Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.12.11 - ISS On-Orbit Status 12/11/07

FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko underwent the periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 ('Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest') on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System).

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 Yuri Malenchenko underwent the periodic (generally monthly) health test with the cardiological experiment PZEh MO-1 ('Study of the Bioelectric Activity of the Heart at Rest') on the TVIS (Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System). (During the 45-min. test, the FE-1 tagged up with ground specialists on a Russian ground site (RGS) pass via VHF (~4:32am EST) and downlinked data from the Gamma-1M ECG (electrocardiograph) for about 5-6 minutes.)

Later, Malenchenko also conducted a run with the Russian MBI-21 PNEVMOKARD experiment, his second on-orbit session (which forbids moving or talking during data recording). The experiment is controlled from the RSE-Med A31p laptop, equipped with new software, and uses the TENZOPLUS sphygmomanometer to measure arterial blood pressure. (PNEVMOKARD (Pneumocard) is an attempt to obtain new scientific information to refine the understanding about the mechanisms used by the cardiorespiratory system and the whole body organism to spaceflight conditions. By recording (on PCMCIA cards) the crewmember's electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, low-frequency phonocardiogram (seismocardiogram), pneumotachogram (using nose temperature sensors), and finger photoplethismogram, the experiment supports integrated studies of (1) the cardiovascular system and its adaptation mechanisms in various phases of a long-duration mission, (2) the synchronization of heart activity and breathing factors, as well as the cardiorespiratory system control processes based on the variability rate of physiological parameters, and (3) the interconnection between the cardiorespiratory system during a long-duration mission and the tolerance of orthostatic & physical activities at the beginning of readaptation for predicting possible reactions of the crewmembers organism during the their return to ground.)

In the Lab, after inspecting, activating and configuring the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility, FE-2 Tani initiated amother vacuum draw on the sample chamber (by opening the vent and vacuum valves) for subsequent CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment ops for its third run. (Ground analysis of the downlinked data for SPU-2 (Sample Processing Unit #2), which ran from 12/3-12/5, indicated excellent science results (samples to be are returned to Earth), boding well for SPU-3 which the ground started today.)

Using a printout of the IMS PiP (Inventory Management System/Plug-in Plan) tool, CDR Peggy Whitson spent about 3 hrs on the periodic PiP audit, focusing on Lab, Node-1 and Airlock. (Node-2 not required. The PiP is a tabular compilation listing locations where on-board electrical equipment is plugged in.)

Yuri Malenchenko had several hours reserved for maintenance work on the ATV PCE (Automated Transfer Vehicle/Proximity Communications Equipment; Russian: MBRL) in the Service Module (SM), installing and connecting its antenna switching control box (BUAP) to the onboard cabling system (BKS) for ground-commanded testing. (The MBRL components are the space-to-space radio 'monoblock' (PCE Z0000), the antenna switching control box (BUAP), and the ATV control panel (PU) which Valery Tokarev dismantled last year (March 2006) after (reportedly successful) three-day end-to-end testing.)

The FE-2 conducted more inflight coolant sampling 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 another periodic fluid sample for OPA (Ortho-Phthalaldehyde) testing (with test strips). The sampling process for OPA was then repeated on the LTL (Low Temperature Loop) side of the Node-2 ITCS and subsequently also on the MTL loop of the Lab ITCS. (OPA, an antimicrobial agent, was introduced into the Lab ITCS coolant by the AmiA (Antimicrobial Applicator), before the AmiA was removed again on 11/2 by Clay Anderson for Earth return.)

Peggy Whitson checked out IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) performance between the US (USOS) and Russian segment (RS) by first using the Velocicalc meter to take airflow measurements at fan sites, then cleaning the inlet flow straighteners at the Node-1 & Lab aft port ventilators and finally again measuring their airflow rates. (After FOD (Foreign Object Debris) removal by Peggy, flow rate increased from 75 cfm (cubic feet /minute) to 106 cfm (i.e., nominal). There is no direct measurement of airflow except as reflected by differences in atmosphere partial pressures measured between the RS and USOS. ppCO2 (CO2 partial pressure) is a good yardstick since an increasing ppCO2 in the Lab not reflected in the SM indicates that Vozdukh is not receiving the air from the Lab at an efficient rate. Periodic air flow degradation checks support establishing a most effective fan cleaning schedule.)

Dan Tani and Peggy (from 'job jar' task list) had 75 min set aside for replacing a failed PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), used for updating the IMS, with a new PDA. (PDA #1010 (with failed display) was replaced by PDA #1004; the latter was then equipped with the battery from #1010 and reloaded with uplinked BCR (Barcode Reader) software to recover BCR functionality for the IMS.)

Dan also set up the EPO (Educational Payload Operations) PD-100 camcorder for downlinking his subsequent EPO Demo of 'Living on the Station', taking the viewersx through the living area of the ISS and explaining its utilization by the crew. (The activities were downlinked in real-time video/audio via Ku- & S-band and taped on the ground. Peggy's EPO demo of 'Sanitation on the Station' of 12/7, discussing "house-cleaning" methods and the importance of good sanitation onboard ISS, received great kudos by ground specialists for its excellence.)

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).

On the RED (Resistive Exercise Device), the FE-2 performed the periodic (every two weeks) inspection of the canister cords and accessories. The maintenance today also included tightening the RED hardmount plate bolts on the Node-1 'ceiling', done once every 6 months.

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

Afterwards, Tani 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 ~11:50am EST, Dan 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).

Stage EVA Planning: Because of the Mission 1E stand-down till early January (based on solar Beta angle restrictions, not on anticipated time for resolving ECO/Engine Cut-off sensor issues), teams are currently assessing a possible Stage-10A EVA (on or around 12/18) for in-situ inspection & photography of the damaged starboard SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) and also the 1A BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) on the S4 truss, particularly its BMRRM (Bearing Motor Roll Ring Module). (Background: On 12/8, a currently unknown anomaly caused a trip of three separate power feeds going through the BMRRM to the BGA ECU (Electronics Control Unit), resulting in loss of redundancy (i.e., the ECU remains powered by the redundant feed; the primary feed is off). To protect for 1E docking, the 1A BGA was then parked at 79 degs and latched.)

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were Ganges River Delta (ISS flew over the easternmost portion of the Ganges Delta, near the border region of India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The crew was to shoot to the left of track for the Delta. Overlapping mapping frames along-track were requested to document stream channel and coastal morphology), South Tibesti Megafans (ISS orbit track was to the SE of a series of large fanlike spreads of sediment, hundreds of km long and wide, that extend southward from the Tibesti Mts into central Chad. A discontinuous overlapping pattern of former stream channels, large and small, suggests that the entire surface of the megafans was formed by the action of rivers shifting across the surface when the regional climate was wetter. This megafan structure also serves as a potential analog for channel structures on Mars. Looking to the left of track for the channel pattern; oblique imagery will aid geolocation of higher resolution nadir imagery), Oasis Impact Crater, Libya (Libya contains several recognized impact structures of various ages and sizes. ISS passed over two of these craters; the first encounter was with the Oasis Crater. This crater appears as a circular structure of dark rocks contrasting sharply with the surround desert. Overlapping mapping frames, along-track and begun as the station approached the target coordinates, were suggested to ensure capturing imagery of the crater), and B.P. Structure, Libya (looking slightly to the left of track after passing over the previous Oasis Crater target. The B.P. Structure is roughly one-quarter the size of the Oasis Crater, and has less contrast with the surrounding desert. As with the previous target, overlapping mapping frames provide the best chance of capturing imagery of the impact structure).

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