NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 February 2019 - Northrop Grumman Cygnus Released

The Cygnus is pictured moments after its release from the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA.

Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft was released from the Canadarm2 at 11:16 a.m. EST and has departed the International Space Station.

After an extended mission to deploy several CubeSats in multiple orbits, Cygnus is scheduled to be deorbited on Feb. 25 to enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific Ocean.

Expedition 58 Flight Engineers Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency used the station's robotic arm to release the craft, dubbed the "SS John Young", after ground controllers unbolted the cargo vehicle from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module earlier this morning.

This Commercial Resupply Services contract mission delivered dozens of new and existing investigations as Expedition 58 contributes to some hundreds of science and research studies. Highlights from the new experiments include a demonstration of 3D printing and recycling technology and simulating the creation of celestial bodies from stardust.

The Refabricator is the first-ever 3D printer and recycler integrated into one user-friendly machine. Once it's installed in the space station, it will demonstrate recycling of waste plastic and previously 3D printed parts already on-board into high-quality filament, or 3D printer "ink." This recycled filament will be fed into the printer as stock to make new tools and parts on-demand in space. This technology could enable closed-loop, sustainable fabrication, repair and recycling on long-duration space missions, and greatly reduce the need to continually launch large supplies of new material and parts for repairs and maintenance. The demonstration, which NASA's Space Technology Mission and Human Exploration and Operations Directorates co-sponsored, is considered a key enabling technology for in-space manufacturing. NASA awarded a Small Business Innovation Research contract valued to Tethers Unlimited Inc. to build the recycling system.

The Experimental Chondrule Formation at the International Space Station (EXCISS) investigation will explore how planets, moons and other objects in space formed by simulating the high-energy, low-gravity conditions that were present during formation of the early solar system. Scientists plan to zap a specially formulated dust with an electrical current, and then study the shape and texture of the resulting pellets.

The Crystallization of LRRK2 Under Microgravity Conditions-2 (PCG-16) investigation grows large crystals of an important protein, leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), in microgravity for analysis back on Earth. This protein is implicated in development of Parkinson's disease, and improving our knowledge of its structure may help scientists better understand the pathology of the disease and develop therapies to treat it. LRRK2 crystals grown in gravity are too small and too compact to study, making microgravity an essential part of this research. This investigation is sponsored by the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, which Congress designated in 2005 to maximize its use for improving quality of life on Earth.

Cygnus launched Nov. 17, 2018, on an Antares 230 rocket from Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad 0A at Wallops, and arrived at the station Nov. 19 for the company's 10th NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission to the station.

This was the seventh flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, and the fourth using Northrop Grumman's upgraded Antares 230 launch vehicle featuring new RD-181 engines that provide increased performance and flexibility.

On-Orbit Status

Northrop Grumman (NG-10) Cygnus Release: Today, Crew and ground teams utilized the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to unberth the S.S. John Young from Node 1 nadir then released the vehicle at 1616 GMT (10:16 AM CT). This completes eighty-one days of joint ISS/Cygnus operations. Now that Cygnus has departed the ISS, it will be performing several small satellite deployments and operations for other agencies before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere over the South Pacific on February 25.

Meteor: Today a crewmember swapped out the Meteor laptop AMS hard drive. The Meteor payload is a visible spectroscopy instrument used to observe meteors in Earth orbit. Meteor uses image analysis to provide information on the physical and chemical properties of the meteoroid dust, such as size, density, and chemical composition. The study of the meteoroid dust on orbit provides information about the parent comets and asteroids.

Actiwatch Spectrum: Today a crewmember linked the Actiwatch Spectrum hardware to the HRF1 rack to allow ground teams to download stored data. The Actiwatch Spectrum is a waterproof, nonintrusive, sleep-wake monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember. The device contains an accelerometer for measuring motion and color sensitive photodiodes (a photodetector capable of converting light into voltage) for monitoring ambient lighting. Together, these capabilities enable the Actiwatch Spectrum to be used to analyze circadian rhythms, sleep-wake patterns, and activity.

Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) Test Module Checkout: Crew performed a check out of SAFER 1015 and Test Module seals. The activity measured regulator pressure under flow and no-flow conditions, performed a leak check, and measured the relief valve crack and reseated pressure to satisfy two year on-orbit maintenance requirements.

Completed Task List Activities:

Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.
Cygnus departure

Three-Day Look Ahead:

Saturday, 02/09 - Crew Off-Duty

ISS Experience Node 2 Astronaut Log (NASA)


Sunday, 02/10 - Crew Off-Duty

No crew activities


Monday, 02/11

Food Acceptability (NASA)
Astrobee Install Prep(NASA)
LMM/Biophysics 2/5 Plate 3 insert (NASA)

EMU Flush

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

Actiwatch Spectrum HRF Rack 1 Setup
Actiwatch Spectrum HRF Rack 1 Stow
Record video for CSA about physical activity in space
Cygnus PCS Command and PROX Link Verification
Acoustic Monitor Data Transfer and Stow
Environmental Health System (EHS) - Coliform Water Sample Analysis 44 +/- 4 hours post processing
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis and Record
Review H-Bolt Info to prep for Battery EVA
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Training Review
Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) Checkout
Internal Thermal Control System (ITCS) Fluid System Servicer (FSS) Coolant Refill of JEM - Procedure Review
Delta file prep
ISS Experience Message Review
JEM Payload Laptop Terminal 3 (PLT3) Communication error Troubleshoot
Lighting Effects Sleep Log Entry Subject
MELFI 1 Ice Brick Insert 3
MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 1
MELFI 3 Ice Brick Insert 3
Meteor Hard Drive Swapout
Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) Experiment Laptop Terminal 2 (ELT2) Setup
Ghost camera setup in Cupola
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Downlink
Robotic Workstation (RWS) High Definition (HD) Monitor Deactivation
PCS Laptop Relocate
Pressure Managmenet Device (PMD) N1 Deck MPEV close
Pressure Management Device (PMD) Equipment Teardown
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Drain Part 2
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) Recycle Tank Remove and Replace
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) Wastewater Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) Fill
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Cygnus Release
USOS Window Shutter Close
Monitoring cover closure on windows 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14. Note 12
SCENARIO. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
Photographing of RS modules.
Weekly monitoring of video recording equipment performance on the ISS RS
TV System deactivation and closeout ops
Camcorder setup and activation for TV coverage of Oscillography of Air Conditioner Unit [СКВ2] compressor inrush current
Photography of ТП228 dummy thermal sensors on the external surface of MRM2
ABOUT GAGARIN FROM SPACE. Hardware Setup and Activation. Note 9
Audit of disposable covers for Low-Noise Headsets ГНШ-К-24
СОЖ maintenance
Oscillography of Air Conditioner Unit [СКВ2] Compressor Inrush Current
ТГК 71P transfer operations

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.