Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.24 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/24/08


Before breakfast and exercise, CDR Volkov and FE-1 Kononenko completed their first session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), which measures the red cell count of the blood, with FE-2 Reisman acting as CMO (Crew Medical Officer, Russian: Examiner).

(The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit's minicentrifuge, and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time. After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), and Kononenko stowed the equipment.)

The new E-17 crew (Sergey, Oleg, Garrett) performed the mandatory two-hour OBT (onboard training) emergency egress drill for the case of rapid cabin depressurization, with Russian & US specialists standing by at both control centers for crew questions or comments. The rule is that the emergency egress exercise should be performed by every new station crew once within seven days after departure of the previous crew. (Background: Purpose of the drill is to (a) familiarize the station residents with the location of hardware and the positions of valves used in emergency situations, (b) work through the Russian Segment (RS) hardware deactivation procedures, (c) review ATV emergency response material, (d) practice crew emergency joint activities, and (e) identify crew comments and suggestions that arise during training regarding crew procedures and equipment. In the RS, the crew translated along the emergency egress path to the DC1 Docking Compartment (where Soyuz TMA-12 is currently docked), checking hardware such as the Sokol suits, cable cutters, fire extinguisher (OKR), gas masks (IPK), emergency procedures books, valve settings, hatch rubber seal & restraint integrity, etc. In the US Segment (USOS) the inspection focused on fireports being unblocked in the Lab {21}, with other US modules to be checked by future crews), readiness of CSA-CP (Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products), ISS leak kit, PBA (portable breathing assembly) and PFE (portable fire extinguisher), emergency procedures books, valve settings, integrity of hatch rubber seals, presence of hatch handrails, etc. The checks also included Node-2, COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), and JLP (Japanese Experiment Module Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section). The exercise was topped off by a thorough debrief with the ground via S-band. During the session, the crew simulated executing the planned emergency procedures while moving about the station. For the case of an onboard fire and for emergency descent, there are other mandatory emergency drill OBTs.)

CDR Volkov performed the routine task of taking close-up photos of a scuff mark left by the probe of the last Progress' active docking mechanism on the internal part of the FGB passive docking cone mechanism. The pictures were then transferred to OCA for subsequent downlinking. These images are used to refine current understanding of docking conditions. (The passive drogue (docking cone) ring of the SSVP-StM docking mechanism is rotated out of the passageway and thus accessible for inspection. As other crewmembers before him, the CDR used the Nikon D1X digital still camera to take several pictures with the hatch closed down.)

FE-1 Kononenko completed another routine 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.)

The FE-1 also broke out the LULIN-ISS radiation complex kit, set up its ICU (Interface Control Unit, Russian: BUI) and connected it to a power outlet plus four PILLE radiation dosimeters to allow its battery to recharge for the next 24 hrs.

In the US Lab, FE-2 Reisman continued his servicing of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment, terminating the final vacuum draw on the sample chamber and initiating the sample run for SPU-8 (Sample Processing Unit 8). Activities will resume tomorrow after the sample has undergone ground-commanded processing for four hours overnight, following several hours of untended delay for tracking power consumption. (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 also had ~3h reserved to prepare two SSC (Station Support Computer) laptops for use in the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module), including configuring their settings with uplinked JEM IP addresses.

In response to elevated onboard CO2 readings, Garrett connected the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper to the LAB1D6 rack in support of the ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), and Houston lowered the temperature setpoint to the regular 9.4 degC. (CDRA activation took place at 7:00am-8:00am.)

The FE-2 performed the scheduled lens change on the EarthKAM system at the Node-2 hatch window, going from 50mm to 180mm focal length. The lens change had to be performed on the night side while EarthKAM was not taking pictures. (EarthKAM was activated on 4/19 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. The payload runs without crew intervention. EK is using a Kodak ESC 460C electronic still camera with 50mm and 180mm lenses, powered by 16Vdc from a 28 Vdc adapter, taking pictures by remote operation from the ground, without crew interaction. It is available for students who submit image requests and conduct geographic research (student participants include over 84 teachers who are being trained to use EK). The requests are uplinked in a camera control file to the ThinkPad A31p 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 OpsLAN. )

Continuing the current round of preventive maintenance on the Russian Segment (RS) ventilation system, Oleg replaced the two dust filters (PS1, PS2) in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB), while Sergey worked in the SM on Group A,B,C ventilation subsystems, performing inspection and photography of equipment & structural elements for residue & condensate while cleaning the fan screens.

In the SM, 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. (CO was not to be measured today.)

Garrett Reisman prepared for tonight's ATV1 reboost burn by setting up & re-programming the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) with its NCU (Network Control Unit) and RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) for acquiring structural dynamics data during the reboost ops. Also activated during the thruster test will be the externally mounted SDMS (Structural Dynamics Measuring System).

Volkov completed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. (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 for the Elektron-intended water, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC (Contingency Water Container) from the Lab humidifier. Weekly SOZh reports (on Sundays) to TsUP/Moscow deal with number & dates of water and urine containers, counter readings of water consumption (SPK-U, SVO) & urine collection, plus data and total operating time of the Russian POTOK-150MK (150 micron) air filter unit of the SOGS air revitalization subsystem.)

The CDR also performed 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 video equipment in the SM remains in place for filming all crewmembers' subsequent workout on the RED resistive exerciser in Node-1, for biomechanical assessment of hardware status by ground engineers. (The camcorder equipment will be torn down when the RED sessions of all crewmembers have been captured.)

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 (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1).

Afterwards, Garrett downloaded the crew's exercise data file to the MEC 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).

Volkov & Kononenko again had the regular full hour 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 ~9:00am EDT, the three crewmembers convened for their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G-2 audio & phone patch.

At ~2:15pm, FE-2 Reisman conducted a 30-min. telecon to debrief the STS-123 (1J/A) crew on their EVAs in preparation for upcoming extravehicular activities.

ATV1 Performance Update: A planned refueling leak check on the ATV 'Jules Verne' was completed nominally. Data from an erratic helium sensor in the oxidizer refueling system have been discarded without further impact. The pre-reboost firing test used 91 kg of fuel to achieve 0.98 m/s delta-V, exactly as predicted. However, 145 kg of attitude control prop was used by the RCS (reaction control system); it is under scrutiny.

ATV1 Reboost Update: Tonight's ISS reboost by the ATV is scheduled for a TIG (Time of Ignition) of 12:22am EDT, to yield an expected delta-V of 2.65 m/s. ISS attitude control authority will be handed over to RS MCS (Motion Control System) at 11:15pm for the subsequent maneuver to reboost attitude at 11:20pm. After the burn, the station is slewed back to TEA (Torque Equilibrium Attitude) and returned to US Momentum Management at ~1:25am.

FE-1 Email Update: Efforts are underway at MCC-H/Astronaut Office to enable emails from Kononenko's spouse Tatiana to get to Oleg.

CWC Update: A new updated CWC (Contingency Water Container) 'cue card' was uplinked for the crew's reference. (The new card (17-0002A) lists 38 CWCs (~1595.6 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (853.8 L, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene), potable water (647.2 L), condensate water (88.8 L), waste/EMU dump and other (5.8 L). Of the 38 containers, 15 CWCs with technical water (672.6 L) and 4 CWCs with potable water (176.3 L) must be cleared for Wautersia bacteria by MCC-H before use.)

COL Update: The first part of the paced troubleshooting sequence on the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) by Reisman yesterday was successful. The laser switch in FSL was recovered, and all three drawers are operating fine; additional troubleshooting is scheduled next week (4/29 & 4/30).

SRVK-2M Update: After the RS SRVK condensate water processor twice shut down with indications of membrane overfill after yesterday's BKO multifiltration unit R&R, the crew demated and remated the connector. The systems are now operating nominally.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Tianjin, China (the city of Tianjin with a population of more than 10 million, is Beijing's port on the Bohai Gulf. Looking just left of track), Yellow River Delta, China (the delta changes rapidly and should be undergoing heavy sedimentation during the present spring thaw. Looking nadir and left to map the margins), Urumqi, China (this city is the focus of China's hydrocarbon exploration effort in its far west. Looking left at the foot of the mountains), Dunde Ice Cap, China (ice caps in central Asia are of increasing interest to climate change scientists. The Dunde has been cored in three places (cores about 140 m long) to the bedrock base. The cores go back to the last glacial ~20,000 years ago, and show an enormous increase in dust concentrations from that windier, drier period. Researchers also record a strong warming trend in the last ten years on Tibetan glaciers. Requested were general views of the ice cap looking left of track), and Ganges River Delta (a mapping swath of overlapping images is requested at nadir or just left of track, to document change in the waterways and coastline of the delta).

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