Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 September 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 28, 2016
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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 27 September 2016
Snrise is photographed by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station. The orbiting laboratory travels around the Earth at approximately 17,500 mph/28,163kmh, experiencing about 16 sunrises and sunsets per day. Credit: NASA.

Two different studies are under way on the International Space Station – one will observe how fuel burns in space while another is researching how medicine dissolves in water. Results from both experiments could benefit humans on Earth and in space.
Astronaut Takuya Onishi is setting up the Group Combustion experiment that will explore how flames spread across a cloud of fuel droplets. Observations may help engineers design advanced rocket engines, as well as gas turbines and industrial furnaces.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is researching how pharmaceutical materials dissolve in water for the Hard to Wet Surfaces study. The space environment can reveal processes masked by Earth’s gravity and help scientists improve how drugs work in humans on Earth and in space.

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin was back at work studying how charged particle systems react when trapped in a magnetic field. The veteran cosmonaut, who is on his second station mission, also explored new methods to detect and target landmarks improving Earth photography techniques.

On-Orbit Status Report

Group Combustion Module (GCM) Installation: Today, FE-5 with the assistance of FE-6, started the first of two days of installation and preparation for the GCM experiment. The crew began with assembly of the GCM attaching cameras and the Fuel Supply Syringe. Following GCM setup, the crew then began configuration of the Combustion Chamber attaching the necessary valves and filters. The GCM will then be installed into the Combustion Chamber. The Elucidation of Flame Spread and Group Combustion Excitation Mechanism of Randomly-distributed Droplet Clouds (Group Combustion) investigation by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) 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 (MSPR) 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.

Hard to Wet Surfaces: FE-6 performed the battery charging activities for the Hard to Wet Surfaces payload. Later today, the crew will verify the configuration and field of view of the camera used to collect data of the payload. 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.

Marangoni Experiment (Dynamic Surf 3): Last week ground controllers performed an Image Processing Unit (IPU) video check and determined the front cover fasteners required tightening. FE-5 performed the tightening over the weekend and subsequent IPU checks confirmed a good configuration to resume Dynamic Surf operations. Last night, ground controllers initiated the first of two overnight of the Marangoni sessions in the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF). The Dynamic Surf investigation is part of a series of JAXA experiments studying Marangoni convection driven by the presence of surface tension gradients produced by a temperature difference at a liquid/gas interface. By observing and understanding how a silicone oil liquid bridge moves, researchers can learn about how heat is transferred in microgravity and ultimately drive the design and development of more efficient fluid flow based systems and devices.

Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Latching End Effector (LEE) Survey: Today, Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) and maneuvered the SSRMS to the survey position for LEE B. The EHDC was then used to survey the LEE Snare cables as it was done last Monday, but with different points of view and optimizing the lighting conditions for still imagery. SSRMS performance today was nominal.

Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) Urine Receptacle (UR) Replacement: This morning the crew changed out the Urine Hose and Receptacle that was installed yesterday, recovering WHC functionality. Yesterday, after the crew replaced the Urine Hose and Receptacle as part of regularly scheduled maintenance, the WHC Pump Separator unexpectedly continued to run after the crew closed a urine valve. After cycling the valve, the Pump Separator did turn off. WHC is approved for use at this time.

JEM ORU Transfer Interface (JOTI) and Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) Installation on Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Airlock (A/L) Slide Table: FE-6 ingressed Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA2), retrieved the JOTI hardware, and installed the JOTI on the JEM A/L Slide Table. Afterwards, the crew installed the Robotics External Leak Locator (RELL) onto the JOTI, and retracted the Slide Table inside the JEM A/L. RELL is a technology demonstration designed to locate external ISS ammonia (NH3) leaks. Prior to using it for locating actual leaks, an on-orbit test needs to be performed to understand the background environment of ISS and how that affects leak locating. This on-orbit test will be scheduled later in Increment 49.

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

WHC Urine Receptacle (UR) and Insert Filter (IF) Remove and Replace
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Group Combustion Module (GCM) Familiarization
Group Combustion Module (GCM) Setup
MRM2 comm config to support the P/L Ops
Kulonovskiy Kristall Experiment Run.
Node 2 Endcone Unstow
PMA2 Ingress
MRM2 Comm Reconfig for Nominal Ops
KULONOVSKIY KRISTALL. Copy and Downlink Data
Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Combustion Chamber (CC) Setup
VIZIR. Experiment set up and start using ???? P/L.
PMA2 Stowage Retrieval
PMA2 Surface Inspection for Condensation
PMA2 Egress
Group Combustion Module (GCM) Install
Node 2 Endcone Unstow
Group Combustion Module (GCM) Install Support
Water Recovery System Waste Water Tank Drain Init (Deferred)
BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activities Module) Modal Test Review
Water Recovery System Waste Water Tank Drain Termination (Deferred)
Filling (separation) of ??? (???) for Elektron or ???-??
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check
Structures and Mechanisms JEM ORU Xfer I/F and Robo Ext Leak Locator Installation
Spaceflight Cognitive Assessment Tool for Windows (WinSCAT) Test
??? Maintenance
VIZIR. ???? Closeout Ops.
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Retraction from JPM Side
Download Pille Dosimeter Readings
Exercise Data Downlink via OCA
Hard To Wet Surfaces Set Up Check
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Calibration Check Data Record
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle
Personal CO2 Monitor iPad Application Restart

Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities completed unless otherwise noted.
Robotics Ground Control for SSRMS LEE Survey

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Wednesday, 09/28: Combustion Module Installation and Checkout, Finemotor Skills, Hard to Wet Surfaces
Thursday, 09/29: BEAM Ingress and Modal Test
Friday, 09/30: Energy Experiment, WSTA Fills

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 – Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Standby
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Reprocess
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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