NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 April 2017 - Testing the SPHERES Internal Satellites

File photo: Photographic documentation taken during the execution of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) Zero Robotics Competition taken in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). Cosmonaut Andrei Borisenko and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson participate in the operation. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 50 crew is checking out U.S. spacesuits today and testing tiny internal satellites for research. Three crew members are also packing up for a ride back to Earth on Monday.

Commander Shane Kimbrough worked on a pair of spacesuits today following the completion of two spacewalks last month. He sampled and tested the cooling water that flows through the suits to keep astronauts cool in the extreme environment of outer space.

Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson conducted test runs of the SPHERES satellites today to demonstrate autonomous docking maneuvers. The bowling ball-sized miniature satellites (also known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) have been used for a variety of purposes including student algorithm competitions and fluid physics.

Kimbrough is winding down his stay in space with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko. The trio this week is packing the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft with science samples, personal items and other cargo for a landing in Kazakhstan after 173 days in space. NASA TV will broadcast the crew departure activities live with landing scheduled for Monday at 7:20 a.m. EDT.

On-Orbit Status Report

Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) Universal Docking Port (UDP): The crew completed a test run for the SPHERES UDP payload. They loaded the test software and performed the session with ground support staff direction. Objectives of the UDP session are to demonstrate a reliably successful docking through running multiple, repeatable docking maneuvers using both global metrology and docking port cameras; perform joint maneuvers of docked satellites using the thrusters from two satellites to demonstrate controllability; and test an algorithm for docking to a satellite which is tumbling in a slow, known manner. The addition of the Docking Ports is a critical upgrade to the SPHERES facility aboard the ISS. With the new ability to dock and undock, SPHERES provides a test bed to address many of the challenges of combining autonomous spacecraft. Mated spacecraft can assemble complex systems in orbit or combine sensors and actuators for satellite servicing and repurposing missions. The SPHERES-UDP enables testing of complex tasks through optimal and adaptive control, autonomous decision-making processes, and real-time image processing.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Holder Exchange: The crew performed the first of two days of operations in support of the JAXA ELF Sample exchanges in the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack-2 (MSPR2) facility. They removed the sample holder and installed the new cartridge into the holder. The ELF is an experimental facility designed to levitate/melt/solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the Electrostatic Levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured, and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved.

Story Time From Space Light Demo: The crew narrated and recorded a video to demonstrate the spectrum of the light from the sun and the attenuation of the light intensity as the sun is viewed through the atmosphere. Story Time From Space combines science literacy outreach with simple demonstrations recorded aboard the ISS. Crew members read five science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related childrens' books in orbit, and complete simple science concept experiments. Crew members videotape themselves reading the books and completing demonstrations. Video and data collected during the demonstrations are downlinked to the ground and posted in a video library with accompanying educational materials. The narrated demonstration is based on the childrens' books Max Goes to Mars, The Wizard Who Saved the World, and Max Goes to Jupiter.

Multi-Omics Mouse Preparations: In preparation for the JAXA Rodent Research experiment hardware launching on SpaceX-11 (SpX-11), the crew installed the Glove Box Panel on the Kobairo Rack front in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). Following installation, the attachment points for the Working Table were marked with Kapton tape for easier operations on SpX-11.

In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Overhead Cleaning: In preparation for departure from the ISS next week, the CDR cleaned his CQ intake and exhaust ducts as well as fans and airflow sensors while targeting areas behind applicable panels.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Maintenance: During today's post Extravehicular Activity (EVA) EMU suit maintenance, a step to switch the suits to battery power from Service and Cooling Umbilical (SCU) power was missed. While powering up for a cooling loop scrub, both EMU 3006 and 3008 were configured for station power during the power up sequence rather than battery power. Powering EMUs from battery power is to protect from power spikes that may occur when the DC to DC converter is powered. During the activity, there were no DC-DC converter trips, no EMU current limiter trips and nominal suit data was observed immediately after power up on both suits. Ground teams are evaluating further for any unknown impacts. The cooling loop scrub was completed with no further issues.

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

Columbus Module Light Unit 3 Lamp Housing Assembly Remove and Replace.
Test video recording for RT TV channel
Prep of personal data for return
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos Web Site and Social Media
URAGAN. Observation and photography
EKON-M. Observations and photography
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry - Subject
Acoustic Dosimeter Reminder
HRF Generic Urine Collection
NEUROIMMUNITET. Saliva Sample. Psychological Test
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
KORREKTSIYA. NEUROIMMUNITET. Blood Collection.
SPHERES Battery Swap
Combustion Integrated Rack Alignment Guide Removal
Acoustic Dosimeter Setup Day 2
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Indicator Position
BIOCARD. Experiment Ops.
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Holder Removal
NEUROIMMUNITET. Psychological Test
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Cartridge 2 Install
OTKLIK. OTKLIK memory buffer clearing
MERLIN 2 Desiccant Swap
Health Maintenance System (HMS) EpiPen Ziplock Modification
ISS Crew departure preparation
Pre-Multi-Omics Mouse Item Gathering
Glove Box Panel Setup and Working Table position marking
SPHERES Battery Stow
HRF Generic Saliva Collection Setup
PROFILAKTIKA-2. Copy Data to Laptop
Export MBI Experiment Data to a memory card for return
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Post Scrub Cooling Loop Water (H2O) Sample
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Preparations to connect the AstroPi Vis to the ISS Joint Station LAN.
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Conductivity Test
SPHERES File Delete
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Formaldehyde Monitoring Kit (FMK) Stow Operation
ESA ACTIVE DOSIMETER MOBILE UNIT SWAP
AstroPi status check
SPHERES Test Session Setup
Cycle 14.1 Laptop & CD Audit
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
Google Street View Cupola Photo Operations
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Crew Quarters (CQ) Overhead Cleaning
On MCC Go Removal of unit 800А (А103)
Replacement of SM 800А Battery Modules No.2, No.3, Operator
StoryTime from Space GoPro video transfer
Story Time from Space Light Demo
On MCC Go Removal of 800А unit (А102)
Replacement of SM 800А Battery Modules No.2, No.3, Operator
SPHERES Docking Port Test Run
Story Time From Space Historical Photo
Meteor Hard Drive Swap and LED Cover
Reinstallation of unit 800А from position А102 to А103
Replacement of SM 800А Battery Modules No.2, No.3, Operator
Reinstallation of unit 800А from position А103 to А102
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Stow Syringes used in H2O Conductivity Test
Dose Tracker Data Entry Subject
NEUROIMMUNITET. Hair Samples Collection
EarthKAM Node 2 Lens Change-Russian

Completed Task List Items
SPHERES Tank Audit

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
EMU Loop Scrub support
CQ cleaning support

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 04/06: Galley PWD install, OA-7 trash pre-gather, ELF sample removal
Friday, 04/07: Crew off duty, housekeeping
Saturday, 04/08: 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 - Standby
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) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

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