NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 December 2017 - A New Crew

The newly-expanded Expedition 54 crew gathers in the Zvezda service module for ceremonila congratulations from family and mission officials. Credit: NASA.

NASA's Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency joined Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and crewmates Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory officially opened at 5:55 a.m. EST. The welcoming ceremony will begin shortly.

The crew members will spend about six months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development -- research that impacts life on Earth.

Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to remain aboard the station until February 2018, and Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai are scheduled to return to Earth next June.

This crew continues the long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research in the unique microgravity environment. Highlights of upcoming investigations include demonstrating the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment, a new study looking at structures that are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and electronic devices and examining a drug compound and drug delivery system designed to combat muscular breakdown in space or during other prolonged periods of disuse, such as extended bed rest on Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report

53S Docking: 53 Soyuz launched on Sunday, December 17th, and arrived at the ISS early this morning. The Soyuz brought Anton Shkaplerov, Scott Tingle, and Norishige Kanai, and docked at 2:39 AM CST with hatch opening at 4:55 AM CST. This begins the 54-6 stage, and returns the ISS crew to its nominal complement of 6. Following the docking, the crew conducted an ISS Safety Briefing where they reviewed emergency response for each of the Soyuz crews and then reviewed the emergency equipment locations.

Lighting Effects: Upon wakeup, the 52S subject completed the two-week long sleep shift session that began on GMT 340, by providing daily sleep log entries to track his sleep patterns and wakefulness. The Lighting Effects investigation studies the impact of the change from fluorescent light bulbs to solid-state light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with adjustable intensity and color and aims to determine if the new lights can improve crew circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. Results from this investigation also have major implications for people on Earth who use electric lights.

Rodent Research 6 (RR-6): Today the rodent transporters were moved from the SpaceX-13 vehicle to the US Lab to transfer the rodents to the habitats. The crew prepared the habitats by removing the lixit caps and checking the water flow to each side of all four habitats, before installing the rodent huts and food bars. The animals from both transporters were transferred 10 at a time from the transporter to the habitats, after the crew performed health checks on the rodents. The Rodent Research-6 (RR-6) mission uses mice flown aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and maintained on Earth to test drug delivery systems for combatting muscular breakdown in space or during disuse conditions. RR-6 includes several groups of mice selectively treated with a placebo or implanted with a nanochannel drug delivery chip that administers compounds meant to maintain muscle in low gravity/disuse conditions.

Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems (STaARS) BioScience-2 Experiment Container Installation: The crew installed the BioScience-2 experiment containers into the STaARS facility and then powered on the facility in EXPRESS Rack 6. BioScience-2 encompasses two experiments, Experiment Grimm and Experiment Ulrich, which is performed by three investigation teams, all utilizing the same hardware, but processing different biological samples. The principle aim of Experiment Grimm is to investigate how thyroid carcinoma cells react, when they are exposed to real microgravity. The expected information may help to improve in vitro cancer studies such as antitumor drug or trans-endothelial migration tests. Experiment Ulrich will investigate microgravity-associated long-term alterations in primary human macrophages, the most important effector cells of the immune system, which are responsible for attacking and killing bacteria and other foreign and pathogenic intruders in the human body. The aim of the experiment is to analyze surface molecules, which are required for recognition of bacteria and cell-cell-communication, and to investigate the cytoskeletal architecture after several days in microgravity.

Space Headaches: Two 53S crewmembers completed the third day of a week-long ESA Space Headache session which started onboard Soyuz prior to docking. The Space Headaches investigation requests crewmembers to respond to a questionnaire that may help in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms and improvement in the well-being and performance of crewmembers in space. Headaches during space flight can negatively affect mental and physical capacities of crewmembers that can influence performance during a space mission.

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

Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry - Subject
Monitoring closure of shutters on windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14.
Soyuz 737 ODF Ops. Start Drying 2 space suits
Gas Analyzer Activation in Soyuz 734
MPEG-2 Downlink Test via Ku-band(Activation/Deactivation of TV Data Monitoring and MPEG2 Multicast hardware)
Preparation for Soyuz 737 Docking
СТТС configuration for Soyuz 737 docking to MRM1. Comm check with Soyuz 737 in RSA-S/G2
Activation of TV Data and MPEG2 Multicast Monitoring Equipment
Monitoring Soyuz 737 Rendezvous with ISS (MRM1)
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Intravehicular Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (IV-TEPC) Relocate
Rodent Research Node 2 Camcorder Video Setup
Rodent Research Transfer 1
Activation of mpeg2 multicast video recording mode
MRM1-SOYUZ PEV moding to ELECTR CONTR position
Closing Applications and Downlink of MPEG2 Multicast Video via OCA
Comm reconfig after Soyuz 737 docking
Soyuz 737 - MRM1 Interface Leak Check
Equipment Setup and Checkout in SM for Expedition 54 Arrival TV PAO Coverage from SM
Disconnecting КЛ-153М TV Camera from MRM1 TV System
Hardware Setup and Test Checkout in MRM1 for Hatch Opening TV PAO Coverage from MRM1
Soyuz 737-MRM1 Hatch Opening
Handover of the 3rd space suit and gloves for drying in Soyuz 734
Drying of the 3rd spacesuit in Soyuz 734, start
Terminate Drying of Suits 1, 2 (Soyuz 737)
ISS Safety Briefing
Biological Reaction In Container Glacier Sample Removal
ISS HAM Radio and Video Power Up
Connecting TV Camera КЛ-153М to MRM1 TV System
Installing the 1st pair of gloves for drying in Soyuz 737
Soyuz 737 Deactivation (without Gas Analyzer (ГА) deactivation)
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF1 Setup
Biological Research In Canisters Light Emitting Diode Canister Installation
Comm reconfig for nominal ops
Biological Research in Canisters Light Emitting Diode
Transfer 2 Fish Fixation Apparatus from MELFI (+2C) to MELFI (-95C).
Exiting Applications, Deactivation of camcorders and TV monitors
Rodent Research Animal Transfer 2
Finish drying the 1st pair of gloves and start drying the 2nd pair
Soyuz 737 Deactivation (without ГА deactivation)
Terminate third suit drying, start drying the third pair of gloves (Soyuz 734)
Terminate drying the second pair of gloves
Stowage of the 1st and 2nd space suits and gloves after drying
СОЖ maintenance
Terminate drying gloves (Soyuz 734)
Handover of the 3rd space suit and gloves after drying in Soyuz 737
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 (T2) Exercise Session
Stowage of the 3rd suit and gloves in Soyuz 737 after drying
Soyuz 737 Transfers and IMS Ops
Dragon Locker Removal
Rodent Research Locker Preparation
Space Technology and Advanced Research Systems BioScience-2 Experiment Container Installation
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF1 Stow
Space Headaches - Daily Questionnaire

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
53S Docking Support
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 12/20: Arthrospira, SABL2, Synthetic Bone, Zebra, RR, DOSIS 3D, Low Temp PCG, APEX5, Marrow-2
Thursday, 12/21: Marrow-2, EMER Role & Resp Review, Zebra, Synthetic Bone, STP-H5, Dragon Emer OBT, APEX-5, JAXA Area Dosimeter Install
Friday, 12/22: IMV Flow Measurement, FIR maintenance, Emer H/W OBT, CBM N2N Bolt Inspect, Cell Science Validation, JPM gas trap reconfig, JAXA Camera Robot, Blood Collection, APEX-5, STP-H5 ICE Photos, Space Headaches

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 - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

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