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.)
CDR Whitson (as Operator) and FE-2 Tani (as Subject) conducted the first scanning session for the Braslet experiment (SDTO/Station Development Test Objective-17011), leading off by a material review by Peggy and followed in the afternoon by the actual ultrasound scanning activity on the FE-2 (who had to abstain from caffeine 12 hrs prior to the scan session, heavy meals 4 hrs before and any food at all 2 hrs prior to the scan, plus no exercise 2 hours before and no liquids 30 mins before). (The SDTO-17011 'Validation of On-Orbit Methodology for the Assessment of Cardiac Function and Changes in the Circulating Volume Using Ultrasound and Braslet-M Occlusion Cuffs (Braslet)' is a collaborative effort between NASA and the Russian FSA (Federal Space Agency), with the goal to establish a valid ultrasound methodology for assessing a number of aspects of central and peripheral hemodynamics and cardiovascular function, specifically in rapid changes in intravascular circulating volume. Braslet uses Braslet-M occlusion cuffs, i.e., the Russian-made operational countermeasure already pre-calibrated and available onboard for each ISS crewmember. Braslet employs multiple modes of ultrasound imaging and measurements, in combination with short-term application of Braslet-M occlusive cuffs and cardiopulmonary maneuvers (Valsalva, Mueller) to demonstrate and to evaluate the degree of changes in the circulating volume on orbit. This will be accomplished by performing echocardiographic examinations in multiple modes (including Tissue Doppler mode), ultrasound measurements of lower extremity venous and arterial vascular responses to Braslet-M device under nominal conditions and also during cardiopulmonary Mueller and Valsalva maneuvers. Identical measurements will be repeated without Braslet-M, with Braslet-M applied, and immediately after releasing the occlusion device.)
FE-1 Malenchenko meanwhile worked on the Russian BRPK Condensate Separation & Pumping Unit, disassembling its DU-6 electromagnetic valve into its two halves, inspecting the membrane inner cavities and cleaning the valve of any deposits that could obstruct flow. The valve was then reassembled, reinstalled and tested.
Later, Malenchenko continued the current round of preventive maintenance on the Russian segment (RS) ventilation system, cleaning the TsV1, SV2 & VT7 ventilation system fans in the FGB and changing out the filters in the PF1-4 dust collector cartridges in the SM (Service Module).
Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani completed a major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) task on the Lab ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) by refilling both its MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) and LTL (Low Temperature Loop) lines with coolant fluid, using the FSS (Fluid System Servicer) equipment. (Prior to the refilling activities, Dan Tani had to remove stowage goods temporarily to provide access to the Lab's ITCS rack and clear the way for FSS ops. Crew and Ground activities had to be carefully timed for the loop fills due to the large interaction between the Crew and Ground required in performing this activity. Prior to any Crew action, the Ground configured the system from single loop LT mode to dual loop mode, depressurizing the loops, and configuring software in preparation for ITCS loop fills. Following the loop fills, the Ground returned the ITCS system to its nominal single LT mode, and the ITCS rack was subsequently restowed and put back in action.)
Yuri conducted the regular weekly task of checkout/verification of IP-1 airflow sensors in the various RS hatchways, including the SM- & FGB-to-Soyuz tunnels, and the DC1-to-Progress and FGB-to-Node-1 passageways.
Performing the periodic (generally monthly) service of the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS), the FE-1 removed the PCMCIA memory card #934 from the AST spectrometer's slot and copied the accumulated data for subsequent downlinking via OCA. Card 934 was then bagged for return to Earth and PCMCIA card 940 inserted to continue AST ops.
Using the SKDS CMS (Pressure Control & Atmosphere Monitoring System/Countermeasure System), Malenchenko took readings of potentially harmful contaminants in the SM. The hardware was then returned to initial stowage. (The CMS uses preprogrammed microchips to measure Formaldehyde (H2CO, methanal), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Ammonia (NH3), taking one measurement per microchip.)
The FE-2 checked out the IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) valves on the port & starboard side of the Lab aft
Yuri 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 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 (CDR), 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).
At ~9:10am EST, the crew participated in two PAO TV message/greeting downlinks, the first an improvised Christmas and New Year's greeting from all three, taking turns to talk about the holidays ahead on board, the second addressed to the NASA-sponsored series of 'Future Forums' throughout 2008 in observance with the agency's 50th anniversary, showcasing technology and how NASA's Exploration plans tie in to the future. (The Forums are scheduled for Seattle (Jan. 25, 2008), Columbus, Ohio (Feb. 21), New York City (March), Miami (April), Sacramento (May 2), Boston (September) and Chicago (October 2-3).)
At ~2:00pm, the crew is scheduled for their 5th 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)).
BGA & BCDU Events: On 12/6, BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) 1A experienced an LOC (Loss of Communications) due to multiple occurrences of an overcurrent trip. Also BCDU 3A1 CP RBI (Battery Charge/Discharge Unit/CP Remote Bus Isolator), a fuse-type switch, tripped open on the first event. The RBI was recovered, and there is no additional impact. On BGA 1A, the secondary power feed, RPC2 (Remote Power Controller 2 of RPCM 3A_A (RPC Module), is closed and the primary feed (RPCM 1A_A RPC 1) is open. In this configuration there is a loss of redundancy. After the initial cleanup activities, work is now underway to assess and remedy the situation (which benefits from the 1E mission scrub).
No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today.