NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 18 September 2019 - New Crewmembers Prep for Launch

At the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, the next crew to launch to the International Space Station reviews its flight plan with training instructors Sept. 18 as part of pre-launch training. Spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates (left) and Expedition 61 crewmembers Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos (center) and Jessica Meir of NASA (right) are set to launch Sept. 25 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft for a mission on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov.

Two Expedition 60 crewmembers are moving ahead with departure preparations as the rest of their crewmates focused diligently on space biology research today.

Back on Earth, three upcoming International Space Station residents are making final preparations before their launch next week.

Station Commander Alexey Ovchinin is collecting personal items and station cargo that he and Flight Engineer Nick Hague will take home inside their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft. The duo have been in space since March and are counting down to an Oct. 3 landing in Kazakhstan after 203 days in space. They will parachute to Earth with Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori who will arrive at the orbiting lab next week for an eight-day stay.

New Expedition 61 crewmates Jessica Meir of NASA and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos will liftoff Sept. 25 with Almansoori aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft. They will dock their Soyuz crew ship to the Zvezda service module's rear port after a near six-hour, four-orbit ride in space.

The trio stepped outside the Cosmonaut Hotel today at Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome for traditional tree-planting ceremonies and media activities. Meir and Skripochka will stay in space until April of 2020 and return to Earth with NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan.

Vital biomedical research to support astronauts in space and improve health on Earth is keeping the crew busy all week aboard the orbiting lab. Once again, Morgan and fellow astronauts Christina Koch and Luca Parmitano are exploring how microgravity causes cellular and molecular changes in mice. Experimental results may provide doctors with therapeutic insights into aging and muscle ailments in humans.

Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos inspected the Zarya module for microbes today. The veteran cosmonaut photographed and swabbed several spots in the Russian segment today and stowed the samples for analysis.

On-Orbit Status Report

NanoRacks Module-82 (Palm Tree Growth): The crew removed the Module 82 from the NanoRacks Frame-3 and took photographs of the Palm Seed Flask, then temporarily stowed in an ambient temperature location. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) investigation examines germination of palm tree seeds to determine the best conditions for generating tissue samples for research. A process for growing healthy plant tissue in microgravity could be adapted for testing other indigenous plants of scientific, commercial or educational interest in the UAE. The investigation also observes and documents root growth in microgravity for educational purposes.

Rodent Research-17 (RR-17): The crew performed Day 3 of Rodent Research Operations. RR-17 uses younger and older mice as model organisms to evaluate the physiological, cellular and molecular effects of the spaceflight environment. Some responses to spaceflight in humans and model organisms such as mice resemble accelerated aging. This investigation provides a better understanding of aging-related immune, bone, and muscle disease processes, which may lead to new therapies for use in space and on Earth.

BioLab (Biological Experiment Laboratory): The crew removed the Life Support Module 4 from the BioLab facility and packed it for return to ground. The BioLab is a multiuser research facility located in the European Columbus laboratory. The facility is used to perform space biology experiments on microorganisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants, and small invertebrates. BioLab allows scientists to gain a better understanding of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on biological organisms.

Starboard Solar Array Wing (SAW) Imagery: The crew photographed the inboard, starboard SAWs 1A and 3A and their masts. Images for the outboard, starboard arrays 1B and 3B, were previously photographed on August 14, 2019. The photos have been downlinked for team review.

Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) Shutdown: Yesterday the UPA experienced a high flow rate fault during nominal UPA processing. Data suggests that during Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) fills, gas was introduced into the system. Review of telemetry from an overnight process cycle indicated that most of the gas has been removed, but not eliminated. Ground teams continued the process cycle to reduce the WSTA quantity to 5% in an attempt to eliminate remaining gas from the system. The process cycle completed with no additional faults. Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) is now configured to process urine via UPA and teams are monitoring telemetry for any remaining gas.

Completed Task List Activities:
HERMES payload assist
ITCS jumper remove
Module Lighting Units 5, 7 R&R

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Payloads ground support

Look Ahead:
Thursday, 9/19 (GMT 262)

Payloads:
Probiotics Saliva Ops and Questionnaire (JAXA)
Express Rack bulb Replace (NASA)
MUSES Server Vent Clean (NASA)
Rodent Research-17 Ops (NASA)
Universal Battery Charger Charging check (Joint)
Ring Sheared Drop Overview and setup (NASA)
LSR H2 Sensors exchange R&R (NASA)

Systems:
Crew departure preparation

Friday, 9/20 (GMT 263)

Payloads:
MSPR Adapter removal and insertion (JAXA)
Glacier Desiccant Swap (NASA)
ISS Experience NanoRacks Rotational Dynamics Recording (NASA)
NanoRacks Rotational Dynamics Ops (NASA)
Cryo Chiller Cartridge removal and Decontamination (NASA)
Microgravity Crystals Ops (NASA)
BEST Sample Transfer Ops (NASA)
HERMES - Vacuum Vlv Close (NASA)

Systems:
Crew departure preparation

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

Preparation of reports for Roscosmos website and social media
Photography of removable handrails covers inside RS
Photography of space behind SM panel
ECON-M. Observations and photo (Task list)
Standard Measures Post-sleep Questionnaire
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Retrieval And Insertion Operations
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
ISS HAM Radio Session in SM
RFID Antenna Ops
ESA Weekly crew conference
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops
Remove and Replace Waste Hygeine Compartment (WHC) ЕДВ-Y
Collecting atmospheric condensate samples [КАВ] from [СРВ-К2М] up to Gas-Liquid Mixture Filter (ФГС) to Russian Samplers, terminate
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
Biolab Life Support Module 4 Removal
Collecting condensate water samples [КАВ] up to СРВ-К2М БКО, equipment setup, sampler installation
Hardware prepack for return and disposal via Soyuz 742
Rodent Research 17
Rodent Research Assist
Probiotics Item Gathering
Collecting condensate water samples [КАВ] up to [СРВ-К2М] БКО, sampler replacement
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Rodent Research Centrifuge Setup Configure
Environmental Health Systems Surface Sample T+5 Visual Analysis
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Rodent Research Assist
Photo/TV SAW and MAST Camera Setup
Photo/TV STBD SAW and Mast Survey
Hardware prepack for return and disposal via Soyuz 742
Replacement of SM Power Supply System Current Regulator РТ-50-1М No.4 (А204), Review, Search and Configure Hardware
PILOT-T. Preparation for Experiment
Rodent Research 17
Rodent Research Assist
Photo/TV STBD SAW and Mast Survey
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
Sampling atmospheric condensate [КАВ] upstream of БКО СРВК-2М, Sampler removal, setup teardown
Photo/TV SAW and Mast photography equipment teardown
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Rodent Research (RR). MELFI sample insertion
ISS Crew departure preparation
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Rodent Research MELFI Insert
Measuring MRM2 antenna amplifier power supply voltage while testing SM Kurs-P in a loop with Soyuz 746 (MRM2) Kurs-NA
Rodent Research Cryo Chiller Insert-3
Private Special Conference (PSC)
Rodent Research Centrifuge Configure
HRF Centrifuge Spin Conclude Final
Rodent Research MELFI Insert 3
Rodent Research Assist-1
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
RR Cryo Chiller Sample Transfer to MELFI
Rodent Research Sample Relocation
Microgravity Science Glovebox Activation
Microgravity Science Glovebox Illumination Check
NanoRacks Module-82 Photography
PILOT-T. Closeout Ops
Collecting surface samples from FGB equipment and structures
Ring Sheared Drop Hardware Gather

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