Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 September 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 21, 2016
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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 September 2016
NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins holds a reference guide during an emergency descent drill aboard the International Space Station. Rubins participated in the drill along with Soyuz commander Anatoly Ivanishin (back) and JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi. The trio conducted the regularly scheduled drill to review the procedures they would follow in the event they needed to depart the station on their Soyuz MS-01 vehicle during an emergency. Credit: NASA (09/09/2016).

The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures.
The International Space Station’s microgravity environment helps reveal new characteristics of physical and organic processes cloaked by Earth’s gravity. Scientists, doctors and engineers use these observations to design products and procedures to benefit humans living on Earth and in space.

The new Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment is researching how different materials dissolve in water. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up a camera to automatically photograph the process today using six samples. Results could benefit how pills are designed improving drug delivery inside the body.

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi swapped samples for the Group Combustion experiment inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The furnace is a device that observes and measures the thermophysical properties of materials heated to high temperatures using lasers. Onishi is also closing out the Mouse Epigenetics study and cleaning up the Cell Biology Experiment Facility. The life science facility contains an incubator with an artificial gravity generator.

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin continued checking out Russian laptop computers and life support systems today. The veteran cosmonaut also transferred gear from a cargo ship and wrapped up a 24-hour data recording session for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.

On-Orbit Status Report

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Repressurization: This morning, FE-5 initiated a repress of the JEMAL then performed a leak check of the airlock. Later this week, the crew will remove the NRCSD from the airlock.

Water Monitoring Suite – Microbial Monitoring System (WMS – MMS): FE-6 began operations with the MMS subset of the WMS experiment. The crew reviewed an On-Board Training (OBT) video then configured the hardware 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.

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) Sample Removal: FE-5 removed a sample from the ELF Experiment Volume and replaced it with a new sample. Ground controllers will use the new sample to continue the checkout of the software and facility. The next planned use of the ELF facility is the Group Combustion experiment, currently scheduled for next week. 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.

Eli Lilly Hard To Wet Surfaces: FE-6 set up the Hard to Wet Surfaces Sample Module image, injected buffer solutions into the sample vials then mixed all six sample vials inside the Sample Module. The crew aligned and focused the D2Xs Camera and took manual photos utilizing EarthKAM software on the SSC. Automated photography was then initiated using the D2Xs Camera’s intervalometer. The Hard to Wet Surfaces (Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces) investigation studies how certain materials used in the pharmaceutical industry dissolve in water while in microgravity. Results from this investigation could help improve the design of tablets that dissolve in the body to deliver drugs, thereby improving drug design for medicines used in space and on Earth.

Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Closeout: The crew performed closeout following the Mouse Epigenetics experiment. FE-5 removed, cleaned, and stowed the Mouse Habitat Unit, Glovebox, and Backup Power units. CBEF is a JAXA subrack facility located in the Saibo (living cell) Experiment Rack. The CBEF is used in various life science experiments, such as cultivating cells and plants in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). The CBEF consists of an incubator and control equipment for control and communications. The incubator unit consists of a microgravity compartment and a 1-G compartment. The 1-G compartment has a centrifuge that can control gravity from 0.1 to 2.0 G during gravity contrast experiments with the microgravity compartment. The CBEF incubator can control temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration for cultivation of cells and plants.

Today’s Planned Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.

??? Laptops Antivirus software checkout
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Regeneration of Micropurification unit (???) ?1cartridge (begin)
JEM Airlock Press
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Test
Microbial Monitoring System On-Board Training Review
Laptop vent grills maintenance
Microbial Monitoring System Hardware Gather
Health Maintenance System (HMS) Vision Questionnaire
Microbial Monitoring System MWA Preparation
JEM Airlock Leak Check
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Electrostatic Levitation Furnace(ELF) Sample Removal
Laptop vent grills maintenance
Microbial Monitoring System Sample Setup
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) WSTA Fill
Flushing of ??1, ??2 connectors of Progress #432 (Aft) Rodnik system
Dose Tracker Data Entry Subject
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config JEM Setup
Microbial Monitoring System Sample
PAO Preparation
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – JEM
Mouse Epigenetics Closeout Part2
Microbial Monitoring System Data Transfer
Glove Box Closeout 5
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Processing
??? 63P stowage operations with the use of IMS (??)
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Configuration Change 2
Plug-in Plan Universal Serial Bus Charger Deploy
Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Backup Power Retrieve
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix.
48 Soyuz Wireless Station Support Computer (SSC) Connect
Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN) WSTA Fill
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix.
Habitability Walk-through Video – Subject
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix.
Delta file prep
??? maintenance
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix Set 2
Hard To Wet Surfaces OBT Review
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix.
Crew Medical Officer (CMO) On Board Training (OBT)
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix Set 3
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix Set 4
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
URISYS Hardware Setup
Hard To Wet Surfaces Image Transfer
SPLANKH. Diet Restrictions Reminder
Regeneration of Micropurification unit (???) ?1 cartridge (finish)

Completed Task List Items
Manufacturing Device Print Removal, Clean and Stow
Orbital Trash Prep

Ground Activities
All activities are on schedule unless otherwise noted.
Battery 4B1 Reconditioning
Plasma Contactor Unit (PCU) Annual Checkout

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 09/21: Ocular Health, Personal CO2 Monitor, Clean Bench Valve Checkout, MSPR Combustion Chamber Adapter Plate
Thursday, 09/22: Ultrasound Scan, Water Hydraulics Components R&R, MMS sample
Friday, 09/23: Plant RNA, Cubesat Deployer Removal from MPEP

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) – Standby
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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