Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.06.30 - ISS On-Orbit Status 06/30/08


Underway: Week 11 of Increment 17.

Crew Sleep Cycle: Wake/sleep cycle remains right-shifted (5:30am - 9:00pm EDT).

After readying the equipment for the US PHS (Periodic Health Status) w/Blood Labs exam, FE-2 Chamitoff underwent the clinical evaluation as subject, using the PCBA(Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer), assisted by CDR Volkov as CMO (Crew Medical Officer) for the blood draw. The second part of PHS, Subjective Clinical Evaluation, was performed afterwards. All data were then logged on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) and the hardware stowed. (The PHS exam, with PCBA analysis and clinical evaluation, is guided by special software (IFEP, In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC laptop. While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, the blood's hematocrit is particularly measured by the Russian MO-10 protocol.)

The CDR serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out"-to-vacuum cycle on absorbent bed #2 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated tonight at ~8:45pm EDT. Filter bed #1 regeneration was performed yesterday. (Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods. The BMP's regeneration cycle, normally done every 20 days, is currently performed four times more frequently to remove any lingering Freon-218 from the cabin atmosphere (last time done: 6/19&20).)

Working on the IK0501 GA (gas analyzer), Volkov removed & replaced its O2 transducer of with a spare unit, located by Kononenko on 6/27, and installed a cap on it. (Located in the Service Module (SM) behind panel 449, the IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed).

In preparation for a possible EVA-related contingency involving Soyuz TMA-12/16S relocation on 7/11, FE-1 Kononenko dismantled and removed electronic equipment from the spacecraft's Orbital Module (BO), to be re-installed after a nominal spacewalk. (Removed were the LKT local temperature sensor commutator (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system and its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit. When a Soyuz departs or a Progress is jettisoned, these valuable electronics are retained, to be recycled on a future vehicle.)

Volkov & Kononenko had two hours set aside for an in-depth review of the EVA-20a timeline, watching an uplinked video and tagging up with ground specialists view S-band. (The off-nominal scenario of the crew training involves the case where the DC1 Docking Compartment fails to repressurize after ingress of the two spacewalkers on 7/11. This would necessitate their ingress in the Soyuz and the relocation of the spacecraft, docked to the DC1 nadir port with FE-2 Chamitoff already safely locked out in the 16S Descent Module, to the FGB nadir port after prior separation of the Progress cargo ship. In addition, for the relocation the three crewmembers and the spacecraft will have to be prepared for a return to Earth in the event of a no-docking contingency, and the station will have to be configured for uncrewed operation. The off-nominal scenario currently assumes the following timeline on 7/11 (EDT):

12:20pm: Attitude control handover from USOS CMGs to RS thrusters;
12:30pm: Maneuver to Progress 29P undocking attitude;
1:14pm: 29P undocking from FGB nadir port;
4:13pm: Free drift for Soyuz 16S hooks opening;
5:40pm: Maneuver to 16S undock attitude;
6:27pm: 16S undocking for relocation to FGB nadir port;
6:56pm: 16S docking at FGB nadir port; 8:10pm: Attitude control authority handover from RS to USOS.)
After the review, the CDR & FE-1 had another 90 min for preparing EVA-20a equipment and gathering the necessary tools.

Also in preparation for the Orlan spacewalk, Sergey & Oleg are scheduled later today for the mandatory Russian pre-EVA MedOps procedure MO-6 (hand-cycle ergometry) in the SM, assisting each other in turn and supported by tagup with ground specialists who are to clear them for spacewalking. (Because cosmonauts in early Russian programs have shown noticeable decrease in arm muscle tone, TsUP/IBMP (MCC-Moscow/Institute of Biomedical Problems) physical fitness experts have groundruled the handgrip/arm tolerance test analysis (hand ergometry) as a standard pre-Orlan EVA requirement. For MO-6, the subject dons the ECG (electrocardiogram) biomed harness, attaches three skin electrodes and plugs the harness into the PKO medical exam panel on the cycle ergometer. The other crewmember assists. The 30-min exercise itself starts after 10 seconds of complete rest, by manually rotating the cycle's pedals, set at 150 W, backwards until "complete exhaustion".)

Getting ready for tomorrow's planned troubleshooting of Columbus science equipment, Gregory Chamitoff reviewed CBT (Computer-Based Training) material on the procedures required to safely access and investigate the FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) in COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory). (With the FSL rack powered off, troubleshooting steps include FSL drawer opening, inspecting the CEM (Central Experiment Module), checking out the nonfunctional CEM halogen lamp in the E-Box3, taking photographs of the E-Box3, replacing the lamp with a 1J-delivered spare unit (if found broken) and re-closing the drawers.)

Chamitoff later set up the payload equipment for his second session with the 3D-Space (Mental Representation of Spatial Cues During Space Flight) experiment and then performed the protocol, with all three exercises (distance, illusion, handwriting). After all data were stored on PCMCIA memory card, the ESA multipurpose laptop was shut down and the hardware disconnected & stowed away. (3D-SPACE, a collaboration of ESA and the French space agency CNES (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), is designed to identify accurate visual perception & localization of objects in the space environment as prerequisites for spatial orientation & reliable performance of motor tasks in microgravity. Humans have mental representations of their surroundings based on sensory information & experience. It is hypothesized that depth & distance perception of objects could be altered in space due to the absence of gravitational reference and ambiguous perspective cues. 3D-SPACE investigates (a) depth perception & the role of perspective cues using geometric illusions, (b) distance perception using both standard psychophysics tests & natural three-dimensional scenes presented on a virtual reality head-mounted display, and (c) the effects of cognitive vs. perceptual-motor changes using handwriting & drawing tests.)

After the recent (6/16) water transfer from the WDS (Water Delivery System) of ATV1 'Jules Verne' to an EDV container in the SM for the Elektron electrolysis system, FE-1 Kononenko today again used the electric pump with water transfer hoses & pressure adapter for pumping over more water from WDS tank #1 to an empty EDV.

Gregory conducted the periodic offloading of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier's condensate tank, filling a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1054) with the collected water slated for processing. No samples were required. (Estimated offload time before reaching the tank's neutral point (leaving ~6 kg in the tank): ~30 min. Condensate collection continues to be performed by the CCAA while the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner is off, awaiting its overdue Khladon (Freon-218) refill. SKV-1 has been nonfunctional for a long time.)

Continuing his systems checkout activities in the Kibo JEM (Japanese Experiment Module), today on the CGSE (Common Gas Support Equipment), the FE-2 made connections between its valve unit and four CO2 & Argon GBUs (gas bottle units), then opened the CO2 gas supply to check out the system.

Later today, Greg will also take down the VAJ (Vacuum Access Jumper) connections set up by him on 6/19 from the Kibo WG (Waste Gas) and VV (Vacuum Vent) for initial VV exhaust gas activation.

Sergey Volkov has the task to conduct the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Oleg Kononenko will perform 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 three crewmembers 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), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later tonight, Oleg transfers 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).

The FE-2 again had the option of spending about an hour for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residence, if she/he chooses to take it.

BCC Checkout: Last night, the ground initiated the two-hour standard checkout of BCC (Backup Control Center) Swing and Activation procedures that would be necessary in the event of a flight control transfer from Houston to the HSG (Houston Support Group) at TsUP/Moscow. The checkout, which did not involve the crew, included PPCP (PrePlanned Command Package) and real-time command uplinks from MCC-H via RS ground station (DO4; ~1:40am). (Purpose of the BCC C/O is to demonstrate BCC functionality and provide proficiency training for HSR (Houston Support Room) personnel. Objectives are: successful swing to BCC, command verification via PPCP transmission and real-time command uplink, and ACT (American Contingency Telemetry) verification.)

CDRA Update: Starting at ~9:00am this morning, the US Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly was activated again for two half-cycles to control ppCO2 levels. In this configuration for the daily ops, connecting & disconnecting the ITCS cooling loop is not required. A forward plan for cycling the CSV (CO2 Selector Valve) to prevent its sticking is in work.

Voluntary Science (VolSci) Update: Words of thanks and appreciation were uplinked to Gregory Chamitoff from POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center, Huntsville) ground specialists for his outstanding job yesterday in setting up the new SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), including video configuration and software upload, plus overcoming some minor data comm problems.

No CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today.

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