NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 10 January 2018 - Preparing for Dragon Departure

Astronaut Joe Acaba works on wire connections and other maintenance tasks inside Combustion Integrated Rack gear. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 54 crew aboard the International Space Station is training for this weekend's departure of the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft. The crew is also exploring regenerative life support systems and how microgravity affects breathing.

NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Scott Tingle began their day training and reviewing for Saturday's remotely controlled release of the Dragon resupply ship at 5 a.m. The duo took onboard computer training and discussed this weekend's activities with engineers at Mission Control.

This is the first time robotics controllers will command the release of Dragon from the ground while Acaba and Tingle monitor from the cupola as backups. NASA TV will broadcast live the resupply ship's departure starting Saturday at 4:30 a.m. Splashdown off the coast of California is expected at 10:36 a.m. and will not be televised.

Experimental work also took place today on the orbital laboratory to help NASA learn how to support astronauts on longer missions farther out into space.

Acaba checked bacteria cultures that could be used for carbon dioxide removal and oxygen production supporting future regenerative life support systems. Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai joined NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and measured their breathing rates today, specifically Nitric Oxide turnover in the lungs. Doctors want to minimize the risk of airway inflammation to keep astronauts healthier farther from Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report

Airway Monitoring Measurement Operations: Using the Portable Pulmonary Function System (PPFS) for guidance, today two crewmembers performed two different measurement protocols; the low Nitric Oxide (NO) protocol which determines how much NO is exhaled with the respiration, and the high NO protocol, which determines how much NO is diffused into the blood. The protocols were initially performed in the Airlock at an ambient pressure and then repeated at a low pressure (10.2 psi). At the low pressure, oxygen concentration in the Airlock is increased to 27.5%. The primary goal of the Airway Monitoring experiment is to determine how gravity and microgravity influences the turnover of Nitric Oxide in the lungs. During future manned missions to the Moon and to Mars, airway inflammation due to toxic dust inhalation is a risk factor. Since dust may cause airway inflammation and since such inflammation can be monitored by exhaled Nitric Oxide analysis, the present study is highly relevant for astronaut health in future space programs. The US Airlock, for this experiment is used as a hypobaric facility for performing science. Utilizing the US Airlock will allow unique opportunities for the study of gravity, ambient pressure interactions, and their effect on the human body.

Arthrospira-B (Batch Culture) Assembly: The crew removed four Arthrospira experiment containers from the Biolab Incubator to exchange the reservoirs inside the Biolab. Following the exchange of the reservoirs, the ECs were reinstalled back onto Biolab Incubator. The Arthrospira B experiment is an important step in making improvements in the area of closed regenerative life support systems in space which will help in making future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit become a reality.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Biochemical Profile, Repository): Today a 53S subject concluded his Flight Day (FD) 30 urine sample collection that began yesterday to support the Biochemical Profile and Repository experiments. The samples were placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

Spaceflight-induced Hypoxic/ROS Signaling (APEX-05) Operations: The crew inserted two APEX-05 RNAlater Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Fixation Tubes (KFT)s into the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) prior to return on SpaceX-13 (SpX-13). The APEX-05 experiment grows different wild and mutant varieties of Arabidopsis thaliana, in order to understand how their genetic and molecular stress response systems work in space. The plants grow from seeds in the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the ISS, are frozen, and returned to Earth for detailed laboratory analysis.

Rodent Research 6 (RR-6) Transporter Setup: To prepare for the return of two of the four animal transporters on SpaceX-13, the crew reviewed reference material and participated in a conference about live animal return operations. The crew also set up and conducted checkout activities on the live animal transporter. The Rodent Research-6 (RR-6) mission uses mice flown aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and maintained on Earth to test drug delivery systems for combatting muscular breakdown in space or during disuse conditions. RR-6 includes several groups of mice selectively treated with a placebo or implanted with a nanochannel drug delivery chip that administers compounds meant to maintain muscle in low gravity/disuse conditions.

NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) Operations: Ground teams maneuvered the Japanese Experiment Module) Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) to transfer NREP from the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) slide table to the Exposed Facility Unit (EFU)-4. After transfer operations were complete, the JEMRMS was maneuvered back to a stowed position and NREP was activated via ground command. NREP represents the first external commercial research capability for testing in support of scientific investigations, sensors, and electronic components in space.

Dragon Release On Board Training (OBT): This morning, the crew performed onboard training for this weekend's upcoming release of the SpaceX-13 Dragon capsule. The training included the use of the Robotics On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) and a private conference with ground-based trainers.

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection Male - Subject
Hematocrit Test
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
Hematocrit Hardware Stowage
Regeneration of БМП Ф2 Micropurification Cartridge (start)
ISS CREW/SSIPC CONFERENCE
AIRMON Power On
On-Board Training (OBT) Dragon Release Review
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
Onboard Training (OBT) Dragon Release Conference
Manufacturing Device ABS Print Removal, Clean and Stow
СОЖ maintenance
Replacement of SSС2 and RSE-1 laptop network cable connectors.
LIOH and PFA Setup
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Release
24-hour ECG Recording (termination)
AIRMON preparation and First Low NO measurement
24-hour BP recording (terminate)
Prep for FGB СПОПТ ИДЭ-3 Smoke Detector needle cleaning (r/g review, equipment gathering).
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Setup
AIRMON Calibrations, Low NO and High NO measurements
Arthrospira EC Reservoir Exchange
Dust collectors ПC1, ПС2 filter cleaning by vacuum cleaner in FGB
24-hour ECG Recording (start)
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
AIRMON High NO measurement
Rodent Research Live Animal Return Review
Rodent Research Crew Conference
Polar Transfer To Dragon Overview Review
Preparations for and depressurization- Airway Monitoring
Polar Sample Transfer From MELFI
Comm Subsystem [СТТС] routine maintenance ops (LF path and VHF receiver test). Headset Audit.
AIRMON Low NO measurement at low pressure
TangoLab-2 Card Cube Remove
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
USB Jumpdrive Return and PPS Reconfiguration
AIRMON Low & High measurements at reduced pressure
Rodent Research Transporter Setup
Crew Wait for other crew
AIRMON High NO measurement at reduced pressure
Countermeasures System (CMS) VELO Exercise session Day 1
Airlock repressurization
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - JEM
Dragon Cable Prep
VHF2d test from SM using primary СТТС sets
Power cycle LAB AVN443 HD Encoder
КСПЭ Camcorder setup and configuring in MRM2 (for mpeg2 TV coverage of High Gain Antenna boom translation)
TangoLab-1 Card Cube Remove
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
APEX-05 MELFI Sample Insertion #2
AIRMON Power Off
Micropurification Unit (БМП) Ф2 Absorption Cartridge (end)

Completed Task List Activities
EVA Procedure Review

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
NREP transfer.
Standard commanding and payload support.

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 01/11: Airways Monitoring, RR-6, Spheres Zero Robotics, POLAR Transfer, Petri Plate, Dragon cargo ops, Manufacturing Device Stow, Double Coldbag Pack Review
Friday, 01/12: Double Coldbag Pack, Dragon cargo ops, Dragon Unberth (Egress, N2 vestibule ops, depress, unberth), Lighting Effects, LMM Petri Plate, HRF fluid collections.
Saturday, 01/13: Dragon release, CUCU deact.

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 - Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Standby
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.