All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Underway: Week 7 of Increment 18.
In the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Lonchakov worked his way through a 4-hr. job of installing and connecting cables for the Progress 31P-delivered new payload EXPOSE-R which he and CDR Fincke will install externally during the Russian EVA-21 on 12/22. The outfitting was supported by ground specialist tagup were required. [EXPOSE-R comprises a suite of nine ESA astrobiology experiments with organisms to be exposed to solar UV (ultraviolet), vacuum, cosmic rays and perpetual temperature variations as the station passes through areas of direct sunlight and the cold darkness of Earth's shadow. EXPOSE-R is equipped with three trays which are loaded with a variety of biological samples including plant seeds and spores of bacteria, fungi and ferns. They will be exposed to the harsh space environment for about one and a half years. EXPOSE-R will join EXPOSE-E, a similar & complementary set of trays filled with terrestrial organisms which is already installed on the outside of the Columbus module as one of the nine payloads of the EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility). At the end of the exposure period, the EXPOSE-R trays will be retrieved from their location and returned to Earth with a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.]
After deactivation/reactivation of the BITS1-12 & VD-SU control mode, required for the EXPOSE installations, the FE-1 performed the regular check on the BRI Smart Switch Router computer and its Ethernet connection to assess any impact of these activities on Ethernet comm. [BRI is part of the RS OpsLAN (Russian Segment/Operations Local Area Network), with connections to the three SSC clients, the Ethernet tie-in with the US network, and a network printer in the RS.]
FE-2 Magnus collected the periodic samples from the WRS WPA (Water Recovery System/Water Processing Assembly), which then were analyzed with –
[WRS sampling & checkouts are regularly conducted for 90 days: every 4 days – WRS water hose (TOCA inflight analysis) & microbial bag sample (inflight bacterial visual enumeration plus archival for return on 15A), every 8 days – an archival water sample (return on 15A), and monthly – a TOCA bag sample from PWD (tested inflight). Coliform bacteria are the commonly-used bacterial indicator of sanitary quality of foods and water. They are defined as rod-shaped Gram-negative non-spore forming organisms that ferment Lactose with the production of acid and gas when incubated at 35-37 degC. Coliforms are abundant in the feces of warm-blooded animals, but can also be found in the aquatic environment, in soil and on vegetation. In most instances, coliforms themselves are not the cause of sickness, but they are easy to culture and their presence is used to indicate that other pathogenic organisms of fecal origin may be present.]
Sandy also conducted the periodic deployment of four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307) for two days, to catch any atmospheric formaldehyde on a collector substrate for subsequent analysis on the ground. [Two monitors each are usually attached side by side, preferably in an orientation with their faces perpendicular to the direction of air flow.]
More work was performed by CDR Fincke on readying the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment)/toilet for use, today by installing & routing the urine jumper and the flush water jumper (between the P1 & P2 positions in the US Lab). [For mating the flush water jumper to the feed water QD (quick disconnect) on the Z-Panel, the CDR temporarily removed the interfering OGS (Oxygen Generation System) feed water QD from the OGS Z-Panel. The three jumper connections remain loose, to be fully mated during the subsequent WHC umbilical mating.]
Fincke also conducted the regular periodic leak checks on the WRS-1 & WRS-2 racks, after temporarily powering down & disconnecting the WPA tank for the checks and instead connecting the WRS to the Lab condensate tank. Later, Mike switched the hose back from the Lab condensate tank to the WPA.
After the WRS rack rotations for the leak checking and before reconfiguring the OGS rack (see above), Mike relocated the TOCA from its temporary location on the OGS to the WRS-2 rack.
Sandra Magnus conducted the periodic PCS (Portable Computer System) laptop battery checks and reboots on all active US PCS and on the COL PWS (Portable Work Station) laptop (once/month). [Lab RWS laptop: 100% charged, reboot successful; Cupola RWS: off; JPM (Japanese Pressurized Module) PCS: 100% charged, reboot successful; Airlock (A/L) PCS: off; SM PCS: 97% charged, reboot successful; COL RWS: reboot successful.]
In the Soyuz 13S spacecraft, docked at the FGB nadir port, FE-1 Lonchakov deactivated the gas analyzer, a periodic 48-hr. checkup activity.
Afterwards, with the Elektron oxygen generator turned off, Yuri installed a new EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) filter (FPP) on the Elektron’s ST-64 current stabilizer. [The electronic filter is designed to protect visiting vehicles, such as the HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle), from RF/EMI.]
Fincke performed the third ICEPAC insertion into the MELFI after ULF-2, today retrieving two -32 degC ICEPAC belts and placing them into Dewar 1, Tray D/Section 1 & 2.
In preparation for upcoming CHeCS (Crew Health Care Systems) Rack 1 installation work, Magnus swapped TCS (Thermal Control System) jumpers, demating a supply line at the Lab1S4 Z-Panel, then quickly connecting an MTL (Moderate Temperature Loop) supply jumper instead, followed by repressurization and startup of the MTL by the ground, which finally switched to single LTL (Low Temperature Loop) to regain MTL cooling. [MTL depress & shutdown was done because of a LAB1S4 supply line QD known to leak when demated.]
In JAXA’s Kibo JPM, the FE-2 supported SSIPC (Space Station Integration & Promotion Center)/Tsukuba activities by activating the MMA (Microgravity Measurement Apparatus) and its laptop (MLT), first powering up the MMA’s NCU/RSU (Network Control Unit/Remote Sensor Unit) set from the Ryutai rack’s UDC (Utility DC-to-DC Converter), then turning on both NCU/RSU and MLT. [All payload activities except UDS/MMA on/off can be performed remotely by the ground.]
Working on the MATRYOSHKA-R (RBO-3-2) radiation instrumentation in the SM (panel 326), Lonchakov turned off the AST Spectrometer, taking radiation measurements, then removed the PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) ALC-956 memory card and checked number and size of its data files. Card 956 was then stowed in a kit, with the AST Spectrometer remaining deactivated. The activity and hardware was photo documented, with the images processed for downlink via OCA.
Yuri completed the routine daily servicing of the SM’s SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS). [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers and performing US condensate processing (transfer from CWC to EDV containers) if condensate is available.]
Sandy Magnus performed the regular daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance task by updating/editing the IMS standard “delta file” including stowage locations for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).
The FE-2 also conducted a run with the MedOps experiment WinSCAT (Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows), her first onboard session, by logging in on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop and performing the psychological evaluation exercise on the laptop-based WinSCAT application. [WinSCAT is a monthly time-constrained questionnaire test of cognitive abilities, routinely performed by astronauts aboard the ISS every 30 days before or after the PHS (periodic health status) test or on special CDR's, crewmembers or flight surgeons request. The test uses cognitive subtests that measure sustained concentration, verbal working memory, attention, short-term memory, spatial processing, and math skills. The five cognitive subtests are Coding Memory - Learning, Continuous Processing Task (CPT), Match to Sample, Mathematics, and Coding Delayed Recall. These WinSCAT subtests are the same as those used during NASA’s long-duration bed rest studies.]
Sandy again had an hour to herself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residence, if she/he chooses to take it.
The station residents conducted their regular daily 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 resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).
At ~10:15am EST, FE-2 Magnus held a 20-min. teleconference with ground specialists to discuss ULF-2 transfer issues.
At ~11:30am, Sandy conducted a 15-min. CDD (Crew Discretionary Conference).
At ~11:50am, Magnus powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 11:55am, a ham radio session with Ellis School, Belleville, Illinois. [Ellis School is located 15 min. from St. Louis and serves approximately 400 students ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade. Ellis school has been named a No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon winner for 2008. Only 21 schools in Illinois received this honor and Ellis School was the only school in Southern Illinois to be named a Blue Ribbon School. Nationwide, 329 schools were selected as Blue Ribbons Schools. The students that talked to Sandy on board the ISS were 16 third graders that have been studying about the shuttle, ISS and the planets during this year at school. The questions that they asked were developed by themselves over the past few weeks. Questions to Sandy were uplinked beforehand. “Is it fun to float in the ISS, what do you like to do best when you are floating?”; “How can you tell if it is day or night in space when you are inside the ISS?”; “How do you move the robotic arm?”; “Is there a limit of how many days a person can live on the ISS and stay in space?”; “Since you are going to be on the ISS for Christmas, how are you going to get your presents?”; “Do you watch TV or movies in the ISS and if so, which ones?”; “How did it feel when you took off on Endeavour, was it scary?”; “What was the first thing you did when you got into space?”; “How long does it take to get from Earth to the ISS?”; “How funny do you think a bird would look if it was flying inside the ISS-would it fly like a bird on Earth?”.]
Working off his discretionary job list, the FE-1 conducted the frequent status check on the Russian BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, verifying proper operation of the BU Control Unit and MIS-LADA Module fans (testing their air flow by hand). [Rasteniya-1 researches growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in the LADA-14 greenhouse from IBMP (Institute of Bio-Medical Problems, Russian: IMBP). The payload hardware includes a module (MIS/Module for the Investigation of Substrates), the MIS control unit (BU), a nitrogen purge unit (BPA) and other accessories. During its operation, the experiment requires regular daily maintenance of the experiment involving monitoring of seedling growth, humidity measurements, moistening of the substrate if necessary, and photo/video recording. LADA consists of a wall-mounted growth chamber that provides long-term, ready access for crewmember interaction. It provides light and root zone control but relies on the cabin environmental control systems for humidity, gas composition, and temperature control. Cabin air is pulled into the leaf chamber, flows over the plants and vents through the light bank to provide both plant gas exchange and light bank cooling.]
No CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked today.
CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov (as of 9/1/08, this database contained 770,668 views of the Earth from space, with 324,812 from the ISS alone).
ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 11:59am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 353.7 km
Apogee height -- 358.3 km
Perigee height -- 349.1 km
Period -- 91.61 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006778
Solar Beta Angle -- -53.4 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 170 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 57599.
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/07/08 -- Progress M-65/30P reentry (after 3 weeks autonomous flight for geophysical experiments)
12/22/08 -- Russian EVA-21 (hatch opening ~7:15pm)
02/09/09 -- Progress M-01M/31P undocking & deorbit
02/10/09 -- Progress 32P launch
02/12/09 -- Progress 32P docking
02/12/09 -- STS-119/Endeavour/15A launch – S6 truss segment
02/14/09 -- STS-119/Endeavour/15A docking
02/24/09 -- STS-119/Endeavour/15A undocking
02/26/09 -- STS-119/Endeavour/15A landing (nominal)
03/25/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
03/27/09 -- Soyuz TMA-14/18S docking (DC1)
04/05/09 -- Soyuz TMA-13/17S undocking
04/07/09 -- Progress 32P undocking & deorbit
05/12/09 -- STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
05/15/09 -- STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch - JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
05/27/09 -- Soyuz TMA-15/19S launch
Six-person crew on ISS
08/06/09 -- STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM (P), last crew rotation
08/XX/09 -- Progress/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Endeavour/ULF3 - ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 -- STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P)
04/08/10 -- STS-132/Endeavour/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1 (contingency)
05/31/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).