Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 December 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
December 23, 2015
Filed under , ,
NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 22 December 2015
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly snaps a quick selfie during a spacewalk on Dec. 21, 2015. NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra released brake handles on crew equipment carts on either side of the space station’s mobile transporter rail car so it could be latched in place ahead of Wednesday’s docking of a Russian cargo resupply spacecraft. Kelly and Kopra also tackled several get-ahead tasks during their three hour, 16 minute spacewalk. Credit: NASA.

A pair of spacewalkers are cleaning up and reporting back to ground controllers after a short spacewalk Monday morning. A Christmas delivery is also due at the International Space Station Wednesday at 5:31 a.m. EST/10:31 a.m. UTC.
Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Tim Kopra quickly prepared over the weekend for the spacewalk to release a stalled robotic transporter. As the pair suited up in the Quest airlock Monday, a Progress 62 (62P) cargo spaceship launched on a two-day trip to deliver 2.8 tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 46 crew.

The stalled robotic transporter needed to be moved then latched to its worksite ahead of the Progress arrival triggering Monday’s spacewalk. The Progress is a modified design and Russian mission controllers are testing its upgraded software and telemetry systems during its flight to the Pirs docking compartment.

Cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov are preparing for the Progress arrival by testing the TORU tele-robotic rendezvous system. The TORU system would be used in the unlikely event it would be necessary to manually guide the vehicle to a docking.

The crew also had time set aside for advanced space science today. The orbiting lab residents explored plant growth and life science as humans learn to live longer and farther in space.

On-Orbit Status Report

Ocular Health: One year crewmembers Kelly and Kornienko completed vision and tonometry tests and took blood pressure measurements as part of their Flight Day 270 Ocular Health testing. The Ocular Health protocol calls for a systematic gathering of physiological data to characterize the risks of microgravity-induced visual impairment and increased intracranial pressure in ISS crewmembers. Researchers believe that the measurement of visual, vascular and central nervous system changes over the course of this experiment and during the subsequent post-flight recovery will assist in the development of countermeasures, clinical monitoring strategies, and clinical practice guidelines.

Sleep Log: Kelly recorded a Sleep Log entry today. The Sleep ISS-12 experiment monitors ambient light exposure and crew member activity and collects subjective evaluations of sleep and alertness. The investigation examines the effects of space flight and ambient light exposure on sleep during a year-long mission on the ISS.

Veg-01 Anomaly: Kelly refilled the Veg-01 plant pillows with water today. He noted an unexpected growth on the plants and sent pictures for ground experts to evaluate. In coordination with those experts he subsequently removed affected plant areas and double bagged and inserted them into a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for return to the ground. He also increased the Veggie facility fan speed to compensate for extra moisture observed in the pillows and on the plants. The Veg-01 investigation is used to assess on-orbit function and performance of the Veggie facility, focusing on the growth and development of seedlings in the spaceflight environment and the composition of microbial flora on the plants and the facility. For this run, Zinnias will be grown for 60 days and are expected to produce flowers.

Journals: Kelly completed a Journals entry today. The Journals investigation obtains information on behavioral and human issues that are relevant to the design of equipment and procedures used by astronauts during extended-duration missions. Study results provide information used in preparations for future missions to low-Earth orbit and beyond.

Cardio Ox: Peake, with assistance from Kelly, collected blood pressure and ultrasound measurements of his carotid and brachial arteries for this Flight Day 15 Cardio Ox session. The objective of Cardio Ox is 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 in astronauts. Twelve crewmembers will provide blood and urine samples to assess biomarkers before launch, 15 and 60 days after launch, 15 days before returning to Earth, and within days after landing. Ultrasound scans are obtained at the same time points and through 5 years after landing.

Habitability Video and Observations: Kopra set up his iPad and recorded the first 10 minutes of his exercise session on Treadmill 2 (T2). He narrated details such as hardware interface issues, volume needed to perform exercise, or other human factors concerns for set-up and task performance. He documented additional observations on human factors and habitability from his last 3 to 4 days on the ISS. Topics may include any significant habitability related changes or improvements to the ISS Kopra has noticed since his previous time onboard the ISS. Habitability assesses the relationship between crew members and their environment in order to better prepare for future long-duration spaceflights to destinations, such as near earth asteroids and Mars. Observations recorded during 6 month and 1 year missions can help spacecraft designers determine how much habitable volume is required, and whether a mission’s duration impacts how much space crew members need.

Dose Tracker: Kopra and Peake were unable to complete entries for medication tracking because both experienced issues with logging on to the Dose Tracker application that runs on an iPad. Ground experts are working on troubleshooting procedures that are scheduled to be performed on Thursday. This investigation documents the medication usage of crew members before and during their missions by capturing data regarding medication use during spaceflight, including side effect qualities, frequencies and severities. The data are 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.

Human Research Facility (HRF)-2 Resupply: Kopra restocked the HRF supply kits in the HRF2 rack in the Columbus module and remove expired limited life items. He then took photographs of the kits for downlink.

Circadian Rhythms: Peake configured and donned the Armband Monitor and Thermolab sensors and belt for his Flight Day 15 Circadian Rhythm session. He will wear the monitors for 36 hours and then doff and download the data on Thursday. Circadian Rhythms investigates the role of synchronized circadian rhythms, or the “biological clock,” and how it changes during long-duration spaceflight. Researchers hypothesize that a non-24-hour cycle of light and dark affects crewmembers’ circadian clocks. The investigation also addresses the effects of reduced physical activity, microgravity and an artificially controlled environment. Changes in body composition and body temperature, which also occur in microgravity, can affect crewmembers’ circadian rhythms as well. Understanding how these phenomena affect the biological clock will improve performance and health for future crewmembers.

Post-Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Activities: Today, USOS crewmembers participated in an EVA #34 debrief with ground specialists to discuss details of yesterday’s EVA. In addition, Kelly and Kopra deconfigured the US Airlock following EVA operations and prepared Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU) and equipment for stowage.

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

Morning Inspection, Laptop RS1(2) Reboot
RSS1,2 Reboot
SLEEP – Filling in Questionnaire
Morning Inspection, SM ??? (Caution & Warning Panel) Test
??-8. HW Setup
Body Mass Measurement
??-8. Closeout ops
Antivirus Scan Results Checkout on SSC Laptops and Report
Daily Planning Conference (S-band)
WRS – recirculation system tank fill
On MCC Go Regeneration of absorption cartridge ?2 of TCPU [???]
Recharge of Samsung Tablet Computer of Soyuz 719
Post-EVA health status check
Consultations on Specifics of Docking with Progress 431 Tagup with specialists
VEG-01- water fill for pant watering
Eye sight check – questionnaire
Crew time for ISS adaptation and familiarization
Ocular Health
Ocular Health
Eye sight check – questionnaire
UDOD. Experiment ops with DYUKHANIE-1 unit and SPRUT-2 set Tagup with specialist
SEYSMOPROGNOZ. Data Downlink from [????] HD Tagup with specialist
JRNL- journal entry
Recharge of Samsung Tablet Computer of Soyuz 718
??? grill cleaning in Soyuz #718
Items transfer from Soyuz 719, IMS update
WRS maintenance
Comm config for conference from ?R?2
Post-EVA tagup
Thermolab – Circadian Rhythm unit ops
Post-EVA Pille dosimeter reading
COULOMB CRYSTAL. Photography during experiment
EDV (??V) fill (separation) for ELECTRON or EDV-SV
NAPOR-mini ??? – Cleaning ???-? vent grids
DOSETRK [Aborted]
??? maintenance
HRF2. Replacement of expired life-support elements
Familiarization with ??? Auxiliary Computer Network Tagup with specialist if needed
Post-EVA Airlock reconfig
??-1 sensor placement check
EMU cartridge regen start
??? ?2 absorption cartridge regen
ISS HAM- deactivation
IMS ops
Installation of inserts to ease opening of SM interior panel locks
ECON-M. Observation and Photography
Video Recording for All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (?????)

Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Nominal system commanding

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 12/23: 62P Docking, OCT Exams, EMU Loop Scrubs, SSU test Setup
Thursday, 12/24: Ocular Health, Ultrasound 2 Scan, Circadian Rhythms, NeuroMapping
Friday, 12/25: Crew Holiday

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

Component – Status
Elektron – Off
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) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Standby
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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