Expedition 17 Crew: CDR Sergei Volkov, FE-1 Oleg Kononenko, FE-2 Garrett Reisman. "Yest posadka! (We have Landing!) Welcome back home, Yuri Malenchenko, Peggy Whitson and So-Yeon Yi! After 192 days in space (190 docked to ISS), Soyuz TMA-11/15S, carrying two-thirds of the Expedition 16 crew plus the South-Korean SFP, landed successfully this morning at ~4:30am EDT in the steppes of Kazakhstan, with the crew in excellent condition. The landing in Kazakhstan was approximately 450 km west of the prime landing area in the 'ballistic mode' zone. (The 15S undocking sequence was initiated on 4/19 with the command to open the Soyuz hooks at 1:03 am EDT. 15S separated from ISS at 1:06 am using the docking system springs. Three minutes after initial separation an automatic separation burn was performed by the Soyuz vehicle. A 4 min 18 sec de-orbit burn was initiated at 3:40 am EDT. During descent, the 15S vehicle guidance system down-moded to a ballistic entry mode. The satisfactory condition of the crew was confirmed by 15S CDR Yuri Malenchenko when he made contact with TsUP-Moscow via the 15S Iridium satellite phone. Russian SAR (Search & Rescue) helicopters from the ballistic staging area, including a NASA crew surgeon, reached the crew approximately 30 minutes after landing, and reported the crew to be in good health. The crew was transported to Kustenai, Kazakhstan via helicopter and departed for Star City, arriving at approximately 1:00pm EDT, where they were received by a welcoming NASA delegation headed by Christopher Scolese, Michael Ryschkewitsch, and William Gerstenmaier. Post-flight analysis of data from the descent module systems will be conducted after the module is returned to Moscow.)
After the long undock workday (12:30pm yesterday - 4:45am this morning), the remaining ISS crew is enjoying a really long (21-hr) sleep period, from 4:45am - 2:00am tomorrow morning. Beginning on Sunday, 4/20, the station sleep/wake cycle is then back on the standard 2:00am-5:30pm EDT.
Preparations for the early undocking began late last night, with the returning crew ingressing the Soyuz Descent Module and FE-1 Malenchenko performing the regular communications check from the TMA-11 at ~6:30pm EDT.
Yuri & Peggy then activated the spacecraft (~10:00pm), followed by Sergei Volkov & Oleg Kononenko closing the Soyuz and FGB hatches, and the departing Soyuz crew started the standard one-hour leak check on the Soyus-to-FGB vestibule.
The video recording of the earlier Change of Command ceremony was downlinked by FE-2 Reisman at 10:20pm.
Garrett also deactivated the onboard amateur radio stations in the Service Module (SM) and FGB to prevent radio interference with the departing spacecraft.
At 11:30-11:45pm, the ISS went in free drift for FGB hooks opening.
During that time (~11:30pm), Reisman assembled, configured and activated the U.S. EarthKAM (EK) hardware for a new session, for the first time in Node-2, the 28th time aboard the ISS and the first time on Increment 17). The reason for moving EK to the Node-2 nadir hatch window is that the Lab science window still needs to be shuttered to protect it against outgassing from the SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) Dextre. (For focusing the camera, Garrett had to see the ground. EK is using a DCS 760 electronic still camera with 50mm (f/1.4) lens at the Node-2 window, powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. Numerous schools are participating in this EarthKAM session. EarthKAM is an education program that enables thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from the unique perspective of space, integrating the excitement of ISS with middle-school education. The student requests are uplinked in a camera control file to an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop which then activates the camera at specified times and receives the digital images from the camera 's storage card on its hard drive, for subsequent downlink via OPS LAN.)
ISS attitude control was again switched to free drift at 1:01am this morning, followed shortly by the Soyuz undocking.
Prior to starting their sleep period at 4:45am, the remaining ISS crew completed a number of post-undocking tasks:
With the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) deactivated by the ground early this morning (~3:00am-8:00am) and its cooling no longer required, FE-2 Reisman demated and took down the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) jumper at the CDRA-supporting LAB1D6 rack.
Garrett also set up the hardware associated with urine and blood collections for his second session of NASA 's NUTRITION w/Repository experiment in the Lab, scheduled on his timeline tomorrow and requiring Garrett to start his mandatory 8-hr fasting tonight for the blood draw (since he has a 21-hr sleep cycle on Sunday). The 24-hour urine sample collection starts with the first void Sunday morning and continues through the first void on Monday morning.
On the US voluntary 'job jar' task list, activities for CDR Volkov and FE-2 Reisman included taking measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide) in the Lab, SM (at panel 449) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), using the hand-held CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit, #1002 & #1009), with the CDRA now turned off. Batteries were to be replaced if necessary.
Also added to the discretionary task list for Sergei & Garrett was the periodic torquing (tightening) of the male QDs (Quick Disconnects) gfound on the FSS (Fluid System Servicer) jumpers.
A third job in the 'job jar' task lit, at the crew 's convenience, is the periodic audit of rack locations, using the IMS (Inventory Management System). (The audit function, introduced with the implementation of IMS software version 2.0, allows the crewmember to set up audits of bags, kits, containers and stowage locations on the laptop.)
In a fourth suggested job item, the IMS audit feature is also to be used by the crew for an inventory of CTBs (Cargo Transfer Bags) shown as containing spare A31p laptop hardware (#1131), IWIS components (#1188), BP/ECG (Blood Pressure/Electrocardiogram) equipment (#1003), water microbiology kit (#1001), and a jettison bag with EMCS hardware.
Kononenko conducted the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.
Volkov 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).
The crewmembers completed their regular 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), and RED resistive exercise device (FE-2).
Afterwards, Garrett 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).
CEO photo targets uplinked for today (optional) were Taal Volcano, Philippines (Taal volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, is easily recognized as an island in the 20-km long Taal caldera lake. The island is a complex volcano that has grown about 25% in area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions from Taal have caused much destruction. The growth of satellite cities around Manila brings increasing numbers of people closer to the volcano), Manila, Philippines (looking right, between the ISS track and Taal Volcano. Crew was to shoot urban margins of greater Manila, home to more than 14 million people), and Chaing Mai, Thailand (looking left for this university city, the largest in northern Thailand. Asian cities tend to be earth-colored and thus harder to identify from orbit. Chang Mai lies in a light-toned valley. Valleys are intensively farmed so that little forest remains -allowing the north-south valleys to be more easily detected from orbit).