NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 December 2015

©NASA

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 December 2015.

Three crew members from the International Space Station returned to Earth on Friday. The landing in Kazakhstan wrapped up a space mission that lasted 141 days and returned samples from several NASA human research experiments aboard the station.

Expedition 45 flight engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) touched down at approximately 8:12 a.m. EST (7:12 p.m. Kazakhstan time) northeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. It was the first time a crew has landed after sunset and only the sixth nighttime Soyuz return from the space station.

As they adjust to gravity after their stay in space, Russian recovery teams will help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and load them into waiting helicopters for return flights home to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, northeast of Moscow.

The trio arrived at the station July 23 and orbited Earth 2,256 times, traveling a total of 59.6 million miles. It was the first mission for Lindgren and Yui and the third for Kononenko, who has now spent 533 days in space.

While aboard the orbiting laboratory, the crew members participated in Earth observations and conducted research in the areas of physical, biological and molecular science to advance knowledge and demonstrate new technologies. Such investigations enable research breakthroughs and drive technology innovations that provide benefits on Earth, and will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration missions into deep space.

The space station is a test bed to demonstrate new technologies, and Lindgren and Yui took part in the Veggie plant growth experiment that yielded fresh lettuce for crew consumption in August. NASA is maturing Veggie technology aboard the space station to provide future pioneers with a sustainable food supplement -- a critical part of NASA's journey to Mars.

The crew members welcomed three cargo spacecraft during the mission: the fifth Japanese HTV in August, a Russian ISS Progress in October, and Orbital ATK's Cygnus, which arrived at the station Wednesday.

During his time on the orbiting complex, Lindgren ventured outside the confines of the space station for two planned spacewalks. The first included a variety of station upgrade and maintenance tasks, including routing cables to prepare for new docking ports for U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. The second spacewalk resulted in the successful reconfiguration of a space station ammonia cooling system.

The Expedition 46 crew members remaining aboard to continue research and maintenance are Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov. The three-person crew will operate the station for four days until the arrival of three new crew members. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 15.

On-Orbit Status Report

43 Soyuz (43S) Undock and Landing: The 43S crew (Kononenko, Yui, and Lindgren) undocked from the Mini-Research Module (MRM)-1 docking port today at 3:49am CST. The Soyuz deorbit burn was completed at 6:24am CST, resulting in a nominal landing in the Kazakhstan southern zone at 7:18am CST. The ISS will be in 3-crew operations until 45S docking on December 15.

Cognition: Kelly performed his Flight Day 263 session of the Cognition experiment. The Individualized Real-Time Neurocognitive Assessment Toolkit for Space Flight Fatigue (Cognition) investigation is a battery of tests that measure how spaceflight-related physical changes, such as microgravity and lack of sleep, can affect cognitive performance. Cognition includes ten brief computerized tests that cover a wide range of cognitive functions, and provides immediate feedback on current and past test results. The software used allows for real-time measurement of cognitive performance while in space.

Microbiome, Telomeres and Salivary Markers: Blood samples were taken from Yui, Lindgren and Kelly to support the Microbiome, Telomeres and Salivary Markers investigations. These samples were then stored at ambient temperatures on the 43S vehicle that returned today. Microbiome investigates the impact of space travel on both the human immune system and an individual's microbiome (the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body at any given time). Telomeres investigates how telomeres and telomerase are affected by space travel. Salivary Markers data will be used to identify any risks of an adverse health event in crewmembers due to an impaired immune system.

Reaction Self-Test: Kelly and Kornienko completed sessions for the Reaction Self-Test investigation. The experiment helps crewmembers objectively identify when their performance capability is degraded by various fatigue-related conditions that can occur as a result of ISS operations and time in space (e.g., acute and chronic sleep restriction, slam shifts, extravehicular activity (EVA), and residual sedation from sleep medications).

Journals: Kelly completed a Journals entry. The investigation obtains information on behavioral and human issues that are relevant to the design of equipment and procedures used by astronauts during extended-duration missions. Study results provide information used in preparations for future missions to low-Earth orbit and beyond.

Orbital ATK (OA)-4 Cargo Operations: Kelly completed 3 hours of OA-4 cargo operations including transfer of Extravehicular Activity Mobility Unit (EMU) 3008.

Today's Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Reaction Self-Test (Wakeup)
TWIN - Blood Sample Collection
SLEEP - Questionnaire
TWIN - Blood Draw (Operator)
HRF Blood Draw
REGENERATION-1. Container Transfer to Soyuz 717
TWIN - Close-out Ops and Stowage
Soyuz 717 Return Cargo Ops
Setup GoPro HERO3 camera in Soyuz 717
HRF - Pre-packing and hand over of blood samples to Russian crew for return on Soyuz 717
Emergency OBT after Cygnus Arrival
HRF - Stow Blood Collection Equipment
Food Frequency Questionnaire
CTB - Retrieval
ECLSS Recycle Tank Remove and Replace
ISS HAM - RADIO Deactivation
Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) hardware stowage
OBT - Cygnus Ops Conference
WRS - Recycle Tank Fill
Closure of SM window shutters No.6,8,9,12,13,14
Warning/Emergency Book Deployment
Video Footage for Nauka 2.0 TV Channel
Photo of [СА] and return stowage prior to Soyuz 717 undocking
Soyuz 717 Loading Complete Report (S-band)
Photography of the external surface of Soyuz 717 [СА] БО hatch/manhole door
Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) - Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Stowage
Comm config for Soyuz 717 Undocking and Descent
Downlink photos of the external surface of Soyuz 717 [СА] -БО Hatch Cover after completion of return cargo transfers (via OCA)
Soyuz 717 Activation
Setup and Activation of КСПЭ Equipment for TV coverage "Hatch Closure from MRM1″ in MPEG2 via Ku-band
WRS - Recycle Tank Fill from EDV
Emergency OBT after Cygnus Arrival
Soyuz-MRM1 Hatch Closure. TV Coverage "Hatch Closure" from MRM1 (Ku + S-band)
WRS - Recycle Tank Fill
Soyuz 717- SM MRM1 hatch leak check
Closing USOS Window Shutters
Crew Onboard Support System (КСПЭ) Hardware Deactivation and Closing Applications on ЦП SSC
WHC - Full Fill
Life On The Station Photo and Video
Removal of depress hose for nominal operations
Soyuz 717 ODF Ops; Undocking and Descent Ops
MRM1 FanScreen Cleaning (group B). Cleaning behind panels 405, 406
WHC - Full Fill
JRNL - Journal Entry
Communication and Tracking (C&T) - On-Call system configuration in Crew Quarters
WRS - Recycle Tank Fill
Life On The Station Photo and Video
Photography of Soyuz 717 Docking Assembly from DC1 (and SM) Window during Undocking
Reconfiguring MRM1-SOYUZ PEV to CLOSED position
IMS Delta File Prep
RGN - Initiate drain into EDV
СОЖ Maintenance
ISTOCHNIK-M Preparation For Measurements.
RGN - Terminate water drain into EDV
COGNITION - Battery Test
IDENTIFICATION. Copy ИМУ-Ц micro-accelerometer data to laptop
ISTOCHNIK-M. Activation of Soyuz 717 TLM Recording Mode.
ISTOCHNIK-M Closeout Ops
Comm reconfig for nominal ops
MERLIN - Reminder
Reaction Self-Test (Sleep)

Completed Task List Items
43S prepack

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
43S undock activities

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Saturday, 12/12: Crew Off Duty, Weekly Cleaning
Sunday, 12/13: Crew Off Duty
Monday 12/14: Crew Off Duty

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:

Component- Status
Elektron - Off
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Norm
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Off

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.