Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.05.16 - ISS On-Orbit Status 05/16/08


Yest kasaniye! Progress M-64 (29P), approaching from below the station, docked smoothly at the FGB nadir port at 5:39pm EDT, followed by docking probe retraction and hook closure ('sborka') after motion damp-out, while the ISS was in LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) attitude.

All Progress systems operated nominally from Automated Rendezvous start. (Launched on 5/14 (4:22:56pm EDT), the 29P resupply drone delivered about 2.5 tons (4657 lbs) of cargo for the ISS crews, including propellants (~770 lbs) for the Russian thrusters, fresh water (~925 lbs), oxygen and air (~100 lbs), food, and dry cargo (~2850 lbs), i.e., spare parts, repair gear, life support and science experiment hardware.)

Since the time of docking was the crew's regular bedtime, their work/sleep cycle was shifted this morning by 3.5 hrs, i.e., wakeup - 5:30am EDT, sleep - 9:00pm. (Tomorrow: Wakeup - 5:30am; sleep back at 5:30pm)

For the ongoing US Sleep study, currently on his voluntary 'job jar' task list, FE-2 Garrett Reisman downloaded the SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data after wakeup and before breakfast from his Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop. (To monitor his sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the Flight Engineer wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout this week, for the last time. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.)

Reisman continued EVA preparations in the Airlock (A/L) for the STS-124/1J spacewalks. (The FE-2 first consolidated PWRs (Payload Water Reservoirs) by transferring the contents of PWR #1025 to #1005 (leaving #1025 empty) and restowing the containers in their E/L (Equipment Lock) location, then 'de-gassing' PWRs #1007 & #1023 for STS-124 and returning them to stowage. 'De-gassing' = removing air bubbles from the PWR water that will be used to refill the EMU water tanks, by centripetal force, i.e., swinging to produce temporary 'artificial gravity'.)

FE-1 Kononenko meanwhile continued troubleshooting activities on the Russian SRVK-2M(Multifiltration Unit) of the BRPK (Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit), offnominal since 5/6. After tagging up with ground specialists via S-band, Oleg checked out condensate lines to/from the SRVK, purged the lines of the connected filters, turned the NOK-2 condensate pump on/off and finally restored SRVK configuration for running on the second string (Kl3). (Russian specialists are confident that SRVK functionality can be restored by next week. As of now, one of two SRVK strings is operational (Kl3). Today's troubleshooting focused string 1, followed by refilling of the SKV-2 air conditioner with coolant (Freon-218) next week upon delivery by 29P. Until restoration of SRVK condensate processing, European and Russian specialists are in agreement that transferring about 2 EDVs of US condensate to ATV tanks is a viable option. A water dump into space will thus be avoided.)

CDR Volkov had again several hours for conducting the periodic inspection & audit of lighting fixtures in the RS (Russian Segment), testing each light by turning it on and checking fixtures that show one or both light bulbs inoperative with a working light unit from spares. (There are close to two dozen lighting fixtures in the SM (Service Module), about a dozen lights in the FGB and 3 in the DC1 (plus two portable units). An audit of the available light spares will be conducted at a later date.)

The CDR also continued the periodic inventory of SUBA Onboard Equipment Control System plug-in locations in the RS, supported by an uplinked 4-page checklist, started on 4/29. (The standard audit establishes what hardware is plugged in at which electrical RS outlets. SUBA controls, monitors, and diagnoses RS systems status. It operates using sensor output signals and command radio link SM functional outputs, onboard computer system (BVS) units, SM control panels, and system relay outputs. Its software resides in the SM central computer (TsVM) and terminal computer (TVM). The BSKs are used to switch electrical power and protect electrical circuits with fuses against overloads.)

In preparation for the Progress docking and the measurement of structural vibrations caused by it, Reisman earlier installed and programmed IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) accelerometer RSUs (Remote Sensing Units) in the Lab, Node-1, Node-2, FGB and SM.

The FE-2 also activated the SSC6 (Station Support Computer 6) A31p laptop in the FGB for handling the video transmission from the RS via the Ku-band assets in the USOS. (The A31p used for the routing from the SM is located in the FGB since available cables are not long enough to extend to the Node. The video signal is fed from there via coaxial cable to the SSC Operations LAN (local area network) and from there into the Ku-band system for subsequent conversion from the Russian SECAM format to the American NTSC format on the ground. The video stream, a digital MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) transmission originating in the RS by the Russian/ESA encoder, passes via the ISS JSL (Joint Station LAN) through Ku-band to both MCCs. )

With the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly) deactivated by the ground early this morning (~2:00am-7:00am) and its cooling no longer required, Reisman demated and took down the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) jumper at the CDRA-supporting LAB1D6 rack.

Volkov & Kononenko reviewed ground recommendations and rendezvous/approach data in preparation for the 29P docking, which required their visual confirmation (plus telemetry signal) of KURS-A antenna retraction before the docking at the FGB nadir port. Latest flight info was also required for updating the TORU teleoperated control system, which was on 'hot standby' during the linkup, with Sergey & Oleg monitoring the process.

After the cargo ship's successful docking, activities by the two cosmonauts included -

shutting off TORU and reconfiguring the STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem to normal ops (the "Voskhod-M" STTS enables telephone communications between the SM, FGB, DC1 and U.S. segment (USOS), and also with users on the ground over VHF channels selected by an operator at an SM comm panel, via STTS antennas on the SM's outside. There are six comm panels in the SM with pushbuttons for accessing any of three audio channels, plus an intercom channel. Other modes of the STTS include telegraphy (teletype), EVA voice, emergency alarms, Packet/Email, and TORU docking support);
conducting the standard one-hour leak checking of the docking vestibule and fuel/oxidizer transfer line interface between Progress and FGB (during leak checking and initial clamp installation, Russian thrusters were inhibited (as was the case during docking));
opening the hatches (~7:35pm) and installing the QD (quick disconnect) screw clamps (BZV) of the docking & internal transfer mechanism (SSVP) to rigidize the coupling;
deactivating Progress and assembling the ventilation/heating air duct (~8:00pm);
performing the standard air sampling inside the Progress with the Russian AK-1M air sampler; and
deactivating and removing the video equipment for the TV Ku-band downlink of the docking.
Later, before sleep time and on TsUP Go, Volkov will also switch hatch KVDs (Pressure Equalization Valves) between FGB and Progress to electric control mode.

In the US Lab, Garrett Reisman set up the hardware associated with urine and blood collections for his first session of NASA's NUTRITION/Repository experiment, scheduled on his timeline tomorrow. For the blood draw, Garrett has to start fasting 8 hrs before, with only water consumption allowed. (The NUTRITION project is the most comprehensive in-flight study done by NASA to date of human physiologic changes during long-duration space flight. It includes measures of bone metabolism, oxidative damage, nutritional assessments, and hormonal changes, expanding the previous Clinical Nutritional Assessment profile (MR016L) testing in three ways: Addition of in-flight blood & urine collection (made possible by MELFI), normative markers of nutritional assessment, and a return session plus 30-day (R+30) session to allow evaluation of post-flight nutrition and implications for rehabilitation.)

Garrett worked in the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), removing & replacing failed MLU LHAs (Module Lighting Unit/Lamp Housing Assemblies).

Reisman also used the hand-held CDMK (Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Kit, #1002) to collect measurements for the regular atmospheric status check for ppCO2 (Partial Pressure Carbon Dioxide) in the Lab, SM (at panel 449) and COL, and recording CO2 readings and battery 'ticks'. (Batteries were to be replaced if necessary. After all readings were taken, the CDM was deactivated and returned to its stowage place at LAB1S2.)

Later, the FE-2 filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his eighth, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). (On the FFQs, NASA/ESA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.)

Volkov & Reisman performed their second standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training, using the DCS-760 digital still camera with 400 & 800mm lenses at SM windows 6 & 8 (facing in flight direction) to take CEO (Crew Earth Observations) target imagery using auto focus only, with images having 40-50% overlap and about 20 images in each sequence. Afterwards, the obtained OBT (onboard training) images were downlinked to the ground for analysis (~9:30am). (The RPM drill prepares crewmembers for the bottom-side mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of the Shuttle (STS-124/1J) on 6/2 . During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the 'shooters' have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on Discovery, to be downlinked for launch debris assessment. Thus, time available for the shooting will be very limited, requiring great coordination between the two headset-equipped photographers and the Shuttle pilot.)

Reisman completed the routine maintenance of the SM's SOZh/ECLSS system, 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, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.)

Kononenko 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 crew conducted 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), RED resistive exercise device (FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Garrett transferred 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).

At ~7:25am EDT, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU (Glavnaya operativnaya gruppa upravleniya = 'Main Operative Control Group')), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Riachao Ring Impact Crater, Brazil (weather was predicted to be clear over the Brazilian Highlands, and ISS had a near-nadir pass over this 4.5 km diameter crater. The expression of the crater on the landscape is subtle - it is defined mainly by a semicircular hill mostly covered in vegetation. Overlapping nadir-viewing frames, taken along track, were recommended in order to capture the crater), and Serra da Cangalha Impact Crater, Brazil (this 12 km diameter crater is located to the SW of the preceding Riachao Ring target, and likewise is a subtle feature on the landscape. It is mainly defined by a circular drainage pattern surrounding the remnants of a central peak. Overlapping nadir frames, taken along track, were recommended in order to capture the crater).

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