NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 4 September 2019 - New Crew Prepares to Head to the ISS

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates (left), Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos (center) and Jessica Meir of NASA (right) pose for pictures Aug. 30 during crew qualification exams. Credit: NASA/Beth Weissinger.

As cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori ready for their Sept. 25 launch aboard a Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, tomorrow they will pause in their mission preparations for the ceremonial laying of the flowers at the Kremlin Wall.

On Sept. 10, the same day the H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV-8) is scheduled to take off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan for the International Space Station, the new crew will depart for the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Expedition 60 crew members balanced their workload between preparing for upcoming vehicle activities from and to the space station and investigations that will give scientists deeper insight into the human body in space ... and on Earth.

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan performed eye exams in support of Fluid Shifts, which studies how fluid movement -- from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels -- can impact changes in vision and eye structures for astronauts, as well as uncomfortable cranial pressure during spaceflight. Morgan, along with crewmate Christina Koch of NASA, are also reviewing rendezvous and capture training for HTV-8, which will be robotically maneuvered to attach to the Harmony module in just over a week.

Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) worked with the Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) investigation, completing cell sample transfers. BEST evaluates the feasibility of sequencing to identify unknown microbial organisms living aboard the orbiting laboratory. One added benefit, too, is the experiment furthers research in understanding how humans, plants and microbes adapt to microgravity.

Housekeeping continued as cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Alexey Ovchinin added more cargo to the Soyuz MS-14 for a return to Earth, sans crew, Friday, Sept. 6.

On-Orbit Status Report

Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST): In support of BEST Experiment 2, the crew reviewed the on-board training, retrieved and inserted the appropriate items in cold stowage, and transferred cells from the cell kit to media tubes. The investigation studies the use of sequencing for identification of unknown microbial organisms living on the ISS, and how humans, plants and microbes adapt to living on the ISS. The validation of direct ribonucleic acid sequencing has the potential to be a game-changer for research into crew health, and understanding how organisms respond to spaceflight.

Dose Distribution Inside the ISS - 3D (DOSIS-3D): The crew changed the Main Box Mode Switching from Mode 1 to Mode 2. Mode 2 is a high resolution mode which generates more data per day than Mode 1 and is being used during the solar quiet period. ISS crewmembers are continually exposed to varying levels of radiation which can be harmful to their health. DOSIS-3D uses several active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses inside the ISS. The goal is a three-dimensional radiation map covering all sections of the ISS.

Fiber Dosimeter: The crew took photos of Inboard Fiber Dosimeter and its storage situation for analyzing radiation dosage. The objective of Fiber Dosimeter is to evaluate the use of fabricated optical fibers as space radiation passive dosimeters to monitor the radiation environment inside and outside of the ISS. While astronauts spend most of their time inside ISS, during Extra Vehicular Activity, the radiation protection is provided by the spacesuit. Thus, radiation monitoring inside and outside of the ISS is required to estimate the radiation dosage that astronauts receive during their time in space.

Fluid Shifts: The crew performed Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emission (DPOAE) measurements, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), and ultrasound scans in support of the Fluid Shifts investigation. This is week 2 of the 3-week sequence and focuses on baseline imaging. Fluid Shifts is a NASA investigation, that involves human subject sessions for Dilution Measurements, Baseline Imaging, and Imaging with Chibis 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.

Microgravity Crystals: In conclusion of the activities started yesterday, the crew set up a microscope, then took images of the solutions and any crystals in the wells of the crystal plates. The investigation crystallizes a membrane protein that is integral to tumor growth and cancer survival. Although crystallization of this protein has yielded unsatisfactory results on Earth, this investigation leverages extensive protein crystallization work on the space station, significantly increasing the likelihood of successful crystal growth. Results may support development of cancer treatments that target the protein more effectively and with fewer side effects.

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) On-Board Training (OBT): In preparation for HTV-8 launch scheduled for September 10 and capture on September 14, the crew reviewed reference material, then performed on-board proficiency training on the mission profile, the rendezvous crew procedures and crew interfaces for monitoring and commanding HTV.

Acoustic Monitor Noise Survey: The crew used an acoustic monitor to measure the acoustic environment in the habitable areas of the ISS by taking sound level readings. Measurements were taken in Columbus, Node2, US Lab, Node 3 and Service Module. This is a regularly scheduled activity to maintain acceptable noise levels which contributes to overall crew health.

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Operations: Overnight, Robotics ground controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and maneuvered the SSRMS with the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock. The JEM Airlock slide table was then extended with the repaired Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU). Once the slide table was extended, the MBSU was removed with SPDM Arm 1. After maneuvering SSRMS and SPDM away from the JEM Airlock, SPDM Arm 2 removed the failed MBSU from the Active Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism (AFRAM) located on the SPDM Enhanced ORU and Tool Platform (EOTP) side 2. The SPDM Arm 1 was used to install the repaired MBSU on the empty AFRAM. The failed Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) was then installed on the JEM Airlock slide table and the slide table was retracted in the JEM Airlock. Finally, the Mobile Transporter (MT) was then translated to Worksite 3.

Solar Array Max Loading Power Test: Solar array max power testing is scheduled for this week. Today, testing is in progress on channels 3A, 2B, 4B, 4A. This test loads the arrays to as close to full capacity as possible in order to measure the power generation for trending purposes.

Completed Task List Activities:
NAS hard drive replace
PMM 1O1 trash fill

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
SPDM Battery Style ORU (B-ORU) unstow/install

Thursday, 9/5 (GMT 248)

Payloads:
CBEF humidifier
Food Acceptability
Fluid Shifts
FSL/RUBI cable exchange
Microgravity Crystals
Rodent Research-17 maintenance
Space Moss
Time Perception

Systems:
FSL power cable exchange
JOTI MBSU hardware stow

Friday, 9/6 (GMT 249)

Payloads:
At Home in Space
Acoustic Diagnostics
Fluid Shifts
Food Acceptability
ISS Experience
Repository
Standard Measures
LSR filter replacement
Standard Measures
Space Moss

Systems:
HTV OBT
LST WWB filter change

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

HRF Generic Saliva Collection 10 Minutes
HRF Generic MELFI Sample Insertion Operations
Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF) Maintenance Unit Relocation
Fiber Dosimeter Photo Taking
Water Storage System Resupply Storage Tank removal
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Baseline Imaging Scan Operator
Countermeasures System (CMS) Treadmill 2 System (T2) Monthly Inspection
DAN. Experiment Session
Fluid Shifts USOS Operations Historical Documentation Photography
Fluid Shifts OCT2 Baseline Imaging Exam Operator
Weekly monitoring of video recording equipment performance on the ISS RS
Fluid Shifts OCT2 Baseline Imaging Stow
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Setup
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Imaging Exam Operator
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Stow
СТТС Configuration for MRM1 comm
Magnetic 3D-bioprinter Session 7 Cleanup
On-Board Training (OBT) HTV OBT Conference
Probiotics Capsule Preparation
On-board Training (OBT) HTV Rendezvous Review
LSG Work Volume Deploy
Comm reconfig for nominal ops
Micro-15 LSG Ancillary Hardware Teardown
Commemorative Activity
Soyuz 743 Stowage Ops for Return
Microgravity Crystals Microscopy Plate Set B, Session 1 (Day 4)
LSG Work Volume Stow
Microscope Reposition Post Ops

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