NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 November 2017 - New Expedition 54-55 Crew Prepping for December 14 Launch

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 54-55 prime crewmembers Scott Tingle of NASA (left) Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos, center) and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, right) pose for pictures Nov. 29 in front of a Soyuz spacecraft simulator as part of their final crew qualification exam activities. They will launch Dec. 17 on the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a five-month mission on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Elizabeth Weissinger.

The next crew to launch to the International Space Station is in Russia today for traditional ceremonies before heading to the launch site in Kazakhstan. Back in space, the Expedition 53 crew is preparing for the departure and arrival of a pair of cargo ships next week.

Three new crew members from Russia, the United States and Japan are getting ready for their Dec. 14 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft to the space station's Rassvet module. The Expedition 54-55 crew consists of Soyuz Commander and veteran station resident Anton Shkaplerov and first-time Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai.

The trio was in Star City today talking to journalists before heading to Moscow to tour Red Square and lay flowers at the Kremlin Wall where famed cosmonauts are interred. Next, the crew will head to the launch site Dec. 4 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan where they will stay for final launch preparations at the Cosmonaut Hotel.

Meanwhile, the orbiting Expedition 53 crew is packing the Cygnus cargo craft with trash before it ends its mission next week. First, ground controllers will remotely detach Cygnus from the Unity module with the Canadarm2 on Dec. 5. Cygnus will then be maneuvered over the Harmony module for a GPS test to assist NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Next, astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will take over the robotics controls and release Cygnus back into space on Dec. 6. It will orbit Earth until Dec. 18 then enter the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean for a fiery, but safe demise.

SpaceX is getting ready to replenish the station with its Dragon cargo craft scheduled to deliver about 4,800 pounds of crew supplies and science gear. Dragon is targeted to launch Dec. 8 from Florida atop a Falcon 9 rocket and take a two-day trip to the station. Vande Hei and Acaba are training to capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 when it reaches a point 10 meters from the station. Ground controllers will them remotely install Dragon to the Harmony module where it will stay until Jan. 6.

On-Orbit Status Report

Probiotics Operations: Today a crewmember conducted the second half of the third sampling phase for the JAXA Probiotic investigation that began on GMT 331 with fecal sample collections. Today's activities included saliva sample collections and a questionnaire. Some species of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella grow stronger and more virulent in the microgravity environment of space. At the same time, the human immune system is weaker in space, leading to increased health risks. The objective of the Probiotics investigation is to study the impact of continuous consumption of probiotics on immune function and intestinal microbiota in astronauts under closed microgravity environment This investigation studies the effects of beneficial bacteria (Probiotics) to improve crew members' intestinal microbiota as well as their immune function on long-duration space missions.

TangoLab-1 Transfer from Cygnus (OA-8): After completing the short demonstration of TangoLab-1 operations in Cygnus that began on GMT 326 last week, today the crew powered down and removed TangoLab-1 from Cygnus and returned the facility back to EXPRESS Rack 4. The facility will be powered back up in ER4 and returned to its nominal capability. TangoLab-1 is a reconfigurable general research facility designed for microgravity research and development and pilot manufacturing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Plant Habitat Sound Level Meter (SLM) Measurements: The crew performed ten Plant Habitat acoustic measurement sets with varying Environmental Control System (ECS) fan speeds between each measurement set. The fan speeds were controlled via ground command. The data from the measurements will be used to assess the environmental factors when the Plant Habitat facility is used in the JEM. The Advanced Plant Habitat Facility (Plant Habitat) is a fully automated facility that will be used to conduct plant bioscience research on the International Space Station (ISS). It occupies the lower half of the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack and two International Subrack Interface Standard (ISIS) drawers, providing a large, enclosed, environmentally controlled chamber.

NeuroMapping: Today two 52S crewmembers set up the NeuroMapping hardware and performed their Flight Day 90 tests in "strapped in" and "free floating" body configurations. The NeuroMapping investigation studies whether long-duration spaceflight causes changes to brain structure and function, motor control, or multi-tasking abilities. It also measures how long it would take for the brain and body to recover from possible changes. Previous research and anecdotal evidence from astronauts suggests movement control and cognition can be affected in microgravity. The NeuroMapping investigation performs structural and functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI and fMRI) to assess any changes that occur after spending months on the ISS.

Human Research Program (HRP) Collections (Biochemical Profile and Repository): A 51S crewmember conducted his return minus 15 Day (R-15) blood, and urine sample collections to support the Biochemical Profile and Repository experiments. The samples were placed in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI).

The Biochemical Profile experiment 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. This 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.
Earth Imagery from ISS Target Operations: The crew captured images and video footage of the Namib Desert, the Mediterranean at Night, Fishing Boats, along the Gulf of Thailand, and Southern Tip of India. The Earth Imagery from ISS investigation creates a series of videos, showcasing Earth from space. These videos will be taken with cameras on the International Space Station in 6K hi-resolution, then integrated into videos for screensavers for public enjoyment, exploration, and engagement.

Dragon OBT: In preparation for the upcoming arrival of SpaceX-13 Dragon, the crew performed training of the offset grapple case for Dragon capture. The crew performed a series of onboard training (OBT) sessions to maintain proficiency prior to a vehicle arrival.

Cygnus cargo operations: Disposal cargo loading operations continued on the OA-8 Cygnus vehicle. Today, the crew removed TangoLab-1, and loaded disposal cargo on the vehicle. Cargo loading will continue until hatch closure, which is planned for Tuesday, December 5th.

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

Marrow Breath And Ambient Air Sample Collection - Subject
ARED Photo/TV Reminder
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Double Spin Collection
Probiotics Saliva Operations
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Double Spin Configuration
Probiotics Salive Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF Generic Urine Collection Male - Subject
Probiotics Question
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
MORZE. Log Entry of Liquid and Food (Medicine) Intake
Max Cycle Ergometer w/ Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Partial Set Up
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Power Up
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Collection/Incubation
NeuroMapping Experiment Neurocognitive Test - Subject
Return equipment conference Tagup with specialists
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
СОЖ Maintenance
Conference of Search and Rescue (ГПСК) specialists with returning crew
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude And Stow
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Subject
Diagnostics of FGB СУБК instruments 11М156М. Tagup with specialists
Diagnostics of FGB Power Supply System Filter Units (БФ-2) and Main Bus Assembly (БСШ-2).
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval And Insertion Operations
Crew Departure Prep
Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Water Container (ЕДВ) Remove and Replace
Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Partial Stow
Orthostatic Stability Evaluation with LBNP (without PC)
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) Kit Sample Collection
TangoLab-1 From Cygnus Move
Temperature and Humidity Control (THC) Oxygen Generation System (OGS) Avionics Air Assembly (AAA) Flow Measurement
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Sound Level Meter (SLM) Setup and Operations
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Offset Grapple
Flushing ГЖС
MORZE. Experiment setup
TIMER. Experiment setup and initiation of video recording
MOTOCARD. Experiment Session. Tagup with specialists
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
MOTOCARD. Operator Assistance with the Experiment
Onboard Training (OBT) SSRMS Debrief Conference
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
N2 Nadir Hatch to Unlatch Hardstop
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Photography of ТП228 mockup temperature sensors on the external surface of MRM2
Countermeasures System (CMS) Max Cycle Ergometer w/Vibration Isolation & Stabilization (CEVIS) Portable PFS Conclude
Multi Omics Item Gathering
Transfer Cygnus Cargo Operations
TIMER. Experiment Ops Video Termination and Cleanup
Manufacturing Device Feedstock Canister, and Extruder Exchange
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
Plant Habitat Sound Level Meter Data Transfer and Stow
Cygnus Cargo Operations Conference
Flight Director/ISS CREW CONFERENCE
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Stow

Completed Task List Activities
Orbital ATK-8 Cargo Environment Sensor (CES) Data Download

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
SSRMS ops to support Dragon Offset Grapple OBT
Standard commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 12/01: Max CEVIS, Sabatier Return, ZBOT Hardware Stow, Circadian Rhythms
Saturday, 12/02: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty
Thursday, 11/30: Crew Off Duty

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[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 - Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Shutdown
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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