Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 December 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
December 15, 2016
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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 14 December 2016
The Japanese HTV-6 cargo vehicle is seen grappled by the International Space Station's robotic arm after arrival. HTV-6 launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on Friday, Dec. 9 and arrived at the space station on Tuesday, Dec. 13. The vehicle was loaded with more than 4.5 tons of supplies, water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person station crew, including six new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates that will replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. Credit: NASA.

Robotic officers in Mission Control, Houston maneuvered the Canadarm2 robotic arm overnight to extract a pallet from the newly-arrived Japanese HTV-6 cargo ship containing new batteries for the station’s power supply.
The batteries will replace older batteries on the starboard truss through a series of robotic operations and spacewalks planned through mid-January.

The hatch to the HTV-6 resupply vehicle was opened Tuesday just a few hours after it arrived and was installed to the International Space Station. The Expedition 50 crew began unloading supplies from the vehicle shortly afterward.

For more information on previous HTV missions from JAXA to the space station visit:

While cargo transfers were under way the six-member crew also worked on analyzing water samples, installing new science gear, continuing ongoing research and maintaining station systems. The orbital residents also reviewed procedures in the unlikely event of an emergency with the HTV-6 attached to the station.

Commander Shane Kimbrough began work to install a new Japanese experiment that measures space radiation and the exposure risk to astronauts. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet explored new technologies to analyze water samples for microbes. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson researched how astronauts work with touch-based devices and repair sensitive equipment.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy studied plasma physics then moved onto testing the remote control of rovers on another planet from a spacecraft. Flight Engineer Sergey Ryzhikov gathered radiation detectors for the Matryeshka-Bubble experiment. Veteran cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko worked throughout the station’s Russian segment on maintenance task.

On-Orbit Status Report

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last night, the Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to extract the External Platform (EP) from the HTV-6 Unpressurized Logistics Carrier (ULC) and install it on the Payload and ORU Accommodation (POA). Initially the SSRMS would not mode to Operational on either the Prime or Redundant strings. The team narrowed the problem down to SSRMS local bus interference being caused when payload power was being applied to the EP. ROBO unpowered the EP and the SSRMS operated nominally. The EP was successfully extracted from the EP and installed on the POA, where payload power was reapplied to the EP. SSRMS released the EP and backed away. Robotics Ground Controllers then unstowed the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) from MBS 2 and maneuvered to a park position.

Position Sensitive-Tissue Equivalent Proportional Chamber (PS-TEPC) Installation: The crew installed Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) PS-TEPC in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), connecting power and data cables between the detectors, control unit, and power supply. The crew powered on the PS-TEPC and ground teams performed necessary activation and checkout steps. The PS-TEPC is a radiation measuring instrument that measures absorbed doses and path length of space radiation particles simultaneously, and determines the real time Liner Energy Transfer (LET), and equivalent doses, to assess radiation risk to crew members during space flight. Dose management for space radiation exposure is extremely important for crew members, because the dose rates resulting from radiation sources (galactic cosmic rays, solar particle events, and protons trapped in Earth’s radiation belts) and secondary particles (such as neutrons) in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) are a few hundred times greater than those on the ground. The detector of PS-TEPC is a time projection chamber (TPC) made of biological tissue-equivalent materials where a micro-pixel chamber (m-PIC) is used as a 2-dimensional position sensor, which can acquires 3-dimensional tracks and the energy of each particle, as well as its energy, that contributes to dose distributions occurring in the human body.

Water Monitoring Suite (WMS) and Aquapad Sampling: In coordination with regular Environmental Health System (EHS) water sampling, the crew performed the ESA sponsored Aquapad (Paper Analytical Device) technological demonstration and sampling using the Microbial Monitoring System (MMS) subset of the WMS experiment. By using the same water collected for the EHS sample, ground teams can evaluate the capabilities of the new hardware. For the MMS experiment, the crew configured the Maintenance Work Area (MWA) and setup the MMS to sample a low and high DNA concentration sample using the Razor Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Microbial Monitoring System. The WMS is a set of hardware that monitors microbes, silica and organic material in the water supply on the ISS. The hardware ensures crew members can test and monitor the safety of their water supplies on future space missions, especially on long-duration missions to Mars, asteroids or other destinations where Earth-based testing would be difficult or impossible. Aquapad is a new approach developed by France’s CNES space agency: paper impregnated with powdered growth medium creates a 3D petri dish. When water is added, the microbes form colored spots revealing their locations. Using a tablet computer application the crew will photograph the dots to calculate precisely how many bacteria are present.

Personal CO2 (PCO2) Monitor: While performing HTV6 cargo transfer a crewmember’s PCO2 Monitor was dislodged and misplaced. Ground teams will schedule time later this week to retrieve and calibrate another PCO2 Monitor to resume the week-long data collection session. 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.

Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Emergency Book Pen and Ink Update: The crew made updates to the EMER-1a procedures, 1.6 USOS VOLUME ISOLATION FOR KNOWN LEAK LOCATION, 1.7 USOS AFT LEAK PINPOINT, and 2.2 FIRE IN USOS – FIRE SOURCE LOCATION, to account for new hardware that arrived on HTV-6.

EMU Resize: The crew completed the resize of the EMUs for Shane, Peggy and Thomas in preparation for the upcoming Battery EVAs. EMU 3008 was sized for Shane, EMU 3006 was sized for Thomas and a CTB was created for Peggy’s EMU suit parts. The crew completed this task, which was scheduled for Friday 16-December, off the tasklist.

Zero-G Storage Rack (ZSR) Door Replacement: This morning the crew replaced the Node 1 overhead ZSR rack door panel. The original door had gotten discolored and stained over time. The new doors are made such that they can be easily cleaned.

HII Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-6 Cargo Transfer: The crew completed 10 hours 30 minutes of HTV-6 Cargo transfer operations today. Ground specialist estimate it will take the crew a total of 31 hours to unload and load the vehicle.

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

????-1? unit working capacity check (?302) – part 1.
PELIKAN ?? ??? Battery charge (start)
Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect
On-Orbit Hearing Assessment (O-OHA) with EarQ Software Setup and Test
Personal CO2 Monitor iPad Application Restart
??? Maintenance
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Analysis
Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test
Environmental Health System (EHS) Coliform Water Processing
Aquapad Double Water Sampling
Microbial Monitoring System MWA Preparation
PELIKAN Observation and Photography using [?? ???
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Restow Node 2 Nadir Vestibule Outfitting Kit (VOK)
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations – Subject
Multi Omics Item Gathering
Environmental Health System (EHS) Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Microbial Monitoring System Sample Setup
Transfer JEM TEPC
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
HTV Emergency Procedure Review
Microbial Monitoring System Sample
????-1? unit operability check-out (Item ?302) – part 2.
Soyuz 732 Samsung Tablet computer recharge (when battery charge level is below 80%)
JEM System Laptop Terminal Reboot
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle [Aborted]
Inspection and photo RS windows
Systems Operations Data File (SODF) Emergency Book Update
XF305 Camcorder Setup
JEM TEPC Installation
Area Dosimeter Installation
Microbial Monitoring System Data Transfer
HMS Tonometry Test Setup
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-dosimeter gathering and measurements.
HMS Tonometry Test
HMS Tonometry Test Stow
Radi-N Detector Retrieval/Readout
Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons Hardware Handover
MATRYOSHKA-R. Receiving “?????-dosimeter” Detectors from AOS
Transfer Operations
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-dosimeter gathering and measurements.
HTV Cargo Operations Conference
Soyuz 732 Samsung Tablet computer recharge end
Phase Change Heat Exchanger LTL Shut Down
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle [Aborted]
Increment 48 Plaque Hanging

Completed Task List Items
EMU resize
Veggie 03 Pillow Watering
CTB containing Broken Multi-Use Brackets was located
Wet/Dry Vacuum Tool Pouch was located
Node 1 ZSR Door Preparation for removal
ZSR Door Installation

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
EP extract and stow on POA
SPDM unstow
P4 IEA Survey
Amine Swingbed activation

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 12/15: HTV Cargo Ops, J-SSOD5 Install, Eye Exams, NeuroMapping, AquaMembrane
Friday, 12/16: HMS Ultrasound, CUCU Cable Reroute, EVA Tool Config
Saturday, 12/17: Weekly Housekeeping, Crew Off Duty

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) – Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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