Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.12.19 - ISS On-Orbit Status 12/19/07


Today at ~5:30am EST, the ISS, specifically its FGB module, completed 52,000 orbits of the Earth, having covered a distance of 2.

billion kilometers (1.37 billion st.miles) in 3316 days. The 19,300 kg (42,600 lbs) Zarya ('Dawn') was launched on a Russian/Khrunichev Proton from Baikonur over nine years ago (11/20/1998) as the first element of the multi-national space station.<<<<

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.)

For the subsequent METOX (Metal Oxide) CO2 absorption canister regeneration, the FE-2 connected the regular ITCS LTL (Internal Thermal Control System/Low Temperature Loop) coolant jumper to the LAB1D6 rack, to support the ground-commanded activation of the U.S. CDRA (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), and Houston lowered the temperature setpoint to the regular 9.4 degC. (CDRA activation was performed from 4:30-5:30am.)

As part of post-EVA cleanup activities, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko recorded the 'Pille' radiation readings from the EMU-worn (plus one background) 'Pille-MKS' dosimeters in a log table for subsequent downlink to the ground.

Other cleanup activities performed by Dan Tani during the day were -

Disconnecting the UOP DCP (Utility Outlet Panel/Display & Control Panel) bypass power cables at the Lab RWS (Robotics Work Stations), used during the EVA for SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) video coverage,
Powering down the no-longer-needed A31p PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop in the Airlock (A/L), and
Initiating and monitoring regeneration of METOX canisters #0017 & #0019 in the A/L bakeout oven.
At ~8:25am EST, the three crewmembers wrapped up post-EVA activities by discussing the spacewalk in the usual post-EVA debriefing conference with the ground via S-band/audio and Ku-band/MS-NetMeeting application (which displays the uplink on the SSC-10 laptop).

In the Lab, after inspecting, activating and configuring the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility, CDR Peggy Whitson initiated another series of vacuum draws on the sample chamber containing SPU-11 (Sample Processing Unit #11), by opening the vent and vacuum valves, for subsequent CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment ops on its third run, to be controlled by the ground for the next 36 hrs (until 12/22). (CSLM-2 examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid matrix. During this process, small particles shrink by losing atoms to larger particles, causing the larger particles to grow (coarsen) within a liquid lead/tin matrix. This study defined the mechanisms and rates of coarsening that govern the manufacture with metals from turbine blades to dental amalgam fillings.)

In Node-2, the FE-2 restored the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload in the MWA WSA (Maintenance Work Area/Work Surface Area) to nominal operation by setting up Sample 3 and reinstalling the DCS-760 digital still camera, run by an A31p SSC (Station Support Computer) with EarthKAM software for automatically taking flash photography of the sample every two hours over the next several days. Dan checked on correct focus and flash settings, taking manual photos for ground analysis. (The EarthKAM DCS 760 had been temporarily removed on 12/16 for being used for yesterday's EVA.)

FE-1 Malenchenko took the periodic readings of cabin air components with the IK0501 GA (gas analyzer) of the SOGS Pressure Control & Atmospheric Monitoring System in the Service Module (SM), (IK0501 is an automated system for measuring CO2, O2, and H2O in the air as well as the flow rate of the gas being analyzed.)

The FE-1 performed a one-hour O2 (oxygen) refresh of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-61/26P storage tank, to utilize its gas stores prior to its jettisoning on 12/22.

Also in preparation for 26P undocking, Malenchenko worked an hour in the cargo ship to dismantle and remove the LKT local temperature sensor commutator/switch (TA251MB) of the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system, along with its PZU-1M ROM (read-only memory) unit, stowing the avionics items on ISS for reuse in a future vehicle.

Yuri and Peggy had two hours each set aside for finishing up stowing discarded equipment and trash in the 26P cargo ship-turned-trash can while keeping track of movements in the IMS (Inventory Management System).

Malenchenko installed and configured the thermostat-controlled science coolers KUBIK-1 & KUBIK-2 in the SM and transferred their stored data via data cable and PCMCIA card to the RSE1 laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground over the BSR-TM payload channel. The KUBIK refrigerators were then deactivated, removed and put back in stowage in the FGB.

Dan Tani today 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 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 Malenchenko conducted 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 (CDR, FE-2), TVIS treadmill (FE-1), RED (CDR, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, the FE-2 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 ~1:25pm EST, Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani supported two PAO TV interviews of 6 minutes each, one with CBS News (Bill Harwood), the other with ABC News (Victor Ratner). Afterwards, the CDR downlinked a TV message to MCC-H for taping on the occasion of NASA's upcoming Day of Remembrance, to be broadcast on NASA TV and used at other NASA occasions marking those solemn days. (NASA's Day of Remembrance, the final Thursday in January (this time 1/31/08), commemorates and honors the fallen heroes of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia and all of those who have given their lives in the cause of exploration and discovery. In their memory, flags across the agency will fly at half-staff.)

KURS Tests: After the two pre-docking tests for Progress M-62/27P of the KURS automated rendezvous & docking system on 12/14 & 12/16, two additional tests are being performed today and tomorrow to confirm positive test results. (Test results for the previously (12/13) failed KURS String 2 subset were nominal, but only after an extended warm-up time for the system (1.5 hrs instead of nominal 30 min). Today's and tomorrow's testing should provide more assurance of adequate functioning for the docking on 12/26 (~3:25am).)

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), will take place tomorrow (12/20) at ~10:55am-12:55pm. (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 STSA-122/1E.)

MPEG-2 Testing: The recent end-to-end testing of analog & digital video transmission & downlinking from the Russian Segment (RS) via the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder and Ku-band in 'streaming video' packets over the U.S. OpsLAN has to date yielded results that are unacceptable for ATV1 'Jules Verne' docking. To obtain more data, a repeat of the end-to-end test is planned for tomorrow (~2:00pm) with some modifications, preparatory to using the video linkup during the Progress 26P undocking on 12/21 (Friday).

Power Management Update: Yesterday after the EVA-13, DLA-1 (Drive Lock Assembly 1) of the Stbd SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) was re-engaged, moded to Directed Position and moved to safe parking at 45 deg. Between 1:37-2:07pm EST, with the SPS (Secondary Power System) temporarily powered down, ground commanding then transferred power loads on the 1A channel to the 4A channel via the MBSUs (Main Bus Switching Units) by means of the SPCH (Seamless Power Channel Handover) technique. This was necessitated by the limited power generation caused by the combination of Stbd SARJ anomalies, BGA 1A trips and the high Sun Beta angle period just ahead. Channel 1A is now in the so-called 'parachute mode' as backup to channel 4A which carries the loads. (SPS was powered up again yesterday at 2:30-2:45pm.)

Onboard Work Look-ahead: The following tasks are being considered for Stage 10A (i.e., between now and 1E): OGS (Oxygen Generation System) activation (from Stage 1E), Regenerative ECLS modification kit, RPCM (Remote Power Controller Module) replacements in cases where RPCs have been open for some time, and R&R (removal & replacement) of ER1 (EXPRESS Rack 1)'s leaky water valve. Over the holidays, the crew will be busy with payloads ops.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Walvis Bay dunes, Namibia (Dynamic event. Viewing conditions improve as winter coastal fog is reduced with the onset of southern spring. Fast-moving dunes (meters per year) on the Namibian coast leave tracks ('footprints') that are thought to be analogs for hard-to-interpret features seen in many Mars impact craters. A mapping pass on the inshore margin of the small fishing port of Walvis Bay, where these features are known, was requested. Sun angles were ideal), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Addis is seldom clear of cloud cover. The city has a population of more than 3 million. As the capital of Ethiopia and home of the African Union, it has communities representing 80 nationalities. It is growing fast, and CEO observers requested images of the urban fringe where change is focused), and Chari River Basin, Chad (Dynamic event. The imaging window between summer cloud and winter smoke haze in the Sahel allows documentation of the complex landscape south of Lake Chad. Major rivers are depositing sediment in the form of several very large fanlike features, both active and inactive. The active fans change constantly. ISS/CEO imagery helps understand these changes. A mapping pass along track at nadir and a touch left, was requested. Recent research suggests that the huge sediment fans may be a good analog for some rock units on Mars).

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