NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 November 2016

Expedition 50 crew is seen in quarantine behind glass during a crew press conference, from left, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Whitson, Novitskiy, and Pesquet will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan the morning of November 18 (Kazakh time.) All three will spend approximately six months on the orbital complex. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Soyuz rocket that will launch three new Expedition 50 crew members to space Thursday was blessed at its launch pad today. Back in space, the Canadarm2 grappled the Cygnus cargo craft ahead of its release early next week.

An Orthodox priest performed the traditional blessing of the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft today before its launch to the International Space Station. Peggy Whitson of NASA, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA are in quarantine at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Kazakhstan and are scheduled to liftoff Thursday at 3:20 p.m. EST on a two-day trip to their new home in space.

The new trio will dock to the Rassvet module Saturday afternoon and join Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko who have been in space since Oct. 19. The new Soyuz crew ship will make four spacecraft docked at the orbital complex before the Cygnus resupply ship departs two days later.

Cygnus will end its month-long stay at the Unity module on Monday when Kimbrough commands the Canadarm2 to release the cargo craft at 8:20 a.m. NASA TV will broadcast the release and departure of Cygnus beginning at 8 a.m. Before Cygnus begins its fiery reentry into Earth's atmosphere it will stay in space a few more days to release a set of ocean ship tracking CubeSats and conduct the Saffire-II spacecraft fire study.

On-Orbit Status Report

Human Research Facility (HRF) Software Upgrades: Today the crew initiated the second day of HRF software transitions. Today's upgrades will be to the HRF Personal Computer-3 (HRFPC-3). Based on the compatibility issue observed during the HRF Rack 1 PC upgrade yesterday, ground teams were able to command to the HRF PC without needing to access the Rack Interface Controller (RIC). The new software loads will support new experiments and on-board capabilities. Over the next two days, the HRF Rack 2 PC and HRFPC3 will be updated as well. The HRF Racks provide an on-orbit laboratory that enables scientists conducting human life science research to evaluate the physiological, behavioral, and chemical changes induced by space flight. Research performed using the capabilities within the racks provide data to help scientists understand how the human body adapts to long-duration space flight.

Strata-1 Card Changeout: The crew completed a changeout of four Strata Secure Digital (SD) data cards and transferred photos to a Station Support Computer (SSC) for ground teams to downlink and distribute. Strata-1 investigates the properties and behavior of regolith on small, airless bodies. Regolith is the impact-shattered "soil" found on asteroids, comets, the Moon, and other airless worlds, but it is different from soil here on Earth in that it contains no living material. Strata-1's goal is to give us answers about how regolith behaves and moves in microgravity, how easy or difficult it is to anchor a spacecraft in regolith, how it interacts with spacecraft and spacesuit materials, and other important properties. It is important to NASA to know how to set anchors in regolith, how to safely move and process large volumes of regolith, and predict and prevent risk to spacecraft and astronauts visiting these small bodies. Also, understanding the whole-body context of material returned to Earth from small asteroids, such as by the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission, the JAXA Hayabusa 1 and 2 missions, and the proposed NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is scientifically beneficial.

Cygnus Departure Preparations: Today, Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and grappled Cygnus for release and departure scheduled for Monday, November 21st. The crew then performed an On Board Training (OBT) session to review release procedures.

iPad Air 2 Deploy: iPad Air 2 were deployed in the place of the current iPad 3s. The iPad Air 2 will be used for everyday crew functions including viewing timelines, procedures and crew messages. These iPads have the ESA Everywear app and other crew preference apps including Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Two iPad 3s will remain onboard for several ongoing payload operations that are not able to update to the iPad Air 2s and one iPad 3 will continue to be used for the Wall Clock.

Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Hydrogen Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Quick Disconnect (QD) Inspection: The crew accessed and inspected QD "DIW FROM RSA" on the OGS Hydrogen Dome. This QD was not able to be fully mated during last week's Hydrogen ORU replacement and had to be secured with Kapton Tape. The QD was inspected for leaks as well as any movement out of position. No connections are demated or mated during this task. Crew reported no visible water in the rack or on or around the QD, and OGS was reactivated.

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Elbow Camera Failure: This morning, during operations to power SSRMS in preparation for grappling Cygnus, the tip elbow camera initialized with color bars. Multiple power cycle and reroute attempts have not been successful to recover the camera. This camera was providing clearance and alignment views which can be substituted with the SSRMS Base Elbow camera. Loss of the SSRMS Tip Elbow camera does not impact unberth and release operations for Cygnus.

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

MORZE. Evaluation using SPRUT-2. Tagup with specialists
FSL MPCC Laptop Powering On & Software Image Installation
HRF1 PC 3 USB Load Installation Preparation
Monitoring ИП-1 Air Flow Sensors
ISS RS ППС-26, ППС-31 Plug-in Audit
MORZE. Psycho-physiological Evaluation: Tsentrovka, SENSOR Tests
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Water Recovery System Waste Water Tank Drain Termination
Meteor Hard Drive Swapout
MORZE. Psycho-physiological Evaluation: SUPOS Test
MORZE. Psycho-physiological Evaluation: Cattell's Test
OTKLIK. Hardware Monitoring
СОЖ maintenance
BIMS. Operator Assistance During the Experiment
BIMS. Experiment Tagup with specialists
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
iPad Air 2 Deploy
iPad 3 Move
Video Recording of Greetings
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Release
ISS RS System Power Panels ППС-26 and ППС-31 Plug-in Audit
MORZE. Psycho-physiological Evaluation: Strelau Test
On-board Training (OBT) Cygnus Review
MORZE. Closeout Ops
Soyuz 732 Samsung Tablet Recharge, Initiate
Oxygen Generation System Hydrogen Orbital Replacement Unit Quick Disconnect Inspection
INTERACTION-2 Experiment Ops
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Remove and Replace
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
VEG-03 Plant Photo
Soyuz 732 Samsung Tablet Recharge, Terminate
Station Support Computer (SSC) 5 Reload Preparation
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Recycle Tank Fill
HRF1 PC 3 USB Load Installation Conclude

Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
SSRMS Cygnus Grapple
JEMRMS Ground Control Handhold Exp Platform Sample View

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 11/17: DoseTrack, STRATA Card, Cygnus Egress
Friday, 11/18: Cygnus Vestibule Demate, Node 1 CPA Install, RWS Setup
Saturday, 11/19: 49S Docking

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

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.