NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 December 2018 - Change of Command

©NASA

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 December 2018 - Change of Command.

The Expedition 57 commander handed over control of the International Space Station today in a traditional ceremony. He and two of his crewmates will then head back to Earth Wednesday just in time for the holidays.

Commander Alexander Gerst ceremonially transferred command of the orbital lab today to cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko who officially begins his lead of the station when the homebound crew undocks tomorrow. Kononenko is staying behind with Expedition 58 Flight Engineers Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques who will stay on the station until June.

Gerst and Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev are winding down their 197-day mission in space. The trio will undock from the Rassvet module inside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft Wednesday at 8:40 p.m. and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan about three-and-a-half hours later.

Prokopyev will command the Soyuz flight back to Earth tomorrow flanked by Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor. Today he is packing and readying the spacecraft for the departure. The undocking and landing activities will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

There was still time for science on the orbital lab today as Gerst explored how astronauts manipulate objects in space. Results could improve the design of space habitats and impact neurology patients on Earth. He also joined Auñón-Chancellor for ultrasound scans and blood sample collections as they wrap up their human research studies.

On-Orbit Status Report

Change of Command Ceremony: Expedition 57 CDR Alexander Gerst handed off station command to Expedition 58 CDR Oleg Kononenko this afternoon. The Expedition 57 Crew (Alexander Gerst, Sergey Prokopev, Serena Auñón-Chancellor) are scheduled to undock from ISS tomorrow, December 19 at 7:40PM CT with landing set to occur at 11:03PM CT.

Advanced Plant Experiment-05 (APEX-05): Today the APEX-05 Petri Plate was removed from the FIR/LMM (Fluids Integrated Rack/Light Microscopy Module), closing out the experiment. The team reports that successful imaging of root tips was accomplished. Originally the APEX-05 experiment flew on SpaceX-13 and was partially completed except for the imagery of the two LMM (Light Microscopy Module) plate samples as the LMM was not operating at the time. A new LMM wide-field camera has been installed, and two LMM samples were re-flown on SpaceX-16. The Spaceflight-induced Hypoxic/ROS Signaling (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.

Airway Monitoring: The crew performed the necessary calibrations, followed by Low nitric oxide (NO) and High NO measurements for the ambient pressure session in the US Lab. The ground team reported they believe they obtained a good data set from today's session. The ESA Airway Monitoring investigation aims to determine in detail the pulmonary NO turnover in weightlessness and in combined weightless, hypobaric and hypoxic environments. The goal is also to determine the lung diffusion capacity for NO with dust particles present in the ISS atmosphere. This investigation studies the occurrence and indicators of airway inflammation in crewmembers, using ultra-sensitive gas analyzers to analyze exhaled air. This will help to identify health impacts and support maintenance of crewmember well-being on future human spaceflight missions, such as to the Moon and Mars, where crewmembers will have to be more self-sufficient in identifying and avoiding such conditions.

Grip Supine session: The crew performed the GRIP science tasks while restrained on the chair and wearing a noise-cancelling system. ESA's Grip investigation tests how the nervous system takes into account the forces due to gravity and inertia when manipulating objects. Results from this investigation may provide insight into potential hazards for astronauts as they manipulate objects in different gravitational environments. They also support design and control of haptic interfaces to be used in challenging environments such as space, and provide information about motor control that will be useful for the evaluation and rehabilitation of impaired upper limb control in patients with neurological diseases.

Nanoracks Module 74: Today a crewmember sequentially placed the 6 microplates into the Plate Reader-2 for scanning, and then stowed them back into Module-74. This is day 10 of the scanning operations. The Module-74 experiment investigates the Effects of Microgravity on Controlled Release of Antibiotics and Curing Mechanism of a Novel Wound Dressing (Hydrogel Formation and Drug Release in Microgravity Conditions) and studies the formation and drug release from cross-linked or mixed hydrogels in microgravity.

TangoLab-2 card cube replacement: Today a crewmember swapped out experiment cubes on Card #12 and re-inserted the Card back into the TangoLab-2 unit. The new cube (EMLT_TOC01) mission name is Organs-On-Chips as a Platform for Studying Effects of Microgravity on Human Physiology. Its goal is to analyze the effect of microgravity and other space-related stressors on the brain-blood barrier (BBB). It uses fully automated tissue chip technology, a Brain-Chip consisting of living neuronal and vascular endothelial cells in a micro-engineered environment.

Completed Task List Activities:
Cargo Transfer to Dragon

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
JEMRMS activity to relocate SEDA-AP from EFU11 to EFU13 in prep for jettison

Two-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 12/19:

Payloads
Bone Densitometer calibration
Biolab TCU Cleaning
Functional Immune
Lighting effects
Microbial Tracking-2
NR-module 74 scan
Standard Measures
Time Perception
Team Task Switching

Systems
Soyuz 55S Undocking

Thursday, 12/20: - Crew Off Duty

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

Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
Water Recovery and Management (WRM) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Split
Deactivating Vozdukh Atmosphere Purification System [СОА]. Activating Vozdukh to mode 4
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Ultrasound 2 Scan
Sanitary and epidemiological status monitoring
Calibrations, Low NO and High NO measurements
MRM1-FGB interface screw clamp tightening
At Home In Space Questionnaire
Sanitary and epidemiological status monitoring
LBNP Exercise (FINAL)
Water Recovery Management (WRM) EDV Changeout
Descent Private Medical Conference (PMC)
Plate Reader2 Module-74 Microplate Scan
Handover of Increment XX Crew
Charging GoPro HERO3 camcorder battery in Soyuz 739 (6 pieces) - initiate/ Video & Audio
Bringing ODF up to date using Soyuz 741 delivered files
DECLIC Directional Solidification Insert Removal
AIRMON Power off and Stow
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 (T2) Exercise Session
DECLIC Removable Hard Disk Drive Removal
DECLIC Instrument Removal Preparation
DECLIC Locker Removal
Modifying damper loading for right-seat Казбек-УМ in Soyuz 739. Change mode to Т (heavy).
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Meteor On Board Training Review
GRIP setup in the SEATED configuration
Meteor Hard Drive Swapout
Microbial Habitat Monitoring
On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA) with EarQ Software Setup and Test
Charging GoPro HERO3 camcorder battery in Soyuz 739 (6 units) - terminate / Video & Audio
AIRMON Power off and Stow
PHOTOBIOREACTOR. Removal of kits from ТБУ-B #05 and Transfer to Soyuz 739
REGENERATSIYA-1. Transfer of containers to Soyuz # 739
ASEPTIC. Hardware Transfer to Soyuz 739
GRIP setup in Supine position
Photo/TV Airway Monitor Video Tear down in LAB
ASEPTIC. ТБУ-В No.02 Thermostat Deactivation and Removal
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA) with EarQ Software Setup and Test
GRIP science performance in supine position
Stowage of Equipment to be returned by Soyuz 739 (P/L Container) Note 6
Cargo Transfer from Soyuz 741 with IMS update
Internal Audio Subsystem (IAS) Crew Quarter (CQ) Audio Cable Configuration
Microbial Tracking-2 Sample MELFI Retrieval Insert
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Open
Replacement of filters on ПС1, ПС2 dust collectors in FGB
LMM APEX-05 LMM Petri Plate Remove
HRF Generic Ambient Blood Collection Setup
Fluids Integrated Rack Rack Doors Close
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
P/L Glacier Sample Removal
VZAIMODEISTVIE-2. Experiment Ops
Soyuz 739 P/L Container Transfer Operations Report
TangoLab-2 Card Cube Replace
Plate Reader2 Module-74 Microplate Scan
GRIP stow
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Signing of RS crew handover statement
Change of Command

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