Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 September 2016

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
September 29, 2016
Filed under , ,
NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 September 2016
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, a crew member of Expedition 49 aboard the International Space Station, works on an experiment inside the station's Microgravity Science Glovebox. The glovebox is one of the major dedicated science facilities inside the Destiny laboratory and provides a sealed environment for conducting science and technology experiments. The glovebox is particularly suited for handling hazardous materials when the crew is present. Credit: NASA. (09/13/2016)

The three Expedition 49 crew members measured noise levels on the International Space Station today and continued exploring how physical and organic phenomena are affected by weightlessness.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins surveyed the acoustic environment inside the station today. She analyzed the sound levels of various life support gear and took standard measurements in the Destiny lab module and the Zvezda service module. Rubins also partnered up with Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi to remix, photograph and stow samples for the Hard to Wet Surfaces pharmaceutical study.

Onishi began his day testing his performance on a mobile tablet device. The study, known as Fine Motor Skills, observes how an astronaut adapts to new technology and could help engineers design next generation spacecraft, spacesuits and tools. He then moved onto setting up equipment for the upcoming Group Combustion experiment to research how fuel burns in space. Results could influence the future production of rocket engines and industrial furnaces.

On the Russian side of the station, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin sampled different areas searching for mold fungus and bacteria contamination. The commander then repressurized the station’s environment with air from a docked cargo ship and worked on life support system maintenance.

On-Orbit Status Report

Marangoni Experiment (Dynamic Surf 3): Overnight another run of the Marangoni experiment occurred 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.

Hard to Wet Surfaces: FE-6 performed the sample processing, setup of the Sample Module, and initiated automated photography of the samples. Throughout the day, FE-5 and FE-6 periodically remixed the samples before finally downlinking the day’s photographs and stowing the experiment. 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.

Group Combustion Module (GCM) Installation: Today, FE-5 continued with day 2 of installation and preparation for the GCM experiment. FE-5 installed the Combustion Chamber (CC) that the crew assembled yesterday and the Gas Bottle Unit (GBU) Air into the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Work Volume. 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.

Sound Level Meter (SLM) Survey: Today FE-6 performed SLM acoustic measurements. The Node 3 diagnostic SLM survey plan called for eight sets of measurements, encompassing various Node 3 Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA) fan speeds and Rheostat Air Mix Valve (RAMV) settings with the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) Distillation Assembly (DA) and Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) Pump either on or off depending on the portion of the survey plan being worked, totaling 52 SLM measurements. In addition, standard SLM measurements of the US Lab and Service Module (SM) were taken.

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

Fine Motor Skills Experiment Test – Subject
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Processing
?-NOC. Execution experiment
Multi Omics FOS Stow
Hard To Wet Surfaces D2Xs Battery Charge
Multi Omics FOS Preparation
Ghost Camera Setup for Modal Test
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix.
Sound Level Meter (SLM) Setup and Operations
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix.
ENERGY Big Picture Words Reading
ENERGY Equipment Pre-gather
Strata Card Changeout
Hard To Wet Surfaces Sample Remix
Sound Level Meter (SLM) Data Transfer
ISS air pressurization from ???
Dose Tracker Data Entry Subject
Personal CO2 Monitor Power Cycle
Public Affairs Office (PAO) High Definition (HD) Config LAB Setup
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Water Recovery System (WRS) Sample Analysis
Greetings Video Recording
XF305 Camcorder Setup
Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) Combustion Chamber (CC) Install
Public Affairs Office (PAO) Event in High Definition (HD) – Lab
Modal Test Hardware Unstow
Air Heater Fan [???] 64P PROGRESS checkout
IWIS Install for Modal Test
Group Combustion Module (GCM) Gas Bottle Unit Air (GBU) Install
??? maintenance
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) Sample Data Record

Completed Task List Items
JAXA Report Part 6 (Active)

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
N3 system reconfigurations for SLM measurements
RPCM AL1A4A_B and LAD62B_A Firmware Update

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Thursday, 09/29: BEAM Ingress and Modal Test, Energy setup
Friday, 09/30: Energy Experiment, PGT TAK Data Gather
Saturday, 10/01: Finemotor Skills, Hard to Wet Surfaces, Energy Conclude

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) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Reprocess
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.