Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.12.17 - ISS On-Orbit Status 12/17/07


Underway: 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.)

In preparation for Progress M-62/27P arrival on 12/26 at the DC1 Docking Compartment, Malenchenko and Whitson supported a ground-controlled functions test of the SM (Service Module) & Progress TORU telemanipulator system without Progress DPO thrusters firing. (Commands were entered via the RUO (Rotational Hand Controller) and RUD (Translational Hand Controller), during an RGS (Russian Groundsite) comm pass at 3:22am EST. The TORU teleoperator system provides a manual backup mode to the Progress' KURS automated rendezvous radar system. The two crewmembers will be monitoring the approach and docking of Progress M-62 at the DC1 from the TORU station in the SM.)

FE-1 Malenchenko set up the pumping equipment and initiated (later closed out) the periodic transfer of urine from 3 EDV-U containers in the SM to the Rodnik BV1 tanks of Progress M-61/26P, adding ~5 L of disinfectant solution. (Leak checks performed by the crew on 10/8-9 on the membrane (expulsion bladder) of the Progress' Rodnik BV1 tank showed that BV1 appeared unsuitable for liquid waste transfer due to a small leak in the tank's bladder. Last week, TsUP-Moscow learned from the supplier that the bladder is acceptable for urine transfer provided the KN1 bladder expulsion valve is closed during today's pump-over, i.e., no pressure adapter installed on the bladder outlet. Transfers to the BV2 tanks were performed on 10/23 and 11/15.)

For tomorrow's EVA-13, final preparations by FE-2 Dan Tani & CDR Peggy Whitson today included -

Reconfiguring two DCS 760 digital still cameras for the spacewalk (leaving them connected to station power for now to conserve batteries),
Attaching a tie wrap around one camera's flash (to allow visual identification during EVA),
Setting up 4 batteries in the A/L BSA (Airlock Battery Stowage Assembly) for charging during the prebreathe period and to be installed in the EVA flashes prior to egress,
Powering down onboard amateur (ham) radio equipment (Kenwood in SM, Ericsson in FGB) to prevent RF (radio frequency) interference with the EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit)/spacesuits,
Preparing the A/L EL (Airlock Equipment Lock) for the Campout & spacewalk,
Tagging up with ground specialists at ~8:40am EST for reviewing EVA particulars, and
Undergoing the standard pre-EVA PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.
Also for the spacewalk, FE-1 Malenchenko prepared three Russian 'Pille-MKS' radiation dosimeters, recorded their dosages and equipped each of the two EMUs with a radiation sensor, on the outer surface (A0309/CDR & A0310/FE-2). (A third sensor, A0308, was placed in the SM on the PULT reader for background readings.)

Dan (EV1) and Peggy (EV2) will begin their 'campout' in the A/L with hatch closure and depressurization of the CL (Crewlock) from 14.7 to 10.2 psi at ~2:20-2:50pm, followed by mask prebreathe at ~2:50-4:00pm. Sleep time for the ISS crew begins at 4:30pm. (For the Campout, METOX (Metal Oxide) canisters #0017 & #0019) have been installed in the A/L for CO2 control.)

After the usual hygiene break/with mask prebreathe for Whitson & Tani at ~1:30-2:40am tomorrow morning after spending the night on 10.2 psi campout, the A/L hatch will be closed again by Malenchenko for EVA preps in 10.2 psi, followed by EMU purge (~4:20-4:35am) and prebreathe (~4:35-5:25am). Afterwards, with CL depressurization and EV1/EV2 egress, EVA-13 nominally begins at ~6:00am EST. Yuri will support the spacewalk as IV (Intravehicular) crewmember, keeping tabs with the detailed activity steps and crib sheet.
(EVA-13 is expected to last about 6h 30m. Its objectives are: (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. Note: The A/L repress after crew ingress will use for the first time the new IMV (Intermodular Ventilation) Flange Saver installed by the CDR Whitson in Node-1 on 12/5. The new Flange Saver slows the equalization rate between the A/L and the ISS in the event of an emergency-triggered equalization during EVA campout, protecting the crew from possible ear damage due to the rapid pressure increase in the airlock.)

Malenchenko completed 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.)

Working from his discretionary 'time permitting' task list, Yuri also 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 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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Dan 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).

ITCS Transition: At ~11:15am, the Lab ITCS (Internal Thermal Control System) was switched by ground commanding from Single LTL (Low Temperature Loop) to Single MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) to support offloading of power channel 1A for EVA-13, i.e., provide power balance. Transition back to nominal Single LTL will be on 12/19.

MT Translation: Relocation of the MT (Mobile Transporter) from WS7 (Worksite 7) to WS4, postponed on 12/14 due to a possible obstruction by MLI (Multi-Layered Insulation) on the NTA (Nitrogen Tank Assembly), has now been rescheduled for 12/20 (Thursday). Analysis of the NTA insulation showed that there is sufficient clearance for the roll-over which is intended to provide added protection of the TUS (Trailing Umbilical System) from MMOD (Micrometeoroid/Orbital Debris) between now and Flight 1E.

KURS Radar Antenna Test: The pre-docking test (for Progress M-62/27P) of the KURS automated rendezvous & docking system, performed on 12/13 with off-nominal results for the backup string 2, was repeated on 12/14 & 12/16. After an extended warm-up time for the system (1.5 hrs instead of nominal 30 min), results for string 2 were nominal. Both subsets of the KURS system are now considered ready for the docking, but another test is planned for 12/19-20.

SVK-1 Air Conditioner Restoration: As per report by Moscow this morning at the MMT (Mission Management Team), the Russian air conditioner SKV-1, long nonfunctional due to a blocked line 3 of the BRPK's membrane tank, is now back in service.

No CEO photo targets uplinked for today.

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