NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 29 August 2019 - Biomedical Research and Life Science Activities

Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA conducts science operations for the BioFabrication Facility experiment researching the effectiveness of using 3D biological printers to produce usable human organs in microgravity. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 60 crew focused on a variety of biomedical research and life science activities aboard the International Space Station today. The astronauts are still cleaning up after last week's spacewalk while preparing for an upcoming Japanese cargo mission.

Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan spent Thursday morning collecting their blood, urine and saliva samples. The samples are being processed and analyzed for the Fluid Shifts study. The long-running research explores vascular changes including head and eye pressure caused by living in microgravity.

Morgan moved on and continued organizing a multitude of tools used during a spacewalk last week to install a new commercial crew docking port. During the afternoon, he joined astronaut Luca Parmitano for eye pressure measurements using a tonometer.

Hague set up a 3D camera in the Harmony module and videotaped a cinematic virtual reality experience of himself at work for Earth audiences. He finally tested a communications panel that will send commands to Japan's HTV-8 cargo craft planned to arrive at the station in mid-September. The HTV-8 will deliver new batteries for the station's Port-6 truss power channels.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch checked on mice studied in space for their genetic similarity to humans and potential therapeutic insights. She also discussed with a nutritionist on the ground how the food aboard the orbiting lab affects her appetite.

Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov explored microbes in the Russian side of the station to learn how to fight space viruses and spacecraft contamination. The duo then continued unpacking cargo from the Soyuz MS-14 spaceship that arrived Monday night.

Another crew ship, the Soyuz MS-15, is being processed for its launch to the station on Sept. 25. Commander Oleg Skripochka will lead Flight Engineer Jessica Meir and Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori on a six-hour ride to their new home in space. The new trio along with their backups began two days of qualification exams today.

On-Orbit Status Report

Fluid Shifts: The crew began the first of the Fluid Shifts experiment operations known as Dilution Measures which looks at fluid compartmentalization by assessing of total body water (via saliva and urine analysis) and extracellular and intracellular fluid volume (via blood and urine analysis). Fluid Shifts is a NASA investigation, divided into Dilution Measurements, Baseline Imaging, and Imaging with Chibis and is typically spread over several weeks. The Chibis hardware is used to perform the Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) part of the experiment. The Fluid Shifts experiment investigates the causes for severe and lasting physical changes to astronaut's eyes. Because the headward fluid shift is a hypothesized contributor to these changes, reversing this fluid shift with a LBNP device is being evaluated as a possible intervention. Results from this study may help to develop preventative measures against lasting changes in vision and prevention of eye damage.

ISS Experience: The crew participated in an ISS Experience log recording. Topics of discussion in the recording included personal experience and the crewmember's ideas on how the ISS prepares us for future space flight. The ISS Experience creates a virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the ISS. The 8 to 10 minute videos created from footage taken during the six-month investigation cover different aspects of crew life, execution of science aboard the station, and the international partnerships involved. The ISS Experience uses a Z-CAM V1 Pro Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree camera with nine 190° fisheye lenses.

PCG-19: Monoclonal Antibody Stability in Microgravity-Formulation Study (CASIS PCG 19) examines the stability of monoclonal antibody formulations in microgravity. These formulations degrade over time and sometimes must be discarded, increasing cost and limiting the parts of the world where patients can benefit from them. Storing formulations in microgravity may reveal processes that lead to degradation and, ultimately, to methods for slowing it down. The crew performed a series of MELFI retrievals and insertions in support of the PCG-19 experiment.

Slime in Space: In preparation for upcoming operations, the crew inspected the bags of slime for separation and kneaded the bags to mix the slime solution, which is mostly water. In addition, the crew was allowed to remove some of the slime from a bag to become familiar with its microgravity behavior and characteristics. Non-Newtonian Fluids in Microgravity (Nickelodeon Slime in Space) will produce digital video and other content showing experiments in microgravity using Nickelodeon's iconic slime. The content teaches viewers about microgravity and materials science principles in a fun and engaging manner. It uses television and the internet to reach more than a million students around the country.

Vascular Aging: The crew donned the appropriate hardware and initiated a13-hour blood pressure monitoring session. The session will conclude just before crew sleep. Emerging data indicates links among cardiovascular health risk, carotid artery aging, bone metabolism and blood biomarkers, insulin resistance, and radiation. Data indicate that aging-like changes are accelerated in many ISS crewmembers, particularly with respect to their arteries. As part of the Vascular Aging investigation, ultrasound measurements of the arteries, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance, and wearable sensors from ISS crewmembers are analyzed.

Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM) LAD62B_A Replacement: On August 17, Remote Power Controller (RPC)-4 associated with the Lab Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) tripped open.

Ground Teams downlinked and analyzed associated telemetry, which indicated no evidence of an overcurrent. The RPC failure was diagnosed as a FET Controller Hybrid (FCH) issue and required replacement. Today, the crew replaced the RPCM to restore functionality to the MCA on RPC-4.

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Valve Box Remote Controller (VB-RC) Preparations: The crew disassembled currently installed valve controllers 1 and 2 and retrieved reusable parts for use during the planned VB-RC installation in Increment 61. Installation of the VB-RC will complete the road to activities for full ground control of JEMAL pressurization operations.

Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) 3 Robotic Operations: Yesterday and last night, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) used the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to retrieve the failed MBSU 3 from Express Logistics Carrier 2 (ELC2)'s Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism (FRAM). The FRAM was temporarily stowed on its Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP) Side 2, then the empty FRAM was stowed back on ELC2. Today the failed MBSU3 will be placed in the JEMAL for future In-flight Maintenance (IFM).

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Proximity Communication System (PROX) Operations Checkout: In preparation for HTV-8 launch currently scheduled for September 10, the crew completed a checkout of the PROX System, which is used for communication between HTV and the ISS. Today's checkout included sending Portable Computer System (PCS) Hardware Control Panel (HCP) commands to verify the functionality of this capability prior to launch.

Emergency Roles & Responsibilities Review: As a result of the relocation of 59S from Service Module (SM) Aft to Mini Research Module (MRM)-2, all six crew members participated in this review of emergency procedures that apply with the ISS in this configuration.

Completed Task List Activities:
WHC KTO replace
Lab/Cupola RWS video monitor ORU swap
PMM 1O1 right side cleanout

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
RPCM R&R safing
Payloads ops support

Look Ahead:
Friday, 8/30 (GMT 242)

CBEF cable check
Fluid Shifts
Lighting effects
Microgravity Crystals
Space Moss maintenance
Standard Measures
Team Task Switching
Vascular Aging

Crew half duty day off

Saturday, 8/31 (GMT 243)


Crew off duty, housekeeping

Sunday, 9/1 (GMT 244)


Crew off duty

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

Fluid Shifts Saliva Baseline Collection
Fluid Shifts MELFI Insertion Operations
Fluid Shifts Urine Collection
Fluid Shifts MELFI Insertion Operations
Fluid Shifts HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood Baseline Collection Subject
Fluid Shifts Galley Water Collection And Tracer Ingestion Operations
Fluid Shifts HRF Centrifuge Blood Collection Spin Conclude
Fluid Shifts MELFI Insertion
Emergency Roles and Responsibilities Review
Fluid Shifts Urine Collection Mid
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Fluid Shifts MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Soyuz 743 БО and [СА] Transfers and IMS Ops
Fluid Shifts HRF Centrifuge Frozen Blood 3-Hour Collection Subject
Fluid Shifts Saliva 3-Hour Collection
Fluid Shifts MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Fluid Shifts HRF Centrifuge Blood Collection Spin Conclude
Fluid Shifts MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-1 and 1-2 cells contents
RPCM LAB1D6 Remove and Replace
Food Acceptability Survey
Food Acceptability Data Conference
Fluid Shifts Saliva 5-Hour Collection Alternate
Fluid Shifts MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Fluid Shifts Urine Collection End
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Fluid Shifts MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-1 and 1-2 cells contents
ISPYTATEL. Transfer of [АРТС] from Soyuz 743 [СА] to RS
ISS Experience Node 2 Setup
Rodent Research Habitat 2 & 3 Restock
ISS Experience Astronaut Log Recording
ISS Experience Hardware Relocate
Rodent Research Access Unit Clean
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-1 and 1-2 cells contents
Soyuz 743 БО and [СА] Transfers and IMS Ops
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Food Acceptability Survey
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
In Flight Maintenance MBSU Procedure Review
HTV PCS HCP Selfcheck (Side A)
HRF Veg Profile of Mood States Questionnaire
ISS Experience Hardware Stow
HRF Veg Profile of Mood States Questionnaire
MICROVIR. Photography of Cassette-M No.1-1 and 1-2 cells contents. Cryogem-03 (+4 deg C)
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position

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