Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 April 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 21, 2016
Filed under , ,
NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 April 2016
NASA astronaut and Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams works with the Wet Lab RNA SmartCycler on-board the International Space Station. Wetlab RNA SmartCycler is a research platform for conducting real-time quantitative gene expression analysis aboard the ISS. The system enables spaceflight genomic studies involving a wide variety of biospecimen types in the unique microgravity environment of space. Credit: NASA.

Human research and life science studies took precedence on the orbital laboratory today. The Expedition 47 crew also checked out a spacesuit and transferred cargo from a pair of resupply ships.
The Genes in Space study, a student-designed experiment, began on the station this morning. It is studying the linkage between DNA alterations and weakened immune systems caused by the lack of gravity. NASA encourages students to become future engineers and scientists to benefit Earth and promote exploration. As a result, students periodically design and interact with advanced research on the International Space Station.

The crew is also recording its observations of their living area on the space station for the Habitability study. The crew’s inputs may help engineers design future spacecraft with better accommodations for astronauts on long-term space missions.

The station’s inventory is being updated as the crew transfers gear back and forth from the Progress 63 and the SpaceX Dragon resupply ships. A U.S. spacesuit is also being readied for return to Earth on the Dragon when it departs the station and splashes down in the Pacific Ocean May 11.

On-Orbit Status Report

Genes in Space: The Genes in Space experiment began this morning with retrieval of the miniPCR sample tubes from the Glacier and hardware setup in the maintenance work area (MWA). Sample processing was performed and data was downlinked. The Genes in Space investigation is a winning student-designed experiment to test whether the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be used to study DNA alterations aboard the ISS. Spaceflight causes changes to the human body including alterations in DNA and a weakened immune system. Understanding whether these two processes are linked is important for safeguarding crew health but DNA technology that can track these changes is relatively untested in space.

Rodent Research 3 CASIS Injection Review: In preparation for upcoming RR-3 operations, crewmembers reviewed the Standalone Subcutaneous Injection material, discussed operations with the payload developer, and gathered hardware in preparation for the injection session this week. RR-3 studies molecular and physical changes in the musculoskeletal system that happen in space. Results expand scientists’ understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space while testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

NanoRacks Module-51: The crew documented the first of several statuses for the sub-experiments inside NanoRacks Module-51. A status will be provided consecutively for the next three weeks.The four different investigations within the module study: antibiotic use to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus bacteria; the rate at which yeast decomposes organic matter; whether steroid-enhanced plants could grow better in space than on Earth; and whether an enzyme derived from fireflies can cause bioluminescence in microgravity.

Wet Lab RNA SmartCycler Session: The crew retrieved samples from the MELFI and completed a brief overview of procedures. They then began the Wet Lab RNA SmartCycler validation ops by processing a quality control sample to verify that the SmartCycler operates as expected in microgravity. Wetlab RNA SmartCycler is a research platform for conducting real-time quantitative gene expression analysis aboard the ISS. The system enables spaceflight genomic studies involving a wide variety of biospecimen types in the unique microgravity environment of space.

NeuroMapping Operations: The crew set up and performed NeuroMapping operations, which included testing in two body configurations; “strapped in” and “free floating”. The investigation studies whether long-duration spaceflight causes changes to the brain, including brain structure and function, motor control, and multi-tasking abilities. It also measures how long it would take for the brain and body to recover from changes. Previous research and anecdotal evidence from astronauts suggests movement control and cognition can be affected in microgravity. The NeuroMapping investigation performs structural and functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI and fMRI) to assess any changes that occur after spending months on the International Space Station.

Dose Tracker: The crew configured the Dose Tracker application and completed entries for medication tracking. This investigation documents the medication usage of crew members before and during their missions by capturing data regarding medication use during spaceflight, including side effects, frequencies and severities. The data is expected to either support or counter anecdotal evidence of medication ineffectiveness during flight and unusual side effects experienced during flight. It is also expected that specific, near-real-time questioning about symptom relief and side effects will provide the data required to establish whether spaceflight-associated alterations in pharmacokinetics (PK) or pharmacodynamics (PD) is occurring during missions.

Habitability Human Factors Directed Observations: The crew performed a session of the Habitability experiment by recording a walk-through video documenting observations of an area or activity to provide insight related to human factors and habitability. The 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.

Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) 3011: A successful loop scrub was performed on EMU 3011 after which the suit was packed in the launch enclosure for return on SpX-8. The suit was last used during the SSU R&R in January 2016 when water was reported in the helmet.

Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Last night, Robotics Ground Controllers operated the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) to walkoff from the Lab Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) onto Mobile Base System (MBS) PDGF1. The SSRMS was then maneuvered to a translate configuration and the Mobile Transporter (MT) was translated from Worksite (WS) #6 to WS2. Next, the SSRMS was maneuvered to the first position for the Starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) to Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) Cart Clearance Survey near WS1 and the survey at this position was performed. The SSRMS was maneuvered to the second position for the SARJ to CETA Cart Clearance Survey and this survey was also completed. The third and final operations were performed today to survey the Starboard SARJ for clearance analysis of the MT translation path to WS1 for the HTV-6 battery task.

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

Biochemical Urine Test r/g 1974
URISYS Hardware Stowage
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Tonometry Test Setup
Auxiliary Computer System [???] Laptops Antivirus Scan Check and Status Report / r/g 8247
WRS Water Sample Analysis
SREDA-ISS. Preparation Steps and Observation Start r/g 1987
RSE-Med laptop hard drive audit. Tagup with specialists / r/g 2002
Vision Test
Progress 432 (Aft) Transfers and IMS Ops / r/g 1812, 1832, 1990
CIR Hardware Setup
COSMOCARD. Preparation and Starting 24-hr ECG Recording / r/g 1988
WRS Recycle Tank Fill
Tonometry Test, CMO Assistance
Vision Test, Survey Questionnaire Completion
BIMS. Operator Assistance During the Experiment / r/g 1989
Tonometry Test, Subject
Soyuz 720 Samsung Tablet Recharge, initiate
GIS. Maintenance Work Area preparation for Payload use
Water Resource Management (WRM) Initiate Condensate Sampling
BIMS. Experiment Ops. r/g 1989
SmartCycler (SCYC) Sample Retrieval from MERLIN-3 for Session 2 Ops
Initiate EMU Cooling Loop Scrub Part 1
SmartCycler (SCYC) Experiment Procedure Review
Power Switching Unit ???-1#10?=?457 swap assessment r/g 2003
SREDA-ISS. Closeout Ops / r/g 1987, steps 8-10
Water Resource Management (WRM) Terminate Condensate Sampling
MOTOCARD. Experiment Ops r/g 1995
Tonometry equipment stowage
Rodent Research (RR) – Item gathering
MOTOCARD. Operator Assistance with the Experiment / r/g 1996
Genes in Space (GIS). Sample Retrieval
GIS. Sample Processing
DOSETRK Data Export
HABIT Procedure Review
Cleaning FGB Gas-Liquid Heat Exchanger (???) Detachable Screens 1, 2, 3
GIS. Recording of a congratulatory message
SmartCycler (SCYC) Session 2 Ops
Prep for replacing ???? devices (plugs ??-12?, ???-2) r/g 1999
EMU Cooling Loop Post Scrub Water Sample
EMU Cooling Loop Post Scrub Reconfig
DUBRAVA. Observation and Photography using Photo Spectrum System (???) r/g 1991
Vacuum Cleaning of ??1 and ??2 air ducts in MRM2
Soyuz 720 Samsung tablet charge, terminate
GIS. Closeout Ops with samples
Rodent Research (RR) – Injection Prep
SmartCycler (SCYC) Video downlink
TOCA Data Recording
Video Footage of Greetings / r/g 1998
Fluid Shifts (FS) Urine Collection Hardware Setup
EMU Cooling Loop Maintenance, EMU Reconfig
Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Activation
HABIT Preparing for the experiment
Urine Transfer from EDV-U to Progress 431 (DC1) Rodnik H2O Tank2 / r/g 1963
MRM2 comm config to support the P/L Ops
IMS Delta File Prep
Kulonovskiy Kristall Experiment Run r/g 1986
NeuroMapping (NMAP) Test Ops
EMU Long Dryout
Soyuz 719 Samsung Tablet Recharge, Initiate
Rodent Research Crew Conference
Short Extravehicular Mobility Unit (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE) Return Preparation
GIS. Hardware Stowage
MRM2 Comm Reconfig for Nominal Ops
GIS. MELFI Sample Insertion
CONTENT. Experiment Ops / r/g 1992
EMU. Rotation of Short Extravehicular Mobility Unit (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE)
Fluid Shifts (FS) Blood Collection Hardware Setup
CONTENT. Experiment Ops / r/g 1993
SmartCycler (SCYC) Experiment Session Setup
EMU Rotation of Short Extravehicular Mobility Unit (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE)
EMU Conductivity Test
NANO Hardware Status Check
CONTENT. Experiment Ops / r/g 1994
Soyuz 719 Samsung Tablet Recharge, terminate
MELFI Inserts Reminder
Stow Syringes used in ?2? Conductivity Test
Reminder Habitability Walk-Through Video
Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

MSS operations
Nominal ground commanding
Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 04/20: SPHEROIDS download, RR Casis, Protein Crystal Growth, Fluid Shifts
Thursday, 04/21: JSSOD-M1 install Part 1, BEAM SSC deploy, ENERGY PFS setup
Friday, 04/22: SPRINT VO2, ENERGY PFS ops, Protein Crystal Growth, BCAT

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 – Override
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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