Space Stations

NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 December 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
December 4, 2015
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NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 December 2015
NASA International Space Station On-Orbit Status 3 December 2015.

Because of thick clouds with freezing temperatures and precipitation that violated the weather rules for launching, Orbital ATK and United Launch Alliance have postponed the planned launch of the Atlas V rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft. It is Orbital ATK’s fourth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
The next 30-minute launch window opens Friday, Dec. 4, at 5:33:11 p.m. EST. The chance of favorable weather for the next launch is 30 percent. NASA Television coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. and can be seen online at

A launch Friday would result in a rendezvous at the station and grapple and berthing of Cygnus on Monday, Dec. 7.

Cygnus is loaded with more than 7,000 pounds of supplies and science and research investigations. Science payloads aboard Cygnus will offer a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.

For a mission overview, press kit, launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

To join the online conversation about the Orbital ATK CRS-4 launch and the International Space Station on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and #Cygnus.

On-Orbit Status Report

Mission Control Space Services Inc.Orbital ATK (OA)-4 Launch Attempt: Today’s planned launch of OA-4 from Cape Canaveral, Florida was scrubbed due to weather. The next attempt will be tomorrow (Friday 12/4) at 4:33 pm Central time. The Enhanced Cygnus spacecraft will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket and will be delivering approximately 3,500 kg of pressurized cargo to the ISS. Tomorrow’s launch sets the stage for ISS rendezvous and capture on Monday, December 7th.

Portable Computer System (PCS) Relocation: Lindgren relocated a JEM Pressurized Module (JPM) PCS and cables to the LAB in preparation for OA-4 capture on Sunday. The PCS will provide command redundancy during OA-4 capture operations.

Cardio Ox: Lindgren, with assistance from Kelly, collected blood pressure and ultrasound measurements of his carotid and brachial arteries for this Return minus 14 Day (R-30) 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.

Cognition: Lindgren performed his Return minus 10 Day session of the Cognition experiment today. The Individualized Real-Time Neurocognitive Assessment Toolkit for Space Flight Fatigue (Cognition) investigation is a battery of tests that measure how spaceflight-related physical changes, such as microgravity and lack of sleep, can affect cognitive performance. Cognition includes ten brief computerized tests that cover a wide range of cognitive functions, and provides immediate feedback on current and past test results. The software used allows for real-time measurement of cognitive performance while in space.

Ocular Health Ocular and Cardiac Ultrasounds: Yui and Lindgren took ocular and cardiac ultrasounds as part of their series of Flight Day 120 Ocular Health tests. The ultrasound images will be used to identify changes in globe morphology and document optic nerve sheath diameter, optic nerve sheath tortuosity, globe axial measurements, and choroidal engorgement. 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.

Twins Study: In support of the Twins Study, Kelly completed another Flight Day 240 saliva collection, stowing samples in a Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). This investigation is an integrated compilation of ten different studies led by multiple investigators. The studies take advantage of a unique opportunity to look at the effects of space travel on identical twins, with one of them experiencing space travel for a year while the other remains earth-bound for that same year. The study looks at changes in the human body that are important in the fields of genetics, psychology, physiology, microbiology, and immunology.

Sleep Log: Kelly recorded a Sleep Log entry today after waking. 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.

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

Space Headaches: Lindgren completed his weekly Space Headaches questionnaires today. Headaches can be a common complaint during spaceflight. The Space Headaches experiment will provide information that may help in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms and improvement in the well-being and performance of crew members in space.

43 Soyuz (43S) Nominal Descent Drill: Yui and Kononenko participated in a nominal Soyuz Decent Drill. As part of this training they reviewed preliminary undocking and descent data, then worked through the descent timeline (from Soyuz activation through post-landing activities). The 43S Crew is scheduled to return to earth on December 11th.

Crew Departure Preparation: Yui continued to pack his personal items in preparation for his crews return to earth onboard 43S. The items will be returning to earth by way of 43S, SpaceX-8, and SpaceX-9 vehicles.

Water Sample Analysis: As a follow up to water samples obtained earlier this week, Kelly visually analyzed Coliform Detection Bags and Microbial Capture Devices after 48 hours of incubation. Samples were then prepared for return onboard 43S.

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

TWIN – Sample Collection
HRF – Sample Collection and Prep for Stowage
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF – Sample collection and stowage
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF Urine Sample Collection
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF – Blood Sample collection operator assistance
USND2 – Hardware activation
HRF Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
Cleaning Nikon camera Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) Digital Image Sensor
??? Maintenance
Soyuz 717 Pre-pack Ops
USND2 – Hard Drive Cleaning
Crew Discretionary Conference
Eye Imaging (Ocular Health)
HRF – Blood Sample Collection Closeout Ops
HRF – MELFI Sample Insertion
Routine Maintenance of [??], [??] and ?? Valves in SM Rodnik Tanks
Life On The Station Photo and Video
MOTOCARD. Experiment Ops
BIOME – Survey Questionnaire Completion
CARDOX – Setup Ops
MOTOCARD. Operator Assistance with the Experiment
Soyuz 717 Packing with Hardware for Disposal
CARDOX – Scanning
Preparing for ???2?14 Device (????2-12 system) Replacement
HRF Urine Sample Collection
ECLSS Recycle Tank Remove and Replace
Crew Departure Prep
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF – Equipment Stowage
HRF Closeout Ops
Progress 428 (DC1) Stowage Ops with IMS Support
PCS Relocation
INTERACTION-2. Data Downlink
HRF Urine Sample Collection [Deferred]
Relocations in PMM and NOD3 in prep for OA-4 capture
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – Food Frequency Questionnaire
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion [Deferred]
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
?? – Cardiac Scan
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops
USND2 – Hardware Deactivation
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
SM Ventilation System Preventive Maintenance. Group C
Soyuz 717 Descent Drill and Return Equipment List & Stowage Consultation
Water Recovery System (WRS) Drain Waste Water Tank, initiate
ISS-MCC-M TV. TV Conference with Russia Today TV Channel Host
Robotic Work Station (RWS) Setup
Camcorder Setup to View LAB RWS Monitor 3
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
Progress 428 (DC1) Stowage Ops with IMS Support
Water Recovery System (WRS) Drain Waste Water Tank, terminate
IMS Delta File Prep
RGN REC-TNK – Remove depress hose for nominal operations
BRI Log Dump from RSS1
EHS MCD – In-flight Microbiology Water analysis and data recording
HRF Urine Sample Collection
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
NINJA Document Printout
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
SHD – Weekly Questionnaire
JRNL – Journal Entry
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Robotic Workstation (RWS) Teardown
JRNL – Survey Questionnaire Completion
Crew Departure Prep
Relocations in PMM and NOD3 in prep for OA-4 capture
COGNITION – Experiment Ops and Filling Questionnaire [Deferred]
Crew Discretionary Conference
Preparation of Reports for Roscosmos Web Site and Social Media
ECON-M. Observations and Photography
URAGAN Observations and Photography
Video Recording for All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (?????)
Personal Data Prep for Return

Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
Camera calibrations in preparation for OA-4

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 12/04: 1/2 Duty Day, Cygnus Robotics OBT, Crew Departure Prep, RAM Retrieval, Biome
Saturday, 12/05: Cygnus Capture Review, Crew Off Duty, Weekly Cleaning
Sunday, 12/06: Cygnus Rendezvous, Capture, and Berth, CBCS Removal, Journals

QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

Component – Status
Elektron – On
Vozdukh – Manual
[???] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – Off
[???] 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) – Normal
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Full Up
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Off

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