Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 02 August 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 3, 2016
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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 02 August 2016
Expedition 48 crew members Kate Rubins (left) and Jeff Williams (right) of NASA outfit spacesuits inside of the Quest airlock aboard the International Space Station. Rubins and Williams will conduct a spacewalk in August 2016 to install the first International Docking Adapter, the new docking port that will enable the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. Credit: NASA.

The crew aboard the International Space Station continued exploring the numerous ways living in space affects the human body and other organisms. The station residents also participated in an emergency simulation exercise.

Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka this week are exploring fluid shifts from an astronaut’s lower body to the upper body during long-term space missions. This phenomena that occurs in microgravity increases pressure on a crew member’s brain and eye structure potentially affecting vision.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins relocated an incubator that houses Heart Cells research samples from one science rack to another. Those samples will be analyzed on Earth when the SpaceX Dragon returns the research at the end of August. Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi continued the upkeep of an experiment that is researching genetic alteration in mice and their offspring due to the microgravity environment.

All six Expedition 48 crew members joined each other in the afternoon to practice their response to an unlikely emergency situation. The astronauts and cosmonauts practiced communication and coordination in conjunction with Houston and Moscow control centers in response to emergency simulators.

On-Orbit Status Report

Fluid Shifts Imaging with Chibis in the Service Module (SM): With assistance from the ground team two crewmembers began the second week of the Fluid Shifts experiment run by configuring the Ultrasound 2 hardware prior to performing ultrasound scans on in the SM while using the Chibis. Poor video quality of the Ultrasound scan for the first crewmember only allowed 50% of the test points to be completed. Operations for the second crewmember were deferred to allow ground teams to troubleshoot. Two simultaneous issues were found: an encoder misconfiguration issue and a loose cable onboard. A reboot of the encoder by ground teams and adjustment of the cable by the crew resolved the problem. Fluid Shifts operations will resume tomorrow and today’s activities will be rescheduled. The Fluids Shift investigation is divided into three segments: Dilution Measures, Baseline Imaging, and Baseline Imaging using the Russian Chibis Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) device. The experiment measures how much fluid shifts from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels, and determines the impact these shifts have on fluid pressure in the head, changes in vision and eye structures.

Frozen in Time, Jeff Williams and MELFI: Ten years ago today, then Flight Engineer Jeff Williams placed the first science samples into the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for the International Space Station (MELFI) Flight Unit 1 (FU1) in the U.S. Laboratory/Destiny during Expedition 13. MELFI is a cold storage unit that maintains experiment samples at temperatures ranging from just above freezing to ultra-cold. Expedition 13 was the beginning of many years of science collaboration between Williams and MELFI. Williams arrived at the ISS on April 1, 2006, and the MELFI FU1 arrived on July 6 of the same year. Jeff then activated MELFI for the first time on July 19. As Flight Engineer during Expedition 21, Williams performed maintenance on MELFI by replacing a failed Electronics Unit. Now, as commander of Expedition 48, he is using all three MELFI flight units onboard ISS to further the science goals of ISS. Over the last ten years, Williams and MELFI have provided a wide range of support to life science experiments and enhanced research capabilities on the ISS. To say the least, Jeff has had an interesting 10 year history with MELFI.

Mouse Epigenetics Cage Unit Maintenance: The crew performed maintenance activities for the Mouse Epigenetics Habitat Cage Units by transferring the mice from one habitat cage unit to another and refilling the cage units with water. The Mouse Epigenetics investigation studies altered gene expression patterns in the organs of male mice that spend one month in space, and also examines changes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of their offspring. Results from the investigation identify genetic alterations that happen after exposure to the microgravity environment of space.

Fine Motor Skills: A series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet were completed for the Fine Motor Skills investigation. This investigation is critical during long-duration space missions, particularly those skills needed to interact with technologies required in next-generation space vehicles, spacesuits, and habitats. The crewmember’s fine motor skills are also necessary for performing tasks in transit or on a planetary surface, such as information access, just-in-time training, subsystem maintenance, and medical treatment.

Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations: The crew recorded and submitted a walk-through video documenting observations of life onboard ISS, providing insight related to human factors and habitability. The Habitability investigation collects observations about the relationship between crew members and their environment on the ISS. Observations can help spacecraft designers understand how much habitable volume is required, and whether a mission’s duration impacts how much space crew members need.

NanoRacks (NR) Plate Reader 2 Module-29 Test Plate Removal: Following last week’s analysis of the NanoRacks Module-29 (NanoRacks-Fluorescent Polarization in Microgravity) test plates, today the crew removed the fifth test plate from the sample tray and discarded all NR Module 29 hardware. The analysis was performed by sequentially inserting and removing five individual NR Module -29 test plates to and from the sample tray which allows scientists to study chemical reactions using fluorescence polarization which produces changes in light when molecules bind together. This technique enables researchers to measure the interactions of proteins with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), or antibodies, and many other biomedical functions. NanoRacks Module -29 validates a commercial Plate Reader instrument that detects changes in light for these types of reactions in a multiwell plate, a flat plate with 384 wells or tiny test tubes, to examine microgravity’s effect on fluorescent polarization, which paves the way for advanced biology research and drug development in space.

Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/INcubator-5 (MERLIN 5) Transfer to Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 5 (ER5): The MERLIN-5 was removed from ER7 and installed in ER5 to support samples for the Heart Cells investigation returning on SpX-9. ER7 has a failed power control module, which prevents the MERLIN from being powered on. Moving it to ER5 will allow MERLIN to be powered on in time to support the SpaceX-9 return. The MERLIN provides a single middeck locker EXPRESS Rack compatible freezer/refrigerator or incubator that can be used for a variety of experiments.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparation: In preparation for US EVA #35 currently scheduled for August 19, the crew inspected Retractable Equipment Tethers (RETs) for damaged cords. Each RET cord must be inspected prio to EVA use, then stowed in a protective bag to prevent potential damage.

On Board Training (OBT) ISS Emergency Simulation: Following yesterday’s training review covering depress, ammonia, US fire and Russian Segment fire events, today all crew members, with support from ground teams, completed a training exercise with the following objectives:

Practice ISS emergency response with crew and ground roles based on information provided by simulator displays.
Physically translate through ISS to the appropriate response locations to visualize the use of Station equipment and interfaces.
Practice procedure execution and associated decision making based on cues provided by simulator.
Practice communication and coordination with Houston and Moscow Control Centers as required for a given emergency scenario.
Upon completion of the training session, the crew and ground teams participated in a debrief to discuss results and address comments and questions.

Deck Crew Quarters Fan Fault – The Deck Crew Quarters (CQ) annunciated a single fan failure fault yesterday. The crew reported that they found no blockage at the inlets and were asked to take the fan from low to high, which cleared the caution. The fan was brought to medium overnight and will be taken to low on Wednesday morning to test it out. Each CQ rack is outfitted with two fans, although one fan operating in the lowest flow setting provides sufficient flow for smoke detection and CO2 removal. This type of caution has been seen in the past when debris has impeded the flow sensors. Cleaning is nominally performed every 6 months, and was last performed on May 13th. Teams will continue to monitor in order to determine whether or not additional actions are required.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

FLUID SHIFTS. Gathering and Connecting Equipment for TV coverage
FLUID SHIFTS. Comm configuration for the experiment / r/g 9995
USOS Window Shutter Closure
FLUID SHIFTS. Activation of ??? for Ultrasound Equipment / r/g 2965
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound 2 Setup and Activation in SM
Fine Motor Skills (FINEMOTR) Test
CASKAD. Manual Mixing in Bioreactor / r/g 2888
Fine Motor Skills (FINEMOTR) Photo Documentation
Fine Motor Skills (FINEMOTR) Test
MOUSE Gather Hardware for the Experiment
RS Photo Cameras Sync Up to Station Time / r/g 1594
Acoustic Dosimeter Setup Day 1
FLUID SHIFTS. Chibis Setup / r/g 2970
FLUID SHIFTS. Operator Assistance with Chibis and Gamma-1 r/g 2970
HAM radio session from Columbus
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound Scanning in SM, Operator 1
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound Ops in SM, Subject
HABIT Questionnaire
Laptop and ELC4 racks reconfiguration
WRS Sample Collection
XF305 Camcorder Settings Adjustment
MOUSE Mouse Habitat Cage Unit Maintenance
FLUID SHIFTS. Chibis Closeout Ops / r/g 2970
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound 2 Setup and Activation in SM [Deferred]
TOCA Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
CALCIUM. Experiment Session 7 / r/g 2960
??? Maintenance
FLUID SHIFTS. Chibis Setup / r/g 2969 [Deferred]
FLUID SHIFTS. Operator Assistance with Chibis and Gamma-1 r/g 2969 [Deferred]
Life On The Station Photo and Video / r/g 2747
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound Scan in SM [Deferred]
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound 2 Scan, Operator [Deferred]
FLUID SHIFTS. Chibis Closeout Ops / r/g 2969 [Deferred]
FLUID SHIFTS. Deactivation of ??? and USND / r/g 2967 [Deferred]
Reader Plate 2 (PR2). Removal of Module-29 Test Plate from the Sample Tray
MOTOCARD. Modification of Diasled Transformer Unit r/g 2971
TOCA Data Recording
FLUID SHIFTS. Crew Onboard Support System
TOCA Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
Water Processing using MCD
IMS Delta File Prep
ISS Emergency Response Training
OBT ISS Emergency Drill
Internal Review of Training for Emergency Response On-board ISS
FLUID SHIFTS. Ultrasound 2 Stowage in SM
AIRMON. Airlock Reconfig after the Experiment
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops / r/g 2963
FLUID SHIFTS. CCFP hardware, HRF Laptop in SM
FLUID SHIFTS. Hardware Handover to USOS
CASKAD. Manual Mixing in Bioreactor / r/g 2888
Photo/TV Camcorder Setup Verification
FLUID SHIFTS. Installation of cable assembly for voltage converter r/g 2966
Vacuum Pressure Gauge Accuracy Check / r/g 2968
FLUID SHIFTS. Connecting US-invertor to ???? r/g 2966
FLUID SHIFTS. Restore nominal comm config
Stow Video Equipment to capture ?2 Exercise
Emergency Response Training Conference

Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Fluid Shifts support [Partially completed]
Nominal ground commanding.

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 08/03: Fluid Shifts, Heart Cells, OBT CheCS drill, EVA Airlock restow
Thursday, 08/04: NREP hardware assembly/install to JEMAL, Fluid Shifts, EVA tool config
Friday, 08/05: EVA prep, Vascular Echo resting ultrasound, SPHERES-Zero Robotics Dry Run, SkinB, Heart Cells media change, Mouse Transportation Cage Unit prep

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

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