NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 November 2018 - Semiconductor Crystal Observations

©NASA

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 November 2018 - Semiconductor Crystal Observations.

December is shaping up to be a heavy traffic period at the International Space Station. Two crews will swap places before Christmas and a U.S. spaceship will deliver new supplies and science. A Russian spacewalk is also planned for a crew vehicle inspection.

The Expedition 57 crew onboard the station today continued preparing for the upcoming missions while researching space science. Commander Alexander Gerst cleaned cooling loops in U.S. spacesuits as Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev prepared the Soyuz MS-09 crew vessel for next month's undocking. Astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor worked on commercial science gear, semiconductor crystal observations and space gardening.

Monday and Tuesday are launch days for a new crew and a cargo delivery. Two new astronauts and a veteran cosmonaut are set to blast off first on Monday at 6:31 a.m. EST aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft. Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko flanked by new Expedition 58 Flight Engineers Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques will dock to the station's Poisk module just six hours and five minutes later.

The very next day, the SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply ship will launch on its 16th mission to the orbital laboratory with a variety of new science experiments at 1:38 p.m. Dragon will orbit Earth for two days before reaching a point about 10 meters from the station where it will be captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Following those two critical arrivals at the orbital laboratory, cosmonauts Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko will exit the station for the third Russian spacewalk of the year on Dec. 11. The duo will wear their Orlan spacesuits for about six hours of inspection work on the Soyuz MS-09 crew craft docked to the Rassvet module.

After the vehicle inspection, the Soyuz MS-09 will return to Earth Dec. 20 bringing home the Expedition 57 crew after six and a half months in space. Auñón-Chancellor and Gerst will sit on either side of Soyuz Commander Prokopyev as he leads the trio to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan at 12:03 a.m.

On-Orbit Status Report

Cemsica Sample Exchange: Today the crew removed the calibration cartridge from the SUBSA facility and inserted the first Cemsica science cartridge for processing. Cemsica tests a novel approach of using particles of calcium-silicate (C-S) to synthesize nanoporous membranes (those with pores 100 nanometers or smaller) that can separate carbon dioxide molecules from air or other gases. Synthesizing the materials in microgravity may resolve existing challenges in membrane manufacturing and lead to development of lower-cost membranes with improved flux and high-temperature stability. SUBSA offers a gradient freeze furnace for materials science investigations that can reach 850°C.

NanoRacks External Platform Inserts (NREP) Hardware Swap: The crew installed the new experiment plate and Hyperspectral Earth Imaging System Trial (HEIST) onto the NREP. Due to an unexpected L-bracket configuration on the HEIST hardware, it was mounted to an alternate location, but no science impacts are expected. HEIST is a compact hyperspectral sensor system for commercial Earth observation. Hyperspectral data from hundreds of narrow spectral bands result in extremely high spectral resolution and a contiguous reflectance spectrum of each pixel in the image, from visible light all the way through infrared. NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST offers a less expensive and smaller option for a commercial hyperspectral sensor deployed in space. The NREP represents the first external commercial research capability for testing in support of scientific investigations, sensors, and electronic components in space.

Veg-03G Harvest: The crew harvested the Dragoon lettuce and Red Russian Kale plants that have been growing since October 25. Part of the harvest was packed for return for ground analysis and the rest of the harvest was made available for crew consumption. The crew also performed microbial sampling and cleaning/drying of the Veggie facility hardware. The primary goal of the Veg-03 G/H/I testing is to demonstrate plant growth in the Veggie hardware using leafy green vegetables as a test crops.

Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) 3003 and 3008 H20 Recharge, Loop Scrub, and Iodination: In preparation for the potential of upcoming ExtraVehicular Activities (EVAs), the crew refilled both EMUs feedwater tanks. The crew then performed EMU water loop scrubs and then acquired and tested water samples for conductivity. EMU Loop Scrubs are required preventive maintenance needed to remove any chemical and biological contaminants from the EMU Transport Loop.

Completed Task List Activities:
None

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
JEM Airlock Depressurization in support of NREP Exchange

Two-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 11/29:

Payloads
Myotones
Cemsica Sample exchange

Systems:
Surface and Air Sampling
ARED Cylinder Evac

Friday, 11/30:

Payloads:
Cemsica Sample exchange
PCG-16 microscope observations
MVP Module Remove (Cell-05)
WICO SD Card Delete

Systems:
Dragon RoBOT OBT
CUCU Activation and Checkout

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

JEM Airlock Press
Dragon Prepack
Study preliminary EVA timeline and ODF, View EVA-45A video footage
NREP XF305 Video Setup
JEM Airlock Leak Check
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
NanoRacks External Platform Slide Table Remove
NanoRacks External Platform Hardware SWAP
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Water Recharge
NanoRacks External Platform Slide Table Assist Capture
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
СОЖ maintenance
CEMSICA Sample Exchange
Soyuz 739 Pre-pack Ops
PHOTOBIOREACTOR. Sterilization Activation
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
Soyuz 739 Stowage Ops
VEG-03 MWA Preparation
VEG-03G Harvest
PHOTOBIOREACTOR. Replacement of medium container. Tagup with specialists
VEG-03G MELFI Insertion #2
VEG-03G Harvest
Columbus cleanup for Myotones
Myotones Kit Gathering
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration

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