ISS On-orbit Status 28 Apr 2003

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003

image All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except as noted previously or below.  Day 156 for Expedition 6 (since STS-113 launch, 11/23/02 [154 days aboard ISS]).

Soyuz TMA-2 docked smoothly at the FGB nadir port, achieving successful contact and capture at 1:56am EDT.  [TMA-2 entered the RGS (Russian Ground Sites) communications zone at 1:44am during ISS orbit 25321.  Final approach started at 1:46am, through 20 m (1:55am), concluding with successful "kasaniye" (contact) at 1:56am.  Hooks and latches were then engaged at 2:10am, followed by interface leak checks, transfer of Soyuz to FGB power, and hatch opening (3:27am).  The two crews welcomed each other and exchanged greetings with VIPs assembled at MCC-M/TsUP.]

During final approach, FE-2/SO Don Pettit photographed the Soyuz using the DCS 760 (digital camera system 760) with 400mm and 800mm lenses in a procedural test evaluating techniques and camera settings for future Shuttle dockings to look for signs of damage to the Orbiter's TPS (thermal protection system) tiles.

Station attitude control was handed over to Russian MCS (motion control system) at 8:30pm EDT last night which then maneuvered to minimum propellant attitude.  A further maneuver to docking attitude followed at 11:33pm, and for the docking at 1:56am ISS went in free drift.  Attitude control later was returned to USOS, with LVLH (local vertical/local horizontal) momentum management by the CMGs.

Mission objectives for Expedition 7 are: (1) maintain health and status of ISS crew and vehicle;  (2) stow cargo delivered by 6S/Soyuz; (3) perform U.S. segment (USOS) and Russian segment (RS) science utilization; (4) train and prepare for 11P/Progress docking; (5) continue on-orbit checkout of MSS (Mobile Servicing System); (6) perform U.S. and Russian development test objectives; (7) perform U.S. and Russian system maintenance; (8) reboost ISS altitude with Progress; (9) dock 11P; (10) stow/transfer cargo delivered by 11P; (11) train and prepare for 12P/Progress docking; (12) load 11P with trash and undock;  (13) update software load; and (14) install Russian systems.

Prior to the docking, CDR Ken Bowersox installed IWIS (internal wireless instrumentation system) data recorders in the Lab and Node modules.  [Ground engineers use data of the IWIS accelerometers and strain gauges in the Node and Lab, via radio-linked RSUs (remote sensor units), to obtain acceleration (force) and strain (elongation) measurements during many dynamic activities, such as today's TMA-2 docking.]

After the docking, TV transmission from onboard to the ground via U.S. assets (Ku-band) was terminated, and Soyuz TMA-2 was deactivated.  Transfers of payload then began.

Expedition 7 will be quite research-intensive, with 15 experiments awaiting Yuri Malenchenko and Edward Lu, plus 12 continuing experiments from Increment 6.  [New Russian payloads, brought up by 6S, are MSK (BTX-32; Study of stem cell and postfusional cell ability to perform their functions.  Experiment is conducted in the Akvarius-B equipment at 37deg C, starting today and finishing on 5/3, by CDR Malenchenko, with CDR Bowersox assisting by performing photographing); Conjugation (BTX-10 -- Development of new methods of engineering of new recombinant strains of protein producers.  Experiment is conducted using Biocont-T thermal container, along with Recomb-K hardware inside it, in the Kriogem-03 freezer, by Malenchenko, with FE-1 Nikolai Budarin assisting by performing photographing; the hardware was stowed today in the Kriogem-03 freezer, after its temperature was set to +4 degC.  Temperature will be lowered to 22 degC tomorrow, followed by daily replacement of ice packs in Biocont-T container until 5/3 for return on 5S/Soyuz); Poligen (BIO-1 -- Study of correlation of Drosophilae fly population adaptiveness and their genetic structure and search for the genetic criteria of maximum resistance to space flight conditions.  Experiment will be performed by Malenchenko, with Budarin assisting with photography; to be returned on 6S); Intercellular Interaction (Bio-10 -- Evaluation of cytotoxicity of human blood lymphocyte with joint cultivation of gonocyte culture under microgravity conditions. Experiment was set up and initiated in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) by Malenchenko, after prior assembly in the DC-1 docking compartment, with Budarin assisting by performing photographing.  Bio-10 is being conducted in two parts, then placed in Kriogem-03);  Starmail (photography of CDR Malenchenko and Earth surface views, to be downlinked via Regul-Paket).  New and reactivated US experiments for Expedition 7 will be:  (1) Crewmember and Crew-ground Interactions - Phase 3 (Interactions - 3);  (2) Journals (In-flight Journals as an Indicator of Crew Stress Factors); (3) ARIS (Active Rack Isolation System Testing);  (4) BSTC (Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller Functional Test);  (5) ISSI (In Space Soldering Investigation);  (6) PFMI-SR (Pore Formation and Mobility Investigation - Samples Reprocessed);  (7) MFMG (Miscible Fluids in Microgravity);  (8) ESTER (Earth Science Toward Exploration Research);  (9) EPO-8 (Educational Payload Operations; and (10) Education (26 demonstrations).  In addition, there will be 12 continuing U.S.experiments.]

After the transfers, the five crewmembers went through the usual emergency evacuation drill, to sharpen their readiness for possible station evacuation in the two Soyuz vehicles in case of an emergency.

Well after the docking, Don Pettit opened the Lab window shutter to begin operations for EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle schools).  He also powered up the laptop of EXPRESS Rack 1 (ER1).

Yuri Malenchenko then set up the two Sokol spacesuits for drying.  The procedure was took about 3.5 hours and was followed by the drying-out of the gloves (another hour).

Budarin completed the daily routine task of SOZh life support systems maintenance, while FE-2/SO Don Pettit prepared the daily IMS (inventory management system) "delta" file for updating the IMS database.

Nikolai Mikhailovich also conducted his daily checkup of the BIO-5 "Rasteniya-2/Lada-2" zero-G plant growth experiment.

Bowersox downloaded the IWIS data collected earlier during the Soyuz docking.

The two crews started the handover procedures which will keep them occupied for the duration of the joint operations.  First order of business was the updating of the ODF (Operations Data Files) with a stack of new pages brought up by Soyuz-212.  [Malenchenko: "...I think that we will have sufficient time for the handover, although it might be a little bit more busy than we originally expected."]   During today's handover, the crew checked out the proper function of the power cable of the Vozdukh-PU CO2 removal system.   Today's optional CEO (crew earth observations) targets were Tigris-Euphrates, Turkey (detailed views requested of the numerous new manmade lakes being built in southern Turkey.  Looking mainly left.  New field patterns and road infrastructure are rapidly expanding around the lakes and are of greatest interest), Kuwait City, Kuwait (nadir pass; ESC [electronic still camera]. Then sun glint views of the Persian Gulf coast), Bamako, Mali (nadir pass; ESC), Caracas, Venezuela (nadir pass), and Monterrey, Mexico (nadir pass). CEO images can be viewed at the websites)]. and

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