NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 May 2017 - Microgravity Experiments

Expedition 15 crew members Fyodor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer take a break during mealtime in the Unity module. Credit: NASA.

The five-member crew aboard the International Space Station was back at work Thursday researching how living in space affects the human body. Two of today's experiments looked at how microgravity weakens bones and alters DNA.

Commander Peggy Whitson joined Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet for the OsteoOmics bone loss study. The experiment compares bone loss in the free-floating environment of microgravity versus magnetic levitation on Earth and observes the molecular changes that place. Results may improve the health of crews in space and humans on Earth, possibly counteracting bone loss and preventing bone diseases.

Pesquet later checked samples for the Genes In Space experiment that is based on a winning proposal submitted during a student science competition. That study is testing new technology to track how a space mission alters an astronaut's DNA and impacts their immune system.

The rest of the crew, including NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Novitskiy, split their time between loading a Russian cargo craft, crew orientation and systems maintenance.


On-Orbit Status Report

OsteoOmics: The crew thawed BioCells and injected them into growth media inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). After six BioCells were processed they were placed into BioCell Habitat 3, which was then placed in the Space Automated Bioproduct Lab (SABL). Later in the day the crew removed a media kit from a Microgravity Experiment Research Locker / INcubator (MERLIN) and inserted it into a Cargo Transfer Bag at ambient temperature for the next day's operations. This is the first of four weeks of OsteoOmics operations. Crewmembers experience bone loss in orbit, stemming from the lack of gravity acting on their bones. OsteoOmics investigates the molecular mechanisms that dictate this bone loss by examining osteoblasts, which form bone, and osteoclasts, which dissolve bone. Improved understanding of these mechanisms could lead to more effective countermeasures to prevent bone loss during space missions and in a wide range of disorders on Earth. This may lead to better preventative care or therapeutic treatments for people suffering bone loss as a result of bone diseases like osteopenia and osteoporosis, or for patients on prolonged bed rest.

Genes in Space: The crew completed a session of the Genes in Space 2 Experiment. They retrieved a sample from a General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) and inserted it into the miniature Polymerase Chain Reaction (miniPCR) system for processing. The investigation is based on the winning student proposal from the second Genes in Space competition. It tests whether the polymerase chain reaction can be used to study deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) alterations on board the ISS. Spaceflight causes many changes to the human body, including alterations in DNA and a weakened immune system. Understanding whether these two processes are linked is important for safeguarding crew health, but DNA technology that can track these changes is relatively untested in space.

At Home In Space Questionnaire: The crew completed an At Home in Space questionnaire this morning. This Canadian Space Agency (CSA) experiment assesses culture, values, and psychosocial adaptation of astronauts to a space environment shared by multinational crews on long-duration missions. It is hypothesized that astronauts develop a shared space culture that is an adaptive strategy for handling cultural differences and they deal with the isolated confined environment of the spacecraft by creating a home in space. At Home In Space uses a questionnaire to investigate individual and culturally related differences, family functioning, values, coping with stress, and post-experience growth.

Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU)2 Remove & Replace (R&R Preparations:

Contingency Jumper Installation: In preparation for tomorrow's planned activities the crew successfully installed the Lab Secondary Power Distribution Assembly (SPDA) Jumper to power the LA2B power bus and the Lab Truss Contingency Jumper (LTCJ) ) to power the power bus. This is in preparation for the unpowering of the LA2B and S02B Direct Current to Direct Current Converter Units (DDCUs) during the R&R. LA2B power bus has been successfully powered through the SPDA jumper. External Thermal Controls System (ETCS) Cooling Loop B was shut down for the installation of the LTCJ. The S02B power bus has been successfully powered through the LTCJ and Loop B was successfully repowered. All heat exchangers have been integrated and internal cooling is back to a nominal configuration.
Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Body and Arm 2 as required to transfer the Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism (FRAM) on External Stowage Platform (ESP) 2 to the Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP) side 2. Once complete, ROBO will break torque on the MBSU H1 and H2 bolts before standing down for the day.
Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization (CEVIS) Experiencing Excessive Resistance: Today the crew reported that CEVIS loading was excessively high during use. They reported that loads felt higher in the warmup mode, at settings above zero the load felt like 200, and when crew stopped spinning the petal continues to rotate inside box and felt off center like a side to side vibration. CEVIS is currently no-go for use while teams convene this afternoon to discuss a forward plan.

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

IMS Delta file prep
Memory cards audit
EKON-M. Observations and photography
LT Rack Rotate Down Preparation
Meteor Shutter Open
ALGOMETRIYA. Preparation and conducting measurements in the tenso- and thermo-algometry mode
Plug-in-Plan Utility Outlet Panel Hardware Power Down
Microbial Monitoring System On-Board Training Review
Microbial Monitoring System MWA Preparation
Scheduled monthly maintenance of Central Post Laptop. Laptop Log-File Downlink
Long Duration Sorbent Testbed Inlet Filter Change.
Mate the SPDA Jumper to the Payload Rack and Prepare to make SPDA connection
Microbial Monitoring System Sample Setup
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Stow
ISS HAM Video Power Down
ISS Crew Orientation
LA2B SPDA Jumper Installation
Progress 435 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
Data Transmission Radio Link (RSPI) Clearing files from Onboard Memory Storage (БЗУ)
LT Rack Rotate Up
Microbial Monitoring System Sample
Download of BRI log from RSS1
CEVIS Portable PFS Set-Up
Replacement of Gas analyzer CO ГЛ2106
Emergency Cue Card Print
BIOCARD. Experiment Ops
Microbial Monitoring System Data Transfer
Portable PFS Hardware Power On
Columbus Video Camera Assembly 1 Adjustment
ALGOMETRIYA. Strain Measurements Mode
Prepare for MagVector Cleanup Run
Manufacturing Device Filament Trim
Portable PFS Hardware Power Off
CASKAD. Manual Mixing in Bioreactor
Genes in Space MWA Preparation
VIBROLAB. Removal of SINUS-ACCORD P/L Electronics Unit
S02B Lab Truss Contingency Jumper Preparation.
Genes in Space MELFI Sample Retrieve
Genes in Space Sample Operations
Marrow Canister Locate
OsteoOmics Experiment Ops
ISSAC Stow Follow-up
S02B Lab Truss Contingency Jumper Installation.
OsteoOmics Thaw Bag Retrieval
Radiation Monitoring System [СРК]. Removal of АИ Unit
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Configuring
Genes in Space Sample End
CALCIUM. Experiment Session 5
Terminate MagVector Cleanup Run
Plug-in-Plan Utility Outlet Panel Hardware Power Up
Genes in Space Hardware Stow
ISS HAM Video Power Up
Genes in Space MELFI Insert

Completed Task List Items
Wanted poster for 2.0 CTB Beverages and Coffee
Wanted Poster for CWC Sampling Adapter Technical S/N 1005

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
OsteoOmics support
MSS power up for MBSU ops
Controlled power downs and repower in support of SPDA and LTCJ Contingency Jumper Installation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 05/05: OsteoOmics media change, At Home In Space questionnaire, MARES deploy, Electro-Wetting
Saturday, 05/06: Crew off duty, housekeeping
Sunday, 05/07: 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 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Standby
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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