Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.12.04 - ISS On-Orbit Status 12/04/07


FE-1 Malenchenko supported the Russian TEKh-20 Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+ (Plasma Crystal-3+) experiment on its fifth day.

After wakeup and before breakfast, FE-2 Dan Tani accessed the SLEEP experiment (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) software for data logging, completing questionnaire entries in the experiment's laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop for later downlink. (To monitor the crewmember's sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dan wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew's discretionary 'job jar' task list.)

FE-1 Malenchenko supported the Russian TEKh-20 Plazmennyi-Kristall/PK-3+ (Plasma Crystal-3+) experiment on its fifth day, first activating the turbopump in the Service Module (SM)'s Transfer Compartment (PkhO) for keeping the vacuum chamber (ZB) in the SM Work Compartment (RO) evacuated, then starting the experiment, terminating it later and performing close-down ops. The turbopump will be deactivated tonight at ~4:25pm EST. (Main objective of PK-3 is to study dust plasma wave propagation and dispersion ratio at a specified power of an alternating electric field, pressure, and a varied number of particles, controlled by the experimenter. Afterwards, Yuri copied the data to USB stick for subsequent downlinking via OCA, and turned off the hardware.)

Before breakfast and exercise, Malenchenko completed his first session with the periodic Russian MedOps test "Hematokrit" (MO-10), measuring red cell count of the blood. (The blood samples were drawn from a finger with a perforator lancet, then centrifuged in two microcapillary tubes in the M-1100 kit's minicentrifuge, and its hematocrit value was read off the tubes with a magnifying glass. It is a well-known phenomenon of space flight that red blood cell count (normal range: 30-45%) tends to go down over time. After the exam, the data were saved in the IFEP software (In-Flight Examination Program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer), and Oleg Kotov stowed the equipment.)

Afterwards, the FE-1 serviced the Russian BMP (Harmful Impurities Removal System), starting the "bake-out" cycle to vacuum on absorbent bed #1 of the regenerable dual-channel filtration system. The regen process will be terminated before sleeptime, at ~2:05pm EST. Regeneration of bed #2 follows tomorrow. (Regeneration of each of the two cartridges takes about 12 hours and is conducted only during crew awake periods.)

CDR Whitson activated the A31p laptop in the FGB for Russian segment (RS) to US segment (USOS) video transmission, after which Malenchenko and Tani conducted the downlink end-to-end testing of streaming video (analog signals) from the Russian TVS television system's KL-211 MPEG-2 TV Encoder via the new JSL (Joint Station LAN) and then to the ground by U.S. OCA.

FE-2 Tani completed his second (and last) on-orbit session with the CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS) experiment, with Peggy Whitson acting as operator, by setting up and donning the Holter Monitor, donning the CBPD (Continuous Blood Pressure Device), performing the Baro Study, doffing the CBPD, and starting the 24-hr passive heart rate data collection. Data are recorded on a PCMCIA memory card, with the HRF (Human Research Facility) rack laptop for control. Data download and equipment stowage is scheduled tomorrow (~7:10am EST) after the 24-hr period. (CCISS studies the effects of long-duration spaceflight on crewmembers' heart functions and their blood vessels that supply the brain (='cerebrovascular'). Learning more about the changes in cardiovascular & cerebrovascular systems in zero-G could lead to specific countermeasures that might better protect future space travelers. For the Baro study of CCIS, heart rate and blood pressure are being recorded for resting and timed breathing for 5 min, with no caffeine or food (water is acceptable) allowed two hours before the start of the Baro Study and no exercise prior to the Baro Study.)

The CDR worked in the Airlock (A/L) to replace one of the two smoke detectors (SDs), which had shown erratic behavior in its data readouts, with a spare. The removed unit was temporarily stowed for later troubleshooting by the crew. (Problems with tool access prevented two of the four fasteners from being installed to the designated torque value. Whitson tightened the two fasteners by hand. The fasteners are captive and no further action is required at this time. The smoke detector is now functioning nominally. During EVA Campout operations, the A/L duct SD is not available. If the A/L cabin SD continued this behavior during campout operations, there would have been the risk of a false fire alarm.)

Also in the A/L, Peggy & Dan conducted the first part of troubleshooting tasks on the ATU-6 (Audio Terminal Unit 6). (This first step was to verify there were no sticky keys on the ATU by pressing the all keys on the ATU keypad while a BIT (built-in test) was running. The test was completed successfully and no anomalies were reported. Troubleshooting will continue tomorrow. The ATU was reported locked up ('frozen') on 10/17and could not be reconfigured or set to Transmit. After cycling the unit out & back into Public Calls mode, the ATU functioned only intermittently.)

The FE-2 meanwhile retrieved a PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) from Node-1 and installed it with its bottle (#1027) and mask (#1032) in the Node-2 aft emergency locker.

Peggy and Yuri each performed the CHeCS CMO (Crew Health Care Systems/Crew Medical Officer) on-board training drill, a 30-min. video & audio refresher course, taken individually, to hone the CMO's acuity in emergency medical operations. (The proficiency drill focuses on re-familiarization with skills and techniques required in procedures related to medical issues arising on board and concludes with a self-assessment questionnaire. The HMS (Health Maintenance Systems) hardware, which includes ACLS (Advanced Cardio Life Support) equipment, may be used in contingency situations where crew life is at risk. To maintain proficiency, crewmembers spend one hour per month reviewing HMS and ACLS equipment and procedures via the HMS CBT (computer-based training) and the ACLS CBT.)

In the A/L, Dan Tani continued prior EVA systems preparations for the 1E spacewalks.

Malenchenko inspected the Russian de-ionized water container (KOV/EDV), used for supplying water to the Elektron electrolytic oxygen (O2) generator, for bubbles and for filling it up, as necessary, with U.S. condensate from a CWC (Contingency Water Container). (Air bubbles larger than ~10 mm in the water must be prevented from getting into the BZh Liquid Unit where they could cause Elektron shutdown.)

Yuri also performed the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.)

Later, the FE-1 handled 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 CDR and FE-2 had 30 min. reserved for a joint review of MSS (Mobile Service System)/Robotics operations planned for the STS-122/1E docked period.

Yuri performed the periodic collection & deletion of readings on the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) radiation sensor reader/display of the RBO-3-2 Matryoshka-R antroph-amorphous (human torso) "phantoms" located inside the station for sophisticated radiation studies, collecting radiation measurements every 15 minutes around the clock.

At the HRF1 (Human Research Facility 1) rack, Whitson deactivated the MedOps cardiac defibrillator and conducted its periodic checkout, which was to be recorded on video and later dumped to the ground (Last time done: 10/16). (This routine maintenance task is scheduled as soon as possible from Expedition start and every 60 days thereafter. For the checkout, the defib is connected to the 120V outlet, equipped with its battery (today #1020) and then allowed to charge, for about five seconds, to a preset energy level (e.g., 100 joules). After the button-triggered discharge, a console indicator signals success or failure of the test. The pacing signal is downlinked via S-band for 1 min. The HRF was powered down afterwards.)

Peggy had another ~130 min set aside to prepack cargo items for transfer to STS-122/Atlantis for return to Earth.

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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, the CDR 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).

Later, the crew conducted a joint review of uplinked STS-122/1E spacewalk procedures and will link up with EVA personnel at MCC-Houston at ~4:00pm via Ku- & S-band to discuss details.

At ~11:25am EST, the crew participated in a live PAO TV interview with the Chicago Sun Times (Andrew Herrmann). In the second part of the comm window, the crew downlinked a deferred release message of greetings to the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival. (The Festival, to be held for the 15th year, this time in Los Angeles instead of Paris, honors the 'Father of Science Fiction' whose name is carried by the first European ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle).)

At ~11:45am, the crew downlinked best wishes and congratulations to Lt. Gen. Vladimir Aleksandrovich Shatalov on the occasion of his 80th birthday next Saturday (12/8). (Shatalov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, is a veteran Pilot-Cosmonaut who flew on Soyuz 4, Soyuz 8, and Soyuz 10, making the first Russian space docking. Later, he served as Commander of GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center) from 1971-1987.)

Node-2 CAA: Twelve of the 20 required liters of condensate have been collected in the Node-2 CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) air conditioner. Node-2 is currently running cold. Moscow has turned off the Russian SKV air conditioner to help in the condensate collection.

Progress 26P Purge: Tomorrow (12/5), TsUP/Moscow will perform a purge of the 26P fuel systems. Enough reserve fuel will be left in 26P for it to support roll control as planned for 1E.

Latest STS-122 Launch Advisory: The launch countdown is going well and there are no significant issues being worked. The launch window opens on Thursday, 12/6, at 4:26pm EST and closes at 4:36pm. The in-plane (optimal) launch time is 4:31pm and provides for a Flight Day 3 rendezvous and docking with the ISS. On 12/6, there is a 0% chance of weather prohibiting tanking and a 10% chance of weather prohibiting launch due to low cloud ceilings. If there is a 24-hour launch delay, the probability of KSC weather prohibiting launch increase to 40% due to low cloud ceilings and a chance of rain showers.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Betsiboka River Delta, Madagascar (Dynamic Event. The estuary of this river has filled with sediment just since WWII, and continues to change rapidly. Deforestation inland in Madagascar appears to be the main cause. Looking left for this coastal target which has been obscured by cloud for weeks), Nairobi, Kenya (Nadir pass over Kenya's capital city. The gray speckled cityscape contrasts with the more uniform national park immediately to the south. A prominent straight border separates the two. The city is one of several whose rapid growth CEO observers are monitoring), and Patagonian Glaciers (weather may have been clear enough to shoot the often obscured glaciers on the cloudy, Pacific side of the Andes. Looking left and right of track for the smaller glaciers).

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