Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 January 2017

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
January 12, 2017
Filed under , ,
NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 11 January 2017
Astronaut Shane Kimbrough is pictured during the first power upgrade spacewalk on Jan. 6, 2017. Credit: NASA.

Commander Shane Kimbrough is getting ready for his second spacewalk in a week to complete the upgrade of power systems on the International Space Station. He will be joined by Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency who will be conducting his first spacewalk.
The spacewalking duo are partnering up today with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson to review Friday morning’s spacewalk. Whitson, who completed her seventh spacewalk last Friday, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will be assisting the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits and the Quest airlock.

Late yesterday and last night robotic ground controllers used the Dextre Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to move the final lithium-ion battery to the 1A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly, moved another nickel-hydrogen battery to one of Dextre’s arms for temporary stowage and tightened down bolts on two of the previously moved Li-ion batteries.

So, we now have five nickel-hydrogen batteries either on the HTV External Pallet or temporarily stowed on Dextre and one more Ni-H battery to move from the 1A IEA to another stowage position on Dextre later today to complete the pre-EVA robotics. All six new lithium-ion batteries are now installed on the S4 truss IEA. The 3A power channel is fully operational. The 1A power channel will be activated on Friday during the EVA after adapter plates are moved into place on the 1A IEA.

Post-EVA robotics on Saturday and Sunday will complete the work to move the last four old Ni-H batteries from Dextre to the External Pallet for disposal (there will be nine on the EP in all). They will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere when the HTV is deorbited.

Whitson and Pesquet started their day scanning their arteries with and ultrasound and collecting body fluid samples for the Cardio Ox study. That experiment is researching the increased risk of atherosclerosis, the plaque build-up in the artery wall that results in narrowing of the blood vessel, in astronauts living in space.

In the Russian segment of the space station, cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov set up gear for a Matryoshka radiation detection experiment. Veteran cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko studied how mission events affect the station structure and explored new Earth photography techniques.

On-Orbit Status Report

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Preparation: Today, the USOS crew continued preparing tools that will be used during Friday’s EVA, which will support the upgrade from Nickel Hydride Channel 1A batteries to Lithium Ion batteries. The crew verified that the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFERs) are functional, and configured two cameras that will be used during the EVA. The crew also performed a final EVA procedure review. US EVA #39 is scheduled for Friday, January 13th with Joint Airlock Egress occurring at ~6:15am CST.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Yesterday and overnight (GMT 010-011), the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Body and Arm1 as required to use SPDM Arm1 to remove the 1A-3 Nickel-Hydrogen (NiH2) battery from its slot in the 1A Integrated Electronics Assembly (IEA). They then maneuvered the SSRMS and SPDM as required to use SPDM Arm2 to unstow a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery from slot F of the H-II Transfer Vehicle 6 (HTV6) Exposed Pallet (EP) and install it in slot 3 of the 1A IEA. Next they unstowed the Robotic Offset Tool (ROST) from the SPDM Tool Holder Assembly (THA) and attempted to fasten the H1 bolt of the 1A slot 5 battery, but the ROST socket was not able to engage the H1 bolt. An activity will be added to allow EVA crewmembers to fasten this H1 bolt during the upcoming EVA. To back away the ROST from the H1 fixture, pull force needed to be increased up to 70 N. Then, the same attempt was performed on 1A slot 1 and after pushing with a higher force (110 N) when fastening with the ROST socket, the H1 bolt was successfully bolted. However, when trying to pull the ROST away from H1 fixture with the maximum force allowed (110 N), ROST stayed stuck on the fixture and forces and moments sensed were not expected. After multiple attempts to pull it off, ROST was finally released after unfastening slightly the ROST Socket. Finally the Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the SSRMS and SPDM to a park position.

Biomolecule Sequencer (BMS) Sample Stop: On Monday, the crew initiated the final BMS run off of the tasklist. Today, the crew completed the 48-hour sample session. To complete the analysis the crew captured a screenshot of the Surface Pro 3, then downlinked the image to the ground for the BMS team to evaluate. The goals of the BMS experiment are to provide a proof-of-concept for the functionality and evaluate crew operability of a DNA sequencer in a space/microgravity environment. The capability for sequencing of DNA in space could provide for a better ability to identify microbes in real-time, instead of requiring sample return and ground based analysis.

Human Research Collections: This morning the crew continued their urine collection and performed a blood collection in support of several Human Research experiments today. Samples for the Biochemical Profile, Repository, and Cardio Ox were collected and stowed in Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). The Biochemical Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples obtained from astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results, which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body. Repository is a storage bank used to maintain biological specimens over extended periods of time and under well-controlled conditions. This repository supports scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment and provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning many missions. Cardio Ox determines whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis in astronauts.

Cardio Ox Ultrasound: In addition to fluid collections, today’s Flight Day 60 (FD60) Cardio Ox session included ultrasound and Electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements. With scanning assistance from a Crew Medical Officer (CMO) and ground remote guidance specialists, the crew donned ECG electrodes, and marked the Carotid and Brachial arteries to make locating them easier when scanning. By collecting ultrasound and ECG data, paired with blood and urine samples, scientists are trying to determine whether biological markers of oxidative and inflammatory stress are elevated during and after space flight and whether this results in an increased, long-term risk of atherosclerosis risk in astronauts.

Habitability Narrated Task: In support of the Habitability experiment, the crew performed a narrated video of nominal on-orbit tasks which give unique insight into the day in the life of an ISS crew member. Today’s narrated video was of meal preparation, including using the food warmer, reconstituting drinks and setting up eating areas. Observations documented through an iPad application help characterize the ways crew members live and work in microgravity, and how their interactions with their environment might require different layouts, additional space, or other alterations to future manned space vehicles.

Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutron (RaDI-N): After retrieving the RaDI-N hardware from the Russian crewmembers, a USOS crewmember deployed eight Space Bubble Detectors around the ISS for the Radi-N2 experiment. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) RaDI-N investigation will be conducted by measuring neutron radiation levels while onboard the ISS. RaDI-N uses bubble detectors as neutron monitors which have been designed to only detect neutrons and ignore all other radiation.

External (EXT) Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) Upgrade: The crew configured a new Enhanced Processor and Integrated Communications (EPIC) EXT MDM by removing two circuit cards from a donor MDM and installing them, plus an additional spare card, into the spare EXT MDM. The MDM Front Cover was then exchanged for an EXT MDM Ethernet Cover. EPIC MDMs feature faster processors, increased memory, and an Ethernet port for data output, allowing for the simultaneous operation of a greater number of experiments. The upgraded EXT MDM is scheduled to be installed during a future EVA.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) Routine Maintenance: The crew performed a change out of the WHC UR and insert filter. After replacement, a functionality test of the WHC was successfully performed.

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection
Multi Omics Saliva sample MELFI Insertion
Multi Omics Saliva Stow
Multi Omics Question
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
MERLIN 2 Desiccant Swap
Ultrasound 2 HRF Rack 1 Power On
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
??? maintenance
Cardio Ox Ultrasound Preparation
Storage Battery Current Converter ????-1? (?305) temperature check
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Cardio Ox Ultrasound Scan – Subject
RELAKSATSIYA Hardware Setup.
Cardio Ox Ultrasound Scan – Operator
MRM1 Fan Screen Cleaning (Group B)
Cardio Ox CDL Holter Arterial BP Unit Battery Installation – Subject
Cardio Ox CDL Holter Arterial BP Measurement – Subject
Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue GN2 Check
External Multiplexer/De-multiplexer (EXT MDM) Big Picture Word Review
RELAKSATSIYA. Parameter Settings Adjustment
Cardio Ox CDL Holter Arterial BP Hardware Doff – Subject
External Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (EXT MDM) Upgrade
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude Stow
Waste and Hygeine Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) and Insert Filter (IF) Remove and Replace
RELAKSATSIYA. Closeout Ops and Hardware Removal.
TIMER. Battery Charge
Storage Battery Current Converter ????-1? (?305) temperature check.
Study of cardiovascular system under graded physical CYCLE load.
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Long Life Battery (LLB)/Metal Oxide (METOX) Installation
Photo TV Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Camera Turnaround
US Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Tether Inspection
Habitability Narrated Task Video Setup
Packed Bed Reactor Experiment Lab Video Setup
Habitability Narrated Task Video End
Video Recording of Greetings
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config Columbus Setup
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Lighting Effects Light Meter Readings Alternate 1
PAO Preparation
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) in Columbus
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
Recharging Soyuz 732 Samsung PC Battery (if charge level drops below 80%)
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
Dose Tracker Data Entry
Confirm location of DVD for MSG Laptop H/D Swap
TIMER. Experiment setup and initiation of video recording
Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Full Fill
VIZIR. Experiment Ops.
MATRYOSHKA-R. Prep and Initialization of Bubble-Dosimeter Detectors
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations
Packed Bed Reactor Experiment Lab Video Return
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons Hardware Handover
MATRYOSHKA-R. Handover of BUBBLE-dosimeter detectors to RS
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-dosimeter initialization and deployment for exposure
TIMER. Experiment Ops Video Termination and Cleanup
Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) /Group Combustion Module (GCM) Component Activation
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Procedure Review
Terminate Soyuz 732 Samsung PC Battery Recharge (as necessary)
Delta file prep
URISYS Hardware Setup
RELAKSATSIYA. Charging battery for Relaksatstiya experiment (initiate

Completed Task List Items
WIF Adapter EVA Prep

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Channel 1A Battery Robotics Ops

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 01/12: EVA Procedure Review, EVA Conference, Airlock Equipment Lock Prep, EVA Tool Audit
Friday, 01/13: Airlock Depress, S4 Battery EMU EVA
Saturday, 01/14: EVA Debrief, EVA Camera Disassembly, Airlock Deconfig, EMU Recharge

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – Off
[???] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Idle
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

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.