Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.23 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/23/08


Before breakfast, CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko and FE-2 Reisman began their workday with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement (first for CDR and FE-1, second for FE-2), using the IM mass measurement device which Oleg Kononenko afterwards broke down for stowage.

(Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember's mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.)

Sergei Volkov set up the hardware for the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment and conducted the session, his first (which forbids moving or talking during data recording). The experiment is controlled from the RSE-Med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. (PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) is an attempt to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember's electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.)

In the US Lab, FE-2 Reisman continued the evacuation sequence of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in preparation for its ops tomorrow, which involved a series of vacuum draws on the sample chamber. (After configuring the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility, Garrett closed vacuum vent valves, checked for acceptable humidity levels in the sample chamber, and opened the SPU (Sample Processing Unit) water valve to initiate unattended vacuum prep. Later, he opened the vent & vacuum valves to initiate a vacuum draw on the sample chamber. 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.)

The CDR performed a major 1.5-hour IFM (in-flight maintenance) in the Service Module (SM) by removing one of the module's eight 800A storage batteries (#2) and replacing it with a spare Blok 800A. The removed unit was prepared for disposal on the next Progress, M-64/29P. (The ZRU charge/discharge unit #2 was deactivated by TsUP/Moscow beforehand and later reactivated. The new battery #2 is currently being conditioned in Cycle mode. This restores the full set of eight SM batteries to operation.)

Meanwhile, the FE-1 also conducted routine IFM (in-flight maintenance) on the SRVK-2M condensate water processor, removing its multifiltration unit (BKO), which has reached its service life limit. The old BKO was replaced with a new unit and stowed for deorbiting on Progress 29P. (BKO contains five purification columns to rid the condensate of dissolved mineral and organic impurities. It has a service lifetime of ~450 liters throughput. The water needs to be purified for proper electrolysis in the Elektron O2 generator.)

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), FE-2 Reisman began the first part of the paced troubleshooting sequence on the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory). Today's tasks consisted of removal (later re-install) of the gap protector cover, followed by checkout of the FCE (Facility Core Element) drawers for correct seating to verify proper functioning of the laser safety switches in the rear part, and closure of a front panel switch. (Tomorrow, troubleshooting will focus on ODM (Optical Diagnostic Module) Laser Switch Verification and ODM/CEM (Central Experiment Module) functions, including telemetry, to verify the ODM laser switches integrity ODM & CEM functionalities. On 4/29, Reisman will support a software upgrading of the RIC (Rack Interface Controller) and VMU (Video Management Unit). followed on 4/30 by the long-overdue LAN (Local Area Network) cable repair with an uploaded repair kit and a temporary repair of the MIL BUS A connector, followed by a ground-only repair checkout and minimum system/subsystem checkout. If these activities are successful, Reisman will support the ground, after 5/5, in conducting Optical Checkout #1, Optical Target exchange, Procedure walkthrough, Optical Checkout #2, GEOFLOW EC (Experiment Container) insertion, another Procedure walkthrough, GEOFLOW check-out, and GEOFLOW science start.)

Garrett also conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) audit as part of on-going WDS (Water Delivery System) assessment of onboard water supplies. (Updated 'cue cards' based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week. The current cue card (17-0002) lists 38 CWCs (~1519.7 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (801.7 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene), potable water (647.2 L), condensate water (65 L), waste/EMU dump and other (5.8 L). Of the 38 containers, 15 CWCs with technical water (620.5 L) cannot be used until cleared for Wautersia bacteria, and 4 CWCs with potable water (176.3 L) are not cleared for use pending analysis of samples returned on 1J/A.)

Volkov & Kononenko completed a 2-hr outfitting job by removing the old curtain in front of the ASU toilet facility in the SM and replacing it with a new curtain, delivered on Progress M-63/28P. The activity was supported by ground specialist tagup from TsUP-Korolev.

The FE-1 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) #1035 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 also conducted the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems.

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

As part of the ECLSS servicing, Oleg also performed the periodic check of the function of the 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.)

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 FE-2 configured the video equipment in the SM for filming all crewmembers' subsequent workout on the RED resistive exerciser in Node-1, for biomechanical assessment of the hardware status by ground engineers. (The camcorder equipment is being left in place until all crewmember's RED sessions are captured. The first video was recorded via VTR (Video Tape Recorder) from the ground.)

Afterwards, the crew 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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDRFE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1).

Later, Sergei 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).

Oleg unstowed and installed the equipment for the periodic Russian PZE-MO-10 "Hematokrit" testing that is scheduled for him tomorrow. (MO-10 measures the hematocrit (red blood cell mass) value of the blood (it is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell mass {normal range: 30-45%} tends to go down over time).)

Volkov & Kononenko again had the regular 60 minutes for themselves for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

At ~5:20am EDT, Oleg & Sergei powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, and power supply) and at 5:25am conducted a ham radio exchange with students at the P.I. Klimuk School No. 4 in Shchelkovo, Russia, with Cosmonaut Yurchikhin in attendance. (Questions were uplinked beforehand. 'Did you dream to become a cosmonaut?'; 'What is your attitude to female-cosmonauts?'; 'Do you perform space walks? What are your sensations?'; 'How do you spend your leisure time in space?'; 'What does it take now to become a cosmonaut?'; 'How does a cosmonaut feel after landing?'; 'Who do you want to be like in your life?'; 'Are you a happy person?'; 'Would you like for your child also to be a cosmonaut?'; 'We are aware that Sergei is a graduate of V. M. Komarov School in Star City. What kind of school memories to you have? Do you remember your teachers?')

At ~2:40pm EDT, Garrett Reisman is scheduled for his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on an SSC laptop).

As a voluntary work item on the 'job jar' task list, Reisman was to retrieve an ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) sample return Ziplock bag containing two ITCS coolant samples from the Lab1S5 Rack front and restow it in a CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag) with trashed items.

ATV Closet Ops: An updated unpacking list was uplinked yesterday to support future unloading of ATV-1 'Jules Verne'. An ATV is not unpacked the same way as a Progress. Serving more like a storage shed, items are removed as they are needed for activities. This is referred to as 'closet ops'. An item will be unloaded at the time when it is needed, and there is no specific unpack time scheduled on the crew's timeline as for Progress or MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module). This alleviates storage requirements, always a critical issue on ISS.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Eastern Tien Shan Mountains, China (ice caps on this central Asian mountain range are the object of interest. Requested were general views right of track as ISS passed parallel to the range), Lake Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (views just left of track captured the new Toshka lakes and then the shoreline of Lake Nasser. Shoreline views to show water levels were requested. Water levels have been declining for the last three years after many years of rising), and Barringer Impact Crater, Arizona (this small crater (1 km diameter), better known as Arizona's Meteorite Impact crater, is pristine, being only ~50,000 years old. As ISS flew over the Grand Canyon, the crew was to look right of track on the edge of the great forested area known as the Mogollon Rim, with nearby lava-capped hills being a local visual cue).

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