NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 April 2018 - More Biomedical Research

Doha, the capital city of Qatar, was photographed by an Expedition 55 crew member aboard the International Space Station as it orbited over the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Credit: NASA.

Biomedical research to improve health on Earth and in space dominated today's science activities aboard the International Space Station.

The Expedition 55 crew is helping scientists from around the world understand how life shaped by gravity adapts to living in outer space.

NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel joined forces today collecting and stowing their blood samples in a science freezer for a pair of human research studies. The samples will be analyzed later to detect the chemical responses and physiological changes that take place in the human body during a spaceflight mission.

Blood samples were also drawn from mice as Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai continued his week-long research activities for the Mouse Stress Defense experiment. Those samples will be processed in centrifuge, stowed in a freezer then analyzed to detect the processes that lead to muscle and bone loss in microgravity. Astronauts could benefit from the results and stay healthier on longer missions farther into space.

Exercise is a very important contributor to maintaining stronger bones and muscles in space. However, exercise devices are bulky and can impact spacecraft habitability. Arnold tested a newer, smaller device today called the Miniature Exercise Device-2 that provides a range of motion and resistance workouts while maximizing habitable spacecraft volume.

On-Orbit Status Report

Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2): The crew set up cameras in Node 3 to capture video from multiple views of the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) and MED-2 hardware. They applied body markers, performed dead lifts and rowing exercises and then transferred the video for downlink. The ISS's exercise equipment is large and bulky, while the MED-2 aims to demonstrate small robotic actuators can provide motion and resistance for crew workout sessions, reducing the size and weight of exercise equipment for long-duration space missions. The MED-2 technology is critical for the design and development of second and third generation countermeasure hardware that is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing ISS countermeasure hardware and that has significantly greater reliability.

Human Research Program (Biochemical Profile, Repository and Cell Free Epigenome): 54S crewmembers collected blood and urine samples for their Flight Day 30 sessions of the Biochem Profile, Repository and Cell Free Epigenome investigations today.

The Biochemical Profile investigation tests blood and urine samples obtained from astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results; which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body.

Repository is a storage bank used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. The repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions.

The JAXA Cell Free Epigenome investigation tests blood samples collected from astronauts and cellular genes are analyzed. Blood carries molecular signals released from the cells inside the body. The analysis results provide insights to scientists on how human bodies function during space flight.

Mouse Stress Defense: The crew continued taking blood samples today for the Mouse Stress Defense investigation. They processed the samples in a centrifuge and then placed them into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). Microgravity provokes cellular mechanical stresses and perturbs cellular signaling, leading to reduction of muscle and bone density. To overcome these stresses, one of the promising strategies is to activate Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant pathway. Mouse Stress Defense investigates how Nrf2 contributes to effective prevention of space-originated stresses.

Multi-Omics: Upon wakeup a 54S crewmember collected a saliva sample and placed it into a MELFI and completed a questionnaire. The Multi-omics analysis of human microbial-metabolic cross-talk in the space ecosystem (Multi-Omics) investigation evaluates the impacts of space environment and prebiotics on astronauts' immune function, by combining the data obtained from the measurements of changes in the gut microbiological composition, metabolites profiles, and the immune system.

Team Task Switching: A crewmember completed a Team Task Switching survey today. When crew members are often required to switch their attention between tasks, performance on each of the tasks can be affected. The objective of the Team Task Switching investigation is to gain knowledge about whether or not crew members have difficulty in switching tasks and determine the impacts of these switches, in order to both reduce any negative consequences and improve individual and team motivation and effectiveness.

Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Valve Remove & Replace (R&R): This morning, the crew successfully removed and replaced the Lab Forward Port IMV Valve that was associated with the Remote Power Control Module (RPCM) Remote Power Controller 3 (RPC 3) trip that occurred on March 21, 2018. Following the installation of the new valve, the RPC was closed long enough to confirm valve functionality and then reopened as a safety precaution due to the ongoing investigation into the cause of the trip. The degraded IMV valve will be returned to the ground on SpX-14 for Test, Teardown and Evaluation (TT&E).

Node 3 (N3) Mass Constituent Analyzer (MCA) troubleshooting: As part of continuing N3 MCA troubleshooting, the crew removed the Verification Gas Assembly (VGA) ORU (ORU 08) installed on March 01, 2018 and reinstalled the old ORU 08. This will help determine if the newly installed ORU 08 was causing the current Node 3 MCA issues. To help rule out another potential failure mode, the crew also removed, inspected, and reinstalled Mass Spectrometer ORU (ORU 02) to ensure properly mated connections. The Node 3 MCA will be reactivated later today to determine if today's troubleshooting efforts were effective.

Public Affairs Office (PAO) Events: Feustel and Arnold participated in a live-to-air PAO event today with the South River High School in Edgewater, Maryland. This event was sponsored by the Goddard Spaceflight Center. Approximately 900 students and faculty from the area participated.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last night, robotics controllers used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to transfer the two of the three remaining MISSE Sample Container (MSC) from the MISSE transfer tray (MTT) to the MISSE Flight Facility (FF). The third and final MSC was removed from the MTT, however due to time constraints was not installed on the FF. This evening's robotics operations have already commenced, and controllers will install the remaining MSC and perform a Mobile Transporter (MT) translation from Work Site (WS)2 to WS6.

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

Multi Omics Saliva Operations
HRF Generic Urine Collection
Multi Omics Saliva sample MELFI Insertion
Multi Omics Saliva Stow
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
Multi Omics Question
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
СТТС Reconfiguration in MRM1
FAZOPEREKHOD. Preparation steps and starting the experiment.
SEPARATION. ЕДВ gathering.
Mouse Stress Defense Item Gathering and Blood Drawing Preparation
СОЖ maintenance
SEPARATION. Connecting exchangeable ЕДВ containers.
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
SEPARATION. Preparation of separated and filtered in БКО water for filling the system, filling water container [ЕВ].
Miniature Exercise Device Operations Session
SEPARATION. Checking the initial condition, preparation for activation, activation of system for filling.
Remove and Replace the Lab Forward Port Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Valve
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Mouse Stress Defense MELFI Retrieval
Mouse Stress Defense Blood Drawing
SEPARATION. Running a trial distillation using water.
Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
THE GREAT START. EPO session and video recording of IKARUS PL installation in SM
Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
EML High Speed Camera Lens Switch
Mouse Blood Centrifuge Processing Start
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Mouse Stress Defense Blood Drawing Closeout
SEPARATION. Closeout Ops.
Mouse Blood Centrifuge Processing Stop
Mouse Stress Defense MELFI Insertion
SEPARATION. Downlink of zipped file.
Comm reconfig for nominal ops
Photo TV High Definition Verification Gas Assembly Video Downlink
Earth Imagery from ISS Nikon Target Operations
THE GREAT START. Export camcorder data
URAGAN. Installation of IKARUS PL OBC-I unit with re-installation of БИТС-2-12 СЗУ static memory device.
Node 3 MCA Verification Gas Assembly Removal
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
URAGAN. Demate cables from БИТС2-12 Static Memory Devices (СЗУ).
URAGAN. Installation of IKARUS PL OBC-I unit with re-installation of БИТС-2-12 СЗУ static memory unit.
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey - Subject
URAGAN. Connecting БКС cables to СЗУ-БИТС 2-12.
Material Science Laboratory Onboard Training
URAGAN. Installation of IKARUS PL OBC-I unit with re-installation of БИТС-2-12 СЗУ static memory device.
Reseat Node 3 MCA Mass Spectrometer.
THE GREAT START. Export camcorder data
Node 3 MCA Verification Gas Assembly Replace
24-hour BP recording (terminate)
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
HRF Columbus HD Video Setup
THE GREAT START. Terminate Camcorder Data
Photo TV High Definition Verification Gas Assembly Video Deactivation
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Inspection and photography of protective screen on ПН28-120 voltage converter on the RS
Photo/TV JEM HDSDI Cable Swap
URISYS Hardware Setup

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
N3 MCA Activation
MISSE Robotics Operations
MT Translation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 04/20: MSL Furnace Swap, APEX6 Harvest, Mouse Stress Defense, EIISS, PEPS Inspection, MSG VUE Removal
Saturday, 04/21: Housekeeping, EEIISS Target, US LAB Edge Router to BRI Troubleshooting, Mouse Stress Defense Cage Maintenance, Off Duty
Sunday, 04/22: Off Duty

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Startup
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Drydown
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Off

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