Space Stations

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 23, 2015
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2015
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti seen here in the Cupola of the International Space Station. Cristoforetti captured the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft using the Canadarm2 robotic arm before handing off to robotics officers at Mission Control, Houston, Texas who worked to maneuver Dragon to its installation position at the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module where it will reside for five weeks. Cristoforetti points to the Dragon in this image taken on Apr. 17, 2015 shortly after grappling. The Dragon carried more than 2 tons of equipment, experiments and supplies for the Expedition 43 crew aboard the station. Credit: NASA.

As Expedition 43 unloads crew supplies from the SpaceX Dragon, another cargo craft is being readied for its undocking. Meanwhile, new research is underway with some of the science gear hauled into space aboard Dragon.
Russia’s ISS Progress 57 space freighter is being packed with trash and discarded gear. It will undock from the Pirs docking compartment early Saturday morning for a fiery descent into the Pacific Ocean.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts studied the effects of microgravity on living organisms for the Rodent Research experiment. They are looking at mice and how their body systems change in space. The results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.

On-Orbit Status Report

Osteocytes and mechano-transduction (Osteo-4): Cristoforetti successfully performed Tray 3 operations, removing the last three bioreactors from Osteo-4, and stowed them in MELFI. The Osteo-4 locker was then powered off. The three trays of Osteo-4 are an automated bone cell culture experiment that studies the effects of microgravity on the function of osteocytes, which are the most common cells in bone. These cells reside within the mineralized bone and can sense mechanical forces, or the lack of them, but researchers do not know how. Osteo-4 allows scientists to analyze changes in the physical appearance and genetic expression of mouse bone cells in microgravity.

Russian Joint Research (RJR) Microbial Air Sampler (MAS) and Surface Sample Kit (SSK) Analysis: Padalka analyzed the MAS and SSK samples taken on 16 April, performing colony counts and photographing the microbial and fungal slides. The investigation refines locations and surfaces prone to microbial contamination throughout the ISS, shares monitoring technologies and data between NASA and Roscosmos, and provides a scientific basis for decisions about future microbial monitoring, both on ISS through its extended life, and on other future human exploration spacecraft.

Ocular Health: Kornienko continued Ocular Health activities, performing his Flight Day 30 fundoscopy, with the assistance of Cristoforetti and ground remote guiders. The fundoscope is utilized to image the fundus (interior surface of the eye including the retina, optic disc, macula, and fovea). Ocular Health protocol calls for a systematic gathering of physiological data to characterize the risk of microgravity-induced visual impairment/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.

Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC)-21: Cristoforetti inserted the four cartridge samples in the Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI), thereby halting the growth period approximately 24 hours after initiation. The samples will be returned on SpX-6 for ground analysis. The BRIC-21 investigation tests the hypothesis that microorganisms subjected to a space flight environment experience a spectrum of stress responses, with some leading to alterations in the antibiotic susceptibility. The goals of BRIC-21 are to analyze microbes to identify the suite of stress responses induced by exposure to spaceflight and simulated microgravity, and determine viability, resistance levels to a battery of antibiotics, and rates of spontaneous mutation to antibiotic resistance in microbes.

Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions – A (Triplelux-A): Cristoforetti stowed the six Triplelux Reservoir A canisters in the Biolab Thermal Control Unit (TCU)1 (-20 °C) and the two Triplelux Experiment Container (EC) Handling Mechanism (HM) Interfaces in the Biolab TCU 2 (+4°C) until start of the experiment run scheduled for next week. Triplelux-A uses a rat macrophage cell line to investigate and compare the ability of macrophages to kill pathogens under normal gravity and microgravity conditions. The goal is to gain a better understanding of immune suppression in spaceflight.

Rodent Research-2 Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (RR-2 CASIS): Kelly and Virts performed the first set of four sample collections with Kelly as primary operator while Virts assisted, placing samples in containment then in MELFI. The objective of this research is to monitor the effects of the space environment on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems of mice as model organisms of human health and disease. Living in microgravity results in significant and rapid effects on the physiology of mice that mimic the process of aging and some diseases in humans on Earth, including muscle atrophy and the loss of bone mineral density. This project will help scientists discover new molecular targets that can facilitate the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of muscle and bone-related diseases. Long-duration exposure to microgravity will also induce changes in gene expression, protein synthesis, metabolism, and eye structure/morphology that will be identifiable as a series of assessable biomarkers for tracking the onset and progression of disease.

On Board Training (OBT) Dragon Debrief Conference: Virts and Cristoforetti completed a conference with ground teams to debrief lessons learned from the SpX-6 Dragon OBTs performed by the crew prior to berthing.

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

SLEEP Questionnaire
IMMUNO. Saliva Sample (Session 1)
IMMUNO. First stress test, questionnaire data entry.
RSS1,2 Reboot
IMMUNO. Test-Tube Blood Collection (finger).
IMMUNO. Blood Sample Processing.
IMMUNO. Equipment Stowage
Regeneration of БМП Ф2 Micropurification Cartridge (start)
Sample Collection/Incubation using Surface Sample Kit (SSK) and Microbial Air Sampler (MAS)
FINEMOTR – Experiment Ops
OSTEO4 – Bioreactor Prep for MELFI Stowage
PAO hardware setup
Crew Prep for PAO
TV Conference with Russia Today TV Channel Correspondent
Rodent Research (RR) – Hardware Installation and Connection
СОЖ Maintenance
Rodent Research (RR) – Installation of Refrigerated Centrifuge
Removal of ССД305 Light from ТКГ 424 (DC1) and Stowage in Spares Kit
DAN. Experiment Execution Support
DAN. Experiment Ops.
OSTEO4 – Sample Insertion into MELFI
OSTEO4 – Glove Bag Stowage
Replacement of РТ-50-1М No.9 (А209) – Equipment Prep.
Rodent Research (RR) – Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
Rodent Research (RR) – Hardware Installation and Connection
WRS Water Sample Analysis
ECON-L. Observations and Photography
EML – Cable Removal
Rodent Research (RR) – Closeout Ops
OSTEO4 – Hardware Deactivation and Removal
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
BRIC21 – Canister Insertion into MELFI
PLR/MELF – Transfer of Samples from Polar to MELFI
TPLXA – Biolab TCU1 Hardware Setup
MPEG-2 video downlink test via KU-band prior to ТКГ 426 Docking to the ISS
ТКГ 424 (DC1) Stowage and IMS Ops
TOCA Data Recording
Video Footage for Nauka 2.0 TV Channel
Rodent Research (RR) – MELFI Sample Insertion
Rodent Research (RR) – Refrigerated Centrifuge Configuration
ТКГ 424 (DC1) Stowage Completion Report (S-band)
Rodent Research (RR) – Experiment Ops
IMS Delta File Prep
Rodent Research (RR) – Closeout Ops
Rodent Research (RR) – MELFI Sample Insertion 12
URISYS Hardware Setup Filling up ТГК 424 (DC1) СрПК Section 2 with N2
Closing Window Shutters 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – Fundoscope Preparation
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – Eye Exam using Fundoscope
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – Fundoscope Teardown and Stowage
IMMUNO. Saliva Sample (Session 2)
OBT – Dragon Rendezvous and Docking Conference
IMMUNO. Second stress test, questionnaire data entry
IMMUNO. Final Equipment Stowage
Closing USOS Window Shutters
БМП Ф2 Absorption Cartridge Regeneration (end)
Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

Solar Array Feathering for 57P prop purge [Scheduled]
Rodent Research operations
Ocular Health operations
Three-Day Look Ahead:

Wednesday, 04/22: Dragon cargo ops, Nanoparticles/Osteoporosis removal from KUBIK, RR Fixative swap, Nematode Muscle fixation
Thursday, 04/23: Ocular Health, Dragon cargo ops, RR unit cleaning
Friday, 04/24: NeuroMapping Neurocognitive Ops, USOS Crew off duty
QUICK ISS Status – Environmental Control Group:

Component – Status
Elektron – Off
Vozdukh – Manual
[СКВ] 1 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV1”) – On
[СКВ] 2 – SM Air Conditioner System (“SKV2”) – Off
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab – Operate
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Shutdown
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Operate
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Shutdown
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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