ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.
Update on Elektron: After replacing the Liquid Unit #6 (BZh-6) with the remaining spare (BZh-7) and reconnecting BITS2-12 telemetry cables yesterday, the crew today replaced feed hoses and cleaned the assembly. Elektron activation will be attempted tomorrow morning (~2:30am EST). [Both the Elektron's air/liquid separator unit (GZhS) and the removed parts (BP pump unit, A-R water feed hoses) were flushed with water from Rodnik storage tank 1 (BV1), toweled clean and inspected for possible reuse or else disposal. The flush water was tested for pH (reported value: ~8). The EDV container with the unclean flush water will be discarded.]
Update on SFOG (TGK) candles: As of tonight, a total of 13 candles have been burnt since 3/13, all of them without failure. There are 108 candles left on board, for ~54 days, assuming 100% functionality. The on-orbit candles are the only ones remaining of the current design. New cartridges, updated for improved safety (e.g., electrical ignition instead of percussion cap), are scheduled to enter service late this year (on Progress 16P, unless made available earlier). The replacement of the fan with the failed bearing in slot 2 of the TGK combustion container will be performed ASAP. Until then, candles can be burned only sequentially, not in parallel, with a 3-hour waiting period between ops to allow cool-down of the used SFOG cassette.
Update on Lab science window: A window leak check today indicated that the "Volume D" between the window's pressure panes, which was evacuated on 3/5 after the U-jumper flexhose removal, is not holding its vacuum, i.e. is not airtight (further details see below).
FE Alexander Kaleri cleaned the three IDZh-2 smoke detectors in the DC-1 docking compartment (installed on 9/14/03). [Since the DC-1 does not yet have the capability to inhibit the IDZh-2's fire response, TsUP/Moscow partially deactivated the DC-1 onboard computer system (BVS) that normally monitors the serviceability of each detector. Afterwards, the BVS was reactivated. The smoke detectors work with electro-induction, i.e., by first ionizing air molecules in the detector chamber with radioactive material, then measuring their electric conductivity (which would be reduced if the air contains smoke particles).]
CDR/SO Michael Foale worked on the MSG PFMI (Microgravity Science Glovebox/Pore Formation & Mobility Investigation) experiment which had completed its new sample, PFMI-02, after POIC (Payload Operations & Integration Center) altered procedures upon the booster heater's not properly heating up. [Mike removed PFMI-02 from the thermal chamber, exchanged the PFMI g-LIMIT bypass micro drive assembly in the laptop and removed the video tape. The MSG was then powered down. The SO also checked cable matings that may have caused the hitch.]
In the Service Module (SM), Alex Kaleri performed a checkout of the Russian LIV video system (TVS), in particular evaluating the picture quality of its two cameras (V/K1, V/K2) and reconfiguring camera and microphone connections. [Because of degraded picture performance of V/K2, Alex replaced it with V/K1, after evaluating the latter's picture quality, recording imagery on the LIV video recorder on a videocassette for return to the ground.]
The crew conducted their first ultrasound scanning activity with the ADUM (Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity) experiment, with Sasha Kaleri acting as the subject for the experiment and Mike setting up and using the scanner. [The Ultrasound Imaging System of the HRF (Human Research Facility) provides three-dimensional image enlargement of the heart and other organs, muscles and blood vessels. It is capable of high resolution imaging in a wide range of applications, both research and diagnostic, such as echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart), abdominal and deep organ ultrasound, vascular ultrasound, gynecological ultrasound, muscle and tendon ultrasound, transcranial ultrasound, ultrasound contrast studies, and small parts ultrasound. Voice & video transmissions involving human subjects are restricted to honor data confidentiality agreements. Ultrasound investigations on ISS were done as early as 2001 (Expedition 2/Yuri Usachev, Jim Voss, Susan Helms).]
Foale performed a leak check on the recently depressurized Lab's science window, with the purpose to verify seal integrity after the inter-pane volume evacuation on 3/5 and to confirm the actual leak rate. [Equipment used include FSS (fluid system servicer) and MPEV (manual pressure equalization valve) adaptors, the Aeolus scopemeter, a timer/stopwatch and earplugs, if desired. Pressure was measured at 359 mmHg (Torr). After completion of the evacuation two weeks ago, the pressure had been 2.1 mmHg. A failure investigation team (FIT) will discuss the results and any troubleshooting activities on Monday.]
The FE performed his regular maintenance on the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 ("Plants-2") greenhouse. Replenishment of its water supply as required has now become part of the Russian task list. [Rasteniya studies growth and development of plants (peas) under spaceflight conditions in the Lada-4 greenhouse. Regular maintenance involves monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, watering to moisten the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording.]
The CDR took the periodic reading of the cabin air's current CO2 partial pressure in the SM and Lab, using the U.S. CDMK (CO2 monitor kit), for calldown to MCC-Houston (along with the battery status) for use in trending analyses.
In the SM, Kaleri corrected misleading labeling on valves of STR condensate removal pipes, bringing them into line with ground documentation.
The Science Officer did the visual T+2d analysis of Week 21 water samples, which he collected on 3/17 from the SRV-K hot tap and the EDV container of the water supply system (SVO-ZV) with the WMK (water monitoring kit). He then entered the microbiological data in the MEC (medical equipment computer). [The T+2 analysis uses incubated MCDs (microbial capture devices), SSK (surface sample kit) slides, and MAS (microbial air sampler) Petri dishes. T+5d analysis is not required. If Mike's analysis showed colony growth above specified limits, he was to take digital documentary images.]
Kaleri conducted his weekly IMS (inventory management system) tagups with ground specialists, discussing open issues concerning identification of equipment and storage locations for updating the IMS database. [TsUP has now incorporated the recently completed EVA gloves audit in the IMS.]
Mike completed the regular task of transferring data files from the physical exercise equipment to the MEC (medical equipment computer) via memory card and RED log entries, for downlink on OCA comm. Later, he performed the periodic transfer of accumulated data files from the wristband HRM (heart rate monitor) receiver stations to the MEC for downlink, then deleting them on the HRM.
The crew had their regular workouts on TVIS, RED exerciser and VELO cycle with load trainer.
Sasha completed his regular weekly inspection of the BRPK air/condensate water separator system. He also conducted the routine technical maintenance of the SM's SOZh environment control & life support system, incl. the toilet equipment (ASU). The regular daily preparation of the IMS "delta" file for automatic export/import to update the database has now become part of the Russian crew-discretionary task list.
Also added to the Russian task list was the incorporation of changes in the Russian segment (RS) EMER-1 emergency procedures book (3 copies), to account for the PEV (pressure equalization valve, Russian: KVD) at the FGB nadir hatch (where Soyuz 8S will dock) being switched to "closed".
Mike Foale had the weekly crew conference with the JSC Astronaut Office and the Increment 9 crew.
The crew conducted their weekly tag-up with the ISS Flight Director, via S-band.
Mike Foale's successful maneuvering of the Canadian SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) yesterday allowed the ground to perform the scheduled overnight ISS external/portside camera survey. [The survey included the FGB pressurized compartment ("Ball")/PMA interface, Node/PMA-3 interface, Z1/P6 truss interface, Aft P6 radiator, P6 Ku antenna dish, US Lab, S0 truss, MBS (mobile service system), P1 Nadir H-fixture, and the P1 radiator. Preliminary findings: a black mark on the back of the Ku-band dish, a possible tear in the MLI (multi-layer insulation) blanket on the SSRMS, a possible MLI problem on the P1 truss, and a possible obstruction on an SPDM-H (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) handle. Further in-depth analysis and comparison of the imagery is underway.]
MCC-Houston has agreed to extend Russia's loan of the U.S. laptop #6075, formerly SSC6 (station support computer #6), until the delivery of a new laptop on Progress 14P. [The IBM ThinkPad 760XD was borrowed for the MBI-8 Profilaktika ("countermeasures") fitness assessment and may now be used in lieu of laptop 3, currently operating with the SM Central Post computer #1 (KTsP1) instead of the failed Russian laptop 1.]
Today's CEO (Crew Earth Observations) targets, limited in XPOP attitude by flight rule constraints on the use of the science window, which is available for only ~1/4 of each orbit when not facing forward (in "ram"), were Smoke pall, Thailand (looking right for obliques of an extensive smoke pall drifting south into the Gulf of Siam. Interestingly, it is known that Chinese naval and mercantile fleets, during the 7th, 12th and 15th centuries at least, relied on messages from a network of carrier pigeons flying in from S Asia. News of large, persistent smoke palls [over Burma, Malaya, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java] indicated mean wind conditions in the early spring in this region far to the south of Beijing. Knowledge of spring wind conditions in turn helped to optimize the timing of fleet sailings. This method of returning meteorological information to Beijing persisted until about 1440-1450 A.D.), Internal waves, Patagonia (looking slightly left of track towards the early morning glint point for images of internal waves in the wide swath of shallow seas between Buenos Aires and the Falkland Islands), and Soufriere Volcano, Caribbean (this volcano continues to erupt. Looking left to see Montserrat island about two degrees off track. The long smoke and ash plume stretches west towards Puerto Rico).
CEO images can be viewed at the websites.
See also the website "Space Station Challenge" at http://voyager.cet.edu/iss/
U.S. and Russian Segment Status (as of today, 2:20pm EST).
Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) and Thermal Control (TCS):
(n/a = data not available)
Electrical Power Systems (EPS):
Command & Data Handling Systems:
Attitude Control Systems:
Communications & Tracking Systems:
ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:23am EST [= epoch]):
For more on ISS orbit and worldwide ISS naked-eye visibility dates/times, see http://www.hq.nasa.gov/osf/station/viewing/issvis.html