NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 August 2018 - Russian Spacewalk Next Week

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev (left) and Sergey Prokopyev will conduct a six-hour, 10-minute spacewalk on Aug. 15, 2018. Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 56 crew members explored how human health and physical processes are affected off the Earth today.

The orbital residents are also configuring the International Space Station for a Russian spacewalk next week and a Japanese cargo craft mission in September.

A long-running human research study is helping doctors understand the impacts of microgravity shifting fluids upward in an astronaut's body. Two astronauts, Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of ESA, joined forces today for that study using an ultrasound device for eye scans with assistance from specialists on Earth. The experiment aims to help researchers prevent the upward fluid shifts that put pressure on an astronaut's eyes potentially affecting vision in space and back on Earth after a mission.

The orbital complex enables research into a variety of space physics including the observation of atoms nearly frozen still when exposed to the coldest temperatures in the universe. The Cold Atom Lab (CAL), which chills atoms to about one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero, had its fiber cables inspected by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold today during troubleshooting operations. CAL was delivered to the station in May aboard the Cygnus space freighter then installed in the Columbus laboratory module shortly after.

A spacewalk is scheduled for Aug. 15 when cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev will work outside the station's Russian segment for about 6 hours of science and maintenance tasks. The duo spent Wednesday afternoon checking their Orlan spacesuits in a pressurized configuration. They also installed U.S. lights and video cameras on the suits ahead of next week's excursion.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning a Sept. 10 launch of its H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) for capture and installation to the space station. HTV will be carrying cargo and new lithium ion batteries for installation on the station's Port-4 truss power system. Commander Drew Feustel partnered with Gerst and Arnold throughout the day readying JAXA's Kibo laboratory module for the upcoming delivery mission.

On-Orbit Status Report

Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Moderate Temperature Loop (MTL) Leak Update: Express Rack (ER)5 was isolated yesterday as part of the on-going search for the JEM MTL leak. While Space Station Integration and Promotion Center (SSIPC) continues to monitor total JEM MTL fluid volume, the slow low leak rate takes approximately 24 hours to manifest in telemetry and additional time is needed to verify the impacts of the isolation.

Fluid Shifts: With operator assistance, a 55S crewmember performed their Fluid Shifts Baseline Imaging Measurements activities today. Fluid Shifts is a NASA investigation, divided into Dilution Measurements, Baseline Imaging, and Baseline Imaging with Chibis (Lower Body Negative Pressure). The Fluid Shifts experiment investigates the causes for severe and lasting physical changes to astronaut's eyes. Because the head ward fluid shift is a hypothesized contributor to these changes, reversing this fluid shift with a lower body negative pressure device is being evaluated as a possible intervention. Results from this study may help to develop preventative measures against lasting changes in vision and to prevention of eye damage.

Cold Atom Lab (CAL): Today the crew inspected and reseated multiple fiber optic connections in order to troubleshoot poor signal quality on two of the CAL signal paths. The CAL contains two different systems in the instrument, one system observes Rubidium and the other observes Potassium. The troubleshooting activity was conducted to correct a poor signal on the Potassium side, and these issues have not been resolved. However, the Rubidium side is functional and investigators have already used it to produce Bose-Einstein Condensates (BEC)s from atoms of rubidium. Ground teams are assessing a forward plan to correct the CAL signal path issues. CAL produces clouds of atoms that are chilled to about one ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero, much colder than the average temperature of deep space. At these low temperatures, atoms have almost no motion, allowing scientists to study fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics that are difficult or impossible to probe at higher temperatures. In microgravity, researchers may be able to achieve even colder temperatures than what is possible on the ground, and observe these cold atom clouds for longer periods of time.

Sextant Navigation: The crew calibrated the sextant and then performed a session for the Sextant Navigation investigation. This session will emphasize position stabilization and sighting. Following data collection, the crew will record the results and stow the equipment. The Sextant Navigation investigation focuses on stability and star sighting opportunities in microgravity. Astronauts onboard the ISS test a hand-held sextant that is intended for use on future Orion exploration missions. The results from this investigation can aid in the development of emergency navigation methods for future manned spacecraft. Historically, Gemini missions in 1965-66 were the first to exercise sextant sightings from a spacecraft. A sextant was built into Apollo vehicles as a navigation backup in case of lost communications.

European Space Agency (ESA) Education Payloads Operations (EPO): Earlier today, Gerst recorded a message to promote the Überflieger competition where students at German universities design and build their own ISS experiment.

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) 13: To support CASIS PCG 13 activities next week, the crew continued to prepare the Space Automated Bio-product Laboratory (SABL) by configuring the microscope and camera before performing checkout activities. CASIS PCG 13 seeks to enhance the way crystals are grown in a microgravity environment by allowing crewmembers to observe imperfections within a crystal and make real-time adjustments to follow-up experiments, rather than returning a sample to Earth and relaunching to try again. This dramatically reduces the time it takes to conduct an experiment aboard the space station and creates a timely, realistic and more cost-effective solution for prospective researchers.

HTV Rack Relocation Prep: This week the crew will execute a series of activities in order to prepare ISS for the installation of new racks arriving on HTV-7. After relocating and consolidating stowage from rack fronts yesterday, today the crew removed remaining hardware in PMM1O4 and PMM1D4 RSRs, completed the JLP stowage removal, and reconfigured the Muscle Atrophy Resistive Exercise System (MARES) rack for stowage by removing the VIF brackets on the front of the rack and a rear stowage plate from the rack.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Overnight, robotics ground controllers used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) to unfasten five H1 (secondary) fixtures and break torque on three H2 (primary) fixtures across five Channel 2A Integrated Equipment Assembly (IEA) batteries. Due to time constraints, controllers were unable to break torque on two of the H2 bolts. Later tonight, controllers will complete the same task on the six robotically accessible Channel 4A IEA batteries. These operations will reduce the ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) time needed to install the new Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries launching on HTV-7 in September. The two remaining 2A H2 bolts will be removed during nominal robotics operations during the HTV-7 mission.

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

Microbial Tracking-2 Reminder for Saliva Collection
Cold Atom Lab Fiber Cable Cover Removal
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Install
Setup and configuration of КСПЭ camcorder Sony PMW-200 (СМ1РО_3_319) in SM for mpeg2 TV coverage Space Medicine while performing МО-5.
Stow JLP and PMM Config
Acoustic Monitor Setup for Static Measurements
Fluid Shifts OCT Baseline Setup
SEPARATSIYA. Filling Centrifugal Multi-Purpose Vacuum Distiller (ЦМВД) with pre-treat fluid to maintain efficiency.
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Fluid Shifts CDL Holter Arterial BP Hardware Don - Subject
Preventive Maintenance of DC1 Docking Assembly hatch sealing mechanisms and Progress 439 (DC1) hatch before RS EVA
Fluid Shifts Ultrasound Baseline Scan
Study of cardiovascular system under measured physical CYCLE Ergometer load.
Cold Atom Lab Station Support Computer Relocate Setup
Deactivation of camcorder, TV System monitoring equipment and closing applications.
Cold Atom Lab Fiber Troubleshooting
Assessment of Cardiovascular Function on Cycle Ergometer
Study of cardiovascular system under measured physical CYCLE Ergometer load.
Fluid Shifts CCFP Baseline Test
Fluid Shifts USOS Operations Historical Documentation Photography
Fluid Shifts OCT Baseline Exam
Fluid Shifts DPOAE Baseline Test - Subject
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Setup
Microscope Hardware Setup via SABL Power
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Exam
Fluid Shifts CDL Holter Arterial BP Hardware Doff - Subject
Fluid Shifts Tonometry Baseline Stow
Fluid Shifts OCT Baseline Stow
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Stow Alternate
EPO crew message recording
Microscope SABL Camera Checkout
Fluid Shifts CCFP Baseline Stow
EVA Medical Kit Configuration
Preparation for pressurized Orlan suits transfer from DC1 to ПхО Training
Cold Atom Lab Station Support Computer Relocate Setup
Dry Run with Two Pressurized Orlan Suits Transfer to ПХО.
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Fill
MARES Stowage Configuration
Sextant Navigation Session 2 Operations
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Charge and Stow
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) MARES Rack Reconfiguration
Configuring ПхО to initial state after pressurized Orlan suits transfer training.
Installation of US EMU Lights, Video Camera, and REBA on Orlan No.5 and Orlan-MKS No.4.
Stow PMM1D4 Remove
Install light and video camera ORLAN suits
Cold Atom Lab Fiber Cover Replace
Food Acceptability Questionnaire
Tropical Cyclone Untended Operations
SPHERES Rechargeable Battery Charge and Stow

Completed Task List Activities:
ESA PAO Downlink Message

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Lab CDRA Activation
N3 CDRA to Standby
SPCH untie 3A/2A
SPCH tie 1A/4A
BGA 4A latch
MSS Operations: Channel 4A Battery Bolt break torque

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 08/09: Rack Transfers, SPHERES TSLOSH Run, MagVector Umbilical Disconnect
Friday, 08/10: SPHERES Zero Robotics, ACME Controller R&R, ACE Sample Swap, Hatch Seal Inspection, Rodent Research 7 Ops, JSSOD Satellite Deploy
Saturday, 08/11: Housekeeping, Off Duty, Ku-Bd Cable Swap, Glacier Ice Brick/Cold Block Insert, HRF Urine Collection Setup

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - On
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Idle
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Off

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