NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 1 October 2018 - October Will Be a Very Busy Month

(From left) Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel of NASA and Soyuz MS-08 Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos are inside the Zvezda service module practicing on a computer the Soyuz descent procedures they will use when they return to Earth on Oct. 4. NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (out of frame) will join the duo for the ride home inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft ending the Expedition 56 mission. Credit: NASA. (Taken September 24, 2018)

October will be a busy month as a pair of crews get ready to swap places on the International Space Station followed by a pair of spacewalks. Also, Japan's HTV-7 resupply ship is open for business and the Expedition 56 crew has begun unloading its science and supplies.

Station commander Drew Feustel is preparing to return to Earth Thursday with two of his crewmates despite a busy schedule of science and maintenance aboard the orbital lab. Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev is packing the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft today that he will pilot back to Earth flanked by Feustel and NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold. The trio is due to land in Kazakhstan at 7:45 a.m. after 197 days in space.

Expedition 57 starts when the Soyuz MS-08 crew ship undocks Thursday at 3:57 a.m. EDT. Staying behind are Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) who will command the station with Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev until a new pair of crewmates join the following week.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Soyuz Commander Alexey Ovchinin will blast off Oct. 11 at 4:40 a.m. aboard the Soyuz MS-10 crew ship and take a six hour ride to their new home in space. The duo is in Kazakhstan at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site making final preparations for their 187 day mission.

The station is being replenished today as the crew begins offloading cargo from the HTV-7 resupply ship from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). Robotics controllers will soon unload new lithion-ion batteries packed inside HTV-7 and install them on the truss structure to upgrade the station's power systems. A pair of spacewalks are planned before the end of the month to complete the battery connections.


On-Orbit Status Report

J-SSOD-10: The crew performed part 1 of 2 of the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) installation onto the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP). This is being performed in preparation for the J-SSOD-10 deploys this Saturday, GMT 279. The J-SSOD is a unique satellite launcher, handled by the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which provides containment and deployment mechanisms for several individual small satellites. Once the J-SSOD is installed on the MPEP by crewmembers, it is passed through the JEM airlock for retrieval, positioning and deployment by the JEMRMS.

Functional Immune: The crew performed saliva collections as part of the Functional Immune experiment. Functional Immune analyzes blood and saliva samples to determine the changes taking place in crewmembers' immune systems during flight. The changes in the immune system are also compared with crewmembers' self-reported health information. Results are expected to provide new insight into the possible health risks of long-duration space travel, including future missions to Mars, asteroids, or other distant destinations.

Freezer-Refrigerator Of STirling cycle (FROST): Today the crew replaced the failed FROST2 controller with new hardware that arrived on HTV-7. FROST is a Stirling cooler that is able to maintain temperatures under -70ºC. FROST2 will be used to support JAXA's Low Temperature Protein Crystallization Growth (LT-PCG) investigation.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): Shutdown and stow of mission 63 was completed today. As of the final report, 28,438 students from 34 countries had signed up to request images and more than 8,000 images had been downlinked. EarthKAM allows thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew's perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth's coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The EarthKAM team then posts these photographs on the Internet for viewing by the public and participating classrooms around the world.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) 3003 Radio Troubleshooting: Last Friday, EMU 3003 experienced an unexpected loss of EMU data while on the primary (PRI) radio. Today the crew configured the Ultra High Frequency (UHF)-2 radio for EVA communication and performed audio checks on EMU 3003 in conjunction with an ullage dump; while initial comm checks were nominal, and the ground received nominal data from the suit, they did not receive EDAR data as expected. After switching back and forth between alternate (ALT) and PRI radios, ground teams were able to isolate part of last week's failure signature to a data timeout when switching between radios. At this time, however, experts remain unable to explain why data was initially lost during last week's activity. Additional meetings are scheduled to discuss the results of today's troubleshooting and the forward plan.

Nitrogen/Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Nitrogen (N2) Transfer Terminate: The crew reconfigured the ISS N2 system and terminated the N2 transfer from the NORS tank to the High Pressure Gas Tank. The crew then removed the empty NORS tank and stowed it in preparation for return on a future flight.

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Rack Transfers: The crew completed all but one of the HTV-7 rack transfers today. Tomorrow, the crew will perform the final rack transfer and the post rack-transfer hatch seal inspections. The list of rack transfers completed today is as follows:

Life Science Glovebox (LSG) hardware temporarily installed into JPM1F5
Express Rack 9B transferred from HTV-7 to COL1F2
RSR transferred from JPM1A5 to HTV-7
Express Rack 10B transferred from HTV-7 to JPM1A5
RSR transferred from LAB1P1 to HTV-7
Life Support Rack (LSR) transferred from HTV-7 to LAB1P1
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Operations: Friday night, the Robotics Ground Controllers extracted the External Platform (EP) from HTV-7 and installed it on the Mobile Base System (MBS) Payload/Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) Accommodation (POA). Next, they walked SSRMS off from Node2 Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) onto Mobile Base System (MBS) PDGF4. When performing the base change, data was collected to capture the rigidization tension on both Latching End Effectors (LEEs). They then unstowed the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) from the Lab PDGF, completing initial operations to configure the MSS for the HTV-7 Battery Remove & Replace operations scheduled in mid-October. Tonight, Robotics Ground Controllers will be performing a Mobile Transporter (MT) translation to Worksite (WS)7.

Completed Task List Activities:
WHC KTO replace [Completed GMT 273]

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
MT Translate to WS7

Two-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 10/02:

Payloads
Functional Immune (continuing)
MobiPV checkout
Plant Habitat - Plant Thinning

Systems
CQ Clean
PMM1O2 RSR Transfer
Hatch Seal Inspection
54S packing

Wednesday, 10/03:

Payloads
BEST experiment 3
Functional Immune (continuing)
LSG Software Load
J-SSOD 10 Install part 2

Systems
ER 9B and 10B umbilical mate
Change of Command
SSC Zbook Deploy
HTV Cargo Ops
54S Packing

Today's Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

HRF Generic Saliva Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry Subject
XF305 Camcorder Setup
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Auxiliary Laptop Computer System Virus Definition File Update
JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) onto Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform Installation Part 1
ISS imagery from Soyuz 738 БO: Photo Session Drill
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Charging Soyuz 739 IRIDIUM Phone, Configuration Setup
Soyuz 739 IRIDIUM telephone charging - charge monitoring
Recharging Soyuz 739 IRIDIUM Satellite Phone - End and Teardown
EarthKAM Node 1 Shutdown, Disconnect and Stow
Recharging Soyuz 738 IRIDIUM Satellite Phone - Initiate
Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) Nitrogen Transfer Termination
ISS Crew departure preparation
Soyuz 738 IRIDIUM telephone charging - charge monitoring
Charging Soyuz 738 IRIDIUM phone, terminate charge, tear down the setup
Relocate SSC5 back to the LAB
Small Satellite Orbital Deployer Checkout Prep
Transfer Operations - Pack and stow items on HTV
CALCIUM. Bioekololgiya Cases #13-3 & #13-4: Photography, Processing, and Imagery Downlink, Pre-pack for Return
CALCIUM. Experiment session 13
Clearing psychological support files from Samsung N51 tablet
HTV-7 Rack Transfer Stowage Gather
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
LBNP training session (FINAL).
COL1F2 Rack Bay Closeout Removal
Transfer COL1F2 stowage
Stowage NORS Relocate
EarthKAM
Small Satellite Orbital Deployer Checkout Cleanup
Soft Dummy Panel Removal from JPM1F5
JPM1F5 HD Video Camera Setup
Life Science Glovebox (LSG) transfer from HTV to JPM1F5
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Assist with Life Science Glovebox (LSG) transfer from HTV to JPM1F5
СОЖ maintenance
Preventive Maintenance of MRM2 Passive Docking Assembly [АСП] and Soyuz 738 Active Docking Assembly [ACA] Hatch Sealing Mechanisms
ASEPTIC. Photography of post-incubation samples, data transfer to HD for return.
Charging GoPro HERO3 camcorder battery in Soyuz 738 (10) - initiate
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Rad Detector Rotate
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Radio Troubleshooting
Express Rack 9B Transfer from HTV to COL1F2
Soyuz 738 Stowage Ops for Return (Note 5)
ASEPTIC. Removal of ТБУ-В No.2 Thermostat
XF305 Camcorder Setup
JEM Freezer-Refrigerator Of STirling cycle 2 (FROST2) Controller R&R
OTKLIK. Hardware Monitoring
Resupply Stowage Rack (RSR) Transfer from JPM1A5 to HTV-7
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Express Rack 10B Transfer from HTV7 to JPM1A5
Clear LAB1P1 rack bay to prepare for Resupply Stowage Rack (RSR) installation
Transfer Resupply Stowage Rack (RSR) from LAB1P1 to HTV-7
Transfer Operations - Pack and stow items on HTV
Charging GoPro HERO3 camcorder battery in Soyuz 738 (10) - terminate
LAB1P1 Pivot Fitting Replacement for Life Support Rack (LSR) Transfer from HTV-7
Life Support Rack (LSR) Transfer from HTV to LAB1P1
Delta file prep
Binary Colloidal Alloy - Cohesive Sedimentation Camera Check
HTV Cargo Operations Conference
LAB1P1 Rack Bay Reconfig after Life Support Rack (LSR) Transfer
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record

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