Ahead: Week 9 of Increment 16.
After wakeup and before breakfast, FE-2 Dan Tani again accessed the SLEEP experiment (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) software for data logging and 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.)
The crew began preparations for the spacewalk (EVA-13) on 12/18 (Tuesday), starting with FE-2 Dan Tani printing out uplinked EVA procedures/timeline material which was then reviewed jointly by all crewmembers (covering SARJ overview, BGA inspection, updated EVA-13 procedures and the usual EVA crib sheet with contingency actions). (The spacewalk, scheduled to begin at approximately 6:00am and to last ~6.5 hrs, has two major objectives: (1) Inspection of 1A BGA (Beta Gimbal Assembly) and BMRMM (Bearing Motor Roll Ring Module, 'broom'), including assisting fault search by the ground by disconnecting/reconnecting cables and possibly performing an R&R (removal & replacement) of the 1A ECU (Electronic Control Unit) on the S4 truss; (2) inspection and photo documentation of the Stbd SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint), including temporary removal of protective MLI covers (8 double-wide, 12 single-wide, plus 2 DLA/Drive Lock Assembly covers), debris removal, DLA inspection, finally unbolting (3 bolts) & removing TBA-5 (Trundle Bearing Assembly #5) for return to Earth.)
In Node-2, the FE-2 discontinued picture taking on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload and deinstalled the EarthKAM DCS 760 digital still camera, which will be used for the EVA. The equipment will be returned to BCAT-3 photography on 12/19 after the EVA is complete.
In the course of the day CDR Peggy Whitson and FE-2 Dan Tani worked in the Airlock (A/L) where they -
Initiated (later terminated) recharging the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) batteries and two batteries for the DCS 760 camera;
Configured the camera for taking outside;
Prepared EVA tools required for the spacewalk activities;
Consolidated the contents of two PWRs (Payload Water Reservoirs, #1023 & #1025) in a third PWR #1024), yielding approximately 9 lbs of water (PWR can contain up to 20 lbs), then
Degassed PWR #1024 and inspected #1005 to degas if necessary (i.e., manually removing gas bubbles to minimize the amount of air introduced into the EMU feedwater tanks);
Checked out the EMU spacesuits (#3006 for Tani, #1005 for Whitson);
Resized the EMU that had been modified for 1E/Love;
Equipped EMU #3006 with its REBA (Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly) and checked out #1005's already-installed REBA;
Installed and checked out the METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canisters in the suits, and
Tagged up with the ground at ~10:05am EST to discuss EVA/timeline particulars.
FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko meanwhile performed a refresh of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-61/26P section 2 storage tank, to utilize its gas stores prior to its jettisoning on 12/22.
The FE-1 also completed the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the Service Module (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. Weekly SOZh reports (on Sundays) to TsUP/Moscow deal with number & dates of water and urine containers, counter readings of water consumption & urine collection, and total operating time of the POTOK air filtration system.)
At ~2:30pm, Dan Tani 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).
The crewmembers performed 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 (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).
Still on Yuri's 'time permitting' job list was 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.
A second job item on the FE-1's discretionary list for today was another KPT-3 session to make observations and take aerial KPT-3 photography of environmental conditions for Russia's Environmental Safety Agency (ECON) using the Nikon D1X digital camera with SIGMA 300-800mm telephoto lens. (KPT-3 photography has been a frequent earth observing experiment for ECON.)
Also on the voluntary task list for Yuri was a late-added session of the Russian "Uragan" (hurricane) earth-imaging program, using the Nikon D2X digital camera with 800 mm focal length lenses to take pictures of the Kerch Strait at low sun angle to record an oil spill, the aftermath of a ship wreck in the strait during a recent hurricane. (According to media report an oil spill covering several kilometers was spotted on 12/4. Also a target region for Uragan photography for today were glaciers of northern and southern islands of New Zealand in nadir.)
No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.