All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.
CDR Fincke unstowed, set up and activated the hardware for the new ENose (Electronic Nose) experiment on ER2 (EXPRESS Rack 2) in the US Lab. [ENose, which monitors the station’s interior for harmful chemicals such as ammonia, mercury, methanol and formaldehyde, running continuously and autonomously, is the first instrument aboard ISS which can detect and quantify chemical leaks or spills as they happen. If the experiment is successful, ENose might be used in future space missions as part of an automated system to monitor and control astronauts' in-space environments. The shoebox-sized ENose contains an array of 32 sensors that can identify and quantify several organic and inorganic chemicals, including organic solvents and marker chemicals that signal the start of electrical fires. The sensors are polymer films that change their electrical conductivity in response to different chemicals, where the pattern of the sensor array's response depends on the particular chemical types present in the air. The instrument can analyze volatile aerosols and vapors, help monitor cleanup of chemical spills or leaks, and enable more intensive chemical analysis by collecting raw data and streaming it to a computer at JPL's ENose laboratory. The instrument, weighing less than nine pounds and requiring only 20 watts of power, has a wide range of chemical sensitivity, from fractional parts per million to 10,000 parts per million. Its data-analysis software can identify and quantify the release of chemicals within 40 minutes of detection. While ENose will look for 10 chemical types in this six-month experiment, it can be “trained” to detect many others.]
In the SM (Service Module), FE-1 Lonchakov continued spent another 3 hrs on the time-consuming work 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.]
Afterwards, Yuri also supported the reactivation of the Elektron oxygen generator at 32 amps by the ground by monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. [The gas analyzer used on the Elektron during nominal operations for detecting hydrogen (H2) in the O2 line (which could cause overheating) is not included in the control algorithm until 10 minutes after Elektron startup. Elektron had been turned off for yesterday’s installation of a new EMI filter and today’s cabling work (which included making connections to the BITS2-12 Onboard Telemetry Measurement System).]
After performing the periodic hot water flush of the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser), CDR Fincke worked for the next three hours on the WHC (Waste & Hygiene Compartment), activating and checking out the system (by self-test). The WHC activation was cut short by a premature UPA (Urine Processing Assembly) shutdown. [Before turning on the pretreat & water pump, Mike verified that all three handwheel-driven valves (RU-2, RU-4, RU-5) were in the Open position.]
Working ~2.5 hrs in the JAXA JPM (Japanese Experiment Module), FE-2 Magnus repackaged eight cables of the JEM Robotics BDS (Backup Drive System) in a stowage bag for consolidation, making room in a larger CTB (Cargo Transfer Bag, J-T1) for stowing an HCTL (Heater Controller) which she then removed in the “neighboring” JLP (JEM Logistics Pressurized Segment) from the Ovhd Stbd Endcone location, replacing it with an EDU (Equipment Exchange Unit Driver Unit) for future JLP EFU (Exposed Facility Unit) operations.
Yuri Lonchakov conducted the periodic data collection on the long-term BIO-5 Rasteniya-1 ("Plants-1") experiment, copying data from its built-in control computer to a PCMCIA memory card for subsequent downlink to the ground via OCA. [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.]
Performing regular service on the MATRYOSHKA-R (RBO-3-2) radiation instrumentation in the SM (panel 326), the FE-1 changed the position of the AST Spectrometer and kits containing passive dosimeters on Panel 326 (rotation around their axes), installed the ALC-957 PCMCIA (Portable Computer Memory Card International Adapter) memory card and activated the Spectrometer, making sure that the memory card is actually recording data. [RBO-3-2 is using the ESA/RSC-Energia experiment ALTCRISS (ALC/Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS) with its Spectrometer (AST) and ALC equipment, which is periodically moved around and now located again in the SM.]
Sandra Magnus took GSC (Grab Sample Container) air samples in the center of the Lab, SM (Service Module) and COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory), while Yuri Lonchakov used the Russian AK-1M absorber to collect air samples in the SM & FGB, recording date, time & location. Kits and pouches were then stowed for return to Earth.
In the RS (Russian Segment), Mike Fincke worked on the SM ASU (Toilet Facility), performing the monthly 30-min. maintenance/servicing of the facility by changing out replaceable ASU parts with new components, i.e., the urine receptacle (MP) and a filter insert (F-V). The old parts were discarded as trash.
Yuri pumped water from the Progress 31P’s BV2 Rodnik tank to the ISS, filling two EDV containers.
Mike completed the fourth ICEPAC insertion into the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS) after ULF-2, today retrieving another two -32 degC ICEPAC belts and placing them into Dewar 1, Tray D/Section 3 & 4.
For her physical workout on the RED (Resistive Exercise Device), Sandra set up the video camcorder for filming and recording the sessions via ground commanding. Afterwards, the video equipment was put back in stowage, and the video was to be downlinked from the VTR (Video Tape Recorder) by ground commanding. [The RED video, showing the apparatus on the “ceiling” hatch of the Node, is periodically required to support biomechanical evaluation of the exercising crewmember and assessment of the on-orbit setup of equipment during data collection.]
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 (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).
Sandy Magnus performed the monthly & quarterly TVIS treadmill maintenance. [The inspection checks out the TVIS in the current SLD (subject loading device) contingency configuration, primarily looking at the condition of the SPDs (subject positioning devices) with clamp/rope assembly wire rope isolators for fraying and damage, and recording time & date values.]
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.]
The FE-2 took care of 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 crew had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences) via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Sandy at ~9:05am, Mike at ~9:45am, and Yuri at ~1:30pm EST.
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.
At ~10:40am, Magnus powered up the SM's amateur radio equipment (Kenwood VHF transceiver with manual frequency selection, headset, & power supply) and conducted, at 11:45am, a ham radio session with Stephen F. Austin Elementary School, Richmond, Texas. [The students at Stephen F. Austin Elementary School in Richmond, Texas have studied space and the identifying characteristics of objects in our solar system, including the sun, planets and moon. Each year the fifth grade students participate in a simulated space shuttle mission, performing tasks that would happen on a regular shuttle flight. Each grade level is involved in some manner with the various missions that occur throughout the day. The school has integrated the ARISS contact as part of this activity. Questions to Sandy were uplinked beforehand. “How would you be rescued if you floated off during a spacewalk?”; “What does a hurricane look like from the Space Station?”; “Do you burn calories the same way in space as on Earth?”; “Have you ever seen the Aurora Borealis from space?”; “Has an asteroid ever hit the space station?”; “Is sleeping on the space station difficult because you are weightless?”; “Do you tell the time the same way in space as on Earth?”; “What is the most life-changing experiment you have done?”; “Have you seen any unusual objects floating around in space?”; “How do you train for zero gravity?”.]
At ~11:45am, Mike & Sandra supported a 20-min. Educational PAO TV event with 5th & 6th grade students at Corpus Christi, TX, assembled in STARBASE Atlantis.
A new task item added to Sandy’s & Mike’s discretionary “job jar” is to unlock the GEOFLOW FSL FCE (Fluid Science Laboratory/Facility Core Element) in the COL, which had been locked for recent vehicle traffic such as 30P undocking and 31P docking.
A second voluntary “job jar” task concerns cargo bag reconfiguration and stowage in the JAXA JPM, today already started by the FE-2.
MSS Software Upgrade: Yesterday, MCC-Houston successfully uplinked a software upgrade for the Mobile Servicing System, from Vers. 5.1 to 5.2, to all three C&C MDMs (Command & Control Multiplexer/Demultiplexers). Today, the SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) was powered up from the ground as a partial software checkout, and in preparation for next week’s SPDM on-orbit checkout session 2.
X2 INT R4 Software Transition: Starting today and running through 12/12, MCC-Houston is executing procedures to transition several ISS MDMs to new software versions. No crew participation is required. Today’s transition involves one of each pair of PVCU (Photovoltaic Controller Unit) MDMs from PVCA R2 to PVCA R3. The PVCA R3 MDM will be left in Primary.
MT Translation: After the normal pre-site video survey, the Mobile Transporter was successfully translated yesterday from WS7 (Worksite 7) to WS4 via ground commanding.
WRM Update: An updated WRM (Water Recovery Management) “cue card” was uplinked yesterday for the crew’s reference, updated with the latest water audit. [The new card (18-0006G) lists 39 CWCs (~1,272.9 L total) for the four types of water identified on board: technical water (695.8 L, for Elektron electrolysis), potable water (530.4 L, incl. 174.6 L currently off-limit because of Wautersia bacteria), condensate water (0.0 L), waste/EMU dump and other (46.7 L). Wautersia bacteria are typical water-borne microorganisms that have been seen previously in ISS water sources. These isolates pose no threat to human health.]
Conjunction: One TCA (Time of Closest Approach) is currently being assessed for another conjunction with the Cosmos satellite, Object 2421, for tomorrow, 12/10, at 6:57pm EST. Based on current tracking, NASA specialists do not recommend DAM (Debris Avoidance Maneuver) planning but believe that this recurring object requires continued monitoring.
CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were East Haruj Megafans, Libya (nadir swath immediately left of track requested. Rivers from the Tibesti Mts--hundreds of km to the south--used to deliver sediment to the Mediterranean Sea during wetter climatic periods in the past. These sediment masses reach very large proportions [megafans], and have engulfed several rock outcrops. Images will allow comparison of Earth stream/sediment patterns with patterns of layered sediments banked against impact craters on Mars), and Mount Vesuvius, Italy (looking left for the prominent cone of Vesuvius on the plains south of Naples).
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 noon, 12:24pm EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 353.7 km
Apogee height -- 358.3 km
Perigee height -- 349.0 km
Period -- 91.61 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0006914
Solar Beta Angle -- -58.1 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 35 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 57615.
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
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).