NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 January 2018 - Living in Space Experiments Continue

From the @Space_Station, wishing everyone across the world a happy and safe 2018. Credit: @AstroAcaba/NASA.

The Expedition 54 crew is starting the New Year studying how humans adapt to living in space for months and years at a time. NASA and its international partners are also learning how to support crews on longer missions with less help from the ground.

The astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station orbit Earth 16 times a day affecting their circadian rhythms, or biological clocks. Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai is helping doctors understand how being away from the normal 24-hour sunrise-sunset cycle impacts the human body. He strapped on sensors today that will measure his body composition and temperature for 36 hours.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is helping engineers design closed-loop systems keeping crews self-sufficient on longer missions beyond low-Earth orbit. He swapped experimental containers in the Biolab Incubator containing bacteria cultures that could be used for carbon dioxide removal and oxygen production.

Crews also need to be prepared for bone injuries or dental work that may be necessary during a space mission. The Synthetic Bone experiment, that Flight Engineer Joe Acaba worked on today with Kanai, is testing how a synthetic material integrates with bone cells to address bone fractures and bone loss in space and on Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report

Circadian Rhythms: Today a 53S crewmember instrumented himself with Thermolab Double Sensors and mount the Thermolab Unit to their belt, and began 36 hours of monitoring for the Circadian Rhythm investigation. Circadian Rhythms investigates the role of synchronized circadian rhythms, or the "biological clock," and how it changes during long-duration spaceflight. Researchers hypothesize that a non-24-hour cycle of light and dark affects crew members' circadian clocks. The investigation also addresses the effects of reduced physical activity, microgravity and an artificially controlled environment. Changes in body composition and body temperature, which also occur in microgravity, can affect crew members' circadian rhythms as well. Understanding how these phenomena affect the biological clock will improve performance and health for future crew members.

Arthrospira-B (Batch Culture) Assembly: The crew removed four Arthrospira-B experiment containers from the Biolab Incubator to exchange the reservoirs inside the Biolab. Following the exchange of the reservoirs, the ECs were reinstalled back onto Biolab Incubator. The Arthrospira-B experiment is an important step in making improvements in the area of closed regenerative life support systems in space which will help in making future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit become a reality. The cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp. strain PCC8005 is a candidate for use in spacecraft biological life support systems, for CO2 and nitrate removal, and oxygen and biomass production. However, to ensure the reliability of such a biological life support system it is necessary to characterize the response of Arthrospira sp. PCC8005 to in situ spaceflight conditions.

Synthetic Bone BioCell Operations: Today, the crew performed microscopy operations for Synthetic Bone and then took a sample from each well on the Synthetic Bone Multiwell BioCell and exchanged the fluids with media in each well. The samples were placed in a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). Synthetic Bone uses BioCells from three habitats to test the functionality and effectiveness of new material that can assist in recovery from bone injuries or dental work during long-term space travel. Determining how well Tetranite integrates with bone cell cultures can also inform general strategies for addressing bone loss in space. Synthetic Bone examines the cellular response to a new type of bone adhesive in the microgravity environment of space. This experiment uses facilities aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to grow bone cells in the presence of a commercially available bone adhesive, and a new product called Tetranite. Sets of bone cell cultures grow with the different adhesives for 20 days and are then fixed, frozen, and returned to Earth for detailed analysis in a fully equipped biological laboratory.

MagVector: Today the crew began the 7-day MagVector #16 experiment run. The European Space Agency (ESA) MagVector investigation studies how Earth's magnetic field interacts with an electrical conductor. Using extremely sensitive magnetic sensors placed around and above a conductor, researchers can gain insight into ways that the magnetic field influences how conductors work. This research not only helps improve future International Space Station experiments and electrical experiments, but it could offer insights into how magnetic fields influence electrical conductors in general, the backbone of our technology.

Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutron (RaDI-N) Retrieval: A USOS crewmember retrieved all 8 of the Space Bubble Detectors that were deployed last week for the RaDI-N experiment, and handed them to a Russian crewmember to be processed in the Bubble Reader. This Canadian Space Agency (CSA) RaDI-N investigation measures neutron radiation levels while onboard the ISS. Bubble detectors are used as neutron monitors designed to only detect neutrons and ignore all other radiation.

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Inter-Module Ventilation (IMV) Cleaning & Inspection: The crew removed the closeout panels at Node 3 to inspect a plastic sleeve coupling the IMV valve to the Node 3 ducting. Results from the inspection are being analyzed, and will be used to determine if any degradation of the coupling has occurred. BEAM is an experimental expandable module attached to the ISS. Expandable modules weigh less and take up less room on a rocket than a traditional module, while providing additional space on-orbit for living and working. Crews traveling to the moon, Mars, asteroids, or other destinations may be able to use them as habitable structures.

Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Rotation and Closeout: Today the crew modified the CPAs on Node2 Nadir, the port where the Dragon capsule is currently berthed. The CPA mod kits were launched on OA-8, but the kits can only be installed on ports where a vehicle is currently attached. Node1 Nadir was completed during the OA-8 mission, and Node2 Nadir was being completed today. This modification will allow the CPAs to be rotated into the vestibule rather than requiring that the crew remove them completely after a vehicle arrives. This will save both crew time and stowage space during a berthed mission. The CPAs must be installed for proper CBM operation during berthing activities, but they obstruct the pathway into the vehicle once the hatch is opened, so they need to be moved out of the corridor prior to cargo operations.

Robotic Operations: Last night, robotics ground controllers completed the SpaceX-13 mission's final external robotic payload operations by installing RapidScat and its nadir adapter in the trunk. The RapidScat payload had been removed from its mounting location outside of the Columbus module on Monday. After the SpaceX-13 Dragon capsule departs the ISS, its trunk, with RapidScat in it, will separate from the return capsule and continue toward its destructive re-entry to the atmosphere.

Today's Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
Synthetic Bone Microscope Operations
FS1 Maintenance (cleanup and reboot)
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE Dosimeter Collection and Reading
Transparent Alloys Hardware Locate
Monthly BRI cleaning
BEAM Intermodule Ventilation Cleaning & Inspection
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Transparent Alloys Payload Procedure Review1
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation Setup
Radi-N Detector Retrieval/Readout
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation - Subject
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons Hardware Handover
Synthetic Bone Biocells Fixation
MATRYOSHKA-R. Receiving BUBBLE dosimeters from USOS
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation - Crew Medical Officer (CMO)
Periodic Health Status Data Entry and Stow
Preparing For Upcoming MagVector Science Run
ISS Crew Orientation
СУ-95 setup area photography for troubleshooting
Arthrospira EC Reservoir Exchange
EDV (KOV) or EDV-SV fill (separation) for ELEKTRON
Photo TV Standard Definition Node 2 Video Setup
Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Installation/Rotate Up
Nikon still camera time sync with on-board time
СОЖ maintenance
MELFI Sample Return Bag Insertion
Handover of Increment 54 Crew
ИП-1 sensor settings check
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Meter Location Swap
NAPOR-mini РСА. БЗУ-М vent cleaning
Biolab Incubator Cold Spot Sponge/Seal Exchange
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Termination
Battery Stowage Assembly (BSA) Operation Initiation
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Node 2 Nadir Controller Panel Assembly (CPA) Removal/Rotation
Crew Medical Officer (CMO) On Board Training (OBT)
SM ventilation systems maintenance. Group С
Prep for ПТАБ-1М blocks swap
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill Part 3
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Air Filter and Wring Collector Remove and Replace
SSC3 (SМ) laptop replacement with ZBook
Microscope Hardware Teardown
VZAIMODEYSTVIYE-2. Experiment ops
MELFI BioCell Habitat Insertion
MELFI Fixative Return Bag Insertion
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB) Initiate
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, CO2 Meter Teardown and Stow
Space Automated Bioproduct Lab, Hard Drive Swap
Replacement of SSC18 (FGB) with Zbook
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) - Lab
Circadian Rhythms Instrumentation w. Armband

Completed Task List Activities
CMS Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Upper Cable Stop R&R
US EVA Tether Inspection
SODF book and cue card deploys

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
ZBook transitions.
Nominal commanding.

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 01/04: Cell Science Validation, Transparent Alloys, Dragon Cargo Operations, At Home in Space Questionnaire
Friday, 01/05: ACME, Microbial Tracking, Dragon Cargo Operations, JEM Camera Setup for Amyloid
Saturday, 01/06: HRF fluid collections, Petri Plate, Crew 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") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Operate
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) - Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Off

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