Space Stations

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 July, 2020 – Studying Water Conservation

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
July 10, 2020
Filed under , ,
NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 July, 2020 – Studying Water Conservation
The International Space Station was orbiting almost directly above Marfa, Texas, on a southeastern orbital trek that would take it over Mexico and across South America. In the foreground, is the "Dextre" fine-tuned robotic hand with Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) behind it. Inside the HTV-9, is the HTV-8 pallet holding old nickel-hydrogen batteries removed from the station during previous spacewalks. Credit: NASA. (June 30, 2020)

The International Space Station was a hive of activity today with the Expedition 63 crew practicing emergency skills, examining eyes and studying water conservation.
Two astronauts also will continue more battery swaps in a pair of spacewalks set to begin next week.

Living 260 miles above the Earth and orbiting the planet 16 times a day presents a unique set of risks that space residents must be prepared for. Today, NASA Commander Chris Cassidy joined Roscosmos Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner for a simulated emergency evacuation of the station. The trio spent the afternoon practicing quickly entering their Soyuz MS-16 crew ship for a rapid undocking and Earth re-entry.

Afterward, Cassidy partnered up with his fellow NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken for eye exams at the end of the day. Hurley led the effort as the Crew Medical Officer and used optical coherence tomography gear to scan the retinas of his two crewmates.

Behnken and Cassidy are set to go out on two more spacewalks scheduled for July 16 and 21. The duo will continue replacing aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the starboard portion of the station’s truss structure. The batteries store and release power collected from the orbiting lab’s main solar arrays.

Robotics controllers overnight commanded the Canadarm2 robotic arm to replace a failed remote power control module (RPCM) on the port truss segment. The replacement restores redundancy to the solar alpha rotary joint after the old RPCM failed last week.

In the Russian side of the station, Vagner primarily worked on housekeeping chores as he checked water tanks and cleaned air filters. Ivanishin spent some time photographing the effects of Earth catastrophes and exploring how international crews and ground controllers communicate with each other.

On-Orbit Status Report


Droplet Formation Study (DFS) installation: The crew installed the DFS investigation hardware into the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The investigation is scheduled to begin later this month. Droplet Formation Studies in Microgravity (Droplet Formation Study, or more simply DFS) evaluates water droplet formation and water flow of Delta Faucet’s H2O kinetic shower head technology. To conserve water, flow rates in shower devices have been reduced, but this lower flow rate also reduces the effectiveness of these devices and often causes consumers to take longer showers, undermining the goal of using less water. Gravity’s full effects on formation of water droplet size are unknown, and research in microgravity could help improve the technology, creating better performance and improved user experience while conserving water and energy.

Fluids Integrated Rack/Light Microscopy Module/Advanced Colloids Experiment (FIR/LMM/ACE) module photos: The crew gathered and took images of several ACE-T10 and ACE-T12 modules. This will allow the experiment team to determine the viability of the samples and plan future operations accordingly. ACE-T10 studies crystal nucleation in colloidal fluids, the origin of ageing in glasses and gels, as well as the heterogeneous nature of the microscopic dynamics in these structures. ACE-T12 involves design and assembly of complex three-dimensional (3D) structures from colloids, or particles of different sizes suspended in a fluid. It employs a recently discovered technique, Nanoparticle Haloing (NPH), which uses highly charged nanoparticles to stabilize much larger, non-charged particles.

Materials Science Research Rack/Materials Science Laboratory (MSRR/MSL) review: The crew reviewed the materials and gathered the hardware needed for tomorrow’s furnace exchange from the LGF (Low Gradient Furnace) to the SQF (Solidification and Quench Furnace). This furnace exchange is needed to support the next planned MSL experiments. The MSL is used for basic materials research in the microgravity environment of the ISS. The MSL can accommodate and support diverse experiment modules. Many material types, such as metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, crystals, and glasses, can be studied to discover new applications for existing materials and new or improved materials.

Urine Transfer System (UTS) installation: The crew continued with the installation of the UTS. The UTS is part of a new toilet system that will serve as both a technology demonstration, and a capability to support additional crew members on the ISS. The UTS is used to collect pre-treated urine and connects to the ISS Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) for recycling. The UTS allows operation of both the existing Russian Toilet (ACY) located in the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) rack and the new Toilet. The UTS consists of valves and controllers which open and close depending on the priority flow path from either the Toilet or WHC. Each toilet can deliver pretreated urine to the UPA or a Russian urine tank (EDV-Y).


ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) H-Fixture Review: The EV crew was unable to remove the H-fixture during US EVA #66. Ground teams uplinked three videos showing options for removing the H-Fixture from the mounting bracket and requested the crew’s feedback. The crew reviewed the videos today and provided feedback for the ground teams to consider for the upcoming Channel 3B EVA 1.

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)9 Cargo Operations: Today, the crew continued to perform HTV9 cargo transfer operations. Ground teams estimate approximately 2 hours remain to complete available cargo ops. Total cargo ops time remaining will become better defined as additional disposal chits are processed.

On Board Training (OBT) Soyuz Emergency Drill: Today the 62S crew performed an Emergency Egress Drill. During this drill, the 62S crew reviewed procedures needed during off-nominal situations before using the onboard trainer to practice the actions required in the event of an emergency egress and Soyuz descent. The crew also completed self-study reviews of various nominal procedures to include Sokol suit donning and leak checks. This training is scheduled every 12-14 weeks and ensures the crew is adequately prepared to respond to an on-orbit emergency.

Health Maintenance System (HMS) Eye Exams: Today the crew performed a routine eye exam using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). OCT is an imaging technique analogous to ultrasound imaging that uses light instead of sound to capture micrometer-resolution, two and three-dimensional images of tissue. Eye exams are performed regularly onboard in order to monitor crewmember’s eye health. Eyesight is one of the many aspects of the human body affected by long-duration stays in a microgravity environment.

United States On-orbit Segment (USOS) Hatch Seal Inspection: The crew performed this regularly scheduled preventive maintenance to clean and inspect USOS hatch seals, hatch plate sealing surface and hatch handle mechanisms for foreign object debris or damage. The crew inspected the Airlock IV, PMM, JPM Zenith, JLP, and Node 3 (Fwd, Stbd, Nadir) hatches.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Ops: RPCM P32B_A was robotically replaced and powered up successfully. The robotic arm stowed the failed RPCM in the Cargo Transportation Container-5 (CTC-5) located on the Express Logistics Carrier-3 (ELC-3). MDM P3-2 is now powered on and in its nominal state and the Port SARJ was returned to autotrack. The Mobile Transporter (MT) was successfully translated from Work Site (WS) 7 to WS5 in support of the SPDM stow prior to setup for Channel 3B EVA 1.

Completed Task List Activities:

EVA H-Fixture Video Review & Assessment
Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

Ground Support for Robotics Operations
Look Ahead Plan

Friday, 7/10 (GMT 192)

FIR/LMM/CDM Plate Change
HISUI Troubleshooting
HRF1 Supply Resupply
MSR/MSL Furnace Exchange
PL NAS Vent Clean

EMU Water Dump/Fill
OCT Eye Exam
Saturday, 7/11 (GMT 193)

No Payload Activities

Crew Off Duty
Sunday, 7/12 (GMT 194)

No Payload Activities

Crew Off Duty
Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

ISS HAM Radio Power Up
Crew Support Systems (CSS) Waste & Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Print
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Urine Transfer System (UTS) Installation Part 6
TERMINATOR. Installing and connecting Terminator-Nadir PL. PL activation
MSG Onboard Training
Material Science Laboratory Operations Review
ACE Module Photo Documentation
URAGAN. Observation and photography using Photo Equipment
Droplet Formation Study Hardware Setup
Filling ??? container from SM Rodnik H2O Tank 1
Monthly maintenance of Wide-Band Comm System (???) MDM vent grilles and Lira Equipment Fan (???)
HTV9 Cargo Transfers
Review and Opinions on H-Fixture Troubleshooting for 3B EVA 1
Photo T/V (P/TV) Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) Exercise Video Session
JEM Wireless Instrumentation System Environmental Monitor Remote Sensor Unit Battery R&R
Onboard Training (OBT) Robotics On-board Trainer (ROBoT) Setup
Droplet Formation Study Power Up and Camera Focusing
Cleaning dust collector ?C1, ??2 filters in FGB (panels 203, 403)
Material Science Laboratory Procedure Review
Vacuum clean FGB Pressurized Adapter
ASEPTIC. Cable availability check in [?????] Pump Kit
Investigating the cause of persistent cyan on the ?? display on laptop RS1, closeout
Hatch Seal Inspection
Microgravity Science Glovebox Power Down
Weekly c/o of RS video recording equipment
Health Maintenance System (HMS) ISS Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT)
KORREKTSIYA. Recharging Actimeter battery from USB interface
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Configure and setup ???? camcorder for MPEG2 TV ISS Emergency Descent OBT coverage from SM
ISS HAM Radio Power Up
ISS Emergency Descent OBT
MSL Hardware Gather
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Environmental Health System (EHS) Grab Sample Container (GSC) Sampling Operations
Recharging Soyuz 745 Samsung PC after OBT, start recharge
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – OCT2 Exams
SpaceX/Flight Director Demo-2 Conference

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