NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 July 2019 - How Space Radiation-Damaged DNA Repairs Itself

Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA works on a U.S. spacesuit in the Quest airlock where U.S. spacewalks are staged aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA. (June 26, 2019)

The International Space Station is a unique orbiting laboratory that helps NASA and its partners explore what happens to humans living off the Earth.

The Expedition 60 crew is contributing to the microgravity research everyday learning what it takes to live and work successfully in space.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague began Thursday morning investigating how space radiation-damaged DNA repairs itself. The Genes in Space-6 study sequences DNA samples inside the Biomolecule Sequencer and observes the mutation and molecular repair mechanisms.

Koch then measured her blood pressure to help doctors understand and treat lightheadedness symptoms some astronauts have experienced upon returning to Earth. During the afternoon, she swapped fuel bottles that support flame, fuel and soot experiments taking place inside the Combustion Integrated Rack.

Hague set up a virtual reality camera inside Europe's Columbus laboratory module to record a cinematic, immersive experience of his science activities in the afternoon. He recorded himself exploring the hypothesis that astronauts working in space perceive time differently affecting mission performance.

Commander Alexey Ovchinin spent all day ensuring the upkeep of the Russian segment of the space station. The veteran cosmonaut swapped out life support system components and tested communications and electronics gear.

On-Orbit Status Report

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Humidifier Fill: In preparation for the JAXA Space Moss experiment arriving on SpX-18, the crew performed a CBEF humidifier refilling activity. The experiment grows mosses on the ISS and on Earth to determine how microgravity affects their growth, development, gene expression, photosynthetic activity, and other features. Tiny plants without roots, mosses need only a small area for growth, an advantage for their potential use in space and future bases on the Moon or Mars.

Cerebral Autoregulation (CA): The crew set up the Cardiolab Portable Doppler and the Continuous Blood Pressure Device, and performed a CA science session. As the body's most important organ, the brain needs a strong and reliable blood supply, so the brain is capable of self-regulating blood flow even when the heart and blood vessels cannot maintain an ideal blood pressure. The JAXA investigation tests whether this self-regulation improves in the microgravity environment of space.

Combustion Integration Rack/Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (CIR/ACME): The crew exchanged the mass flow controller and manifold gas bottle. The different flow controllers allow the ACME experimenters to study combustion under different gas flow regimes. The currently on-going Flame Design investigation studies the production and control of soot in order to optimize oxygen-enriched combustion and the design of robust, soot-free flames. Soot can adversely affect efficiency, emissions, and equipment lifetime, so this may lead to more efficient and cleaner burner designs. The experiment is conducted with spherical flames of gaseous fuels in the CIR as part of the ACME project. Flame Design is one of five experiments hosted by CIR/ACME.

Genes In Space-6 (GIS-6): As part of the GIS-6 Freeze and Fly experiment part 3, the crew set up the Biomolecule Sequencer (BMS), configured the Flow Cell, prepared samples for sequencing in the BMS, and started the BMS run. The investigation evaluates the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) repair process in space for the first time by inducing DNA damage in cells and assessing mutation and repair at the molecular level using the mini-PCR and the BMS tools aboard the ISS. DNA is the blueprint for life; it carries all our genetic information. Since DNA is so important, making sure it stays intact is an incredibly critical process.

The ISS Experience: The crew set up the ISS Experience System to capture the Time Perception experiment session, which was performed on today. The ISS Experience creates a virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the ISS. The 8 to 10 minute videos created from footage taken during the six-month investigation cover different aspects of crew life, execution of science aboard the station, and the international partnerships involved. The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

Time Perception: Using a head-mounted Oculus Rift display/headphones, a finger trackball, and support computer, the crew performed a Time Perception experiment session. In this experiment, a program on the laptop induces visual and audio stimuli to measure a subject's response to spatial and time perception in a microgravity environment. The accurate perception of objects in the environment is a prerequisite for spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks. Time is fundamental to motion perception, sound localization, speech, and fine motor coordination.

US Lab Overhead 4 Audit and Relocation: The crew audited and relocated items in this Lab location, which will be blocked during the upcoming HERMES payload installation.

Completed Task List Activities:
TAS inverter R&R
LiOH canister pack
PMM hygiene cover attachment eval
Wanted poster WHC Control Unit
CCAA FSE Restraint

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
LSR troubleshooting
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Friday, 7/12 (GMT 193)

Cerebral Autoregulation
Genes-in-Space 6 stow
LSR ops
Two-phase flow closeout

OBT Dragon Rendezvous

Saturday, 7/13 (GMT 194)

No utilization activities

Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 7/14 (GMT 195)

No utilization activities

Crew off duty

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

Echo External Hard Disk disconnection from SSC 6
Daily Planning Conference
Genes in Space MWA Preparation
VEG-04 Hardware Deactivation
Genes in Space 6 MELFI Sample Retrieve
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Genes in Space 6 Freeze and Fly Run Part 3
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Change-out of Replaceable Condensate Removal Lines [СМОК]
Cerebral Autoregulation Data Measurement
ISS Experience Columbus Setup
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Actiwatch Plus Evaluation Display Check
Glacier Desiccant Swap
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Humidifier Refilling
LAB1O4 Clean Out
ISS Experience Introduction Recording
Combustion Integrated Rack Doors Open
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
Time experiment session (setup, science and stowage)
Combustion Integrated Rack Front End Cap Open
Current converter fan (ВПТ) screen cleaning
ACME Controller Replace 1
TV System MPEG-2 Test via Ku-band prior to Soyuz 746 docking to ISS
ISS Experience Record Conclude
Combustion Integrated Rack Front End Cap Close
Stand-alone tests of БСК-1В1 power supply feeders for the primary [МНО] and backup [МНР] micropumps
Combustion Integrated Rack Manifold #2 Bottle Replacement
Combustion Integrated Rack Doors Close
ISS Experience Hardware Relocate
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
ISS Experience Hardware Stow
ABOUT GAGARIN FROM SPACE. HAM Radio Session with the 8th International U.N. Sultanov Aerospace School in Bashkortostan

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