Space Stations

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 March 2015

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 26, 2015
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 25 March 2015
Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, left, Russian Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, and Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), right are seen during the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft final check, Monday, Mar. 23, 2015 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Kelly, Kornienko, and Padalka are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan March 27. Credit: NASA.

The orbiting Expedition 43 trio worked ongoing life science Wednesday to improve life on Earth and in space. On the ground at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft rolled out to its launch pad counting down to a Friday launch to the International Space Station.
In space, Commander Terry Virts scanned his eyes using an Ultrasound as part of the Ocular Health vision checkouts this week. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued working with the TripleLux-B cellular mechanisms experiment. Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov wrapped up the Cosmocard investigation that observes the vegetative regulation of cardiac rhythm on long-term spaceflight.

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

Back on Earth, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and One Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are getting ready for their mission to join Expedition 43. They will launch Friday at 3:42 p.m. EDT for a six-hour, four orbit flight to the station. Padalka will end his stay in space in September. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016.

Read more about the One-Year Crew

SpaceX is targeting April 10 for the launch of its Dragon private space freighter. Virts and Cristoforetti are packing NanoRacks Cubesat deployers, which were used in Japan’s Kibo lab module, for return to Earth on Dragon when it completes its sixth Commercial Resupply Services mission a month later.

View NASA’s SpaceX mission page

On-Orbit Status Report

Ocular Health (OH): With Cristoforetti assisting as the CMO, Virts completed his Ocular Health ultrasound. Ultrasound scans were performed of his eyes, followed by cardiac echo measurements as part of the Ocular Health data collection. The ultrasound images will be used to identify changes in globe morphology, including flattening of the posterior globe, 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 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.

Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Reconfiguration: Virts and Cristoforetti removed the Nanorack Cubesat Deployers and the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) and Small Fine Arm (SFA) Attachment Mechanism (SAM) from the JEMAL slide table. The Nanorack Cubesat deployers will be packed for return on SpaceX-6 (SpX-6). Tomorrow the crew will install the Robotics Refueling Mission (RRM)-2 hardware on the JEMAL slide table.

Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions-B (TripleLux-B): Cristoforetti performed Day 2 of the second run of TripleLux-B. She thawed the Culture Tubes B in the Biolab glovebox, assembled the Experiment Container (EC) and installed the EC into the Biolab Rotor for cell transfer. The EC was then inserted into the Thermal Control Unit (TCU)-2 at 4° Celcius for cell reconstitution. 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.

Node 3 (N3) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Status: Overnight ground specialist were able to restart N3 CDRA following yesterday’s ASV 106 replacement and subsequent CDRA bed 1 leak check failure. N3 CDRA is currently operating nominally. Additional leak checks are planned, per procedures, later this week.

Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (RGN-ECLSS) Status: Overnight the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) experienced a High Conductivity Fault. The fault was traced to a biased sensor which has been inhibited and the WPA is currently processing. Then, this morning during the Waste Water Storage Tank Assembly (WSTA) fill there was an unexpected sensor increase. During a WSTA fill this morning, the nominal deactivation steps were performed when the WSTA reached 69%. Rather than deactivating, the quantity within the WSTA continued to increase. Ground teams are currently investigating the WSTA event.

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

Ultrasound – Hardware Setup and Activation
COSMOCARD. Closeout Ops
VIRTUAL. Experiment Ops
Ultrasound – Scanning Prep
Ocular Health (OH) – Ultrasound Scan
Ultrasound – Data Export
Ocular Health Cardiac Operations
JEM Airlock Slide Table (ST) Extension to JPM Side
TPLXB – Hardware Setup for the Experiment
TPLXB – Preparation of Glovebox
NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer Removal from the MPEP
Voice check in S/G1 from Baikonur
Ultrasound – Hardware Deactivation and Closeout
TPLXB – Removal of Culture Tube from GLACIER and Transfer to Glovebox
OTKLIK. Hardware Check
TPLXB – Thawing of Culture Tube and Assembly of EC
Audit of O-rings and seals КВО.7346.0000.
JEM Airlock Capture Mechanism Release
MPEP – Hardware Setup
MPEP – Removal of MPEP from Small Fine Arm (SAM)
TPLXB – Hardware Setup
WRS – Recycle Tank Fill
Replacement of ПТАБ-1М (А301) АБ Module No.1
Force Loader Test (HC-1M)
JEM Airlock – Slide Table Retraction
Verification of ИП-1 Flow Sensor Position
TPLXB – Closeout Ops
Health Maintenance System (HMS) – Nutritional Assessment (ESA)
Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

MPEP release from SAM
JEM A/L deactivation
SAM removal
JEM A/L slide table retraction
JEM A/L activation
Three-Day Look Ahead:

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
Saturday, 03/28: ISS Safety Briefing/crew handover
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 – 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) – Stop
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab – Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 – Warmup

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