NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 December 2018

©NASA

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 6 December 2018.

A Dragon is chasing the International Space Station today to be gracefully captured by a robotic arm early Saturday. The expanded Expedition 57 crew prepared for Dragon's arrival while conducting science, spacesuit checks and a variety of other station activities.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft has been orbiting Earth for one day now carrying over 5,600 pounds of science, supplies and hardware for the crew. It is due to arrive Saturday around 6 a.m. when astronauts Alexander Gerst and Serena Auñón-Chancellor will command the Canadarm2 to grapple Dragon. The duo along with new Flight Engineer Anne McClain trained today for Dragon's approach and rendezvous.

Gerst later worked on U.S. spacesuit maintenance cleaning their cooling loops. Serena worked on a cement study inside the orbital lab that could inform the construction of future lunar or Martian habitats.

McClain is getting used to her new home in space with fellow Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and David Saint-Jacques who have been onboard the station since Monday. This is Kononenko's fourth stint at the station and he is unpacking the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft that launched him and his crew to space. McClain and Saint-Jacques are first-time space residents and they worked on a visual perception and orientation study today. The duo also packed up biology research gear that will be stowed in Dragon for return to Earth after it arrives on Saturday.

Kononenko also joined Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev to ready a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits for a spacewalk on Dec. 11. The duo will inspect the Soyuz MS-09 crew ship that will return Prokopyev, Gerst and Serena back to Earth Dec. 19 U.S. time.

On-Orbit Status Report

Rodent Research-8 (RR-8): Today crewmembers stowed the two Rodent Research-7 Habitats and then installed Rodent Research-8 Habitats 1 and 3 in preparation for SpX-16 arrival. The RR-8 investigation utilizes mice flown aboard the ISS, and maintained on Earth, to investigate the physiology of aging in response to microgravity and the role of aging in the onset and progression of disease.

Marrow: A crewmember performed breath and ambient air sample collections. Marrow looks at the effect of microgravity on bone marrow. It is believed that microgravity, like long-duration bed rest on Earth, has a negative effect on the bone marrow and the blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow.

Effect of Long Duration Hypogravity on the Perception of Self-Motion (VECTION): Crewmembers deployed the VECTION hardware and performed experiment sessions. Data was downlinked to the ground. The objective of The Effect of Long Duration Hypogravity on the Perception of Self-Motion (VECTION) study is to determine to what extent an astronaut's ability to visually interpret motion, orientation, and distance may be disrupted in a microgravity environment, and how it may adapt, and how it may be changed upon return to Earth. Multiple experimental time points inflight and upon return to Earth allows for the adaptation and recovery process to be investigated.

Multi-use Variable-g Processing Facility Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MVP Cell-05): Today a crewmember mixed control and experiment samples within the portable glove bag. Eight experiment samples were inserted into the MVP centrifuge facility to simulate 0.7-g's. The four control samples were stowed for return. MVP Cell-05 investigates the complex process of cement solidification. There have been a number of studies of the potential for making and using concrete on extraterrestrial bodies, but as of yet, no actual tests in a microgravity environment have been performed. Detailed microstructural evaluation of the samples represents the first step toward such implementation.

SpaceX (SpX)-16 Dragon On-Board Training: In preparation for this weekend's capture of SpX-16 Dragon, the crew utilized the Robotic Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) to practice free drift timing, malfunction response, and nominal rate approaches. Dragon capture is planned for Saturday, December 8 at 5:00AM CT.

Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU) 3003 and 3008 Loop Scrub, and Iodination: Following yesterday's EMU On-orbit Fitcheck Verification (OFV), the crew performed EMU water loop scrubs and then acquired and tested water samples for conductivity. EMU Loop Scrubs are required preventive maintenance needed to remove any chemical and biological contaminants from the EMU transport loop.

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Return Grille Cleaning: As part of routine maintenance, the crew removed return grille mesh covers and cleaned inside of the grilles within the JEM and Japanese Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (JLP).

Completed Task List Activities:
None

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
EMU Loop Scrub Support

Two Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 12/07:

Payloads:
Marrow Sessions (CSA)
ISS HAM (NASA)
Molecular Muscle Big Picture Words (ESA)

Systems:
ISS Crew Adaptation
Crew Off Duty

Saturday, 12/08:

Payloads:
Molecular Muscle Kubik Setup and Check (ESA)
NanoRacks Module-09 OBT (NASA)

Systems:
SpX-16 Rendezvous and Capture at 5:00AM CT

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

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation
FOTOBIOREAKTOR. Visual monitoring and photography
JEM Airlock Press
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Evaluation
ISS Crew Adaptation
Deactivation of Soyuz 739 Gas Analyzer
Charging Soyuz 741 SM-AGAT-U55 external batteries (2), start charge
Crew Departure Preparations for Return to Earth
JEM Airlock Leak Check
Physical Fitness Evaluation on Cycle Ergometer prior to EVA
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Periodic Health Status (PHS) Stow Hardware
EXPRESS Rack 9 Locker Removal
JEM Mesh Cover-Return Grille Cleaning
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 2
Orlan height adjustment
Vection Hardware Deployment
Soyuz 741 Transfers and IMS Ops
Orlan-MKS No.4 + БСС (Orlan Interface Unit) leak checks and valve tests
VECTION Experiment Session
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Scrub Initiation
Multi-use Variable-g Platform MWA Preparation
Multi-use Variable-g Platform Cell-05 Insert
Orlan-MKS No.5 + БСС (Orlan Interface Unit) leak checks and valve tests
VECTION Hardware Teardown
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Attached Phase Operations Review
Deactivation of Soyuz 741 Gas Analyzer
Team Task Switching Experiment Survey
Overlay Camera Calibration
Battery Installation in Orlan Telemetry Unit (БРТА)
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance Iodination
Preparing Orlan Comm and Telemetry Assets
Orlan and БСС Telemetry Check. ORLAN Systems, БСС and Comm Telemetry Checkout. УСИ BETA Prep
Dragon Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK) Gather
Rodent Research Habitat Stow
Comm reconfig into initial after Orlan Comm.
Charging Soyuz 741 SM-AGAT-U55 external batteries (2), end charge
Soyuz 741 Transfers and IMS Ops
Laptop RSK1 Hard Drive Swap. Installation of SW Version v.5.0 on RSK1, RSK1 Laptops.
On-board Training (OBT) Dragon Attached Phase Operations Review
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Transfer Hatch Stowage Relocate
ISS Crew Orientation
Filling (separation) of ЕДВ (КОВ) for Elektron-VM or ЕДВ-СВ
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
СОЖ maintenance
Marrow Breath And Ambient Air Sample Setup - Subject
Rodent Research Habitat Install
CSA Generic Frozen Blood Collection Setup First Time
Rodent Research Habitat Install
EVA Medical Kit Configuration
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Marrow Breath And Ambient Air Sample Setup - Subject
Dragon Cargo Operations Review
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
Dragon Cargo Operations Conference
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Inventory Management System (IMS) Conference
Russian Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tool Gather and Transfer

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