Space Stations

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 March 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 24, 2015
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 March 2015
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Expedition 43 flight engineer works daily on science and maintenance duties on board the International Space Station. She is inspecting the Minus Eighty-degree Laboratory Freezer called by the shorter title "MELFI-3 Cold Box inspection". Astronauts are trained for long periods at the Johnson Space Center and in Russia before their missions in space begin so that they are fully trained for these complex duties. Credit: ESA/NASA.

The orbiting Expedition 43 trio focused on science work Monday as another crew counts down to its launch Friday afternoon to the International Space Station.
Commander Terry Virts and Flight Engineers Samantha Cristoforetti and Anton Shkaplerov have been in space for 120 days. Virts and Cristoforetti participated in their 120 day medical tests. The commander conducted a vision test and measurements for the Ocular Health experiment. Cristoforetti collected blood and urine samples for her Biochemical Profile and Bone and Muscle Check. Shkaplerov worked on his set of Russian science experiments.

Read more about the Ocular Health study

Back on Earth, One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are in Kazakhstan getting ready to join Expedition 43. The duo will launch Friday at 3:42 p.m. EDT with Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016. Padalka will end his stay in space in September.

Read more about the One-Year Crew

On-Orbit Status Report

Space-X 6 Preparations: Virts and Cristoforetti reviewed capture procedure, proficiency training on the SpX mission profile, rendezvous procedures and crew interfaces for monitoring and commanding the vehicle. The lesson walked through the steps in the rendezvous procedures and provides representative Robotic Workstation (RWS) and PCS screenshots for each step as well as provided an overview of the SpX commands available to the crew via the Crew Command Panel (CCP).

Ocular Health: Virts completed his Flight Day (FD) 120 Ocular Health session. Today’s session included a vision test and questionnaire, then with Cristoforetti as the Crew Medical Officer (CMO), eye pressure measurements were collected using the tonometer, then blood pressure measurements, and finally Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Tomorrow, Virts, again with Cristoforetti assisting as the CMO, will collect retinal images using the fundoscope. The 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.

Biochemical Profile: Cristoforetti began her FD 120 Biochemical Profile collections. She collected and processed urine and blood samples and inserted them into Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for return and ground analysis. The Biochem Profile experiment tests blood and urine samples obtained from astronauts before, during and after spaceflight. Specific proteins and chemicals in the samples are used as biomarkers, or indicators of health. Post-flight analysis yields a database of samples and test results, which scientists can use to study the effects of spaceflight on the body. An improved understanding of the biochemical effects of microgravity could help patients with limited mobility on Earth, such as those on bed rest. Understanding how various physiological systems respond and interact to changing gravity conditions could help physicians design different treatments or exercises for people with limited mobility.

Salivary Markers of Metabolic Changes during Space Missions (Check-Saliva): Cristioforetti completed her FD 120 Bone and Muscle Check collections and stowed them in MELFI for return and ground evaluation. Check-Saliva tests crewmembers’ saliva, blood, and urine before, during and after spaceflight to study whether saliva tests can serve as reliable health monitors. Long-term exposure to the microgravity environment results in reduced bone and muscle mass which is related to changes in certain substances in the bloodstream and urine. Some of these changes can also be detected in saliva samples so tests using Check-Saliva can validate whether saliva and/or urine can be used as simple, non-invasive tools to monitor crewmembers’ bone and muscle status during a space mission.

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

HRF Urine Sample Collection
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF – Blood Draw – Subject
HRF – Blood Sample Collection (assistance)
HRF – Crew configures the Refrigerated Centrifuge for sample load operations
CARDIOVECTOR. Experiment Ops. / r/g 8296
HRF – Crew removes blood tubes and powers off the Refrigerated Centrifuge.
HRF – Sample MELFI Insertion
HRF Blood Collection and Processing Hardware Stowage
Greasing Exposed ARED Wires
Ocular Health (OH) – Vision Test
Vision Questionnaire
Ocular Health (OH) – Tonometry Test Configuration
Ocular Health (OH) – Crew performs blood pressure measurement and records results
Ocular Health (OH) – Tonometry Test – Operator
Ocular Health (OH) – Tonometry Test – Subject
Post-Tonometry Stowage
[????] Replacement. / r/g 8274
ARED prep for exercise session
CWC Fill – part 1
CWC Fill- part 2
Bone/Muscle Check (BMC) – Sample Insertion into MELFI
HRF – Equipment stowage after sample collection
[????] Replacement. / r/g 8274
Crew Discretionary Conference
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
OBT – Dragon Robotics Review
OBT – Dragon Rendezvous and Berthing Procedures Review
Inter-Orbit Communication System (ICS) Comm Check
OBT – Dragon Rendezvous and Docking Conference
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Setup
OBSTANOVKA. Preparation Ops / r/g 8295
IMS Delta File Prep
Exercise data downlink / r/g 6797
OCT Hardware Setup
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
Vision Test, Subject
Vision Test, Operator
OCT Hardware Stowage
Completed Task List Items

Completed Saturday:
COL stow consolidation
Wearable monitoring vest doffing
ARED cylinder R&R
ESA PAOs (2 total)
USB card reader relocate
Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

N3 CDRA safing
Ocular Health support [In Work]
Battery 2B2 reconditioning [In Work]
Transition to OCA21 and test [In Work]
Three-Day Look Ahead:

Tuesday, 03/24: JEM IMV flow measurements, Ocular Health, TripleLux, OBT Dragon RoBOT part 1, N3 CDRA valve R&R
Wednesday, 03/25: Ocular Health, TripleLux, CubeSat deployer/MPEP/SAM remove, JEM A/L slide table retraction
Thursday, 03/26: JEM A/L slide table extension, RRM hardware install on slide table
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 – Standby
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab – Idle
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 – Shutdown
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) – Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) – Process
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Warmup
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Full Up

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