NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 21 September 2016

The southern tip of Italy is visible in this image taken by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station on Sept. 17, 2016. Credit: NASA.

The United States and Russia are working to get a pair of cargo ships ready for a mid-October launch schedule to the International Space Station. While the new shipments are being processed, the Expedition 49 crew conducted eye checks, wore carbon dioxide monitors and prepared for a fuel combustion experiment.

The U.S. company Orbital ATK is targeting the Oct. 9-13 time frame for the launch of its sixth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the space station. Its Cygnus spacecraft will be scheduled to launch atop an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Va., after successfully completing operational milestones and technical reviews.

The next resupply mission will be Oct. 20 when the Progress 65 cargo craft launches from Kazakhstan on a two-day trip to the space station. The new Russian space freighter will replace the Progress 63 after it undocks Oct. 14 from the rear port of the Zvezda service module.

Back on orbit, astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi paired up for routine eye exams today with remote support from ground personnel. Rubins, from NASA, also wore personal devices to demonstrate the ability to monitor a crew member's exposure to carbon dioxide aboard a spacecraft.

Onishi, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, continued setting up gear to begin the Group Combustion experiment next week. That study will explore how flames fed by fuel droplets spread in microgravity.

On-Orbit Status Report

Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Combustion Chamber Adapter Plate Attachment: FE-5 installed the Combustion Chamber adapter plate in the MSPR Work Volume. Next week, the crew will be installing and with ground support, initiating the Group Combustion experiment. The Group Combustion investigation tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets. In the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads. Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

Personal Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitor: FE-6 donned four Personal CO2 Monitors, wearing them for several hours attached to various locations on the crew's clothes. The crewmember then doffed the monitors, downloaded the data, powered off and stowed the monitors. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a new capability to continuously monitor the astronauts' immediate surroundings on the ISS. All human spacecraft must be designed with environmental control systems that remove CO2 from the air that their crews breathe, but the space environment can still lead to "pockets" of CO2 that are difficult to detect and remove. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a system capable of unobtrusively collecting and downlinking individual crew members' CO2 exposure for weeks to months. The Personal CO2 Monitor also demonstrates Modular Wearable Architecture Base Board, allowing rapid certification of future wearable devices.

Story Time From Space: FE-6 was scheduled to record a demonstration using a balance scale to show how a balance can be used to compare mass in a free-fall/microgravity environment. The setup of the activity ran longer than expected, and the crew will perform the actual experiment in the morning. Story Time From Space combines science literacy outreach with simple demonstrations recorded aboard the ISS. Crew members read five science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related children's books in orbit, and complete simple science concept experiments. Crew members videotape themselves reading the books and completing demonstrations. Video and data collected during the demonstrations are downlinked to the ground and posted in a video library with accompanying educational materials.

Eye Exams: FE-5 and FE-6 assisted each other in performing routine eye exams using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and fundoscopy hardware. OCT is used to measure retinal thickness, volume, and retinal nerve fiber layer, and the fundoscope is used to obtain images of the retinal surface.

Today's Planned Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.

In Flight Maintenance Starboard Crew Quarters Light Installation
JAXA Video Taking Part 6
JEM OA-5 Trash Preparation
Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations - Subject
EHS Carbon Dioxide Monitor Data Download
Biochemical urine test
Regenegation of Micropurification unit (БМП) Ф2 cartridge (begin)
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Multi Omics FOS Preparation
Meteor Hard Drive Swapout
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment
Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Combustion Chamber Adapter Plate Attachment.
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops.
Manufacturing Device Velcro Attach
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Coliform Water Sample Analysis
Crew Arrival Prep
PILOT-Т. Closeout
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT Setup
Filling ЕДВ (KOВ) for Elektron
Story Time from Space Balance Demonstration
Story Time From Space Historical Photo
Clean Bench (CB) Valve Checkout (Deferred)
СОЖ maintenance
Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System O2 Repress Part 1
Health Maintenance System (HMS) - OCT Exam
Cleaning of ЦВ1 circulation fan mesh screen
Health Maintenance System (HMS) OCT Stow
Personal CO2 Monitor Crew Survey
Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System O2 Repress Part 2
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Eye Exam - Fundoscope
SPLANH. Preparation for experiment
Health Maintenance System (HMS) CMO - Fundoscope
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Fundoscope Tear Down and Stow

Completed Task List Items
Node 1 Dragon Unpack
EVA Tool Stow Part 4 (Active)

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
PCA Repress from NORS O2 Tank
BEAM SSC software update
TRRJ Survey

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 09/22: Ultrasound Scan, Water Hydraulics Components R&R, MMS sample, Increment 48 Safety Video Follow-Up
Friday, 09/23: Plant RNA, Cubesat Deployer Removal from MPEP, HRF Resupply, Lab MCA Pumpdown
Saturday, 09/24: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty

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") - 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) - Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

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