Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.06.18 - ISS On-Orbit Status 06/18/08


Today 25 years ago (June 18, 1983), Sally K. Ride became the first US woman to orbit the Earth.

Launched on STS-7/Challenger, 32 years old at that time, she and her crew (CDR Bob Crippen) spent 6d 2h 23m in space.

Before breakfast & first exercise, Volkov, Kononenko and Chamitoff completed a full session with the Russian crew health monitoring program's medical assessment MO-9/Biochemical Urinalysis. Afterwards, the FE-1 closed out and stowed the Urolux hardware. (MO-9 is conducted every 30 days (and also before and after EVAs) and is one of five nominal Russian medical tests adopted by NASA for U.S. crewmembers for IMG PHS (Integrated Medical Group/Periodic Health Status) evaluation as part of the "PHS/Without Blood Labs" exam. The analysis uses the sophisticated in-vitro diagnostic apparatus Urolux developed originally for the Mir program. Afterwards, the data are entered in the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer)'s special IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program).)

Later in the day, Volkov & Kononenko also completed the first part of the onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') preventive health maintenance fitness test on the VELO bicycle ergometer, assisting each other in turn. Part 2, on the TVIS treadmill, is scheduled tomorrow. (Test procedure for MBI-8, which requires workouts on the VELO and TVIS, is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal procedure it uses the TEEM-100M gas analyzer with breathing mask, a blood lactate test with the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories, and a subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test (using the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale, viz., 10 steps from very light over hard and very hard to maximum). Results are entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data are transferred to the RSE-Med laptop, also on a tape cassette (Cardiocassette-2000), and prepared for later downlink via Regul-Packet comm. Results are also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP.)

Major focus for the CDR & FE-1 today continued to be on Orlan spacesuit activities in the DC1 'Pirs' Docking Compartment, spreading over several days, i.e., preparing spacewalk hardware for the Orlan EVA (#20) on 7/10 and prior simulation exercises.
After configuring the DC1 communications link to support their presence, Sergey & Oleg -

Equipped Orlan suits #27 & #26 with their respective new BRTA telemetry units,
Performed leak checks & valve functionality tests on the Orlan BSS interface units in the DC1 & SM PkhO (Service Module Transfer Compartment) from their EVA support panels (POV);
Degassed the cooling system (i.e., separated liquid/gas) of the Orlans & their BSS suit interface unit in DC1;
Degassed the BSS interface unit in SM PkhO,
Set up & prepared Orlan ORUs (orbit replaceable units) such as oxygen (O2) tanks, batteries, lithium hydroxide (LiOH) cans, moisture collectors & feedwater filters (OTAs on the Orlans also typically include a right-hand swing arm, tool caddy, trash bags and tethers), and
Reset the DC1 comm system to its regular configuration.
In the U.S. 'Quest' Airlock, FE-2 Chamitoff continued post-EVA activities after 1J, terminating the regeneration of METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters #0015 & #0016 started yesterday and initiating the bake-out process on the third METOX batch, #0020 & #0021, with CDRA operating nominally.

The FE-2 also terminated the 13hr discharge process on the 16-volt EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries #2067 & #2071 in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly), and then started the discharge on EMU battery #2072, using BSA BCM-3 (Battery Charger Module 3) only. (After the RPC-6 (Remote Power Controller 6) 'fuse' tripped open yesterday, BCM-4, which it controls, is currently inoperable. There are 4 BCMs in the Airlock, and BCM-4 is not one of the two BCMs that were replaced during the 1J Mission. RPC-6 remains open while specialists continue to analyze the data to determine the cause for the trip. The discharge process, originally handled manually by a crewmember, is an automated procedure controlled from an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) laptop with a special DOS application.)

In the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), Greg Chamitoff conducted an inspection of the CWSA (Condensate Water Separator Assembly)'s desiccant module (DM) in the D1 rack. (Before inspecting and photodocumenting the DM and adjacent condensate flex line, the routing of the D1 Rack TCS (Thermal Control System)'s flex hoses had to be corrected and the visible portion of the condensate flex line inspected for observable damages or anomalous bending. Afterwards, the D1 rack panel was closed again.)

Moving then to the Kibo JPM laboratory, Greg modified the SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility) payload from its 'safed' launch configuration to its operation config. (SCOF is a JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) subrack facility for investigations of crystal growth phenomena in microgravity, housed in the 'Ryutai' (fluid) experiment rack, along with the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility), PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) and the IPU (Image Processing).)

From the JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Section), Chamitoff retrieved the OI-H (On-Orbit Installed Handrail) and LDFRs (Long Duration Foot Restraints), to be install during a future EVA externally on the JPM and JEMRMS (Robotic Manipulator System) console.

The FE-2 also retrieved hard dummy panels from the JLP forward standoff for subsequent assembly and installation in the Kibo laboratory.

Oleg Kononenko 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.). (Nine of the ten dosimeters are read manually.)

Continuing the current round of preventive maintenance on the Russian Segment (RS) ventilation system, Sergey Volkov replaced the two dust filters PS1 & PS2 in the Funktsionalnyi-Grusovoi Blok (FGB), registering the change in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Gregory conducted the periodic atmospheric sampling in the center of the Lab, SM and JLP with the GSC (Grab Sample Container), while Oleg, in parallel, used the AK-1M adsorber to collect cabin air samples in the SM and FGB.

The FE-1 also 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) #1043 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. With both Russian SKV air conditioners still not functioning, condensate is being produced (from air humidity) solely by the CCAA.)

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

Working off the Russian discretionary 'time permitting' task list, Volkov performed the daily IMS 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).

Still remaining on the voluntary task list item for Kononenko & Volkov today was an audit of expired Expedition 16 food rations, with repacking & preparation of food packages for disposal on the ATV. (To clear storage space for cargo items delivered on Progress M-64/29P.)

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 (FE-2), RED resistive exercise device (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR/MBI-8, FE-1/MBI-8).

Afterwards, Sergey transferred the exercise data file to the MEC laptop for downlink, including 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).

In preparation for the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) reboost tomorrow morning, Greg activated the RSUs (Remote Sensor Units) for the MAMS (Microgravity Accelerations Measuring System) and SAMS ICU (Space Acceleration Measurement System) as well as the EWIS (External Wireless Instrumentation System), for capturing structural dynamics data of the station during the event.

The new FE-2 again had about an hour for himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residence.

ATV1 Line Purge: After successfully transferring propellants from the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) into ISS SM propellant tanks yesterday, ground personnel this morning (~2:35am EDT) conducted a propellant line purge, preceded by closure of the protective Lab science window shutters by Greg Chamitoff.

ATV1 Reboost: Tomorrow's ISS reboost by the ATV main engines is scheduled for a TIG (Time of Ignition) of 2:41am EDT. Burn duration: 20 min 5,4 s, to yield a delta-V of 4.00 m/s (13.12 ft/s). The expected altitude gain (delta-H) is 6.92 km (3.74 nm).

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were East Haruj Megafans (ancient rivers sourced in the Tibesti Mountains when the climate of the Sahara was wet (> 8000 years ago} have laid down vast spreads of sediment as a series of large fans ("megafans") hundreds of km long and wide. A continuous pattern of criss-crossing stream channels, large and small, covers the entire surface of megafans. Flat "intercrater plains," measuring 104 km2 and covered solely with what appear to be numerous river channels, cover large areas of Mars. Earth's megafans may be the best analog for these plains. Images of areas south of Tibesti are only available in low resolution: therefore crew imagery--continuous mapping saths taken with 400- and 800 mm lenses--are needed to provide the detail to reveal evidence of stream processes), Nasser, Toshka Lakes, Egypt (through ISS imagery of this site researchers have noted that the Toshka Lakes water levels appear to be declining. Context views of the lakes to the west of Lake Nasser are requested), Central-Arizona Phoenix (the Central-Arizona Phoenix site is part of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) suite of sites. The main objective for these sites is to document the land cover/land use change on a seasonal basis. Looking for land cover or land use boundaries and document with overlapping frames), Barringer Impact Crater (Barringer, or Meteor Crater, has been dated at approximately 50,000 to 60,000 years old. It was the study of this crater by Gene Shoemaker that set the standard for the identification and confirmation of impact craters around the world. Nadir view of the crater was requested), Niwot Ridge Tundra, Colorado (Niwot Ridge is another of the LTER sites and is located approximately 35 km west of Boulder, Colorado, with the entire study site lying above 3000 m elevation. Documenting land cover boundaries with overlapping imagery), and Cedar Creek Area, Minnesota (this was the final LTER site for this day. Cedar Creek Natural History Area (CCNHA), established in 1940, was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1975. In 1977 it was included as an Experimental Ecology Reserve in a proposed national network, and in 1982 it was one of 11 sites in the United States selected by the National Science Foundation for funding of LTER. Documenting the wetland and upland boundaries).

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