Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.12.31 - ISS On-Orbit Status 12/31/07


New Year's Eve....16 times for the Expedition 16 crew of CDR Peggy Whitson, FE-1 Yuri Malenchenko and FE-2 Dan Tani while counting down to 2008!

Crew off-duty day. Underway: Week 11 of Increment 16.

Peggy and Dan began the day with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data accumulated during the night, for logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment 's session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink. (To monitor the crewmembers ' sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dan and Peggy wear 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 CDR continued her support of the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility. (Today, Whitson activated the MSG, closed the vacuum vent, checked for acceptable humidity levels, and opened the SPU-10 (Sample Processing Unit #10) water valve to initiate unattended vacuum preparation. Later, in Step 2, she reset MSG, closed the water valve, again checked for acceptable humidity levels in the sample chamber, then opened the vent & vacuum valves to initiate the required vacuum draw on the sample chamber. 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.)

Peggy also checked the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS) to see whether its current N2 (nitrogen) pressure is in acceptable range.

FE-2 Tani performed the daily status check on the BCAT-3 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-3) science payload, running by itself in Node-2 since 12/13 (briefly interrupted for EVA-13 photo support). The status check, conducted on the last image taken by the DCS 760 digital still camera which is controlled by EarthKAM software on an A31p laptop, is to verify proper image focus and camera alignment. (The SSC (Station Support Computer) is taking photography of the phase separation occurring in the BCAT Sample 3, with the photo flash going off every half hour.)

Dan also worked on the OpsLAN (Operations Local Area Network), disconnecting the IBM 760XD laptop from the OCA router assembly and stowing it away for use as a future Russian spare.

The CDR ran the periodic check of active U.S. payloads, i.e., cleaning the ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) inlet plus inspecting and filter cleaning of the CGBA-5 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5) incubator payload. (The CGBA incubator is controlled from the ground, with automatic video downlinked to Earth. ANITA continues to collect data every six seconds and downlinks the data daily to the ground team. ANITA monitors low levels of potential gaseous contaminants in the ISS cabin atmosphere with a capability of simultaneously monitoring 32 gaseous contaminants. The experiment is testing the accuracy and reliability of this technology as a potential next-generation atmosphere trace-gas monitoring system for ISS and future spacecraft. This is a cooperative investigation with ESA.)

FE-1 Malenchenko dumped application software log files from the Russian BVS (Onboard Computer System) RS3 laptop to a CD-ROM disk for subsequent downlink to the ground.

Whitson & Tani assembled and configured new equipment from the ACS (Atmosphere Control System) modification kit for installation in the Regenerative ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System). (In support of the activities, the ground temporarily deactivated the LAB1PD1 rack smoke detector.)

Malenchenko completed of the routine servicing of the SOZh system (Russian ECLSS) in the SM (Service Module). (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.)

With the Elektron oxygen (O2) generator turned off since 12/28, Yuri performed a 1-hour O2 repress of the cabin atmosphere from Progress M-62/27P storage tankage. (The Elektron will remain powered down until 1/9/08 to conserve hardware lifetime. During this time, the station will be periodically repressurized with oxygen from Progress 27P.)

The crew worked out in their regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise 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 resistive exerciser (CDR, FE-2), and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).

Afterwards, Dan 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 ~5:40am EST, Peggy & Dan supported an interactive PAO interview event on ABC-TV 's 'Good Morning America' (David Muir), via Ku- and S-band.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today again were Polar Mesospheric Clouds - (PMC - also known as noctilucent clouds) over selected ground sites (12 minutes for each). (Southern spring is the season for relatively uncommon polar mesospheric clouds to form very high over Antarctica. PMC are being studied as part of the International Polar Year (IPY) investigation of climate change in high latitudes. PMC form in the stratosphere and higher, i.e. well above the lowest layer of the atmosphere (troposphere, or weather layer, characterized by clouds, and an orange tinge produced by brushfire smoke, smog, etc.). The AIM satellite (Aeronomy of Ice in the Atmosphere) has recently been launched to investigate how PMC form and why they are apparently becoming thicker and brighter. ISS/CEO imagery will complement images from AIM and from the ground. The collaborating IPY scientist is excited to receive any images ISS may acquire. Collaborating Swedish scientists are now working at a base in Antarctica (73S 13 W) for PMC observation.)

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