NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 5 April 2018 - Unloading the SpaceX Dragon

Astronauts Scott Tingle (left) and Norishige Kanai watch the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrive moments before capturing it with the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA.

The SpaceX Dragon space freighter is open for business today as the Expedition 55 crew begins unloading and activating new time-sensitive space experiments aboard the International Space Station.

Astronaut Scott Tingle opened Dragon's hatch this morning and was the first to enter the spaceship. He and fellow NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold began offloading new science gear immediately afterward. Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai tended to new mice shipped aboard Dragon and transferred them to habitats located inside Japan's Kibo laboratory module.

Some of the new space studies will enable research into a variety of biological organisms to understand microgravity's long term effects on life systems. Scientists hypothesize their observations will benefit both crews in space and people on Earth. Other experiments will study physics phenomena both inside and outside the orbital lab with potential impacts on future space systems and industrial and manufacturing processes on the ground.

Robotics operators on the ground will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to ungrip the newly-installed Dragon today. They will remotely maneuver the Canadarm2 on Friday to extract unpressurized cargo, including life support gear and external research, from Dragon's exposed aft-end, also called its trunk. Dragon will remain attached to the Harmony module's Earth-facing port until early May.

On-Orbit Status Report

SpX-14 Mission: After yesterday's successful capture and berthing of Dragon, the crew ingressed the vehicle early this morning and began cargo transfer operations. Once the crew finishes unloading the center stack, they will transfer SpX-14 cold stowage into ISS assets and begin installation and activation of several payloads delivered by the vehicle.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) SpX-14 Operations: Later today, ground robotic specialist will release the Dragon vehicle and unstow the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM). Finally, the Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP) will be configured to support tomorrow's operations to extract the Pump and Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS) and Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) from the Dragon trunk.

Mouse Stress Defense: The crew completed final preparations and then transferred the mice arriving on the SpaceX-14 vehicle from the Transportation Cage Unit to the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to start the Mouse Stress Defense investigation. Microgravity provokes cellular mechanical stresses and perturbs cellular signaling, leading to reduction of muscle and bone density. To overcome these stresses, one of the promising strategies is to activate Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant pathway. Mouse Stress Defense investigates how Nrf2 contributes to effective prevention of space-originated stresses.

NanoRacks Plate Reader: The crew validated and calibrated the NanoRacks Plater Reader-2 today. This is in preparation for its use with the Metabolic Tracking-2 investigation. NanoRacks Plate Reader-2 is a laboratory instrument designed to detect biological, chemical or physical events of samples in microtiter plates. Microplate readers are widely used in research, drug discovery, bioassay validation, quality control and manufacturing processes in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry and academic organizations.

Multi-Use Variable-G Platform (MVP): The crew installed the MVP hardware that arrived on the SpaceX-14 vehicle into EXPRESS Rack (ER) 8 in the US Laboratory. MVP is used to conduct research in space with a wide variety of sample types, such as fruit flies, flatworms, plants, fish, cells, protein crystals and many others. It includes 2 internal carousels that simultaneously can produce up to 2 g of artificial gravity. Each carousel hosts 6 separate removable experiment modules on each carousel. Video and still imagery, including microscopy, can be included. The platform provides temperature and humidity controls and monitors and records oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

Tangolab-1 and -2: The crew installed the Tangolab-2 facility in EXPRESS Rack ER 6 in the US Laboratory and performed several payload card placements in the TangoLab-1 & 2 facilities. TangoLab-1 and TangoLab-2 lockers are reconfigurable general research facilities designed for microgravity research and development and pilot manufacturing aboard the ISS.

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

Crew Quarters (CQ) Door Closing
Dragon Ingress
Regeneration of БМП Ф2 Micropurification Cartridge (start)
SpX-14 Dragon Air Sampling using АК-1М sampler prior to Air Duct Installation
Study of cardiovascular system under measured physical CYCLE Ergometer load.
Cardiovascular evaluation during graded exercises on cycle ergometer
Dragon Arrival Photos
Transfer Center Stack
ISS Crew Orientation
FAZOPEREKHOD. Preparation steps and starting the experiment. XF305 Camcorder Setup
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) Removal
Activation of Laptop RS2
Transfer of ЦВМ and ТВМ Images Version 08.10 to Central Post Computer 2 (КЦП2).
Polar 3 Transfer From Dragon to ISS
Mouse Stress Defense Pre-mission Cage Watering
Photographing the position of the БКДО on MRM2 from the SM window №13 - preparation
Transfer of ЦВМ and ТВМ Images Version 08.10 to Central Post Computer 1 (КЦП1).
Photography of Plume Impingement and Deposit Monitoring Unit [БКДО] position on MRM2 through SM window No.13
Pre-Mouse Stress Defense Item Gathering
СОЖ maintenance
MELFI Overview OBT
Deactivation of RS2 Laptop
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Unpack 1
CONSTANTA-2. Cassette removal from ТБУ-В and setup on panel for 1-hour warmup
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Mouse Habitat Cage Unit Preparation
Polar and JAXA TCU Dragon Uninstall (with TCU Handover) and Polar Transfer and EXPRESS Rack Install
Mouse Stress Defense Pre-mission Animal Transfer
CONSTANTA-2. Preparation and Execution 4.
Preventive Maintenance of FS1 Laptop (Cleaning and rebooting)
Plate Reader2 Validatin Plate Reader Swap1
Semi-annual BRI maintenance.
Plate Reader2 Validatin Plate Reader Swap2
Polar 4 and Invitrobone Dragon Uninstall and Polar Transfer and EXPRESS Rack Install
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
Delta file prep
Plate Reader2 Validatin Plate Reader Stow
Divert Unwanted Space Trash Review
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Testing Inter-modular connectivity (after semi-annual BRI maintenance)
Cold Stowage Double Coldbag Unpack 2
PCG-11 Hardware Photography
Polar Samples to Cold Stowage - Transfer 1
iPad Air 2 Charge
TangoLab-2 Activation and Checkout
TangoLab-1 Card Cube Replace
Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) Activation
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Filter Case Attachment
Multi-Use Variable-G Platform Hardware Install
Dragon Debrief Conference
Regeneration of Micropurification Unit (БМП) Ф2 Absorber Cartridge (end)

Completed Task List Activities

Ground Activities
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Dragon Configuration for ISS Operations
MSS Operations to Unstow SPDM & Rotate EOTP

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 04/06: Veg03 Ops, Metabolic Tracking Setup, Mouse Stress Defense Ops, STP-H5 Imagery, Medical Contingency OBT, MVP Insertion Ops, Made-In-Space Setup, METEOR Ops
Saturday, 04/07: Housekeeping, Crew Off-Duty
Sunday, 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") - Off
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 - Standby
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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