Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.12.06 - ISS On-Orbit Status 12/06/07

Today's launch of STS-122/Atlantis on Mission ISS-1E was postponed due to failure indications of two (of four) engine cut-off sensors in the Liquid Hydrogen tank during early-morning tanking operations.

The next liftoff opportunity is tomorrow, Friday, at 4:09pm EST.

Aboard the space station, FE-2 Dan Tani again accessed the SLEEP experiment (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) software after wakeup and before breakfast, 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 sixth 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. Yuri copied the data to USB stick for subsequent downlinking via OCA, deactivated all the hardware, and disassembled and stowed it. (Main objective of PK-3 is to study non-linear 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 Today's experiment session was performed with 6.81- and 9.2-micron particles in Argon at different pressure and HF generator power output.)

The FE-1 conducted a search in the RS (Russian Segment) for a 'lost' back-up feeder cable for the Kurs-P systems, to be installed later for using the KURS-P antenna for long-range rendezvous control.

Yuri also conducted an inspection of the BP1A onboard transmitter of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system, located in the SM (Service Module) between panels 309 & 312, for possible malfunction. (The troubleshooting focused on checking how well the device connector is mated to the cabling and whether a bonding strap is present and connected.)

FE-2 Dan Tani performed the periodic deployment of two passive FMK (formaldehyde monitoring kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (below CEVIS) and SM (most forward handrail) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground.

In the Joint Airlock (A/L), CDR Whitson terminated the charge cycle (after approximately 20 hrs) on the supplementary EMU battery started yesterday in the BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly).

Also in the A/L, Whitson and Tani transferred EMUs for 1E.

The FE-2 had time set aside for troubleshooting the television MPC (Multi-Protocol Converter) downlink, going through a number of progressive steps. (Step 1: check cables; step 2: swap IEEE 1394 Firewire; step: 3: swap the MPC.)

Peggy Whitson supported ongoing troubleshooting testing on the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder, preparing for downlinking of log files of the system which is designed to transmit RS analog video signals (as opposed to digital signals) via Ku-band and MPEG-2 'streaming' packets over the U.S. OpsLAN. (Prior end-to-end video test results were not as expected and the downlinked files need to be analyzed on the ground.)

Dan Tani conducted inflight maintenance on the Node-2 ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System)'s MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) by adjusting its fluid sampling adapter metering valve and then taking a fluid sample for return to the ground. Afterwards, Dan repeated the sampling process on the LTL (Low Temperature Loop) side of the Node-2 ITCS.

The CDR meanwhile performed the periodic offloading of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier's condensate tank, filling CWC (Contingency Water Container) #1062 with the collected water slated for processing, and putting aside two water samples in sample bags for analysis. (Estimated offload time before termination (leaving ~6 kg in the tank): ~20 min. There is currently increased attention on water sampling after the discovery of some contaminated CWCs. The identified contaminant, a common soil bacterium (unicellular organism) called Wautersia after Belgian microbiologist Georges Wauters, is no more critical than what is found often in faucet water on the ground or in farm soil. Wautersia lives off hydrogen & carbon dioxide, oxidizing H2 and producing gaseous oxyhydrogen as energy for itself. Since it can turn sugar into a synthetic biodegradable fuel, it was seen for a short while as a promising long-term solution to the petroleum dependency, until it became clear that this 'solution' would require gigantic amounts of expensive sugar.)

Peggy Whitson also conducted the weekly 10-min. CWC 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 CDR took air samples for the periodic (weekly) atmospheric status check for ppO2 (Partial Pressure Oxygen) and ppCO2 (pp Carbon Dioxide), using the hand-held CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen sensor) and CDMK (CO2 Monitoring Kit). Batteries are to be replaced if necessary. (Purpose of the 15-min activity is to trend with MCA (Major Constituents Analyzer), i.e., to correlate the hand-held readings with MCA measurements. O2 sensors checks used #1042, #1063, #1052, #1041. CO2 sensors used are #1013, #1058, #1045. CO2 level in Lab and SM was ~0.44%.)

Yuri Malenchenko 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.)

The FE-1 took photographs behind panel 305 in the SM, to assess the operational temperature environment for the new GTS-2 (Global Timing System 2) experiment.

The FE-2 filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), his 5th, 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.)

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 TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1, FE-2), 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).

At ~10:35am, 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 ~11:45am, Yuri Malenchenko downlinked a PAO TV message of greetings, congratulating the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center personnel and Russia's Federal Security Forces on the 90th Anniversary of Russia's State Security Agency and for successfully completing their Baikonur 2007 International Antiterrorist Exercise.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were S. Georgia Island, S. Atlantic (International Polar Year (IPY) Site. Looking right of track for this remote island. Weather during this pass was expected to be marginal, but the crew was to try for detailed views of the glaciers on the north coast of South Georgia. South Georgia Island is mountainous with active glaciers. It has about 20 inhabitants, mainly scientists of the British Antarctic Survey. King Edward Point is the capital town, with fishing and whaling stations scattered along the more protected, leeside coast, to accommodate seasonal fishing boats. Tourism has recently become the largest income generator), and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya (looking right of track for this peak. Snow-capped peaks can appear visually distinct from cumulus cloud. The ice fields on the summit at 19,000+ feet are melting fast.)

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