All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday – rest day for CDR Fincke, FE-1 Lonchakov & FE-2 Magnus.
The crew started out with a 2-hr. review of the updated timeline and procedures for the Orlan EVA-21 on 12/22 (Monday), including tagging up with ground specialists at TsUP-Moscow to discuss specifics based on uplinked instructional material on execution sequences of selected tasks. (See timeline below).
For her VolSci (Voluntary Science) program session today, FE-2 Magnus configured the BCAT-4 (Binary Colloid Alloy Test 4) payload in the Node-2, checked it out and started the experiment. [After first familiarizing herself with payload hardware & operations, Sandy set up the experiment along with camcorder and still camera, taking video of herself performing homogenization on sample 2, the first crystal check of the session on sample 10, still imagery of any crystals found plus sample photography. The FE-2 then initiated the activity of automated photography of sample 2 with the Kodak DCS-760 digital still camera controlled by the EarthKAM software running on an SSC-13 (Station Support Computer 13).]
At ~9:00am EST, the crewmembers conducted their regular WPC (Weekly Planning Conference) with the ground, discussing next week's "Look-Ahead Plan" (prepared jointly by MCC-Houston and TsUP-Moscow timeline planners) via S-band/audio, reviewing the monthly calendar, upcoming activities, and any concerns about future on-orbit events.
Continuing the extended leak checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, FE-1 Lonchakov charged the unit once again with pressurized N2 from the BPA Nitrogen Purge Unit (#23) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2). The last test pressurization to monitor for leakage was on 11/20. [Objective of the monthly checkout of the BZh, which has been in stowage for about 2 years, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]
In the SM (Service Module), Yuri also completed the routine daily servicing of the 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 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 (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-1, FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (FE-1).
Sandy Magnus filled out the regular FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaire), her fourth, on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). [On the FFQs, NASA astronauts keep a personalized log of their nutritional intake over time on special MEC software. Recorded are the amounts consumed during the past week of such food items as beverages, cereals, grains, eggs, breads, snacks, sweets, fruit, beans, soup, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, chicken, sauces & spreads, and vitamins. The FFQ is performed once a week to estimate nutrient intake from the previous week and to give recommendations to ground specialists that help maintain optimal crew health. Weekly estimation has been verified to be reliable enough that nutrients do not need to be tracked daily.]
Port CQ Update: After the extensive deployment & checkout activities on the Portside Crew Quarters in Node-2 by CDR Fincke & FE-2 Magnus, the CQ has been determined to be habitable, and the crew was given permission to sleep in it. A few remaining tasks need to be completed, scheduled for the week of 1/5/09. Starboard CQ outfitting will be undertaken following the Port CQ completion.
VOA Update: After the recent VOA OMIs (Volatile Organics Analyzer/On-orbit Maintenance Items) spares changeout activities by Sandy Magnus, ground specialists are still investigating why they cannot get VOA back up and running. While an issue with the hard drive is being suspected, a complete troubleshooting plan is currently being put together.
EVA-21 Timeline Preview: The Orlan EVA-21 by Lonchakov (EV1/blue stripe) & Fincke (EV2/red stripe) on 12/22 is scheduled to begin at ~7:15pm EST (DC1 EV hatch open), to last an estimated 6 hrs 10 min, i.e., concluding at approximately 1:25am. Russian attitude thrusters will be inhibited by TsUP ground commanding at specific times when the spacewalkers work on the SM RO (Working Compartment, l.d./large diameter) and SM AO (Assembly Compartment). Main objectives of the EVA are –
Weekly Science Update (Expedition Eighteen -- Week 8)
3-D SPACE: Complete.
ALTCRISS (Alteino Long Term monitoring of Cosmic Rays on the ISS): Complete.
BCAT-3/4 (Binary Colloidal Alloy Test 3/4): Planned/Reserve.
CCISS (Cardiovascular & Cerebrovascular Control on Return from ISS): “Sandy, thanks for selecting and completing your first CCISS session as a Voluntary Science option. We appreciate your participation.”
CFE (Capillary Flow Experiment): Reserve.
CW/CR (Cell Wall/Resist Wall) in EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System): Samples returned on 1J.
CSI-3/CGBA-5 (CGBA Science Insert #2/Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 5): Ongoing.
CGBA-2 (Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus 2): Complete.
CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2): Complete.
EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students): Complete.
EDR (European Drawer Rack): Planned.
ELITE-S2 (Elaboratore Immagini Televisive - Space 2): Planned.
EPO (Educational Payload Operations): Reserve.
ETD (Eye Tracking Device): Completed.
EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility): Science acquisition for DEBIE-2, DOSTEL, EXPOSE, FIPEX, MEDET. On-ground troubleshooting for TRIBOLAB.
FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory): FSL is nominal.
GEOFLOW: “Sandy, thanks for increasing the torque of the FSL Anti-Vibration Mount (AVM), so that it is not necessary to lock/unlock the FSL Facility Core Element (FCE) for ISS reboost events. Science run #5, run#6 and run#7 have been successfully performed on 12/11, 12/16 and 12/18 respectively. All data have been downlinked and new science runs are planned in the next weeks”
HDTV System Test DL (JAXA): Complete.
IMMUNO (Neuroendocrine & Immune Responses in Humans During & After Long Term Stay at ISS): Complete.
InSPACE-2 (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions 2): In progress.
Integrated Immune: In progress.
ICE CRYSTAL (JAXA): The experiment is ongoing and nominal.
KUBIK-FM1/ KUBIK-FM2 Centrifuge/Incubators: Completed.
LOCAD-PTS (Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System): Reserve.
Marangoni Experiment for ISS in JAXA FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility): In progress.
Micro-G Clay (JAXA EPO): Complete.
MISSE (Materials ISS Experiment): Ongoing.
Moon Photography from ISS (JAXA EPO): Complete.
MSG-SAME (Microgravity Science Glovebox): Complete.
MTR-2 (Russian radiation measurements): Passive dosimeters measurements in DC1 “Pirs”.
NOA-1/-2 (Nitric Oxide Analyzer, ESA): Complete.
NUTRITION w/REPOSITORY: “Mike and Sandy, Thanks for the great work in completing your FD60 and FD30 sessions. The crew notes you both sent down were very helpful, and the Nutrition team appreciates the attention to detail!”
PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space): In progress.
PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) Reconfiguration (JAXA): Complete.
PMDIS (Perceptual Motor Deficits in Space): Complete.
SAMS/MAMS (Space & Microgravity Acceleration Measurement Systems): Ongoing.
SHERE (Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment): Planned.
SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight): “Sandy, thanks for donning your Actiwatch on the Shuttle. Your remaining Sleep Activities include monthly downloads of your Actiwatch, three weeks of sleep logging, and doffing the Actiwatch on the Shuttle on your way home. We are currently targeting next week for your first week of Sleep logging. Any additional sleep logging is above and beyond and greatly appreciated by the PI.
Mike, thanks for downloading your and Sandy’s Actiwatches as Voluntary Science. Choosing this option prevented a loss of data from Sandy’s Actiwatch filling up and stopping recording. We are currently targeting next week for your first week of Sleep logging. In progress.”
SOLAR (Solar Monitoring Observatory): The next Sun observation window is planned to start around 12/26.
SOLO (Sodium Loading in Microgravity): Complete.
SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellite): Reserve.
Swab (Characterization of Microorganisms & Allergens in Spacecraft): Complete.
TRAC (Test of Reaction & Adaptation Capabilities): Planned.
WAICO #1/#2 (Waving and Coiling of Arabidopsis Roots at Different g-levels): Complete/Planned.
CEO (Crew Earth Observations): “Through 12/17 we have received a total of 5,608 frames of your CEO imagery for review and cataloging. Photos with times corresponding to our CEO target request times are reviewed first and since last week included: Aurora Australis – 28 frames in two sessions – no Aurora noted; and the Pilcomayo River & Megafan, Paraguay – 3 frames – target not acquired due to inadequate illumination (our bad). You acquired excellent imagery earlier of Mount Vesuvius (both with and without snow). You also acquired great contextual imagery of Lake Poopo (apparently bone dry – first time observed this decade). Recent aurora viewing conditions were poor, at best. Thanks for looking and trying. You did get some beautiful 400mm views of the Moon. You also recently acquired imagery of agricultural areas near the Rio Parapeti in Bolivia. A comparison of your image with one from STS-73 in 1995 will be published in NASA/GSFC’s Earth Observatory website this weekend. The comparison illustrates the dramatic expansion of agricultural activity by the Bolivians into their rainforest region. Nice work!”
CEO photo targets uplinked for today were South Tibesti Megafans, Africa (ISS had a nadir pass over the Ke River megafan, a large ancient river channel system south of the Tibesti Mts. Looking for a discontinuous, overlapping pattern of stream channels south of the mountains. While the area is now part of the arid Sahara of southern Libya/northern Chad, approximately 8000 years ago the climate was much wetter and active rivers flowed here. The South Tibesti megafans represent a potential analog to features observed on Mars), Tenoumer Impact Crater, Mauritania (looking slightly to the right of track for this well-preserved, 2 km diameter impact crater. Looking for a dark circular structure to the east and north of two large dune fields with striking parallel dune sets. Overlapping frames taken slight to the right of track are suggested to capture the crater), and Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico (weather was predicted to be clear over this large stratovolcano located 70 km to the southeast of Mexico City. Three major explosive eruptions have occurred in the very recent geologic past, producing pyroclastic flows and lahars that affected the basins surrounding the volcano. Mapping frames of the volcano and flanks are requested to capture current summit glacier extent and cone geomorphology. Gas and steam emissions may also be observed at the volcano).
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, 8:06am EST [= epoch]):
Mean altitude -- 354.1 km
Apogee height -- 359.3 km
Perigee height -- 348.9 km
Period -- 91.62 min.
Inclination (to Equator) -- 51.64 deg
Eccentricity -- 0.0007742
Solar Beta Angle -- -56.1 deg (magnitude decreasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day -- 15.72
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours -- 41 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) -- 57785
Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
12/22/08 -- Russian EVA-21 (wake 9:30am; hatch opening ~7:15pm; ingress 1:25am 12/23; sleep 7:10am);
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/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC, last crew rotation
08/XX/09 -- Soyuz 5R/MRM2 (Russian Mini Research Module, MIM2) on Soyuz
09/XX/09 -- H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1)
11/12/09 -- STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 - ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 -- STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 -- STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/08/10 -- STS-132/Discovery/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 -- STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4
12/XX/11-- Proton 3R/MLM w/ERA.