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More Details for 2008-04-08
ISS On-Orbit Status 04/08/08

Our good partners did it again: Soyuz TMA-12 (16S) launched flawlessly this morning on time at 7:16:39am EDT.

Separations from second & third stage were nominal. Orbit was attained at L+ 8:45 min at an altitude of ~202 km (perigee ~189.6 km/apogee ~230.1 km, downrange ~520 km, velocity ~7.50 km/s). Antennas and solar arrays deployed nominally at orbit insertion. 16S has a planned two-day rendezvous profile, to aim for docking on Thursday, 4/10. (At orbit insertion, Soyuz unfolded two solar arrays, four Kurs antennas, one TORU/Rassvet-M antenna and one telemetry antenna. Later, the crew activated antenna heaters, set the maneuver mode, turned on the RKO orbit radio tracking system, started leak checks, etc. Two orbit adjustment burns of ~5 min duration each were executed this morning, DV1 (~25.55 m/s) at ~10:57am, DV2 (~14.27 m/s) at ~11:50am, both with the SKD main engine. After the two-day "chase", supported by several more midcourse burns, 16S will dock at the DC1 Docking Compartment on 4/10 at ~9:02am EDT.)

The ISS crew had 90 min. reserved for an in-depth review of the on-board VC14 (Visiting Cosmonaut 14) program/timeline, to be executed by SFP (Spaceflight Participant) So-yeon Yi from South Korea during the Soyuz ascent flight and after her arrival in 16S. Duration of the VC14 program is 11 days (from 4/8 to 4/19), with nine days (4/10-4/19) aboard the ISS Russian Segment (RS). (VC14 comprises 15 experiments plus some additional events, viz.: КАP01- Growth and mutation of plant seeds; KAP02 - Identification of Drosophila genes responsive to gravity and responsible for aging; KAP03 - Development of Bioreactor for use on the ISS; KAP04 - SFP medical monitoring project; KAP05 - Study of SFP facial changes on the ISS using a Moire screen; KAP06 - Study of the possibility of using traditional Korean food in onboard food rations; KAP07 - Growth of Zeolite crystals, super crystals, and crystal layers in microgravity; KAP08 - Synthesis of metal-organic porous materials in microgravity; KAP09 - High-resolution telescope (ELT) and study of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) for next generation telescopes; KAP10 - Earth observations; KAP11 - Noise level reduction onboard the ISS RS; KAP12 - Study of molecular memory device characteristics in space habitation environment; KAP13 - Experiment involving measurements using small mass measurement system (SMMS); KAP14 - Educational experiment; KAP15 - Daily life and activities of SFP, using Samsung Gx-10 and Samsung NV11 cameras. Also: Four video conferences between ISS RS & TsUP-Moscow in real-time; two ham radio sessions; internal photo & video imagery on the ISS RS; activity with commemorative items; tagups with Korean cosmonaut advisory group (via Russian comm assets) - twice daily in the mornings and evenings; and Experiment ops with the US SLEEP/Actiwatch program.)

Afterwards, at ~6:50am EDT, the crew tagged up with ground specialists to discuss the VC14 program.

FE-1 Malenchenko later set up the RS work area for the SFP. (Preparations for So-yeon Yi included transferring the KUBIK-3 cooler/container from the Soyuz BO (Orbital Module) to the FGB, relocating the ALTCRISS ATS spectrometer from the DC1 to the FGB & photographing the setup, configuring BIOEMULSION experiment hardware in the SM, transferring the KRIOGEM-03 refrigerator to the SM & conducting a temperature test, monitoring MATRYOSHKA LIULIN-5 hardware readings & turning it off (except for its electronics), and preparing a location in the SM for a second KRIOGEM-03 thermostat to be delivered on Soyuz 16S.)

Malenchenko also collected samples of condensate water (KAV) upstream of the FGS (Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter) of the SRV-K2M (Condensate Water Recovery System) in empty drink bags for return to Earth in 15S.

Afterwards, Yuri conducted a continuity and functions test of the SRV-K2M control panel (PU) of the condensate transfer pump (BPK) and then an activation test of the BPK itself, supported by ground specialist tagup.

FE-2 Reisman conducted the periodic checkup on 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.)

The FE-2 also prepared the MELFI (Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the ISS) for upcoming sample stowage by retrieving two -32deg ICEPAC belts from stowage and inserting them in Sections 2 & 3 of Tray C in Dewar 1.

CDR Whitson retrieved and stowed the four passive FMK (Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit) sampling assemblies deployed by her on 4/6 in the Lab (at P3, below CEVIS) and SM (at the most forward handrail, on panel 307), 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.)

Later, the CDR performed the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables. (Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists of replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers, replacement of an EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine container, replacement of the KOV EDV at the SKV-2 air conditioner for the Elektron-intended water, and processing U.S. condensate water as it becomes available in a filled CWC from the Lab humidifier.)

Peggy & Yuri spent another hour each on end-of-increment cleanup and departure preparations. (Instructions on packing of return items and a keep vs. trash list were uplinked for assisting Yuri and Peggy in their preparing for their return in the severely downmass-limited Soyuz Descent Module. Trashed items were stowed in the Orbital Module (BO), to be separated along with the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module prior to atmospheric entry.)

In the US Airlock, Garrett Reisman, as per ground instruction, opened the PBA (Portable Breathing Apparatus) bottle #1014 to discharge any remaining oxygen. (Earlier (3/31), during the periodic PEP (Portable Emergency Provisions) inspection, the bottle was reported to show its pressure gauge in the red zone, i.e., low on pressure and unusable. A replacement is being manifested on the ground.)

The crewmembers performed their regular 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/fulltime), and RED resistive exercise device (CDR, FE-2).

Afterwards, Garrett downloaded the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, as well as 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).

Whitson & Malenchenko held their standard periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

Reisman had another 60 minutes for himself for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for the first two weeks after starting station residency.

Working off the discretionary 'time permitting' task list, Yuri -

conducted 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), and
performed the regular daily checkup on the Japanese experiment GCF-JAXA (Granada Crystallization Facility) in the Russian TBU incubator, maintained at +20 degC, including a temperature check on its ART (automatic temperature recorder).
At ~4:40am EDT, the crew joined in downlinking two PAO TV messages of greetings on the occasion of the upcoming Cosmonautics Day (4/12), one to the winners of a Children's Art Contest, the other to the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) Aerospace Department. (The 'Space and I' Child Art Contest prize award ceremony will take place in Novosibirsk on April 13, while on April 18 prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Space Race Child Art Contest in Star City: '. Dear young friends! We congratulate you on the conclusion of this art contest for kids. We wish you to be full of new bold ideas, bright fantasies, and creative energy, but - most important - to be good people! For this, study well, try to be a bit like the first planet's cosmonaut Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin, space rocket chief designer Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, and many others.)'. MAI Aerospace Dept. students & faculty will gather on Cosmonautics Day in the MAI Cultural Center 'to sing, to dance, and to just have fun': '. We wish we were there and we wish you success in your studies and hope you have a good time! To steal a line from a song - We see it all from high above! And we clearly see from here the best students of the 6th Department - Freshman Igor Avdeyenko, Sophomore Sergey Shadsky, Junior Elvira Meipariani, Senior Sergey Chulkov, and Graduate Year student Nina Botvina! Guys, please accept our admiration and thanks from distant space!'))

At ~1:15pm, Peggy & Garrett held a crew discretionary teleconference via Ku- & S-band.

Soyuz 16S (Expedition 17+1) flight plan for CDR Sergei Alexandrovich Volkov, FE-1 Oleg Dmitrievich Kononenko, and SFP So-Yeon Yi (South Korea):

Flight Day 1 (all times EDT):

4/8: 7:16am: Launch (L), when ISS was at 164 deg phase angle
L+1min52sec: Escape rocket jettison (~46 km altitude)
L+1:53: First stage (four strap-on boosters) separation (~49 km altitude)
L+2:38: Launch shroud jettison (~84 km)
L+4:45: Second stage (core) separation (~167 km altitude)
L+4:57: Third stage lower skirt jettison
L+8:45: Third stage shutdown (orbital insertion, ~202 km altitude, 7.5 km/s velocity)
L+8:48: Third stage separation (~202 km) = S
7:33:27 At S+8 sec: deployment of 2 solar arrays, 4 Kurs-A antennas, 1 radio antenna (Rassvet-M VHF-2), 1 telemetry antenna (onboard measurement syst.)
8:33am: Orbit 2 began (ascending node)
9:24am: TsUP issues Soyuz flight vector (position, velocity data)
10:02am: Orbit 3 began
10:57am: First maneuver burn (DV1) by main propulsion engine
11:42am: Orbit 4 began
11:50am: Second maneuver burn (DV2) by main propulsion engine
1:01pm: Orbit 5 began
2:00pm: Crew doffed/stowed Sokol suits
2:31am: Orbit 6 began
2:31pm: Crew sleep began
4:05pm: Crew sleep ends.

Start ISS Flyaround -- 4/10 (Thu), 8:37am; range ~405m;
Start Stationkeeping -- 8:46am; range ~160m, below;
Final Approach -- 8:53am;
Docking -- 9:02am.
OGS Update: In line with a Program decision to keep the Elektron oxygen generator deactivated for power reasons while the ATV vehicle is docked to the ISS, the US OGS (Oxygen Generation System) was activated yesterday and subsequently started operating in 25% production mode with day/night cycling enabled (i.e., producing about 3 lb/day of O2). The mode will be increased when more power becomes available.

Columbus Update: This morning ground engineers performed Run 1 of a planned COL Air Loop Thermal Checkout. During the checkout, the Columbus temperature was expected to increase somewhat, and the crew was advised to minimize their time in the module.

ATV Update: The scheduled ATV1 thruster test was successfully conducted on 4/5 (Saturday). After the handover to USOS CMG momentum management at the completion of the test, the vehicle momentum peaked at approximately 97% (of full capability) during SARJ (Solar Alpha Rotary Joint) and BGA (Beta Gimbal Angle) rotations. This is an expected occurrence due to the increased mass and inertia of the vehicle. Mitigating procedures have been instituted to minimize the momentum during these operations. Following yesterday's undocking of Progress 28P, and after the ATV transitioned to Standard Mode 2, the ATV solar arrays went prematurely into Autotrack. TsUP confirmed that neither they nor the crew had sent commands to 'Jules Verne' that would have caused the arrays to switch to Autotrack. Ground teams are analyzing.

CEO photo targets uplinked for today were Calcutta, India (looking right on the Hooghly River, one of the distributaries of the Ganges Delta, for this urban area of ~14 million people, focusing on city margins), East Haruj Megafans, Libya (a detailed swath of overlapping images looking just right of track was requested: remote sensing is a powerful way to collect data on these remote features. Understanding the way recently recognized extensive networks of desert streams are functioning (where there are no hillsides to channel them) is a new branch of research. This research has special application to ongoing research on Mars (e.g. for understanding the enigmatic flat plains in the Meridian region where the rover Opportunity still functions)), Pilcomayo River dynamics, N Argentina (the Pilcomayo River has built the largest inland delta (megafan) on Earth. It is also unusual because at present it stops flowing not far from the Andes Mt front -i.e. water and sediment fail to reach the sea, even though this is a major regional river. The cause may be tectonic subsidence. The crew was asked to shoot detailed images as far out onto the plains as the river stretches), Lima, Peru (looking a touch right for the capital city Lima (a short distance inland) and its port Callao, with a combined population of 7.5 million. Images of the margins of the cities were requested), East Venezuela land use (a swath of overlapping images close to nadir was to document new farming expansions in a part of the world which has been untouched until recently), Mississippi Delta Region (a mapping swath along track was to document ecological changes since Hurricane Katrina's passage in August 2005), and Sky Island Forests, Sierra Madre, Mexico/SW USA (the higher elevations of mountains in Mexico's Sierra Madre ranges and the US Southwest are cool and moist enough for thick pine-oak forest to flourish. The forested peaks appear as green 'islands' in the deserts mainly of northern Mexico, but also in the US Southwest. The sky islands boast some of the richest biodiversity anywhere in North America. To start this round of change documentation researchers requested broad views looking right of track).

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