri dishes, determines microbial contamination of the ISS atmosphere, specifically the total bacterial and fungal microflora counts and microflora composition according to morphologic criteria of microorganism colonies.)

Peggy Whitson performed a battery check on the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) set up for charging yesterday, then undertook a series of tests of its new RFID (Radio Frequency ID) software by using it with a scanner to test RFID tags on various items for evaluation as an auditing tool. (Tests of the SDTO (Station Development Test Objective) included scans of RFID-tagged items delivered on 28P, to be compared by the ground with as-packed 28P data, also scans of RFID-tagged items after a period of crew usage, followed by a manual audit, for subsequent comparison with these manual audit data. The use of the system for locating RFID-tagged items was also tried out.)

With the temporary increase in crew size from three to six placing more emphasis on ventilation, Whitson is also scheduled to conduct 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.)

Garrett meanwhile conducted the periodic checkup on active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. (The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA continues to collect data every six seconds and downlinks the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.)

Yuri had three hours reserved for packing and stowing of equipment on TMA-11, focusing mainly on a long list of discarded equipment which he stowed in the Orbital Module, to be jettisoned along with the Instrumentation Compartment before atmospheric entry of the Descent Module.

SFP So-Yeon Yi, with Sergei & Oleg taking photo/video imagery of her VC14 activities as required, conducted her KAP (Korean Astronaut Program) science experiments, which 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),
KAP04/SFP medical monitoring (taking six measurements of ocular (eye) pressure during the day);
KAP06/Study of the possibility of using traditional Korean food in onboard food rations (testing during crew Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, with video coverage),
KAP08/Synthesis of metal-organic porous materials in microgravity (retrieval & closeout),
KAP09/High-resolution telescope (ELT) and study of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) for next generation telescopes (equipment deactivation, filling out questionnaire, deinstalling the gear), and
KAP11/Noise level reduction onboard the ISS RS (prep & setup, taking noise measurements and imagery at various locations, tearing down hardware & preparing kit for return).
So-Yeon also had one regular daily tagup with her consultant team at TsUP-Moscow via VHF-1 (~10:55am EDT), her third PAO TV interview, today with Figure Skater Kim Yu-na (~7:35am), and a standard PMC (Private Medical Conference).

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.

Later tonight, Peggy Whitson will have another standard pre-descent PMC 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), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1-17, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1, CDR-17).

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).

Kononenko conducted the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Oleg also did 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).

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).

At ~1:15pm, Peggy Whitson & Garrett Reisman engaged in two PAO TV interviews with US clients,- CBS News (Bill Harwood, Peter King), and ABC News (Gina Sunseri).

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Mt. Etna, Sicily (nadir pass over Etna, which is usually smoking. Detailed images were requested), Mississippi Delta Region (CEO researchers requested images of this site again for more nadir views than have been acquired thus far), Plum Island Ecosystem, Maine (looking left from ISS track over Cape Cod Bay, for an estuary on the bay next north of Boston. Changing nutrient flows in the estuary, where urban pressures have increased greatly, are the object of the research. Data for many aspects of the research (water color, new housing, loss of natural landscapes, etc.) can be gleaned from ISS/CEO imagery), and Johnston Island reef, central Pacific (looking a touch right of nadir for this atoll (only 4 km long) with its surrounding, much longer coral reef. The atoll lies about 1400 km west of Hawaii and has been enlarged to accommodate a large runway. Crew was to shoot detail of the reef, for the reef-mapping project).

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