Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.11.30 - ISS On-Orbit Status 11/30/07

As is standard for new Expeditions, the two Flight Engineers, Malenchenko and Tani, performed the periodic 3-hr. routine health checkout on the RS (Russian segment)'s STTS telephone/telegraph subsystem.

This includes inspection and audio function checks of all comm panels (PA) in and between the Service Module (SM), FGB and Docking Compartment (DC1), VHF receiver tests, and an audit of headsets. (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. Last time done 4/15/07 by Yurchikhin & Kotov.)

Malenchenko also completed the 2-hr Part 2 of his first onboard 'Profilaktika' (MBI-8, 'Countermeasures') series of preventive health maintenance fitness testing, including ECG (Electrocardiogram), blood test and subjective rating. (Today's fitness test was performed on the TVIS treadmill in unmotorized (idle) mode, with free choice of speeds within the range permitted. The test investigates the action mechanism and efficiency of various countermeasures (currently VELO and TVIS) aimed at preventing locomotor system disorders in weightlessness. The test differs from the normal TVIS session by the use of the TEEM-100 gas analyzer (via a mask equipped with a pneumotachometer sensor), measurement of blood lactate level and subjective evaluation of physical exertion levels during the test. The lactate blood samples were taken twice at the end of the session, using the ACCUSPORT analyzer and REFLOTRON-4 accessories. Results were entered on a log sheet. TEEM and ECG (electrocardiograph) data were 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 via S-band to specialists standing by at TsUP-Moscow.)

Yuri made preparations for another run of the Russian/German TEKh-20 Plasma Crystal-3 Plus (PK-3+) experiment payload by unstowing the hardware, installing it in the SM for operation and photographing the setup. The images were downlinked to TsUP via OCA for inspection, and the FE-1 performed the initial leak check of the PK-3 Electronics Box. More work to come tomorrow. (The experiment is performed on plasma, i.e., fine particles charged and excited by HF (high frequency) radio power inside an evacuated work chamber. Main objective is to obtain a homogeneous plasma dust cloud at various pressures and particle quantities with or without superimposition of an LF (low frequency) harmonic electrical field. The experiment is conducted in automated mode. PK-3+ has more advanced hardware and software than the previously used Russian PKE-Nefedov payload.)

In the Joint Airlock, the CDR started the recharge cycle on the first batch of EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) following their discharge.

Dan Tani continued the daily servicing of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment on its second session. (Today, FE-2 terminated the second vacuum draw on the sample chamber and began the final vacuum draw for Sample #2. This draw will run over the weekend, and sample processing will then begin on Monday.)

In the Soyuz TMA-11/15S, docked to the FGB Nadir port, the FE-1 deactivated the gas analyzer that was running since 11/28.

After partially pressurizing the PMA-2 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 2) to 5 psia on 11/28, CDR Whitson today performed a leak check on the adapter using the installed test equipment (ISA/Internal Sampling Adapter, VAJ/Vacuum Access Jumper, Multimeter and ISA Scopemeter Pressure Probe), then initiated the depressurization of PMA-2 to vacuum until its planned repressurization on 12/7 for 1E docking. The equipment was torn down and stowed.

Peggy Whitson completed late-added preparations for a second overnight Fine Leak Check on the Lab-to-Node-2 vestibule, temporarily removing the IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) supply-&-return jumpers, two ducts and four O-rings, then initiating the vestibule depress. (The test repetition was requested by ground specialists because of inconclusive results of the first 15-hour leak check on the Lab/Node-2 vestibule on 3/27, which appeared to indicate a leak to space of ~3-4 lbs/day but could not be confirmed by a Coarse Leak check or by Whitson with the ULD (Ultrasonic Leak Detector) on 11/28 and may have been a false alarm.)

Due to the late-added vestibule leak check, the scheduled monthly (Week 6) potable water sampling for inflight & post-flight chemical analysis for the CDR was moved to her discretionary 'job jar' task list. (Water samples are collected using jointly approved Russian sampling procedures with the U.S. WS&A (Water Sampler & Archiver) kit for collection. Samples are taken in the SM at the potable water SRV-K hot port and SRV-K warm port and from CWCs (Contingency Water Containers) for the SVO-ZV water supply system.)

Yuri Malenchenko made preparations and set up equipment for tomorrow's scheduled semi-annual inspection and photo-documentation of Service Module (SM) windows, tagging up with ground specialists. To check for new defects, photographs of the window panes will be recorded, along with text files, on the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via U.S. OCA assets. (Objective of the inspection, using digital still camera (Nikon D1X w/SB-28DX flash), voice recorder and a flaw log, is to assess the pane surfaces on SM windows 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 for any changes (new cavities, scratches, new or expanded old stains or discolorations affecting transparency properties) since the last inspection, performed by Oleg Kotov on 6/26/07. The new assessment will be compared to the earlier observations.)

Dan Tani performed his 6th ICEPAC insertion in the MELFI (Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS), retrieving one -32 degC ICEPAC belt from stowage and placing it in Dewar 1/Tray B/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.)

The FE-2 filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his 4th, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). (By means of these FFQs, U.S. 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. At TsUP/Moscow, food specialists are currently preparing the Russian food 'menu' for delivery by Progress M-63/28P next February. 28P will carry 'bonus food' for Peggy and Yuri, plus about 15 kg of fresh food items (apples, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, garlic) in two containers.)

In preparation for 1E, Peggy & Dan performed the usual one-hour review of new uplinked DOUG (Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics) software for tomorrow's standard pre-launch SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) checkout activities. (As part of tomorrow's checkout, the SSRMS will be maneuvered to the position required for 1E by 'walking off' the Lab PDGF (Power & Data Grapple Fixture), grappling the Node-2 PDGF for base change, releasing the Lab PDGF and its joints then moved by JOCAS (Joint Operator Commanded Auto Sequence) through two 'waypoints' to the 1E start position. DOUG is a periodically updated software program on the MSS (Mobile Service System) laptops that provides a birdseye-view graphical image of the external station configuration and the SSRMS arm, showing its real-time location and configuration on a laptop during its operation.))

The crew prepared for STS-122/Atlantis arrival next week by conducting a joint review of cargo transfer requirements (resupply deliveries & return cargo) by going through uplinked draft material on transfer choreography ('who transfers what on which Flight Day') and transfer items.

Dan Tani handled the daily routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, 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.)

The daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance was conducted today by Yuri Malenchenko again as a task item from his voluntary 'time permitting' job list, 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 (FE-1/MBI-8, FE-2), and RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2).

Later, Peggy Whitson copied 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).

At ~8:40am EST, the crew held the regular (nominally weekly) tagup with the Russian Flight Control Team (GOGU), including Shift Flight Director (SRP), at TsUP via S-band/audio, phone-patched from Houston and Moscow.

At ~10:55am, the FE-2 had his weekly PFC (Private Family Conference) via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplinked ground video on the SSC-9 laptop).

At ~2:45pm, the crew is scheduled for their 4th weekly tagup with the Lead Flight Director at JSC/MCC-H via S-band/audio (S/G-2 (Space-to-Ground 2) phone patch via SSC-10 (Station Support Computer 10)).

SARJ Issue Update: Deliberate investigation and strategic planning continue on the ground on the ramifications of the observed damage on the starboard SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) bearing. Work in progress includes consideration of possibly manifesting 12 new TBAs (Trundle Bearing Assemblies) on STS-123/1J/A next February, removing, but not immediately replacing, one TBA on one of the 1E EVAs (i.e., operating SARJ in directed position on only 11 of the 12 TBAs), and much more.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Lawn Hill Impact Crater (this impact site is estimated to be 515 million years old and has been heavily weathered to where what is visible is a very subtle 18-km in diameter feature. It is located just inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia. ISS approach was from the SW in late afternoon sun which may have helped to accentuate the remaining features of the impact in the near-nadir view. Because this feature is so indistinct, it may not actually be visible to the crew, but they simply were to try for a contextual mapping swath over this area, with ground observers then trying to locate it), 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 is marginal with the islands near the NW edge of an extensive cloud field. The crew was to try for detailed views of the glaciers on the north coast of South Georgia), and Patagonian Glaciers (ISS pass was near nadir over the central part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field; the larger of two icefields in the southern Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina. A strong cold front is moving through the region today and clearing from the W is expected tomorrow. As the station approached the coast from the SW just after midday, the crew was to shoot views and details of the less-photographed glaciers on the western flanks of the ice field).

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