Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.11.29 - ISS On-Orbit Status 11/29/07

Upon wakeup, FE-1 Malenchenko terminated his third MBI-12 SONOKARD experiment session by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground.

(SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.)

Before breakfast, CDR Whitson, Malenchenko and FE-2 Tani performed the periodic Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement (3rd for CDR & FE-1, 2nd for FE-2), using the IM mass measurement device which Malenchenko afterwards broke down for stowage. (Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember's mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.)

Yuri also completed a 2-hr session of Part 1 of his first onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') series of preventive health maintenance fitness testing, starting with the VELO stationary cycle ergometer. (Tomorrow (11/30), Yuri will do the second part of the test on the TVIS treadmill. Test procedure for MBI-8 is identical to the Russian MO-5 assessment, but in addition to the nominal protocol 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 were also called down to specialists standing by at TsUP.)

Peggy Whitson continued the daily servicing of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment on its second session, which yesterday included successful ground-commanded reprogramming of the ECU (Electronic Control Unit). (Today, the CDR reset the MSG WV (Microgravity Science Glovebox Work Volume) to its nominal configuration and opened the vent & vacuum valves to initiate the required vacuum draw on the sample chamber.)

The crew worked through the regular Fire OBT (on-board training), a mandatory periodic one-hour drill with the primary goal of providing the station residents with the most realistic emergency training possible, supported by ground specialist tagup. The drill is always conducted with the support of both MCCs in close coordination. (OBT objectives are to (a) practice fire response procedures (FRPs) and all incorporated actions for the case of a software-detected fire to locate, extinguish, and verify extinguishing attempts; (b) browse through RS laptop and the Signal-VM fire detection system displays as well as the automated software (algorithms) response to the fire event; (c) practice interaction/communication among the crew and with MCC necessary to perform emergency FRPs; and (d) update the locations of support hardware (CSA-CP compound specific analyzer-combustion products, PBA portable breathing apparatus, IPK-1M gas masks and OKR-1 fire extinguishers. Emergency procedures are documented in the EMER-1 and EMER-2 books. These exercises do not actually use any fire equipment but simulate such actions to the maximum extent possible. The OBT concluded with a 15-min. debrief with Russian/U.S. ground specialists via S-band at ~12:10pm EST.)

Afterwards, the crew also performed the mandatory 90-min. New Module Delta Emergency Procedure drill, intended to familiarize the station residents with the changes associated with the arrival of a new module, to be conducted not later than 7-10 days after berthing. (The OBT focused, among else, on identifying and memorizing the location of emergency equipment in Node-2 including hatches and passageways, and with changes to the emergency procedures associated with the new module. Equipment and locations reviewed include PBAs and PBA O2 ports, PFEs (portable fire extinguishers), valves for positive & negative pressure relief, manual pressure equalization, and IMV (Intermodular Ventilation). With the arrival of Node-2 (and Columbus next week), more volume is available in the decision-making process regarding the use of the U.S. segment (USOS) atmosphere for Russian segment (RS) leaks (EMER-1).)

FE-2 Tani reconfigured the Lab THC CCAA (Temperature & Humidity Control Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner, swapping it from its portside channel to the alternate system on the starboard side of the Lab, then switching the ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) accordingly, i.e., from port to starboard. (The CCAA is a network of ducting that draws in the air through filters, delivers it for conditioning, and returns it to the modules. The swap-over between the CCAA channels is generally done by the crew once a month, with ground support, to dry out the heat exchanger of the deactivated side. MCC-H commands the required systems configurations for the dryout via S-band.)

After reviewing the video tape of their last (Thanksgiving Day) training session for the Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) picture-taking, Whitson and Malenchenko conducted another standard 30-min RPM imaging skill training, Peggy's fourth, Yuri's fifth, using DCS-760 digital still cameras in the Service Module (SM) to take photos of an Orbiter cut-out for practice, using the 400mm & 800mm telephoto lenses. (The skill training prepares crewmembers for the bottomside mapping of the Orbiter at the arrival of STS-122/1E next week. During the RPM at ~600 ft from the station, the ISS crew will have only ~90 seconds for taking high-resolution digital photographs of all tile areas and door seals on the Atlantis from SM windows 6 & 8, 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.)

Afterwards, Whitson worked with the DCS-760 still cameras, taking blank and white images with each camera to 'clean' and calibrate the CCDs (Charge-Coupled Devices). The test photos were stored on a 1GB Microdrive PCMCIA and downlinked to MCC-Houston for determining which cameras will be used for the actual RPM activities.

In the Joint Airlock (A/L), the CDR continued the daily troubleshooting of the leaking UIA (Umbilical Interface Assembly)'s O2 supply line by mating PHA (Prebreathe Hose Assembly) 'Tee' connectors to one PHA port at a time, in order to determine which of them is leaking as well as what type of leakage that PHA port is experiencing. (Each setup takes about 5 min, followed by ~24 hours of unattended test.)

Dan Tani performed his fifth ICEPAC insertion in the MELFI (Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS), retrieving two more -32 degC ICEPAC belts from stowage and placing them in Dewar 2/Tray C/Section 4 & Tray D/Section 4. (The reason the crew is currently performing several ICEPAC insertions is because the amount of warm mass that can be placed in a dewar at one time is limited by the allowable temperature rise. These activities are in preparation for the next Cold Bag packing, planned for STS-122/1E.)

Peggy Whitson conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC (Contingency Water Container) audit as part of on-going WDS (Water Delivery System) assessment of onboard water supplies. (Updated 'cue cards' based on the crew's water calldowns are sent up every other week. The current cue card, to be updated with today's data, lists 26 CWCs ~1093 liters total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (793.6 l, for Elektron, flushing, hygiene), potable water (221.3 l), condensate water (51.5 l), waste/EMU dump and other (26.6 l). Two CWCs (#1004 & #1081, ~89 l ) with potable water have been put off limits due to the Wautersia bacteria found in sample analysis, the source of which is still not understood. Impact of losing this potable CWC is negligible since there are sufficient drinking water supplies onboard. Also currently not to be used are nine CWCs with technical water (~389 l).)

Malenchenko conducted the second recharging of the Motorola Iridium-9505A satellite phone brought up on Soyuz 15S, a monthly routine job. (After retrieving it from its location in the TMA-11/15S descent module (BO) at ~3:35am EST, Yuri initiated the recharging of its lithium-ion battery, monitoring the process every 10-15 minutes as it took place. Upon completion at ~5:00am, the phone was returned inside its SSSP Iridium kit and stowed it back in the BO's operational data files (ODF) container. The satphone accompanies returning ISS crews on Soyuz reentry & landing for contingency communications with SAR (Search-and-Rescue) personnel after touchdown (e.g., after an 'undershoot' ballistic reentry). The Russian-developed procedure for the monthly recharging has been approved jointly by safety officials. During the procedure, the phone is left in its fire-protective fluoroplastic bag with open flap.)

The FE-1 completed the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module), including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists among else of replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.)

Yuri also conducted 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 crewmembers 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), RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1/MBI-8).

Later, Peggy copied the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) 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 transferred the video footage of yesterday's TVIS workout from camcorder to VTR (Video Tape Recorder) for subsequent downlink to the ground via Ku-band, swapped tapes between VTR1 & VTR2 and then disassembled and stowed the video equipment.

In preparation for the upcoming EVAs during the STS-122 docked period, the CDR spent time in the A/L with her camcorder to record a video tour of the interior layout, for review by the 1E spacewalkers for their familiarization with current equipment locations, etc.

At ~3:50am, Yuri linked up with TsUP stowage specialists via S-band to conduct the weekly IMS tagup, discussing stowage issues and equipment locations. (Issues of discussion today included the stowage location of Elektron water samples collected on 11/23 and any vacant stowage spots in the FGB for cargo to be delivered on the next Progress (M-62/27P).)

At ~1:40pm, the crew will participate via S-band/audio phone patch in the traditional official plaque hanging in ISS Mission Control/Houston for the Mission 10A Plaque.

Afterwards, ~2:25pm, Peggy, Dan and Yuri will conduct their standard bi-weekly teleconference with the JSC Astronaut Office (Steve Lindsey), via S-band S/G audio.

PMA-2 Leak Test: The PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2), now that it has been berthed to Node-2 Forward, was pressurized yesterday by the crew to 5 psia for a leak check and is currently still in the required 24-hour hold.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were S. Georgia/S. Sandwich (South Georgia Island is an arching, mountainous and glaciated island that lies about 860 miles ESE of the Falkland Islands. The South Sandwich Islands form a separate island group and are to the SE. Weather satellite imagery suggested a clearing trend from the west by the time of this ISS pass, late in the morning. The crew was asked to try for detailed views of the glaciers on the north coast of South Georgia, right of track), and Patagonian Glaciers (ISS pass was near-nadir over the northern part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the larger of two icefields in the southern Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina. As the station approached the coast from the SW in late morning light, the crew was to look for views and details of the less-photographed glaciers on the northwestern and northern flanks of the ice field).

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