Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.07.01 - ISS On-Orbit Status 07/01/08

Today 46 years ago (7/1/62), Cape Canaveral, FL was established as NASA's Launch Operations Center, under its first director, Dr. Kurt Debus.

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

As part of the crew's regular morning inspection tour, FE-1 Kononenko began his workday with the routine checkup of DC1 (Docking Compartment) circuit breakers and fuses. (The monthly checkup in the 'Pirs' module looks at AZS circuit breakers on the BVP Amp Switch Panel (they should all be On) and the LEDs (light-emitting diodes) of 14 fuses in fuse panels BPP-30 & BPP-36.)

After resetting STTS communication/telemetry links for their stay in the DC1, Volkov & Kononenko continued preparations for the Orlan EVA-20A on 7/10. Today's focus, supported by ground specialist tagup, dealt with -

Configuring an onboard mockup of one of the 10 triangular truss segments between the Soyuz Descent Module (SA) and Instrumentation Compartment (AO) which are holding the twin pyrobolt-equipped locks and pushers for the module separation, and
Working with various devices and tools on the mockup to try out and rehearse the removal of a pyrobolt during the EVA-20A. (Background: Main objective of the spacewalk is the inspection of the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft at its first separation plane (Plane I) and the removal of one pyrobolt for return to Earth. Before their separation during entry, SA & AO are connected by five locks, each 'zamok' containing two pyrobolts (explosive bolts) with individual electrical connection, of which only one needs to fire to release the lock. The locks are equally spaced around the 360-degree circumference of the separation plane, i.e., 72 deg apart. After the five locks have released, five spring-loaded pushers, also equally spaced, separate the two modules by spring force. Each lock and pusher is located at the apex of two triangularly arranged aluminum pipes, i.e., altogether 20 inclined pipes, which make up the open truss structure between the modules. Since not all locks separated nominally during the reentry of Soyuz TMA-11 on 4/19/08, investigations are focusing on the separation mechanisms.)
Afterwards Sergey & Oleg restored the nominal STTS comm settings in the DC1.

FE-2 Chamitoff meanwhile performed the planned FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) troubleshooting in the Columbus module, going through the procedural steps reviewed yesterday. With the FSL rack powered off and ground support via S- & Ku-Band voice communication & video downlink established, troubleshooting activities called for -

Removing front gap protections on the FSL rack,
Opening the FSL drawers,
Accessing the CEM (Central Experiment Module) E-Box3 and removing its halogen lamp,
Verifying if the lamp is broken, and, if so,
Replacing it with a spare unit delivered on 1J, after inspecting the spare for damages or debris, followed by
Photodocumenting the E-Box3 lamp after installation, and
Closing the FSL drawers and reattaching the gap protectors.
The FE-1 performed the periodic memory card replacement and functional checkout of the Matryoshka-R (RBO-3-2) radiation payload which is using the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS/ALC) with its Spectrometer (AST) and ALC equipment on FGB panel 429. (Oleg replaced the ALC-949 PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) card with a new one (#950) for testing the AST to continue Matryoshka operation. He then used the RSK1 laptop for briefly checking the new 950 card after 5-7 min of AST activity for quantity & total size of its stored file, before re-installing it in the AST. Card 949 was stowed for return to earth.)

Later today, Greg Chamitoff is scheduled to conduct the periodic nitrogen (N2) pressure check on the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS). (Nitrogen is the working fluid used by MELFI's cooling system, based on the Reverse Brayton Thermodynamic Cycle. The cooling engine, a Brayton Machine (BM), works with a compression wheel and expansion wheel on the same shaft supported by a gas bearings system. The BM can rotate at speeds up to 96,000 rpm depending on the cooling requirements. After the N2 is cooled in the BM, it is distributed to each of four independently-controlled, thermally-insulated volumes (Dewars). The N2 loop is a closed system, i.e., the gas never comes in contact with the samples in the dewars.)

Sergey Volkov had 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 (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). Later tonight, Kononenko 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 three crewmembers were scheduled for their regular periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Gregory at ~11:25am, Oleg at ~4:15pm, Sergey at ~5:25pm.

At ~1:00pm EDT, Gregory Chamitoff was interviewed in a 10-min. PAO TV event with KPIX-TV, San Francisco, CA.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Mississippi floods (Dynamic event. Floods are cresting in the St Louis-Cape Girardeau stretch of the Mississippi River. St Louis harbor is closed to barge traffic. Looking left for the Mississippi River and St Louis. Weather was expected to be 'mostly sunny'), and Pilcomayo River dynamics, Northern Argentina (this ISS pass almost paralleled the course of the failing Pilcomayo River. This river has special geological interest because it is blocking its own course with sediment, and spilling out onto the surrounding flatlands, at the point near where the track crosses the course. Also, this river has built the largest megafan (inland delta) on Earth. Wider views slightly right then left of nadir with the 180 lens will capture the engineering canals put in place by Argentina and Paraguay to maintain flow of the river (which defines the international boundary)).

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