Space Stations

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 March 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 25, 2015
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 March 2015
The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is raised into the vertical position shortly after arriving at the launch pad, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, and Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan March 28, Kazakh time (March 27 Eastern time.) As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

The three Expedition 43 crew members were back at work Tuesday on ongoing advanced microgravity science benefiting life on Earth and future crew members on long-term space missions. The International Space Station team is also getting ready to greet a new set of crew members and a private space freighter.
Commander Terry Virts participated in a second day of vision checks for the Ocular Health study. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued more runs of the TripleLux-B experiment studying cellular mechanisms that cause impairment of immune functions in microgravity. Finally, veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov worked on a pair of Russian investigations studying the effects of Earth’s magnetism on the space station and radiation exposure on a simulated crew member, or mannequin.

Read more about the Ocular Health study
Read more about the TripleLux-B experiment

Meanwhile, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are in the final stages of their preparations before launching Friday afternoon to join Expedition 43. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016. Padalka will end his stay in space in September.

Read more about the One-Year Crew

The sixth SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply mission is targeting an April 10 launch and an arrival at the space station April 12.

View NASA’s SpaceX mission page

On-Orbit Status Report

Node 3 (N3) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Valve Remove & Replace (R&R): Virts R&Rd the N3 CDRA Air Selector Valve (ASV) 106. The R&R was scheduled due to telemetry indication that showed this valve was taking longer than normal to reach its commanded position, which is consistent with a valve operating under high torque conditions. Following the valve replacement, the ground team attempted to restart the N3 CDRA. During restart the CDRA bed 1 failed the leak check, ground flight controllers are currently troubleshooting. The ppCO2 levels remain low and preliminary assessment is that CDRA is not required until after the arrival of 42S crew on Friday.

Ocular Health (OH): With Cristoforetti assisting as the CMO, Virts collected retinal images using the fundoscope as part of the Flight Day (FD) 120 OH session. The OH 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.

Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions-B (TripleLux-B): Cristoforetti completed the first TripleLux-B runs (0-gravity) and initiated the second run. The next Experiment Container (EC) Handling Mechanism (HM) was placed in the BioLab (BLB) glovebox for thawing prior to initiation of the run. TripleLux compares the mechanisms of vertebrate and invertebrate cells at a cellular level which causes impairment of immune functions in microgravity through induction of gene activation, phagocytosis (ingestion of foreign material), and DNA repair in vertebrate and invertebrate immune cells. TripleLux-B examines the immune function of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), hemocytes (cellular component of invertebrate blood), compared to rodent macrophages (white blood cells responsible for eating foreign material) to function in microgravity.

Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons 2 (RADI-N2): Shkaplerov handed over eight bubble detectors to Cristoforetti deployment around the ISS for the Radi-N2 experiment. This investigation is to better characterize the ISS neutron environment and define the risk posed to the crewmembers’ health and provide the data necessary to develop advanced protective measures for future space flight. For each session 8 detectors are initialized and deployed in predetermined locations for measurements: a set of 6 spectrometric detectors and two control ones are placed on a wall of an ISS Segment. After 7 days the detectors are collected and read using the BUBBLE reader.

On Board Training (OBT) Dragon Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT): Following yesterday’s procedures review and conference with ground teams, Virts and Cristoforetti performed one of three planned runs of Session 1 of the SpX-6 ROBoT training. The crew could not complete the other two planned runs due to issues with the ROBoT software. Ground teams are working troubleshooting steps to recover. Additional ROBoT sessions are scheduled prior to SpX-6 arrival. This training allows the crew to practice free drift timing, malfunction response, and nominal rate approaches.

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

COSMOCARD. Data downlink from the previous session
TPLXB – Set up hardware for the experiment:
TPLXB – Preparation of Glovebox for the Experiment
OBSTANOVKA. Connecting ???-50 with cable-inserts to ???.
TPLXB – Insertion of EC HM into Glovebox
WRS Water Sample Analysis
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Valve R&R
Search for ????-1? Device (?301)
MATRYOSHKA-R. Gathering and Initialization of Bubble-Dosimeter Detectors.
TPLXB – Recording data after the 1st session
MATRYOSHKA-R. Handover of BUBBLE-dosimeters to USOS
RADIN – Radiation Dosimetry Inside ISS-Neutrons Hardware Handover from the Russian Crew
MATRYOSHKA-R. BUBBLE-dosimeter initialization and deployment for exposure
RADIN – Dosimeter Deployment
PAO Event
NANO – Removal of modules 16, 18, 20, 21 and 22
Dragon Rendezvous and Berthing Procedures Review
??? Maintenance
OBT Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Debrief
TOCA Data Recording
TPLXB – Transfer of EC HM Interface from Glovebox to TCU 2
Fundoscope – Ocular Health (OH) Equipment Setup
TPLXB – Closeout Ops
Eye Prep for Fundoscopic Exam
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
VHF2D-VHF1 Relay Test via SM
IMS Delta File Prep
Fundoscope – Eye Exam (Stowage)
EMU SOP Check-Out Fixture SCOF Positive Pressure Relief Valve cycling
Completed Task List Items

SpX-6 stowage prep
Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

ROBoT ops for Dragon OBT
Ocular Health ops
ACE ops
Three-Day Look Ahead:

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
Friday, 03/27: 42S launch/dock, Aniso Tubule sample prep/insertion, Dragon pre-pack
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 – Off

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