NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 16 May 2019 - Immunology Research

NASA astronaut Nick Hague conducts pathogen research operations in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module's Microgravity Sciences Glovebox. Hague is exploring why pathogens become more virulent in the weightless environment of outer space posing a flight risk to astronauts. Credit: NASA.

Critical life science continues apace aboard the International Space Station today helping NASA support human missions to the Moon and beyond. The Expedition 59 crew is also gearing up for another maintenance spacewalk at the end of May.

Two NASA astronauts and one Canadian Space Agency astronaut kept up their busy science schedule today with more immunology research in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The three flight engineers, Christina Koch, Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques, have been observing how the rodent immune system, which are similar to that in humans, respond to microgravity. Doctors plan to use the results to help keep astronauts healthier in space and treat people on the ground with Earth-bound ailments.

Flight Engineer Nick Hague continued his weeklong research to understand why pathogens become more virulent in the weightless environment of outer space. Doctors want to boost an astronaut's space-exposed immune system to prevent further impacts by opportunistic pathogens. Hague also swapped protein crystal samples in a specialized microscope for a biophysics experiment exploring cancer treatment and radiation protection.

Two cosmonauts are preparing for the next spacewalk at the orbital lab scheduled for May 29. Commander Oleg Kononenko joined Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin for a computer training session today reviewing their spacewalk activities and worksites on the Russian side of the orbital lab. The duo will spend about six hours removing experiments, sampling station surfaces and jettisoning obsolete hardware.

On-Orbit Status Report

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)/Light Microscopy Module (LMM)/Biophysics-6: At the conclusion of the LMM Bio-6 run, which began on 18-April, the crew removed the sample plate from the FIR/LMM and stowed it for return. Science teams reported they have not seen the expected crystal growth, but did see some areas with a precipitate and will perform further inspection and analysis once the plate is back on the ground. LMM/Bio-6, more formally known as Growth Rate Dispersion as a Predictive Indicator for Biological Crystal Samples Where Quality Can Be Improved with Microgravity Growth, studies ground-based predictions of which crystals benefit from crystallization in microgravity, where Earth's gravity does not interfere with their formation. The plate installed contains samples of Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase (GGPPS) which is a protein produced in osteoporosis, multiple myeloma, and Paget's disease.Observing crystallized proteins via X-ray crystallography on the ground allows scientists to determine how they are built, which can explain how they work or how other molecules, such as drugs, might interact with them.

MicroAlgae: The crew performed the daily mixing and deploy, and stowed at the end of the day to maintain the day/night cycle for the algae. Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity (MicroAlgae) studies the effects of microgravity on Haematococcus pluvialis, a tiny freshwater algae capable of producing a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. It could provide a readily available dietary supplement to promote astronaut health on long-duration space exploration missions. This research was proposed by a community college student and alumna of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program.

Micro-14: Using the MSG, the crew inoculated a new culture bag and preserved the used culture bag. The Micro-14 (Characterizing the Effects of Spaceflight on the Candida albicansAdaptation Responses) life science research mission investigates and evaluates responses of the C. albicans, a type of yeast, to microgravity conditions and, in particular, to assess changes at the physiological, cellular, and molecular level and to characterize virulence factors.

Rodent Research-12 Sample Gathering: The crew performed sample gathering activities for 10 of the mice. The activities went smoothly and were completed ahead of schedule. Rodent Research-12, Tetanus Antibody Response by B cells in Space (TARBIS), examines the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production and immune memory. Spaceflight is known to have a dramatic influence on immune response, but there is little research on its effect following an actual challenge to the body's immune system. Using a mouse model makes this possible, as the mouse immune system closely parallels that of humans.

Node 2 Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) Heat Exchanger (HX) Remove and Replace: The crew is currently completing replacement of the degraded N2 CCA HX with an on-orbit spare to support the additional heat loads generated by dual vehicle berthed operations. The CCAA is the primary component responsible for the control of temperature and humidity in the USOS segment and consists of a fan, a condensing heat exchanger, an air/water separator, temperature and liquid sensors, and electrical controlling hardware. The degraded unit is planned for return on SpX-18.

Emergency Egress Guidance System (EEGS) Installation: In preparation for United States Crew Vehicles (USCV), the crew installed new EEGS markers in Node 1 Forward to US Lab, US Lab Forward to Node 2, Airlock Port to Node 1, PMM Aft to Node 1, and Node 3 Starboard to Node 1 hatchways. Node 2 Zenith and Forward hatchways remain to be installed and will be scheduled at a later date. EEGS are Photo-luminescent markers that provide the crew with the path to their escape vehicles in the event an emergency requires an evacuation of ISS when power to the lights have failed.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last night and this morning ground controllers used the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to remove the failed Battery Charge Discharge Unit (BCDU) from ELC-1 and placed it onto the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI). The crew will bring the failed BCDU inside ISS tomorrow in preparation for its return on SpX-17 currently planned for June 3.

Completed Task List Activities:
CanadaArm Model Workshop Recording Part 2 [Completed GMT 135]
EPO Paxi message record/downlink [Completed GMT 135]
ITCS Gas Trap Plug Installs: Lab, N2, N3 [Completed GMT 135]
RS EDV relocate [Completed GMT 135]
IFM EEGS Install

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Rodent Research assist
JEMAL Slide Table ops
LSR activate/file upload/ops

Look Ahead:
Friday, 05/17 (GMT 137):

Payloads:
Bioanalyzer
EML Gas valve close
FIR/LMM/ACE T-12 module config
Circadian Rhythms
Genes in Space-6
HRF centrifuge install
ISS Experience
ISS HAM pass
JAXA Mouse Mission
Microalgae
Micro-14
PCG-14
Tangolab 1 and 2
Veggie PONDS-2 terminate

Systems:
JEM A/L Pressurization Leak Check
BCDU Ops

Saturday, 05/18 (GMT 138):

Payloads:
Food Acceptability
Microalgae
Micro-14
MVP Cell-01

Systems:
Crew off duty; housekeeping

Sunday, 05/19 (GMT 139):

Payloads:
Circadian Rhythms
Microalgae
Standard Measures questionnaire

Systems:
Crew off duty

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

Rodent Research Ops
Rodent Research Assist
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Rodent Research Centrifuge Setup Configure
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
Rodent Research ops
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Rodent Research ops
Rodent Research Assist-1
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
Rodent Research ops
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
RR Cryo Chiller Sample Transfer to MELFI
Soyuz 742 (58S) Kazbek Fit Check
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
On MCC Go: ISS N2 Repress from Progress 440 [AO] СрПК Section 2 (start)
Rodent Research Sample Relocation
Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Stow Operation
FEP MELFI Retrieve 2
Micro-14 Inoculation and Preservation-MSG
On MCC Go: ISS N2 Repress from Progress 440 [AO] СрПК Section 2 (end)
DOUG review
Rodent Research ops
Rodent Research Assist
Study of RS EVA-46 translation path and work zones using DOUG application
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
FEP MELFI Insert1
Rodent Research Dissection 1B
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Rodent Research Centrifuge Setup Configure
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
Rodent Research Dissection 1B
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Water Recovery Management (WRM) Condenste Pumping Initiation
Study of RS EVA-46 Translation Paths and Work Zones through ISS Windows
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Rodent Research ops
Rodent Research Assist-1
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Rodent Research ops
Rodent Research Cryochiller Insert-2
Yakor foot restraint installation for Orlan exit after A/L repress
RR Cryo Chiller Sample Transfer to MELFI
Water Recovery Management (WRM) Condensate Pumping Termination
Rodent Research Glovebox Freezer Sample Insert
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude Final
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open
Rodent Research Sample Relocation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker
LMM Biophysics Plate 1 Removal
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
LSG Work Volume Stow
LSG Crew Restraint Removal (Primary and Secondary)
MICRO ALGAE Culture Bag Daily Stow
Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Transfer
Reminder Rodent Research Thermal Consideration
Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2) Surface Pro 3 Charging

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.