Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 December 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
December 14, 2016
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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 December 2016
NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 12 December 2016.

The six crew members aboard the International Space Station are getting ready for the arrival of new resupply ship early Tuesday. The crew is also exploring human research and physics and cleaning spacesuits.
Japan’s sixth cargo craft, the Kounotori HTV-6, has been orbiting Earth and chasing the International Space Station for three days after its launch from the Tanegashima Space Center last week. It will arrive Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. EST for a robotic capture and installation to the Harmony module. NASA TV will cover the events live beginning Tuesday at 4:30 a.m.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet will be in the cupola Tuesday morning commanding the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple the HTV-6 while monitoring its approach. After its successful capture, ground controllers will remotely guide the 57.7-foot-long robotic arm with the HTV-6 in its grasp and begin the careful, methodical process of attaching the cargo craft to Harmony’s Earth-facing port where it will stay until January.

The six-member Expedition 50 crew in the meantime is continuing advanced space research to improve the health of astronauts in space and benefit life on Earth. The crew collected blood and urine samples today so scientists can analyze health changes an astronaut goes through before, during and after a spaceflight. The samples were collected for the Biochemical Profile, Repository and Multi-Omics experiments.

The crew also checked gear that enables the observation of fuel burning in space for the Group Combustion study. The gas supply was also swapped inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace that observes how different materials melt in space.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson scrubbed the cooling loops and collected water samples from inside two U.S. spacesuits. The spacesuits will be used for a pair of battery maintenance spacewalks scheduled for the beginning of January.

On-Orbit Status Report

Human Research Collections: The crew performed collections for several Human Research experiments today. Samples were collected and stowed in Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). Samples were collected for Biochemical Profile, Repository, and Multiomics. 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. The objective of MultiOmics is to understand the gut ecosystem of astronauts in the space environment, especially focusing on the immune dysfunction, and to evaluate the impact of fructooligosaccharide (FOS).

BioLab Maintenance: The crew performed regular maintenance on ESA’s BioLab facility. The Thermal Control Units (TCUs) 1 & 2 were cleaned, then the Silica Gel Bags were exchanged fro new ones. The BioLab is a multiuser research facility located in the European Columbus laboratory. The facility is used to perform space biology experiments on microorganisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants, and small invertebrates. BioLab allows scientists to gain a better understanding of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on biological organisms.

Group Combustion: This morning the Group Combustion air line was leak checked following last week’s tightening activities. Ground teams are reviewing the data. The Group Combustion investigation tests a theory that fuel sprays change from partial to group combustion as flames spread across a cloud of droplets. In the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack in the Kibo module, droplets of decane, a component of gasoline or kerosene, are arranged randomly on thin-fiber lattice points, and the flame and droplet positions and temperature distribution are measured as the flame spreads. Microgravity blocks convection, which on Earth would quickly disperse the droplets and combustion products before such measurements could be made.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF): In preparation for ELF operations, the gas supply was changed from Argon to Gaseous Nitrogen (GN2). The Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) is an experimental facility designed to levitate/melt/solidify materials by containerless processing techniques using the Electrostatic Levitation method. With this facility, thermophysical properties of high temperature melts can be measured, and solidification from deeply undercooled melts can be achieved. The ELF is located in the JEM Multipurpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) in Kibo.

Personal CO2 Monitor: The crew donned the Personal CO2 monitor, and will wear it wearing for a full week, with the monitor clipped on the crew’s clothes. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a new capability to continuously monitor the astronauts’ immediate surroundings on the ISS. All human spacecraft must be designed with environmental control systems that remove CO2 from the air that their crews breathe, but the space environment can still lead to “pockets” of CO2 that are difficult to detect and remove. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a system capable of unobtrusively collecting and downlinking individual crew members’ CO2 exposure for weeks to months. The Personal CO2 Monitor also demonstrates Modular Wearable Architecture Base Board, allowing rapid certification of future wearable devices.

Biomolecule Sequencer (BMS): Over the weekend, the crew successfully performed a BMS run off of the task list. Flow Cell #6 was retrieved from Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS-1 (MELFI1) in the JEM and then was activated to perform a pore count then shut down. The Flow Cells’ life was originally listed as 60 days from manufacture, however the positive results achieved during this test shows viable use at 5 months post-manufacture. An additional test in January will determine if there is still possible use at that time frame, or limit the use at 5-months. 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.

H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)6 Arrival Preparations: In preparation for HTV6 capture and berthing, the crew completed another session of training. In addition to self-study the crew practiced 3 Capture Point (CP)-hold runs allowing them to practice Free Drift timing, malfunction response and nominal rate approaches. They also performed 2m approach runs. After the session, the Hardware Command Panel (HCP) was assembled and cables routed from Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module (JPM) to the Cupola. Finally, there was a review of HTV cargo transfer operations procedures via a conference with ground specialists.

Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Maintenance: The crew performed loop scrubs on Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) 3006 and 3010. Following the loop scrub, the crew took a water sample which will be returned to the ground for assessment. Later, the crew will iodinate the loop and perform the final portion of the post-launch checkout for EMU 3006.

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

HRF Generic Urine Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Retrieval Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Regeneration of Micropurification Unit (???) ?1 Cartridge (start)
Group Combustion Module (GCM) Air supply Line Leak Check
Multi Omics Fecal Sample Operations
HRF Generic Refrigerated Centrifuge Spin Conclude
Troubleshooting of HDV Sony HVR-Z7E connection configuration.
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Nitrogen gas QD connection
Multi Omics Fecal Sample MELFI Insertion
Multi Omics Fecal Stow
Personal CO2 Monitor Donn
Measuring CO partial pressure at Central Post using CSA-CP analyzer (Location: SM Central Post panel 208). Battery replacement (as necessary) – Report to MCC measurement data and analyzer number. Take measurements using a single analyzer
HRF Generic Frozen Blood Collection Conclude Stow
Study of Cardiovascular System Under Graded Physical Load on VELO.
Biolab TCU Cleaning and Silica Bag Exchange
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance
Study of cardiovascular system under graded physical CYCLE load.
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
HTV Capture Review
Life On The Station Photo and Video
On-board Training (OBT) HTV Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session 2
Operator Assistance with the Experiment
Photography of the Experiment Ops
Life On The Station Photo and Video
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance – Post Scrub Water Sample
HRF Generic Urine Collection
HRF Generic Sample MELFI Insertion Operations
HRF Generic Urine Collection Stow
ISS HAM Service Module Pass
VEG-03 Plant Photo
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Maintenance
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Scheduled maintenance of Central Post Laptop, start test 1.
??? maintenance
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) WSTA Fill
Scheduled maintenance of Central Post Laptop, Terminating Test 1 and Starting Test 2. Generating reports.
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Counter Measure System (CMS) Harmful Contaminant Measurements in SM
In Flight Maintenance (IFM) Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Pre-Treat Tank Remove & Replace
Scheduled maintenance of Central Post Laptop, start test 3.
Removal of ??? ?1-?&A; hose half-connector A3.
Cleaning FGB Gas-Liquid Heat Exchanger (???) Detachable Screens 1, 2, 3
Scheduled maintenance of Central Post Laptop, end test 3 and start test 4.
IMS Update
EVA Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Cooling Loop Scrub Deconfiguration
Search and preparation of kit with PCE-VE-330 video endoscope. Set for charge (if required)
INTERACTION-2. Experiment Ops
EMU 3006 Post Launch Checkout Part 2
Scheduled maintenance of Central Post Laptop, Terminating Test 4 and Closeout Ops.
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle
HTV Cargo Operations Review
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
HTV Cargo Operations Conference
Regeneration of ??? ?1 Absorption Cartridge (end)

Completed Task List Items
Columbus Portable Breathing Apparatus and Portable Fire Extinguisher Cover Removal [Completed Saturday]
Rendezvous and Prox Ops Program (RPOP) Setup [Completed Saturday]
Station Support Computer (SSC) 18 Primary Hard Drive Swap [Completed Saturday]
T61p DVD Drive Trash [Completed Saturday]
Biomolecule Sequencer MELFI Retrieve [Completed Saturday]
MARES Pad wanted poster [Completed Saturday]
Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue Virtual Reality Training [Completed Saturday]
Columbus SSD P04 Troubleshoot [Completed Sunday]
ESA Dosimeter MU Deploy [Completed Sunday]
ESA PAO Event [Completed Sunday]
EV1 MWS Config [Completed Sunday]
EV2 MWS Config [Completed Sunday]
Combustion Integration Rack Tool Build [Completed Sunday]
JEM CTBs Photo Taking [Completed Sunday]
Return MiniCam to A/L [Completed Sunday]
Station Support Computer (SSC) Server Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) Cleanup [Completed Sunday]
Veggie 03 Pillow Watering [Completed Sunday]
Biomolecule Sequencer Sample Initialization [Completed Sunday]
Replace KTO
Crew Evaluation of New Food

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
HTV Prox System monitoring
EVA Loop Scrub support
Lab MCA Zero Cal

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Tuesday, 12/13: HTV Capture/Vestibule Outfitting, Lighting Effects, EVA Water Conductivity Test
Wednesday, 12/14: HTV Ingress/Safety Review, Finemotor, Aquapad, Microbial Monitoring System
Thursday, 12/15: HTV Cargo Ops, J-SSOD5 Install, Eye Exams, Neuromapping, Aquamembrane

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:
Component – Status
Elektron – Off
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) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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