NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 December 2016

This non-tropical storm system was captured by Commander Shane Kimbrough Dec. 6 as the International Space Station flew 250 miles over the northeast coast of South America. At the time, Kimbrough was practicing robotic maneuvers with the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm in preparation for the capture of the Japanese HTV-6 cargo ship planned for Dec. 13. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 50 crew worked on a series of life science experiments and maintenance operations today. A pair of astronauts also trained for the arrival of Japan's HTV-6 resupply ship next week.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko started work this morning on the long-running Fluid Shifts experiment. The crew measured their arteries and veins while wearing the Lower Body Negative Pressure suit that pulls fluids towards the feet. The crew then took ultrasound scans to help doctors understand and prevent vision changes astronauts have reported experiencing while living in space.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will roll out its H-IIB rocket with the HTV-6 cargo craft to the launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan Thursday afternoon for liftoff Friday at Friday at 8:26 a.m. EST. The Japanese resupply ship will deliver fresh fruit, science hardware, life support gear and new lithium-ion batteries. NASA Television will broadcast the HTV-6 launch live as well as its arrival Dec. 13.

Commander Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet got together again this afternoon practicing the robotics maneuvers necessary to capture the HTV-6 when it arrives next Tuesday at 6 a.m. Ground controllers are positioning and configuring the Canadarm2 robotic arm so it can grapple the Japanese cargo ship and install it to the Harmony module.

On-Orbit Status Report

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Operations: Monday afternoon and overnight, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Serving System (MSS) and configured the SSRMS and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Arm2 for translation. They then translated the Mobile Transporter (MT) translation from Worksite(WS)7 to WS5, stowed the SPDM on the Lab, and walked the SSRMS onto Node 2. As part of HTV-6 pre-launch checkouts, Diagnostics and Checkouts of the Payload Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Accommodation (POA) (on Prime String) and SSRMS LEE were performed along with the brakes Diagnostics (on both Strings). Afterward, a checkout of the SSRMS Latch End Effector (LEE) Dual Stage Carriage Rates (DSCR) and the POA diagnostics and checkouts on the redundant power string were performed.

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Onboard Training (OBT): Today, the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS in preparation for the HTV-6 Offset Grapples Practice Session. During the training session, the crew practiced maneuvering the SSRMS into the grapple envelope of the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) PDGF. They performed this maneuver several times and then performed a run during which the Robotics Ground Controllers safed the SSRMS to simulate a failure. After the Offset Grapples practice session, the SSRMS was maneuvered to the HTV-6 High Hover position ready for HTV-6 capture scheduled for 13-December.

Fluid Shifts: Today was the first of two days of Flight Day 45 (FD45) Fluid Shifts operations performed in the Russian Segment, utilizing the Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP/Chibis). The subject donned the Chibis device, and while the crewmember was exposed to the negative pressure (pulling the fluid feetward), the operator, with remote guidance from Houston, performed arterial and venous measurements of the head and neck; cardiac, ophthalmic, and portal vein measurements; and tissue thickness of various body parts using the Human Research Facility (HRF) ultrasound. The crew then deconfigured the ultrasound, and configured the Cerebral and Cochlear Fluid Pressure (CCFP) and Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAE) for tomorrow's operations. Fluid Shifts investigates the causes for severe and lasting physical changes to astronaut's eyes. Because the headward fluid shift is a hypothesized contributor to these changes, reversing this fluid shift with a lower body negative pressure device is investigated as a possible intervention. Results from this study may help to develop preventative measures against lasting changes in vision and eye damage.

Fine Motor Skills: The crew performed their FD20 Fine Motor Skills tests, performing a series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet. The investigation studies how fine motor skills are effected by long-term microgravity exposure, different phases of microgravity adaptation, and sensorimotor recovery after returning to Earth gravity. The goal of Fine Motor Skills is to answer how fine motor performance in microgravity trend/vary over the duration of a six-month and year-long space mission; how fine motor performance on orbit compare with that of a closely matched participant on Earth; and how performance trend/vary before and after gravitational transitions, including the periods of early flight adaptation, and very early/near immediate post-flight periods.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Holder Exchange: On December 2, the crew removed the samples from the ELF Work Volume and cleaned the internal chamber. Today, the sample cartridge was removed and replaced with a new sample and then reconnected and integrated in the ELF. The Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) is an experimental facility designed to levitate/melt/solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the Electrostatic Levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured, and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved. The ELF is located in the JEM Multipurpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in Kibo.

Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS): Today, ground controllers will uplink a patch to the OPALS software, in an attempt to recover capability. In July 2016, the laser modulation card that supplies data input to the OPALS laser failed. The option of continuous wave laser operations (continuous ON rather than ON/OFF modulation) was investigated by the OPALS team and forward plan was approved by the Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP). During an attempted pass in September 2016, the laser unit was powered on with telemetry indicating nominal performance. However, the OPALS flight software entered safe mode (with reboot) once the first laser command was sent. Further investigation determined that the RS-422 commanding interface to the laser unit is not initialized in Version 1.4 in the event the laser modulation card is not detected. The Version 1.5 update fixes this bug by initializing the RS-422 commanding interface when the laser modulation card is not detected. OPALS tests the potential for using a laser to transmit data to Earth from space. Instead of being broadcast on radio waves, data is packaged onto beams of laser light and hardware on the ISS will point the laser to a receiver station on the ground. Radio waves transmission is limited by the speed that it can transfer data, but beaming information packages with lasers can greatly increase the amount of information transmitted over the same period of time.

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (AL) Repress: Following a week of Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) operations, last weekend the Robotics Ground Team installed the RELL on the slide table followed by the slide table being retracted back into the JEM AL. Earlier today the crew pressurized and performed a leak check of the JEM AL. Tomorrow the crew is scheduled to remove the JEM ORU Xfer I/F (JOTI) and RELL from the slide table.

Oxygen Generator System (OGS) Flow Measurements: Last night the Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) was commanded to Standby due to low air flow in the rack as measured by crew. This morning the crew repeated the flow measurements for the OGS Avionics Air Assembly (AAA). Today's readings indicated 6.6 cubic feet per minute (cfm) which is nominal. No AAA cleaning is required at this time, and OGS has been reactivated.

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

Acoustic Dosimeter Setup Day 2
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test - Subject
FLUID SHIFTS. Comm Config for Experiment
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Sample Holder Exchange
FLUID SHIFTS. TV Hardware Prep and Setup
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test - Subject
FLUID SHIFTS. РБС Activation for Ultrasound Hardware
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Service Module Power On Preparation
Monitoring the Results of Nikon Digital Matrix Cleaning and File Name Changing.
EveryWear Biometric Patch setup for sleep assessment
In-Flight Maintenance (IFM) Airlock Stowage Clear
FLUID SHIFTS. Chibis Countermeasures Vacuum Suit Setup
FLUID SHIFTS. Assistance during Operations with Chibis Countermeasures Vacuum Suit and Gamma-1.
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Airlock (A/L) Smoke Detector (SD) Cleaning
Oxygen Generation System Flow Measure Placeholder
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Service Module Scan
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Recycle Tank Fill
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Setup
FLUID SHIFTS. Closeout Ops with Chibis Countermeasures Vacuum Suit
FLUID SHIFTS. РБС Deactivation
Routine Maintenance of SM Audio Subsystem [СТТС] (LP Path and УКВ Functionality Checkout).
FLUID SHIFTS. Crew Onboard Support System (КСПЭ) Hardware Deactivation and Closing SSC Apps
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Service Module Stow
FLUID SHIFTS. Nominal Comm Confit Restoration
Fluid Shifts HRF PC CCFP Service Module Setup
Delta file prep
FLUID SHIFTS. Cable Assembly Setup for Power Converter.
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Hardware Transfer
FLUID SHIFTS. Connection of US Invertor to Onboard Equipment Control System (СУБА).
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config Columbus Setup
PAO Preparation
JEM Airlock Press
VEG-03 Plant Photo
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) in Columbus
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) WSTA Fill
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Conductivity Test
Filling in (Degassing) of EDV (KOV) for Elektron or EDV-SV
Comm Config in MRM2 for the Experiment
On-board Training (OBT) HTV Offset Grapple
JEM Airlock Leak Check
Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations - Subject
СОЖ maintenance
Restoration of Nominal Comm Config in MRM2
KULONOVSKIY KRISTALL. Data Transfer and Downlink
On-board Training (OBT) HTV Offset Grapple
ИП-1 Sensors Installation Monitoring
Onboard Training (OBT) SSRMS Debrief Conference
Measurement of CO Partial Pressure using CSA-CP near the Central Post (location: SM Central Post, Panel 208). Battery Changeout (if required) on MCC-H Go. Report the readings and CSA-CP number to MCC. Use one CSA-CP during the measurements
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 (T2) Quarterly Maintenance
Crew Medical Officer (CMO) On Board Training (OBT)
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 (T2) Exercise Session
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap
Stow Syringes used in H2O Conductivity Test

Completed Task List Items
ICE Brick Stow
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Inspection
T2 Monthly Inspection
EVA Payload Water Reservoir Degas
EVA On Orbit Measurements
MERLIN Desiccant Maintenance
Russian Segment IWIS RSU Connection and Configuration Survey

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
SSRMS Walkoff

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 12/07: IMV Flow Measurements, JEMAL Slide Table Extend and RELL Removal, Fluid Shifts
Thursday, 12/08: FSS ITCS Coolant Loop Refill, Solar Array Mast Imagery
Friday, 12/09: MSPR Combustion Chamber Installation, ITCS Coolant Loop Fill, HRF Samples, Fine Motor Skills

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[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) - Process
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.