NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 July 2019 - New Crew Coming With New Experiments

At the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Expedition 60 crewmembers Drew Morgan of NASA (left), Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos (center) and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (right) pose for pictures July 12 as part of pre-launch activities. They will launch July 20 on the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a mission to the International Space Station. Credit: Andrey Shelepin/GCTC.

The International Space Station is gearing up for a pair of spaceships launching next weekend to deliver a new crew and more science and supplies.

The Expedition 60 crew is also testing a new robotic assistant and learning how long-term weightlessness impacts crew performance.

Three people are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan counting down to their historic July 20 launch to the orbiting lab aboard the Soyuz MS-13 crew ship. Astronauts Drew Morgan and Luca Parmitano will flank cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov in the Soyuz spaceship as he commands their six-and-a-half hour ride to their new home in space. The trio's launch comes 50 years to the day when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the Moon for the first time.

The following day on July 21, SpaceX will launch its Dragon space freighter from Florida on a day-and-a-half flight to the space station. Dragon is delivering supplies and a variety of new research gear to explore space-mining techniques, neurodegenerative disease treatments, space botany and microbial evolution.

NASA Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch are training to capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives Tuesday, July 23. Hague will command Canadarm2 to reach out and grapple Dragon when the resupply ship reaches a point about 10 meters from the station. Koch will back up Hague and monitor Dragon's approach and rendezvous from inside the cupola.

Koch set up the Astrobee free-flying robotic helper Friday afternoon and monitored its flight test in the Kibo laboratory module. Engineers are testing and calibrating the cube-shaped Astrobee's mobility for its potential to perform routine lab monitoring and station tasks.

Hague started the day helping scientists understand how microgravity affects blood flow to the brain for the Cerebral Autoregulation biomedical study. After completing that study, he closed out the Two-Phase Flow heat transfer experiment that may advance the design of cooling systems for Earth and space applications.

Station Commander Alexey Ovchinin is helping his home space agency, Roscosmos, train future cosmonauts today. He performed tasks to help scientists understand how microgravity affects a crewmember's ability to pilot a spacecraft or remotely control a robotic vehicle on a planetary surface.

On-Orbit Status Report

Astrobee: The crew continued commissioning of the Astrobee experiment including collecting data inside the JEM for localization, and assisting with a series of movements using the Astrobee Free Flyer for mobility testing. The ground team noted they learn something from each of the steps in the commissioning and adjust future activities as needed. The robots are designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies for use in microgravity to assist astronauts with routine chores, and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the ISS. The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, can perform crew monitoring, sampling, logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations.

Cerebral Autoregulation: Using the Cardiolab Portable Doppler and the Continuous Blood Pressure Device, the crew performed the final CA science session for the week and stowed the hardware. 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 Cerebral Autoregulation investigation tests whether this self-regulation improves in the microgravity environment of space.

Genes-in-Space 6 (GIS-6) Stow: The crew completed closeout activities for the session performed earlier this week. The investigation evaluates the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) 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 miniPCR 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.

Two-phase Flow (TPF) Closeout: Following the completion of this series of experiment runs, the TPF experiment was closed out and the hardware was removed from the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR). TPF investigates the heat transfer characteristics of flow boiling in the microgravity environment. This experiment provides a fundamental understanding of the behaviors of bubble formation, liquid-vapor flow in a tube, and how heat is transferred in cooling systems.

On-Board Training (OBT) Dragon Rendezvous: In preparation for SpX-18 berthing currently planned for July 23, the crew studied reference materials and performed this proficiency training on the Dragon mission profile, rendezvous crew procedures and crew interfaces for monitoring and commanding the vehicle.

Completed Task List Activities:
HRF2 supply inventory
T2 bungee relocate

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
LSR CWSA performance test
SSRMS walk-off to N2
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Saturday, 7/13 (GMT 194)

Payloads:
No utilization activities

Systems:
Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 7/14 (GMT 195)

Payloads:
No utilization activities

Systems:
Crew off duty

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

XF305 Camcorder Setup
Cerebral Autoregulation Data Measurement
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
IMS Tagup (S-band)
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
Cerebral Autoregulation Closeout
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
Setup USLab Camcorder for ground inspection video of the Life Support Rack air outlet
Genes in Space 6 Biomolecule Sequencer Stow
SM atmosphere analysis using Freon Leak Analyzer/Detector (ФИТ)
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Two-Phase Flow Experiment Unit Closeout
SEPARATION. Activation of [СРВ-У-РС] system.Evacuation Ops. Starting Distillation Cycle 1
Astrobee OBT Review
Astrobee Procedure Review
Microgravity Measurement Apparatus (MMA) Laptop Terminal 2 (MLT2) Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Exchange 2
Astrobee Free Flyer Localization and Mobility Ops Part 1
SEPARATION. Evacuation Ops. Starting Distillation Cycle 2
Filling (separation) of ЕДВ [КОВ] for Elektron or ЕДВ-СВ
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
iPad Air 2 WiFi switch to CrewNet network
Visual Inspection by the crew, to verify no water was blow out of the Life Support Rack air outlet during the CWSA dry out activity
On-Board Training (OBT) Dragon OBT Conference
On MCC Go ISS O2 Repress from Progress 441 (DC1) СрПК Section 1, initiate
MRM1-FGB Screw Clamp Tightening
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Robotics Review
SEPARATION. Deactivation of [СРВ-У-РС] system. Log-file downlink
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Rendezvous Review
On MCC GO ISS O2 Repress from Progress 441 (DC1) СРПК Section 1, terminate
Astrobee Free Flyer Localization and Mobility Ops Part 2
Progress 441 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Cupola Window Shutter #2 Close

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